Over the past year, Florida’s The Heavy Pets have been busy in the studio, and the group is gearing up to release their latest full-length album, Strawberry Mansion, on February 23rd. The new album—which will be released independently with some help from All Points Boats and APB Studios—marks The Heavy Pets’ first full-length studio album since 2011’s Swim Out Past The Sun, though the band has released some EPs during that seven-year period. Strawberry Mansion will be available on major streaming sites and for purchase in double vinyl, CD, and digital formats.It’s clear that the buzz around the group’s new album is growing, and given the group’s feel-good new tunes, it’s clear why. Strawberry Mansion‘s opening track, “Higher”, is a delightfully funky song with an island and some ska-like leanings. Plus, the group recently debuted the 70’s street-funk number, “Shahryar’s Rage”, and the track has over 100,000+ listens in just a couple of short weeks.Read on below to hear The Heavy Pets’ own Jeff Lloyd’s thoughts on the upcoming Strawberry Mansion, plus check out the group’s newly announced tour dates, including an album release party at Fort Lauderdale’s Culture Room on Friday, February 23rd, and an opening gig for Umphrey’s McGee at Whigfest Music & Arts Festival in Tampa, on February 18th.The Heavy Pets’ guitarists and vocalists, Jeff Lloyd and Mike Garulli, are no strangers to throwing an epic party. Most recently, the band hosted a three-set Festival After Party at Boca Raton’s The Funky Biscuit, which featured a second set that saw sit-ins from the likes of Eric Krasno, MonoNeon, DJ Logic, Tedeschi Trucks Band saxophonist Kebbi Williams, and trumpeter Ephraim Owens, highlighting how much respect the Pets have garnered in the greater jam and funk scene.The Heavy Pets With Eric Krasno, DJ Logic, MonoNeon, & The Tedeschi Trucks Band Horns – “Between The Sheets > Dewpoint”[via CHeeSeHeaDPRoDuCTioNS]We had the opportunity to speak with The Heavy Pets’ lead guitarist and vocalist, Jeff Lloyd, to discuss the inspiration behind the new album, the album’s special guest collaborators, and more. Check it out below! L4LM: This is the band’s first full album since 2011’s Swim Out Past The Sun. Did it feel good to get back in the studio and make some new music?Jeff Lloyd: It felt fantastic. We focused on a series of EPs over the last few years and felt it was time to get back in and produce a full-length record. We had a ton of material ready to go, so we felt it was time again to make a longer statement. I think we really found a process that works for us—recording at a variety of South Florida studios including our own, and finishing everything at the Power Station, where we have done the bulk of our work the last few years.L4LM: I’m assuming that’s a guest vocalist on “Shahryar’s Rage”. Who are the special guests on the album?JL: Actually, no. That’s our very own Jim Wuest singing lead on “Shahryar’s Rage”, with the rest of us singing some pretty rich harmonies in the back. It’s a cool sound and very uniquely Jim. We do have some South Florida friends we are proud to have on the record, including Michael McCleary (guitarist of Surfer Blood) on trombone and Rob Smiley on saxophone for the closing track “Holy Holy.”L4LM: Is that you or Mike playing slide on “The Ibis”? Sounds very Derek Trucks-inspired. Totally digging it. JL: That’s our dear friend, the one-and-only Roosevelt Collier! Ha, I wish I could play like that. He absolutely slayed that track—took my vision to a whole different level—but this should come as no surprise to me after working with him for so many years. That’s what he does. I absolutely love the parts he laid down, and the back and forth he does with Jim on the Hammond for the solo section.L4LM: What was some inspirations for the music y’all wrote on the album? JL: “The Ibis” was literally inspired by me waking to a yard full of birds one morning and doing a little research. Fascinating creatures. “Real News” I’d written years ago and thought pretty apt for today. There is so much going on on this record, and it is taking me back to our beginnings—a group of friends with a big group of songs. I still feel we are just getting started.The Heavy Pets will celebrate the release of Strawberry Mansion with a proper album release party at Fort Lauderdale’s Culture Room on Friday, February 23rd (get tickets here). In support of the new album, The Heavy Pets will head out on the road for an extensive run of headlining dates with support from acts such as Goose, The Clock Reads, and The Steady Flow. Additional shows include appearances at Fractal Beach Music Festival at Historic Virginia Key Beach Park in Miami on February 4th and opening for Umphrey’s McGee at Whigfest Music & Arts Festival in Tampa on February 18th. Take a listen to “Higher”, and check out a full list of tour dates below.The Heavy Pets Tour DatesFEB 17 – Jacksonville, FL – 1904 Music HallFEB 18 – Tampa, FL – Whigfest*FEB 23 – Fort Lauderdale, FL – Culture RoomMAR 01 – Charlotte, NC – The Rabbit HoleMAR 02 – Asheville, NC – Funkatorium, Wicked Weed BrewingMAR 03 – Savannah, GA – Barrelhouse SouthMAR 08 – Fort Collins, CO – Hodi’s Half Note**MAR 09 – Denver, CO – Be On KeyMAR 10 – Denver, CO – Be On KeyMAR 21 – Jupiter, FL – GuanabanasMAR 22 – Dunedin, FL – Spring Beer Jam, Dunedin BreweryMAR 23 – Key West, FL – Smokin’ TunaMAR 24 – Key West, FL – Smokin’ TunaMAR 25 – Key West, FL – Green ParrotAPR 07 – Davie, FL – David Posnack Jewish Community Center, Orlove AuditoriumAPR 14 – Fort Pierce, FL – Sailfish Street PartyAPR 25 – Washington, DC – Pearl Street WarehouseAPR 26 – Philadelphia, PA – Milkboy***APR 27 – Providence, RI – Fete LoungeAPR 28 – New Haven, CT – Pacific Standard TavernAPR 29 – Allston, MA – Wonder BarMAY 02 – Brooklyn, NY – Knitting FactoryMAY 03 – Manchester, NH – Jewel Music Venue****MAY 04 – Norwalk, CT – Wall Street Theater****MAY 05 – Albany, NY – The Hollow****JUN 06 – Arcata, CA – Humboldt BrewsJUN 07 – Nevada City, CA – Crazy Horse SaloonJUN 08 – San Francisco, CA – Boom Boom Room* supporting Umphrey’s McGee** w/ The Steady Flow*** w/ The Clock Reads**** w/ Goose
Its board said that it had asked for quotes from three insurers, including Aegon, which has already insured 86% of the scheme’s liabilities.The pension fund said it preferred a buyout with a focus on consumer price index (CPI) inflation, as it used this measure to grant uplifts to its deferred participants and 3,000 pensioners.Benefits for VNU’s 227 active participants, however, are linked to wage inflation.If the Pensioenfonds VNU could not afford the insurance buyout, it would continue as an independent scheme for the time being, it said.Nielsen, the sponsoring employer, is assessing the possibility of shifting future pensions accrual elsewhere, probably under a defined contribution plan, in line with the parent company’s worldwide pensions arrangements.In its annual report for 2017, the scheme indicated that continuing as a closed pension fund would be another option.The VNU scheme has 5,300 participants in total.Private credit specialist targets Benelux expansionUK asset manager Pemberton has opened an office in Amsterdam, citing “increased investment opportunities in the Benelux”.The company, which specialises in private credit, said it wanted to enforce its relationship with local clients as well as private equity and other financial firms.At the same time, Pemberton has appointed Boris Harmsen as managing director and head of Benelux.Harmsen joins from IKB Deutsche Industriebank, where he was head of leverage finance and sponsor coverage for Benelux.Prior to this, Harmsen had positions at Dutch asset manager Egeria, Deutsche Bank and ABN Amro Bank.London-based Pemberton has also offices in Frankfurt, Madrid, Milan, Luxembourg and Paris, and is 40% owned by Legal & General. The €450m pension fund of Dutch publisher VNU is considering an insurance buyout in order to safeguard its inflation-linked benefits.In a newsletter, it said the transfer to an insurer would only go ahead if the scheme itself could fund a significant part of future inflation compensation.Although most of its liabilities have already been insured with Aegon, the pension fund still pays indexation from its own assets. This includes the risk that the scheme is unable to achieve its indexation target.During the past few months Pensioenfonds VNU has reduced its risk exposure by lowering its equity allocation from 50% to 20%.
The Foxes chief took exception to being asked what criticism of his players had upset him over the season. He was facing the press after Leicester’s defeat to Chelsea, which left them a point above the Barclays Premier League relegation zone. It was not the first time Pearson had been involved in a spat with a journalist this season, calling one a p***k after Leicester’s 0-0 draw with Hull in March. Pearson hinted he felt his players had been given unfair criticism this season, despite only climbing out of the relegation zone for the first time since November at the weekend. He was asked what in particular had upset the manager only to be met with angry responses. Pearson said: “Have you been on holiday for six months? Have you been away for six months? “I think you must have been either ‘head in the clouds’ or away on holiday or reporting on a different team because if you don’t know the answer to that question your question is absolutely unbelievable, the fact you do not understand where I am coming from. “If you don’t know the answer to that question then I think you are an ostrich. Your head must be in the sand. Is your head in the sand? Are you flexible enough to get your head in the sand? My suspicion would be no.” Pearson continued to talk at the writer despite a member of Leicester’s media team trying to wrap up the press conference. He added: “Listen, you have been here often enough and for you to ask that question, you are either being very, very silly or you are being absolutely stupid, one of the two because for you to ask that question. I am sorry son, you are daft. “You are wrong. No, you are wrong. You have been in here, I know you have so don’t give that crap with me, please don’t give that crap with me. I will smile at you because I can afford to smile at you. Now do you want to ask a different question or do you want to ask it differently. Come on, ask it. Ask it or are you not capable?” The journalist on the receiving end of Pearson’s outburst, Ian Baker of the Wardle Whittell Agency, made light of the incident afterwards. Baker wrote on Twitter: “If getting called an ostrich by Nigel Pearson is not a career highlight i don’t know what is.” Press Association Boss Nigel Pearson launched into a bizarre rant against a journalist – calling him an ostrich – after Leicester’s 3-1 defeat to Chelsea.
Mark Clattenburg is ready to formally deny allegations he used “inappropriate language” towards Chelsea stars John Obi Mikel and Juan Mata.Press Association Sport understands referee Clattenburg has been shocked and angered at being accused by the European champions of using comments that have been interpreted as racist remarks during their defeat to Manchester United on Sunday.The Football Association launched an investigation on Monday after Chelsea made an official complaint against the 37-year-old, who has vowed to co-operate fully with their enquiries and is understood to be determined to clear his name.That would also apply should the police choose to launch their own probe after confirming on Monday night they were “considering” what they described as a “complaint” from the Society of Black Lawyers.The FA had yet to interview Clattenburg on Tuesday morning but are expected to do so, possibly after requesting a written account from him about what took place during Sunday’s Barclays Premier League game at Stamford Bridge.Clattenburg has already filed what is known as an ‘extraordinary incident report’, which is understood to mainly deal with a meeting which is alleged to have taken place in the referees’ room after full-time. Sources told Press Association Sport that Chelsea manager Roberto Di Matteo, assistant manager Eddie Newton and chief executive Ron Gourlay were all present as Mikel angrily accused Clattenburg of abusing him.The referee, his assistants and fourth official are understood to have been stunned by the claims, with Michael McDonough, Simon Long and Michael Jones denying hearing anything of that nature over the officials’ microphone link-up.Clattenburg’s fellow professional referees are understood to be as shocked and angered as their colleague over the allegations against him and were rallying around him.
“That thought crossed my mind at one point,” he said in the Dodgers’ clubhouse this spring. “I battled it for a couple years in San Diego. My third year in San Diego, I kind of accepted being that utility guy. But I never accepted that I would never be an everyday guy. Absolutely not.”Forsythe readily admits the chafing was not helped by “the stubbornness and the immaturity you have as a young guy.” But he was helped by a pair of veteran bench players in San Diego – Will Venable and Chris Denorfia.“You don’t want to hear it, but if you get a guy you can trust, a guy who does it the right way and tells you, ‘Hey, I’m not telling you what you’re going to be. I’m just telling you where you’re at right now,’” he said. “If you’re a utility guy, you’re a utility guy. But you also had to have that kind of ‘screw-you’ attitude.”Forsythe’s opportunity to play every day finally came in 2015 when Rays second baseman Nick Franklin suffered an oblique injury in spring training.Forsythe made himself at home as an everyday second baseman. He led the Rays in batting average (.281), on-base percentage (.359) and slugging percentage (.444) while hitting 17 home runs. It was more of the same in 2016 including a career-high 20 home runs. The everyday role allowed Forsythe to be the player he always thought he was and become a more aggressive hitter, making slight adjustments in his swing including a more pronounced leg kick.“When I was in San Diego, the biggest thing was my role there was a utility guy, so I was kind of in between swings at times,” Forsythe said. “When I was doing the utility role … I tried to have as simple a swing as I could. Just get the bat to the ball.“Then once I moved to Tampa and that consistent playing time became a thing, that’s when I was able to incorporate, ‘OK, I can get back to the swing I want’ – which is probably stupid to think at a younger age. … It was more of an approach-type thing that showed in my swing a little bit. It wasn’t as aggressive as I wanted it to be. Once I got to Tampa, we didn’t remake the swing. There were just a couple key points. The swing was there. It was just kind of a mindset change that I had thought when I had that consistent playing time and it paid off.”Indeed. In four seasons as a role player, Forsythe had a .235 batting average, a .343 slugging percentage and hit a home run every 61 plate appearances. In his two seasons as the Rays’ everyday second baseman, he hit .273 with a .444 slugging percentage and a home run every 32 plate appearances.“He’s always controlled the strike zone,” said Dodgers manager Dave Roberts, who was on the Padres’ coaching staff during Forsythe’s time in San Diego. “The difference I’ve seen … is a conscious effort to be a little more aggressive early in counts. I think his DNA is to run counts, but there’s still a lot to be said for being aggressive early in counts, not to concede a first-pitch fastball. I think you’ve seen him a little bit more aggressive early in counts and I think that’s a good thing for Logan.” GLENDALE, Ariz. — Even as Logan Forsythe accepted his role as a utility player, there was an everyday player yearning to break free.For his first four seasons in the big leagues – three with the San Diego Padres and the first of his three with the Tampa Bay Rays – Forsythe never knew when or where he would play.He spent as much time on the bench as in the game, not starting more than 76 times in a season during that apprenticeship and playing all over the field. He started at five positions for the Padres in 2013 and played six for the Rays in 2014.It could have been the parameters that defined Forsythe’s big-league career. Newsroom GuidelinesNews TipsContact UsReport an Error