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Good talk from the Roman Candle camp

Skip Matheny must never sleep. He leads the excellent pop-rock band Roman Candle (who played a terrific show at Cat's Cradle Wednesday night); he has two young children with a third on the way this fall; and because he apparently doesn't have enough to do, he has also launched a songwriter-to-songwriter interview series called "Drinks With..." Check that link and you'll see interviews with eight acts, including Brendan Benson and Alejandro Escovedo. Matheny also more than 30 other interviews completed, to be published down the road.

Brendan Benson goes along to get along

Last year, the Raconteurs tried an experiment -- releasing an album with virtually no promotion or even advance notice, announcing its existence just one week before it appeared in stores. "Consolers of the Lonely" still debuted at No. 7 on the album charts. But Brendan Benson, who shares songwriting duties in the Raconteurs with the better-known Jack White, thinks it should have done a lot better.

"I didn't want to put it out that way, but who was I to argue?" Benson said in a recent phone interview. "I hadn't sold a ton of records. It was Jack's idea and I eventually just had to trust him -- even though I think we kind of screwed ourselves. We should have done more press and promotion, because it's a great record. One of my prouder moments in that band."

For more from Benson about his new solo album, plus details on his show in Carrboro next week, see the interview in Friday's paper.

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