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Barenaked Ladies at Red Rocks and more, 5 Things to Know

By Gary Graff
ggraff@medianewsgroup.com, @GraffonMusic on Twitte

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If things had gone according to plan, Barenaked Ladies would have just finished spending their latest Last Summer on Earth, touring North America with Gin Blossoms and Toad the Wet Sprocket.

The COVID-19 pandemic scotched that, of course (the trek's been rescheduled for 2021), but the Canadian quartet has stayed busy even in quarantine.

BNL has presented a series of #SelfieCamJam performances and Facebook livestreams, as well as finishing up an album, the follow up to 2017's "Fake Nudes" and the group's 16th studio set overall. (No release date has been determined yet.) It's also announced plans to release a 20th anniversary digital and vinyl deluxe edition of its platinum album "Maroon," which was first released on Sept. 12.

The group will celebrate further by streaming its 2015 performance at Colorado's Red Rocks Amphitheatre at 7 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 12, via Nugs.tv.

A return to the road and other standard practices will come, to coin the album title, "All in Good Time." But for now BNL is anything but idle...

• Frontman Ed Robertson has been spending most of the pandemic at his cottage northeast of Toronto -- where BNL recorded a substantial chunk of its next album. "The time with my family has been invaluable...I've just kind of been in heaven. This may be something quite mundane, but I went through an entire bottle of shampoo when I was in one place, and I have not done that in my entire adult life. I go on the road and come back and it's new shampoo. I got to a hotel, different shampoo. I go to a venue, new shampoo. It may seem mundane, but I really haven't gone through a whole bottle since I was 18 years old.

• Robertson, 49, says BNL chose to air the 2015 show, which was released as a live album the following year, because "it was a real favorite tour...and there isn't a cooler venue in North America. So it's a great tour and we had a really high quality camera shoot of the night, so the footage looks pretty stunning. So to revisit this tour, it's just a pleasure, really."

• Though pointedly "averse to going backwards," Robertson is happy to be commemorating the 20th anniversary of "Maroon," which was produced by Don Was and spawned the hits "Pinch Me" and "Too Little Too Late." "'Maroon' was a total pleasure to make, and it felt like a real golden era for the band where we had full support of the record company and the band was on fire, selling out arenas all over America. That period was very much living the dream, and it's a great group of songs. I have a lot of fondness for that entire process, so 'Maroon' kind of gets a pass from me in the going-backwards category. I like to revisit that record but it's full of good memories, good stories and good vibes."

• As far as the next album, BNL is awaiting final mixes for two more songs, with a total of 16 being considered for the project. "I think we might actually have an album and an EP on our hands. We just have to figure out what we're gonna do," Robertson says. "It was a bit of a roller coaster making this record...but I'm super happy with the songs. We’ve got some bangers on there, great, high-energy songs, but it's also got some pretty deeply introspective stuff from me that I'm super proud of. It's a pretty personal record, a lot of ruminating on my childhood and kind of what made me who I am. So I'm excited about that. I think it's gonna be a pretty wicked record."

• BNL's members have been in the studio together during the pandemic -- safe and socially distanced, according to Robertson. So who looks best in a mask? "Tyler (Stewart) has a really large, spherical head, so it's difficult for him to find a mask that fits. I'm gonna say (bassist) Jim Creeggan, 'cause he looks best in everything. Jim Creeggan has a model physique, a runner's physique, and a tiny head. He can wear a child's mask and pull it off."

The Barenaked truth...

Barenaked Ladies is releasing a digital and vinyl 20th anniversary deluxe edition of its album "Maroon." Details via https://rhino.lnk.to/maroon20 .

Barenaked Ladies will stream its 2015 performance at Red Rocks Amphitheatre in Colorado at 7 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 12. Tickets are $14.99 via nugs.tv.

Web Site: www.barenakedladies.com

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