If you ignore a brief dalliance from back in 1989, then, yes, today sees the official release of Rhett Miller's third solo record, a self-titled affair that's been getting the Old 97's frontman a whole lot of early attention from outlets like Pitchfork and Billboard, among others--including Magnet magazine, which, really, is going above and beyond in its support.
How so? Ah, there's the rub: The magazine (which--can't believe we just found this out--also included local instrumental act Shibboleth's Experiment in Error disc in its year-end Hidden Treasures of 2008 list) has asked Miller to guest edit its website (at least in part) for the entire week. Meaning what, exactly? Well, in theory, that Miller will offer up a few posts a day to Magnet's blog, chatting up things that are blowing his mind at the moment.
But, in reality, for Miller, ever the innovator, it means delegating those responsibilities onto others--or his "superfriends," as Magnet's taken to calling them. So far, that means posts from VH1 Best Week Ever host Paul F. Tompkins (who enjoys the Amazon kindle and walking to work), Matchbox 20 frontman Rob Thomas (who likes flip camera), New Yorker editor Ben Greenman (who likes Marvin Gaye) and Toadies guitarist Clark Vogeler (who enjoys La Blogotheque)--all introduced by Miller.
Seems like quite the ordeal, huh? Well, actually, it's kinda deserving. Turns out Rhett Miller's a pretty solid effort. In next week's issue (not the one released tomorrow, but the one released next week, sorry), we'll offer up our take on the disc. But, for now, a synopsis: It's Miller's best solo effort to date, a vulnerable (but, surprisingly, not cheesy) effort, that has some flaws, yeah, but, overall, impresses where his previous solo efforts didn't. So, keep an eye out for that. And go grab your copy if you feel so inclined. Remember: It's out today.