Since the announcement of the new studio album A Productive Cough (available March 2 from Merge Records) and the release of narrative-scrambling singles “Number One (In New York)” and “Above The Bodega (Local Business),” even the most loyal fans of the noted rock act Titus Andronicus [hereafter +@] have been scratching their heads, wondering how such audacious choices could be so fearlessly made, year after year, why the most trusted name in “punk” would risk it all by performing such an abrupt about-face, and what further, yet-more-baffling surprises may await around the next corner.
Today, all these questions and more may be answered with the unveiling of A Productive Cough : The Documentary, a sixty-minute film from director Ray Concepcion, which offers the curious observer an unprecedentedly intimate look “behind the scenes” of +@’s new album. The viewer will become a proverbial “fly on the wall” as ever-undaunted singer-songwriter Patrick Stickles, veteran producer Kevin S. McMahon and a sprawling cast of the northeastern seaboard’s most elite musicians navigate the choppy waters of the modern recording process, valiantly laboring to execute +@’s most defiant and challenging vision to date.
Between the laughter and tears, eager listeners will also have their appetites aroused upon their first taste of newly minted +@ classics “Real Talk,” “Crass Tattoo,” “Home Alone,” and “Mass Transit Madness (Goin’ Loco’),” while even the least-interested bystander will be unable to help from gaping in wonder at the bucolic splendor of New York’s Hudson Valley, captured in all of its majesty by Concepcion’s loving lens.
Across several extensive sessions from April through August of 2017, Concepcion kept vigilant watch over +@’s every move, amassing some fifty hours of footage. Along the way, he witnessed the formation of the piano-and-guitar duo configuration of Stickles and keys wizard Alex Molini (soon to dazzle stages across North America on +@’s first-ever “acoustic tour”), among the countless other priceless moments which make A Productive Cough : The Documentary the most enthralling glimpse into the studio since Some Kind of Monster.
“[Ray Concepcion] is one of the most singular artists I have ever known, as well as one of the most principled and most disciplined,” Stickles said, “and his steadfast, ruthless dedication to excellence pushed me to reach for that same standard – in the presence of such a samurai, one can not help but strive to sharpen the sword, so to speak.”
A Productive Cough is available for pre-order on blue-gray Peak Vinyl which includes a jukebox-inspired 7-inch of “(I’m) Like a Rolling Stone,” a track that does not appear on the physical LP except as part of the download, its nearly 9-minute length split across both sides of the single. Explore all pre-order options including an exclusive $10 t-shirt add-on in the Merge store (where all purchases come with a free temporary “Crass[-inspired] Tattoo” while supplies last), at your favorite participating independent record store, or via these digital music providers.
Titus Andronicus on tour :
Mar 07 Kingston, NY – BSP Kingston
Mar 08 Boston, MA – The Sinclair
Mar 09 Providence, RI – AS220
Mar 10 Burlington, VT – Arts Riot
Mar 11 Montreal, QC – Bar Le Ritz
Mar 13 Toronto, ON – Great Hall
Mar 14 Detroit, MI – El Club
Mar 15 Chicago, IL – Subterranean
Mar 16 Madison, WI – The Frequency
Mar 17 St. Paul, MN – Turf Club
Mar 18 Omaha, NE – Slowdown
Mar 19 Denver, CO – Globe Hall
Mar 20 Salt Lake City, UT – Urban Lounge
Mar 22 Boise, ID – Treefort Festival
Mar 23 Seattle, WA – Crocodile
Mar 24 Portland, OR – Mississippi Studios
Mar 27 Sonoma, CA – Gundlach Bundschu Winery
Mar 28 San Francisco, CA – The Chapel
Mar 29 Santa Cruz, CA – Crepe Place
Mar 31 Los Angeles, CA – Bootleg Theater
Apr 02 San Diego, CA – Soda Bar
Apr 03 Phoenix, AZ – Valley Bar
Apr 06 Ft. Worth, TX – Ridglea Room
Apr 07 Austin, TX – Barracuda
Apr 08 Houston, TX – White Oak Music Hall
Apr 10 Birmingham, AL – Saturn
Apr 11 Atlanta, GA – Masquerade
Apr 12 Durham, NC – The Pinhook
Apr 13 Washington, DC – Rock and Roll Hotel
Apr 14 Philadelphia, PA – UArts Black Box
Apr 15 Brooklyn, NY – Murmrr Theatre