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Pokey LaFarge Previews New Album ‘Rock Bottom Rhapsody’ With Devilish ‘F–k Me Up’ Video

[Rolling Stone]

Clip imagines the eccentric Americana troubadour’s own funeral procession

In 2018, Pokey LaFarge moved from St. Louis to Los Angeles. It nearly killed him. The eccentric Americana troubadour documents his overindulgence and despair on the new album Rock Bottom Rhapsody. Due April 10th, it’s LaFarge’s eighth studio LP and arrives via New West Records.

LaFarge previews Rock Bottom Rhapsody with the premiere of the song “Fuck Me Up” and an accompanying video directed by Keene McRae and Brandon Bernath. The clip is both haunting and mesmerizing, with LaFarge participating in his own funeral procession (at one point, he sings from his coffin). Images of him surrounded by women and later drinking alone in a hotel room presage what led him to this point, culminating with LaFarge transforming into a cartoonish devil that plays barroom piano.

“The writer and directors and I decided to take a surrealist, absurdist point of view to the video for ‘Fuck Me Up,’” LaFarge says. “We rented a ghost town in the Mojave desert of California — a timeless, placeless location — to present past and present forms of ‘Me,’ as well as outside forces, clashing for control.”

“I’m that little hayseed that you know, from somewhere south of Chicago/Where do I go from here, the path it just ain’t clear, so I want to leave it all behind,” he sings in “Fuck Me Up,” a cacophonous but irresistible mix of “ooh-ahh” choir vocals and rickety drums.

“This song was a prophetic vision of the self-destruction yet to come, instead of what I now know that I need — peace!” LaFarge says. “I imagined the music to be what I thought it would be like to write with Willie Dixon, perhaps in the Sixties.”

Rock Bottom Rhapsody was produced by Chris Seefried. Here’s the track list:
1. “Rock Bottom Rhapsody”
2. “End of My Rope”
3. “Fuck Me Up”
4. “Bluebird”
5. “Rock Bottom Reprise”
6. “Lucky Sometimes”
7. “Carry On”
8. “Just the Same”
9. “Fallen Angel”
10. “Storm-A-Comin’”
11. “Ain’t Comin’ Home”
12. “Lost In The Crowd”
13. “Rock Bottom Finale”

Pokey LaFarge tour dates:
April 24 — Rotterdam, Netherlands @ Maasilo
April 25 — Amsterdam, Netherlands @ Paradiso
April 26 — Berlin, Germany @ Roadrunners Paradise
April 29 — Paris, France @ La Maroquinerie
April 30 — Antwerp, Belgium @ De Roma
May 1 — Lessines, Belgium @ Roots & Roses Festival
May 2 — London, UK @ Islington Assembly Hall
May 8 — Asheville, NC @ The Grey Eagle
May 9 — Mt. Airy, NC @ The Earle
May 10 — Charleston, WV @ NPR’s Mountain Stage
May 13 — Lexington, KY @ The Burl
May 15 — St. Louis, MO @  Off Broadway
May 16 — St. Louis, MO @ Off Broadway
May 17 — Nashville, TN @ 3rd & Lindsley
June 2 — Maquoqueta, IA @ Codfish Hollow
June 3 — Minneapolis, MN @ Fine Line
June 4 —Chicago, IL @ Thalia Hall
June 5 — Grand Rapids, MI @ Pyramid Scheme
June 6 — Indianapolis, IN @ HiFi
June 9 — Cleveland, OH @ Beachland Ballroom
June 10 — Pittsburgh, PA @ Thunderbird
June 11 — Philadelphia, PA @ World Cafe Live
June 12 — Annapolis, MD @ Rams Head Live
June 13 — Jersey City, NJ @ White Eagle Hall
June 16 — Fairfield, CT @ The Warehouse
June 17 — New York, NY @ Bowery Ballroom
June 18 — Boston, MA @ Sinclair
June 19 – Burlington, VT @ Higher Ground
June 20 — Albany, NY @ The Egg
June 23 — Rockport, MA @ Shalin Liu
June 24 — Portsmouth, NH @ Prescott Park
June 26 — Toronto, ON @ Horseshoe Tavern
June 27 — Toronto, ON @ Horseshoe Tavern