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The Minus 5 

With the Silos and the High Strung. Thursday, March 23, at the Beachland Ballroom.

Contrary to the cliché, all work and no play does not make Scott McCaughey a dull boy. Besides figuratively driving the magic bus that is the Minus 5, McCaughey has his original gig as frontman for the dead-but-not-buried Young Fresh Fellows and an auxiliary position with the comparably zombiesque Tuatara, as well as years of toil as sideman for a little band called R.E.M. Just keeping up with the Minus 5's itinerary seems enough to overload the scheduling talents of even the most capable admin. Beyond the four core members -- McCaughey, Peter Buck, Bill Rieflin, and John Ramberg --the 5's latest album includes Decemberist Colin Meloy, Wilco's Jeff Tweedy and John Stirratt, Posie Ken Stringfellow, John Wesley Harding, and Kelly Hogan. Add a West Coast tour and March studio time with British quirkmaster Robyn Hitchcock, and you begin to wonder when McCaughey finds the time to, you know, write songs.

"They're done in bits and pieces over a space of time and in different places," he says. "Like 'All Worn Out' -- at least the music -- was written in the studio in Vancouver when we were working on the R.E.M. record, then 'Aw Shit Man' was done in the studio in the Bahamas later, much later, when we were still working on the R.E.M. record, and 'Hotel Senator' was written on the R.E.M. tour when we were in Hamburg, I think. Or Copenhagen." All work, indeed.

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