The Fruit Bats will be following up the universally enjoyable AM pop joys of 2009′s The Ruminant Band with Tripper, which will be released on August 2nd. Judging by the press release from Sub Pop, Fruit Bats fans need not worry about any radical changes to the band’s unfailingly pleasant disposition. Tripper is based on an incident that lead-Fruit Bat Eric D. Johnson has attempted to chronicle as a short story, play, and movie before finally deciding to make a song out of it. The resulting song, “Tony the Tripper,” is the centerpiece of the forthcoming album, which Sub Pop describes as a “bittersweet meditation on hitting the road, leaving the familiar behind and reinventing yourself.” Sounds every bit as full of aww-shucks amiability as everything else in the Fruit Bats catalogue.
And if you think the Fruit Bats are at all concerned with being considered music for the well-to-do, then wait ’til you hear what else is on their plate in the coming months. Eric D. Johnson co-curated the 2nd annual Huichica Music Festival with winery owner Jeff Bundschu, which will be held at Gundlach Bundschu Winery in Sonoma, California on June 4th. And if the lineup doesn’t get your attention (J. Mascis, Sonny and the Sunsets, the Fruit Bats), then maybe the amenities will: A $55 ticket gets you into a complimentary wine tasting from 2 to 6 pm, but a $195 per couple VIP ticket gets you “admission for two, VIP preferred seating, two gourmet dinners, one bottle of Gun Bun wine, and two complimentary wine tastings from 2-6pm.” Sounds swanky, but before you get all excited about enjoying some mild-mannered folk music through the haze of a nice, warm, wine-drunk, we should warn you that tickets are sold out. Nonetheless, you can find more information about the Huichica Music Festival here.