Monday, November 23, 2009
My small world has been a bombardment of late. Everything came down at once. A beautiful thing... maybe. In the course of three weeks, I toured the east coast, composed and performed a live film score, flew back up to Philly with the band for the end-of-the-year Weathervane bash at Johnny Brenda's, then created the TV organ installation at Baby Blue. Also played host for E.A.S.T. studio tour. Oh yeah, did I mention I ran a marathon? Yeah, that too.
here are a few tour photos I took! :
sunrise over the days inn, in the vacant lot in Kentucky where we slept:
Breezy Point, NYC:
NYC language school:
4track recording at Quentin's house:
Birch Office, Smith Hill Farm:
Giant Colored Balls, Smith Hill Farm:
You can look at the whole set HERE.
We've all been busy of late..... John flew to the Czech Republic to re-unite with his Czech family members, Will has been recording his amazing new music as Sleep Good and filming a mini-documentary about analog tape, and Willis has been writing some incredible songs. He and Austin Jones recorded a sweet cover of John Cale's "Paris 1919," our officially "most played song" for the last tour.
So moving on to some big news.... our album, "Gold Dissolves to Gray," just got released on vinyl! Self-released mind you. You can hear the whole thing on bandcamp:
It's a distributed item, so you can request it at your local awesome independent record store. If you have to go to Best Buy, you might have to special order it. But who wants to go to Best Buy. Parking lots that large make me feel like an insect.
I never mentioned it before, but the new album has lots of awesome collaborators, from Mazarin, Danielson, LAKE, Jesse Woods, Bitter Bitter Weeks, Coffee Jamie, Nick Hennies, Joey Koehl, and more. Lots of random names, I know, but look them up... very talented people.
Bandcamp is also streaming "Bright Blue Dream" and "The Glowing City." It's a really great website with a kind-of dumb name. What's in a name, though? Not much. Seems bandcamp has emerged as an alternative to myspace. Thank zoroaster. There is ordering info for most of our releases up on the site, plus high-quality downloads.
Did I mention it makes a fantastic holiday present? No? What? What was I talking about?
Originally I just wanted to release the record on vinyl, but thought better of it. Now all the records have c.d.s enclosed. Plus we did a run of 500 c.d.s with special screen-printed covers from Stumptown printers in Portland. They use all recycled paper and vegetable inks and all that super-cool next-level enviro stuff.
"Gold Dissolves to Gray" is a slight detour into a rough green field where monkeys are playing saxophones (not very successfully) and wearing astronaut suits and dreaming of the distant evolutionary future when they will be able to synthesize perfect french fries from glue paste and food flavoring.
The next album will be out next year and will be the sound of two different constellations, Andromeda and Orion, having a nervous breakdown and a break-up. Yes, that's the sound. The subject matter is the emergence of a soul from darkness into light and back again, like a little human yo-yo. Which brings me to this:
We are still raising money using Kickstarter... whatever extra money we can bring in will be put towards paying for the next release. Please consider making a donation here:
No shows coming up yet, but stay tuned. We will no doubt be having some fun times again at the studio, and hopefully hitting the road in early 2010.
here's a picture of the band in Philly:
stay tuned for more updates!
Thursday, November 5, 2009
* Our fundraising effort to play in Philadelphia.
* Live film score w/ free admission and whiskey
* How to order our new album, "Gold Dissolves to Gray"
* EAST Studio tour
Earlier this year, we were asked by Weathervane, a Philly-based non-profit, to record for a few days at the amazing Miner Street studio. Our session, produced by the esteemed Quentin Stolzfus (formerly of Mazarin), resulted in the semi-hummable tune "Fishtown."
We are going back to Philly on November 12th to play Weathervane's end of the year celebratory free-for-all at Johnny Brenda's. It gonna be pretty sweet. Also playing are Danielson, BC Camplight, and East Hundred.
Thing is, it's expensive to get up to Philly. We bought our plane tickets on a credit card, but we need some help to actually pay the bill when it arrives in a month or so.
To this end, we set up an account at Kickstarter, the fundraising website used by everyone from Polyvinyl records to our friends Weathervane. The lowdown: we are trying to raise $500 to help offset our flight costs. Please consider making a donation. Every single bit helps. Literally every dollar gets us closer to our goal.
You can donate
If you donate certain amounts, you get certain things in return. A little tit for tat. $100 will earn you a private living room concert and pizza delivery. $15 earns you a c.d. Etc. And if we do not meet our $500 goal, you will not be charged a thing.
If this fundraising effort is successful, we might try it again to fund all sorts of crazy tours and projects.
On Friday, November 13th, we will be playing a special original score along to some early experimental films.
It is a free event, with free whiskey! You only need to RSVP, and you do so
And here is the Facebook page with much more relevant info:
The score has me indulging my long dormant keyboard fantasies alongside bowed bass and a master percussionist, playing along with two films (one 6 mins, the other 23 mins). I am very much looking forward to it. Did I mention it's at a super sweet photography studio?
Also please keep in mind Sam Sanford's art opening the following night. For those unaware, Sam was a guitarist in Sunset for two years. He is a fantastic painter and this is his first solo show. Facebook invite here.
Also, we have a new album coming out November 24th! "Gold Dissolves to Gray," which was just called a "beauty of an album" (Some Velvet Blog), is available on 180gram lp with c.d. inserted. Also available as a c.d. with special screen-printed cover. Both the c.d. and l.p. are available in a limited edition of 500. Did I mention the c.d. looks really cool under a black light? Yes, it does.
Pre-order information here.
Also available in your local independent record shop soon.
It's somewhat of a departure for me. Less psychedelic, maybe. Bringing forth certain folk and country elements that had previously remained under the surface. Safe to say, this record will be unique in the Sunset catalog. The next release, fairly near completion, takes things in a whole other direction.
The EAST studio tour is a chance for folks to ride their bikes to all the artist's studios on the East Side and see where the magic happens. Last year, I rode my bike all across town and saw some amazing art and had lots of free beer and chips.
Josh Duke and I have decided to take part in this year's festivities. Josh will be running a portrait studio and selling prints of his photography. He takes very cool, old-timey photographs using large-format cameras and develops the pictures at Baby Blue, using his own darkroom. A really cool operation he's got going.
I will be presenting a special interactive version of the TV Matrix, entitled "TV Organ." Each of the thirty screens will show a loop of an instrument playing in a certain key. The screens will all be based in the same key, but screens will be playing the 5th, others the 3rd, and perhaps a 7th thrown in too. In front of the grid, I will have my large mixing board and participants can change the shape of the drone. Around the mixing board, there will be 8 monitor speakers providing surround sound. It will be trippy and bizarre, but also very graspable and concrete. I think it's going to be awesome. The installation will be fully open during EAST's second weekend, and during the previous week by appointment only.