Friday, August 10, 2007

Just like peas and carrots

On the 25th of next month Devendra Banhart will supply us with the follow-up to his 2005 freak folk bonanza Cripple Crow. The album, Smokey Rolls Down Thunder Canyon (XL Recordings), will hold 16 tracks and Banhart will be playing a long list of dates surrounding the album's release. Two new songs from Smokey have started to circulate, including a fantastic song called "Seahorse" that clocks in at a full eight minutes. Listen to the changes in this song, specifically at 1:56, and 5:20. Masterful, that's what it is.
Smokey Rolls Down Thunder Canyon (9/25/07)
  1. Cristobal
  2. So Long Old Bean
  3. Samba Vexillographica
  4. Seahorse
  5. Bad Girl
  6. Seaside
  7. Shabop Shalom
  8. Tonada Yanomaminista
  9. Rosa
  10. Saved
  11. Lover
  12. Carmencita
  13. The Other Woman
  14. Freely
  15. Remember
  16. My Dearest Friend
U.S. dates (via)
  • 09-02 Seattle, WA - Bumbershoot Festival
  • 09-04 Portland, OR - Crystal Ballroom
  • 09-06 Santa Cruz, CA - Rio Theater
  • 09-07 Berkeley, CA - Zellerbach Hall
  • 09-10 Denver, CO - Ogden Theatre (Native American benefit)
  • 09-12 Omaha, NE - Sokol Auditorium
  • 09-13 Lawrence, KS - Liberty Hall Theater
  • 09-15 Minneapolis, MN - First Avenue
  • 09-16 Milwaukee, WI - Pabst Theater
  • 09-18 Chicago, IL - Portage Theater
  • 09-19 Detroit, MI - Majestic Theater
  • 09-21 Toronto, Ontario - Danforth Music Hall
  • 09-22 Montreal, Quebec - Le National
  • 09-23 Burlington, VT - University of Vermont
  • 09-25 Boston, MA - Roxy Ballroom
  • 09-27 New York, NY - Grand Ballroom
  • 09-29 Philadelphia, PA - Theatre of Living Arts
  • 10-01 Washington, DC - Sixth & I Historic Synagogue
  • 10-04 Nashville, TN - City Hall
  • 10-06 Dallas, TX - Granada Theater
  • 10-07 Austin, TX - La Zona Rosa
  • 10-09 Albuquerque, NM - Sunshine Theater (Native American benefit)
  • 10-10 Tucson, AZ - Rialto Theater
  • 10-12 Phoenix, AZ - Marquee Theater
  • 10-13 Los Angeles, CA - Orpheum Theatre

Artist Wiki: Six Organs of Admittance is the primary musical project of guitarist Ben Chasny. Chasny's music is largely guitar-based, however it includes eastern influences, marked by drones, chimes, and eclectic percussive elements. The band is associated with numerous current scenes, most notably the New Weird America movement. Acts ranging from folk artist Devendra Banhart to drone metal band Sunn O))) to the highly experimental Current 93 count Chasny among friends. Six Organs has always been a critical darling, and the past few years have seen their stature in the indie world substantially increase.

Via Prinzhorn Dance School are an English band based in Brighton. The music can best be described as sparse, uncompromising and idiosyncratic, and as a result it polarizes opinion. The trio were signed to the New York label DFA Records after only a handful of gigs. They subsequently released a self recorded and self produced 7-inch single featuring the tracks "You Are The Space Invader" and "Eat, Sleep" before going on to record their debut album in isolation, in a rented barn in Sussex, having already written the songs in the disused chapel building they call home.

The album was sebsequently mixed in New York with The DFA and is due for release in the Summer, 2007. The band are also known to be reclusive, with very few interviews given, and their own official website not even featuring any pictures of their faces. Media-shy - in that they find interviews stressful, photo-shoots vain, press releases dishonest and superlatives embarrassing – they prefer the isolation of their working space, writing and recording privately in their own austere and peculiar way. It is beleived they have taken their name from Dr Hans Prinzhorn, who collected art by mentally ill patients under his care.

Via Pfork: Snatching their name from an Australian chirper (bowerbirds are most famous for the inverse relationship between a male's plumage and its ability to construct a mate-attracting nest), Bowerbirds' debut long player (released by Pitchfork writer Grayson Currin's label) will likely garner loads of comparisons to Devendra Banhart and Vetiver, but their brand of folk is more Appalachian than British (Carter Family over Bert Jansch), and less concerned with psychedelia than melody (think gypsy-influenced Sufjan Stevens). Opener "Hooves" starts small and modest, with Moore mewing about his mom over spare acoustic guitar ("Back when I was born on a full moon/ I nearly split my momma in two"), before the vocals double, drums kick up, and Tacular's accordion starts to whine: the track is somehow quiet and jarring at the same time, and invites all kinds of twee analogies (a family of deer darting through a clearing! Thunderclaps at night! Rainbows!).

"In Our Talons" is equally mesmerizing, jazzy and rich, with lyrics both gentle and barbed ("We're only human/ This at least we've learned"), while "The Marbled Godwit" is Bowerbirds' most classically freak-folk moment (and most Newsom-inspired title?), with acoustic guitar, high, meandering vocals, and cutting violin. Hymns strongest tracks-- "Slow Down", "In Our Talons", "Dark Horse"-- manage to be both hypnotically pretty and a little bit weird, characteristics of the very best kind of Americana music.

Via YepRoc: At the beginning of 2006, when we started recording this album, the words "You Can't Win" were an incredibly real feeling that I had. I was tired of being broke. I was tired of personal relationships falling apart. I was tired of feeling completely ungrounded day to day. A year has passed and none of that has changed much, but I've realized there's a power in giving up on the idea of winning. Most of my closest friends in and out of our band knew I was in a darkplace when we were working on this record. They all told me at different times to go ahead and go all the way into that feeling and try to come out on the other side. As the project wore on I eventually did, and the sentiment of "You Can't Win" changed drastically. Instead of the frustration that I was feeling early on there was a renewed appreciation of hard work, a belief in the complexity of love, and a newfound joy in creating music.