NEWS

JOB OPPORTUNITY: HEAD OF INTERNATIONAL, LONDON

01/02/19

Image: logo domino neon NL

Domino seeks a Head of International to lead the marketing and promotional strategy of the label internationally and manage our relationships with our third-party partners abroad.

 

This pivotal role will report into the board and is based in our London office.

Core Responsibilities:

• To lead the London International Department and supervise the operations of our offices in Berlin and Paris along and our remote personnel in Australia and Singapore.

• To input to the development of release plans in conjunction with the UK and US marketing teams, including pre-release planning, promotional coordination and digital strategy.

• To oversee the implementation of marketing plans, coordinate sales targets and manage project and departmental budgets.

• To serve as a liaison with artist management providing logistical insight, planning and international market feedback.

• To provide weekly updates on priority projects highlighting sales information, data analysis, market feedback and new developments.

• To evaluate all international deal structures and provide regular assessments of the performance of our third party international partners.

• To develop an overall strategy for and pursue deeper partner relationships in emerging markets.

Requirements:

• 5+ years music industry experience in the international sector.

• Proven experience in leading a team and collaborating across multiple departments and international territories.

• A good working knowledge of the digital landscape, including streaming platform and social media best practices.

• Excellent written and verbal communication skills. 

• Superior organizational skills, attention to detail and ability to prioritize and manage multiple projects and tasks.

• The ability to travel internationally on a regular basis

• Most importantly, a passion for music and understanding of the Domino roster.

To Apply:

Please send a covering letter stating how you meet the requirements along with your CV to Internationalhire@dominorecordco.com before February 22nd, 2019. 

 

BETH GIBBONS SHARES COLLABORATION WITH POLISH NATIONAL RADIO SYMPHONY ORCHESTRA, CONDUCTED BY KRZYSZTOF PENDERECKI

Beth Gibbons | 30/01/19

Image: launch photo

Domino is extremely proud to present Henryk Górecki: Symphony No. 3 (Symphony of Sorrowful Songs) performed by Beth Gibbons and the Polish National Radio Symphony Orchestra, conducted by Krzysztof Penderecki. Both an audio and film recording of the performance will be available on 29th March 2019.

The performance took place at The National Opera Grand Theatre in Warsaw on November 29th 2014, and was part of an evening of programming that also featured Jonny Greenwood's (Radiohead) 48 Responses To Polymorphia and the world premiere of Bryce Dessner's (The National) Réponse Lutosławski.

Following an invitation to collaborate at the concert, Beth Gibbons undertook an intense preparation process, including tackling the challenge of learning the original text (and the emotional weight it carries) without speaking the mother language. Typical to Beth though - the elusive yet iconic frontwoman of one of the most important British bands of the last two decades - the challenge was met and exceeded. Her performance alongside the maestro Penderecki has been hailed as triumphant, as you can see and hear on this release.

The film, was produced by the National Audiovisual Institute, Poland and directed by Michał Merczyński.

--

Beth Gibbons is the vocalist, songwriter, producer and co-founder (together with Geoff Barrow and Adrian Utley) of the band Portishead and a solo artist in her own right. The album marks the first music from Beth Gibbons since 2008.

Henryk Górecki (1933 – 2010) was a Polish composer of contemporary classical music, believed to be the most commercially successful classical composer in recent times, with previous versions of his Third Symphony, Symphony of Sorrowful Songs, having sold over a million copies.

Krzysztof Penderecki has been hailed as Poland’s greatest living composer, and conductor.  His music was introduced to a wider audience through its use soundtracking movies such as The Shining and The Exorcist.

--

Tracklisting:

I. Lento — Sostenuto tranquillo ma cantabile

II. Lento e largo — Tranquillissimo

III. Lento — Cantabile-semplice

 

Pre-order:

Henryk Górecki: Symphony No. 3 (Symphony of Sorrowful Songs) Performed by Beth Gibbons and the Polish National Radio Symphony Orchestra Conducted by Krzysztof Penderecki will be available on deluxe and standard LP + CD plus a DVD, also digitally.

 

Deluxe LP + DVD | CD + DVD | Download

Beth Gibbons online:

Website | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram

 

AVEY TARE ANNOUNCES NEW ALBUM COWS ON HOURGLASS POND; WATCH "SATURDAYS (AGAIN)" VIDEO; ON TOUR THIS SPRING

Avey Tare | 29/01/19

Image: Avey Tare - Cows On Hourglass Pond cover

Avey Tare, a.k.a Dave Portner of Animal Collective, has announced the new album Cows On Hourglass Pond, for release on March 22, 2019. 

Cows On Hourglass Pond was recorded between January - March 2018 by Dave Portner at Laughing Gas in Asheville, NC on a Tascam 48 half-inch reel-to-reel tape machine. The album was mixed by Adam McDaniel and Dave Portner at drop of sun in Asheville, NC. The first song to be released from the forthcoming album is “Saturdays (Again)”. A video, directed by Abby Portner, can be viewed below.

Says Abby Portner, on the video:"For the Saturdays (Again) video I wanted to try and create what it would look like inside Avey Tare's new record cover, if you were to step inside and hang out with Dave and the cows in a surreal, colorful landscape. Since I did parts of the record art and paintings in the press photos, I wanted it to all be included inside this video." 

Cows On Hourglass Pond follows the 2017 release of Avey Tare’s Eucalyptus, and 2018’s audiovisual album Tangerine Reef, a collaboration between Animal Collective and avant-garde coral macro-videographers Coral Morphologic. 

Cows on Hourglass Pond is available to pre-order now from the Domino store on CD and Deluxe LP + 10”. The latter format consists of a single LP pressing of the album available on 180 gram heavyweight vinyl and a limited edition 10” featuring two bonus songs “Tipped in Hugs” b/w “Dog Says Goodbye.”

Avey Tare tour dates:
03-21 Knoxville, TX - Big Ears Festival
03-28 Asheville, NC - The Mothlight
03-29 Baltimore, MD - Ottobar
03-30 Philadelphia, PA - PhilaMOCA
04-01 Brooklyn, NY - Market Hotel
04-02 Burlington, VT - ArtsRiot
04-04 Toronto, ON - Horseshoe Tavern
04-05 Detroit, MI - Deluxx Fluxx
04-06 Chicago, IL - Co Prosperity Sphere
04-07 St. Paul, MN - Amsterdam Bar & Grill
04-11 Seattle, WA - Neumos
04-12 Portland, OR - Holocene
04-13 Arcata, CA - The Miniplex in Richard’s Goat Tavern & Tearoom
04-15 San Francisco, CA - The Chapel
04-16 Los Angeles, CA - The Echo
04-17 Tucson, AZ - 191 Toole
04-19 Dallas, TX - Club Dada
04-20 Austin, TX - Antone’s Nightclub
04-22 New Orleans, LA – Gasa Gasa
04-23 Tallahassee, FL – The Wilbury
04-24 Orlando, FL – Will’s Pub
04-25 Tampa, FL – The Crowbar

 

STEPHEN MALKMUS ANNOUNCES NEW SOLO ALBUM 'GROOVE DENIED'

Stephen Malkmus | 21/01/19

Image: Stephen Malkmus press shot

Stephen Malkmus

Announces new solo album Groove Denied will be released on March 15th via Domino

Shares new song ‘Viktor Borgia’ – watch video here

Confirms US solo tour for May + upcoming Jicks shows in Europe


The rumours are true: the secret electronic album that Stephen Malkmus has been telling everyone about will see the light of day on March 15th, when it’s released on Domino.  But Groove Denied is not a full-blown plunge into EDM or hiptronica.  In fact, there aren’t any purely instrumental tracks on the album.  Every song is precisely that: a song, featuring Malkmus staples like an artfully askew melody and an oblique lyric.  Groove Denied is Stephen playing hooky from his customary way of going about things, jolting himself out of a routine. As Malkmus commented, “It’s fun to mess with things that you’re not supposed to.”

The first taste of Stephen’s new groove can be sampled today, with the release of single ‘Viktor Borgia’, and its accompanying video starring Stephen alone in a dance club.  The title playfully merges the name of the comedian-pianist and the ruthless dynasty of Italo-Spanish nobles. With its stately melody and the almost-English-accented vocal, the coordinates here are early Human League or even Men Without Hats. “I was thinking things like Pete Shelley’s ‘Homosapien’, the Human League, and DIY synth music circa 1982,” says Stephen, adding “and also about how in the New Wave Eighties, these suburban 18-and-over dance clubs were where all the freaks would meet – a sanctuary.”

 

When Stephen Malkmus first arrived on the scene in the early Nineties, as frontman and prime creative force in Pavement, the area of music with which he was associated couldn’t really have been further from the techno-rave sounds of the day. Electronic dance music, then as now, was about posthuman precision, inorganic textures, and hyper-digital clarity. Whereas the lo-fi movement in underground rock championed a messthetic of sloppiness, rough edges, and raw warmth - a hundred exquisitely subtle shades of distortion and abrasion.

Fast forward to the present and here comes Malkmus with Groove Denied – Stephen’s first solo album without his cohorts the Jicks since 2001. Made using Ableton’s Live, and instead of a human-powered rhythm section, Malkmus’s arsenal further included drum machines, along with a host of plug-in FX and “soft synths”. He compares the process of track-construction to the way his kids “used to make these girls on my iPhone - choosing hair colour, dresses, etc. That intuitive swipe and grab thing. Chop and move the waves. Apple computer scroll style of thinking.”

This departure from the tried-and-tested stems back to earlier in this decade, when Malkmus spent a couple of years living in Berlin and was exposed to the city’s vibrant club scene. He made forays into the city’s world-famous all-night party scene and became fascinated by techno, “the music can be great… you can zone out, dance, and focus on music - or just get wasted!”

 

It would not be entirely off-base, or an overly cute rock-historical reference, to describe Groove Denied as Stephen Malkmus’s Low. Although largely recorded in Oregon, the bulk of the album was written while he was living in Berlin. And whilst the methodology behind Groove Denied is absolutely 21st Century, the reference points for the sound-palette hark back to the pre-digital era. “The electronic music side of the album, I wanted it to be sonically pre-Internet,” explains Stephen.

Groove Denied will shake up settled notions of what Malkmus is about and what he’s capable of, repositioning him in the scheme of things. But looking at it from a different angle, his engagement with state-of-art digital tech actually makes perfect sense. After all, Nineties lo-fi – the sound in which he and Pavement were initially vaunted as leaders and pioneers - was nothing if not insistently sonic – it was all about the grain of guitar textures, about gratuitously over-done treatments and ear-grabbing effects. Noise for noise’s sake. As Stephen tweeted recently on the subject of Auto-Tune’s omnipresence in contemporary music-making: “We long 4 transformation....and we humans fucking luv tools.”

Tracklisting:

1. Belziger Faceplant

2. A Bit Wilder

3. Viktor Borgia 

4. Come Get Me 

5. Forget Your Place

6. Rushing The Acid Frat

7. Love The Door

8. Bossviscerate

9. Ocean of Revenge

10. Grown Nothing

 

Groove Denied is available to pre–order on Dom-Mart exclusive clear vinyl (w/ Groove Denied-labelled floppy disc and Stephen Malkmus retro photo print), standard vinyl, CD (w/ poster) and digitally. Pre-order: Dom Mart | Digital

 

Upcoming tour dates:

Jan 23 – Chicago IL @ Metro *

Jan 25 – Brooklyn NY @ Brooklyn Steel *

May 1 – Toronto ON @ The Great Hall ^

May 3 – Somerville MA @ Arts At The Armory ^

May 4 – Ardmore PA @ Ardmore Music Hall ^

May 5 – Washington DC @ Union Stage ^

May 7 – Austin TX @ 3TEN ACL Live ^

May 10 – Portland OR @ Doug Fir Lounge ^

May 11 – Seattle WA @ Columbia City Theater ^

May 14 – San Francisco CA @ Swedish American Hall ^

May 15 – Los Angeles CA @ Lodge Room ^

May 30 – Barcelona ES @ Primavera Festival *

June 14 – Mannheim DE @ Maimarkt-Gelände *

June 19 – Paris FR @ La Gaîté Lyrique *

* denotes w/ The Jicks

^ denotes Malkmus solo

Stephen Malkmus Online:

Website | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram


 

FAT WHITE FAMILY RETURN WITH THEIR THIRD ALBUM ‘SERFS UP!’ AND SHARE FIRST TRACK, ‘FEET’

Fat White Family | 09/01/19

Image: FWF Serfs Up launch shot

Serfs Up! is Fat White Family’s third album and their first for new label Domino. Released on Friday 19th April 2019 it marks the most gratifying and unexpected creative volte face in recent musical history.

The band have today shared the first track to be taken from the album, Feet, a triumphant return which perfectly heralds the overwhelming musical scope and ambition of the album.  

Having released their second album, Songs For Our Mothers in January 2016, core-members Lias and Nathan Saoudi relocated to Sheffield and set about writing the album. Joined by co-conspirator Saul Adamczewski and recorded at their own Champzone studios in the Attercliffe area of the city, Serfs Up! was finished in late autumn 2018 with the help of long-time collaborator, Liam D. May and features a guest appearance from Baxter Dury on Tastes Good With The Money.

The track listing of the 10-track album is as follows:

1.   Feet

2.   I Believe In Something Better

3.   Vagina Dentata

4.   Kim’s Sunsets

5.   Fringe Runner

6.   Oh Sebastian

7.   Tastes Good With The Money

8.   Rock Fishes

9.   When I Leave

10. Bobby’s Boyfriend



Serfs Up! is a lush and masterful work, lascivious and personal. Tropical, sympathetic and monumental. It invites the listener in rather than repel them through wilful abrasion. Fat White Family have broken previous default patterns of behaviour, and as such their third album heralds a new day dawning.

Gregorian chants, jackboot glam beats, string flourishes, sophisticated and lush cocktail exotica, electro funk and the twin spirits of Alan Vega and Afrika Bambaataa punctuate the record at various junctures, while the dramatic production of Feet is as immaculately-rendered as ‘Hounds of Love’-era Kate Bush. The dirt is still there of course, but scrape it away and you’ll find a purring engine, gleaming chrome.

Echoing within the arrangements throughout are traces of blissed-out 60s Tropicalia, Velvets/Bowie sleaze-making and star-gazing, 80s digital dancehall, David Axelrod-style easy listening, joyous Pet Shop Boys synth crescendos, acid house, post-PIL dub, metropolitan murder ballads, doom-disco and mouth-gurning, slow-mo psychedelia so by the time it comes to a close only a fool would deny that Serfs Up! is something very special. No longer is unadulterated music malevolence Fat White Family’s stock in trade; this is cultivated music for the head, the heart. For tomorrow’s unborn children.

Where once they soundtracked a grubby Britain of vape shops, Fray Bentos dinners and blackened tin-foil, a crepuscular comedown realm stalked by Shipman, Goebbels and Mark E. Smith, Fat White Family now inhabit another cosmos entirely. Serfs Up! is the product of a band of outlaws reborn. Few but themselves could have forecast it: Fat White Family survived. Fat White Family got wise. Fat White Family got sophisticated.

Serfs Up! will be available on CD (WIGCD401), standard vinyl (WIGLP401), Dom Mart exclusive vinyl (12” heavyweight transparent red vinyl with fold out poster – WIGLP401XM) and via digital download (WIG401D).  You can pre-order Serfs Up! HERE.

 

SASAMI ANNOUNCES SELF-TITLED DEBUT ALBUM FOR MARCH

SASAMI | 08/01/19

Image: SASAMI album announcement pic

SASAMI announces debut album out March 8th via Domino

Watch the video for new single ‘Jealousy’

Announces North American live dates + upcoming UK/Europe tour


Los Angeles-based artist SASAMI has announced her self-titled debut album with the release of a video for its lead single, Jealousy.  

 

On the video, SASAMI says, The whole ‘Jealousy’ video was born out of inspiration from the scene “Bruce Vs Chocolate Cake” from the 1996 film adaptation of Roald Dahl’s ‘Matilda’. I wanted it to be kind of like a filmed version of a weird play. I am a witch creature and my sidekick, Gobby, and I dance in our painted backdrop lair and plot mischief. Luckily our havoc bears liberating ends as the bewitched are released of their socially-expected, self-imposed obsessions and rituals. I wanted to make something grotesque and creepy and funny, of course.”

 

Stream ‘Jealousy’ here.

 

 

If you've ever drafted an overly long text to someone and decided against sending it, then you'll probably hear something of yourself in SASAMI, out March 8th 2019."It's a mix of a diary and a collection of letters, written but never sent, to people I've been intimately involved with in one way or another," explains Los Angeles songwriter and multi-instrumentalist Sasami Ashworth, aka SASAMI, who wrote the album's ten tautly melodic rock tracks over the course of a year on tour, playing keys and guitar with Cherry Glazerr. "Ok, maybe they're more like over-dramatic drafts of texts that you compose in the Notes section of your iPhone, but either way, they come from a place of getting something off my chest." In an Instagram post announcing the release of ‘Callous’, a haunting ballad chronicling the disintegration of a relationship over wrenching guitar wails, she sums up the inspiration behind her engrossingly confessional debut more bluntly: "Everyone I fucked and who fucked me last year".

 

Originating as a string of demos she recorded straight to her iPad whilst on tour with Cherry Glazerr, the songs poured out of Ashworth in stream-of-consciousness fashion, tracking the thrills, disappointments, and non-starters of a year spent newly single and on the road. In many ways, though, they were the culmination of decades of hard work. After studying piano as a child, she picked up the French horn in middle school, and has been playing music pretty much every day since - first as a long-time conservatory kid with her sights on a career as a classical French horn player, and later as an elementary school music teacher, running around a classroom, making up songs and dances, and directing rag-tag orchestras full of glockenspiels and bongos. "If you can keep like 30 kids with tambourines entertained, [doing it for] a room full of drunk adults at a rock show is nothing”, she says.

 

Just like her notoriously irreverent stage banter, Ashworth notes that her relationship to music, and to playing instruments, "comes from a place of love and playfulness and joy" - and it's something you can hear at every moment of SASAMI. But if SASAMI tells a story, it's one about the surprising ways that one's relationships - with lovers, with friends, with oneself - can shift in a single year.

With only a 2-song 7" under her belt before today’s album announcement, SASAMI has already been hailed as "rock's next big thing" by The FADER and awarded Pitchfork's coveted Best New Track distinction.

 

SASAMI's debut self-titled album is available for pre-order now on limited pressing clear vinyl with an exclusive SASAMI transfer tattoo sheet, CD, and digital download.

 

Tracklisting

1. I Was A Window

2. Not The Time

3. Morning Comes

4. Free

5. Pacify

6. At Hollywood

7. Jealousy

8. Callous

9. Adult Contemporary

10. Turned Out I Was Everyone

 

Pre-order: Dom Mart | Digital

Additionally, SASAMI has announced a 2019 European tour that kicks off next month in Berlin, and a North American tour in the spring. All dates below.

 

Upcoming live dates

Feb 27th – Badehaus, Berlin Tickets

Feb 28th – Aalhaus, Hamburg Tickets

March 2nd – Bakken, Copenhagen Free entry

March 4th - Botanique Witloofbar, Brussels Tickets

March 5th – Paradiso (Upstairs), Amsterdam Tickets

March 6th – Pop-Up Du Label, Paris Tickets

March 8th – The Lexington, London Tickets

April 3rd – The Echo, Los Angeles

April 9th – Rickshaw Stop, San Francisco

April 11th – Doug Fir, Portland

April 12th – Barboza, Seattle

April 13th – Wise Hall, Vancouver

April 15th – Neurolux, Boise, ID

April 17th – Lost Lake, Denver

April 18th – Reverb, Omaha

April 19th – Vaudeville Mews, Des Moines, IA

April 20th – Amsterdam Bar and Hall, St Paul, MN

April 21st – Colectivo (Back Room), Milwaukee

April 23rd – Schubas, Chicago

April 25th – Baby G, Toronto

April 26th – Quai Des Brumes, Montreal

April 27th – Brighton Music Hall, Boston

April 29th – PhilaMOCA, Philadelphia

April 30th – Elsewhere, Brooklyn

May 3rd – DC9, Washington

May 4th – Club Café, Pittsburgh

May 5th – Rumba Café, Columbus

May 6th – The Basement, Nashville

May 8th – Three Links, Dallas

May 9th – Barracuda, Austin


 

REST IN PEACE, PETE SHELLEY

Buzzcocks | 07/12/18

Image: Buzzcocks reissue press image

We are shocked and saddened to learn of the passing of Pete Shelley. Pete was the great romantic of the punk era and one of its truly great songwriters. In 1978 it felt like Buzzcocks released a perfect single every two months and they were regularly beamed into the living rooms of our provincial homes via Top Of The Pops like a pop art post punk Beatles . We bought their singles for 49 pence from Woolworths on  the day they came out  and played them repeatedly, over and over again.. I even remember getting a copy of their Love Bites album for my thirteenth birthday present. Played it to death.

Now it’s 40 years on and  we’re all grown up and Domino is the proud guardian of the Buzzcocks  incredible  catalogue. We have been preparing a re issue campaign for next year which  Pete had just signed off on the art and packaging for. We are so sorry that Pete isn’t going to be around for their reissue. 

We send our love and respect to Pete and his nearest and dearest and we salute his eternal pop genius.

Laurence Bell

 

JAMES YORKSTON ANNOUNCES NEW ALBUM 'THE ROUTE TO THE HARMONIUM' FOR FEB 22ND 2019

James Yorkston | 21/11/18

Image: James Yorkston press shot

James Yorkston

Announces new album The Route to the Harmonium  for Feb 22nd 2019

Shares new song ‘My Mouth Ain’t No Bible’ – watch the video here

Upcoming live dates including Christmas solo shows + 2019 touring

James Yorkston will release his new album The Route to the Harmonium on Feb 22nd 2019; produced by Yorkston and David Wrench, it is James’ first solo record since 2014’s Cellardyke Recording and Wassailing Society (CRAWS) and follows the two collaborative albums he made as one third of Yorkston/Thorne/Khan as well as the release of his debut novel Three Craws in 2016.

Alongside the announcement, James has shared new song ‘My Mouth Ain’t No Bible’ - one of three thrilling spoken-word pieces on the record. It thrums insistently, military snares punching away, Yorkston’s delivery interplaying as two competing voices, one of himself, the other a lost musician friend, “a spare hand, a hired hand, a deck hand” who was unable to prevent self-destruction. 

 

Stream ‘My Mouth Ain’t No Bible’ here.

The album was almost entirely recorded by James himself, in the small Scottish fishing village of Cellardyke, where he lives. Yorkston’s studio is a ramshackle old loft space, originally used to repair fisherman’s nets, and now stuffed full the antique instruments James has collected throughout his life as a musician. Having created hours of recordings, James called up his old collaborator David Wrench - the mixer and producer who has worked with the likes of Caribou, Four Tet, Frank Ocean, FKA Twigs and David Byrne - and someone who has worked on James’ albums since 2003 – to help make sense of the sessions.

The Route to the Harmonium (or, ‘the search for peace’) is intensely personal; it’s the sound of home, of undisturbed craftmanship. Listen closely and you can imagine him putting it together. Overlaying vocal and guitar tracks, adding further with Dulcitones, harmoniums and autoharps, with nyckelharpa, the distinctive Swedish stringed instrument given to him by a friend. And friends and family, past and present swim all over his songs. Remembering them, and those you’ve shared life with, those who leave and those who remain, is the strongest thread running through these affecting, extraordinary songs. This is Yorkston’s world and could be nowhere else in music.

James adds: “I guess, as a musician and writer, I find myself reacting to what goes on around. So, this album is about life, the life that carries on around me. There’s family, place, and the being away from family that the life of a touring musician brings… But there’s also reference to friends departed – the hows, the whys – When a friend jumps ship it’s always a haymaker to the gut, you know? And this album is about them, but it’s more about us, us who are left behind...”

 

James Yorkston will head out next month for his traditional solo Christmas shows, with a full UK tour following in May, whilst in January, Yorkston/Thorne/Khan will take in a tour of Ireland.

Track listing:

  1. Your Beauty Could Not Save You
  2. The Irish Wars of Independence
  3. Like Bees to Foxglove
  4. Shallow
  5. The Blue of the Thistle
  6. My Mount Ain’t No Bible
  7. Solitary Islands All
  8. The Villages I Have Known My Entire Life
  9. Oh Me, Oh My
  10. Brittle
  11. Yorkston Athletic
  12. A Footnote to an Epitaph

The Route to the Harmonium is available to pre–order on Dom Mart-exclusive green vinyl (w/ signed poster), deluxe green vinyl (w/ poster), standard vinyl (w/ poster), CD and digitally. Pre-order: Dom Mart | Digital

 

Upcoming James Yorkston live shows

2018

Wed 19th December – The Lexington, London **Sold Out**

Thurs 20th December – Kitchen Garden Café, Birmingham Tickets

 

2019

1st April – Perth Theatre, Perth

2nd May - Summerhall, Edinburgh Tickets

3rd May - Òran Mór, Glasgow Tickets

4th May - Harbour Arts Centre, Irvine Tickets

5th May - Waiting Room, Eaglescliffe Tickets

6th May - Brudenell Social Club, Leeds Tickets

7th May - Islington Assembly Hall, London Tickets

8th May - Reading Arts Centre, Reading Tickets

9th May – Gallery, Milton Keynes Tickets

10th May – Dukes, Lancaster Tickets

11th May – Old Cinema Launderette, Durham Tickets

13th May – Louisiana, Bristol Tickets

14th May - The Moon, Cardiff Tickets

15th May – The King’s Arms, Manchester Tickets

16th May - Trades Hall, Hebden Bridge Tickets

24th May – Tolbooth, Stirling Tickets

 

Upcoming Tae Sup wi’ a Fifer shows - hosted and programmed by James Yorkston

Sat 15th December – Adam Smith Theatre, Kirkcaldy with Vashti Bunyan, Audiobooks, Michael Pedersen

 

Upcoming Yorkston/Thorne/Khan live shows

Fri 18th January 2019 – Cleere’s, Kilkenny

Sat 19th January 2019 – Dolan’s, Limerick

Tues 22nd January 2019 – The Workman’s Club, Dublin

Thurs 24th January – Out To Lunch Festival, Belfast

Fri 25th January 2019 – Coughlan’s, Cork

Sat 26th January 2019 – Phil Grimes, Waterford

Tickets

James Yorkston Online:

Website | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram | Podcast

 

RUSTIN MAN ANNOUNCES NEW ALBUM 'DRIFT CODE' FOR 1ST FEBRUARY 2019

Rustin Man | 14/11/18

Image: Rustin Man press shot

Rustin Man

Announces new album Drift Code for Feb 1st 2019

Watch video for new track ‘Vanishing Heart’ here



Rustin Man aka Paul Webb has announced his return. Webb, formerly the bass player in Talk Talk, will release his new album Drift Code on February 1st 2019 via Domino.

Webb has released one record under the moniker Rustin Man so far, the superb Out Of Season in 2002 - a collaboration with Beth Gibbons of Portishead. He has been working on the follow-up ever since, recording it in his home, a converted barn, in an Essex field three miles from the nearest village, an extraordinary building as much Old Curiosity Shop as modern living space. Creating that, and raising two daughters with his wife Sam, was happening alongside the making of Drift Code.

The long-awaited album has a warm, wise kind of euphoria to it, coupled with an acute sense of storytelling and surreality. Additionally, Rustin Man has shared the opening song, ‘Vanishing Heart’, from Drift Code.  

Stream ‘Vanishing Heart’ here.

Webb, who for the first time has written songs specifically for his own voice, turns out to be a gifted character actor, adopting various vocal roles across the songs. In ‘Vanishing Heart’, he is someone liberated from a loveless relationship: “At last I’ve found more warmth to feeling / It feels so good to be alive”.

 

As you might expect from someone of Webb’s pedigree, Drift Code is a deep, detailed work. The passage of time, the living space full of art, treasured objects and junk, the years spent listening to film music and ‘40s standards are all audible. But there’s a surprising spontaneity to it too. Though he did much of it alone, Webb’s recording technique made the music feel as if it has been recorded by a group of musicians playing in the same room. Raw demos written on a Dictaphone provided the basis for tracks begun with drums played by Webb’s former Talk Talk and O’rang colleague Lee Harris. Then, one instrument at a time, Webb created arrangements from multiple takes, each one recorded with six microphones positioned at different distances from the instrument. This way he could place each instrument in a different part of an imagined room. When he had finished all the guitars, he picked up a bass and went back to song number one. When he’d got all the bass lines, he moved on to keyboards. This approach means that Drift Code’s songs have matured, in a unique way.

 

“Through the necessity of recording over a long period of time, the album has a kind of unfixed or uprooted quality. As if the songs belong nowhere so hopefully belong everywhere” adds Webb. This echoes the haunted sound found on Out Of Season, which may become a Rustin Man trademark, the sound of a semi-opaque window onto a real or imagined past, of time trapped in amber. No surprise, considering there’s a decade and a half of its creator’s life inside these songs, time spent reaching out for something ungraspable.

 

“I called the album Drift Code as it’s an oxymoron, a code is something fixed, but our instinct is to wander, to drift. I like the idea that life is a puzzle that can’t be solved because the answer is always changing.”


Tracklisting:

1.         Vanishing Heart

2.         Judgement Train

3.         Brings Me Joy

4.         Our Tomorrows

5.         Euphonium Dream

6.         The World’s In Town

7.         Light The Light

8.         Martian Garden

9.         All Summer

Drift Code is available to pre–order on Dom Mart-exclusive heavyweight vinyl (w/ signed photo print), Indie-exclusive heavyweight vinyl (w/ photo print), heavyweight vinyl, CD and digitally. Pre-order: Dom Mart | Digital


Rustin Man Online:

Website | Facebook | Instagram


 

PANDA BEAR ANNOUNCES NEW ALBUM BUOYS

Panda Bear | 08/11/18

Image: Panda Bear Buoys launch shot

Noah Lennox's sixth solo album as Panda Bear is Buoys, due out February 8th, 2019 on Domino.

The first song to be released from Buoys is “Dolphin”: Lennox’s bright, sincere voice front and center, with miles of space surrounding it, a guitar and some textured samples fleshing out the dubby sparseness and undercurrent of speaker-limit-pushing sub-bass low-end.

Buoys was co-produced and co-mixed by collaborator Rusty Santos in Lennox’s adopted home of Lisbon, Portugal. Lennox and Santos last collaborated on the landmark Panda Bear album Person Pitch, which had its 10-year anniversary last year.

Animated by their ongoing interest in contemporary music production techniques, Lennox and Santos envisioned something that would “feel familiar to a young person’s ears.” However, Buoys retains a deep layer of experimentation coursing through the hyper-modern production – a hallmark of Panda Bear releases that will feel intimately familiar to fans of Lennox’s decade-plus body of work.

Alongside Santos, Buoys also features collaborators in Chilean DJ/vocalist Lizz and Portuguese musician Dino D'Santiago, both artists who came to Lennox via Santos’ recent trap and reggaeton production work; the former contributes arrangements throughout the album including “Dolphin,” and both lend their vocals to “Inner Monologue."

Buoys is the first Panda Bear release since 2018's vinyl-only EP A Day With the Homies, and the follow-up to 2015's kaleidoscopic full-length Panda Bear Meets the Grim Reaper. "The last three records felt like a chapter to me, and this feels like the beginning of something new," says Lennox whilst surveying how Buoys relates to the estimable Panda Bear catalogue. Indeed, the forthcoming Buoys is full of fresh ideas from one of modern music's most fascinating, innovative, and emotionally generous artists

Buoys will be available on CD, LP, and Limited Edition LP, and digitally on February 8, 2019. The CD and Limited Edition LP along with a limited edition T-shirt are available to pre-order via the Animal Collective webstore. Buoys artwork was created by Danny Perez, with photography by Fernanda Pereira, and with additional design by Rob Carmichael, SEEN.

Animal Collective Webstore | Digital


Buoys artwork by Danny Perez, photography by Fernanda Pereira, with additional design by Rob Carmichael, SEEN.

Buoys tracklisting

  1. Dolphin
  2. Cranked
  3. Token
  4. I Know I Don’t Know
  5. Master
  6. Buoys
  7. Inner Monologue
  8. Crescendo
  9. Home Free  

 

Panda Bear will be touring Australia in December, with more international touring to be announced soon. All Australian dates below are on sale now.

Dec 7 Meredith, Australia @ Meredith Music Festival

Dec 12 Sydney, Australia @ The Studio, Sydney Opera House

Dec 13 Melbourne, Australia @ Melbourne Recital Center

 

Panda Bear Online

WEBSITE | TWITTER | FACEBOOK


 

SORRY RELEASE VIDEO FOR NEW TRACK, STARSTRUCK

Sorry | 05/11/18

Image: Sorry Starstruck

Sorry have today shared ‘Starstruck’, their new single on Domino and the follow up to 2018 7” release ‘Showgirl’/’Twinkle’ - which received glowing praise from Pitchfork, Stereogum, Dazed, BBC Radio 1 and BBC 6 Music. The pixelated sultry video for ‘Starstruck’ was directed by the band’s Asha Lorenz and frequent Sorry visuals collaborator Flo Webb, and received its premiere via The FADER who said “Flirtation and sexual tension are rife throughout the whole affair, with the pixels becoming more and more prominent as the hedonism increases.” While Lorenz explains, “‘Starstruck’ is is our homemade ode to saucy old pop videos.”

Following a brace of sold-out headline dates at The Whirled Cinema and The Courtyard Theatre, Sorry have announced their next headline show at Dingwalls in Camden on 28 March 2019 - tickets are available here. The band will also head out on tour with Shame in November, beginning with a date at Manchester’s o2 Ritz on 22 November and culminating in a huge show at The Forum in London on 30 November.

Sorry have already aired two rapturously received visual mixtapes Home Demo/ns Vol I and II - creating a beautifully distorted and intoxicating world around their visceral music - and gaining fans across tastemaker press and radio with singles including debut ‘Wished’, ‘2 Down 2 Dance’ and recent cut ‘Showgirl’.

Centred around Lorenz & Louis O'Bryen, two 20 and 21-year-old childhood best friends, Sorry were signed by Domino after developing a reputation as the most thrilling new band on London’s underground circuit. Joined by Lincoln Barrett (drums) and Campbell Baum (bass), the band have already toured with Sunflower Bean, Shame, Childhood, PIXX, and this summer with (Sandy) Alex G.

See Sorry at the following live dates:

9 Nov | Iceland Airwaves

22 Nov | O2 Ritz, Manchester*

23 Nov | Newcastle University, Newcastle*

24 Nov | O2 ABC, Glasgow*

26 Nov | Waterfront, Norwich*

27 Nov | O2 Academy, Oxford*

28 Nov | O2 Institute, Birmingham*

30 Nov | O2 Forum Kentish Town, London*

28 Mar | Dingwalls, London

* with Shame

Sorry - Starstruck - available now

 

A&R SCAM ALERT

26/10/18

Image: logo domino neon NL

Attention! An imposter is sending emails, supposedly on behalf of the Domino A&R department.

If you receive an email from Domino.Records@europe.com offering you a record deal in return for a cash deposit, please report them immediately to the Metropolitan Police: https://www.met.police.uk/ro/report/fo/fraud/

If any record label asks you for a deposit as part of the signing process, they are not honourable people and we strongly advise you to tell them where to go.

 

BUZZCOCKS ANNOUNCE DETAILS OF 40TH ANNIVERSARY EDITIONS OF ANOTHER MUSIC IN A DIFFERENT KITCHEN AND LOVE BITES

Buzzcocks | 24/10/18

Image: Buzzcocks reissue press image

To mark the 40th anniversary of the original releases, Domino are very proud to announce details of the re-issue of Buzzcocks seminal first two albums, Another Music In A Different Kitchen and Love Bites, on Friday 25th January 2019.

Both albums have been lovingly restored and re-mastered from the original ¼” tapes for the first time and come packaged in the original Malcolm Garrett designed sleeves with lavish 8-page booklets containing unseen images and extensive liner notes by famed writer, broadcaster, music journalist and cultural commentator Jon Savage.

Faithful to their original track-listings, the re-issues see the albums released on vinyl for the first time in many years and they will be available on deluxe 180g vinyl and CD.

The albums follow the Domino re-releases of their debut EP, Spiral Scratch and Time’s Up, a collection of demos, from 1976.

Famously taking their name from ‘It’s the buzz, cock’, a headline from a Time Out review of 1970s TV music drama ‘Rock Follies’, Buzzcocks formed in Bolton in 1976 by Pete Shelley and Howard Devoto, who have a strong claim to have kick-started a musical revolution in Manchester having organised and played at the now famous Sex Pistols show at Manchester’s Lesser Free Trade Hall in 1976, a show which inspired and spawned the likes of Joy Division, The Fall and The Smiths.

Having recorded and pressed their debut EP, Spiral Scratch, in December 1976 for a cost of £500 (the single would go on to sell 16,000 copies in the first six months of release on their own New Hormones label), the band soon under-went personnel changes with founder Howard Devoto leaving before they signed to United Artists and embarked on the recording of their debut album.

Recorded at Olympic Studios in London between December 1977 and January 1978 with producer Martin Rushent and featuring the line-up of Pete Shelley (vocals / guitar), Steve Diggle (guitar / vocals), Steve Garvey (bass) and John Maher (drums), Another Music In A Different Kitchen was released in March 1978 featuring a distinctive cover by Malcolm Garrett whose work would become inextricably linked with the band.

Within six months of their debut album release, the band had recorded and released its follow up. Again working with Martin Rushent at Olympic Studios, Love Bites was recorded in late July 1978 and released in September of that year. Reaching number 13 in the U.K. album charts, it featured their highest charting single, and arguably best-known song, Ever Fallen In Love (With Someone You Shouldn’t’ve).

 

By the end of 1978 with the release of these albums not only had Buzzcocks established themselves as one of the leading-lights of punk but proved themselves as deft songwriters capable of producing three-minute-mini-masterpieces that would endure long after the initial spark of punk had faded.

After releasing a third album, A Different Kind Of Tension, in 1979 the band continued for a couple of years before finally disbanding in 1981. The band would re-form in 1989 for a number of shows and they have continued to play live and record albums since featuring original members Pete Shelley and Steve Diggle.

Another Music In A Different Kitchen will be available on Deluxe LP (REWIGLP126X), pressed on silver heavyweight 180g vinyl, Standard LP (REWIGLP126) and CD (REWIG126).  Love Bites will be available on Deluxe LP (REWIGLP127X), pressed on white heavyweight 180g vinyl, Standard LP (REWIG127) and CD (REWIG127).  Both Deluxe vinyl versions come with a recreation of Buzzcocks’ classic carrier bag and are available exclusively via indie retailers and Dom Mart.

Listen to ‘I Don’t Mind’ from Another Music In A Different Kitchen HERE and ‘E.S.P.’ from Love Bites HERE  The track listings of the albums are as follows:

ANOTHER MUSIC IN A DIFFERENT KITCHEN

1.   Fast Cars

2.   No Reply

3.   You Tear Me Up

4.   Get On Our Own

5.   Love Battery

6.   Sixteen

7.   I Don’t Mind

8.   Fiction Romance

9.   Autonomy

10. I Need

11. Moving Away From The Pulse Beat


LOVE BITES

 

1.   Real World

2.   Ever Fallen In Love (With Someone You Shouldn’t’ve)

3.   Operators Manual

4.   Nostalgia

5.   Just Lust

6.   Sixteen Again

7.   Walking Distance

8.   Love Is Lies

9.   Nothing Left

10. E.S.P.

11. Late For The Train

 

ARCTIC MONKEYS ANNOUNCE NEW 7”, NEW B-SIDE PLUS WARP SPEED CHIC FILM

Arctic Monkeys | 18/10/18

Image: AM TBHC Press shot

Arctic Monkeys release the 7” of ‘Tranquility Base Hotel & Casino’, the title track of their current album, on Friday the 30th of November.  The single features a brand new b-side, entitled ‘Anyways’.

The band have also launched ‘Warp Speed Chic‘, directed by Ben Chappell and previously shown as part of the band’s AM:ZM exhibitions (with photographer Zackery Michael) in London and Sheffield.

“After spending a year documenting Tranquility Base Hotel & Casino I wanted to try and pull it all together in a short film. I spent a few weeks with the band in France documenting the recording process with my 16mm camera in September 2017. At that point I was still only hearing bits and pieces of the tunes as they were being recorded. Nearly a year later I was on stage with them in Lyon France shooting some of those same tunes. When the film came back from the lab I put the live songs next to my shots of them recording and found it to be quite nice. With that as a starting point, I then used James Ford's instrumental mixes of the album and put an assortment of the images we created for this album overtop giving a glimpse into the last year and the full progression of Tranquility Base Hotel & Casino.” – Ben Chappell

The ‘Tranquility Base Hotel & Casino’ 7” is available to pre-order now, out 30th November - http://smarturl.it/TBHC7Inch 

 

SASAMI SIGNS TO DOMINO

SASAMI | 09/10/18

Image: SASAMI press shot

SASAMI signs to Domino

Shares new song ‘Not The Time’ alongside 7”

UK live shows confirmed plus touring in US with Mitski, Soccer Mommy and supporting Snail Mail in Europe


Today, the Los Angeles-based artist SASAMI announced she has signed to Domino with the release of ‘Not The Time.’ The FADER, who premiered the song, say "SASAMI is rock’s next big thing."

 

 

‘Not The Time’ follows ‘Callous,’ which Pitchfork named Best New Track earlier this year, calling it "thrilling and personal." Stereogum said ‘Callous’ "has the polish and assuredness of someone that's been honing their craft for a long while now."

 

Of the songs, SASAMI says “’Not the Time' and 'Callous' are basically entries in the diary that is my first record of songs. Maybe it's a mix of a diary and a collection of letters; written but never sent, to people I've been intimately involved with in one way or another. Ok, maybe they're more like over-dramatic drafts of texts that you compose in the Notes section of your iPhone, but either way they come from a place of getting something off my chest. I wrote both of these songs on tour on a guitar on my iPad with GarageBand plugins and Moog 15 app sounds and then re-recorded them in the studio onto tape with really great tones. So it's kind of like emotionally scribbling a letter on a tear and snot-stained napkin and then re-writing it on fancy papyrus paper to make it look like you have your shit together."

 

Both songs are now available digitally everywhere, and a limited physical version on 7" vinyl is available for pre-order via Domino.

 

Listen to ‘Callous’ here.

 

SASAMI (Sasami Ashworth) has been making music in the Los Angeles area, in almost every way you can, for the last decade. From playing French horn in orchestras and studios and playing keys, bass, and guitar in local rock bands (Cherry Glazerr, Dirt Dress), to contributing vocals/string/horn arrangements to studio albums (Curtis Harding, Wild Nothing, Hand Habits, etc.) and producing on tracks for other respected artists (Soko), she has gained a reputation as an all-around musical badass.

 

After graduating from the Eastman School of Music in 2012, SASAMI spent her time scoring and making orchestral arrangements for films, commercials and studio albums, as well as being a deeply committed music teacher in Los Angeles. She spent the previous two and a half years touring the world non-stop playing synths in the band Cherry Glazerr and is now taking a turn to focus on her own music. SASAMI has already shared bills with the likes of Japanese Breakfast, Liz Phair, The Breeders and Blondie.

Upcoming tour dates:

9th October - Denver, CO @ Globe Hall ^

10th October - Ft. Collins, CO @ Downtown Artery ^

11th October - Salt Lake City, UT @ Kilby Court ^
12th October - Reno, NV @ Holland Project ^

16th October - Los Angeles, CA @ Teragram Ballroom ^

31st October - Paris, FR @ Pitchfork Paris Avant-Garde Festival

1st November - London, UK @ The Shacklewell Arms Tickets

2nd November - Leeds, UK @ Brudenell Social Club !

3rd November - Bristol, UK @ Rough Trade Bristol Tickets

5th November - Cologne, DE @ Luxor ~

6th November - Hamburg, DE @ Molotow ~

7th November - Berlin, DE @ Badehaus Szimpla ~

8th November - Utrecht, NE @ Le Guess Who Festival

10th November - Kortrijk, BE @ Sonic City Festival

30th November - Brooklyn, NY @ Brooklyn Steel *

1st December - Brooklyn, NY @ Brooklyn Steel *

2nd December - Brooklyn, NY @ Brooklyn Steel *

^ with Soccer Mommy

! with Menace Beach

~ with Snail Mail

* with Mitski

 

 

Tracklisting:

1. Not The Time

2. Callous

 

Pre-order: Dom Mart | Digital

 

SASAMI Online:

Website | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram


 

JULIA HOLTER ANNOUNCES NEW ALBUM 'AVIARY' WILL BE RELEASED 26TH OCTOBER

Julia Holter | 06/09/18

Image: Julia Holter Aviary press shot

Aviary is an epic journey through what Julia Holter describes as “the cacophony of the mind in a melting world.” Out on October 26th via Domino, it’s the Los Angeles composer’s most breathtakingly expansive album yet, full of startling turns and dazzling instrumental arrangements. The follow-up to her critically acclaimed 2015 record, Have You in My Wilderness, it takes as its starting point a line from a 2009 short story by writer Etel Adnan: "I found myself in an aviary full of shrieking birds." It’s a scenario that sounds straight out of a horror movie, but it’s also a pretty good metaphor for life in 2018, with its endless onslaught of political scandals, freakish natural disasters, and voices shouting their desires and resentments into the void.

 

“Amidst all the internal and external babble we experience daily, it's hard to find one's foundation,” says Holter. “I think this album is reflecting that feeling of cacophony and how one responds to it as a person - how one behaves, how one looks for love, for solace.  Maybe it’s a matter of listening to and gathering the seeming madness, of forming something out of it and envisioning a future.”

 

The first song to be shared from Aviary, 'I Shall Love 2' echoes that hope: "I am in love... There is nothing else".

 

Stream 'I Shall Love 2' here.

 

“In a lot of the songs, when I mention love, it’s about a seeking for compassion and humility in a world where it feels like empathy is always being tested,” Holter says. In Aviary’s case, that search for sweetness - that bridging of the gulf - becomes a metaphor for the creative process itself, cutting through the hierarchies of history, language, and musical form to offer something more fluid, more inclusive, more idiosyncratic.

 

Aviary, executive produced by Cole MGN and produced by Holter and Kenny Gilmore, combines Holter's slyly theatrical vocals and Blade Runner-inspired synth work with an enveloping palette of strings and percussion that reveals itself, and the boundless scope of her vision, over the course of fifteen songs. Holter was joined by Corey Fogel (percussion), Devin Hoff (bass), Dina Maccabee (violin, viola, vocals), Sarah Belle Reid (trumpet), Andrew Tholl (violin), and Tashi Wada (synth, bagpipes).

 

Aviary tracklisting:

  1. Turn The Light On
  2. Whether
  3. Chaitius
  4. Voce Simul
  5. Everyday Is An Emergency
  6. Another Dream
  7. I Shall Love 2
  8. Underneath The Moon
  9. Colligere
  10. In Gardens’ Muteness
  11. I Would Rather See
  12. Les Jeux To You
  13. Words I Heard
  14. I Shall Love 1
  15. Why Sad Song

 

Upcoming live dates

2018

14th Oct - Desert Daze Festival, Lake Perris, CA Tickets

 

24th Nov - Explore The North Festival, Leeuwarden Tickets

26th Nov - Paradiso Noord, Amsterdam Tickets

27th Nov – Schauspiel, Bochum, Germany Tickets

28th Nov - De Roma, Antwerp Tickets

30th Nov - Funkhaus, Berlin Tickets

1st Dec - Elbphilharmonie, Hamburg Tickets    

2nd Dec - Brotfabrik, Frankfurt Tickets

3rd Dec  - Kammerspiele, Munich Tickets

5th Dec  - Petit Bain, Paris Tickets

6th Dec  - Gorilla, Manchester Tickets

7th Dec  - Fiddlers, Bristol Tickets

8th Dec  - Button Factory, Dublin Tickets

10th Dec - Summerhall, Edinburgh Tickets

11th Dec - Howard Assembly Rooms, Leeds Tickets

12th Dec - Hackney Arts Centre, London Tickets

 

2019

19th Feb - U Street Music Hall, Washington DC Tickets

20th Feb - Underground Arts, Philadelphia Tickets

22nd Feb - Warsaw, New York Tickets

23rd Feb - Brighton Music Hall, Boston Tickets

24th Feb - La Sala Rossa, Montreal Tickets

26th Feb - The Great Hall, Toronto Tickets

27th Feb - El Club, Detroit Tickets

28th Feb - Thalia Hall, Chicago Tickets

1st Mar  - Turf Club, St. Paul Tickets

4th Mar  - Imperial, Vancouver Tickets

5th Mar  - Doug Fir, Portland Tickets

6th Mar  - Neumos, Seattle Tickets

8th Mar  - Great American Music Hall, San Francisco Tickets

9th Mar  - Lodge Room, Los Angeles Tickets

 

Aviary will be available to pre-order on Dom-Mart exclusive deluxe LP (2 x heavyweight clear vinyl, photo print and booklet), Indie-exclusive LP (2 x heavyweight clear vinyl and booklet), standard LP (2 x heavyweight black vinyl and booklet), double CD (with booklet) and digitally. Pre-order: Dom Mart | Digital

 

Julia Holter Online:

Website | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram

 

2015 - 2017, STREAMING NOW

Bonnie 'Prince' Billy | 02/09/18

Image: Bonnie 2017

Bonnie "Prince" Billy - Mindlessness - Streaming Now 

The song "Mindlessness" is a single from SINGER'S GRAVE A SEA OF TONGUES. The B-side, "Blindlessness", was named for the occasion. The song was 
written and recorded for possible inclusion in a motion picture but was rejected by the filmmaker.  And so, Will Oldham invited filmmaker Kyle Armstrong (for whom he had narrated a short science/art hybrid doc called MAGNETIC RECONNECTION) to Louisville to shoot a short film piece around the song.  In the video, Oldham wears a blindfold. The blindfold is a bandana acquired in Padstow, Cornwall during May Day celebrations.  Oldham was there with Trembling Bells.

---

Bonnie "Prince" Billy - Pond Scum - Streaming Now

POND SCUM is a collection of recordings made for John Peel’s much-listened-to BBC radio show, at Peel’s request.  These are various Palace/Will Oldham/ Bonnie Prince Billy sessions; the lines are blurred.  The performances are mostly Oldham solo, with David Heumann singing and playing baritone electric on the songs from one session.  Heumann also wrote the liner notes for the POND SCUM record.  The cover photos are by Dan Koretzky, and they evoke simply the landscapes from the EASE DOWN THE ROAD cover art.  Elsa Hansen (soon to be Elsa Oldham) stitched different portraits of Peel for the different physical release formats.

Bonnie Prince Billy and Bitchin Bajas circled each other for a time before being properly introduced.  They joined forces for a deep winter tour together, and soon began to hatch a plan to somehow build a set of music together.  They convened first in Louisville.  Cooper Crain, of Bitchin Bajas, found a reel-to-reel tape recording machine at Oldham’s workspace and immediately put it to use.  Oldham dug up his collection of Chinese restaurant fortune cookie fortunes, from decades of munching fate, and used these for the lyrics to be sung, chanted, etc.  Rob Frye and Daniel Quinlivan, along with Crain, brought their wizardry to the proceedings, and after a couple few days a record was beginning to take shape.  Another session was arranged in Chicago, at the Bajas’ music space, to finish up.  The resulting collaborative record is called EPIC JAMMERS AND FORTUNATE LITTLE DITTIES, after a phrase Frye used to sum up what had gone down in the recording sessions.  Tours were mounted, in Japan and Spain, with odd shows here and there in the USA.  The joined forces performed at the Calgary Folk Festival as well as London’s Cafe Oto.

---

Bonnie "Prince" Billy - Best Troubador - Streaming Now

 

2012 - 2014, STREAMING NOW

Bonnie 'Prince' Billy | 13/08/18

Image: Bonnie 2014

Bonnie "Prince" Billy - The B-Sides For Time To Be Clear - Streaming Now

Bonnie "Prince" Billy - Now Here's My Plan - Streaming Now

Bonnie "Prince" Billy and Dawn McCarthy - Christmas Eve Can Kill You - Streaming Now

More adventures for what we may call the Babblers Band (Ben Boye, Van Campbell, Emmett Kelly, Danny Kiely, Will Oldham and Angel Olsen), under the auspices of BonniePrince’ Billy.  There were two songs from the WOLFROY GOES TO TOWN batch of constructed jammers for which there was neither time nor psychological space to complete during the WOLFROY sessions.  However, everybody knew how to play the songs and wanted to track them, so Oldham booked time at David Ferguson’s Butcher Shoppe studio in Nashville, and “Whipped” and “Out of Mind” were tracked and released as a 7”.  Both sides were called B-sides, the A-side being a virtual release of WOLFROY’sTime to be Clear”.  Fergie knocked the session out of the park, as continues to be his style to this very day.  The artwork for the single was an extension of Sammy Harkham’s work for the WOLFROY cover.

Book publishers Faber & Faber were publishing a book-length interview with Oldham and asked for some sort of musical release to help commemorate and promote the book.  Oldham picked six songs from various Bonny/Palace records and the Babbler band incorporated all six into their live repertoire, playing the songs every night on tour in the lead-up to a recording session with Steve Albini at his Electrical Audio Recording studio in Chicago.  The songs were then recorded live-in-the-studio.  The title for the resulting EP, “Now Here’s My Plan”, came from a famous Shel Silverstein cartoon.  Ben Berman conceived of a new chapter in the life and work of Zombie Bonny for his memorable video clip for the revamped “I See a Darkness”, filmed in Glasgow, Scotland, where a mini-Babblers (Boye, Kelly, Oldham/Olsen) were performing.  The cover art for the EP was a leather ‘painting’, rendered by Sue Schofield, of a meteor hurtling our way.  The font and layout for the EP reminds us that it is the next entry in the Bonny live series, after SUMMER IN THE SOUTHEAST, WILDING IN THE WEST, FUNTOWN COMEDOWN, and IS IT THE SEA?

Oldham went into the studio again with Dawn McCarthy, this time to pay collaborative tribute to some of the works of the Everly Brothers.  More on that next week, but for now we’ll speak briefly about the advance holiday single, “Christmas Eve Can Kill You”.  In the USA the b-side of the single was “Walking the Dog”, in Europe it was “Lovey Kravezit”.  The single and the subsequent full-length record was recorded by David Ferguson at the Butcher Shoppe in Nashville, TN.  Magnus Johnstone did the cover artwork for the 7”.  Lara Miranda made a beautiful video clip for the song.

---

Dawn McCarthy & Bonnie "Prince" Billy - What The Brothers Sang - Streaming Now

When Dawn McCarthy and Will Oldham first met face-to-face, they were on the road together.  They learned and sang the Everly Brothers classic “So Sad (to Watch Good Love Go Bad)”.  Years later, McCarthy suggested to Oldham that they sing some more Everly jams together, and Oldham was immediately ready with an arsenal of potential works for them to embrace.  He sent a long list to Dawn, and she picked and choosed from them, and together they came up with the playlist for WHAT THE BROTHERS SANG.  Their principal partners in crime were Emmett Kelly, with his golden voice and hands of silver, and David Ferguson, with his platinum ear and endless list of badass pickers to call upon to make music into MUSIC. Add to that a wild and wide variety of friends and colleagues who paraded in and laid down their prooves-of-chops on tape and you have a pretty mighty record. 

---

The Marquis De Tren & Bonnie "Prince" Billy - Solemns - Streaming Now

GET ON JOLLY had been a sleeper hit, a fan favorite, so it wasn’t too much of a challenge to get the Marquis de Tren and Bonny Billy back together for this biblical EP.  A mini-Bonny Babblers ensemble (Van Campbell, Emmett Kelly, Angel Olsen, and Will Oldham) traveled to Australia to play some shows, and in Melbourne they rendezvoused with Mick Turner and Jim White to record SOLEMNS, three songs with music built by Turner and words culled from the Christian Bible’s book of Psalms.

---

Bonnie "Prince" Billy - Singer's Grave A Sea of Tongues - Streaming Now

Bonnie "Prince" Billy - Quail and Dumplings - Streaming Now

Bonnie "Prince" Billy - New Black Rich (Tusks) - Streaming Now

Strange things were happening in the world of the music business.  The music itself was still alive, but the bodies formerly inhabited by that music were being rapidly abandoned.  The music maybe was getting big-headed, thinking it could survive without a real host.  Regardless, it was getting eerily hostile.  Making new music for this environment was a challenge for Will Oldham, who had too much invested in the making of music to just let it run free in this lawless climate.  So Oldham continued to actively combine the making of new music with ‘old’.  There had been the Babblers shows and the Everly-honoring record and tours with Dawn McCarthy.  Now, for a new Bonnie ‘Prince’ Billy record of original songs, Oldham turned back the clock a few years, to 2011, and imagined that he had not made a record called WOLFROY GOES TO TOWN out of a certain cluster of assembled songs.  The songs were there, but time’s road was split and here Oldham took a different fork.  He left behind the two foreign-culture jams, “New Tibet” and “Cows”, and picked up the ostracized “Whipped” and “Out of Mind” along with a new Bryan Rich composition, “New Black Rich (Tusks)”, and built an alternate-reality record called SINGER’S GRAVE A SEA OF TONGUES.  The title was a paraphrase of one of the song titles from the record, “Sailor’s Grave a Sea of Sheep”, which was itself a paraphrase of the song “Black Captain”, Rashomon-ing the story for this new context.  Oldham asked Emmett Kelly if he was down for making a new record, Kelly said “oui, oui”, and Oldham sent Kelly a CD of demos featuring all of the songs to be recorded.  Oldham also sent a letter to the rest of the Babbler band (Danny Kiely, Ben Boye, Van Campbell, and Angel Olsen) as well as to Shahzad Ismaily explaining that this new record was in no way intended to be a slight on the WOLFROY achievement, rather perhaps a new way of shining a new light on that record and on recorded efforts in general.  The past was not past, it is a crucial part of the present and future.  Mark Nevers had asked Oldham to come make a new record, and Oldham brought SINGER’S GRAVE to the Beech House table.  Nevers met the challenge with fierce enthusiasm.  He brought in the McCrary sisters and Caroline Peyton to sing, Billy Contreras to fiddle, and the stalwart Tony Crow to play pianos and keys.

Claudia Crobatia made a video for “New Black Rich (Tusks)”, shot outside of Amsterdam and starring Oldham and KellyBen Berman revisited “Quail and Dumplings”, setting the new piece at a water park and bringing back Nina Nastasia and Kennan Gudjonsson as well as, of course, Zombie Bonny.  TV commercials were made for the record attempting to explain the phenomena of the parallel-reality recording.  Sammy Harkham once again, as he did on WOLFROY, executed the cover art.  The photo on the back cover (taken by Oscar Parsons) features Oldham on the stage of Clear Lake, Iowa’s legendary Surf Ballroom, the site of Buddy Holly’s final performance.


 

SAM MEHRAN 1986-2018

30/07/18

Image: Sam Mehran

We are shocked and deeply saddened at the news that Sam Mehran has passed away.

Sam was a uniquely and supremely talented musician, songwriter and producer,  and a warm and  gentle soul. 

He will be missed by so many.

Sam's love of music was immense and inspiring, and we are blessed to have known him.

Rest in peace, Sam

 

2009 - 2011, STREAMING NOW

Bonnie 'Prince' Billy | 24/07/18

Image: Bonnie2011

Bonnie "Prince" Billy - Funtime Comedown - Streaming Now

It’s with great pleasure that we offer FUNTOWN COMEDOWN to the streamverse.  A live record born of good times and friendship, FUNTOWN COMEDOWN has had only  a limited availability up to this point. 

Here’s how it happened: One summer, Oscar Lee Riley Parsons asked Will Oldham what it would take to induce Bonnie ‘Prince’ Billy to perform at a strange and special little place called Funtown, of which Parsons’ friend Brad Reinstedler was the mayor (and is still the mayor, by the way).  Oldham replied that all he needed was a rehearsed ensemble, and so Parsons put his own group, Thomas A Minor & the Picket Line (including Reinstedler, Bob Dixon, Jon Kempf, and Danny Kiely), to work learning a set of Bonny pieces.  Parsons enlisted Cheyenne Mize as fiddler and duet partner. They rehearsed the songs and soon invited Oldham into the rehearsal process.  Tickets were sold for the Funtown event, commemorative kazoos were purchased as giveaways (and to facilitate audience participation on “Goat & Ram”), folks gathered on a warm summer day outside of Louisville, and music and merriment went down a-plenty.  So much fun was had, in fact, that it was decided that this ensemble ought to play some more together before disbanding.  There had a been a handful of practice shows around Louisville, at Joe’s Palm Room, the Back Door, and the Nach Bar.  Now sights were set further afield...as far as Lexington, KY for a benefit show intended to raise awareness of the plight of the Kentucky Hemlock tree.  Hence the group learned Ralph Stanley’sHemlocks and Primroses”.  They were all invited out to San Francisco for the Hardly Strictly Bluegrass festival.  And then it was thought that they ought to record their efforts, and so one more show was arranged at the recording studio of bassist Danny Kiely.  Invitations were sent out, about fifty people gathered, and a little live show went down, recorded on high-fidelity multi-track recording gear by KielyOldham and Kiely spent a week or so mixing (during which time the King of Pop passed away; this will give you an idea of when all of this occurred.  Perhaps the timeline won’t match up precisely but you will forgive if a date is out of place here or there).  The record artwork is made up of photographs by Louisville photographer Dan Lubbers.  Yet another Merle Haggard song is covered by Bonny on this record, “Ramblin Fever”.  It will still be a few years before Bonny undertakes a full record of Haggard tunes, BEST TROUBADOR.

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Bonnie "Prince" Billy - Beware - Streaming Now

In deep Kentucky winter, Will Oldham asked Cheyenne Mize and Emmett Kelly to come to his house and record a four-song EP.  The EP was to be called “Chijimi”, after a style of fabric crafted in northern Japan during snowy months.  It was just the three of them in the room together, and to Oldham it felt ideal.  Why weren’t all recording sessions like this?  The sounds of the room were captured by the microphones, the three voices worked very well with each other, the material was in turns poetic, evocative, outlandish and devotional.  It felt to Oldham like a new model had been established and that all could be right in the world of music-making from that point on.

The artist Thomas Campbell had recommended to Oldham that he apply for an artist residency at the Headlands Center for the Arts outside of San Francisco.  Oldham got himself a three-month stint living and working there in the Marin Headlands National Seashore.  It proved to be a productive time.  Among other endeavors, Oldham worked daily on new songs and planned the next performance journey (with booking agent David Viecelli and tour manager Jesse Fischler) and recording session and touring ensemble (with Emmett Kelly).  Oldham was assigned a small studio in the main building at the Headlands, but soon was able to secure a larger, more remote studio space overlooking a former missile launch site.  The building was huge and wooden with plenty of room for thinking and making noise.  The basics for all of the BEWARE songs were built here.  Oldham’s plan was to meet up with a group of musicians, assembled by Kelly, in Chicago; to tour extensively with this group; then to take a break, give all of the musicians demos of the BEWARE songs, and to reconvene in Chicago at a studio called Engine with knob-twiddler Neil Strauch at the board.  Oldham and Kelly constructed the set of songs to be performed on the tour, including four cover songs: Shaun Camp’s psychedelic country hit “Would You Go With Me?” (made famous by singer Josh Turner), the Gun Club’sCarry On”, Susanna’s “Stay” (foreshadowing the full-album cover of Susanna’s SONATA MIX DWARF COSMOS that Oldham and Kelly would record years later, in 2017, as WOLF OF THE COSMOS), and “One Day at a Time” by Yusuf Islam (known also as Cat Stevens).  The four covers would be performed every night on the tour and then recorded first at Engine, in order to get sounds established for the new songs.  The band that Kelly corralled included percussionist Michael Zerang and bassist Joshua Abrams; Oldham brought in Jennifer Hutt, a violinist he had met through Baltimore’s Dave Heumann.  All sorts of Chicago musicians contributed guest performances to BEWARE, including Azita Youssefi, Nicole Mitchell, Rob Mazurek, Jim Becker and the Mekons’ Jon LangfordD.V. DeVincentis and Greg Leisz flew in from California to play their parts.  At one point, Kelly and Oldham decided that they needed to find a Mexican accordion player to play on one of the songs, so they scoured Chicago’s cantinas one night, coming away with a significant tequila buzz and a single telephone number.  They called the number, and the following day a gentleman came to the studio with a broken accordion and alarmingly primitive musical abilities.  It was decided to find a ringer instead, and Robert Cruz was called.  Once again, Katy Kolego was hired as production supervisor, and she kept things running solid and smooth.

Simultaneous to the BEWARE recording session, Susanna Wallumrod was in Scandinavia making her FLOWER OF EVIL record.  She asked Oldham to sing on two songs, Thin Lizzy’s “Jailbreak” and Harry Nilsson’s “Without You”.  She sent the basic tracks to Engine and Oldham did his singing on Susanna’s songs near the beginning of the BEWARE time.

The cover art of BEWARE was dominated by a drawing of Oldham sent by artist Jeff Hamilton.  The back cover and LP/CD labels were painted by Sammy HarkhamOldham and Dan Osborn worked out the poster details together: Hamilton’s skull-like drawing of Oldham’s head with a staircase rendered in primary colors leading to the top of the head, where a village is seen being established by tiny figures.  Jennifer Parsons made a video for “I Am Goodbye” featuring Oldham walking through the streets of east L.A. with a Turkish t-shirt and black contact lenses.  TV commercials were made for the record by Tim Heidecker and Eric Wareheim, including one spot featuring Neil Hamburger.

The title for BEWARE was inspired principally by two things: the first was the EP by the Misfits released in the early 1980s of the same name, and the second was Oldham’s own warning to himself and everyone else that the ideas behind this record were moving him in the opposite direction from where he felt he should be going.  “Chijimi” had established a template of meager ambition and home-spun workings and here they were with a huge (for BPB) tour, and an expensive out-of-town recording session featuring a wild and wonderful assemblage of talents.

Chijimi” came out exclusively as a 10” vinyl record.  There were two editions, the first with a rubber-stamped plain white paper sleeve and the second as the BEWAREUltraload”.  At the time, Bonnie Prince Billy vinyl purchases did not come with a free download the way that many new releases did. In this instance, a compromise of sorts was made: you could buy the “Ultraload” package, which had the “Chijimi” EP slipped into a 10” BEWARE sleeve with a download code for BEWARE included.

The recording of “Stay” was released as a 7”, with Susanna’sPeople Living” (recorded live outside of Milan, Italy, performed by Kelly/Mize/Oldham) as the B-side.  The recording of “One Day at a Time” was released as a digital single.  Yusuf Islam heard it eventually, and proclaimed it his “favorite cover”.

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Bonnie "Prince" Billy & The Cairo Gang - The Wonder Show of the World - Streaming Now

Emmett Kelly (the Cairo Gang) writes:

I would receive a manila envelope at certain intervals. the envelopes contained finished works of lyric. completed music-less songs. I was living in the farmhouse that was once Will’s brother Paul’s home and studio. The house was somewhat of a husk of that previous existence placed in a small clearing inside of a 170 acre cornfield. I sought to live here as a come down from what had been the longest tour I had been on thus far. I was burnt out on people, and as what I find men in their late 20s tend to do, I had idealized the idea of being totally isolated from people. Live alone out in the nature, or.. on a farm. During this time, I would receive a manila envelope. In it would be 2 completed songs. And I would stand them up on my music stand and start playing guitar and messing about occasionally taking smoke(weed) breaks until my mind would start to sizzle, at which point I would ride my bike around the farms. i would ride and ride and ride until I was totally exhausted. No people anywhere, just bike, stop, bike. Ride to the taco stand, attempt to speak to the people working there(really good tacos in Shelbyville, KY!) ride home. Maybe veer off the path at times. Once I found a road I hadn't seen before and took it for a while to look at the tobacco fields turning brown as it was starting to get late in the season. There was a point when the road turned and there began this canopy of trees that covered the road like a tunnel. I rode and rode and when I reached the end of the tree tunnel, it was really starting to darken and I had no lights. I started riding back and of course got completely lost. Lost amidst endless tobacco and soybeans and corn. Old barns filled with tobacco. There was literally no hope of me finding the main road, and I rode in the dark for like 2 hours before I found some kids playing in their front yard. Straight out of a horror film, I rode up to them and asked hey, I'm really sorry, but I'm totally lost! Can you tell me how to get to the main rode.. the kids apprehensively walked up to me, saw that I was obviously confused and said. Yeah! You go that way for a little while and when you see a graveyard, turn left and take that road into Eminence, where you can meet up with the main road back to Shelbyville. Riding again, looking for a graveyard in the dark in the middle of nowhere, turn left, find Eminence! Get on the main road and ride along the shoulder with the semi-trucks and other trucks. Completely dark in the dark. I think I was wearing a straw hat. Eventually making it home, and exhausted went to sleep on the couch. Woke up to go and look at the words. Everyday it went on like this until one day I heard this noise outside the window. A huge and menacing noise, and when I went to open the curtain to look a giant machine came driving by. They were plowing the fields. And in a few hours, that enormous sizzling cornfield was no more. It was time to go. That was The Wondershow Of The World to me.

And this:

Recording the Wondershow was a wonderful respite from being in the studios we had been working in. Not that working the studios was particularly difficult or unrewarding, in fact they were all the opposite of that! But this was just us knowing that we could make our own record at home and do it how we wanted to, easily. Thats exactly what happened. It was immensely interesting to hear how Will would interpret the music I had written. I'm sure it was equally fascinating to him to hear how I imagined his words. But we never marry ourselves to a definitive version of anything. Everything is constantly morphing and changing. before this record, my experience making records with bonny was always an intense search party. We would be in a weird place, trying to do our best at being ourselves, which isn't exactly an easy task. Its like standing in front of a mirror naked, knowing that there is going to be a point when the rest of the world sees you standing there naked. you look there at your body thinking, yeah this is alright, its me, and no what the fuck, this sucks, I'm disgusting and back and forth. Everything you do comes back to you. My memory of The Wondershow was that it wasn't so much like this. It was us in “our” house. we are who we are. And it felt good. There were things I remember feeling during that session that are unusual to note. I remember cutting the drums for troublesome houses, we put the drum kit in the closet.. the drum kit was was one of those micro little I don't know what you call them, cocktail kits? But it fit right in there in the closet. This dead little room and I crawled in there and played it. I just remember feeling like I did as a kid making a clubhouse in my friend Jono’s weird little secret cupboard in the hallway. And the drums sound so good. Dead as dead can be just like I like them. i think that was a good moment for us in our paths making records. Because of course there are many approaches and many environments one can do this type of thing. But I think from that point, sorta it became the main place to make stuff. and its cool to realize you can do it sorta as good as anyone else can. haha. On the session we had with us Shahzad Ismaily mostly playing bass and some percussion and odds and ends. and for a little vocal addition our friend Phil Elverum was passing thru playing in town, and we convinced him to come and help us tell the “folks” to “go”.

Once we finished the album, we took a drive thru Oldham County and listened to it and signed off on it. I remember drinking a margarita with Will on Frankfort Ave once Shahzad left town. I said to him, “I cant believe its over!” To which he responded, “It’s only just started!” 

Will Oldham (Bonnie ‘Prince’ Billy) says:

The title came from three places.  It’s the tagline for the Burt Lancaster movie TRAPEZE; it’s a mutation of the title of the awesome TV series WONDERSHOWZEN; and then our own brains loved and embraced it because it was always meant to be.  Emmett had been wrapping Bonny jams in brilliance for a number of years, and it felt like a good time to explore Cairo jams in a more fully collaborative approach, building the songs together from the ground up. I was spending a lot of time in Richmond, VA, working in a movie that eventually came out as NEW JERUSALEM, directed by Rick Alverson (who would soon direct a clip for the Bonny/Cairo jammer “New Wonder”).  In that film, I play a fundamentalist Christian, and the job required that I improvise all of my dialogue, so I was pretty deeply soaked in American Christianity at the time.  We recorded twelve songs.  In part due to the time limitations of a single LP and in part due to their sticking out a little bit, thematically and structurally, we cut two songs from the LP and simultaneously released a 7” single featuring those two songs, “You Win” and “Midday”.  My mom, Joanne, had made a lot of artwork over the years for various records.  At the time of WONDER SHOW, she was getting well into Alzheimer’s.  I asked that she make some work for the record that Emmett and I were making.  She was able to come up with a bunch of things, enough to use her spiral drawings for the full-length and a collage for the 7”.  Emmett’s dad, Chris, drew portraits of Emmett and I for the back covers of the LP and 7”.  Chris Kelly passed away soon after, and Joanne’s Alzheimer’s soon robbed her of her abilities to make further art, so the fine work that they did here represents, in tragic coincidence, the closing pieces of Chris Kelly’s and Joanne Oldham’s lives in art.

The last song on the record, “Kids”, was inspired by Piero Ciampi’sSporca Estate”, which we were asked to perform in Sicily in the year prior to the writing and recording of WONDER SHOW.

The record was made in the same little room where we made “Chijimi”.  The vocal/drum booth was a tiny cedar-lined closet that reminded us, sonically, of nothing less than the vocal booth in Willie Mitchell’s Royal Studios in Memphis, where the vocal sound of Al Green, Ann Peebles, and Syl Johnson was solidified.  Jim White had got us into that studio when we were in Memphis on tour.

Eventually, Bonnie Prince Billy & the Cairo Gang toured the USA and then toured the Netherlands.  Simona Dalla Valle made a documentary of the latter tour called THE ROYAL DUTCH TOUR.

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Bonnie “Prince” Billy with The Cairo Gang – Island Brothers – Streaming Now

Matt Sweeney & Bonnie “Prince” Billy – Must Be Blind – Streaming Now

Bonnie “Prince” Billy – There Is No God – Streaming Now

Will Oldham first heard Kevin Coyne and Dagmar Krause’s BABBLE record from friends Rich Schuler (the original drummer for Louisville’s King Kong). He becameengrossed and enchanted, maybe a little obsessed, to the point where he began to envision covering the entire record from beginning to end. The biggest issue Oldham faced in undertaking this endeavor was that the music required a skilled, emotional, dynamic female singing counterpart, and he hadn’t yet met someone to perfectly fit the bill. He played the record for Emmett Kelly and Kelly was similarly compelled. Then one day Kelly called Oldham to say that he might have found a singer up to the task, a musician living in Chicago named Angel Olsen. Olsen made a demo of one of the BABBLE songs and sent it to Oldham. Trusting Kelly’s instinct along with what was evident on Olsen’s demo, Oldham asked Olsen to join the Babblers, which was the name being assigned to the ensemble who would convene to make the BABBLE project real. The full band would be Kelly, Olsen and keyboard player Ben Boye, all based out of Chicago; then Oldham, bassist Danny Kiely (of the Picket Line) and drummer Van Campbell (of the Black Diamond Heavies), all out of Louisville. The first task at hand for this band was to tour the BABBLE record. Oldham bought patterned fleece hoodie-footie pajamas for everyone in the band. Each musician had to bring his or her own stage lighting. Then a tour was booked. It was billed as a Bonnie Prince Billy tour with openers The Babblers out of Shreveport, LA. Promoters along the way were told that the two acts would share gear, and that Bonny’s tour manager would handle business for both the headliners and the openers. Audiences were not informed at all about who or what the Babblers would be. The tour was a musical success.

Next up, Oldham wanted to record three singles, each single representing a significant branch of the Bonny musical story at that time. The first single was a Bonnie Prince Billy & the Cairo Gang 10”, featuring two new songs, “Island Brothers” and “New Wonder” (a powerful video was shot for the latter song by filmmaker Rick Alverson). The aforementioned BABBLE sextet was the band, with a guest appearance from Rob Mazurek. The artwork was made up of photographs by New York Times photographer Damon Winter; the photos were from Winter’s coverage of the devastation wrought in Haiti by the massive earthquake of 2010.

Then, a Matt Sweeney & Bonnie Prince Billy 10” single was recorded in Nashville at the studio of David Ferguson, who also played bass. Sweeney and Oldham had each separately met Ferguson during their respective workings with Rick Rubin on the Johnny Cash American Recordings. The single included “Life in Muscle”, originally conceived for (but not used in) Richard Linklater’s film FAST FOOD NATION. The other side of the record was a new song for which Oldham and Sweeney switched hats: Sweeney wrote the words for “Must Be Blind” while Oldham was responsible for the music. The great Ronnie McCoury played mandolin on the session. The back cover photo features Sweeney and Oldham at the New Orleans JazzFest, with Lionel Richie performing live on the JumboTron screen in the distant background.

Finally, a third 10” single, credited simply to Bonnie Prince Billy, was recorded in Nashville by Mark Nevers. “God is Love” had been written along with THE LETTING GO songs but never fully recorded. “There Is No God” was written for an Oldham Brothers EP that was never completed. Ben Berman made a video for “There Is No God”, introducing the character of Zombie Bonnie, who would appear in many an Oldham/Berman collaboration as the years rolled on. A ringtone was made available of Rachel Korine and Cassie Berman singing the chorus of “There Is No God”. The cover art for this single was made up of monochromatic paintings by Tracy Nakayama.

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Bonnie “Prince” Billy – Wolfroy Goes To Town – Streaming Now

Bonnie “Prince” Billy – Quail & Dumplings – Streaming Now

In a first for him, Will Oldham scheduled a recording session and performed all of the material to be recorded PRIOR to the session itself. There was a free tour of Florida featuring Oldham with Emmett Kelly and Angel Olsen; all shows were at record stores and radio stations, no money changed hands. This helped the three singers work out some of their voice harmonies. There was also a show in Chicago’s Millenium Park at which all of the songs intended for WOLFROY GOES TO TOWN were performed. The band was the Babblers band: Oldham, Kelly, Olsen, Ben Boye, Van Campbell and Danny Kiely. For the recording, which took place in Louisville in the same small room that had previously hosted the recordings of “Chijimi” and THE WONDER SHOW OF THE WORLD, Shahzad Ismaily was brought in to oversee the engineering. The cover of WOLFROY was made by Sammy Harkham. The title comes from a painting by Lori Damiano. Two songs were recorded in Louisville later as B-sides to a “Quail & Dumplings” single (for which Ben Berman made a wonderful Polynesian video shot on Oahu). These were “Black Ice Cream”, which was written along with the LIE DOWN IN THE LIGHT group of songs but not recorded then, and “E Iesu”, a song sung in Hawaiian which was learned from a recording by Darren Benitez.



 
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