Giddyup, y’all – Memorial Day 2013 is chock full of cool shows to attend over 4 days, and while Obama’s Weather Machine might throw us an isolated thunderstorm here and there in STL this weekend, it’ll be glorious and pleasant otherwise. Get out yo houses, people, and use IWTAS’ Show Roundup to guide you along the way:
FRIDAY, MAY 24TH
The Itch, Thee Fine Lines, & Kimi and the Underwires at CBGB – $FREE (donations encouraged)
Thee Fine Lines, have been an enticing garage rock staple in Missouri for over a decade. The Springfield, MO band includes Kevin Schneider, bassist extraordinaire for St. Louis pop princes The Blind Eyes. Along for the ride? The Itch out of Joplin, MO and new-to-me Kimi & the Underwires from right here. K & tU appears to be a five-piece , female-fronted garage outfit. Do we like female-fronted garage bands here at IWTAS? Indeed we do…
Drive-by Truckers and Old 97′s at The Pageant – $25/$27.50 dos
Skillful Americana in a town that just goes bonkers over Americana. And that Rhett Miller always seems to get the ladies’ (and dudes) hearts all aflutter.
SATURDAY, MAY 25TH
Jason Monad wants you to ask him about his crawfish. Well, even if he doesn’t, you should, because each year the story of gettin’ the hundreds of pounds of those things from the coast to the Midwest for this event is a hoot and everyone should hear it. His band, The Monads, along with the Deadstring Brothers and Fattback will entertain us as we stain our clothes with secret sauce and douse the fire with Stag tallboys.
A couple of things to sweeten the pot: Not too many years ago the St. Louis music scene lost one of its coolest and kindest guys, Fattback’s Dave Hagerty. Today, there’s a memorial garden in his name outside of OB and there’s a Fattback reunion on deck for this Saturday. Also, Matt Monad just informed us that they’ll be selling a bunch of special merch and donated items (good stuff like Cardinals tickets, bottles of booze, vinyl, crafts) with 100% of proceeds going to their pal Emily Stum, who’s battling cancer. The fifth year of “The Boil” will have certainly include an extra dose of South City heart.
The deal was always that if one member of The Brainstems moved away or quit the band, that would be the end of the group as they/we know it. Sure as shit, one of the dudes is heading toward greener pastures (and out of state), so the guys are throwing one last party to send him out in high style.
Another innovative season of Post Performances begins on Saturday evening, with musical sets by DJ Nune, Mikey Wehling, and Thelonius Kryptonite in front of an art installation backdrop. These things take place in Old Post Office Plaza Downtown, and speaking from experience, it’s one of the most laid back and coolest recurring events in the city. Stop by or stay all night.
I haven’t ever heard of a Tower Groove Records show that wasn’t a total blast. If you’re unfamiliar with the collective, get to know ‘em on Saturday at Heavy Anchor. Expect rad tunes and radder company, whether you choose the “loud” side of the house or if you sidle up to the bar and order one of H.A.’s signature mason jar cocktails. Things kick off a bit early (around 7) with Tower Groove singles art displays and videos from Bill Streeter.
SUNDAY, MAY 26TH
Rockabration III feat. The Ottomen, Aquitaine, and Picture Day at Off Broadway – $7-$15, w/ ticket package options available.
This show gets an IWTAS nod for a double stage set-up (the aforementioned bands inside, three acoustic artists outside on ‘The Smoking Porch’). The Ottomen, Aquitaine, and Picture Day are each local acts that, while great, you can’t go out and see every weekend, and six bands for seven bucks is always going to be a hell of a deal. Bonus points to the die-hards who show up Sunday and drink off their crawfish hangovers.
Ain’t nothing more ‘merican than an BBQ with a guy named Shooter. Atomic Cowboy has you covered on Sunday afternoon and evening with a stacked line-up of rock ‘n roll and twang. The stage is outside; the bar is outside; and the snacks are outside. This one has all the makings of a true Sunday Funday. Heehaw.
Something intense, as always, at Apop – $5 and 8pm SHARP(!)
MONDAY, MAY 27TH
Memorial Day Weekend BBQ (Part II!) feat. Big Boi and D?M-FunK and a monster local hip-hop line-up, Presented by Connector + Loyal Family + Leisure Studies at Atomic Cowboy – $30/$100 (VIP, Meet n’ Greet)
Some of you all are going to be saving up all weekend for this one (including a couple IWTAS-ers), and you can get your party on starting at noon. “I can go to work well-rested/sober every Tuesday until death, but seeing Big Boi in my own city could be a once-in-a-lifetime experience,” you’ll reason, and wander into Atomic’s new and improved outdoor concert space. Just like the Shooter show at Atomic Cowboy mentioned above, the hosts of the event will be catering to all your traditional Memorial Day Weekend needs with friends, food, and booze all at the ready.
HAVE FUN AND BE SAFE OUT THERE, EVERYONE, AND RETURN TO US ON TUESDAY. XO.
Last Wednesday, upon entering The Firebird, I spoke words to exactly two adult humans before ambling my way up front to take photos and thereby encountering a young man (Hi Jake!) who posed the following question as soon as I stepped next to him:
Jake [dancing to the house music]: Hey, would you rather be sober or on PCP?
Me: Well, Jake, I haven’t heard that acronym spoken conversationally since, oh, 1996? And that was by my 5th grade D.A.R.E. officer, soooo needless to say, I guess I’d choose sobriety. I’m not really a risk-taker when it comes to those kinds of things…
Jake [taking tiny repeating steps forward and backward at a rapid pace]: RIGHT?! That’s totally what I’m saying! I would never mess with angel dust or anything like that. I mean I’m on uppers right now, but………….So when did you graduate?
Me: You mean college right?
Jake [laughing with the subtle superiority complex of youth]: No, high school!
Me: Oh um, 2003?
Jake [expressing genuine disbelief]: Oh em gee, I graduated in 2010!
Me: I’m going to go get something to drink. Or a couple things probably. Catch ya later buddy.
And then I patted him on the head.
Such was the beginning of a Wednesday night filled with young crowd energy and pleasant surprises, just like Jake himself. Chicago’s Oscillator Bug took stage many minutes after 9pm and got right into a loud and synth-drenched experimental set. The best part about this formidable solo artist is the contrast between hearing and seeing the guy, who most reminds me of one particular ‘cool dad’ I knew growing up. Mustached, probably ironically but it doesn’t take, sportin’ a wedding ring and just flying around about four square feet of space, filling the whole room with noise, a decent enough challenge with the kids anxious for perhaps something weirder (Black Moth), or something more familiar (Hood Internet). Oscillator Bug pounded that synth with abandon, a microphone flung pragmatically around his neck for easy access. It was a perfectly brief set after a day and evening spent in anticipation over whether or not the show would even go off.
See, the night before, Black Moth Super Rainbow had paid what I’m sure was an otherwise pleasant visit to one of the South side’s most revered bar/restaurants. While they were hanging, their tour van was broken into and their very necessary and very specific equipment was stolen. But the good people of Firebird and the St. Louis music scene took it to the Internet and found the gear for BMSR in the 11th hour and the show when on.
The Hood Internet as advertised was actually one half of the duo, with Steve Reidell performing a solo set of HI’s signature mash-ups. You can have your Girl Talk, children, but this grown ass woman would like to keep the Hood Internet thankyouverymuch. Nuance might not be the traditional sticking point for a upper tier DJ mix, but that’s exactly what Reidell delivered, learning his audience as he went (Mase + Biggie Smalls + Puff Daddy…what up 8th grade?!) and winning the crowd over with samples from Whitney Houston and other R&B/Hip-hoppers That White Kids Like. I’m a believer.
I had to cut out of the show “early” (I turn into a pumpkin at midnight on week nights), so I didn’t shoot Black Moth and missed most of their set. They came out to ‘Hairspray Heart’ from 2012′s Cobra Juicy and it was as fun as I imagined it would be live. Comrade Bryan Sutter *did* shoot BMSR and provides a hearty review of their set over on his site. And my besties from Haikulou managed to – as they always do – put my thoughts into a short poem that is both accurate and succinct. It was a weird, wonderful night. Thanks to the ‘bird.
More Oscillator Bug and Hood Internet photos here.
You guys. This video is so weird and perfectly unsettling and kinda NSFW, but don’t let that distract you from the fact that Black Moth Super Rainbow‘s “Hairspray Heart” is the jaaaaaaaaaaaaaam for Summer 2013. Put it on your Spotify playlists and your Apple products; let it infect your ears and your barbecues and house parties.
In fact, play the entire 2012 album, Cobra Juicy, front to back wherever you can find a spot of sunshine and a bowl of…whatever you’re into.
And just when so many music lovers in our region begin to reassemble their backyard Wilco shrines and get set for another season of outdoor Americana worship, Pittsburgh’s wacky, enigmatic, and experimental Black Moth Super Rainbow will take the stage at Firebird this Wednesday with mix monsters The Hoot Internet and Chicago’s Oscillator Bug.
IWTAS is giving away a pair of tickets to this sick ass show because we believe in loud noises and dancing hard on weeknights. Leave us a comment below and tell us why you want to go. We’ll randomly select a winner on Wednesday morning.
Nashville’s Daniel Pujol and his band have a short, storied concert history in St. Louis; their most memorable appearance might be a quietly promoted slot playing Cherokee Street’s Cinco de Mayo bash a couple years back. On one of the following nights, then Riverfront Times Music Editor Kiernan Malesky excitedly told me about the set and how I had to see that guy play. I’d missed the performance, just as I was fated to miss their next stop in town when they would headline Off Broadway.
Now PUJOL is a Tennessee garage rock act who cut their teeth alongside the likes of JEFF the Brotherhood and Heavy Cream. (Remember when those gals stole the show opening up for Those Darlins at Off Broadway last year?) So yeah, dude can rage pretty hard, but a quick stop anywhere on the Internet where Daniel Pujol exists will leave you with the impression of a politically outspoken, articulate, and often hilarious young man who has something smart and satirical to say about being an artist right now in the ol’ U-S-A.
On April 29th, PUJOL the band was back at OB, this time opening for J. Roddy Walston and the Business and following the bigger, faster, stronger version of STL rockers Via Dove. I witnessed a tight set from Pujol and his more than capable backing band as they rocked a room full of folks who showed up to see J. Roddy Walston. Below are photos from a night that allowed me to put another check mark on my show bucket list and left me anxious for PUJOL’s next headlining St. Louis stop.
Entire photo set here.
Yellow Red Sparks is a good band from LA that I didn’t know existed before I spoke to IWTAS buddy Amanda Krebel, who helped set up a show for the trio at Gramophone this Wednesday. What Amanda did is something a lot of us who like to support the St. Louis music scene do for touring bands – we listen to their stuff and if we love ‘em, we find a way to help ‘em out when they’re in our vicinity.
And yeah, more often than not, no one knows said touring band here in St. Louis yet. The best case scenario is that we pull our friends off to the side after they’ve had a couple and talk their ears off about them for as long as our friends’ beer-soaked attention spans will allow, then we hope that some fans of the venue or friends of the people putting on the show will come to see a group they’ve never heard of, because it’s interesting to try new things and it surely beats letting your couch further form to the shape of your body because sitting on one’s ass is easier than being adventurous.
You’ll enjoy Yellow Red Sparks if you locally dig Old Lights, The Skekses, Union Tree Review, Grace Basement, or Dots Not Feathers. If you’re looking for a more broad sample, the band did this little session at a place called Daytrotter that I’ve heard is a kind of a tastemaker. Our openers for the evening are David Beeman of the aforementioned Old Lights and The Feed, both on Tower Groove Records’ roster, so expect the quality that comes with being a part of that line-up. Attend the concert, and for your generosity, be treated to a night of pop, rock, and whatever indie music is from one of Gramophone’s many comfy seats. “What a nice way to spend a Wednesday,” you’ll think, and resolve to do this sort of thing more often.
This is all to say that The Gramophone hooked us up with a pair of tickets to give away – we’d love to see some IWTAS readers representing there on Wednesday. Leave us a comment below, RT us, or write on Ye Olde Facebook Wall for a chance to win. I’ll randomly select someone the morning of the show, so hit it.
You don’t actually have to like Deer Tick‘s music to have a great time at their shows (but it helps). If this seems like an absurd statement to make, you’ve never actually been to St. Louis DT concert. One year they played Off Broadway on Halloween dressed as The Village People (Stag was dripping from the ceiling by the end). Last year they played Firebird on a night OB was dark, and the venue’s staff showed up and danced and drank in their friendly competitor’s place all evening. On May 6th they’ll return to the ‘bird with a fresh batch of songs and assuredly some familiar favorites to bring the house down once again.
Come for the party, stay for the legit talent of Deer Tick’s musicians and the occasional antics of nonchalantly charming frontman John McCauley, one of modern music’s few remaining real rock n’ roll lifers. The always generous guys at Firebird gave us a pair of tickets to give away to our loyal IWTAS readers. The show’s sponsored by Euclid Records and features STL’s Union Electric opening for the Ticks, a bonus for the likely sell-out crowd.
The rules: Leave a comment below with your favorite Deer Tick (or Union Electric) lyric for a chance to win. The contest ends this Friday (May 3rd) at noon. Get on it.
This Friday’s TWOFER features two bright, albeit dichotomous bands, headlining two of my favorite venues.
Cruise over to Firebird on the 3rd and be treated to Austin trio Pure X touring behind their LP, Crawling Up the Stairs (on b&w swirl vinyl, if you’re into that sort of thing), which will be released May 14th. These guys lean toward the hazy, billowy, deep feelin’ tunes including total gut-wrenchers like “Someone Else” and lighter-sounding though still moody tracks like “Things in my Head”. They also covered Willie Nelson, which is never not cool.
Based on my unscientific and highly accurate show sixth sense, Pure X is the type of band that we haven’t heard of yet because we’re in St. Louis and we’re still going apeshit over cupcakes (the food, not a band). What I’m saying is we tend to be a smidge behind – not that there’s anything wrong with that – but we should all thank The Firebird for doing its best to keep us fresh [to death]. Show specs here.
The other side of our TWOFER coin lands at Off Broadway, with the long-awaited release show for St. Louis Americana mainstay Grace Basement. Wheel Within a Wheel is the band’s first full-length release following 2009′s Gunmetal Gray. I was lucky enough to interview GB’s leader and songwriter Kevin Buckley earlier this month on the birth of the record, his songwriting process, and more.
Despite his multi-instrumental talent, Buckley plans to bring his biggest lineup ever of backing musicians to the stage on the 3rd. Cassie Morgan and the Lonely Pine opens; she’ll updoubtedly treat us to the tracks from her gorgeous 2013 RSD 7″ release, A Day Longer. I will never tire of seeing kind and honest fellow St. Louisans putting out quality creative work. Friday at OB will be a good night for that sort of thing. Pertinent show details here.
What’d I miss? Well, The Heavy Anchor is hosting a BDR Records Showcase for those looking to punk out to the tunes of The Welders, The Retros, Philosophic Collage, and Max Load lovingly covered by Kimi & the Underwires, Bunnygrunt, Spelling Bee, and Trauma Harness respectively. At five bones, this is your loud and wild deal of the month.
Record Store Day is a music lover’s Major Religious Holiday. In St. Louis, we worship at the churches of Apop, Vintage, and Euclid, this year on the 20th of April. Schlafly, PBR, New Belgium, and Urban Chestnut will lead us beside hop-infused waters. Live, street-side performances by our favorite local bands will restore our souls. Once again, IWTAS brings you the highlights…
VV is St. Louis’ musical house on a hill, and Jim Utz is its master. This RSD, Vintage brings us a Goliath of a Saturday, including DJ sets by STL scenesters and featuring showcases for Tower Groove Records at 11am and FarFetched Records at 3pm, buttressed by performances from Bruiser Queen and the Incurables – and oh yeah – Josh freaking Ritter (solo acoustic) in between said showcases. Schlafly and Monster Energy along with Heavy Riff Brewing provide the beverages; you bring your money and spend it on wax.
10:30am – The Chainsaw Gentleman
11am – Tower Groove Records Showcase w/ Kisser, Beth Bombara, and Accelerando
12pm – Bruiser Queen
1pm – Josh Ritter
2pm – The Incurables
3pm – FarFetched Records Showcase w/ Mathias & The Pirates, Scripts N Screwz, Thelonious Kryptonite, Adult Fur, and CaveOfSwords
4pm – Brothers Lazaroff
5pm – Black Spade
5:30pm – Beat Street feat. Da Fly D-Ex, G-Wiz, DJ Alejan, DJ Needles, and DJ B-Money
Euclid’s using RSD 2013 to celebrate its last year at 601 E. Lockwood before moving to a different street in Webster, 19 N. Gore. And celebrate they will, with a crazy good, 3-day live performance schedule. Highlights include all of Friday night, starting with a happy hour Troubadour Dali set (5pm), then an early Bo and the Locomotive performance (noon on Saturday) followed by a one-two Sleepy Kitty (6pm) and Bottle Rockets (7pm) punch. Euclid will wind down its RSD live performances with a loooud Sunday evening featuring Yowie at 5pm. Oh and PBR’s the brand gettin’ you drunk there this weekend.
Friday, April 19th
5pm – Troubadour Dali
6pm – The Vanilla Beans
7pm – Black James
8pm – Adult Fur
Saturday, April 20th
11am – The Jungle Fire
12pm – Bo and The Locomotive
1pm – Fumer
2pm – née
3pm – Cotton Mather
4pm – The Love Experts
5pm – The Jans Project
6pm – Sleepy Kitty
7pm – The Bottle Rockets
Sunday, April 21st
12pm – The Deciders
1pm – Superhero Killer
2pm – CaveofswordS
3pm – Dibiase
4pm – Karate Bikini
5pm – Yowie
Cherokee darling Apop Records is advertising their RSD celebration as “RAW, wild, and completely unstoppable”. Will it live up to its name? Last year, it was a party in the street for real though – brick throwing (not sure about that choice), dancing, merrymaking, and a bunch of orange construction fencing to keep the bands somewhat in the right place (a challenge indeed). The backyard was this weird, wonderful oasis of beer and grass and extended, beer-lubricated conversations with friends and strangers. Apop’s live performance line-up is noisy and raucous and ambient and *different*. Check out The Brainstems especially, and might we suggest attending the 7:30 Black James set as the sun goes down. Show up for the experience, stay for the New Belgium, PBR, Schlafly, and [new sponsor!] Urban Chestnut.
12pm – Wax Fruit
12:40pm – NRML PPL
1:20pm – Broken Prayer
2:00pm – Bad Dates
2:40pm – Grand Inquisitor
3:20pm – Redemer
4pm – Trauma Harness
4:40pm – Brainstems
5:20pm – Union Electric
6pm – Ou Où
6:40pm – Lumpy and the Dumpers
7:20pm – Black James
8:00pm – Shaved Women
Wondering what to do *after* gallivanting about the Metro area all day? Thirsty for more music and camaraderie? IWTAS has two great options for post-RSD daytime activities:
First up, Off Broadway is hosting a show (and an outdoor, ‘local booths selling local wares’ thing) for Extension Chord Records, a new St. Louis label that’s debuting itself with the release of two 7″ singles (streaming below) and the promotion of three more local 7″s (these are on Rankoutsider, though). Over half a dozen bands – The Union Electric, Beth Bombara, Town Cars, my new favorite 3 of 5, The May Day Orchestra, Tenement Ruth, Red Squad, Jeremy Joyce, AND The Chainsaw Gentlemen – will entertain you for 5 bucks.
Let us know forget, however, that The Heavy Anchor bar and venue is turning 2 years old, and they’re celebrating with a metal/doom/hardcore/generally awesome/totally free show on Saturday. WILL THERE BE NO END TO THE FUN WE CAN HAVE THIS WEEKEND?!!! The line-up for Heavy Anchor’s bee-day show includes Jack Buck, Fister, Everything Went Black, and The Lion’s Daughter. Basically, if loud and wild and dark is your bag, this a stacked show and you shouldn’t miss it.
If you’re still reading this, I thank and applaud you. My eyes are tired now. We’ll see y’all Saturday.
On the upcoming Grace Basement album, Wheel within a Wheel, virtuoso fiddler Kevin Buckley hones in less on opulent instrumentation and more on arrangements and songwriting through the eyes of a Midwesterner (a craft in which Buckley is more than well-versed). The couple tracks from the record that I’ve heard are affecting, deliberate, judicious. Wheel within a Wheel features some new originals and a smattering of carefully curated familiar tunes. The concept was simple enough: Buckley, searching for a way to organize his creative process, sat down and wrote a song a day for 3 weeks. Some of those songs made their way to the new record, and Buckley enlisted the help of a talented cast of St. Louis musicians: longtime collaborator Ian Walsh and guitar behemoth David Anderson, along with Bob Briedenbach, Eileen Gannon, Alan Murray, Greg Lamb, Dan Lowery, Jill Aboussie, Chris Weddle, and Theresa Hermann. Preview two tracks from Wheel within a Wheel below, and check out my interview with Kevin Buckley after the jump.
[Note: Grace Basement has a mere $600 bucks left to reach their Kickstarter goal. I'm not trying to sell y'all anything, but there will be just 300 pieces of vinyl made of this album, and wouldn't it be neat to own a square in the ever-expanding quilt that is modern St. Louis music history? Think about it.]
You’ve traveled all over the world playing music. I was wondering if you’d tell us a bit about a particularly interesting person or people you’ve encountered along the way, and how they affected you in the short or long term as an artist.
I’ve come across some amazing people over the years in a variety of seemingly odd situations; a really skilled country blues singer/guitarist in the French Alps who could barely speak English; a hotel roommate-Buddhist-priest-claw-hammer-open-tuned-guitarist. House concerts put on by hard-drinking medieval Catholic sects. A blind guy in Winnepeg made me a sandwich at 4 in the morning once. We played a Grace Basement gig in Shreveport a while ago and Chloe Sevigny was there for some reason, definitely not to see us I can tell you. I crashed at a house where I’m pretty sure they were breeding and training pit bulls to kill people, like traveling musicians. I could go on and on.
Bringing it back home, how much or how little does St. Louis – culturally, structurally, etc. – influence your songwriting?
I find myself more and more looking to the city and region for inspiration. There’s a deep and rich musical history here, not all of it may be what people want to accept or view as trendy, but I’m digging my heels in and embracing the wonderful things that St. Louis represents. This is a blues, country, jazz, and classic rock town with a good dose of bluegrass, Irish, and old time. Can’t forget our hip hop…I remember seeing a bad-ass Nelly video in Ireland and being like, “Yeah, I’m from there.” They could tell I was from the streets. We also have a wonderful symphony orchestra. With all the Bosnian and Mexican immigrants, I’m very interested to see what happens in the next generation. Anyway, add in some 60s British Invasion and that’s where I’m coming from, though not in that particular order. The next record will delve into the sound of St. Louis even more…
You have a longstanding weekly gig at McGurk’s in Soulard (my neighborhood, as it happens). That lovely and traditional Irish pub brings in all types of folks. Got any stories of note from your time there?
In terms of playing in bars, I’ve seen it all, except for homicide. Although I’ve had homicidal urges from time to time towards annoying drunks, you realize these are places where people are supposed to cut loose and act crazy. It’s cathartic and releases many people’s inner exhibitionist [tendencies]. Maybe they don’t like their job or life kinda sucks, but they can drink a few beers, dance around and mingle. McGurk’s is a fantastic place to play and see music, although it may be perceived as more of a weekend hot spot. My weekly Monday night gig with Ian Walsh and early week days are quiet and you can really enjoy the music in a very intimate setting. Weekends are fun because you have to put on the entertainer hat and draw an audience in, sell some beer and make people happy.
Folks come down, not necessarily for a specific band, but knowing there’s live music and good times. There’s no pretense of a concert, so people just walk up to you while you’re playing, request songs or just want to say hi. They really don’t care who you are and that anonymity can be very freeing. By the end of a good night, every one is very appreciative and that is sweet. It’s instant gratification in many ways, playing bar gigs, but it also requires lots of patience and a thick skin. I’ve played in bars all over the world and it’s always frustrating to see a really great performance ignored by a noisy crowd. It is suffice to say that songwriters and musicians all strive to play rooms where they have the audience’s undivided attention, so stage concerts are definitely the pinnacle.
You’re a multi-instrumentalist who has single-handedly recorded full albums on your own in the past. What are the advantages of adding more musician friends into the mix for this upcoming record?
Well, I can do a handful of things well enough to get by in the studio, but it’s nice to make the instrumental pallet bigger. Every musician has a unique voice and style and I am fortunate enough to know a lot of players, so I can get the right person for the job. I played much of the music on this record, but almost each song features another musician or instrument under a little spotlight; I didn’t play any solos on this record (except for some fiddle on “The Almoner”). Instead, I focused my efforts on singing, playing acoustic guitar, and arranging. For instance, “Water Flowing over a Mountain” prominently features Chris Weddle’s bodhran (Irish drum) and “An Apple Will Do” has Bob Briedenbach and David Anderson trading some licks. I should also note that this is the first time I’ve had other people singing – Jill Aboussie, Theresa Hermann (my cousin), Alan Murray, and Dan Lowery. I play with Murray and Lowery at Mcgurk’s and in Las Vegas as the Bronx Boys and/or Capt. Rock.
Tell us an origin story about the creation of one of the tracks on Wheel within a Wheel.
“The Way to Be” was the first song written in a 21-day songwriting project with fellow musician Joe Kile; 21 songs in 21 days each…that sort of thing. After floundering around for a couple years, I didn’t really have any idea what I wanted to do next, but this one got me back on track. It came together very quickly, written on bass guitar and [it] introduced the simple sound I was looking for. It’s one of my favorite songs to sing as well.
Speaking of the record, you’re running a Kickstarter to fund its release. Update us on progress of the campaign and some of the rewards fans can expect if they support the album this way.
From the beginning, this album was crafted to spin on a record a player, and I thought it would be cool to only make 300 and move on. It’s just more special and unique. However, even a short run of 300 is really expensive, so I decided to try this Kickstarter thing out.
I have no idea what to expect and it’s quite stressful to put yourself out there in such a way. Currently halfway through the campaign, I’ve got about 77% of the funds raised. My goal is quite modest considering all the costs that have incurred. I’m basically funding the material portion of the release….the actual records and CDs, that way backers can actually get something real for their money. So, there’s the album in a variety of formats, but I’ve also included some other goodies: a b-side called “Glass”, which didn’t make it on the album but does not lack in quality; a little CD of three covers by Bob Dylan, Paul Simon and Tom Waits……a few popular numbers people might like to hear new versions of. I’m also throwing in the Broke Up Man 7” from a previous Record Store Day – there’s only a few of those left in the world. I have some other limited items – test pressings, unreleased recordings, original artwork (those are all gone now), house concerts, recording time at my studio, Avonmore, and a deal on music lessons. In other words, anything you could possibly want or need.
We’re a live music-focused blog. What should our readers expect at the May 3rd Record Release at Off Broadway?
This will be the biggest Grace Basement ensemble ever. I’ve usually gone lean and mean, which resulted in very straight ahead rock shows. I’m hoping to emphasize more sonic variety and take advantage of the pool of talent. We’ll play the new record and several songs from the upcoming record as well as a few little surprises. It should range from solo acoustic numbers to a string band sound to loud rock and roll. Cassie Morgan and the Lonely Pine open.
Lineup for the Grace Basement Release:
– Ian Walsh – fiddle and mandolin
– David Anderson – guitar and pedal steel
– Greg Lamb – bass, vocals
– Jill Aboussie – drums, vocals
– Kaleb Kirby – drums
– Maureen Sullivan – vocals, piano
– Jesse Irwin – vocals, guitar