January 14, 2009

New music from Elvis Perkins :: “Shampoo”


I’ve been drawn steadily to Elvis Perkins‘ 2007 folk chronicle of excoriating grief and loss in recent months, and find myself turned on anew to its perfection. Ash Wednesday is a brilliant, brilliant album that defies easy classifications as it traces the dark rivers in Perkins’ life through losing his mother on one of the 9/11 planes, and his father (Anthony Perkins) to AIDS. Songs like the title track and “While You Were Sleeping” contain some of the most beautifully sad lyrics about those gray days that I’ve ever known:

“while you were sleeping
the babies grew
the stars shined and the shadows moved
time flew, the phone rang
there was a silence when the kitchen sang”

(read them all, listen here)

This week saw the release of three new streaming songs to his website, from the forthcoming Elvis Perkins In Dearland album (XL Recordings, March 10th). I spent several hours at work clicking and re-clicking, listening dozens of times to three very different songs. I’m excited where the collaboration with his touring Dearland band is taking their authentic, penetrating music. Perkins blends an appreciation of the old, old traditions in his modern folk music. I hear a loose thread of Nina Simone’s traditional classic when he sings, “Yellow is the color of my true love’s crossbones, yellow is the color of the sun; black is the color of a strangled rainbow…”

Shampoo – Elvis Perkins In Dearland
(related note: still curious about this Shampoo….)

March 09 – Seattle WA, Tractor Tavern
March 11 – San Francisco CA, Cafe Du Nord
March 12 – Los Angeles CA, Troubadour
March 25 – New York NY, Bowery Ballroom

Oh, and this is still one of my favorite Blogotheque videos:

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  • Hey there Heather, nice update on Elvis…a few years back on a trip to San Fran we were walking by the Cafe Du Nord and he was playing that night…I had remembered hearing his name on WXPN but we were so happy to catch that show…stellar songwriter, great with the crowd (he’s very humorous) and an amazing band to boot…I’ll be looking forward hopefully to a Philly area show–definitely post a report if you get to catch his show.

    Frank — January 19, 2009 @ 4:24 pm

  • [...] Perkins All AlbumsOther reviews:New music from Elvis Perkins :: “Shampoo” I AM FUEL, YOU ARE FRIENDSTrack: Shampoo by Elvis Perkins In Dearland > Elbows Music BlogElvis Perkins – Wed Mar [...]

    Crazy Songs » Elvis Perkins mp3s — February 5, 2009 @ 11:26 am

  • saw Elvis Perkins in Truro a couple years back, big big fan, it was pretty amazing…curious about the exact inspiration behind Shampoo, anyone know if he has spoken/written about it? making a painting based on the song and need/want/wish to know more….

    Michael Gillane — September 25, 2014 @ 10:48 am

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Bio Pic Name: Heather Browne
Location: Colorado, originally by way of California
Giving context to the torrent since 2005.

"I love the relationship that anyone has with music: because there's something in us that is beyond the reach of words, something that eludes and defies our best attempts to spit it out. It's the best part of us, probably, the richest and strangest part..."
—Nick Hornby, Songbook
"Music has always been a matter of energy to me, a question of Fuel. Sentimental people call it Inspiration, but what they really mean is Fuel."
—Hunter S. Thompson

Mp3s are for sampling purposes, kinda like when they give you the cheese cube at Costco, knowing that you'll often go home with having bought the whole 7 lb. spiced Brie log. They are left up for a limited time. If you LIKE the music, go and support these artists, buy their schwag, go to their concerts, purchase their CDs/records and tell all your friends. Rock on.

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