August 3, 2010

if this was our last time / what would we do, what would we say then?

The first time I heard this song, it knocked me flat, literally – I laid on the carpet of my living room with it on repeat for a good dozen times before I would resume normal life. It’s a track from The Clogs’ richly lovely album The Creatures in the Garden of Lady Walton, and Matt Berninger’s baritone mutters ruminations over a gorgeous, wandering symphony of loss and last times.

The Clogs are Bryce Dessner, Padma Newsome and friends (see previous post here). The album came out in March, and this track gets a starring role today with the release of the Last Song EP on the Dessner brothers’ Brassland Records.

This video is everything I could have ever hoped for to accompany such an unspeakably perfect song. Jagged-edged line drawings of partial people materialize and vanish, focusing for moments on the angular bend of his hand or the way her nose sloped just so. My memory is admittedly sometimes sketchy where I’d like it to be clear and crystalline. As Frightened Rabbit sings, “like a drunken night, it’s the best bits that are coloured in.” The video feels like a visual journey into the way my memory works; I’m not very good at remembering the specifics — how your eyes looked, yes. Exactly what you said or the day you said it, no.

By the end of this video, it gets so crowded with all pieces of fragmented memories competing for space in the the blank white landscape. People entering, others leaving. Faces with eyes you remember and mouths you can’t see anymore.

The blurs of color bleed in and obscure things — warm wet red, icy blue, a dark shadow of black to fuzz out the edges I want to remember.

February 16, 2010

Red seas at night


The Clogs are a somnolent musical endeavor of Bryce Dessner from The National (who just confirmed for Sasquatch but I suppose that’s another post altogether), and friends he met while studying at the Yale School of Music: Padma Newsome (viola/melodica/voice/piano), Rachael Elliott (bassoon), and Thomas Kozumplik (percussion).

Similar to their friend Doveman, the dark and dreamlike music they create finds its home on the Brassland record label, and since they like to keep it all closely knit, the album also features Matt Berninger and Aaron Dessner of The National, Sufjan Stevens, and Shara Worden of My Brightest Diamond.

Clogs_CoverThe Creatures in the Garden of Lady Walton is their fifth full-length, and starts shipping today from Brassland directly (CD+EP or CD+shirt).

It will be in stores on March 2.

Red Seas – The Clogs

Also, this instrumental song from their Veil Waltz EP (“a prologue to the album“) makes me feel suddenly and untraceably wistful.

Three Two – The Clogs

Feb 19 — Minneapolis, MN @ Southern Theater
Feb 20 — Minneapolis, MN @ Southern Theater
Mar 22 — Listen to them on WNYC
Mar 24 — New York, NY @ Bell House w/ Ólöf Arnalds and Julianna Barwick
(album release party)
Mar 26–28 — Knoxville, TN @ Big Ears Festival

UPDATE 2/17: Big Ears Festival, March 26-28: Sufjan Stevens along with Matt Berninger and Aaron Dessner of The National and Shara Warden (My Brightest Diamond) will be joining Clogs in their performance of the new song cycle ‘The Creatures in the Garden of Lady Walton.’ This will be the only live performance of the piece currently scheduled with all of the guest vocalists from the album.”

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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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