October 30, 2011

coming like a rush of blood

Sometimes you see someone singing and they are just so, so very clearly in their element that they nearly vibrate an easy tidal wave of vocal power, inhabiting and swimming free inside the song. Galen Disston used to sing in an ambient folk band called Pickwick. One day, as the story goes, he was listening to a Sam Cooke record and decided that therein lay a new urgent direction. The next band practice, they tried something different.

I think we can all agree that holy hell did they make the right decision.

Blackout (a capella at UW) – Pickwick

Although this song was on my summer mix –something about soul and summer heat goes together in my mind– I noticed after I listened to it carefully a few times that it is a super dark song (possibly about the suicide of Ian Curtis?). Galen acknowledges the darkness of the lyrics, but adds, “all the songs are stories that have blown my mind, and I wanted the opportunity to live them in a small way when we sing the songs.” You can certainly see that indwelling here.

Pickwick left everyone speechless (and a broken stage in their wake) at the Doe Bay Fest, and they have a new maxi-EP out this month called Myths (a collection of their previous single releases, with some bonus tracks).

Pickwick is recording their full-length debut in December with tour plans to follow (including SXSW!). It will not be long before these guys (deservedly) explode brilliant and farther outside the Pacific Northwest music scene.

YOU need to go see them. YOU will be blown away.

[video directed by my amazing friend Tyler Kalberg]

August 21, 2011

i know we too are made of all the things that we have lost here

Day After Tomorrow (Tom Waits) – Grand Hallway

In the last few days, I’ve put this song on repeat and just steeped myself in it over and over. Tomo Nakayama of Grand Hallway has a haunting, spectral voice here (reminds me of Thom Yorke) as he covers one of Tom Waits’ saddest sad songs. I very nearly lost someone I love last weekend, and have been reminded this week how incredibly tenuous this life is. You might go ferociously hug someone you love today, and tell them what they mean to you. Just a thought.

Tell me, how does God choose
whose prayers does he refuse
who turns the wheel, who throws the dice
on the day after tomorrow

And the summer, it too will fade
and with it brings the winter’s frost, dear
and I know we too are made
of all the things that we have lost here

This video was recorded a year ago as part of their Sound on The Sound Session. The second song in this video (“I hear music from the next room…”) is called “Roscoe (What A Gift),” and it is the closing track from the new Grand Hallway record. It’s also one of my favorite songs on there.

Winter Creatures is out now, and it is sparkling, and GORGEOUS.

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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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