Friday, August 12, 2005

I have procured my ticket for the sold out Jandek show in Austin on August 28th, 2005. Thank you, Nick, for pulling some strings! There are still plenty of seats for the New Orleans gig, with the magical mystery tourists MV & EE plus Chris Corsano lending the man in black a hand. Really wish I could make that one too, but time and finances are tight. Should be posting another roundup of newish releases in the next few days, this time of a more poppier variety. YAY!

In other news:

David Late Tibet is into Timothy the Revelator / Stone Breath! Good job, Mr. Chasny. Hopefully this brings the proprietor of Hand Eye/Dark Holler and his stable of artists a little more attention. Hand Eye and its sister Dark Holler are completely family owned and operated labels that don't have the benefit of a multimillion dollar hype machine or any current buzz phrases to prop them up in the public eye. When words like "wyrd" and "free folk" were bandied about, Mr. Renner and his various ensembles (Stone Breath, Mourning Cloak, The Spectral Light & Moonshine Firefly Snakeoil Jamboree, Timothy the Revelator, Moth Mask, etc) always seemed to hover somewhere just above, but were rarely paid their due. They've been at it over a decade now, coming at the folk thing from a unique place. Stone Breath and Mourning Cloak were important stepping stones for me to folks like Comus, The Trees, Incredible String Band, COB--some of the most incredible acoustic music ever recorded. So yeah, listening to Stone Breath a lot lately, still getting that woodland chill down the spine when I hear the deep intonation of Timothy's baritone over the most minimal banjo and field recorded drones. An important and influential link in this whole modern underground folk scene thing. I realize a little more each and every day this is the most vital music around.

Case in point: Paul labrecque and Valerie Webb's "Trees, Chants and Hollers," about to be reissued by Eclipse Records (of course it'd be Eclipse) later this year. I must thank Brad over at Foxy Digitalis for turning me on to this, because I'd not have heard it by now otherwise. The sound is somewhere between Stone Breath, Charalambides and maybe Labrecque's earlier band, the underrated/known Bright, which played a more spacy drone rock during the late 90s. The same sense of cyclical progression and freedom is found in these acoustic guitar/voice/banjo folk-scapes, but this is deeper and more plaintive at the same time, and informed by some unknown mystery that could be attributed to the emotional extremes that accompanied its conception and release. It's not a pretty story, but then that's love for you. It's another classic in a year overflowing with 'em. Labrecque is also one half of the fnatastical Other Method. I know, it's a lot to process... But try.

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