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December 2010 Archives

December 9, 2010 Paging Jean Noblet

Hi everybody. Hope you have all been well and are keeping warm as the colder months close in. So yeah: as you may have learned yesterday, we spent much of 2010 inside recording studios, safe from the vitamin-giving rays of the sun. I wrote a bunch of new songs, and then we recorded them all and set some aside because they didn't quite fit in with the others, and then there were thirteen survivors when we were done, which are now ready to claw their way to the surface.

The album is called ALL ETERNALS DECK, and if you have ever watched say a 70s occult-scare movie where one of the scenes involves a couple of people visiting a storefront fortune teller, getting their cards read, and then trying to feel super-hopeful about what they hear when what they're visibly actually feeling is dread, then you have a pretty decent idea of what the album is all about. If you know the feeling of exultation that comes with having recognized the oncoming train of fate, then that's the other thing the album's about. JD, wouldn't it be easier to write an album of, like, love songs? Probably, I would not know, my focus is mainly death scenes and downtown Portland. It's not like there aren't people in love either dying or getting arrested at 3rd and Yamhill, so really, if you can stretch your definition of "love song" we can all be happy. Other possible points of reference include Burnt Offerings, Go Ask Alice, and that one scene in The Warriors where they're on the train and the sun's coming up and they're safe but you know the scars are permanent now. Reversals of fortune and faces at the window and sudden unexpected screams of triumph here and there. Possible exits from the long-locked basement. These sorts of moments.

As with the last album, we treated the recording sessions as commando raids on several studios with a few different producers: at Fidelitorium with John Congleton; at Q Division with Brandon Eggleston; at Mission Sound with Scott Solter; and, as I said yesterday and am still jumping up and down about, at Mana Recording Studios with Erik Rutan. The album's coming out on Merge in the U.S. on March 29th, 2011; Moorworks has got it for Japan, and our good friends at Remote Control in Australia are holding it down down under, and will release it on March 26th. I hope we get to tour all those places and more next year!

Here are the songs on All Eternals Deck. Their names, I mean. It would be totally premature to just post all the songs. See you soon!

1. Damn These Vampires
2. Birth of Serpents
3. Estate Sale Sign
4. Age of Kings
5. The Autopsy Garland
6. Beautiful Gas Mask
7. High Hawk Season
8. Prowl Great Cain
9. Sourdoire Valley Song
10. Outer Scorpion Squadron
11. For Charles Bronson
12. Never Quite Free
13. Liza Forever Minnelli

December 6, 2010 Last Two Shows of 2010

Hello all - how's it been? Here, you wouldn't believe, all kinds of action, you'll know soon. If you're the kind of person who likes to know things early you might want to keep a close eye on the Twitter feed this week.

First things first, though: I am playing two more shows this year. The first is live accompaniment for the film Sir Arne's Treasure, which is a Swedish silent from 1919. I'll be joined by John Vanderslice, Jamie Riotto, and Jason Slota at various points throughout the evening, and I was going to print up a whole program to explain what the whole deal is with what I'm doing but rehearsal took priority and so I'm telling you here instead: to accompany the Swedish film in which bad intentions come to bad ends, I thought I'd play and expand and elaborate on some songs from Sweden. One thing led to another, though, and I ended up synching up a few Hail and Farewell, Gothenburg songs, which I how I got the idea to start excavating a bunch of old Sweden-era notebooks, which is how I ended up finally setting to music a good handful of long-orphaned lyrics from the Sweden cycle: abandoned side-stories, extended soliloquies, muttered curses. So that is what we'll be doing: not all of Sweden, but a version of it, live, as accompaniment for Mauritz Stiller's gorgeous Swedish tale of lost treasures.

After that I'm flying home and playing Brome's totally awesome benefit for autism. And then, as you'll learn more about later this week, I'm going to put on the full armor, as the evangelicals would have it. Because in 2011, I am going to be raging through the fields like some kind of crazed comic book warrior from an imaginary ancient land, and stuff. We will see you there!