Entries tagged with: Will Oldham
by Bill Pearis
Will Oldham in 'Eden' / Will Sheff's directorial debut 'Down Down the Deep River'
The Rural Route Film Festival happens this weekend (July 24-26) at The Museum of the Moving Image. Now in its 11th year, the fest showcases "international films that take the road less traveled. This year's focus will be on bold, independent women behind and in front of the camera." Music is an element, too, and figures into a couple of the RRFF's events. On Saturday (7/25) it's the world premiere Down Down the Deep River, the directorial debut of Okkervil River's Will Sheff. Sheff will be on hand for the screening, playing a short set before the 42-minute film and participating in a Q&A afterward. Tickets are on sale and here's the synopsis:
The sci-fi fantasy world of two bullied sixth-grade boys invades reality and changes their lives forever. An explosion of the music video into a narrative film, Down Down the Deep River grew out of the recent work of acclaimed indie band Okkervil River, and directed by front man Will Sheff. The song of the same name appears in multiple incarnations throughout the film, interpreted in '80s appropriate styles (New Wave, soft rock, rap). A poetic, abstract tribute to classic children's fantasy films, Down Down the Deep River was shot in and around Sheff's hometown in rural New Hampshire and stars local actors.Then on Sunday (7/26) it's Elise DuRant's new feature Eden which stars Will Oldham:
Nine-year-old Alma is forced to leave Mexico with her artifact-smuggling father, John (played by Will Oldham). Years later, after her father's death, she returns to Mexico to confront the man responsible for their emigration. But she finds more than she was looking for, in the form of a new cultural identity and old secrets that are revealed. This sensitively depicted, personal exploration of the ties-that-bind--to family or country--is a film about our search for roots and a sense of belonging and the love and loss that accompanies this search.Preceding the screening will be a performance by Mariachi Flor de Toloache, "the first and only established all-female mariachi band." Director DuRant will be on hand for a Q&A after the film. Tickets are on sale.
You can check out the full list of Rural Route Film Festival screens over at Museum of the Moving Image's website.
Lo-fi folk lifer Elephant Micah (aka Joseph O'Connell) released his newest album Where In Our Woods earlier this year on Western Vinyl, and today we're premiering the video for an alternate version of its song "Demise of the Bible Birds." The song features contributions from Bonnie 'Prince' Billy (aka Will Oldham) and Jason Evans Groth of Magnolia Electric Co. The video is titled "Hydrilla" and was made with filmmaker Todd Chandler (who's also a member of Dark Dark Dark). To quote the video description:
Hydrilla incorporates Chandler's footage of the spring with O'Connell's original music, and is interspersed with excerpts of narration from a local tour guide. Over the course of the piece, the naturalist comments on historical ties between local arboreal life and the industrial production of dynamite, the perseverance of a tree decimated by lightning, and, finally, the virtues of the Florida Manatee.Watch below.
Elephant Micah also has three live shows coming up this month, two of which are in Brooklyn. He performs a live score for the Criminal podcast at The Bell House on 7/15 which is sold out, and also plays an Elephant Micah set at Living Room on 7/16 with Zachary Cale, Last Good Tooth and Wes Buckley. Tickets at the door for that one (and remember, The Living Room is in Williamsburg now). The next day he plays Baltimore. All dates are listed below.
In other news, Hiss Golden Messenger is covering Elephant Micah's "Still Life Blues" for an upcoming split with British folk veteran Michael Chapman, which Three Lobed Recordings will release this September. Michael Chapman is also playing NYC this fall. HGM was just here.
Elephant Micah video and tour dates below...
by Andrew Sacher
Back in the early-mid 2000s, Alan Scheurman fronted the underrated Detroit art rock band Rescue, who transitioned from a spastic math rock-inspired band on 2002's Volume Plus Volume to a simmered-down but still eccentric one on their third and final album, Paranoid (2006). After their breakup, he put out the 2008 solo record, Old Patterns, produced by main His Name Is Alive member Warren Defever. (Rescue pianist/violinist Cassandra Verras also joined His Name Is Alive, and other members now play in Child Bite and Jamaican Queens.) And as this very detailed Metro Times article points out, two years later he moved to Brooklyn to embark on a new spiritual path. That same year, "elders of the Wixáritari peoples" gave him the name Santiparro, which Alan says means "the lens that sees many things not usually seen."
Alan also took on Santiparro as his musical moniker, and put out his first album under that name, True Prayer, earlier this year. The album features some impressive guests, including Will Oldham (aka Bonnie 'Prince Billy), TV on the Radio's Kyp Malone, Bear In Haven's Adam Wills, Young Magic's Melati Malay, and NewVillager's Ben Bromley. The result is a highly psychedelic folk album, which you can stream in full below. Also below is the brand new video for the Will Oldham-featuring "The Benefit Of Confrontation," which premieres in this post.
photos by David Andrako
Will Oldham and Eighth Blackbird @ Prospect Park 6/18/2015
It was a lovely evening on Thursday (6/18) for a free Celebrate Brooklyn! show at the Prospect Park Bandshell. The night featured a few interesting pairings. First there was was neo-folk arist Sam Amidon and The Bill Frisell Trio, who worked together on Sam's album Lily-O. Then it was Chicago's contemporary music ensemble Eighth Blackbird who performed Frederic Rzewski's spoken-word piece "Coming Together," Steven Mackay's "Lonely Motel" with actor/librettist Rinde Eckert, and then backing Will Oldham (their first time playing live together) for a selection of songs. Pictures from the night are in this post.
Celebrate Brooklyn!'s next Prospect Park Bandshell show happens Saturday (6/20) with DanceBrazil and Forro in the Dark. That show is free and starts at 7:30 PM.
photos: Celebrate Brooklyn last year (more by David Andrako)
We've known about Celebrate Brooklyn!'s summer slate of 2015 ticketed benefit shows at Prospect Park -- including Modest Mouse, Interpol and Willie Nelson -- for a while and now they've announced their free show schedule. In addition to the already-announced New Pornographers show on 7/11 (which now also includes Thao & the Get Down Stay Down) and the Chaka Khan season kickoff show on 6/3, this summer's free highlights include:
Lucius | Luke Temple | Pavo Pavo on Saturday, June 13Full Celebrate Brooklyn! schedule below...
Eighth Blackbird With Special Guest Will Oldham | Bill Frisell & Sam Amidon on Thursday, June 18
Lucinda Williams | Jason Walker on Thursday, June 25
Punch Brothers | Sarah Jarosz on Thursday, July 9
Vieux Farka Touré | Tamikrest | Dj Dakar on Thursday, July 16
Jason Isbell | Dawn Landes on Friday, July 24.
Sylvan Esso | Porches on Saturday, July 25
Big K.R.I.T. | Angel Haze | The D.R.E.A.M. Ring: Flexn on Friday, July 31
Tune-Yards | Shabazz Palaces on Saturday, August 8
by Andrew Sacher
Bonnie "Prince" Billy (aka Will Oldham) and Watter (mem Grails, Slint) are teaming up as Bonnie Stillwater and will release The Devil Is People next week (4/28) via Termporary Residence Ltd. The title track is out now, and it's got Will Oldham's unmistakeable voice over some laid-back, trippy psych rock. It sounds great -- check it out below.
To celebrate the new album, Bonnie Stillwater are teaming up with the beer company Stillwater Artisanal Ales, and will do pop-up shows at five different NYC bars on Saturday (4/25), playing one song at each. They'll hit Jimmy's No. 43, Cooper's Craft & Kitchen, Fool's Gold, Spuyten Duyvil, and The Well, and each bar will have the Bonnie Stillwater record and Stillwater beer available to purchase. Chavez's Matt Sweeney (who's played with Oldham before) is drumming at these. The schedule for when they'll be at which bar is on the flyer below.
Then, on Sunday night (4/26), the members of Bonnie Stillwater will head to The Studio at Webster Hall for a free party that they're DJing.
In related news, Bonnie "Prince" Billy released a split 7" with Dutch singer/songwriter broeder Dieleman last week for Record Store Day. You can watch the video for Bonnie's stripped-down, somber "Gloria" from that split, with the Bonnie Stillwater song stream and flyer, below...
the whole crew (via)
The National have been talking about an all-star indie rock tribute to The Grateful Dead for long time now, and 2015 would be a good year to finally release it given all the excitment surrounding The Dead's 50th anniversary. It's seeming like a possibility that that will in fact be the case, as the band are/were up in Woodstock at Dreamland Recordings working on it.
We already knew they were planning to include members of Vampire Weekend, Bon Iver, Kurt Vile, The Walkmen and Megafaun, and from the pictures they've been posting on Instagram, it's looking like way more really exciting people are involved too. It had already been talked about to maybe include Sonic Youth guitarist and major Dead fan Lee Ranaldo, but it's now confirmed that he recorded at Dreamland with them too. Will Oldham (aka Bonnie 'Prince' Billy) is there (!). Kristian Matsson (aka The Tallest Man on Earth) is there. Walter Martin from the Walkmen is pictured. Cass McCombs and Phil Lesh collaborator Joe Russo, who both just played a Dead tribute in Brooklyn were there, and Sam Amidon too. Josh Ritter's band, etc member Josh Kaufman is there along with his former Yellowbirds bandmate Sam Cohen, and Takka Takka/Gabriel and the Hounds/sometimes National, etc member Conrad Doucette is in the pictures too.
Looks like this is turning out even more exciting than it first seemed. Check out more pictures from the recording sessions below...
Jerry David DeCicca has produced albums for cult folk legend Ed Askew, and is also a member of the band Black Swans, who also toured with Ed in recent years. Earlier this year, he put out his debut solo album, Understanding Land, which featured collaborations with Will Oldham (aka Bonnie 'Prince' Billy), The Breeders' Kelley Deal, and Bob Dylan/Neil Young collaborator Spooner Oldham. Its track "Another Bad Dream," a soft early '70s-style folk song, was just given the video treatment (dir. Matt Bauer) and that premieres in this post.
Jerry also has two shows coming up, one in Philly and the other in Brooklyn on Saturday, November 15 at Union Pool with the new project of Purehorsehair's Garrett Devoe. That's an afternoon show (3 PM) and takes place before the Holy Sons / Elisa Ambrogio show happening at the venue that night.
Full tour schedule with the new video, below...
Weary Engine Blues is the title of a forthcoming benefit album that pays tribute to Jason Molina who died last week. It will be released by Graveface Records and artists contributing Molina covers include Mark Kozelek, Will Oldham, Allo Darlin', Scout Niblett, John Vanderslice, Jeffrey Lewis, Damien Jurado, Jonathan Meiburg (Sheerwater), Hospital Ships, Wave Pictures, and more. The album will be out April 24 and proceeds will go to help medical and funeral costs for Molina's family. Preorder it here. It comes with a screen print by William Schaff which you can see below, along with a note from Schaff as well.
You can stream Kozelek's contribution, "It's Easier Now," below.
photos by Sachyn Mital
Bonnie "Prince" Billy @ The Allen Room, 2/7/2013
As you prepare to perform in the "American Songbook" series, what does the notion of the "American songbook" mean to you?Is there a more spectacular NYC locale for a show than The Allen Room in Lincoln Center? Only falling snow could have made a better postcard last night (2/7) when Bonnie "Prince" Billy (aka Will Oldham) played as part of the 2013 American Songbook Series. Will played mainly alone, with a few covers thrown in amongst his originals, but was joined by collaborators Matt Sweeney on guitar and Ryan McNair on melodica for a few songs. It was a conversational evening in general, with Oldham stopping in the middle of songs to tell a story -- like one of him meeting Connie Britton (aka Tami Taylor on Friday Night Lights) at a party, and pulled out a picture with her as evidence -- and even led the crowd in a group singalong.
I would like to think that certain songs find relationships with other songs in the ear of the listener. I think it means that there's a group of songs that people know or are familiar with outside the context of any particular artist that become ingrained in people's perception of their culture.
Is there something particularly "American" about it?
To some extent, the reception of all the songs we've gotten a chance to hear over our lives and the lives of people throughout the history of recorded music are commercially recorded releases. So the "American songbook" is characterized by the American music business and how that business has been run over the last 100 years. Of course, the music business reacts to our hybrid culture. I don't think the United States is unique in that its popular music reflects a common denominator of a diverse population. But our diverse population, of course, is uniquely ours. - [WSJ]
Check out more pictures and the evening's setlist from The Allen Room below...
by Bill Pearis
Will Oldham and Colm O'Leary in 'New Jerusalem'
When not making records, Will Oldham has been known to act occasionally, most memorably in the 2006 indie drama Old Joy, though he has roles stretching back to John Sayles' 1987 film Matewan. His latest is New Jerusalem and his first starring role since Old Joy. The synopsis:
Sean, an Irish immigrant to America, returning from military service in Afghanistan, finds his heart and mind in disarray. He befriends IKE, (Will Oldham, in his first leading roll since Old Joy) a strong willed Evangelical Christian, who endeavors to ensure the fragile Seanʼs salvation. A meditation on mutual need and frailty, New Jerusalem explores the allure and limitations of modern utopian belief.You can watch the trailer for the film below. New Jerusalem opens in NYC today (11/30) where it is showing at Videology in Wiliamsburg though December 6. Tickets are on sale. Co-star Colm O'Leary will be in attendance at tonight screenings, and at Saturday's (12/1) screenings will have O'Leary, director Rick Alverson and producer Courtney Bowles. If you can't make it to one of the screenings, New Jerusalem is also available to download via iTunes and other digital outlets.
In other Videology news, I am helping progam (and host) the bar/cafe/theater's new Music Mondays series which kicks off this Monday (12/3) with Penelope Spheeris' essential 1981 L.A. punk documentary Decline of Western Civilization which remains unavailable on DVD (as does it's hair metal sequel). We're pairing Decline with the infamous "punk rock" episode of NBC series Quincy, "Next Stop, Nowhere," which has to be seen to be believed. Trailers and clipsfor both are below. The screening starts at 9:30 (New Jerusalem shows at 7 PM) and is FREE. We're still figuring out the rest of the schedule for Music Mondays (and how often they'll happen) but Videology's screening schedule is here.
And speaking of Rick Alverson, it's one of two movies he currently has in theaters, the other being The Comedy, which BrooklynVegan presented a free screening of a few weeks back and opens in Austin tonight. It will also be showing at Videology from December 14 - 20.
Bonnie "Prince" Billy (aka Will Oldham) recently put out a Christmas song and has live shows coming out too.
Trailers and clips from New Jerusalem, The Comedy, Decline of Western Civilization and the "punk rock" Quincy episode are below.
Angel Olsen at Glasslands in 2011 (more by Dominick Mastrangelo)
Chicago's Angel Olsen is in Brooklyn for two shows this week including Glasslands TONIGHT (4/4) with Sufjan/Sharon Van Etten collaborator Cat Martino, Doe Paoro , and Knox. Tickets for tonight's show are available.
Angel also plays another Brooklyn show at Littlefield on Sunday (4/8) with Companion, Emily Reo, and Alex Drewchin. Tickets for that show are on sale now.
Angel Olsen is working on a new album which will be out sometime this year on Bathetic, who released Strange Cacti on vinyl last year. You can stream a track from Strange Cacti at the Bathetic website or listen to the whole album on Spotify. Below, check out a solo performance of the song "Barrier of Bodies," which will "most likely be on her record to come." For her NYC shows, Angel will be joined by Emmet Kelly on bass, guitar, and vocals and guitarist Leroy Bach will also join them both at Glasslands tonight.
Speaking of Will Oldham collaborators, the mostly David Byrne-produced soundtrack for This Must Be The Place has finally been given a release date (4/23), which he and David Byrne contributed multiple songs to under the name The Pieces of Shit. Check out the track, "Open Up," by The Pieces of Shit below. Other contributors to the soundtrack include Jonsi & Alex, Iggy Pop, and Julia Kent (who plays Issue Project Room with Julia Holter during Unsound later this month).
Will Oldham also wrote a book called Will Oldham on Bonnie 'Prince' Billy, which according to the NYTimes, "answers nearly every question one might wish to ask about his prolific output." Here's what he has to say about the moniker Bonnie 'Prince' Billy:
"Bonnie Prince Billy is such a ridiculous name. It had no preconceptions to it; nobody could say what the music was going to be like on hearing the name. But it turned the music into an individual, which seemed to be what everyone -- the audience, or at least the people that I was forced to talk to about the music -- was seeking. They were seeking some sort of individual responsible for things, and I was just like, 'O.K. We'll make one up. One who doesn't really exist, and therefore I can continue to feel confident that there is no individual responsible for things, but you can think that there is one!'"Read more excerpts from the book at NYTimes.
All dates for Angel (and Doe Paoro too), video, and song stream below...
by Andrew Sacher
DOWNLOAD: Bonnie 'Prince' Billy & Mariee Sioux - "Loveskulls" (MP3)
Californian folk singer Mariee Sioux released her first official full length, Faces in the Rocks (which you can help her buy back the rights to), in 2007 on the now-defunct Grass Roots Record Co. It's a delicate, flute-filled psychedelic folk album with finger picked guitar and airy vocals recalling the work of rediscovered '60s/'70s artists like Vashti Bunyan and Linda Perhacs. Now, five years later, she's finally set to release its followup, Gift for the End. The album's already out in Europe and it comes out in the US on April 17, as the first release for Brooklyn label Whale Watch Records.
Though the strong presence of the flute that populated Faces in the Rocks is missed on Gift for the End, the album is an equally strong example of Mariee's ability to craft bare, dreamy folk that captivates from start to finish. Stream three album tracks, "Homepathic," "Ghosts In My Heart," and "Swimming Through Stone," below, where you'll also find the album's artwork and tracklist.
Mariee is touring in support of the album this month and next in Europe. No North American dates have been announced yet, but a note on her website reads, "Pardon my french. Americans, we're coming back for you late Summer & Fall..." Hopefully we'll be getting a NYC date on that tour. All European dates are listed below.
Mariee Sioux also recently released a collaborative EP with Bonnie 'Prince' Billy (Will Oldham), who she's opened for in her home state. The EP, appropriately titled Bonnie & Mariee, came out physically last month and digitally the month before. On the EP, Bonnie and Mariee are joined by an impressive group of musicians, including Paz, Nate Walcott, Jonathan Wilson, Farmer Dave Scher, Derek James and Dave Brennen. Their voices and musical styles blend really well together and it's great hearing them backed by a Crazy Horse styled backing band. Grab the track "Loveskulls" at the top of this post, or stream it below with the EP's artwork and tracklist.
All dates, streams, artwork and tracklists below...
DOWNLOAD: Doug Paisley - "Always Say Goodbye" (MP3)
DOWNLOAD: Doug Paisley - "Don't Make Me Wait" featuring Leslie Feist (MP3)
DOWNLOAD: Old Calf - "Peacock" (MP3)
DOWNLOAD: Old Calf - "Bonnie Cuckoo" (MP3)
Doug Paisley's Constant Companion; album art
Doug Paisley kicks off a string of East Coast dates in Toronto tonight, June 4th, making his way to Brooklyn to play the Rock Shop on June 8th with Old Calf aka Ned Oldham (also of The Anomoanon), the first of a string of shows that the pair will do together. Tickets are on sale for the Brooklyn show which will also feature Hans Chew.
Both Old Calf and Doug Paisley are touring behind new recorded efforts courtesy of No Quarter. Old Calf's Borrow A Horse was released in April and features both "Peacock" and "Bonnie Cockoo" available for download above. Doug Paisley's LP Constant Companion was released last year, and features guest appearances from the lovely Leslie Feist. Check out one Feist-blessed track "Don't Make Me Wait" above, alongside "Always Say Goodbye", and another Feist guesting track "What I Saw" streaming below. Side note: Doug has also collaborated with Ned's brother Will. Bonnie Prince has also covered Doug.
All of Doug's tour dates and that song stream below.
David Byrne at Prospect Park in 2009 (more by Chris La Putt)
David Byrne is releasing Ride, Rise, Roar on DVD and Blu-Ray this Tuesday (5/31) via Eagle Rock Entertainment. It's a documentary shot during his '08/'09 tour. The film, directed by David Hillman Curtis, consists of rehearsals, interviews, and live footage of the tour which included performances of Talking Heads classics in addition to material penned by Byrne and Brian Eno for their 2008 album Everything That Happens Will Happen. The film originally premiered at SXSW 2010. Watch the trailer below.
Sean Penn as Cheyenne
Byrne recently teamed up with Will Oldham (who just released a single for charity) to record original music for the film This Must Be the Place, named after the Talking Heads song of the same name. The film was directed by Pablo Sorrentino and is Sorrentino's first film to be shot in English. The film stars Sean Penn as a rock musician named Cheyenne. His character fronts the band Cheyenne and the Fellows, named after Siouxsie and the Banshees, and his appearance was inspired by Robert Smith of The Cure (as you can tell in the above picture).
According to a Consequence of Sound interview with Will Oldham, David Byrne was asked to write music for a demo that Cheyenne and the Fellows would record in the movie, and the script said that the music from the demo is reminiscent of Prince Billy...
"He was required to make up music for this band in addition to scoring the movie. So, he remembered that we had met [at a BBQ at Bjork's house] and wrote me, "Listen I was hired to make music that sounded like you which sounds kind of like a silly task." I replied with, "Well they hired you so why don't we make music that sounds like us" so that's what we did and we wrote four or five songs together for this fictional band."David Byrne attended the screening at Cannes last week. Read his account of that "glamorous" trip in his journal. The movie hits theaters later this year. The trailer is below.
Arcade Fire (who covered the song "This Must Be the Place" as a B-side to the "Neighborhood #3 (Power Out)" single) are releasing a deluxe edition of The Suburbs August 2 via Merge. The release will consist of the DVD Scenes From The Suburbs (directed by Spike Jonze), an 80-page booklet featuring stills from the film, behind the scenes photos from the film's production, and lyrics, an extended version of "Wasted Hours," and two new tracks; "Culture War" and "Speaking In Tongues" feat. David Byrne. Listen to the David Byrne collaboration below.
Speaking of Merge Records, Merge artist East River Pipe tweeted, last night... "met David Byrne [at the Anna Calvi] show tonight! Pretty cool, huh!?!?!" Even cooler is that David Byrne was checking out Anna! Maybe Brian Eno suggested he check her out. We have pictures from the Bowery Ballroom show coming soon.
David Byrne is also featured on Red Hot Organization's Red Hot + Rio 2, the sequel to 1996's Red Hot + Rio (which Byrne was also featured on). As we previously mentioned, the compilation brings Brazilian musicians and contemporary indie artists together to record a modern tribute to the late '60s Brazilian Tropicalia movement. Other artists on the compilation include Beirut, Devendra Banhart, of Montreal, Javelin, Beck, and more. The album will be released June 28 in partnership with Entertainment One Music.
Videos and songs and stuff below..
"Charity rock....that's not quite right. Charitable rock? Hmmm...anyway, Bonny and Cairo and Ben and Pete and Rachel and Cassie and Peter and Billy and Mark are bringing the message to you with this one, talking about God on both sides. Then they're playing for you and you're giving back to them, and they're giving back to Save Our Gulf (a Waterkeeper Alliance campaign) and The Turtle Hospital. Help maintain the waterways! And they say there is no God...."To quote Drag City, ""There Is No God" b/w "God Is Love" is the new single from Bonnie 'Prince' Billy and features the musical talents of Emmett Kelly, Ben Hall, Pete Cummings, Peter Townsend, Billy Contreras, Cassie Berman and Rachel Korine. The songs were recorded by Mark Nevers and mastered by Paul Oldham. Profits from the sale of these recordings will go to the Save Our Gulf and the Turtle Hospital to support efforts to clean up and maintain waterways and the lives dependent upon them."
Listen to/watch the video for "There Is No God", below.
That one's not out till June 21, 2011 via Drag City. Meanwhile pick up a limited copy of "The Mindeater", "a collaborative project birthed by ever-prolific Drag City recording artist Bonnie "Prince" Billy and Dominic Cipolla, multi-instrumentalist and main brain behind the elusive Phantom Family Halo." It's out now on "on vinyl from Sophomore Lounge. A corresponding CD/digital version will be available from our friends at Partisan Records in summer of 2011."
Bonnie plays Jay Pritzker Pavilion in Chicago tonight (5/23), and then kicks off a free in-store tour of Florida on Wednesday. His other upcoming dates include ATP in NJ at the end of September. All dates are also below...
How were the Will Oldham audiobook readings that book place in NYC yesterday?
Will's Drag City labelmate Ed Askew is performing at the Suffolk tonight (4/30). It's his only scheduled date (at the moment) before he hits the road in July with his Drag City labelmate Bill Callahan. Ed opens for Bill at both Bowery Ballroom and Music Hall of Williamsburg. Tickets for both shows are still on sale. All tour dates are listed below...
Will Oldham has a new release coming in the form of a Slow Fade audiobook...
Bonny reads Rudy! Sung and unsung heroes sink in the sunset in this 1984 novel. Until we put the print edition out this summer, you got to listen!Slow Fade is out digitally and on 5 CDs on April 19th via Drag City. A week later Will is hitting the road for a very short tour to help promote the book by reading from it live. On April 29th you can catch him at both Spoonbill & Sugartown in Brooklyn and at Anthology Film Archives in Manhattan. The latter's website points out that there will be musical accompaniment by Ben Chasny (SIX ORGANS OF ADMITTANCE). All dates below..
Read by Will Oldham with D.V. DeVincentis.
"The story alternates between [Wesley] Hardin in Santa Fe, Mexico, and New York --shooting a last-stand Western until the producer blows the whistle and shuts off the funds, generating a cinéma vérité chronicle of his own life--and A.D. and Walker writing their script on the road, so that each movement in the present is complemented by an additional piece of the past uncovered. Apart from generating a respectable amount of plot suspense, this narrative counterpoint allows Wurlitzer to pursue a satirical bent as he charts both fantasy trips, which becomes a contrast between the spiritual excesses of two generations: Yosemite Sam and Mr. Natural, each on a suicide mission." -- Jonathan Rosenbaum
by Rachel Kowal
BPB & the Cairo Gang @ Town Hall - 12/8/10 (photo by Reuben Strayer)
By this point, it's no secret that Oldham likes to keep things interesting. The prolific singer/songwriter has collaborated with a myriad of talented musicians (Tortoise, Scout Niblett, Matt Sweeney), performed/recorded under a range of monikers, and has even tried his hand at acting (Old Joy, Wendy and Lucy).
His musical act evolves so rapidly that the surprise of the evening at Town Hall came not during the main act when he played with the talented backing band The Cairo Gang, but during the mysterious opener's set. Earlier in an interview when asked about the band he shared a bill with, Oldham responded nonchalantly that The Babblers were simply an "obscure" band from Shreveport. But within seconds of seeing the group (and hearing the two vocalists), it became apparent that they were actually just a wild permutation of the main act, led by Oldham himself.
With his arm outstretched above his head and his eyes cast heavenward, Oldham's alias had more than a passing resemblance to a cult leader. But instead of matching Reeboks, he and his backing band wore sunglasses and one-piece pajama suits (complete with a zipper, hood, and footsies). The stage itself was decorated accordingly with a mismatched collection of bedroom lamps.
Given Oldham's involvement, The Babblers of course had that characteristic love it or hate it Bonnie 'Prince' Billy twang, but the songs were also quite distinct from Oldham's lengthy discography. Female vocalist Angel Olsen sang songs with a thrilling intensity as if her adopted persona gave her more confidence, freedom, and creative power. Olsen was a joy throughout the evening, but her role in The Babblers really let her shine since it occasionally gave her reason to exchange her smooth, rich vocals for a no-nonsense battle cry. "Sweetheart, Sweetheart, let's get it together!" she shrieked in desperation during one song. Upon witnessing Olsen's sudden transformation, the crowd broke the polite silence perpetuated by the fancy theatre with enthusiastic cheers. Together on stage, Oldham and Olsen were like cool criminals. There was a perverse quality to their back country gospel rock that made it mesmerizing to witness.
In recent weeks, the baffling story of The Babblers has been slowly unfurling. One theory holds that The Babblers project was modeled after the pre-existing work of Kevin Coyne and Dagmar Krause, and after comparing Wednesday night's notes to the track listing for the British duo's album (conveniently titled 'Babble'), this definitely seems to be the case. The Babblers played the entirety of 'Babble' in sequence.
Following the rousing set by The Babblers, there was a quick costume change and Oldham and his band emerged once more - this time under the guise of a different name. Everything was back to normal. (If your definition of normal allows for Oldham's eyeliner, fancy suit/do-rag combo, awkward dancing, and weird tics - that is.)
Bonnie 'Prince' Billy and The Cairo Gang were definitely not as volatile as The Babblers (had Oldham one-upped himself?), but they were still compelling to watch. In her becoming black dress, Olsen charmed the crowd once again, even if her vocals were more subdued for the second half of the evening. After such an intense display earlier, I'm impressed she could continue to sing so beautifully.
Though the majority of the set was lifted from the group's recent collaborative album, 'Wonder Show of the World,' Oldham also included a handful of older tunes, including "Only Someone Running" (which featured Matt Sweeney on guitar) and the breathtaking "Cursed Sleep." They concluded their encore with "Go Folks, Go," which allowed Oldham to retain the position of charismatic religious fanatic once more as he echoed the song's title repeatedly, as if delivering a benediction to his receptive crowd of followers.
I don't think the Town Hall staff and promoters knew what they were getting into when they booked Will Oldham, but I'm certainly glad they took a chance and surrendered to the crazy pajama'ed gang and its fearless leader.
Bonnie Prince Billy & The Cairo Gang opened for Yo La Tengo at Maxwell's one night earlier. Their Town Hall setlist is below...
DOWNLOAD: The Babblers - Come Down Here (Kevin Coyne cover) (MP3)
"The Babblers turned out to be the alter-ego of the Bonnie "Prince" Billy lineup. Dressed in sunglasses and one-piece pajamas with hoods, the six band members ambled onto a mostly dark stage that was adorned by a handful of small table lamps and a vertical trellis of white Christmas lights. One could have easily taken this for some sort of silly dalliance, but in fact, it's a rather complex conceptual project: The group's name is a reference to Babble, an obscure, rock-opera-ish album from the late-70s by the late British outsider artist Kevin Coyne and German singer Dagmar Krause. The hour-long set was an in-sequence performance of the entire Babble album, with Oldham and Angel Olsen, as "Angela Babbler," in the lead vocal roles." [The Thread]The Babblers opened for Bonnie Prince Billy at Town Hall in NYC last night (12/8). We have a full review coming. The above-quoted review is from an earlier Babblers show. The above MP3 is believed to be a studio version of a Babblers song aka Will and band covering Kevin Coyne & Dagmar Krause, but you never can really know . Live Babblers videos below...
DOWNLOAD: The Howling Wind - "Teeth of Frost" (MP3)
DOWNLOAD: Palace of Worms - "Rite of Blood" (MP3)
DOWNLOAD: Unholy Grave - "Little Bastards" (MP3)
DOWNLOAD: Coffinworm - "Start Saving For Your Funeral" (MP3)
DOWNLOAD: Darkthrone - "Eyes Burst At Dawn" (MP3)
DOWNLOAD: Wolvhammer - Dawn Of The 4th (Zipped MP3, Mediafire)
DOWNLOAD: Panopticon - "Beginning Of The End" featuring Rob "The Baron" Miller (MP3 Snippet)
DOWNLOAD: From Ashes Rise - "All In Due Time" (Live) (MP3)
DOWNLOAD: Alcest - "Percées De Lumière" (MP3)
DOWNLOAD: Wormrot - "Indonesia" (MP3)
DOWNLOAD: Jucifer - "Rifles" (MP3)
Ryan of The Howling Wind w/ Unearthly Trance (more by Samantha Marble)
Ryan Lipynsky probably best known for his role as doom-destroyer in Unearthly Trance, but he's been around the block with projects as varying as Motive, Pollution, Thralldom and The Howling Wind, who will release their latest LP Into The Cryosphere via Profound Lore in April. The Howling Wind, which includes Tim Call of Parasitic Records, Aldebaran, and others, toils in icy doom and black metal much like the ripping "Teeth of Frost" available above. The band also has the Mortuary Library 7" due out later this year via Parasitic.
In related news, NYC doomers Unearthly Trance have hit the studio to record their new album V with Sanford Parker. The band currently has one show on their calendar, April 21st at The Charleston with Lair of The Minotaur as part of a string of East Coast dates in celebration of Evil Power, their new album due out on their own The Grind-House Records imprint. Look for that LP in middle April.
Raw and punishing Japanese grind returns with Grind Killers, the new LP from Unholy Grave! Recorded live in a Dutch studio in September 2008, these 23 tracks were mastered last year and will see a release on Selfmadegod Records in March 2010. Check out "Little Bastards" available for download above. Meanwhile, Selfmadegod will also release a Peel Sessions disc with Agothocles recorded in 1997 and The Grind Years from Psycho.
Coliseum with new drummer Carter Wilson (far right)
Coliseum has signed with Temporary Residence Limited! The band has completed recording their new LP with J Robbins which will see the light of day this summer and will feature appearances from Will Oldham, members of Young Widows, Jason Noble, and many others. Congrats boys!
Harvey Milk will release their new album, A Small Turn of Human Kindness via Hydrahead on May 18th! Can't wait. The current tracklisting is below. Make sure and catch Harvey Milk with Coalesce and The Atlas Moth on tour and at Le Poisson Rouge on 3/8 (tix).
The "De-cancellation Tour" routing is almost complete! Make sure and catch Ludicra on the road this spring doing select dates with Krallice including Europa on 4/18 as part of a BV/Osiris presentation! Tickets are on sale. Full tour routing is below.
The dark forces of Coffinworm have revealed more details from their upcoming shadowy effort for Profound Lore, When All Became None. Sanford Parker has helmed the sludgy blackened doom LP, which features six tracks and is due for release in April. Dig on "Start Saving For Your Funeral" from the LP, downloadable above. Coffinworm will appear at the BV/CC/1000K Pizza Party alongside Zoroaster, Landmine Marathon, and many others. Album art is below.
That album art, and news on Corrupted, Triptykon, Autopsy, Black Shape of Nexus, Virus, Darkthrone, Rosetta, and so much more, as Short Wave Warfare continues...
Bonnie Prince Billy @ the Apollo Theater - May 21, 2009 (crespa´s)
"last nights bonnie 'prince' billy concert at the apollo was supreme. jim white on drums. emmett kelly on guitar. josh abrams on bass. cheyenne mize on violin and vocals. matt sweeney dueting on blood embrace." [here i am. there you are]Bonnie Prince Billy @ Santos Party House - May 20, 2009 (Catharine Connell)
Will Oldham as Icky in Wendy and Lucy
Kelly Reichardt's latest film, "Wendy and Lucy," is 80 minutes long -- it would fit inside Baz Luhrmann's "Australia" twice, with room to spare -- and does not contain a superfluous word or shot. Like "Old Joy" (2006), Ms. Reichardt's modest and critically beloved second feature, "Wendy and Lucy" takes place mainly outdoors and registers the natural beauty of the Pacific Northwest with unostentatious affection. [NY Times]An icky looking Will Oldham plays Icky in the film that is playing now at Film Forum in NYC. Full list of theaters HERE.
When Will Oldham isn't acting, he's making usually-beautiful music - sometimes as Will Oldham, sometimes as Palace, and often as Bonnie Prince Billy. This week a new BPB song became available on iTunes and Amazon. It's a cover of the Yusuf Islam song "One Day At A Time". Consider the song a teaser for the full album of new material being released soon by Drag City & Domino...
On 16 March 2009 Bonnie 'Prince' Billy is to release his new, biggest and most ambitious album 'Beware' on Domino (in the UK).Drag City is still not listing a US release date. You can hear Will play the new song "You Can't Hurt Me Now" live on WNYC. Full album tracklisting below.
Joining Bonny deep in the mix of Beware, the roll-call of top players include the band (Josh Abrams, Jennifer Hutt, Emmett Kelly and Michael Zerang) and special guests (Dee Alexander, Leroy Bach, Jim Becker, Robert Cruz, DV DeVincentis, Jon Langford, Greg Leisez, Rob Mazurek, Nicole Mitchell and Azita Youseffi)!
Speaking of live, Bonnie Prince Billy has a bunch of shows lined up for 2009 including the just added May 21st show at the legendary Apollo Theater. Tickets go on sale Friday February 6th at 10am.
Like-minded artists Cat Power and M Ward also have shows coming up at the Apollo which is celebrating its 75th anniversary of holding "Amateur Night". Ryan Adams, Antony, and Jenny Lewis all played shows there recently.
All BPB tour dates below...
I just realized that the Little Annie & Baby Dee show is tonight at Joe's Pub. Of course the show starts in 2 hours, so you probably won't go if you're reading this, but I thought I would finally stop procrastinating and mention it (and them) at least anyway.
"Baby Dee is an internationally traveled singer, pianist, harpist, songwriter and performer. Dee claimed New York City as home for decades, but now resides in her hometown of Cleveland, OH." I think it was Baby Dee's connection to Antony that first led me to her, and I was definitely excited when I first found out that Drag City was putting out her new album. Then I was even more excited when I found out who else was involved...
Produced by Will Oldham and Matt Sweeney (who also perform on the record), Safe Inside the Day is a record with that blends the Old World with new pop sensibilities. She is also helped by contributions from Andrew WK, Robbie Lee, Max Moston (Antony and the Johnsons), William Breeze (Psychic TV), John Contreras (Current 93), James Lo (Chavez) and Lia Kessel.The record comes out January 22nd. I have a copy, and while certainly not bad, it unfortunately hasn't excited me to the levels the description first did. I'm not done giving it a chance though, and I'm upset that instead of seeing the show tonight, I'm just typing about it.
Little Annie is also connected to Antony - he produced her last album called Songs From the Coalmine Canary which featured the song "Strange Love" which was used in a Levi's commercial and went on to win "Best Use of Music in Advertising" at the 2006 Cannes Film Festival. And like Baby Dee, Little Annie also has a new album coming out (Feb. 2008). It's a partnership with Paul Wallfisch called When Good Things Happen to Bad Pianos - described as a "cycle of songs by Frank Sinatra, Leon Russell, Tina Turner, Jacques Brel, Candi Staton, Michael Legrand and U2." Annie & Paul will also be touring together in 2008.
01. Parenthetical Girls - If it's a time for Christmas (2:46)
02. Ween - Silent Night (1:40)
03. Andrew Dost (Anathallo) - Yeah, I Know, It's Christmastime (2:04)
04. The National Splits - Let's Wrap Each Other (2:15)
05. Louis Armstrong - Santa Claus Blues (2:51)
06. Scott Allen (Thunderbirds are Now) - Winters Wonderland (3:50)
07. The Knife - Christmas Reindeer (7:11)
08. Melt Banana - White Christmas (1:42)
09. Thick Pigeon - Jingle Bell Rock (1:30)
10. Steven Garvey - Dreidle, Dreidle, Dreidle (1:11)
11. nullsleep - silent night (2:25)
12. Wild Billy Childish & The Musicians of the British Empire - Santa Claus (3:26)
13. Holly Golightly - Christmas Tree's On Fire (2:54)
14. Deerhoof - xmas tree (2:30)
15. Palace Songs (Will Oldham) - Christmastime in the Mountains (1:30)
16. Woody Guthrie - Hanukkah Dance [Alternate Take] (1:24)
I know it's too early for this, but inspiration hit, so I went with it. Download, support the artists, enjoy, and happy holidays (Thanksgiving or whatever).