| currently listening to: Bones, DeYarmond Edison, Silent Signs, 2002 | LINK
while most of us were sitting comfortably in our various living spaces last night, somewhere down in austin, texas at the SXSW music convention, one of the best bands of the last 15 years was reuniting. and to be completely honest, these guys never really broke up. they may have stopped touring as DeYarmond Edison back in 2005 but really, they’ve stayed close friends ever since and have even shared in each other’s success.
Now let’s start at the beginning. I moved from Raleigh, NC to Chicago, IL in the dead of winter at the end of 2004. Within two weeks of moving to the midwest, I was up and running at a new gig designing pen packaging at uni-ball. Within a few months, four dudes from Eau Claire, WI moved into Raleigh, NC to set up shop as indie heroes. We essentially swapped living arrangements. I feel like a Karma high five happened somewhere in Kentucky as we crossed paths. It would not be the last time.
That band was DeYarmond Edison and before the end of their second year in Raleigh, they broke up. Justin moved back to Eau Claire and recorded his seminal work as Bon Iver. and the rest of the guys ventured on as Megafaun. It was a beautiful yet heart wrenching dissolve of a band that had so much promise, an incredible stage show, an amazing catalog of tunes, and enough touring gear to make a symphony wince.
But before they broke up, they put on one great tour that just happened to have a stop in Chicago at the artist space I was running with a good friend out in Cicero, IL called The Fort. What an amazing show. Emotional Joystick and Collections of Colonies of Bees opened and brought the crowd of 50 people to their knees before DeYarmond took the “stage” (the spot under the string lights…). Old Styles’s were toasted, songs were sung, and friendships were solidified. Todd the mannequin was introduced and held aloft (he was subsequently dropped on Wincek mid keyboard jam from a height of no less than 7 feet). It was a magical time and a magical place. People peed off the side of the building as cans were thrown through the gaping hole in the roof, and some group of kids drove all the way from Eau Claire to see four dudes sing their songs. I’ll never forget it.
So when I see that DeYarmond got back together last night, I raised a glass and toasted their success (BTW, Video can be found here: DeYarmond at SXSW). There couldn’t be a nicer group of guys on the planet and I hope they stick around and make more music for us to enjoy. The photos are from a photo booth I had set up in the corner of our space during the dhow at The Fort. This is a snapshot of one of the best live music nights of my life that peeked with a hardcore/screamo rendition of Clapton’s ‘Tears in Heaven’. I wish i had video of that… Enjoy.
Also, I used to design rock posters… so I threw in four of my DeYarmond Edison posters for posterity.
while The Hold Steady carry the ‘The Wild, The Innocent & The E Street Shuffle,’ Bruce Springsteen torch, DeYarmond Edison occupy the music lexicon as ‘Nebraska’ era flag wavers. Tight knit harmonies, beautiful acoustic melodies, and Justin Vernon’s honest, needy, and strained voice bring the songs home. Their music is as comfortable as The Band with lyrics as honest as Springsteen, and all within a genre as americana and folk as a banjo. Find their music. Listen to it. You’ll be happy you did.
suggested/related listening: Bon Iver, Megafaun, Collections of Colonies of Bees, Gayngs, The Rosebuds, The Bowerbirds, Volcano Choir.
| currently listening to: Move On Up, Curtis Mayfield, Curtis, 1970 | LINK
lugging around a 10 pound camera can really add some wear and tear to your joints. i have no idea how the founding fathers of modern photography pushed and pulled their gear up steep mountains and though raging rivers. i just know that every now and again, i bust out the old standard sinar 4×5 and the tripod that i bought to hold it. it’s a great camera and with a little bit of patience and love, comes great photographs from it. here are some test shots i took with a polaroid back attached to it. even without the bonus of taut film, the polaroids come in nice and crisp when scanned. i love the chemical stains and the untrimmed edges. and nothing beats a nice clean large negative. nothing.
if this camera were a little lighter and film and processing costs were a little cheaper, this camera would get used every day.
there is nothing better in the world than curtis mayfield. one of the great guitarists of all time. unbeknownst to many, curtis honed the modern sound of funk guitar. he was a legend on many fronts. i love his music.
| currently listening to: In Particular, Blonde Redhead, Melody Of Certain Damaged Lemons, 2000 | LINK
i’m not sure if i can keep up this torrid pace of posting but i’ve got the fire. so why not? for a while, my friend james and i ran an art studio space in cicero, illinois that we aptly dubbed, The Fort. we held concerts there, had a skateboarding halfpipe, and it was a place where we kept all of our musical instruments so at 4:30 pm on the dot, we could grab our drum sticks, turn the amps on, and make some noise. todd is a mannequin. when we started the fort, todd had two eyes and no holes in his head. by the time we closed the door on the fort, todd was missing the back half of his plastic skull and both eyes were missing from inside his face. todd never had legs or arms. but he does have an 8 pack. my old roommate placed the tape over todd’s nipples. this is todd.
blonde redhead have been around a while now. this record is almost ten years old and it really stands the test of time. i think it is the pinnacle of their music career with some of the best early “ought’s” indie rock from NYC. don’t get me wrong, other blonde redhead records are quite good in their own right but this one is my favorite. syncopated and pretty with a touch of otherworldly. the voices on this record are so flipping pretty and when they are paired with precise guitar lines and back beats, they become a floating vocal layer that peels and covers the music with ever turn. perfect.