Monday, April 26, 2010

Judson Claiborne

Leaky pipes and rusty wheel spokes. Tied sneaks thrown over a phone line. Cracked robin's egg on the sidewalk and a husk of a moth's cocoon on the porch. That's Time and Temperature by Christopher C Salveter aka Judson Claiborne, a name given by his father he says to be reclaiming.
Interesting process - to be taking back an invisible thing that was given to you in the first place. Most of us would probably like to do the same since losing a number of things, mostly between the ages of 13 and 17. But that's a haiku for the time capsule buried in the backyard and ES ain't dealing with that esoteric mess.

You might recognize the frontman's ambly lament from Low Skies, who toured with the likes of Neko Case, Okkervil River, Band of Horses, et al. After gaining inspiration biking Southeast Asia, getting zenned in a spiritual haven off the Hudson and finally landing in Chicago - Judson collaborated with a few who mutually share wearied adoration for steely mist and fog.

Judson Claiborne // Song for Dreaming

Friday, April 23, 2010


These former drifters have carried their experimental psychedelic folk rock project, Nurses, around for far too long. After Idaho, California, Illinois, Mercury - they're putting a taproot down in PDX. Foot-weary and needing a little rest, I imagine they log-rolled in a verdant meadow or creek-stomped Willamette a bit before recording songs like this one for their last album, Apple's Acres. Because that sure as hell would've been my result if I rolled and stomped and could whistle. Which I cannot, and there's no need to be judgy about it.

Along with robin red-breast whistling, Aaron Campbell's astringet, ether vocal roughens up John Bowers and James Mitchell's pyschotropic circus. Juxtaposing wildly overgrown and crystalline layers of instrument and sound makes it all a tad off-kilter, maybe it sparks a little second-hand anxiety? ...maybe I need to have some of whatever their having?

Or maybe we just all need to get out on the playground. RECESS !

Nurses // Caterpillar Playground

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

the National


After a long, coastal hiatus - I returned to cubicle existence with a head full of inspiration. Tripping along boulders jutting out of the Pacific will do that to you. But a week of automaton immersion makes all that tidal beauty fade away - and all that inspired momentum with it.
Luckily, a dear friend sends a leaked copy of High Violet, the 5th album and Boxer followup from The National. The modular walls disappear and I'm back in the waves all over again. Music's f*cking great for that.

High Violet is an upswing but no, it can't be happy. That's just not their style. I spent a summer cross-legged on my backporch, smoking ciggs and purposefully listening to Boxer & Alligator for good reason. It's a contemplative low rumble from Matt Berninger. It's gothic and orchestral builds from the Dessner and Devendorf brothers - brass, woodwinds, strings, organs and enough guitar to flood the Sydney Opera House. There's cresting melodies and whydidn'tiwritethat lyrics like "live on coffee on flowers / try not to wonder what the weather will be."

And there isn't a skip-track in the bunch. Even if there was, cameos by Justin Vernon and Richard Reed Parry would keep your finger off the button. Guested by Sufjan Stevens, track 7 carries you on it's haunting winds and makes you pray to god you'll have the drugs to sort it out.

The National opens their spring&summer tour April 22 at, well, The National / RVA.
See you there.

The National // Afraid of Everyone