Archive for the ‘The Black Swans’ tag

Centro-matic’s Will Johnson, The Black Swans, Water Liars, Wooden Wand Featured on Jason Molina Tribute with Memorial Electric Co, Bottomless Pit, My Morning Jacket, etc., Streaming on NPR  

Posted at 7:20 am

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NPR First Listen is streaming “Farewell Transmission: The Music of Jason Molina”. The album is a compilation of covers, featuring Centro-matic’s Will Johnson, The Black Swans, Water Liars, and Wooden Wand. Also included on the compilation are Memorial Electric Co., Bottomless Pit, My Morning Jacket, Catherine Irwin, and much more.

Here is the description via NPR:

“Jason Molina never sang to — or for — the many. The singer-songwriter, who died last year at 39, gave voice to despair and solitude, and to a lonely pursuit of the comfort and strength necessary to face each day. Whether he performed as Songs: Ohia, Magnolia Electric Co or Jason Molina, his big, yearning voice encountered only a small but intense cult following that heard in him a crucial combination of fatalism and fighting spirit.

Like many whose fan bases run narrow but deep, Molina was widely beloved by musicians; anyone who’s ever tried to channel the blues would know how pure his were. Within the last year, Molina has already inspired two double-length tribute albums, each intended to help his family and spread word of his work. Both, while naturally uneven in execution, nicely convey the sturdiness of Molina’s songcraft — not to mention his considerable gift for quotable melancholy.

Farewell Transmission: The Music of Jason Molina is the newer of the two collections — the other is last year’s Weary Engine Blues — with proceeds split between the singer’s family and a charity called MusiCares, which battles Molina’s twin demons of alcoholism and depression. In 27 songs and just less than two hours, it provides a fine overview of the singer’s best-known work, highlighted by My Morning Jacket’s suitably epic take on the title track.

Given the reverence in which Molina’s work is held, it’s no surprise that Farewell Transmission rarely strays far from the singer’s original intentions, though it’s intriguing to hear Squares recast the almost impossibly desolate “Get Out Get Out Get Out” as a bold rock song. Molina’s former bandmates even come together as Memorial Electric Company to perform a new track, “Arm in Arm,” as well as to tackle the unrecorded Molina song “Trouble in Mind (Fade to Blue).” Between the incredible source material and a fine assortment of contributors — including Sarah Jaffe, Murder by Death, Catherine Irwin, Wooden Wand and another past Molina collaborator, Will Johnson of Centro-Matic — Farewell Transmission marks a fine way to both celebrate a great career and mourn a man for whom mournfulness was stitched into the fabric of his art.”

Occasion for Song: Five Years Since the Passing of The Black Swans’ Noel Sayre  

Posted at 10:29 am

Yesterday marked the five-year anniversary of Noel Sayre’s passing. A luminary in the Ohio underground, Noel played violin for our beloved Black Swans. He also performed with the West Virginia and Portsmouth Symphony orchestras and worked as a guitar and violin teacher. Sayre was in a swimming accident on July 1, 2008. After going on life support, he passed away on July 3, 2008.

Sayre’s old friend and bandmate Jerry DeCicca (Black Swans front-man) wrote an entire album about the event. Please read the album’s bio below and listen to “Portsmouth, Ohio” [here]. The haunting song “chronicles the day Noel Sayre died in a swimming pool accident, with a journalistic eye and no sentimentality, taking the listener from the diving board to the I.C.U. to chicken salad sandwiches on the 4th of July. The swimming pool is featured on the album’s cover.” American Songwriter placed The Black Swans’ “Portsmouth, Ohio” at #11 on their Top 50 Songs of 2012 list.

The Black Swans Occasion for Song (MSR064)

The Black Swans’ Occasion for Song, their 5th full-length, is a messy long-haul of emotions dealing with the death of founding member and violinist Noel Sayre, and the aftermath of memory, shock, and loss it created. It recalls lessons learned in 9th grade Health class — DABDA (Denial, Anger, Bargaining, Depression, Acceptance). Without a textbook, however, The Black Swans are not so orderly. The guitars and banjo and vocals and drums and bass sound out dark thoughts, sad thoughts, silly thoughts, angry thoughts, and buckets of depression almost all at once. This is an album about loss, death, and trying to get to the acceptance at the end of grief.

The record begins with “Basket of Light” where DeCicca sings “I took a trip where the sun never sits/ but I’ve come back for a few more moments of joy”. It may be the album’s most hopeful personal moment.

The third track, “Portsmouth, Ohio,” chronicles the day Noel Sayre died in a swimming pool accident, with a journalistic eye and no sentimentality, taking the listener from the diving board to the I.C.U. to chicken salad sandwiches on the 4th of July. The swimming pool is featured on the album’s cover.

“Daily Affirmation” and “Fickle and Faded,” the album’s most light-hearted songs, feature the dry humor and playfulness in words and notes the Black Swans are known for whereas “Mask from Memory” may be oddest track the band has ever recorded. It imagines the singer creating a paper mache mask of his deceased friend to see the world through his eyes.

In the coda of the album’s closer, “Bad Day,” DeCicca sings, “Sometimes the occasion for song/ Is filled with reasons that are all wrong/ Don’t sing along” like he can barely get out of bed. But the harmonica, where the violin belongs, sounds as hopeful as it does forlorn.

Occasion for Song was recorded straight to analog in August 2010 in Columbus, Ohio at the famed Mus-i-col Recording Studio (see Numero Group’s Capsoul and Prix label reissues) by Adam Smith (CDR label head, Times New Viking engineer) and mixed at Tangerine Studios by Ben Vehorn (Modest Mouse, Love as Laughter).

The Black Swans’ last record, Don’t Blame the Stars, released in May 2011 on Misra Records, Pitchfork called “gorgeous sounding” and Paste beamed “singular and strong”.

Those compliments are even truer here. Occasion for Song is the sound of a band coming to terms with its grief and the junk it brings. Gorgeous, raw, strange, and sincere.

Track list:

1. Basket of Light
2. Bound to Be
3. Portsmouth, Ohio
4. Somewhere Else
5. Daily Affirmation
6. JD’s Blues
7. Where Are You Tonight?
8. Mask from Memory
9. Work Song
10. Shake Me Up
11. Fickle and Faded
12. Bad Dream

Players:

Jerry DeCicca: vocals, harmonica, guitar
Tyler “Turkeyfoot” Evans: banjo
Canaan Faulkner: bass, piano
Chris Forbes: electric guitar, nylon string guitar, tenor guitar
Keith Hanlon: drums, percussion
Jon Beard: B3 organ

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SHOWS • Centro-matic, Jerry David DeCicca (Black Swans), Monahans, Phosphorescent, Will Johnson, Adam Remnant (Southeast Engine), Emily Rodgers, Shearwater  

Posted at 4:08 pm

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Lot of Misra shows on the horizon. Offerings from Centro-matic, Jerry David DeCicca (Black Swans), Monahans, Phosphorescent, Will Johnson, Adam Remnant (Southeast Engine), Emily Rodgers, and Shearwater. Dig the atmospheres via the Misra Tour page.

THE BLACK SWANS • Deluxe 2x LP Record Store Day Pressing of “Occasion for Song”  

Posted at 2:17 am

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Congratulations to The Black Swans on their  2x LP, 180 gram, double gatefold Occasion for Song Record Store Day release. We should have mentioned this on RSD, however, it’s been a wildly hectic time here in Dayton as we attempt to rally behind one of the city’s at-risk historic structures.

Anyway, it’s so exciting to see O4S on vinyl! Above is a picture of the release. There *may* still be one left at your local record store. Only 500 were pressed, so you better act fast.

Written by leo on April 25th, 2013

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The Black Swans’ Jerry DeCicca Prepping Record as “Jerry David DeCicca”  

Posted at 12:01 pm

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Jerry DeCicca, the phenomenal songwriter behind The Black Swans, is prepping a new record under the name “Jerry David DeCicca.” The album will feature Spooner Oldham, Will Oldham, Kelley Deal and more.

The Black Swans “Occasion for Song” – Deluxe, Double Gatefold, 180 Gram, 2x LP Record Store Day 2013 Release  

Posted at 11:03 am

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That’s right, a deluxe, double gatefold, 180 gram, 2x LP pressing of The Black Swans’ fantastic Occasion for Song (Misra; 2012) will be available on Record Store Day 2013 (April 20). This phenomenal package is limited to 500 copies and will be available at *record stores only.* Get on it and make sure to support your local record store!

Also, do make sure to check out the brand new Pitchfork feature on Mus-I-col – the legendary Columbus recording studio where The Black Swans recorded Occasion for Song. Black Swans’ frontman Jerry DeCicca is interviewed for the piece and “Portsmouth, Ohio” off Occasion for Song is highlighted. It’s a wonderful and important read!

Written by leo on February 21st, 2013

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Pitchfork Praises Ohio’s Mus-I-col Studio, Plugs The Black Swans & Features Ohio Friends  

Posted at 11:35 am

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Ohio’s own Joel Oliphint recently wrote a phenomenal Pitchfork feature on Columbus’ famed Mus-I-col Recording Studio. Mus-I-col (est. 1964) is where our beloved Black Swans recorded their most recent album Occasion for Song. In doing so, the band joined a long line of greats who have recorded at the legendary studio. The article features a Black Swans song, quotes from Black Swans frontman Jerry DeCicca, as well as quotes from Ohio friends Bela Koe-Krompecher (Anyway Records), Adam Elliott (Times New Viking), and much more. Writer Joel Oliphint was also the longtime editor of Donewaiting – Ohio’s main independent music blog. GOhio!

Happy MLK Day!  

Posted at 4:25 pm

Happy Martin Luther King Jr. Day to all! Above is the “I Have A Dream” speech in full. Not to proselytize, but watching this is infinitely more important than some TV show or sporting event or this week’s new music release or whatever.

Also, below is a picture of Misra artists R. Ring and The Black Swans at MLK’s house. It was taken on a tour they took together in 2012.

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Written by leo on January 21st, 2013

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Uprooted Music Revue / No Depression Hail Black Swans & Water Liars as Best of 2012  

Posted at 2:31 pm

Uprooted Music Revue / No Depression have featured The Black Swans’ Occasion for Song and Water Liars’ Phantom Limb in a list titled “Favorite Audio Releases of 2012.” Thanks so much to the wonderful Chris Mateer for his continued support. Make sure to follow Uprooted Music Revue into 2013 and like them on Facebook and TwitterGet both records for 20% off during Misra’s Holiday Sale!

Last Days of Misra Holiday Sale!  

Posted at 9:15 am

Misra’s Holiday Sale will be wrapping up by year’s end. In celebration of a phenomenal 2012, everything is 20% off over at the Misra store.

Misra 2012:

  • February 14: Shearwater’s Winged Life is issued on LP for the first time. The record features songs by SW frontman Jonathan Meiburg and Okkervil River’s Will Sheff. Shearwater then embarks on tours with St. Vincent, Dinosaur Jr. and more.
  • February 14: Bears’ Greater Lakes is released. Grandma helped distribute the release and it’s praised by NPR Song of the Day, AP, Cleveland Scene, and many more.
  • February 28: Water Liars’ debut Phantom Limb is met with great praise from A.V. Club, Daytrotter, No Depression, VICE, NPR Song of the Day, and more.
  • March 15: Misra heads to SXSW 2012 with a showcase featuring R. Ring (The Breeders’ Kelley Deal & Ampline’s Mike Montgomery), Palomar, The Black Swans, Southeast Engine, Seryn, and Water Liars. The event is a wonderful success.
  • July 31: The Black Swans’ Occasion for Song is released. It is met with phenomenal praise viaPitchfork, MOJO, Paste, MAGNET, AllMusic, Dusted, and many more. The band heads on tour with WHY? soon after.
  • July 31: Southeast Engine’s Canaanville EP is released. Canaanville is a 4-song appendix EP to the band’s widely-hailed Canary album. For a baby release, it is met with great praise fromDaytrotter, PopMatters, A.V. Club, and more. The band heads to Pickathon soon after.
  • October 31: R. Ring – a new band comprised of The Breeders’ Kelley Deal & Ampline’s Mike Montgomery – release their debut “Fallout & Fire” b/w “SEE” 7″ on Misra. It is met with wild attention from Pitchfork, SPIN, Stereogum, VICE, and many more.
  • November 13: Holopaw’s “Golden Sparklers” b/w “Yearling’s Darlings” is released. The 7″ single is the predecessor to Paw’s absolutely breathtaking Academy Songs, Volume I (out January 15, 2013). Pitchfork debuts the A-Side and Under the Radar debuts the B-Side.

Written by leo on December 20th, 2012

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