My dog slipped on un-raked leaves while running up the stairs this morning. She let out a sharp welp then crawled under the bed. Now she has her head on the armchair she has taken to curling up on. Her days are spent like this and running circles around the yard in pursuit of distant squirrels, groundhogs, and dogs she can only smell. She also alerts us to when the upstairs neighbors are leaving the house. This bark sounds concerned, but dampened. Nothing more than the near-imperceptible expulsion of air. It's what I imagine the Big Bad Wolf doing when he threatens to "huff and puff...," and if so, the pigs never had anything to worry about. Sometimes, when playing with her dog friend Roy, she growls and shows her teeth in a last ditch effort to assert dominance, which is promptly thwarted by Roy's superior strength and speed along with the inevitability that this display happens after she has rolled onto her back, belly up. In these moments, she's like a seal: limbless, bloated, and shrieking. I swear though, I think she is having a lot of fun when she does this. Bliss in the face of total resignation.
I made it a week off of social media, and it was a great week though there were plenty of times I portended my impending irrelevance due to how much I was doubtlessly missing. Upon logging in again, I also felt like a bloated seal, soaking up the sun on a craggy shore, shrieking into the regenerative abyss.
Gonna give a purge another try this week. If you are struggling with your social media/technology use, I'd love to hear from you and talk about it. Shit's fricken hard!
May this single piece of cyber litter greet you on a day you check your phone a little less.
Dear Life Records
This past Friday, we celebrated the release of Oggetto's s/t record! The electroacoustic trio featuring Carmelo Pampillonio, Michael Flanagan, and Dear Life's own Frank Meadows share this monumental collaboration that has been years in the making. The artwork is by Brenna Murphy, who perfectly captured this music's rounded angularity. It's available for purchase on cassette, CD, and digitally if you click on the picture below. The video above is the trio's live set from our Without A Net Virtual Festival held back in April. We are so honored to be a part of this release.
Check out the newly made Dear Life Mixcloud page to hear a sampler highlighting music from across our thirteen official releases and five unofficial bootleg releases. Follow the page for future playlists and mixes by friends of the label. Dear Life Autumn 2020 Sampler
FRIENDS OF THE LABEL
- A few bits of label adjacent news: Thy friend Dan Wriggins (Friendship), along with Jon Samuels (JR) and myself were recorded playing Dan's new songs on my back porch for David Settle's fantastic 'Under the First Floor' podcast. The episode was released Thursday, and as if it comes as any surprise, Dan's new songs are extremely good. There is also a primo Utah Phillips cover in there as well. Check that out at this link HERE
- And on top of being one of Brooklyn's go-to improvisors/upright bassists, our own label darling Frank Meadows also plays keyboards in Bellows, the longtime indie project of Oliver Kalb. The band is playing a benefit live stream TONIGHT, all proceeds going to the employees of Baby's Alright, one of the great venues in Brooklyn. Tune in tonight at 8pm, via this link HERE
- Friend of the label Dana Murphy who books at Ottobar in Baltimore helped organize this massive comp to benefit the storied venue, with a vol. 2 being released next month. Snag the whole thing and help save the future of live music HERE
11/22 - 11/28
I know way more about music, so just music this week
John Kolodij - First Fire / At Dawn (2020) [Astral Editions]
When your band is comprised of Sarah Hennies on percussion and Anna Roberts-Gevalt on fiddle, you have my attention. A masterwork of the experimental folk drone genre. All-encompassing but also extremely focused.
Mary Elizabeth Remington (2020)[Cirrus Records]
As their clout continues to balloon, members of Big Thief step out of the spotlight to elevate the incredibly careful songwriting of Mary Elizabeth Remington. Ink will long be spilled over the all-encompassing nature of Adrianne Lenker's powers, but for niche's sake, I believe her prowess as a guitarist is her secret weapon, and this record finds her wielding this power in a supportive role with wild success. M.E.R. has an immediately captivating voice, and the whole record feels refreshingly casual and small.
Lisa/Liza - Shelter of a Song (2020)[Orindal Records]
To further stick my nose in the air and embrace my inner snoot, I'll say that Liza Victoria's Lisa/Liza project has been occupying the mythical spaces attributed to Adrienne Lenker her entire career. The Portland, Maine musician is relentless in her ability to create expansive worlds with nothing but the strength of her quiet, unhurried songwriting. I've rarely felt as devastated, or as empowered, as when I am listening to a new Lisa/Liza record.
Winston C.W. - Good Guess (2020) [Whatever's Clever & Ruination Record Co.]
My last two selections I haven't even heard in their entireties, but I am extremely excited for both. This first one is by Office Culture front person Winston Cook-Wilson. What he shares with us on 'Good Guess' is a confident solo debut, completely exposed by its instrumentation of just piano, upright bass, and electric guitar. An acolyte of jazz sentimentalism and Joni Mitchell's color and wit, Cook-Wilson is boldly inserting himself into a great tradition of thoughtful crooners.
Nicholas Krgovich & Friends - Pasadena Afternoon (2020)[Moone Records]
This record speaks for itself. Nick Krgovich is one of the best musicians we've got, covering songs by and collaborating with his no-less talented friends including Chris Cohen, Katie Davidson, Ruth Garbus and many more. If his record 'Philadelphia' earlier this year wasn't enough, 'Pasadena Afternoon' will surely help lay just a bit more cement, making concrete Krgovich's place in the canon of intelli-pop.