Greta Morgan of Gold Motel is back as a Springtime Carnivore

It was a scorchingly hot– but not atypically so– early August evening at Codfish Hollow Barn in 2010 when I was turned on to Gold Motel.

The barn has a tendency of stockpiling the day’s heat and the best thing you can do is get outside occasionally and look for shade or maybe a breeze. Fronted by the blond siren Greta Morgan, Gold Motel was the perfect execution of retro 60’s girl-band-meets-Debbie Harry jangly pop and by the time they hit the stage any plans I had to get outside for a respite were quickly dashed. I was quickly minted as a fan and within a few months their debut album Summer House came out on vinyl. In 2012, they followed up with their equally-wonderful self-titled album and then that was it from the band and Morgan.

Starting in 2013 Morgan started releasing songs and videos under the cryptic solo moniker Springtime Carnivore. The songs still have the beautiful soaring melodies that we came to expect from her, but the sonics are more wall-of-sound– big roomy reverb washes over everything and the spit-and-polish from Gold Motel has been replaced with the fuzziness and compression of what sounds like tape distortion. The sunny melodies songs seem to also belie a subtle darkness. Maybe that is what a Springtime Carnivore is– something that dares rip its canines into flesh during a time of seasonal renewal and birth.

This new spin on her sound seems to have been influenced by working with producer Richard Swift (also of The Shins, and currently touring bass player for The Black Keys).

Springtime Carnivore Cover Art

Cover Art for Springtime Carnivore

Springtime Carnivore was picked up by Autumn Tone— the label run by the folks at Aquarium Drunkard and will be releasing the debut LP on November 4th. The first single is “Name on a Matchbook” and along with “Sun Went Black”  you have a good sampling o the sound.

“Sun Went Black” reminds me of The Cure (like “Close to Me”).

The leadoff track on the album “Collectors” (if you don’t include the opening short instrumental “Western Pink”) was a 7″ single last year with “Two Scars” on the flipside.

Also included on the album are “Creature Feature” and “Two Scars” which where previously released as videos. They are both directed by Eddie O’Keefe whose soundtrack to his 2011 film “The Ghosts” had a song from Greta Morgan on it.

Springtime Carnivore – Creature Feature from Eddie O’KEEFE on Vimeo.

Springtime Carnivore – Two Scars from Rookie on Vimeo.

Springtime Carnivore will be kicking off a North American tour in support of Fr. John Misty and Jenny Lewis Here are the dates:


May 30 Do Division Street Fest Chicago, IL
May 31 Pabst Theater w. FATHER JOHN MISTY, Milwaukee, WI
Jun 01 Rozz Tox, Rock Island, IL
Aug 01 Town Ballroom w/ FATHER JOHN MISTY, Buffalo, NY
Aug 14 Wild Buffalo w/ JENNY LEWIS, Bellingham, WA
Aug 16 Crystal Ballroom w/ JENNY LEWIS, Portland, OR
Aug 19 Club Red w/ JENNY LEWIS, Bend, OR
Aug 20 Belly Up w/ JENNY LEWIS, Aspen, CO
Aug 21 Fox Theatre w/ JENNY LEWIS, Boulder, CO

You can order the CD or vinyl version through Amazon:

Upcoming Show: Roadside Graves at Mooney Hollow Barn 8/25/09

In what would seem to be an intersection of coincidences, a band out of New Jersey gaining a lot of indie-lovin’ blog praise will be playing a barn ballroom outside of my childhood home of Bellevue, IA.

Roadside Graves is a seven-piece band serving up a hearty stew of folk and rock with a heapin’ helpin’ of rootsy country with a pinch of Celtic reel to taste. Listening to their new album My Son’s Home on Autumn Tone, I’m impressed how this band packs all of these flavors in. But, as with any good stew, the longer it sits, the flavors mingle for every spoonful (hmm… it must be time to eat). Music blogs reach to define this band and include references like Bob Dylan’s Rolling Thunder Revue, Springsteen, John Prine, Son Volt– and certainly all of those influences are heard.

Mooney Hollow Barn is a music institution in Jackson County, IA. Built in the 1930’s, it was a farm until 1977 when it was converted into a place to have monthly barn dances. In the 1980’s Mooney Hollow Barn played host to many Nashville legends including Roy Acuff, Ernest Tubb, Faron Young, Porter Wagoner, Kitty Wells, and Bill Anderson. Bill Anderson will be back to the Mooney Hollow stage 27 years after his first appearance on 9/19.  In 2006 Kevin Petesch bought the barn reopened it after being closed for five years.

Last week the inaugural Barnstormer tour stopped in Mooney Hollow bringing with it a line up of some of Daytrotter’s favorite acts. It was this appearance that brought Mooney Hollow to the attention of Roadside Graves who were looking for an overnight stop on their tour between their Milwaukee and Chicago appearances (and I bet a Daytrotter session in Rock Island just south!).

Somehow the idea of this newer band standing on the Mooney Hollow stage playing their unique blend of country, rock and folk in the same place the old guard of Nashville greats is comforting. “Will the circle be unbroken,” indeed!

It would be worth the trip to see this amazing barn, and possibly check out the sights in this great little Mississippi River town.

Click Here to listen to “Far and Wide” by Roadside Graves from My Son’s Home

Click Here to listen to “Ruby” by Roadside Graves from My Son’s Home

Click Here to visit Roadside Graves’ website

Click Here to visit Roadside Graves’ MySpace page

Click Here to visit Roadside Graves on Facebook

Click Here to read a review at one of my favorite blogs Aquarium Drunkard

Click Here for the Mooney Hollow Barn website

Upcoming Shows for Roadside Graves (lifted from their MySpace page)

Aug 3 2009 9:00P
Martin’s Jackson, Mississippi
Aug 4 2009 9:00P
Thirsty Hippo Hattiesburg, Mississippi
Aug 5 2009 9:00P
Chelsea’s Baton Rouge, Louisiana
Aug 6 2009 10:00P
Blue Nile w/ The Revivalists and The Blue Party New Orleans, Louisiana
Aug 7 2009 9:00P
Rikki Bailey’s Tattoo Shop Longview, Texas
Aug 8 2009 9:00P
Lambert’s Austin, Texas
Aug 10 2009 9:00P
Hotel Monte Vista Flagstaff, Arizona
Aug 11 2009 9:00P
Soda Bar San Diego, California
Aug 12 2009 9:00P
Knitting Factory w/ Parson Red Heads Los Angeles, California
Aug 13 2009 8:00P
The Prospector w/ Parson Red Heads, Rademacher, and Francisco the Man Long Beach, California
Aug 14 2009 8:00P
Echoplex- acoustic set @ RocknRoll Summer Circus w/ Henry Clay People, Fol Chen and many more Los Angeles, California
Aug 15 2009 9:00P
Spaceland w/ Le Switch and World Record Los Angeles, California
Aug 16 2009 8:00P
Hotel Utah San Francisco, California
Aug 17 2009 7:00P
Backyard House show! Reno, Nevada
Aug 20 2009 8:00P
Bourbon Theater Lincoln, Nebraska
Aug 21 2009 8:00P
Mike’s Tavern w/ The Blue Party Kansas City, Missouri
Aug 22 2009 8:00P
Memorial Union Terrace with Rural Alberta Advantage Madison, Wisconsin
Aug 23 2009 8:00P
LEMP St Louis, Missouri
Aug 24 2009 9:00P
Club Garibaldi’s w/ Chris DeMay Milwaukee, Wisconsin
Aug 25 2009 8:00P
Mooney Hollow Barn Green Island, Iowa
Aug 26 2009 9:00P
The Bottom Lounge Chicago, Illinois
Aug 27 2009 8:00P
Vollrath Tavern w/ Gringo Star and The Broderick Indianapolis, Indiana
Aug 28 2009 8:00P
The Vernors Room at Crofoot Pontiac, Michigan
Aug 29 2009 10:00P
The Court Tavern New Brunswick, New Jersey
Sep 12 2009 12:00P
Monolith Festival @ Red Rocks w/ Yeah Yeah Yeahs, M Ward, and many many more! Morrison, Colorado
Sep 19 2009 1:00P
Let it Roll Music Festival Ghent, New York
Oct 9 2009 10:00P
Court Tavern w/ Parson Red Heads New Brunswick, New Jersey
Oct 10 2009 8:00P
Lit Lounge, with Parson Red Heads New York City, New York
Oct 11 2009 8:00P
The Raconteur, with Parson Red Heads Metuchen, New Jersey
Oct 16 2009 9:00P
M Room w/ Cotton Jones, Parson Red Heads, & Blood Feathers Philadelphia, Pennsylvania