Expressions Trace A Template of Loss in Kalispell’s Printer’s Son

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Kalispell on the turntable, as The Multiple Cat looks on.

Kalispell is the side-project from Shane Leonard who, among other projects, is part of Field Report. He just released his second album under the Kalispell band name on Davenport, IA label Cartouche Records — home of recent releases by The Multiple Cat, Land of Blood and Sunshine, Brooks Strause, J.E. Sunde, and Daytrotter.com illustrator Johnnie Cluney’s band Bedroom Shrine. Fantastic releases all, and you should check them out, and be on the lookout from releases by Devin Frank (of Poison Control Center) and Chrash in July.

Printer’s Son is one of those rare records that is so completely imagined and executed that when you first listen to it, it seems to drop unexpectedly out of the ether. It’s a record that defies any convenient genre classification. Elements of ambience and folk and jazz come together to help deliver a grippingly emotional and personal album. The album reminds me another album that slips from the grasp of genre: David Sylvian’s 1987 landmark solo record Secrets of the Beehive. For his second release Sylvian took another step away from the New Wave-ish synthpop of his band Japan. He enlisted some Jazz artists including Ryuki Sakamoto and Mark Isham which gave that album a delicate ambience. Printer’s Son carries a similar jazz folk vibe. Additionally, the dry production of Leonard’s vocals suit the intimacy of the album.

Printer’s Son owes some of its woody atmospherics to the fact that it was partially recorded at Justin Vernon’s April Base Studios and was engineered and co-produced by Brian Joseph, who was on the boards for Bon Iver’s 2012 Grammy-winning album. Bon Iver is another album that similarly made beautiful soundscapes out of impressionistic personal stories and accounts. Leonard takes recent painful events and uses them as the basis for Printer’s Son. He talks about this on The Current show Radio Heartland:

I had this wildly unforseen year of just this radical change. I thought I had my path pretty set– music was going well and I was living in Chicago. All within this year, my dad was diagnosed with cancer, and his passing forced me– ultimately I think in a really important and helpful way even though very difficult– to reconsider a lot of assumptions I had. And, right after he passed our family dog died and then my dad’s father also passed. It was all at the same time and I was moving and also moving away from a relationship that I had been in a long time. So, it was like the world got turned over and then I just started thinking differently as a symptom of that.

Some albums have stories that we can identify with.  On Printer’s Son, I feel the sentiments, the memories, the connections. Leonard tells his stories and like a good book or film, they become part of the listener’s own fabric. I can picture that canyon climb with the banded walls in “Windfall.” I feel the ghost itch from the overgrowth scratching skin on the fading road in “Parting Ground.”

David Sylvian’s Secrets of the Beehive has become part of my permanent soundtrack. I feel that Kalispell’s timeless tapestry of folk and jazz in Printer’s Son is destined to be another album that I will hold onto.

Listen to Printer’s Son below and be sure to order yourself a copy from Cartouche.

Upcoming Shows: Fitz and the Tantrums Hit the Midwest!

 

In addition to having a pretty cute band name, Fitz and the Tantrums seem to have really taken the scene by storm in their relatively short existence. The story goes that frontman Michael “Fitz” Fitzpatrick rescued a vintage keyboard from someone who needed to leave town quickly. The keyboard was the inspriation that Fitz needed to start writing the keyboard-fueled R&B that is the signature of Fitz and the Tantrums. A chance hearing by Maroon 5 frontman Adam Levine gained them a gig opening for his band on tour. Another opportunity performing on Daryl Hall’s “Live From Daryl’s House” online video series, a spot on Carson Daily and some choice placement of songs on a couple of TV shows and you have a formula for a band that is enjoying a meteoric rise. Having a shit-hot single and stylish video in “Moneygrabber” doesn’t hurt any either!

As luck would have it, the L.A. band is going to be visiting the tundra-like Midwest at the beginning of February with some Play B-Sides connections in the mix.

On Saturday, February 5th Fitz and Co. will be headlining a gig in Chicago at The Metro with JC Brooks and the Uptown Sound and Play B-Sides extended family The Right Now! That is a powerhouse lineup of Soul and R&B and my pick for a not-to-be-missed show on the Windy City’s calendar. This is a rare show for a while for The Right Now as they are holed up in their secret hideaway writing songs for their sophomore release. The few songs they’ve already trotted out on tour last year show promise for a suitable follow-up to Carry Me Home— a Play B-Sides Top 20 of 2010.

On the following Monday they will make the trip to Iowa, and play a gig at the Redstone Room with opening act Bermuda Report which features the vocals of former Diplomette Abby Sawyer. Bermuda Report snagged a spot in my Top 10 releases I’m looking forward to in 2011 with their upcoming full-length due this year.

If that wasn’t enough, they are going to do an all-ages show in Iowa City on Tuesday, 2/3 at The Blue Moose Tap House for a measley $3! WTF? FTW!

So, with all of these opportunities to see Fitz and the Tantrums, get out to see them! Then you can say you “saw them when!”

Here is the video for the fantastic “Moneygrabber”

Check out their whole album with this player:

Fitz and the Tantrums Tour Dates (from Dangerbird Records)
Tuesday January 18, 2011 – Philadelphia, PA @ World Cafe Live
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Wednesday January 19, 2011 – New York, NY @ Bowery Ballroom
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Thursday January 20, 2011 – Allston, MA @ Brighton Music Hall
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Friday January 21, 2011 – Clifton Park, NY @ Northern Lights
w/ Michael Franti & Spearhead

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Saturday January 22, 2011 – Northampton, MA @ Iron Horse Music Hall
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Monday January 24, 2011 – Portland, ME @ Port City Music Hall
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Tuesday January 25, 2011 – Montreal, QC @ Petit Campus
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Wednesday January 26, 2011 – Toronto, ON @ Mod Club
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Friday January 28, 2011 – Cleveland, OH @ Grog Shop
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Saturday January 29, 2011 – Milwaukee, WI @ Turner Hall Ballroom
Pablove Foundation benefit show w/ Silversun Pickups (acoustic performance), Maritime, and more
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Sunday January 30, 2011 – Madison, WI @ High Noon Saloon
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Monday January 31, 2011 – Columbus, OH @ The Basement
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Thursday February 3, 2011 – Pittsburgh, PA @ Club Cafe
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Saturday February 5, 2011 – Chicago, IL @ Metro
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Monday February 7, 2011 – Davenport, IA @ Redstone Room
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Tuesday February 8, 2011 – Iowa City, IA @ Blue Moose Tap House
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Thursday February 10, 2011 – Minneapolis, MN @ Bunkers
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Sunday February 13, 2011 – Nashville, TN @ 3rd & Lindsley
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Daytrotter Barnstormer Tour 2009 Rolls Through Iowa and Wisconsin


Daytrotter.com— the purveyor of freely-downloadable mp3’s of sessions recorded by a wide-range of artists and bands– have decided that they want to take a handful of their favorite acts on a mini-tour through some Iowa towns with a stop in Madison (just because they love that place!). These shows are FREE and ALL AGES. All the bands are hoping for are some new fans, and possibly sell some merch.

It is a move which gets its tradition from the “Caravan of Stars”-type tours that happened during the 50’s and 60’s where bands would roll through a bunch of cities stopping of at ballrooms across the midwest– back when places like Melody Mill in Sageville, IA outside Dubuque would get bands like Johnny Cash, The Ventures, and the Everly Brothers. If the bands didn’t tour like that, these little towns and cities wouldn’t have been able to get this kind of entertainment.

Daytrotter reached out a couple of months ago looking for barns they could play in– I made a couple of suggestions, and one of the stops will be just outside my hometown of Bellevue, IA at Mooney Hollow Barn!

While exchanging e-mails with Sean from Daytrotter, he said that some of the impetus of this tour is to let people in Iowa know about Daytrotter. Certainly when I’m talking to folks I know about this they have no idea what Daytrotter is– even though the work that they do is world-reknowned and has been accurately  suggested to be the successor to the BBC Peel Sessions!

I’ve said on more than one occasion that we Iowans should be proud of Daytrotter and its “little studio and website that could” success!

Hopefully, this will be successful enough that this becomes a yearly event!

The lineup of bands is pretty interesting and varies slightly for each of the five stops. However, San Diego band Local Natives will be performing at all of the shows. From this lineup, I was familiar only with Someone Still Loves You Boris Yeltsin and Paleo. Someone Still Loves You is a great indie pop band from Springfield, Mo that has done two Daytrotter sessions already (which is how I found out about them initially) and Paleo is known as the “song a day for a year” guy. So, it will be interesting to hear those acts in a live setting.  Snowblink is a pretty dreamy type of music driven by the breathy vocals of Daniela Gesundheit.Snowblink has been compared to Cat Power, and I hear that. Catfish Haven is a surprising R&B powerhouse from the Windy City that reminds me of Mad Dogs and Englishmen-period Joe Cocker, frankly. I can’t wait to see them in a live setting! DAYUM! They’re going to be at the Bellevue stop, which is super-duper! Mac Lethal is an MC from Kansas City, MO. He has a great flow that reminds me a lot of Chief Xcel or Chali 2na.

So, a pretty wide swath of indie goodness represented. I’m going to hit the Bellevue stop and shoot some pix and provide some coverage. If you have the ability and are in the region, stop out to one of these shows!

SCHEDULE:

July 25
11 am — Davenport, Iowa: Morning performance at the Bix 7 road race course at the turnaround: 110 McClellan Blvd. (Performing — Local Natives)
Local Natives Daytrotter Session

6 pm — Maquoketa, Iowa: BARN Show #1: Biehl Farm, 3437 288th Ave. (Performing — Local Natives, Catfish Haven, Caleb Engstrom)
Local Natives Daytrotter Session
Catfish Haven Daytrotter Session
Caleb Engstrom Daytrotter Session

July 26
6 pm — Bellevue, Iowa: BARN Show #2: Mooney Hollow Barn, 12471 Highway 52, Green Island, Iowa (Performing — Local Natives, Snowblink, Paleo, Catfish Haven, Stranger Waves)
Local Natives Daytrotter Session
Snowblink Daytrotter Session
Paleo Daytrotter Session
Catfish Haven Encore Session

July 27
6 pm — Madison, Wisc.: Attic show #1: 212 S. Henry St., Madison, Wisc. (Performing — Local Natives, Catfish Haven, Snowblink, Someone Still Loves You Boris Yeltsin)
Local Natives Daytrotter Session
Catfish Haven Encore Session
Snowblink Daytrotter Session
Someone Still Loves You Boris Yeltsin Daytrotter Session

July 28
6 pm — Iowa City/West Liberty, Iowa: BARN SHOW #3 at the Secrest 1883 Octogonal Barn, 5750 Osage St., West Liberty, Iowa; (Performing — Local Natives, Someone Still Loves You Boris Yeltsin, Snowblink, Mac Lethal)
Local Natives Daytrotter Session
Someone Still Loves You Boris Yeltsin Daytrotter Session
Snowblink Daytrotter Session
Mac Lethal Daytrotter Session

July 29
6:30 pm — Coon Rapids, Iowa: BARN SHOW #4, Whiterock Conservancy , Riverhouse Barn, 1313 Fig Ave., Coon Rapids, Iowa (Performing — Local Natives, Snowblink and Mac Lethal)
Local Natives Daytrotter Session
Snowblink Daytrotter Session
Mac Lethal Daytrotter Session

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