While it doesn't exactly feel like it outside, the welcoming of Spring has brought with it a handful of new projects this year. Exit Ghost just completed it's first East Coast tour this month. We all met some very beautiful people, played some great shows, dealt with stage power outages, and played van tetris with 7 people like it was our job. I couldn't be more happy with those involved on the tour, so a big thank you to Jenn, Tim, Curtis, Tien, Dorian, and Evan. We'll be playing a free show at our loft on May 17th, so if you missed this lineup on the road this is your chance. Here's a photo of all of us in Galesburg:
As I mentioned earlier, there are some new projects I've found myself involved with as of late. First is with partner in crime, Jenn Romero and her aquatic pop group The Jellies
. We recorded a few things at the Exit Ghost loft a couple months ago, and have been charming living rooms since. I'm also quite elated to be playing lap steel and guitar with Quinn Tsan
in the studio and on the road this year. Her music is haunting and beautiful in all the right ways, and I'd recommend it to anyone with a soul. There are a few shows coming up over the next couple months in Chicago and Minneapolis, and her debut EP will be out later this year, so make a date of it.
And finally, I'll be performing my first solo show in Chicago on May 19th at The Whistler as part of the Glad Cloud Ambient Series. I've been exploring the depths of live stereo sound in some new works which will be released very soon, and this show will premier a few of these. Needless to say I'm excited, albeit a bit anxious.
Tim Young (aka Passerines
), who has been effortlessly helpful in Exit Ghost's tour on bass, has released a couple songs from his new album. I really like them - maybe you will too:
Happy New Year all! It's a bitter -7 degrees outside right now so I've made a list, in no order at all, of music I've been enjoying and maybe you will too.
Anais Mitchell - Young Man In America
Cross Record - Be Good
Arcade Fire - Reflektor
Tim Hecker - An Imaginary Country
Brian Eno & David Byrne - My Life in the Bush of Ghosts
Tarbaby - Ballad of Sam Langford
Beck - Gimmie
Kathy Heideman - Move With Love
CAVE - Threace
Janelle Monae - Electric Lady
Spektral Quartet - Chambers
Scott Amendola Band - Believe
Atoms For Peace - Amok
Caveman - Caveman
Vampire Weekend - Modern Vampires of the City
Sharon Van Etten - Tramp
Kurt Vile - Wakin on a Pretty Daze
Marrow - Two
Matthew E. White - Outer Face
Daniel Rossen - Silent Hour/Golden Mile
After a swift moving summer, It's finally fall and I've donned a sweater and knit hat for the occasion. And since the weather has me in such a good mood, I figure I'll get this page a bit more updated with the objects and people that have surrounded me over the past five months.
Exit Ghost concluded a four-month residency at High Concept Laboratories at the end of August leaving us with an 11 track album titled Elston
. The album is a product of being incubated in a non-conventional setting to record an album, and how the walls and people worked together, and sometimes alone, to create something representative of a family more than an individual. The tracks bleed noise from the world around the microphones - the Chicago Fleet Management department was a stones throw away which meant the sound of garbage trucks, firetrucks, ambulances, and cranes could usually nestle their way into the background of any given track. This, however, was something that we loved, and it gave the album a more tangible feeling when listened to. I wrote a bit about the process in recording and producing on our own and the creative crossroads we faced in making the first single "Speaker" (you can stream this below) for Chicago Artist Resource - read about it here
We had the pleasure of taking in Jack Mayer and Jacob Hurwitz-Goodman for a week to document some of our world at HCL while simultaneously harnessing their own story along the way. Here's the first episode of this collaboration.
The design work is being finalized this month by the brilliant-minded duo at Sonnenzimmer
. I, personally, couldn't be more excited about this, and I hope you all will be too. Check them out and pick yourself up some beautiful prints.
I've also had the extreme pleasure of working at Chicago's newest venue, Constellation
, alongside some of the best people and musicians in Chicago and beyond. It's a beautiful space that fosters the contemporary jazz and avant garde music scene. Check out the calendar on the website and come in to see a show and have a drink with me.
"If I can get out of the way, if I can be pure enough, if I can be selfless enough, and if I can be generous and loving and caring enough to abandon what I have in my own preconceived silly notions of what I think I am - and become truly who in fact I am, which is really just another child of God - then the music can really use me. And therein lies my fulfillment. That's when the music starts to happen."
Summer dates announced with Exit Ghost. We've also kicked off a four-month residency at Chicago's High Concept Laboratories (HCL) where we will be recording the band's sophomore album. Not a music studio in the least, HCL is an art incubation center granting their sponsored artists use to the 2.5 story building to use freely with hopes of allowing the rooms to manipulate the works created within them.
We'll be keeping up to date with video documentation and hosting a couple talk-backs at HCL centered around creative process and the successes and failures in making a DIY album. What we have been writing are the most promising songs I've ever had the pleasure of being involved with. Coming from different backgrounds, having performed, created, and traveled together now for a while has shaped Exit Ghost's sound into something maybe only I find to be very personal - it's a living entity that's continuing to grow.
For more information on the HCL residency click here
Day two after Mayan's Apocalypse. So, the world didn't end - surprise. Probably a good thing though since I'm still looking forward to living a bit longer to act on the 2013 motto: Be Decisive. It sounds a little loose-ended, but, I take to mean that we'll no longer stand in the shadows or make false promises to yourself or anyone. The perfectionist in myself will have to cope with letting things go as they are and not dwell on them or try to revise everything twenty times before being so fed up with it that I throw it out. I guess this "motto" is more of a vicarious confidence. One that will stick for more than the year alone.
Next year is already planning to be one of the most exciting times in my short life. There is the possibility of building the foundation to a hypothetical skyscraper. And while the building might take much longer to finish, what is it without a foundation? A drape? I'm working with an incredible staff of friends (who are really, what I would call, family by now) that are experts in their own fields. Couple that with the creative material at hand, and you've got yourself an infinite canvas.
Happy holidays, folks. Enjoy yourself - the good and the bad in it.
Exit Ghost will be heading out on a two-week tour of middle America this week beginning in Denver, Colorado. Months of planning, countless emails, routing, and food rationing have all built up for this rather quick, but heavy, tour. Each night of the tour we'll be playing songs from the latest release Move Alone, some older gems from The Pony Soldier EP, and an incredible amount of new and unreleased material that have been written over the past year. Joining us on the tour are good friends Glowing House from Denver.
Check the shows section for dates and locations and visit www.exitghost.com for more information. See you in the country.
Yesterday marked the beginning of the month-long run of the live film I AM A ROCKET SCIENTIST
. You can catch performances every Friday and Saturday in August at Collaboraction Theatre located at 1579 N. Milwaukee Ave. in Chicago. Take the enjoyment of going out to the movies and add the element of live actors and musicians all coming together to make a truly fun and beautiful event. I'll be playing alongside nerds Jenn Romero, Jordan Stacey and Julian Stacey in the house band for the screenings. Get all the info and watch the trailer here: http://moviesarebetterlive.com/
You can also catch the premier of the new HBO series Single Long
(directed by the one and only Jack Mayer) tonight on the HBO GO website. The music for this series was written and performed by myself and the beautiful and talented Jenn Romero and we're pretty excited about it, so check out HBO's website for streaming capabilities and a listing of television showtimes.
has announced their fall tour dates beginning August 27th. Be sure to check out www.exitghost.com
for the full list of shows. We've been working extremely hard to make these shows something great - and I have to say, we've done pretty damn well. We have a ton of new material we'll be premiering on the road along with songs from the 2012 release Move Alone