Skyway Man, Harpooner
1 Cannery Row
Nashville, TN, 37203
Doors 8:00 PM / Show 9:00 PM
This event is 18 and over
The blogosphere describes Okey Dokey as "psychedelic doo wop", but if you ask the Nashville duo themselves, they are "just a couple of wizards born to ride". Visual artist Aaron Martin & guitarist Johny Fisher combine the best of psych & soul to send the listener on a nostalgia-laced, dreamland trip. The band's sophomore album, "Tell All Your Friend", is set for release in 2018.
An Introduction to the Wide World of James Wallace & Folk Futurism
“He says the sun came out last night. He says it sang to him.”
― Project Leader, Close Encounters of the Third Kind
“If you are not a myth whose reality are you? If you are not a reality whose myth are you?”
― Sun Ra, Prophetika Book One
For the last decade, James Wallace & the Naked Light recorded and released music from the fringes of Music City USA, touring all over with a singular vision and purpose. All the while, James Wallace’s name figured in as a trusted companion to a few scenes in particular: the Spacebomb sound coming out of his hometown Richmond, Virginia alongside old friends Natalie Prass and Matthew E. White; inside the new Nashville “underground:” where his bands’ magnetic performance listed them as a favorite among Alabama Shakes’ Brittany Howard; producing records, occasionally filling in on keys with cult-treasured Promised Land Sound; and roaming with the Oakland collective of songwriters centered around a converted school bus who travel under the banner “Splendor All Around.” But now the name is Skyway Man. Solo tours in Japan and China, a new batch of songs intertwined with his fascination with UFO religion, signaled a shift in direction. His inner mercury nudged him toward a new role, and the name Skyway Man rose to the surface again and again. Was it the trickster of mythology, the soul of some eternally missing astronaut, or the old singing storyteller trying to get through?
Wallace possesses a knack for getting caught up in outlandish events – discovering a trove of mysterious letters written by a Ufologist to a woman, describing the New Jerusalem and the 4th dimension, or months spent playing Mahjong in a smokey trailer behind Opryland, working as a Mandarin interpreter for Chinese Ice carvers in Nashville. This knack also extends to orchestrating outlandish events, getting interesting people on board in his endeavors–sweet-talking the flow of life into altering its course. Time for a new name and new record. Seen Comin’ From a Mighty Eye is a dense undertaking, recorded in different locations, simmering influences, channeling all the correct energies, paying the people and spirits who need to be paid, finishing the work the right way over the slow course of time. He recorded the last Naked Light record in Matthew E. White’s attic, and returned to that revered spot to track this new psych opera about strange futures, haunted pasts, and the Mighty Eye in the sky. Spacebomb house bassist and composer Cameron Ralston provided the horn arrangements and Spacebomb house drummer Pinson Chanselle sat at the kit. Wallace sang, compiled and mixed back in Nashville. It’s the usual stew of B-movie scifi, cosmic American boogie, psychedelic folk and it’s apocalyptically good, focused and potent, an immersive fully realized song cycle and visionary sonic structure.
From his modest rancher in Bordeaux on the Cumberland River, the lights of downtown Nashville are visible at night, shining sweetly or casting a lurid glow depending on atmospheric conditions and the viewer’s mood. Music City is changing fast, but James Wallace is invested in its community and spirit–the true believers, auteur session aces and acid cowboys and cowgirls who need each other to survive the sweltering industrial music machine. Skyway Man transcends this landscape, tapping into an older, more spiritual commerce. Seen Comin’ From a Mighty Eye offers the kind of music you would want on the radio for a first or last kiss, the incidental music from some forgotten Spielberg adventure, a soundtrack for the later (not quite latter) days of earth. If lightning strikes and the car radio explodes, it might just be part of the track. Music for driving along the skyway, and thank god the skyway is made of music anyway.
Frontman Scott Schmadeke (vocals, piano, Mellotron, guitar) formed the band in 2013 in Bloomington, IN with fellow former Indiana University students. Bloomington's rotating tight-knit community of musicians, artists, and writers gave Harpooner a freedom of expression and fertile ground to form a network of basement-show locations close to the IU campus.
Recorded at Blockhouse Studios in Bloomington by Schmadeke and Andy Beargie, Rose Park digs into strange voicing and textures as an homage to the work of artists like Leon Russell's Carny, Harry Nilsson's Nilsson Schmilsson, and Wings' Speed of Sound. Andrija Tokic (Alabama Shakes, Benjamin Booker, Natural Child) was enlisted for mastering duties at The Bomb Shelter in East Nashville.
Seated and singing close-up on the microphone, sometimes underneath a brimmed hat, Schmadeke delivers his cosmic awareness with a tenderness toward sensitive issues and big questions like a Jeff Lynne that grew up in the suburbs of Indianapolis in the 90s. On All I Get Back and Bigger Thoughts he weaves the band in and out of sophisticated movements that shimmer and punch right on time the kind of arrangements traded-in long ago by popular music for high-gain marketing strategies. He grapples with racial inequality on songs like Carolines and Immigration but not so that the songs become fodder for corporate social campaigns. Many of the songs on the album spring from a small fictitious midwestern town that Schmadeke imagines as a canvas for the ideas he and the band have picked-up along the way.
Schmadeke has quickly built a good reputation in the music scene having toured as pianist for national acts Houndmouth, Diane Coffee, and Andrew Combs.
$13.00 - $15.00
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