Califone, Richard Buckner

There are many kind of stitches: seams to secure sleeves into armholes … sutures closing wounds and deep incisions … loops or crosses of embroidery floss … a sudden pain in the side. Stitches, the new album from Califone, touches on all these definitions, its episodes of discomfort and healing rendered with exquisite beauty and craftsmanship.

Intimate timbres—garage sale drum machines, slack guitar strings, hushed vocals—offset the album's cinematic inclinations. The listener moves through a landscape of Old Testament blood and guts, spaghetti Western deserts and Southwestern horizons, zeroing in on emotions and images that cannot be glanced over. Motes of dust dance briefly in afternoon sunlight.

Richard Buckner

In the time since Our Blood was released and after a few long tours, Richard Buckner attempted to work on writing short stories but found himself drawn back into the music room. The evidence of his time in the writer's chair is clear in the dense, lovely prose of Surrounded. The album's liner notes include text-embedded lyrics, a technique Buckner employed on his earlier albums Since and Impasse, but this marks the first time he used the songs' extended story to construct the album's overall view and track sequence.

Throwing out the "tricks and trades" of his previous efforts, Buckner hunkered down at home and chose a few unfamiliar pieces of gear-a Suzuki QChord electronic autoharp and an Electro-Harmonix POG2 pedal-to create basic tracks and open up more sonic possibilities. "The best outcomes happen sometimes when I'm unfamiliar with the tool that I'm using (imagine MacGyver wearing a dog cone)."

The now-infamous process of recording and re-recording Our Blood left him a bit gun-shy, so this time, Buckner decided to get each song out of his house as soon as it was finished to avoid the contamination of over-thinking. After hearing an interview with famed producer Tucker Martine, Buckner found a destination for his songs: "Tucker understood the urgency in me to tie the whole thing up before I fell into the same trap that I'd had finishing Our Blood and was generous enough to move other commitments around to fit Surrounded in. When I had finally finished Our Blood, I felt like I'd just survived a stroll through a mine field. With Surrounded, it was more of a sensation that I'd successfully organized a messy desk."

The Backyard Committee

The Backyard Committee is an improvisational roots rock band from New Haven, Connecticut. They specialize in ever-evolving song interpretations and putting on one-of-a-kind, spontaneous performances. Particularly in and around New England where they live.

Lucidmike writes the songs, and his friends play ‘em. Each member is encouraged to add his or her own personal voice and style, the only condition being that they remain fully engaged at all times.

Digital tools like auto-tune, click tracks and samples are commonly used to make music flawless these days, but the band tends to like it better when they leave all the mistakes in. For this particular project, the human element is the most important. And if someone makes a mistake… hey, at least they were reaching for something.

The project retains the spirit of exploration established by classic acts like the Dead, Bob Dylan and Neil Young but it’s equally inspired by bands like Guided by Voices, Pavement and Neutral Milk Hotel — it’s a back-to-basics sound, but not a throwback.

The improvisational nature of the band makes it a comfy fit for festivals, extended two-set club shows or secret psychedelic parties in the woods. Band members and the audience alike are invited to become completely immersed in the experience… in order to get the most out of it. To dance. Or just sway. And sing along. And maybe come on stage and play a song. Tapers are encouraged to record at all shows.

$12.00 - $15.00

Tickets Available at the Door

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Califone, Richard Buckner with The Backyard Committee

Tuesday, September 17 · 8:00 PM at Cafe Nine

Tickets Available at the Door