Green River Ordinance
Rosi Golan, JD Eicher
2706 Olive St
Saint Louis, MO, 63103
Doors 7:00 PM / Show 8:00 PM
This event is all ages
Green River Ordinance
This fall season marks the 10th Anniversary of Green River Ordinance as a band. In 2009 and 2010, GRO saw tastes of much sought after success: 2 Top 40 radio singles, songs on over 20 TV shows ("So You Think You Can Dance", "The Hills", "The Young & Restless"), 2 music videos on MTV and VH1, tours with American Idol winners David Cook & Kris Allen, Goo Goo Dolls, Collective Soul, Train, Lifehouse, and many others. GRO's Original Song "Rise Up" was featured on the AT&T Team USA 2010 Winter Olympics Soundtrack alongside Mariah Carey, 3 Doors Down, Train, Rascal Flatts.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=k4bBu9HD_Qo - Dancing Shoes
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xwqzbbzpfv8 - Come On
Rosi Golan didn't so much choose to be a songwriter as much as it took her over. In many ways, Golan's songwriting can most closely be likened to a storm, or a weather system that has come and stayed for the last decade of her life. In the years since this weather system has entered her life, it's changed significantly – gaining elements and force as it travels across the topography of her emotional life. This weather system has reached its most lovely expression on Golan's sophomore album, Lead Balloon, the culmination of two years, organized around the pain and joy contained within that space.
Unlike most, Golan didn't dream of live shows and lyrics. At the age of 19, Golan found herself rudderless and unsure, reeling from the simultaneous experiences of both personal and communal tragedy. "My grandmother passed away, and it was not long after September 11th. I was trying to figure out what I was going to do with my life," Golan explains. "I was having this thought while I was in a car – and a commercial came on for a guitar store." Shortly thereafter, Golan found herself there, and, never having played before, purchased a guitar for the self-admitted worst reason ever: "I liked the color," she laughs. It shouldn't have worked out, but it has.
In the years since that fateful radio tuning, Golan has worked to refine and calibrate her sound, collecting new elements and shaping it in the places she finds herself. The Drifter & The Gypsy, Golan's first album, generated several songs that were prominently featured on numerous television shows (including One Tree Hill and Private Practice) and in film (Dear John). Golan embarked on a series of tours on the strength of Drifter that sent the Israeli-born Golan traipsing the globe. Lead Balloon was written on breaks from tours over the past two years, Golan can hear the spaces the songs took shape in – there is the bone-damp of London, the constant buzz of Brooklyn, the arid wind of Los Angeles. Building on the success of the friendships that lead to her well-received debut, Golan continued working with many of the songwriters she co-wrote that album with.
"Everyone who I co-wrote with has become like family," says Golan. "Generally, the group of people I write with are people who I have a relationship with, who I keep in touch with. We spend time together outside of writing music together." The emotional shorthand shared in the context of her friendships imbues the tracks with a warm ease, even if the subject matter lacks it.
If the relationships were what Golan wanted to carry forward on this record, its production was another matter. "I wanted to throw in some wrenches," says Golan. "And I think those wrenches were thrown by Tony Berg." Golan credits her producer with reframing her approach to making music. "Every song was its own entity. The only thing that glued the record together was my voice, and maybe the constant of an acoustic guitar." With no strict structure to the sound of the album, Golan was freed to interpret each song as it came to her, rather than concerning herself as to whether it kept to an overall sound. As a result, the album moves fluidly between genres, containing songs steeped in Americana, clever pop currents running throughout, and thoughtful folk.
As much as Golan may have been working without a conscious idea, in retrospect she realizes there was some governing order to Lead Balloon. It wasn't until Golan was finished that she realized the polarities contained on the album. If "Lead Balloon" serves as the album's mission statement, album opener "Paper Tiger" is its contrast, a honey-vocalled kiss-off that chugs along to resolution through strings, triangles and a xylophone. In contrast, the gorgeous "Lead Balloon" borrows from the best of country music, with Golan harmonizing with a mournful lap steel buoyed by its steady beat.
"That song came from a bad day I was having," says Golan. Fortuitously, she was due to meet with co-writer and friend Natalie Hemby. "When we came up with the title 'lead balloon,' I thought no matter what happens, I'm pretty sure that's going to be the title of the record." The quietly stirring "Everything Is Brilliant" is a series of recollections, followed by its refrain, which serves as both a statement of fact and a wish.
In keeping with the twin polarities Golan sees on the record, there is as much joy on the record as there is pain, and with the output of loss, there is the input of hope. When asked whether the emotional depths reached on this record are ever difficult to plumb or painful, Golan explains that in the writing, there is catharsis. "Once you write the song and put it on the record, you put them out there and let them become somebody else's. I'm going to see it to its completion, and I'll send it off, and let it find somebody else."
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