Blitzen Trapper

Blitzen Trapper

I am indistinguishable from my memories, inseparable from this place I've always lived. Songs made of
rhymes and these rhymes like maps to the bizarre hinterlands of what we know and love. This is Blitzen
Trapper's seventh record for the books, another bizarre string of tales and touchstones, more beats and banjos
by far than anything to date, since, well we figured a straight line between two points is preferable. At this point
the road is home and home is home, which is to say there is no home left for me because at a certain point you
can never go home as the old adage seems to more than imply.
The pac-northwest is a place of synthesis, a backwater for slag and leftovers, culturally speaking,
like this, like all my records it's a synthesis of a whole mess of things. Our music, lovingly called 'Rocky
Mountain Whoop-ass', a term itself coined by close associates to refer to what we play though our particular
mountains are a more volcanic spur of the Rockies and so more solitary, brings together the strut, the twist, the
headbang and the hillbilly tap, though in some cases it merely makes people want to drink or procreate. I feel
confident this genre will, if not become de facto will perform as an at least marginally amusing handle for music
writers with any interest.
Memories of Oregon:
The JD drinking, robotripping, dope smoking experimentation of youth. And even further back the
country gospel tabernacle meetings out in Brooks, falling asleep as a child on hard wood benches while the
country band plays
Just A Closer Walk With Thee
, the prayers of the saints rising for all us wandering youth.
Each of these songs starts from a small place, like a headwaters, a remembrance and then widens into a
song. For instance, that old wreck of a shack buried in evergreen and murky darkness at the bend in the road up
on Jackson Hill where we used to drink and never failed to give me a chill driving by in the old Impala for its
implacable mystery, where
Feel the Chill
takes place.
Drive on Up
, it seems you're always driving on up to something, into the mountains to see a girlfriend
above the reservoir where she lives in a single wide with her mom and a cougar stalks us at fifty yards through
the brush, she says to bang sticks but never look it in the eye.
A hundred degree day out at the John Day, walking through the high desert in sneakers coming on a
cow skull and then the rest of its bleached bones spread for near on a mile and realizing the thirst of the
creatures in these hills. And I'm no different. And you have
Thirsty Man
, where love like rain falls in the
wasteland and slips through the fingers for love is a thing that cannot be held but only felt and released.
And of course there are those songs I keep writing over and over again,
Ever Loved Once
with all its
regrets and tragic lost love,
Don't be a Stranger
its hopeful cousin but they all still point to the same worn out
place in the heart of old E. Earley. And hey, we all have that place, that worn spot on the heart like the chew
canister circle on the back pocket of blue jeans, or that one shred in the green felt of the table where you
ground the stick in too hard for drinking. That one love that got away or that one you watched leave driving slow
in moonlight over the gravel at night cause the things of the earth will leave you aching and/or empty as a fifth
at sunrise.
May these songs minister in ways mysterious and eternal, or at least maybe make you shake a hip.

E. Earley

The Alialujah Choir

"It began with a song. The roots of Portland's Alialujah Choir go back to Adam Selzer and Adam Shearer's collaboration on an all-Portland charity compilation, (D)early Departed. It seemed a natural choice to pair the Adams, the former known for his work as a producer at Type Foundry studios and as part of the band Norfolk & Western; the latter the affable and increasingly visible frontman of the local band Weinland. "A House, A Home" was the result — a song that builds a fictionalized doomed romance into the real-life historical backdrop of Dr. James Hawthorne's psychiatric hospital (and makes for a stunning video, which opbmusic recently premiered).

Selzer and Shearer felt like they were on to something in the recording's aftermath, and a late-night text message or two later, the Alialujah Choir was born, with the piano and vocals of Alia Farah (a sometime member of Weinland) rounding out the trio. They set about establishing what might be called rules of creative conduct for the project — the first being that it remain enjoyable, the second being that it's all about the voices. You'll notice the sparse nature of the arrangements, which purposely throw the trio's harmonies into the spotlight. It's a rare moment on the record when you'll hear a lone voice singing."



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Blitzen Trapper with The Alialujah Choir

Wednesday, November 6 · 8:00 PM at Troubadour