Johnny Brenda's Presents
Rachel Blumberg (of The Decemberists & Bright Eyes)
1201 N. Frankford Ave
Philadelphia, PA, 19125
Doors 8:00 PM / Show 9:00 PM
This event is 21 and over
After the disintegration of Chicago’s blues-rock innovators Red Red Meat, the band’s four remaining members struck out on their own, initiating several varied endeavors but never straying too far from their home base, or each other. Ben Massarella and Tim Rutili revived their Perishable Records imprint, Brian Deck opened the Clava recording studios, adjacent to the Perishable offices, and Tim Hurley recorded and released his own Sin Ropas project on the resurrected label. While enduring the fluctuation between crisis and monotony inherent in the daily operation of a small, independent record label, Rutili began work on his next musical project, Califone.
Named after the pedant audio supply manufacturer, Califone was initially just Rutili banging out songs with a computer. Eventually, he began to enlist the help of some familiar cohorts and cycled through several transient contributors; ultimately, the revolving cast spawned 1998’s self-titled debut EP. A joint Flydaddy/Perishable release, the record was distinctly more focused and confident than Red Red Meat’s swan song, There’s a Star Above the Manger Tonight. While still incorporating the bizarre sounds and sequenced beats of that record, this time the band didn’t allow its in-studio experimentation to overwhelm the songs.
Interestingly, at the end of the nascent recording sessions for Califone, someone in Rutili’s new conglomerate noticed that the band was, in effect, a reincarnation of Red Red Meat; the principal members of the supposedly defunct quartet were the only remaining people in the studio. A second self-titled EP followed in 2000 on Portland’s Road Cone label, which soon after was paired with the first on the Sometimes Good Weather Follows Bad People compilation.
With Califone’s fundamental studio lineup at least temporarily solidified as Massarella, Rutili, and Deck, the band recorded its debut LP, Roomsound, with an open-door policy; members of Eleventh Dream Day, Tortoise, and Fruit Bats all performed on the album. Released in the spring of 2001, Roomsound fused the disparate elements the band had been struggling to unite since There’s a Star Above the Manger Tonight, creating a cohesive, affecting album. The limited-edition Deceleration One appeared in February 2002, showcasing some of Califone’s stunning live-recorded instrumentals. It was a combination of film loop mixing by Jeff Economy and Carolyn Faber and a puppetry sketch interpreted by Califone.
A month later, Sometimes Good Weather Follows Bad People was released, capturing the two new tracks as well as material from the band’s two previously out of print EPs initially available on Flydaddy and Road Cone. Rutili and Massarella were on a roll. They collected additional musicians during the summer of 2002 for the recording of the Quicksand/Cradlesnakes EP. It’s a rough-edged, dark effort, but Califone’s ever-changing musical cinema remained at its best. Released in 2004, Heron King Blues further refined their blending of melodic acoustic compositions and experimental tendencies before the band went on hiatus for most of 2005 while Rutili focused on soundtrack work. The band reconvened in late 2005 to begin work on Roots & Crowns, released in October 2006. All My Friends Are Funeral Singers followed in 2009. Bluesy, broken, and impressionistic, 2013’s Southwest-birthed Stitches was the first Califone release to be recorded entirely outside of the Windy City. ~ Bryan Carroll
Rachel Blumberg (of The Decemberists & Bright Eyes)
Rachel Blumberg is a multidisciplinary artist working in in the fields of music, visual art, and film/animation. She composes experimental percussion-based music and performs and records both under her name as well as in collaboration with other artists. She has performed and recorded with with many widely acclaimed artists including The Decemberists, M.Ward, Bright Eyes, Califone, Mirah, Tara Jane O’Neil, Michael Hurley, Sam Beam (Iron and Wine), and Death Vessel. Her visual art and films have been exhibited in galleries all over the Pacific Northwest and Eastern Seaboard. As an animator/filmmaker she creates short films and music videos using a combination of cut paper, found objects, paintings/drawings, computer animation and film and has made music videos for Gillian Welch, Nada Surf, and Tom Hagerman (Devotchka) among others. She is currently touring and playing shows presenting improvised music set to her films. Her first solo album entitled Arch Cape is coming out on Jealous Butcher Records in April 2017.
'Rachel Blumberg has an incredible talent to convey a mood and completely tell a story with a single painting. Though she splits her time between being a drummer for bands... she still somehow has enough time to create these amazing paintings. Go figure."
One Hundreth Monkey Blog
All shows are 21+ Proper I.D. required for admission
Thu, December 21
Fri, December 22
Sat, December 23
Thu, December 28
Fri, December 29