Brightblack Morning Light news

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From BBML HQ:

BRIGHTBLACK MORNING LIGHT have been invited to MY BLOODY VALENTINE ‘s curated event of the United Kingdom’s All Tomorrow’s Parties!
A first performance for BBML in France, the French Transmusicales Festival kindly invites BBML in December!
Expansive European Tour Dates Announced!

BBML Announce A New Collection Of Artists For The Band
Nico Turner & Jenean Farris of LA’s underground duo Voices Voices & Danielle Stech Homsy of Rio En Medio have musically joined BBML for this 2009 multi-nation journey.
The quartet are currently deep in Pueblo country, visioning & getting musical. Danielle has sat in with BBML during their early spring shows in the American South, as well as the April 2009 Denver & Seattle shows opening for My Bloody Valentine.

Other BBML News
Recent 2009 autumn shows included Shineywater with a new BBML backing band opening for HOPE SANDOVAL & THE WARM INVENTIONS both in San Francisco & in Humboldt County. BBML would like to honor Linnea Vedder-Shults & Danielle Stech Homsy for their musicality & fun fun fun travels.
Missing from the usual line up is long time pianist Rachael Hughes, who is adventuring in technicolor in an emerald forest of Northern California. Usual trombonist & vibraphonist, Santa Cruz’s Matthew Davis is currently playing trombone in a Chicago broadway musical. BBML’s touring singer & harpist Meara O’Reilly is rumored to be working on visuals for a video for Bjork & playing shows as Avocet. Gypsy artist & drummer Tommy Rouse has been working with bands White Magic & Celebration around the East Coast USA. Recent thanks to Otto Hauser for joining BBML in some shows around New York City & Brooklyn.

2010 = BBML’s AUSTRALIA JANUARY TOUR DATES COMING SOON !

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BBML/LUNGFISH limited edition 7″ vinyl still available by calling:
Harvest Record Shop, North Carolina @ (828) 258-2999
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TOURDATES AFTER THE JUMP

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"Blurred + Spacey": Brightblack Morning Light's Nabob Shineywater on SANDY BULL (Oct. 2006)

Originally published in Arthur No. 25 (October 2006)

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Blurred and Spacey
By Nabob Shineywater

Sandy Bull
Still Valentine’s Day 1969: Live at the Matrix, San Francisco
(Water)

When I was living in Point Reyes, my closest friends became people in their sixties. They would share stories with me as I managed the community print shop. One day I was listening to Sandy Bull, and a visiting Vietnam vet shared a great story with me. One day back in the late ’60s he was riding his bicycle through Mill Valley when he heard very, very loud music. He was able to locate the house it was coming from, and sat on the porch and listened for about three hours. Then the music stopped and he knocked on the door to thank the artist. Two very tall African women opened the door, traditionally dressed and very gorgeous. Then Sandy appeared, and was friendly, but also severely spacey. The house was empty with white walls and carpet. My friend was already familiar with Sandy’s music, and had attended some of the shows in San Francisco that Sandy was doing. He rode away on his bicycle, surprised and happy.

Sandy lived in Berkeley, Mill Valley and Fairfax in the ’60s and his best friend was Hamza El Din, the oudist from Egypt. What a special time these men had together. Hamza had arrived in the United States after opening for the Grateful Dead at the Pyramids. He is best known for his ’70s release Escalay (translated as “The Water Wheel”), which features Sandy playing an ancient beat on an ancient drum. In Escalay, Hamza wanted to translate the feelings of the folks whose role it was to haul water to and from the well. It’s the best cinematic folk music I’ve heard—when you listen to it alone you actually arrive at his homeland. The oud is the most gut-pounding stringed instrument I’ve heard: it sends out depthful waves, resonations that have bass where you wouldn’t expect it.

Still Valentine’s Day 1969: Live at the Matrix, San Francisco is a live album from 1969, and the result of Sandy pushing the limits by using an electric oud through about four different Fender amps, all with heavy reverb and vibrato. I really enjoy the entire collection of songs, and have spent some high times with them lately. The songs feel a little more blurry and druggy than on E Pluribus Unum, the 1968 studio album where a lot of them first appeared. Which I appreciate: I am getting stoned a lot, so I am currently looking for items to reflect that, that I respect. Yet I know he was into the junkier side of drug experimentations. I feel if the tapes were mixed track-by track, that it could expose some more low-end that might be now missing. Sandy had a degree in classical bass; he was highly skilled, and his bass lines are sometimes just as interesting as his oud.

Sandy’s shows are another discussion, but briefly, he wouldn’t play with anyone. So he recorded all the instrumentation on analog tape, and then figured a way to synch up each tape machine. He would then haul this to a gig, press play on everything, then rotate between electric oud and pedal steel. Sandy bootlegs are amazing and even funny, as he was so interesting—Sandy had a great style and it is rumored that William Burroughs saw Sandy and immediately copied his fashion; the Beatles song “Come Together” is actually about Sandy; etc. Anyway, Sandy told obscure funny stories between songs. This release has a small dialogue about the live sound engineer ; the un-mastered version I have actually has a huge wallop of stage feedback due to the lack of understanding by the evening’s sound engineer of just what Sandy was attempting in relation to amplified reverb. The feedback is a painful-sounding slash across the speakers, not interesting at all, and isn’t approved of by Sandy. The same thing regularly happens today in live performance—this realm has not progressed much, and the truth of it is that it’s the fault of people’s stagnant exchange with audio psychedelia. There’s been a lack of progression or maybe a lack of respect for the trade of sound engineering folk.

If you get to know the songs you can actually feel Sandy become elated with tonality as he plays here. Some may think his jams are light, or even beatnik. I think his jams are of the heaviest order, and I believe him to be Northern California’s greatest artist ever because he wasn’t a contrived enterprise. This music is a reflection of what was the norm in NorCal back then. People were learning about the strength of folk culture around the world, and using that knowledge to justify dropping out … and to drop out in colorful, musical ways.

Friday afternoon cool-off music: Brightblack Morning Light

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Two cuts from last year’s Motion to Rejoin:

[audio:http://www.arthurmag.com/magpie/wp-content/uploads/2009/07/oppressions_each.mp3%5D

Download: “Oppressions Each” – Brightblack Morning Light (mp3)

[audio:http://www.arthurmag.com/magpie/wp-content/uploads/2009/07/hologram_buffalo.mp3%5D

Download: “Hologram Buffalo” – Brightblack Morning Light

Motion to Rejoin is available in all formats from Matador Records of New York City. Arthur recommends vinyl.

August 13-15: Harvest Records Presents Transfigurations Festival in Asheville, NC

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If you have never scoped out the subtropical vistas of the Blue Ridge Mountains, August promises to be a sublime time to do so–and not only because its high altitudes provide natural relief against the summer heat. Asheville’s Harvest Records–part independent record shop, part record label, part curatorial team– will mark its fifth birthday with a three-day, multi-venue musical gathering, bringing in over a dozen artists from across the nation to celebrate the organization’s dual commitment to musical awareness and community-building in Western North Carolina. “Transfigurations,” co-owner Mark Capon explains, “brings together the spirits of the musicians that we have brought to this city, the artists who have displayed on our walls, the sounds people have found in our shop, and the togetherness that we have attempted to breathe into the community…hour by hour, day by day.” Featured acts include Akron/Family, Bonnie Prince Billy, The Books, Budos Band, Circulatory System, Mount Eerie, Espers, War on Drugs, Brightblack Morning Light, Kurt Vile, Ice Cream, Jonathan Kane, Coathangers, Villages, and Steve Gunn, along with a Saturday-afternoon panel discussion on musical documentation in the digital age by Eric Isaacson (Mississippi Records), Lance Ledbetter (Dust-to-Digital label), and Nathan Salsburg (Twos & Fews Records/Alan Lomax Archive).

Transfigurations 2009, August 13-15
The Grey Eagle, Diana Wortham Theatre, & Fine Arts Theatre
Asheville, NC
Festival Schedule

Friday, May 29, Eagle Rock: BRIGHTBLACK MORNING LIGHT (all ages welcome)

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Friday, May 29th
Brightblack Morning Light
Rio En Medio
William Fowler Collins
@ the Center for Arts, Eagle Rock
2225 Colorado Blvd
LA, CA 90041
$12 / 8:00pm / All Ages
Advance ticket link: http://bit.ly/HghCW

Brightblack Morning Light were interviewed by Trinie Dalton in Arthur No. 31 (Oct 2008), with photographs by Lisa Law. The magazine is available for $10 from the Arthur store. The article is available online here.

Brightblack were also interviewed by Daniel Chamberlin in Arthur No. 23 (July 2006), with photography by Eden Batki. Were almost out of copies of that issue, so it’s going for $100 from the Arthur store.

How to Get Into the Grateful Dead (originally pub’d in Arthur No. 18/Sept 2005)

LISTEN TO THE DEAD

Originally published in Arthur No. 18 (Sept 2005)

Dear Arthur,
Okay, so a lot of people in Arthur have been coming out of the Deadhead closet lately [cf. “Uncle Skullfucker’s Band”, Arthur No. 11]. Someone, maybe Bastet, maybe someone else, should put out a mix CD or two of some of the Dead’s material that might be most likely to impress the contemporary drone/noise/psych/improv and/or free(k) folk scene(s). I have enjoyed a very small percentage of the G.D. that I have heard, and have been unwilling to delve through the catalog in search of the gems. I am willing to give them the benefit of the doubt, and would like to hear a carefully selected mix made by discerning ears. Example: Garcia solo piece on Zabriskie Point soundtrack.
Rick Swan
via email

Dear Rick,
There are over 2,800 Grateful Dead shows available for free download at archive.org, and depending on who you talk to at least a half-dozen studio albums worth checking out. That’s a lot of music to sort through, even if you can get your hands on most of it without laying down any cash. We convened a conclave of reconstructed Deadheads in order to help you and any other greenhorn seekers of the Dead find your way around. The Knights present for this meeting were:

Geologist, a member of Animal Collective, that incredible international post-hippie string band.
N. Shineywater, of Alabama’s creamiest slow-folk practitioners, Brightblack Morning Light. It is worth nothing that Brightblack’s cover of “Brokedown Palace” with Will Oldham on vocals makes us weep.
Ethan Miller, of the mighty Comets on Fire.
Daniel Chamberlin, a contributing editor at Arthur, and the author of “Uncle Skullfucker’s Band” (Arthur No. 11) about life as a closet Deadhead.
Denise DiVitto & Brant Bjork: Owner-operators of Duna Records, which releases records by Mr. Bjork (co-founder of Kyuss) and other worthy artists. Two mellow souls who hang in the desert.
Erik Davis, Arthur contributor, native Californian and the author of Techgnosis: Myth, Magic and Mysticism in the Age of Information.
Barry Smolin, the host of the essential “The Music Never Stops” Dead showcase on Los Angeles’s KPFK, 90.7 FM.
Michael Simmons, a contributing editor to Arthur.
The Seth Man, a/k/a The Seth Man, editor of FUZ and author of “The Book of Seth” on Julian Cope’s website.

PART ONE

GEOLOGIST (Animal Collective)
The birth of my father was a mistake; an unplanned pregnancy in the 1950s. As a result, his brothers, and my cousins, are much older. During the ’80s, my cousin Adam was my idol. I was in grade school, he was in high school and later went to college in Athens, GA. The guy was all about “rock & roll.” He had Live…Like A Suicide by Guns N’ Roses on vinyl in 1986. He predicted the worldwide stardom of REM and the B-52’s as far back as I can remember. But his first musical love was, and as far as I know, still is The Grateful Dead. By the end of the ’80s he had been to over 100 shows.

As I got older and began to hunger for more music than what was being fed to me on MTV, I of course turned to him. Like any true Deadhead, my cousin immediately pushed me towards their live material. His Dead collection was just a box of tapes with dates written on them; I don’t really remember seeing any albums. It is to this aspect of the Dead’s output that I would direct any new fan. I listen to the ’66-’74 era, pretty much exclusively. An easy place to start is the live albums released during this period, specifically Live/Dead (from ’69) and Europe ’72. The former has my all-time favorite Dead jam, “Dark Star” into “St. Stephen,” and the latter contains my second favorite, “China Cat Sunflower” into “I Know You Rider” (affectionately known to Dead fans as “China Rider”). In addition, there is a killer CD release of a Fillmore East show from 2/11/69, which has some of the same tunes. And for 1974, the Winterland shows from February of that year totally rule, even though you have to endure the awful background singing of Donna Godchaux.

I certainly don’t mean to discount the worth of their studio albums, because there is no denying the greatness of Anthem Of The Sun, Aoxomoxoa and American Beauty. I love them all and listen to them frequently, but I still lean towards the live stuff. The reason for this is simply “good times.” I recently got into an argument at a bar about whether or not you can give credit to someone for nothing more than “good times.” I say you totally can. Why not? Isn’t that pretty much what most of us want on a day-to-day basis? I was fortunate enough to see the Dead on one of their last tours in 1994. I was 15 years old, and had moved from Philly to Baltimore, where I was in the early stages of becoming best friends with the dudes I still consider my closest friends in the world. At the time, however, I dearly missed my old friends from middle school. They managed to get tickets to the Dead show at the Philly Spectrum, and my parents, being the wonderful folks they are, let me skip school for three days and hop on the train to catch the show. Jerry may have been old and forgotten some lyrics here and there, but man, good times were had by all. I’ve never since been in an environment as positive as that concert. As people who are passionate about music, especially music that is outside of the mainstream, we sometimes get caught up in our own brand of snobbery. But when I catch myself acting like a dick, I try and think back to that night wandering around the burrito stands and hacky-sack circles in that parking lot. If people continue to care about the music we make and continue to come see us play, I really hope our parking lots will look and feel like that one day. Good times.

N. SHINEYWATER (Brightblack Morning Light)
Early-era Dead songs resonate with me, so I would maybe dig a collection of songs featuring Pig Pen. The first recording I heard by Grateful Dead also served as a successful backdrop to a good time. It involved my native Alabama woods, an old Jeep chasing another old Jeep through the mud, and the constant doobie. The friend of mine who was driving the jeep let The Dead’s American Beauty repeat over and over … Somehow a very long early-version of the song “Dark Star” appeared on the homemade cassette, and when this came on we had just taken a doobie break. One friendly sister starting throwing mud at me so I threw mud back at her and the next thing I saw was this dancing grey mud flying and hitting smiling bodies of friends.

One time this same Jeep-friend has to drive across the country in a new Ford van. He happened to know he was going to be using reefer along the way. The van had only one sticker, plain in style, that read, “GOOD OL” really large, followed very small by “GRATEFUL DEAD.” It wasn’t the kind with little orange bears; it was red, white and blue. He chose this plain sticker to avoid attracting the Man. Yet he knew that he wanted to share his love of Grateful Dead music. It was a risk he didn’t mind taking.

Later in life he led a Greenpeace effort to successfully lower himself and a few others over the side of the Mitsubishi building in Oregon with banners that read, “BOYCOTT MITSUBISHI, MITSUBISHI DESTROYS RAINFORESTS.” The last I heard of him he became a river guide.

ETHAN MILLER (Comets On Fire)
First off, I also loved that article by Daniel Chamberlin in the July 2004 Arthur also and found it very inspiring to try and track down the more extreme avant-garde Dead stuff that the author of that piece talks about being fooled that it was Dead C. or Sonic Youth or whatever.
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DREAMTIME: Brightblack Morning Light opening for My Bloody Valentine!

ZOUNDS!

Here’s the BBML dates off the Matador Records site:

Friday, April 24: Denver, CO The Fillmore Auditorium w/My Bloody Valentine

Monday, April 27: Seattle, WA Wamu Theatre w/My Bloody Valentine

Thursday, May 21Flagstaff, AZ Mia’s Lounge w/Rio En Medio

Friday, May 22: Phoenix, AZ Modified w/Rio En Medio

Sunday, May 24: Tucson, AZ Solar Culture w/Rio En Medio

Wednesday, May 27: Santa Ana, CA Yost Theatre w/Rio En Medio

Wed June 10: New York, NY Webster Hall w/My Bloody Valentine

Thu June 11: Brooklyn, NY Studio B