"Golden Apples of the Sun" compilation by Devendra Banhart, available direct from Arthur

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“THE GOLDEN APPLES OF THE SUN”


curated and designed by DEVENDRA BANHART
(Arthur 0004)

Available direct from Arthur: the acclaimed 2004 compilation of current underground folk music, as selected by Devendra Banhart.

This is more than a compilation–it’s expertly sequenced and paced, like one long, slow flow of a particularly rich vibe. Liner notes are by the artists themselves, paying tribute to each other, all handlettered by Devendra, who also provides artwork on cover, back cover, sleeve, tray and the disk itself.

“Essential.” — Mojo, September 2004

“Sparkling.” — The Wire, July 2004

“8.6 (out of 10): [Its] sprawling landscape presents a persuasive case for the depth of a scene that seemingly sprung up (like mushrooms) overnight.” — Pitchfork, July 8, 2004

Track listing:

1. Vetiver (with Hope Sandoval) – “Angel’s Share” (from the “Vetiver” LP)
2. Joanna Newsom – “Bridges and Balloons” (from “The Milk-Eyed Mender” LP)
3. Six Organs of Admittance – “Hazy SF” (previously unreleased)
4. Viking Moses – “Crosses” (from “Crosses”)
5. Josephine Foster – “Little Life” (prev. unreleased home recording)
6. Espers – “Byss & Abyss” (from “Espers” LP)
7. Vashti Bunyan & Devendra Banhart – “Rejoicing in the Hands” (from the “Rejoicing in the Hands of the Golden Empress” LP)
8. Jana Hunter – “Farm, CA” (prev. unreleased)
9. Currituck Co. – “The Tropics of Cancer” (from “Ghost Man on First”)
10. White Magic – “Don’t Need” (from the Drag City EP)
11. Iron and Wine – “Fever Dream” (from “Our Endless Numbered Days” LP)
12. Diane Cluck – ” Heat From Every Corner” (from “Macy’s Day Bird” LP)
13. Matt Valentine – “Mountains of Yaffa” (previously unreleased)
14. Entrance – “You Must Turn” (prev. unreleased home recording)
15. Jack Rose – “White Mule” (from “Red Horse, White Mule”)
16. Little Wings – “Look at What the Light Did Now” (from “Light Green Leaves”)
17. Scout Niblett – “Wet Road” (from “Sweet Heart Fever”)
18. Troll – “Mexicana” (from “Pathless Lord”)
19. CocoRosie – “Good Friday” (from “La Maison de Mon Reve”)
20. Antony – “The Lake” (from “Live at Saint Olaye’s With Current 93”)

Go to the ARTHUR STORE to order direct from Arthur via PayPal, credit card or debit card.

BULK ORDERS: Contact Arthur staff (editor at arthurmag dot com) for quote.


Arthur items now available from the Arthur Store

Click on the covers to go to the Arthur Store to order…

THE GOLDEN APPLES OF THE SUN
The acclaimed 2004 CD collection of current underground folk music, as selected by Devendra Banhart. This is more than a compilation—it’s expertly sequenced and paced, like one long, slow flow of a particularly rich vibe. Liner notes are by the artists themselves, paying tribute to each other, all handlettered by Devendra, who also provides artwork on cover, back cover, sleeve, tray and the disk itself.
“Essential.” —Mojo
“Sparkling.” —The Wire
“8.6 (out of 10): [Its] sprawling landscape presents a persuasive case for the depth of a scene that seemingly sprung up (like mushrooms) overnight.” —Pitchfork

PARADISE NOW: The Living Theatre in Amerika
Specially priced DVD with extra-sized booklet and posters featuring rare, never-before-distributed films and a bacchanal of revolutionary multimedia documents from The Living Theatre’s historic and influential ‘68-’69 American tour.

TRANSMISSIONS FROM SINAI
Fresh 2009 multi-artist CD curated and sequenced by Al Cisneros (Om, Sleep, Shrinebuilder), with cover artwork by Arik Roper.

"Our Dead Bodies are Like Honey to the Flies": Gabe Soria meets Devendra Banhart (from Arthur No. 2/Jan 2003)

Originally published in Arthur No. 2 (Jan 2003)

Our Dead Bodies are Like Honey to the Flies
Gabe Soria meets 21-year-old Devendra Banhart

It’s a cold and gray afternoon in Brooklyn. I’m sitting in Devendra Banhart’s fourth floor walk-up apartment and we’re both slightly hungover. The furniture in the apartment is old and scrounged looking, full of ramshackle character. Devendra asks me if I want to hear a new song, something he wrote the evening before. Keep in mind that I’ve known the guy for a grand total of five minutes, and in those five minutes, we’ve already been witnesses to the aftermath of a car accident on a nearby street. It’s a good, we’re-unemployed-so-what-the-hell feeling, and there’s nothing to do but roll with it.

Of course, I say.

He begins to play me a lilting, sexy lullaby, something that sounds as if it could have been written in 1910. It’s gorgeous. Later I’ll learn it was partially inspired by a new girlfriend. But now, once he finishes playing, a little wobbly (there’s that hangover again) but unaffectedly so, Devendra announces that he “sucks” this morning. I assure him that that’s not the case, but he’s unconvinced.

A week later I will see him play for his record release party, and the song formerly known as “Sucks” will be polished to a rough sheen, so beautiful that the air at the show is almost palpable with the audience’s need to shed an appreciative tear. No one needs to be told that they’re witnessing something special. Everybody sips their drinks quietly and the room is hushed. Even the bartender looks sheepish when she has to go through a particularly noisy drink preparation. It’s not an affected pose though, this silence. It’s not the silence of pretentious jazz fans, or avant-garde indie kids who aren’t aware that their emperors of silent cool wear no clothes. This is the silence of a group of people in smiling awe of a genuinely talented and wonderfully strange kid, a young man whose charm is almost effortless, whose skill is obvious and whose soul is on his sleeve.

But that show is still a week in the future. Right now, we’re still slightly fuzzy from our respective previous evenings and are both in need of coffee. “Do you mind if I take a shower before we go? I stink real bad,” Devendra says.

Go right on ahead, I say.

He hops off to his bathroom, and I sit there in his apartment, staring at the walls. Everything I know about Devendra Banhart so far is from listening to his peculiar and beautiful debut record, Oh Me, Oh My The Way The Day Goes By The Sun is Setting Dogs Are Dreaming Lovesongs of the Christmas Spirit (on Michael Gira’s Young God Records). At first glance, he seems like a prime candidate to be dismissed as yet another in the long line of “weird white folkies” that cynical rock critics have been setting their watches by from Dylan to Oldham. He fits the racial profile: a kid with a patchy beard who’s studied his blues ‘n country licks. And there have been so many who reek of artifice and calculation. But when the real thing comes along…wow. It’s nutsy bananas. Devendra Banhart and Oh Me Oh My… are, without trying to sound like a super-happy hype machine, the real thing. His is the sound of a skeleton playing his blues on the front porch of a haunted house, banging out curiously hopeful cemetery songs with a celebratory, surreal zeal, singing out with a high, quavering voice that is at once bizarre, unearthly and old, yet completely inviting and totally ingratiating.

And he’s twenty-one, I think as I wait for him to finish getting ready. This kid’s got his entire creative career ahead of him. Jesus.

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Friday, October 16th – Vashti Bunyan: Exclusive Live Performance & NYC Documentary Premiere

Cult 60’s singer-songwriter Vashti Bunyan takes a break from recording her new album with Andy Cabic from Vetiver to perform a one-off, exclusive acoustic set at the 92YTribeca venue in New York on Friday, October 16, in support of the screening of the critically acclaimed documentary Vashti Bunyan : From Here To Before.

“A gorgeously shot, achingly intimate portrait.” Time Out

For many cult artists, rediscovery comes too late, they never live to know their art has been reappraised, is being loved by generations not even born when they were at work. In the case of Vashti Bunyan, the “Godmother of Freak Folk” and muse to artists such as Devendra Banhart and the Animal Collective, 30 years of obscurity ended with the rediscovery in 2000 of her lost classic album “Just Another Diamond Day” and her subsequent reintroduction into a mainstream she was never part of in the first place. The fact that the record was inspired by a very British road trip – an end to end journey across the country by horse and carriage – has only helped mythologise Vashti’s life and career. Ben Ratliff of The New York Times describes it as “a 700-mile journey [that] took two summers. Her story — or what is known of it from her interviews and her songs — is a perfectly preserved hippie tale, full of ideals, heartbreak and sleeping outdoors, and not arriving on time.”

From Here To Before is a wonderfully evocative film that retraces Vashti’s extraordinary journey across the British Isles, setting it against the backdrop of Vashti preparing for her first ever high profile London concert. It also features rare interviews with music luminaries Andrew Loog Oldham, Joe Boyd and the recently deceased Robert Kirby who provide an honest and informative insight into the most creative period of recorded popular music and Vashti’s place within it.

Following the screening on Friday, October 16, Vashti Bunyan and director Kieran Evans will take questions from the audience and then later that evening, Vashti will grace the stage at 92YTribeca for a rare acoustic performance. It promises to be a very special night. Support on the night will come from folk experimentalist Matteah Baim.

Additionally, following the screening of From Here To Before on Saturday, October 17, Vashti Bunyan and director Kieran Evans will be in attendance to answer questions from the audience.

Film (two screenings): Friday, October 16th – 7:30PM & Saturday, October 17th – 7:30PM
Music: Friday, October 16th, Doors 9:30PM
92YTribeca
200 Hudson Street / New York, NY 10013
$12 for film screening, $15 for music, $22 for both.

Buy tickets here.