This is where you learn the things. Or, as in the case of Clever Hans, where you appear to learn things while simultaneously (and instead) learning other, suprising, equally (if not more) interesting things.
- October 31, 2014
It's Halloween again, friends, and things are new. Things are based in Chicago. And, as implicitly promised, I have a track for you. More is coming soon. Email and say hi. You're missed.
Like the end of the start / Bones in the backyard / There's a cre[a/e]k in the dark / Bones in the backyard / There's a hydra hiding / Why don't you come by tonight / You can sneak in the side door / I've been a little afraid / To put on a white dress.
- June 14, 2014
Perhaps you'd like to hear a live recording? Of an unusual solo show? At the recent eve at Russian Recording (Bloomington IN) was kind enough to capture the show, and the people at Red Frost were nice enough to handle getting it online. It appears below.
- April 15, 2014
Do I have some news for you.
e.p. hall is moving to Chicago. In July. Stay tuned.
- October 31, 2013
Is it Halloween already?
According to custom, new free track 'The Countess Calls' for your downloading by right-clicking here (or on the image below).
A different version will appear on The Muscle Memory Recordings.
The Countess Calls
(The Business of Quantification Speaks in Bathory’s Violent Echo, Almost)
Cake and wine
In the corners of hungry throats.
Rake the sky
Carves the wounds in a limping ghost
Through the cold height of walls
One and the same
The countess calls
Always in vain
"Count them up and wheel it down"
"Count them up and wheel it down"...
Charge the boat
In the ears of that empty summer
Swim the moat
Eaching clumsily through the numbers
and, um: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Elizabeth_B%C3%A1thory
--May 17, 2013
Free New Track for Download: Broke The Plate
ep is having a birthday. Here is an earnestly home-recorded present for you: (click this text to listen or right-click and save to download). It is near to my heart, as are you.
Broke the Plate
I know it's wrong to be a person, with a person's hands
I know it's wrong to be a person, with a person's hands
To take up space, to displace sand in the hourglass
I know it's wrong to be a person, with a person's hands
I know it's wrong to be a person, with a person's hands
When I broke the plate
We both knew I had made
An unforgivable mistake
--November 26, 2012
New e.p. hall track made available on Hipster Spinster blog.
Hugs to Nicole, the Grand Matriarch of the enterprise. She and her blog have been there since e.p. hall was a hermit playing songs in her closet.
Visit the blog like this.
--November 7, 2012
The Voice that Burns is Mine...Aftermaths.
First things first. If you haven't downloaded the free new track, please see the previous entry (Oct. 31st).
Special thanks to Kert and Recent Music Heroes for making it the blog's "teaser of the day".
The same folks wrote a really great review of the 2006 release "The edge the middle".
While I haven't seen any actual reviews popping up yet, I did get a wonderful letter about the new song that was so thoughtful I wanted to quote it here (maintaining your anonymity, fair writer!)
"What starts out seeming to be a lovesong devolves (or evolves) quickly into an eerie and masterfully rendered first-person meditation on love as a kind of madness and our own inability, especially seemingly trapped in the mind of this other, to distinguish between the two. Is this a voice that burns with passion or that maybe can cause or has seen a destruction as complete and ravenous as fire itself is capable of? Is the melancholy in her voice that of the displaced victim or the unremorseful arsonist? Only a love song this complete could convey all those facets of love at once, make us feel what the singer seems to: that we have all, in love, played every role and that true passion makes victims and killers of us all. Or maybe it's just about the movie Carrie."
--October 31, 2012
The Voice that Burns is Mine: Free Download
Happy Hallow's Ween, friends.
As I did last year, I come bearing a small gift of a home-recorded track for you to download--one that is new and that almost no ears have seen.
The song is called "The Voice that Burns is Mine". As with last year's download, a different version of this will appear on the upcoming ep The Muscle Memory Recordings.
I'm profusely grateful for your support and, well...existence.
Please be encouraged to distribute freely among potentially interested parties.
The words follow.
The Voice that Burns is Mine (Halloween release version, 2012)
My love is an all-consuming fire
Swallowing all of your branches
in mouths wide with desire
Do you think we should recruit shiny firetrucks to slow it down?
I tend to think the apples are falling regardless, and all of them down
When the flames curl up our spines
My love is an all-consuming fire
Tearing its way up the hedges
and swimming through the wires
Do you think we should trek up from the lake with a pail full of fears?
I'm of the belief our hands will forget our intentions and disappear
When the flames curl up our spines
And the voice that burns is mine
The voice that burns is mine
--October 15, 2012
e.p. hall is quite officially in Canada now
...and quite officially in search of Canadian collaborators (London/Waterloo,/Toronto).
The interest here is more in a certain kind of mind and vision than a particular instrumental skill (in fact, eccentric, creative, feelingsy multi-instrumentalists are ideal candidates).
If you listen and feel like you understand what is going on, or you have some good leads about such manner of persons, please send a telegraph directly to the Head Weirdo of the enterprise: ep (at) ephall dot com.
New material is working its way out again. I'd love to get other people's brains all over it. It's fleshy stuff.
--August 19, 2012
Peter Landsman's Remix of Mommy Crow for Free Download.
I have been sitting on this until the right time.
So, please enjoy Mr.. Peter Landsman's remix of Mommy Crow, the "Filiform Downstream Mix". I love when people send in these remixes, and this one in particular is great. I'm not sure why this image seemed so appropriate, but it does.
-July 24, 2012
Appearing on WFHB's Lazersaurus. Will play some songs (old and new) and trade words with host (and longtime pal) David Britton as well as local comegician (and longtime personal archnemesis) Jamison Raymond.
11pm EST; 91.5FM in Bloomington
Stream live via internets..
--June 9, 2012
Just had a wonderful show with great, great friends. Hoping to do another before I leave northward...
--May 10, 2012
Mechanical Hands now appears on Sixty Year's War's "Mixtape 5"--along with Paleo, one of my favorite songwriters (and humans) of these times. My very, very great thanks to the collective for doing all the work to assemble this and for allowing me/us to take part.
--April 21, 2012:
E.P. HALL IS MOVING TO CANADA. NO, REALLY.
e.p. hall is relocating to Canada. It's not quite as sudden or weird as it sounds. In fact, it's rather long in coming. The person e.p. (who writes this) will soonly be completing her Ph.D. in Thinkery and then it is onto a postdoctoral position in Ontario.
Have no worries. I'm not actually going anywhere. And you're all coming with me.
Of course, anyone with Ontario scene connections is strongly urged to get in contact. There will be some upheaval to address.
--November 28, 2011:
I'm happy to report that there has been a wonderfully positive response to the recent free track released.
Quickest on the draw was Hipster Spinster's review, saying "The one and only e.p. hall finally has a tasty new track that everyone needs to download into their Halloween baskets RIGHT NOW!" Thanks, HS.
At nearly the same moment the old friends at Cows are Just Food wrote up a lovely review in which some of my favorite words about e.p. hall were said: "i like e.p. hall‘s music, made with voice and guitar. i like even more that the songs end up kinda damaged when she’s done with them. i like how its prettiness is skewed. i like that its off-centeredness unbalances. i like it sometimes when wheels aren’t reinvented just spun a slightly different way. i like this."
Soon afterward I was elated to receive our first German review. The good folks at das klienicum had some kind words I can (sadly) only understand via gTranslate. Here is a horrifically translated bit that nonetheless sounds beautiful: "The lyrics are often cryptic and hints of living. the musikalie like a light dress, like a grid, so that it is not there completely naked. a wailing organ, a manic electronica, the gentle acoustic, faithful, adjutierende companion..."
--October 31, 2011
BRAND NEW SONG, FREE TO DOWNLOAD...BECAUSE I LOVE YOU...AND HALLOWEEN.
Happy Hallows Ween, everyone. It's our very favorite holiday. And I come bearing a small gift.
For free download is a heretofore unavailable brand new song.
Mind you, it's just a lo-fi home recording.
This song will ultimately appear (a totally different version, quite different in form and sound) on the "Muscle Memory Recordings" EP I hope to release next year. But you've heard little from me lately and I owe you too much to hold out. Please feel free to send others here as well to grab it.
One fun fact about the song is that the weird sounds are actually other tracks of me playing and singing, just filtered and distorted to all hell to sound like scary insects and animals. This is appropriate probably, since the song is about dualism and our identification (and disidentification) with our bodies, the problem of always being, in part, the object of our own perception (even when what we're attempting to perceive is something else)...stuff like that.
**If you download the mp3, and enjoy it, I'd encourage you to buy the Mommy Crow record if you haven't already. The wonderful boys at IFF Transponder still haven't made their money back. Even though they handle the money part, if you're in North America I'll still send it with my own little hands (Euro folks will get the hands of the lovely IFF boys, which are as good if not better).
There are also still plenty of t-shirts and other stuff if you want 'em here.
The words to the thing follow. You know how I am about words.
Every ounce of my love and appreciation on this Hallow's Ween,
Mechanical Hands (The Disembodiment of the Embodied Mind)
I've got mechanical hands
I have been using them to build a fire
All the bones and the bolts and the sweat up in smoke with the wires
I've been away from my mom
I have been using the angels to call her
From the skulls on the edge of the brains to the dust on the water
I've got a memory of hospital bills
With the blood soaking pages, obscuring the numbers
And a vague premonition you’ll feel what you faked
You can ink what you say, but you want what you take
Oh I've got mechanical eyes
There is a fear of waking up in the night
I've got a fantasy of a disease
As a key, to the key, to the key, to the center
Of the meat from a mind you could put on a plate
You can ink what you say but you want what you take
--August 28, 2010
The year is over. It is time for this.
I miss you already.
Andy and Greg, and the IFF-Transponder blokes...I don't have words for it. No words are big enough or good enough or heavy enough for everything you did.
More songs are working themselves out like they do. Like splinters. But it will be different, you know. The end of an ear and the beginning of another ear. I love you all and am so, so moved with gratitude that you listened and cared. I will see you soon.
--August 15, 2010
Tour photos (Cross-country tour, May 19 - June 12, 2010)...
St. Louis, MO / Oklahoma City, OK / Austin, TX / Amarillo, TX / Flagstaff, AZ / Las Vegas, NV / Los Angeles, CA / Santa Barbara, CA / San Francisco, CA / Sacramento, CA / Portland, OR / Olympia, WA / Seattle, WA / Boise, ID / Provo, UT / Grand Junction, CO / Denver, CO / Colorado Springs, CO / Lawrence, KS
--May 9, 2010
Tomorrow (May 10) at 10:30 EST we will appear on the KDVS live radio show and podcast "Phoning It In'. Taking part in this podcast will put us in good company, including David Bazan, Jens Lekman, CocoRosie, Mount Eerie, Little Wings, Laura Veirs, Casiotone for the Painfully Alone, Half-Handed Cloud, Paleo, Vollmar, and many wonderful others.
--April 28, 2010
Just uploaded a clip our friend Olga Rass taped of us playing Water Tower during an intimate-ish house set...
--April 27, 2010
Listen to our live in-studio appearance for WFHB's fund drive. In addition to interviewing with Music Director Jim Manion, we played a few songs from Mommy Crow. I think 'Gone are the Thoughts of Sparrows' got especially growly for some reason, and I think that this might be a good thing.
--April 26, 2010
At long last, some tour dates for you to put in your upturned derby hats...
e.p. hall Summer Westward Tour
May 18th - Chicago, IL (with State Champion)
May 19th - St. Louis, MO (details TBA)
May 20th - Oklahoma City, OK (@ SCISSORTAIL with Luna Moth)
May 21st - Austin, TX (@ LAMBERT'S with Royal Forest and The Whiskey Priest)
May 22nd - West Texas (details TBA)
May 23rd - New Mexico (details TBA)
May 24th - Flagstaff, AZ (@ TAALA HOOGHAN)
May 25th - Las Vegas, NV (with Dreaming of Lions)
May 26th - Los Angeles, CA (details TBA)
May 27th - Santa Barbara, CA (with KCSB 5432...fun radio show folks)
May 28th - San Francisco, CA (@ THE PURPLE DOOR with Adam Balbo))
May 29th - San Francisco, CA (@ BLUESIX with Hélène Renaut and Jen Grady)
May 30th - East Bay, CA (details TBA)
May 31st - Sacramento, CA (details TBA)
June 1st - Eugene, OR (details TBA)
June 2nd - Portland, OR (@ ELLLA ST. SOCIAL CLUB)
June 3rd - Portland, OR (details TBA)
June 4th - Olympia, WA (with Sundance Kids)
June 5th - Seattle, WA (with Sundance Kids)
June 6th - Boise, ID (details TBA)
June 7th - Provo, UT (@ MUSE with Apache)
June 8th - Grand Junction, CO (Panthernaut Productions show, details TBA)
June 9th - Denver, CO (@ Meadowlark with Bad Weather California
June 10th - Omaha, NB (details TBA)
June 11th - Lawrence, KS (details TBA)
--April 24, 2010
We've recently done a couple radio bits for the local WFHB fund drive, and have been promised audio files to share soon of the live sets and interviews we've done. In the meantime, here is a nice photograph that WFHB Music Director and our interviewer took during our set...
--April 23, 2010
Today marks the release of the long awaited Sticky and the Bees presents The Self-Help Songbook, Vol. 1: "The Real World" at the Buskirk in Bloomington. Sticky and the Bees features both of us, but playing Andy's (very different) compositions instead of mine. It's a beautiful record and can be purchased locally at the usual locations. For mail order, contact stickyandthebees [at] gmail dot com. (Album design by Rod Deerr.)
--April 22, 2010
There was a time when I had hoped that I coined the term 'paragrapher' (to be pronounced in a rhythm like 'geographer', which is convenient since I am quite taken with things science) but then found this word to already exist, and even more disappointingly I found it to primarily refer to those who write short descriptions for catalogues. Nuts. No matter. I have survived worse disappointments.
In any case, before I heap upon you the string, and tape, and thumbtacks, the crumbled parking tickets and rubber bands of these day-to-day businessings I usually write you and have lately taken so long to produce, I'll provide some paragraphy (which perhaps sounds enough like pornography to make things genuinely interesting).
~The Lower Animals
There are circuits that appear when feeling worms its viscous fingers into that damp hull of thoughting, formed in the time it takes the body to mean the meanings of such things. I searched the inside of my stomach for a manner to tell you this and only the lower animals knew the answer. The way you curled up next to me, the way I tried to burrow into your mind. The wind in circles. A quiet worm with no memory and no regard for the future. Oh, the silent milk of so many insecurities, ever creeping through these long, dark hallways. Your wet heels there, sinking further into the soft curve above gravity’s hip. I found your belly with my hands and encircled you there steadily, steadily, steadily, steadily, steadily.
~The Badger Needs Parentheses
"I'm so glad we're friends," said the Badger, but her hands were full of the meat she had torn from him, and she was crying, and so the words didn't sound right.
~The Shape Predicts Itself
I predicted that you would be forever blowing air into your own wounds, the pen scratching frantically, needlessly. Etching out the folds as the words, taken together, began to more and more resemble your brain itself. Every backward turn and sloping curve, shining and slick. You would be scowling and licking the soot from your fingers. Staring into a mirror and watching me. Eating the gravity of your thoughts. Putting your tongue on it and feeling it press back against you. "We are not going to get out of this" you said, "in the end, this is the thing that will define us." And I nodded and was quiet then.
-April 17, 2010
Yesterday we played the release show for the annual Live From Bloomington charity compilation (featuring 'Churchyard' from Mommy Crow). In addition to being a generally fun and pleasant time, we were happy to play alongside our good friends Redbird. e.p. hall fan extrordinaire Kyle Baugues was kind enough to film one of the songs in our set ('Gone are the thoughts of sparrows'), so now I share it with you here.
--March 20, 2010:
--March 18, 2010:
Today we were lucky enough to receive a feature story in NUVO magazine.
You can read the full text of the story HERE, but here are some highlights...
"Black clouds of smoke roll past the titular bird which graces the cover of Mommy Crow. The stark and textured artwork, designed by Bloomington artist David Woodruff and silkscreened at In Case of Emergency Press, reflects one of the album's themes. “To embrace failure and disappointment is to sit under the wing of a dark and frightening bird,” Percy said. “Mommy Crow personifies the seductive temptation of the notion that it is safer to lose hope than maintain it.”
--March 17, 2010:
So flattered to learn that we were the top 3 artist this week on WFHB independent radio (see?)
--March 15, 2010:
--March 1, 2010:
Great review in the Ryder of the new record. The full text isn't yet available online (online the print version), but here's a representative quote:
"An e.p. hall composition conveys an experience of space and emptiness. The fundamental sonic thesis of the music merges analog acoustic instrumentation with digital effects and ambient noises, blending and trading the traditional roles of each. Often a guitar or unidentifiable percussion will snap with a harsh obdurate emptiness while soft-edged digital waves hum, warm and enveloping. The lyrics, equally haunting, tilt from poetic metaphors into magical realism, addressing the mundane ennui of life's disappointments and rare, bittersweet triumphs. You can easily feel yourself in the words, perhaps a drink too far into a lonely, introspective evening. The Edge The Middle, e.p.'s first album, itself was an impressive effort. The new release, Mommy Crow demonstrates that same enchanting talent maturing. Composition, production, and songwriting have improved across the board. Intrusive and distracting production has been smoothed out and the lyrical imagery adds tinges of hope to the often melancholy subject matter. Most importantly, this album keeps the spotlight on its key strengths: Ms. Percy's seraphic voice and melodies that captivate with seeming effortlessness. These are e.p.'s great virtues, and they are (almost always) front and center on Mommy Crow."
--February 22, 2010:
Balmorhea unfortunately canceled their tour and thus the show on Saturday, but we will play a house set in its stead. Email ep at ephall dot com for details.
--February 20, 2010:
Great review of Mommy Crow in Subba Culture, which you can read in full here, but here's a snippet:
"E.P. Hall is a talent with such sullen, slow building brilliance that this album will demand repeat listens for months, possibly years to come...you get the feeling that E.P. Hall not only knows something we don’t, but is teasing us with it as well. A stunning album – One that lingers and haunts and bites in and has you from word one and before a single chord is struck. 10/10"
--February 18, 2010:
Review of Mommy Crow in Redefine Magazine. Read the full review here. Here's a clipping from it...neat.
"Percy has found a way of merging her fascination with philosophy and psychology with into her musical endeavors. Her lyrics are bouquets of imagery, pensively romantic, and with a sigh of loneliness."
--January 20, 2010:
Review of Mommy Crow in NUVO. This is an interesting one. Read the full review here. Preoccupations with my identity, and with things French, abound. In any case, here's a snippet:
"e.p. hall’s work has a rural, mysterious, abandoned farmhouse vibe, inspired by a nature that’s as spooky or malevolent as in The Birds or “The Raven,” the crow on the cover of the CD’s cardboard packaging both beautiful and threatening in turns...e.p.’s tense, warbling, cracked and emotive lead vocals are pretty and strangled; she massages every word, evoking bird calls with a caw-like attack or tweeting vibrato."
--December 21, 2009:
Just returned from our Southeastish tour: Tallahassee, FL/Gainesville, FL/Savannah, GA/Nashville, TN. Exhausted. Andy's photos follow.
--December 14, 2009:
We've just returned from our Eastcoastish tour (Columbus, OH/ Richmond, VA/ Philadelphia, PA / Brooklyn, NY / Winooski, VT / Saratoga Springs, NY / Fredonia, NY / Cleveland, OH / Ypsilanti, MI). Leaving for the Southeastish tour in just a few days...
It's been a surreal couple weeks of friends, loud things and soft things, gas stations, sleeping bags, This American Life episodes, meeting people's cats, spending Thanksgiving with strangers-come-family...
Importantly, as you may be aware, you can now buy Mommy Crow online and at local shops Landlocked, T.D.'s, Luna, and Indy CD and Vinyl. And of course you can still buy it online as well. Even itunes, if you must.
In Columbus, OH. Photo credit: Ryan Monroe of Godiekid Photography
--November 24, 2009:
We have shirts! Available online soon...
--November 23, 2009
--November 22, 2009
Last eve, the eve of Mommy Crow's release, will remain a high point in memory for awhile, I think. So many friends to feel close to, so much interconnectedness. I don't know how many more CD release shows we will have, but it is difficult to imagine topping that one. Redbird and The Native Young were amazing, the goers were wonderful, perfect, wonderful. And so many of them. There is no amount of gratitude to accommodate it, no word really for the way it feels to get to do something like this and to do it among friends. Will get hold of some photographs to post soon but I doubt they will do the thing justice.
It is a hectic moment presently, so many things are winding up instrument cables and getting contact numbers and writing myself notes of all the things that I think are not written thickly enough on my brain, and most of those things are winding back upon themselves. There is the rememberer and the one preparing to remember. We leave for the Eastcoastish tour tomorrow, the first e.p. hall tour ever. It is a scary thing, but a wonderful thing. Tomorrow we leave for Columbus, and the following day Mommy Crow is officially released. So many things at once.
--November 21, 2009
Great review in the French blog Écoute Première! Read it in full here. Here's a snippet:
"Des claviers, des effets et un picking de guitare surprenant, qui suffisent à créer une atmosphère bizarre, marquée par un spleen lancinant, mais jamais pesant. Une véritable intensité émotionnelle dans le songwriting, qui se fait sentir des les premiers couplets....Cela faisait longtemps qu'on avait pas écouté quelque chose d'aussi passionnant au niveau de la composition. Alors quand la chanteuse possède en plus un Ph.D. en sciences, on demande à savoir si elle est mariée."
--November 20, 2009:
The release show in Bloomington is tomorrow. Stomach butterflies....
Also, today there is a write up about Mommy Crow in Skope Magazine. Neat.
Regarding audio, I'm going to skip ahead to a favorite track, Churchyard. Listen and pre-order to support your friends e.p. hall.
--November 18, 2009:
We are reasonably good at keeping promises.
Today you can listen to The Shade, the forth track from the record, which can be bought now by pre-order.
--November 17, 2009:
So many things to do before everything prepares for liftoff.
I will post another track for you tomorrow. Promise.
For the moment, I thought you might be interested in some infobits regarding the assembly of the CDs. The discs were pressed through Bellwether and are embraced by a bronze and navy silkscreen on chipboard 4-panel; designed by David Woodruff and silkscreened by Jarod Isenbarger. The colors in these photos are a bit off from what they actually look like, but it provides a general sense of the thing. There is a texture and a thickness to the silkscreening, the colors have more depth. The bronze is...bronzier. Anyway, they look amazing. Woodruff and Isenbarger deserve a great deal of gratitude for their work on this project. They are so top notch so as to boggle the mind.
By the time it gets to me, the packaging is printed, folded, and glued (by Jarod). I'm thankful for this since I have even fewer skills in this area than I do in most other areas.
The discs, which are a wonderful shiny black on matte black design of kaleidoscopic crows, get put in by my weird looking hand.
Each one gets hand-numbered out of 600 so you will feel very special to have it.
It looks nice in the hand.
...the back too.
Then each one goes in a sturdy little resealable poly bag, which keeps Jarod's silkscreening pristine and makes you feel like you have a present to open.
Then I unroll this big roll of transparent circular stickers to find the one to put on your copy.
...and by David Woodruff's smart design the sticker tells you what the record is without interfering with the album art itself.
Doesn't all that make you want to pre-order it a little bit?
--November 12, 2009:
Today Andy and I took a walk from the Bishop to pick up 500 really beautiful DJW tour posters from White Rabbit to send out to the tour venues. I don't know how Woodruff was so able to exactly capture the sentiment and aesthetic we wanted but couldn't communicate, but he really succeeded. And White Rabbit took great care of us.
Last eve Woodruff and I went to see Jarod Isenbarger at In Case of Emergency Press to finalize the ink colors and see some test screens of the packaging. It made me giddy. I can't wait to hold one in my hands. The bronze paint looks good enough to eat.
Then, we celebrated our evening of progress with a night of Bishop-ing watching Racebannon. And we had our minds blown much like in the flyer for that show, which Isenbarger coincidentally designed and printed.
--November 11, 2009:
Another track for you to listen to. You can do the thing where you listen and then pre-order the album here.
Gone are the Thoughts of Sparrows
Also, the CD's came back from Bellwether today and they look amazing. Jeremy and Kristin were so wonderful to us, and Woodruff's design has been making people fall all over themselves with amazement. You will see them soon. Meeting with Jarod Isenbarger to see the first screenprints of the packaging. Like little
--November 10, 2009:
Beautiful tour poster from David Woodruff. Will be printing out a million of these and mailing them to the people kind enough to book us...
--November 9, 2009:
Are you ready?
Are you sure?
Listen to the first two tracks from Mommy Crow . . . now.
The Emperor's Note
Then, pre-order the CD...now?
(Note to local friends--that is, of Bloomington/Indianapolis--you would probably do better to buy one in person at the CD release show on Nov. 21st at the Bishop or at T.D.'s, Landlocked, Luna Music, or Indy CD and Vinyl on the 24th. Preorders will be shipped out very close to the 24th. US/CAN orders will ship from Bloomington, UK/EU orders will ship from Cambridge).
--November 8, 2009:
First review of Mommy Crow at Cows are Just Food!
"...there's something of the heart and brain and guts about this. something stripped and bloody and bare-boned about the whole affair. but one rich in emotion and language and imagery..."
Read the full review here.
Also, it's probably about time we post the route for our next couple jaunts. As before, lots will probably change as these get confirmed, and you'll gradually see this get filled out in the shows section of the site.
~e.p. hall Southeastish Tour 2009~
December 14: Lexington, KY
December 15: Charlotte, NC
December 16: Charleston, SC
December 17: Gainesville, FL
December 18: Tampa, FL
December 19: Atlanta, GA
December 20: Nashville, TN
--November 7, 2009:
We have album art! (well, digitally simulated, since it will be hand screen-printed by Jarod Isenbarger at In Case of Emergency Press). David Woodruff did all the design, and once it's all painted in bronze and navy inks it's going to look amazing. The colors here aren't exact, and a few changes may still take place, but we couldn't be more excited about how it's looking.
These chipboard cases, produced by Stumptown Printers in lovely Portland, are folded up and glued to produce a wonderfully plastic-free case.
Once assembled, these will each go in a nice little polypropylene bag that will protect the silkscreening and make it look snappy. And finally, David has designed wonderful little stickers that will attach to the bag over the lower right of the front cover--white ink on a transparent background in his beautiful handwriting to identify 'e.p. hall Mommy Crow' so that the cover can be labeled without interfering with the artwork itself.
The disc itself is also going to be amazing, but I will save that for later.
You can click on the different panels to see them larger (and in the proper orientation).
--November 6, 2009:
Lots of important things to tell you.
Today was almost a perfect day. Received some wonderful emails from people who are being very kind and generous to e.p. hall, we nearly have Mommy Crow artwork ready to start silkscreening (yes, you can see it soon!), but just when everything is going to be wonderful and without negative incident, your biggest amp blows out and you have to drag it to a shop, where money and time to fix it are totally mysterious. Tonight we will sacrifice small animals to the gods of wire and speaker.
Luckily, there are two things to share today that make everything amazing again. The first is that you can listen to *another* track from the upcoming record on *another* wonderful radio station, WFHB (radio or web) *tonight* on DJ Noah's show 'Carry-out or Delivery'. 11pm EST, 91.3FM, 98.1FM (or stream it from HERE). It's a surprise which track, but I will say it's one no one's heard yet.
The other thing to report is that a very nice fellow who calls himself Nikbitz recently sent me a remix he made of Tuesday, and we thought it was very neat indeed. I've been lately thinking how we can encourage more people to do this. In any case, you can download it here.
--October 26, 2009:
Tomorrow night (tuesday) you can hear the first track of Mommy Crow on the radio (99.1 FM locally or via live stream at the WIUX website). Nicole O'Neal will play a very, very new version of The Emperor's Note during her show Sound in Bloom (7-8pm, EST). Hope you'll listen along with us.
--October 19, 2009:
Neat happenings abound, but for now I will only tell you that we are very, very excited about our next show. Southgate House is an amazing place indeed, and worth a bit of a drive, as are the bands we're playing alongside that evening. There's been a comp CD featuring all of us that's been floating around those parts, though the quantity was very limited and now they've all been snapped up. You should come and say hello to us.
--October 16, 2009:
Don't hate us for this, but we should report that we have had to forgo the Canada plan and re-route by going back through Connecticut and upstate NY for the Eastcoastish Tour. Canada's funny about letting touring musicians across the border (and by funny I mean incredibly scary and mean, contrary to most Canadian behavior, but it is related to the unions, this bit of context makes all this a bit easier to understand). Unlike yours truly, Dr. Goheen does not enjoy Canadian citizenship. We had initially been misinformed about some of the procedures and so finding out how incredibly expensive and complicated it is was a very unwelcome surprise. This means there will probably be a solo (that is, andy-less) tour of the great north--probably when it has started to get warm again. As for where we'll be playing on those formerly-canadian dates, I'll have the final information and venues posted in the shows section as soon as each is confirmed. It's a slow ship, and a meandering one, but we will all get to where we are going and have soup and bread. I tell myself that all the time.
--October 15, 2009:
The tour dates are slowly, slowly taking shape. The dates for the next couple trips (SE US and the cross-country/west coast one) will be posted soon, and the details for each one will show up in the shows area of the site as they get worked out. We're becoming more efficient and better at it little by little. Spent a good deal of time lately sending promos off for (hopefully) review. Also made a ton of these from copies of The Edge The Middle:
For those Bloomingtoners who haven't bought a copy of TETM, a limited number of these (to which I've affixed a little flyer for the release show) will be available in some local shops. Likely in Indianapolis as well.
--October 12, 2009:
We've got a couple more dates confirmed, and I'm about to dive into planning the next jaunts. When juxtaposed one atop the other, it starts to really cover the whole country, which is nice. What a task this is. It is good to take this first crack at it alone, do it all by ourselves and face the cold wind outside the doors of the old cabin. However, it will be so, so nice when we can start making some trips with the lovely bands we adore, and when things are comparatively familiar and warm and easy. I am a big fan of contrast effects and often try to use them to my advantage.
IFF-Transponder is finally out of shenanigans-with-e.p. hall closet, as evidenced by this
Back in July I met a wonderful person named Sarah Law who was traveling as Paleo's photographer. We had this really magical evening with them and our friends the Sundance Kids, which devolved into playing with all my weird living room ornaments. The phrenology head. The Freud books. The fake taxidermied crow. Sarah, who takes photos as Sarah Law Photography, was snapping pictures throughout the evening and emailed me recently to say she has this picture of me print to 8x10 on the wall in her office. That was a very touching thing. I will probably post some other pictures from that magical evening when I find good places for them.
photo credit: Sarah Law Photography
--October 9, 2009:
Booking tours DIY style is no easy task. I thought I'd done things close enough to make it easy on us, but I underestimated it. I've had full-time jobs less time-consuming. I can't even imagine how people could have taken on such a task before the age of the internet. We spend a lot of time looking like this...
...but even after a 6 hour stint spent searching, messaging, responding, and re-routing, it is still difficult not to feel little sparks of excitement, to see all these mundane tasks as little seeds of (mis)adventure in hard spiny shells. And this is especially the case when, at a moment of particular frustration, you finally hear from someone so kind and helpful that you can't wait to pack up the car and go play music with them in warm rooms under dim lights.
--October 6, 2009:
Today I've posted a backlog of entries so that I would have lots of interesting things to tell you. Regular posting will commence at this point.
--October 5, 2009:
The Bloomington CD release show has been scheduled for Saturday, November 21 at a beloved new venue in town called the Bishop. They have already played a role in helping Mommy Crow to come into existence. The show will be free and we will be asking some wonderful other folks to play as well. Save the date, please.
--October 4, 2009:
Most days are spent having calls and meetings and correspondences about album art, and sending oodles of messages to bands and venues for touring. Perhaps at this point it will be helpful to describe the first (east coast) upcoming jaunt as the route is looks presently (though changes will likely be made as the details are nailed down)...
~ e.p. hall East Coast-ish Tour 2009 ~
November 21: CD Release Show at the Bishop in Bloomington, IN
November 23; Columbus, OH
November 24: Baltimore, MD
November 25: Philadelphia, PA
November 26: (spend the holiday with friends in Queens)
November 27: Brooklyn, NY
November 28: Providence, RI
November 29: Boston, MA
November 30: Burlington, VT
December 1: Montreal, Canada
December 2: Ottawa, Canada
December 3: Toronto, Canada
December 4: Ann Arbor, MI
December 5: Back home to Bloomington
--October 1, 2009:
Today we mastered mommy crow with Mike at Russian. I had expected mastering to be the least interesting or readily understandable part of this entire process, but fun things, such as the ways songs overlap with or cut into each other now, saved the day. After we were done I drove out into the woods and listened to it really loudly through the car stereo. Gordon, the car's former owner, would have approved of such a trip, I think.
So now it exists as a thing that can be held in the hand and that is a welcome, soothing development. It is strange for something like this to take shape. I feel strongly that it is both a birth and a death. A birth in that something comes out of nothing and gains an independent existence, but a death in that it inters a particular set of sounds and thoughts into a certain moment, and they are forever separated from the lingering 'now' they formerly occupied. Or something. As either a birth or a death, it is time for it to finally happen to my old friend mommy crow.
In more concrete news, I also found out that Kristin at Bellwether is quite wonderful. At least the pressing of the CD's themselves is taking shape. Now if we can just find a way to cheaply do vinyl...one can only dream of the future...
I also had tea with Mr. David Woodruff to work out the album art. Wethinks there will be layers of things and metallic silkscreen shenanigans by a local printmaker. It is important that you take note of this photo which is on the welcome page of his very nice website, because it is really the only thing I can think of when I'm trying to have a professional conversation with him. And now I won't be the only one. Also, he is an incredible artist and musician.
--September 28, 2009:
The story of Clever Hans has lately had a large impact upon my thinking about this year and this project. There are new layers to it every day. The agent is part of the surrounding environment but sees itself as a passive perceiver of an independent reality. Events unfold, and we look to the dark mysterious eye of the horse to explain them, forgetting the shadowy arms that reach out from our minds and right back in again. It is an old favorite. I try to bring it to mind whenever I feel like the world is happening to me and forget that I am just as much happening to it.
--September 24, 2009:
We just finished mixing with Mike Bridavsky at Russian. Surely, it is a very expensive way to spend 23 hours staring at the back of someone’s head. If that is all you want, you could probably find a cheaper option. However, for a wonderfully clever mixing engineer with great intuitions and lots, lots, lots of cats, it’s a bargain. Really, he and the place itself are absolutely wonderful. Get ready for lots of tape delay and other wonderful analog shenanigans. He makes things sound thick like a old timey milkshake. He does all the mixing analog, that is, it does not exist in a computer interface that can be gone back to. This is scary in some ways but it makes it kind of magical, and marries the recording to a particular moment with all its peculiarities. I really love the way these songs are mixed, and I was so happy to work with someone who seemed to care just as much about the thing sounding great as I do. Also, there are cats.
--September 21, 2009:
Neal Warner and I stayed up all night in front of his rig getting all the tracks finalized. Our favorite recording engineer around, for sure. I bought him root beer and pretzels to help pass the time, but such things become unappetizing at about 5am. The degree to which the recordings improved under his wise eye is hard to articulate. The part I love most is that it hasn't lost the scent of my home recorded material (and, indeed, most things, such as guitars, certain percussion, all synths and electronics, found sounds, accordion, bells remained the same). But Neal's contribution, in particular to the sound of the vocals and drums, is stunning.
--September 20, 2009:
An unfortunate series of events led me to carry andy’s drums up his rickety basement stairs and load them and unload them by my lonesome today when we met with Neal at the Schoolhouse again to record. This drums-up-steep-stairs bit led to a ridiculous amount of leg bruising to which I was sure to draw andy’s attention at least 5 or 6 times that evening. It wasn't so much to guilt andy as to communicate that I am indeed a badass. Andy played the drums for Churchyard in a way that made me feel dizzy and excited (you will have to hear them to feel it, it’s as though the world is ending). As if the evening had not gone perfectly enough, Alex Kroh of our friends Redbird played a drum part for The Emperor’s Note far, far more badassedly than I could have ever conceived of myself. It was strange and sad for the final night of recording to be over.
--September 16, 2009:
Met with Neal again today, this time at the fabled Schoolhouse, where andy used to live and which once upon a time I stayed up nearly an entire night cleaning, to finish re-dubbing vocals and record Travis’ cello part. It’s a regularish house but the living room has wood floors and a high vaulted ceiling. The fellows that live there now are kind enough to give up this room, which really constitutes half of the house, and let us take over. We tried to compensate them with a box of wine. I wish I had taken pictures of Travis playing, because cello playing is inherently picturesque. I did, however, happen to break out the old cell camera when the evening devolved into toy instrument and theremin playing. We also recorded crickets and passing cars and the sound of John chatting while he smoked.
--September 6, 2009:
Today we met with friend and recording engineer Neal Warner at The Bishop, where Steve was kind enough to let us take over for a Sunday and re-dub most of the vocal tracks that I had home recorded. It’s not actually that they were so bad, really. But when Neal used the words ‘sort of anemic’ I had to agree. Cheap mics lose things. Also, home recording by oneself is a stressful animal, and it makes it hard to concentrate on musicking. And so there was a stilted distractedness about the performances that was difficult to ignore. He set up an ancient RCA, a shiny Neumann, and some strange little mics that he built himself and taped up to the walls. The RCA had recently been re-ribboned by an old man who is one of the few people in the country who still has such a skill. And I liked the thought of this very much. Wrinkled hands and mic parts lying everywhere and the sound of AM radio making its way through cigar smoke.
Some of these recordings will undergo some happy transformations, like re-amping through glowing tubes and running things through a 1960s reverb plate the size of a mattress. What we didn’t plan on today was the humming of the tap room, the occasional silence of which was like a gunshot setting off a race to record the next quietish thing. We sat on the sidewalk and ate Laughing Planet for dinner with his wife, and for the first time I completed a day of recording without feeling miserable. There is probably a reason not to do everything oneself.
--September 3, 2009:
Included among the samples on the CD (in Gone are the Thoughts of Sparrows, to be specific) is a clip from one of my favorite old BBC shows hosted by Bryan Magee. In this one, he interviews John Passmore about Hume, with whom I've been at times a little preoccupied. Oh, causation. Where have you gone? Where can we find you to tie everything back together? The first portion of the episode of interest can be seen here and then the rest of the interview can be seen in the sidebar links once you're there.
--August 20, 2009:
After a good deal of back and forth and even some trial recordings of some other things, it is now mostly clear what songs will be on Mommy Crow, and specifically that it will indeed be a totally legitimate full length album. The songs are as follows:
The Emperor's Note (completely new version)
Gone are the Thoughts of Sparrows
The Shade (completely new version)
Go the Sun Down
The White Bird, In Springtime, Will Find You
The Secrets Change, They Melt and Freeze
(Chase Scene Through the Silent Forest)
Ladders and Mirrors
Analysis of Variance
--August 17, 2009:
--August 15, 2009:
As part of catching up on things, I should describe what we have been doing so far. Recording mostly consists of me spending long inefficient hours in this room:
There is nothing unusual about the room itself. Long periods of time were spent walking around and clapping to identify areas where problematic reverb lived, and shoddy bass traps were constructed and placed ignorantly at various points. Everything connected to a mixer whose umbilical cord ran under the door, and for a take I would start the macbook recording outside the room, slam the door and run in and get into position, and then sing or play whatever guitar/ electronics/bells/accordion/tambourine needed playing. It is truly a ridiculous manner in which to record anything.
When I record the electronics I sometimes like to sit in the dark so it looks like this: If you can find the face you win a cookie (you must supply your own cookie).
--August 10, 2009:
I am finally going to come clean about the various cageyness you have encountered. All the recent developments are explained here.
--August 9, 2009:
Today we met with Jessi Jefferson to take some photos. Old timey psychiatry, phrenology, arm wrestling, and paper-rock-scissors games ahoy. She uses all manner of fancy lights and umbrellas, and I brought a truckload of old rugs and books and ephemera to include as backdrop. Every time I see her I remember how much I adore her as a person and as an artist.
--August 2, 2009:
Thanks to mysterious gift-leavers and eerily appropriate book titles....
--July 18, 2009:
Still hedging about the stuff discussed in the previous post, but suffice it to say there were little new bits I wanted to tell you about anyway. Mainly that there is now an e.p. hall twitter profile and an e.p. hall artist profile on facebook. both of which are desperately in need of friends and followers, so find them and help us remember we aren't alone in the universe. More soon.
--July 13, 2009:
Things have been happening right under your nose. Big announcements coming soon. To satisfy you for now, we'll announce that the lovely Andy Goheen (of Sticky and the Bees) is now officially part of e.p. hall, and between his extensive classical training and his badass, innovative skills on electronics and drums, things are going to start getting kind of very wonderful. We'll have our first show together on July 30th at the Schoolhouse with one of our favorite songwriters, Paleo. Incidentally, e.p. has been playing in Sticky and the Bees lately as well--so keep an eye on that project if you weren't already.. Aside from that, please stay tuned for great things.
--March 4, 2009:
The shows for the Live From Bloomington CD release have finally been announced. We'll be playing at the Cinemat in Bloomington two days in a row: April 9 and 10. Learn more in the shows section. We've been getting an uncommon amount of TETM CD orders from the U.K., which is wonderful. All of the e.p.-folks wish they could be as wonderful as the europeans...
--January 8, 2009:
e.p. had the best year of her life, and hopes you did too. Andy Goheen and I almost failed our collaboration challenge, but I'm increasing the accountability by mentioning it here, and if you like the idea of Goheen/e.p. vocal duets you should encourage us with ungentle harassment. Also, if the cllct hasn't been mentioned yet, it should have been. Go there and download lots and lots of great things.
--December 21, 2008:
We were recently selected to be on the 2009 Live From Bloomington compilation. This is very happy news, as we love our bloomington scene. In addition to the release, there will be a show with the other lfb folks. More about that soon.
--November 30, 2008:
The laying-of-groundwork-part for the 2009 release 'Mommy Crow' has begun. Also, have you heard of Harry Partch? e.p. is in love
--November 19, 2008:
New cafepress.com site to buy non-music merch-type things: like shirts, stickers, and buttons. We butchered some of Ontolograph's lovely photography of the now-infamous t.e.t.m. typewriter: to make them: http://www.cafepress.com/ephallmusic.
--November 15, 2008:
Audio finally working...t.e.t.m. is up now, more to come.
--November 12, 2008:
The new website works. Hooray. I was sick of the old one. Lots of new/different stuff in the gallery....