April Landscapes

Life has emerged from the hasty hibernation of the passed winter, with people eagerly taking in the warmth of a welcome, if premature Spring. The highs are higher than normal, and the cools tend to  sneakily reside during the nocturnal hours, which may also reveal a secret rainfall upon waking. The budding leaves on the trees double in size and quantity with every casual glance, and the chittering of squirrels and cardinals of day give way to the delicate whooshing of bats of night. 

My soundtrack this Spring has been a surprising one - a Vancouver BC ambient electronic artist that goes by the name of Loscil. He has numerous albums, the latest being 2014's Sea Island and the ones I've heard are all supremely consistent. The first one I picked up was 2004's First Narrows, and while I was initially ageist about the release year, I figured there was nothing wrong with "old" music except maybe my own bias. If one were to crash on a desert island and be stranded with albums only from 2004, I think there would still be enough quality hours for listening to last several years. I released my first album Exit Pesce in 2004, and I still run into people who cite that as their favorite album of mine.

There is something both steadying and searching in Loscil's music; the unflinching landscape-like synths, the breezy jet-stream melodies, and a pulse that is more reseting pulse than the beating of a heart-in-motion. But this music puts me in motion. It ignites the imagination and focuses the body. The words I hear in the absence of any lyrics are swirling lexicons of images, ideas, and rumors that there is a thriving existence outside of our own well-worn habits and mental ruts. I'm eager to embrace new creative ideas, and finish the rest of what has kept me so busy over the last eighteen months.

My band Rogue Valley is finally releasing our new album. It's been a long time coming, but why does "time" for me seem to be a way to indicate an expectation that we should have released this album much sooner?It wasn't ready until it was ready, and to think of this stretch of time as lost is unfair to the substantial work and real growth that was necessary in completing this album. It's a really beautiful album, that I can not wait to share with the world. The release date is June 21st and we'll have an official release show announcement for July in a couple of weeks.

What else has been in the works during this time? A heartfelt album I recorded with my Dad which we released in a debut concert in Portland Oregon last month. An album I've been working on with singer-songwriter Becky Shaheen that we began pre-production on in Spring of 2014 which is shaping up to be quite lovely. Her album is nearing completion. Also, I have a set of strange iPad-produced pop songs that I'm finishing up at Human's Win, which I've worked on with producers Paul Marino and Lance Conrad. That collection will see the light of day eventually, possibly under a new moniker altogether. There's the covers EP Lucy Michelle and I recorded, and possibly a new set of songs with her band Little Fevers. Then there are errant loose tracks, songs I love that have yet to be properly recorded. I'm hoping to get some of these scratched out eventually. But maybe It's time to step away from the surroundings I've known so well for an opportunity to explore new landscapes.

But first, a couple of shows coming up: First is as a part of the 411 Concert Series curated by the Northfield Arts Guild in Northfield, Minnesota. I'll be performing as a duo Saturday April 30th. Northfield is a lovely town that is alarmingly rich in it's proliferation of the arts for a city of its size. Some of that is undoubtedly attributed to the two Colleges (St. Olaf and Carleton) that inhabit the city limits, but I think there is something in the water as well. Ye 'Ol Cannon River floweth forth; flouted strong. Advance Tickets here.

My friend and singer-songwriter Brianna Lane has opened a new venue in South Minneapolis that promotes the experience and culture of house concerts. It's called the Warming House, and I'll be performing there as a part of their Grand Opening Weekend, along with Peter Miller of We Are The Willows. Our show is Friday May 6th, and it's going to be an amazing night! Tickets are available here.


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