Thursday, July 10, 2008

Go West...To the Great Northwest


We're all directionally challenged this week. From the Great White North to the Great Northwest, if it's north of Florida and it's Great we're writing about it!

Anyway, musician, Brian Coates moved to New York in 2004 where the music/art project that would become The Great Northwest commenced. The band in a short period of time grew to involve over 20 people including Portland ex-pats Noah and Nathan Rice (the Christopher Twins), Josh Kalberg, and Dale Winston.

After a year+ in NYC, Brian's wanderlust led him west to California. At his friend Armando's house in Fresno, a musical beacon was sounded. Joe Kaczmarerk, Brent Fellows, Courtney Taylor Taylor, Brent DeBoer, Ray Gordon, Sean "Gothman" Addams, Poopy Simons, Louise Fenton, and a load of new friends converge for a blowout of a party. Brian Richburg, owner of Studio 9 in Fresno made them a deal for studio time and recordings of a whole stack of tracks are made. More than an album's worth, in fact.

Brian, now working with Dead Meadow, ends up in the Mt. Pleasant neighborhood of our nation's capital in 2006. Douglas and Mike from Kora meet up with him at a bar in their mutual 'hood to hear some unmixed MP3s on his laptop, leave awe-struck and sign him straight away to put out an LP. During a summer pit stop in Portland, with longtime band mate Randall Crush, the songs receive mixing treatment at The Dandy Warhols' Odditorium.

The 13 track album brims over with lush soundscapes and ambient modulations. Pop melodies and slowcore pacing coalesce seamlessly throughout the record. Lavish and haunting vocals woven with Brian's savvy wordplay complete the sonically induced mind altering experience. After the mixing session, Coates said tenderly, "there's guitar, there's bass, there's drums, there's trombone, there's Leslie speakers, practice amps, Jew's Harps, drum loops, tambourines, ebows, harmonicas and pie tins. There's thought... there's love."

Check it out for yourself.

Download: Chief John

2 comments:

Amy Guacamole said...

paul, be my official blog buddy!

Paul POP! said...

You've been added!!!