Waiting for Inspiration

This is a live blog of Galen’s listening to Andrew Bird’s Noble Beast album.

Side A first record in the record player…

Ah, whistling.

Fuzz guitar is simple, understated, and lovely. Not distortion, this is straight up fuzz. I’d love to figure that tone out. The little one is dancing occasionally.

Is this record skipping or is seriously experimental. MORE WHISTLING.

Short break here to red Max Drives Away… again.

This second track while having a certain Simon and Garfunkel quality to it’s overall sound really showcases Andrew Bird’s “wainwrightesque” voice. All apologies if Rufus is in fact Birdesque. I’m notoriously bad with timelines.

I’m not a huge fan of repeated claps as a prominent sound in the rhythm section.

Was that a fiddle slide or a theramin for a moment there?

The little one is pulling apart her play-mat and then putting it back together. She’s really into this game lately, but now the bulldog has tried to claim her space. Two destructive forces working together is frightening.

I really wish this track was a bit less produced, though the samba feel of it does make me want to get a cocktail and sit out under the stars. There’s that fuzz guitar again… Who’s playing? Oh, hello Google! Could be Andrew or Jeremy Ylvislaker. More research commencing after this new energy in the current song lets me go. I feel a little like dancing to it, which is something, because I don’t really like to dance all that much. The whole album feels like a Wes Anderson film. Hmmm… I need to get a Wes Anderson viewing party together. There will be costumes, decorations, etc.

This album feels very dated for having been released in 2009. It doesn’t feel like it’s 5 years old it feels like it’s 35 years old. Time to flip the album.

A brief interlude here. I frequently get into semi-heated arguments about vinyl in which I say, “I can’t hear the difference between vinyl and a lossless digital copy.” I stand by this argument. Generally speaking the difference I hear can be explained as the difference between speakers on different systems more than anything else. However, there is a great experience in the enjoyment of a vinyl record that there is not in the digital playlist. I have to actively engage with what I’m listening to. The side of the record is finished and I must get out of my seat, walk to the player, turn the record over (tactile sensations abound) move the needle and then see if I want to get back to what I was doing while listening. In contrast, the digital soundtrack has turned my entire life into a mall where the music I am most likely to enjoy is playing in a way that I am most likely to ignore. Ok, flip the damn album.

I really dig the immediate dive into an orchestral feel here. Now… yeah, I just read Max Drives Away, again. I like the violin on this track. I’m not sure which one it is, but it has a vaguely American Civil War Era feel. Gina just brought me a sheaf of handwritten font sheets. Gorgeous. We will frame them, for sure.

While I’m vaguely distracted, let me discuss the love of packaging. I’m a songwriter who puts primary importance on lyrics. I love all the space the record cover gives to show off an artist’s lyrics. For a while there when CDs were just getting their start, they frequently had thick booklets of lyrics. Now CDs seem to come only in tiny cardboard sleeves. Though the font of those books was already too small, it was at least something. Now as someone who has friends with talents in the visual arts, I’m all to aware that I have NONE. So the digital route is certainly easier for me, because coming up with any sort of album art is a nightmare of insecurity.

For the love of God, and your life, stop the god damned clapping. I know I’ve mentioned it already, but this album is way overproduced for my tastes. Okay, I think this song is called Nomenclature. I don’t think I’m making it through this album tonight. Bored. Just nothing there grabbing me. Nothing hateful, just, not snagging. Very well thought out tracks with great recording, way too much going on, and every track is starting to blend into the others.

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So Many Shows!

photo contest
Hey everyone! Just wanted to update our lovely fans on our upcoming shows this summer. We’ve been very busy this summer so you’ll have plenty of chances to come out to see us play! Also we are still running our photo competition, so bring yer cameras and take photos and video! See the rules to the photo competition over here ->

Some Upcoming Shows of Interest
July 12 Newtown Square, PA @ Burlap and Bean w/Joy Ike
July 25 Brooklyn, NY @ Union Hall w/Hannah & Maggie and Jus Post Bellum
July 26 Newtown Square, PA @ Colonial Plantation at Ridley Creek State Park
July 26 Chestnut Hill, PA @ The Mermaid Inn w/Hannah & Maggie

Musikfest
Aug 2nd Bethlehem, PA @ Music Fest Cafe

Philadelphia Folk Festival
Aug 15th Schwenksville, Pa @ Philadelphia Folk Festival Lobby Stage

Also0o0o0o0

Galen, Desiree, and I have all been busy writing new tunes! The band is currently working through three new songs. If you catch us any of our upcoming shows, there is a good chance you’ll be the first to hear them! So come out and see us play, and bring your cameras!

- David

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Folkin’ A, We’re Playing Philly Folk Fest

We are VERY excited to announce
that we will be playing this year’s
53rd Annual Philadelphia Folk Festival!


First, big thanks to everyone who came out to our Folk Fest showcase at North Star Bar in April and thanks to the Philadelphia Music Co-Op for choosing us!

53rd Philadelphia Folk Festival
Friday August 15 – Sunday August 17

>>>Purchase Folk Fest tickets here<<<

Friday 8/15 - Lobby Stage - Black Horse Motel between 2pm & 6pm.
Our set time is TBD. Please check back for updates.

For more info on the Philadelphia Folk Festival, go to www.pfs.org.

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North Star Bar Wrap Up

Some Upcoming Shows of Interest
July 12 Newtown Square, PA @ Burlap and Bean w/Joy Ike
July 25 Brooklyn, NY @ Union Hall w/Hannah & Maggie and Jus Post Bellum
July 26 Newtown Square, PA @ Colonial Plantation at Ridley Creek State Park
July 26 Chestnut Hill, PA @ The Mermaid Inn w/Hannah & Maggie

And Now for the Updates

People you’ve got the power over what we do
You can sit there and wait
Or you can pull us through
Come along, sing the song
You know you can’t go wrong ~Jackson Browne, The Load Out

Sunday night saw Black Horse Motel playing at the North Star Bar. It was a shorter set than we’re used to playing so we had to trim down the list a bit, and looking at the other bands on the lineup we went with the loudest, foot stompiest, sing-alongiest songs we had. And here’s the thing. The audience was AMAZING.

Dear Audience,

183920-buddy-christ-says-you-rock-dude

Seriously though, the stage was shaking from audience participation. I wanted to personally invite every member of that audience to every show from now on, and I did.

Also, let’s get some birthday love on. Sunday night was dear fan and friend and overall supporter of Black Horse Motel, Jordyn’s, birthday.

A charming picture of Desiree with a poorly photo-shopped party hat.

Desiree recently discovered her birthday is the on the same day as she was born.

And for those of you not intimately familiar with our facebook page, Tuesday was Cello and Vocal Extroirdenaire, Desiree’s, birthday.

Are you still reading? Wanna help us out with a quick questionaire? The lineup from Sunday’s show turned out to be amazing, and it’s not necessarily a bill we would have thought to put together. Go North Star Bar! Still, maybe you could help us to design better shows for you, the people for whom we do this…

Thanks,
Galen

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Summertime – Strap On The Feedbag

Hello folks!

It’s been a while since I’ve shared a yummy recipe with you, so I am going to give you my Root Beer Float Cupcake recipe, but first, a list of our upcoming shows!

Sunday, June 15th – North Star Bar with Skinny Lister and Onward, Etc. – tickets
Saturday, July 12th – Burlap & Bean with Joy Ike – tickets
Friday, July 25th – Union Hall with Hannah & Maggie and Jus Post Bellum (tickets on sale soon)
Saturday, July 26th, 6:30pm – PA Colonial Plantation Farm Day at Ridley Creek State Park – Tickets and info here – This is a great show to bring the kids to!!
Saturday, July 26th, 8:30pm – Mermaid Inn with Hannah & Maggie – tickets at door – this is a great show to bring your dancing shoes to!
Saturday, August 2nd – Bethlehem Musikfest – (tickets on sale soon)
Friday, August 29th – Kung Fu Necktie with TBA – tickets

And now for these amazing cupcakes. They are a little more complicated than your regular cupcakes, but they have booze in them. Booze. ‘Nuff said.

Root Beer Float Cupcakes

Ingredients:
Cupcakes
1 C. Root Liquor                    2 eggs
1 1/2 C. root beer                 3 C. flour
2 tsp. vanilla                           1 tsp baking powder
2 C. brown sugar                   2 tsp baking soda
1 C. butter (room temp)
Glaze
2 C. Powdered Sugar            2 T. Root Liquor
1/4 C. Root Beer                   2 T. Vegetable Oil
Buttercream Frosting
3 C. Powdered Sugar            1 T. Vanilla
1 C. Butter (room temp)      2 T. Whipping Cream

Directions:
- Preheat oven to 350, line cupcake pan with papers.
- Mix together liquor, root beer and vanilla. Set aside.
- Cream together butter & sugar until light and fluffy. Add eggs.
- Mix in dry ingredients.
- Slowly pour root beer mix over dry ingredients and mix until smooth.
- Bake for 15-20 minutes or until inserted toothpick comes out clean.
- As soon as you take cupcakes out, slowly pour a spoonful of glaze over each cupcake.
- Let cupcakes cool completely and frost.

You can stick a little straw in them if you want to get cute, but around here we just want to shove them in our faces.

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