CALH / Performance Arcade 2013

Hey everyone,

We’ve had an awesome few weeks of shows; first opening for A Place to Bury Strangers and then the weekend past at Camp a Low Hum, and now this Saturday we’re participating in the Playground Collective’s Performance Arcade 2013. The Saturday afternoon music series has us playing alongside our friends Seth Frightening and i.Ryoko in a shipping container on the Wellington waterfront near Te Papa – details HERE.

In bad news, one of the sides of our new 7″ has had to be replated at the pressing plant, so we’re unfortunately looking at further delays with sending out the PledgeMe orders. We’ll stay in touch and let you know as soon as they’re ready to be sent out.

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PledgeMe update

Everyone who pledged towards our new 7″ and LP etc should now have been contacted to confirm orders and details – if you haven’t received the email, please check your spam folder (it’s pretty spammy).
If you missed out on pledging while the campaign was active but still want copies of any of the records, just have a look at the PledgeMe page for the options and then send an email to rhydianwthomas@gmail.com with what you’re after.

The vinyl is being pressed in Australia and artwork printed in NZ at the moment, and an estimate for shipping etc would be mid-January at this stage. Keep an eye on this page for updates!

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Blood/Work 7″ got its crowdfunding!

Hey everyone,

After three of the most stressful weeks ever, we made our funding goal! Thanks infinitely to everyone who pledged to make this project possible. At times I really didn’t think we were going to make enough to release the record, so we’re really grateful to those who chipped in.

What happens next? Well, we will receive the full list of pledgers from PledgeMe this week, and then we’ll be in contact about any specifics we need to chase up over the next month (e.g. shirt sizes and designs, delivery addresses and the like). The record will be sent off to press this week, so we’ll be aiming to have all of the packages sent out by Christmas time. In that gap, we’ll post plenty of updates and be sure to stay in touch regarding different options – especially on the shirt design, for which there will be two choices.

Oh, and everyone who pledged for the new 7″ will receive a special cover edition, numbered out of 50.

We have a couple of shows coming up too. This one is on Wednesday:

That’s us, Spook the Horses and Bachelor of Architecture this Wednesday 14th November at San Fran Bath House – and it’s free!

And we’re also opening for the Omar Rodriguez Lopez Group on Tuesday November 27th at the San Fran Bath House again – tickets are available here.

After that, we’ll be planning a New Zealand tour early next year and continuing to write for our next release.

That’s all for now – thanks again for helping us release our new record! We love you all. x

The Stuff

OUR PLEDGEME PAGE

Hello,

We’ve got two days left on our PledgeMe campaign to fund the release of Blood/Work on vinyl and we’re just over halfway there! If you’re interested in buying this record, don’t hold off now as it might not happen if we can’t afford to do it on vinyl (I can’t see any other less expensive physical format for releasing a two-song EP that’s still desirable, and digital-only releases seem like something of a non-event to me). If you’d like a copy of the record (or any of the other stuff we’re selling) and don’t have a credit card to use for pledging, just email me at rhydianwthomas@gmail.com and I can take cash by bank deposit to pledge for you.

One important note that people might not be aware of: with PledgeMe campaigns, if the overall funding goal isn’t met by the due date, none of the rewards/pledges made will be charged. In other words, if the project doesn’t meet its funding goal, the project doesn’t go ahead.

OUR PLEDGEME PAGE

A couple of people have asked why we’re using PledgeMe and crowdfunding in general for this release and not just putting it out ourselves and then selling it. I think the crowdfunding model could offer a really interesting alternative to the old model of make the product, market the product, and (hopefully) sell the product. It seems pretty easy to consume rather than listen to the many millions of bands we’re assaulted with online every day, and crowdfunding a release by asking listeners what they want (rather than the band telling them what they want) might reestablish that investment in the work and provide a more intimate connection between bands and listeners. In short, pledging money towards a crowdfunding campaign isn’t equivalent to the act of just buying a product – it’s making the project itself possible.

Anyway, a little more on the stuff available through our PledgeMe campaign:

Blood/Work 7″ + Digital Download: These are two new songs recorded in September 2012. Blood is an instrumental track whose only vocals are provided by the sampled singing of the sex workers on Marion Street late at night. Their voices used to reverberate along the alleyway next to my apartment; shrieking, laughing, singing, even praying. There was no pitching or temporal manipulation involved, I chopped and edited a 40-minute raw track of their voices over a couple of months. Work is a much faster and rawer track that musically reminds me a little of mine and Kalem’s old band, Strangers. Lyrically, it’s an examination of competing Western notions of freedom in the context of consumer capitalism: we live in a social world in which result and outcome are considered infinitely more valuable than method and process. The 7” comes housed in a full-colour single fold sleeve with lyrics/credits in a pressing of 200 copies. The first 50 copies ordered will be numbered and with a special cover insert. The digital download will be provided through Bandcamp, which offers a number of file formats. These songs were again recorded, mixed and mastered by Tim Shann. Click here to listen.

Escape Songs LP / Book+CD: Most of you will be familiar with this drawn-out album, which we intended to release almost two years ago. This album was written and recorded song-by-song for the twelve months of 2010 and then compiled into a full-length album. The LP version comes in a single sleeve with cover artwork, lyrics, credits and a letter from the band, in an edition of 100 copies (10 handmade copies were produced to sell at shows but are all gone). The Book+CD edition comes in a plastic sleeve with 80-odd pages of artwork; each song has its own visual series done by the band and a couple of other artists (Zachary Jordan Penney, Hywel Thomas). This album was again recorded, mixed, and mastered by Tim Shann, and it also features Ana McGowan on vocals/cello/accordion and Tim Shann on bass (who’ve both since left the band). Both editions were released by Auckland-based independent label Mole Music. Click here to listen.

T-shirt: We’re not ready to reveal the design of this just yet, but rest assured that it’ll be minimal and fashionable enough to wear in public without your cool friends telling you to go home and change. Available in black and white, in sizes small, medium, large, XL.

The Vault: Contains all of the aforementioned editions (not the t-shirt though) along with a pile of demos of almost every song we’ve released, live videos and writing videos, and some covers (including our ill-fated attempt at doing Communist Daughter by Neutral Milk Hotel during our early years as a band, as well as Hank Williams, Smog and more). It also comes with some original artworks from the Escape Songs book, setlists, drawings, a letter and anything else we can find. Comes in a box.

Cover a song: We’ll cover and record any song of your choosing – it could be one of your own songs, something you like, something you hate and want butchered, or just a weird curiosity track that you’d like to hear done in our style (think Eiffel 65’s ‘Blue (Da Ba Dee)’ or Will Smith’s ‘Willenium’, for example).

So that’s it: one more day to pledge. If you pledge we will love you forever and use the money to stay active in writing and releasing music. We’d like to be a real band again.

Thanks for reading. x

Rhydian

An Everything Update

I don’t update this blog any more, but click here for our PledgeMe campaign to fund our new 7″, Blood/Work. Click here to listen to the new songs. We’ve made a new site but haven’t got it finished yet. At the PledgeMe page you can preorder copies of the new 7″, the Escape Songs LP and book/cd, t-shirts etc.

Currently, the band is me (guitars, vocals, trumpet etc), Callum (drums, percussion), Graeme (guitar) and Kalem (bass). We’ve got a couple of gigs coming up and unfortunately the best way to find out about them is through our FB account (here). After the current campaign is done we’ll make sure to ease the reliance on FB in light of its monetisation of public posts and so on (more here on this) and use our new site. The internet is confusing.

Rhydian

Ah

come shake it

Oh Long Long Escape Songs

Hello,

This is a long-overdue update, and it isn’t good news, unfortunately. We’ve had more setbacks with production of the vinyl package – money, time, printing, etc – and as a result, we’ve had to push back the release of the LP, shirts and a few other things til July. I know, I know, it’s taken a long time to get this thing ready, but the kind of album we’ve chosen to make just isn’t particular easy to finalise. We’d like to have had the LP ready before June – when Ana goes away to Prague for a month to accept this award (she rules!) – but due to the production delays, we’ll be waiting until she’s back in July to ‘re-release’ the album. We may play a Wellington gig in the meantime; info soon.

Anyway this delay is also an opportunity for me to ‘word up’ our delicious musical product – we’ve already released the book/cd package (though we’ll be waiting for the LP before we start selling it online), but the LP package will be different, and quite lavish and intimate in its own way. The package comes with recycled, screenprinted outers and a few ‘tokens’ inside, as well as a typewritten letter with lyrics and some password-accessible online content (a ‘vault’ of demos/structures/videos/photos etc from the making of the album). When this is made available for preorder, we’ll also make available the last track from the record (‘One Way’) and return the Bandcamp page to free download status. Around this time we’ll essentially ‘re-release’ the album at a few live gigs around NZ (South island included…) and hopefully launch a music video for one of the songs. That should be interesting. Any ideas? We could record a live video of us playing at Mighty Mighty wearing sunglasses at night? That sounds pretty cool and maybe (just maybe?) the taxpayer could fund it?

Anyway, in conclusion, this delay is John Key’s fault (obviously). And it highlights the conundrum of being a non-profiting band who releases their music for free while trying to make a desirable physical item that makes people want to buy it even though they can get it for free… yuhknow? It’s a lot of tears before bedtime; I’m sure you can understand. If you wait for us, we’ll make sure these next live shows are the best ones we’ve ever done.

Also, here’s the album cover on its own:

(Image acknowledged to Steffano Webb Collection via the Alexander Turnbull Library, Wellington, NZ: F-10498-1/1
Photographer: Steffano Francis Webb
Group, including nurses, with laundry and other equipment, during the 1919
influenza epidemic, Christchurch.)

Here‘s a nice review from Groove Guide, by the way. Here‘s some photos of the Wellington release show by Marms. Here‘s some by Rachel Brandon.

I’m also going to take this chance to force links upon you for our various individual thingies that we work on when we’re not crying and playing Body Lyre songs: our drummer Callum’s band Spook the Horses will be releasing their debut album Brighter sometime in the next couple of months (also recorded with God-child Timothy ‘Tom Shane’ Shann). Graeme’s playing with Dan Burmester (in a band that should be called Daniel & The Burmesters, if you ask me), and he’s just released his first album here, with another coming soon. Mr Shann is still playing in Razorwyre here, but he’s also playing in The Eversons here (they’ve just released an EP and have a video coming soon). Angus is pretty much just chilling and drinking his three beers every Thursday night (probably more on the weekend too, tsk tsk); he used to play in this rad-as-hell band called The Colour of My Bones that broke up far too early into their lifespan (demos here). And I’ve just had a poem printed in the latest issue of Sport; you can order the book here (it’s a poetry/prose journal and it has lots of NZ writing including the winning entries from Unity Books’ ‘The Long and the Short of it’ competition).

Lastly, make sure you check out the Concerned Citizens exhibition at 13 Garrett st, Wellington; beginning June 4th. Ana and I will both have work in it, and the funds raised will be put towards the legal defense fund of what the media has called the ‘Uruwera 15′. Details here.

Always Watching You While You’re Asleep,

Rhydian

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