As mentioned in my first post, I’m joined in this brand new blog endeavor by some friends who are interested in helping to highlight music and community in Seattle, the Northwest, and the world. So far they’re all musicians in their own right. I’m not going to be too worried about “conflict of interest” on this blog – when you have musicians writing about music that’s pretty much impossible as far as I’m concerned – but I’m guessing we won’t generally be writing too much about ourselves. So I thought I would take this opportunity to introduce Andrea, Louis, Jon, and Caitlin by way of their music. Read on for some words and sounds about and from each of them.
Andrea Maxand landed on my radar pretty early in my Seattle music career (I think our first show together was a house show/badminton tournament that was also a benefit for The Vera Project – I first played with Louis’s The Graze there, as well). She writes and sings gorgeous, transparent, heartfelt songs. Despite the fact that she quietly released a new album this year, she has been pretty low-key on the music front lately, playing only a few shows here and there that I’ve heard about. But she does update her Myspace blog regularly (and also hilariously and thoughtfully), and thus was a natural to ask when I was looking for writers.
Here she is playing the song “Anesthetize,” originally by the band Neo, from Ball of Wax Volume 2.
For the past several years Louis O’Callaghan has written and performed as The Graze, which has ranged from single dude with an acoustic guitar, to single dude with electric guitar, to full-on rocksperience (he’s currently playing under his own name while he mulls possible new band names). His Iowa Anvil was justifiably lauded as one of the finest local albums of 2004. He recently, rather softly, released an excellent follow-up, called Give/Sell, and has been a steady contributor to Ball of Wax in the musical department. I’ve always enjoyed shooting the breeze about music with him, and am very glad he’s joining us here.
Here’s “Trip Song,” as featured on Ball of Wax Volume 22.
Jon Rooney was once in a fine indie-pop outfit out of the Bay Area called Morning Spy. These days his musical output is produced under the name Virgin of the Birds. He also runs an excellent label called Abandoned Love Records, all of whose records you should go buy right now. I’ll wait. OK, you back? As I was saying: Jon and I ended up finding each other electronically through one or the other of our many common threads in the music world, and the first time we met In Real Life was when he happened to be in Seattle to play at the release show for Ball of Wax Volume 5, despite the fact that he lived in Austin at the time. He has since moved here permanently, and proved to be a great force for creativity and enthusiasm in our fair city’s music scene, as well as a fantastic and prolific songwriter and regular Ball of Wax contributor.
Here’s “There Is a Wide Road,” the first of many Virgin of the Birds songs on Ball of Wax, from Volume 5.
Caitlin Sherman is a relative latecomer to the world of Ball of Wax, but has more than made up for lost time. Between her bands Slow Skate and Sunday Evening Whiskey Club (formerly Bucks T-4), she’s appeared on five of the last eight volumes since the beguiling sounds of Slow Skate first made their appearance on Volume 15. Every time I get a new song from her or see her play, I’m further impressed by her all-around talent, whether as a singer, songwriter, or instrumentalist (keys, guitar, uke, you name it). I’m really looking forward to seeing what she has to offer as a blogger.
Here’s the video of “Face Yet Unchanged” that Slow Skate sent to be screened at the Volume 15 release show, at which they were unable to perform in person.