10 years, 40 musicians, One CD: Ball of Wax Turns Ten!


Ball of Wax 40 Harry Candy selection panorama by Kirsten Eklund

Ball of Wax Volume 40/10th anniversary celebration weekend:

Saturday, June 20, Conor Byrne Pub
5140 Ballard Ave NW, Seattle
The Great Um, Sam Russell and the Screen Soul Explosion, Eggshells, Virgin of the Birds, Screens, and special guests
Doors 9pm | Show 9:30pm | $8 | 21+

Sunday, June 21, Ballard Homestead
6541 Jones Ave NW, Seattle
The Foghorns, GreenhornBluehorn, Colin J Nelson, Shannon Jae, and special guests
Doors 1:30pm  |  Show 2-4:30pm | $7 Advance / $10 Door | all ages
Kids 12 and under  free. Concert indoors + lawn games out in the side yard. Picnics welcome.

Mike Bundy bangs on a can or something.

Mike Bundy bangs on a can or something. Photo by Jon Rooney.

Can you believe Ball of Wax is almost 10 years old? I sure can’t. I wanted to mark volume 40, and our tenth anniversary, with something special, so I hand-picked 40 BoW alumni ranging from volume 1 to volume 39* to take part in a one-day music-making experiment. In the largest iteration yet of the recording game Harry Candy (main/only rule: write and record a piece of music in 24 hours – see also Ball of Wax 11), we all met in the morning on April 4th, randomly divided into ten bands, and went off to ten separate locations to each write and record a new song. Each band was randomly assigned a year from 2005 to 2014 to serve as the inspiration for their song, providing both a conceptual framework and a track sequence for the collection.

Sam Russell, Carlos Tulloss, Dekker Deen, and Shannon Jae: Masonic Mouth Sounds

Sam Russell, Carlos Tulloss, Dekker Deen, and Shannon Jae: Masonic Mouth Sounds self-portrait

The results totally exceeded my expectations, which were pretty high to begin with. Everyone dove into the project with the proper spirit of enthusiastic experimentation and collaboration, and that Sunday I found myself listening to ten new songs, created by ten bunches of people who’d never played together before, and sincerely loving all of them. I look forward to sharing them here on the blog leading up the release date.

A project and occasion of this magnitude required more celebration than the usual CD release show, so we’re doubling up and taking over Ballard with a night-time rock show at Conor Byrne and an all ages afternoon acoustic show at Ballard Homestead on the last weekend of spring/first weekend of summer (perfect timing for the Spring 2015 volume, no?). I’ve got as many Ball of Wax 40-related bands as possible lined up to play, and we’ll also have a few special performances from the made-up Harry Candy bands as well.

Needless to say, each of these events will be unique, not to be repeated, and chock full of great music. See you there!

*Ball of Wax 40/Harry Candy bands:
I Am the Deciders: Meghan Kessinger, Holly Small, Kevin Suggs, Jonathan Wooster
Syncopateen: Rob Anderson, Josh Engelhardt, Caroline Keys, Michael Wohl
Hixton Yor: Mike Bundy, Bart Cameron, Olie Eshleman, Jon Rooney
Masonic Mouth Sounds: Dekker Deen, Shannon Jae, Sam Russell, Carlos Tulloss
Dirty Face: Brent Antal, Robert Deeble, Seth Howard, Peter Verdoes
Lords of Eternity: Casey Alexander, Chris Antal, Nate Biehl, Allison Tulloss
Frank Buckles: Doug Arney, Shea Bliss, Levi Fuller, Jake Uitti
Chasing Shell: Taylor Delph, John Faryar, Josh Morrison, Colin J Nelson
Lahar: Kirsten Eklund, Colin Isler, Mindie Lind, Mark Schlipper
M.I.K.E. Drop: Kelly Dale, Keenan Dowers, Emory Liu, Louis O’Callaghan

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