notes + photos from the 2018 Savannah Stopover

Another Savannah Stopover is in the books, and many of us are still in some sort of recovery from the thrilling three days. (There was also a pre-Stopover lineup at Graveface Records on March 7th, but more on that soon.)

With each year, Stopover seems to play a more vital role in Savannah’s cultural identity. The local and out-of-town reviews and reactions will continue for days, and we’ll be sharing a lot more here at hissing lawns and on the hissing lawns Facebook page.

Check out what pronoun had to say this year after their second Stopover:

And this from G. Taylor McKnight, found of the app Sched:

I live in Savannah and have seen a couple hundred Stopover shows since the festival was founded in 2011 — click here for the full program history — so I’m used to hearing such praise for the city, the festival, the venues, the legal outdoor drinking, the weather, and all sorts of other aspects of Stopover.

But I find it harder every year to summarize Stopover. I saw anywhere from a few minutes to full sets of 32 bands this year, but another attendee could have seen an entirely different 32 bands and had an equally amazing experience. Music writers sometimes cover festivals as if they saw everything that was worth seeing, but there just isn’t any way that one reviewer — or a whole team of reviewers — can take it all in. Consider that I missed most of the New West Records showcase and all of the Sleep Well Records showcase, I missed several of the top-billed festival acts, and I missed the excellent series of secret shows. Hell, I didn’t even make it to Becca Mancari’s performance at lunchtime at The Grey.

No regrets here though. I had an amazing festival, and in this post I’m including photos of almost all the bands that I saw, as well as a variety of random reflections. Please hop over to our Facebook page and share your favorites.

And come back here over the next few days for more Stopover wrap-up posts by our hissing lawns team.

1. Favorite sets (in no particular order):

Gus Dapperton – I was a little afraid that the hipster vibe would translate into an overly subdued and self-referential performance, but this show exceeded my very high expectations. What a great connection with the crowd and a genuine desire to talk to fans after the show. I can’t wait to see where Dapperton’s career goes from here.

Honduras – I loved Honduras’ garage-y rock at the 2017 Stopover and the band killed it again this year in a set at Barrelhouse South. Honduras has 10 gigs at SXSW this week and is touring with the excellent Public Access T.V., who also played a great Barrelhouse set. I hope that both bands get the attention that they deserve.

The War and Treaty – Big voices, big love on stage at Trinity. If you ever get a chance to see this couple live, do it.

Lola Marsh – Again, a show that exceeded my very high expectations — lush, beautiful, and inspiring music from the Tel Aviv-based duo of Yael Shoshana Coehn and Gil Landau, plus their band.

Shopping – The post-punk trio from London and Glasgow delivered big as the final act on the opening night of Stopover. Be sure and check out their new album The Official Body.

Pylon Reenactment Society – Lead singer Vanessa Briscoe Hay is the only original member from the legendary Athens act Pylon, but the band channels the energy of decades ago and at the same time feels vital right here, right now. At the end of their set to close out the festival at The Jinx, the guys from Acid Dad, audience members, and David Barbe joined the dance party on stage.

Pylon Reenactment Society (+ David Barbe and members of Acid Dad) at The Jinx

Honduras at Barrelhouse South

Gus Dapperton at Ships of the Sea

The War and Treaty at Trinity United Methodist Church

Lola Marsh at Trinity

Shopping at El-Rocko

2. Biggest surprise: Jon Stickley Trio

New Music Monday – 3/12/18

We’re back this week with new music from:
The Hold Steady
Brie Capone
Horse Feathers
Big Ups
Rob Crow / Optiganally Yours

As always, enjoy.

The Hold Steady
Brooklyn, NY
“Eureka” b/w “Esther”

If you follow this blog regularly, you know that there are several among us that have a soft spot for The Hold Steady. From Finn’s expertly crafted lyrics to the ever expanding instrumentation that the band incorporates, there’s a lot to love with these latest singles. Decidedly more mellow than their last release, there’s still a lot to take in with these newest tracks. – Petee

Brie Capone
Asheville, NC
“Weigh In” off of the upcoming If I Let You In

Combining a captivating mix of retro-pop and indie rock, Capone’s latest release is a ballad built on juxtaposition and indecision. Driven by some clever interplay between bass and piano along with some amazing harmonies by Capone, it’s pretty clear why Capone is quickly making a name for herself in the Asheville singer/songwriter scene. – Petee

Big Ups
NYC, NY
“PPP” from Two Parts Together out in May on Exploding In Sound Records.

It’s appropriate that Big Ups has a new song out on the week of Savannah Stopover, as they are one of my favorite Stopover discoveries ever. What are we calling this? Post hardcore, maybe? Let’s just call it awesome, actually. Great riffing, angry vocals, super solid rhythm section, pretty much everything I want in heavy music. Looking forward to the full length.
tom

Horse Feathers
Portland, OR
“Without Applause” from Appreciation out May 4th on Kill Rock Stars.

The lead single from the new Horse Feathers rocks more than I would expect, but it’s classic folk rock of the sort you might hear from Iron and Wine or Ray LaMontagne when they’re in the mood to rock, as opposed to whispering over acoustic instruments (which I’m certainly not opposed to, either). Really great, approachable stuff, in my opinion.
tom

Rob Crow/Optiganally Yours
California
“Whomever Watches You Sleep” from Rob Crow’s 2018 Joyful Noise Artist in Residency box set.

Is anyone as prolific over as many genres as Rob Crow, while somehow not only not sucking at any of them, but producing consistently fantastic stuff? This box set will feature music from some of his projects, including Pinback, Optiganally Yours, Thingy, Goblin Cock, Byre, Third Act Problems, Other, Remote Sequence Project, Physics, Anal Trump, and well, you get the idea. Supremely catchy indie pop to grindcore, he’s got it covered. Will someone please buy me this box set? Anyone? Mom?
tom

Savannah Stopover 2018 – Petee’s Picks

It’s almost that time! It barely seems like it’s been a year since the last time Stopover hit downtown Savannah but thankfully the festival is back and bigger than ever. Sure, 80+ bands over the course of 3 days may seem a bit daunting at first, but don’t worry, we’ve got your back! While you’re likely to have a killer time no matter what random set you may wander into (as more than a few of our contributors have been known to do in the late hours of Stopover), we want to make sure that you don’t end up kicking yourself for missing out on some of the most promising acts of the festival. While this list is going to focus on out of town acts, make sure you pencil in some time to show a little love to local acts like CUSSES and Bero Bero as well! Here’s a quick day-by-day breakdown of the upcoming artists that you won’t want to miss:

 

Wednesday, March 7th
Graveface Presents “The Night Before Stopover”
As if Stopover itself wasn’t big enough this year, our own Graveface Records has decided to join in on the fun and is officially sponsoring some pre-Stopover festivities including the fantastic High Up, Kid Dakota, and Whispertown as well as local favorites Dreamend. Check out our full preview of Wednesday’s events here!

 

Thursday, March 8th

Ruby Velle & The Soulphonics (soul, funk)
7pm at Ships of the Sea
The soulful Atlanta natives will be kicking off the opening night of Stopover at Ships of the Sea. Don’t mess around and miss this six piece just because things are kicking off a little early. Their mix of soul and 70s rock is sure to please.

 

FRIGS (post-punk)
10pm at El-Rocko Lounge
Hailing from Toronto, FRIGS are a bit bewildering to take in at first. Equal parts groovy, post-punk and experimental art punk, the group is sure to put on a good show.

 

Larry Jack’s Stopover Itinerary – 2018

Hey everybody,
This is my tentative Stopover schedule.  I think of it as more of a wish list, I’m probably not seeing all 50 bands listed (maybe 2/3 of them?).  There is no telling where I will really end up, but these are my goals.  There were several slots when I actually wanted to see four bands at once, but I realize the odds of that are pretty slim, so I trimmed it to no more than two bands in the same time slot.  Good luck to me and whoever is with me.  Remember to eat and hydrate.  Happy Stopover to one and all.

Key – * means I really want to see them

Thursday 3/8
1800 – Payne Bridges – Ships Of The Sea
1900 – Ruby Bell – Ships Of The Sea
***EAT AT SHIPS OF THE SEA***
2000 – *Larkin Poe – Ships Of The Sea
2100 – A Deer A Horse – El Rocko
2130 – Zuli – Barrelhouse South
2200 – FRIGS – El-Rocko
2230 – Stoop Kids – Congress Street Social
             Neighbor Lady – Jinx
2300 – *French Vanilla – El Rocko
             Vita & The Wolf – Club One
2330 – Cave Singers – Jinx
2400 – *Shopping – Jinx
             KOLARS – Club One

Friday 3/9
1700 – Secret Show – Desota Hilton
1730 – Cory Chambers Jazz Band – Jinx
1800 – Wilder Maker – Congress Street Social
***EAT***
1900 – Cicada Rhythm – Ships Of The Sea
1930 – Nancy Druid – Barrelhouse South
2000 – Lily Hiatt – Ships Of The Sea
2030 – *Sh-booms – Trinity Church
             *Muckers – Barrelhouse South
2100 – Caroline Rose – Ships Of The Sea
2130 – *Honduras- Barrelhouse South
             *The Medium – Congress Street Social
2200 – Illegal Drugs – El-Rocko
             Trongone Band – Jinx
2230 – Public Access TV – Barrelhouse South
             Future Generations – Club One
2300 – *Bones Of JR Jones – Jinx
             Yonotan Gat – El-Rocko
2330 – *Cusses – Club One
2400 – *Low Cut Connie – Congress Street Social

Saturday 3/10
1230 – Becca Mancari – The Grey
1400 – White Violet – El-Rocko
1500 – Birthday Club – Congress Street Social
1530 – Danielle Hicks Band – Jinx
1600 – Liz Cooper – Jinx
1800 – *Nude Party – El-Rocko
1830 – Sam Lewis – Trinity Church
1900 – *Colter Wall – Trinity Church
1930 – Gus Dapperton – Ships Of The Sea
***EAT AT SHIPS OF THE SEA***
2030 – Of Montreal – Ships Of The Sea
2100 – Mo Lawda – Congress Street Social
2130 – Ratboys – Barrelhouse South
2200 – *The War & Treaty – Trinity Church
             *Acid Dad – Jinx
2230 – Vundabar – Barrelhouse South
2300 – Bat Fangs – Jinx
             *Wild Child – Trinity Church
2330 – Twisty Cats – Club One
2400 – Pylon Reenactment Society – Jinx

Larry Jack’s Magical Music Tour – 3/7/18 – 3/14/18

Hey everybody,
Well, we’ve hit Stopover Weekend. I’ll be posting my Stopover schedule in a few. There are still several interesting things going on this weekend, even if you don’t make it to Stopover. There will be the first-ever Undergo Festival. It will feature all local talent and looks like it could be a lot of fun. There were too many artists to list, it should be easily found somewhere on this internet-thingy. Little Tybee will be returning to our area this week. And this will be the downtown debut of Rev Bro Diddley, whom you may recognize from the Hypnotics. I hope to see lots of you around this weekend, Happy Stopover !!!

Wednesday – 3/7
Kid Dakota, Whispertown, High Up, Dreamend –
The Night Before Stopover @ Graveface
Triathlon, Atlantis, Inner Wave –
Jinx

Thursday – 3/8
Savannah Stopover – Various locations
Brad Paisley – Savannah Civic Center (7:30)
Little Tybee, Reign Of Lindo- Tybee Post Theater (8p)

Friday – 3/9
Savannah Stopover – Various locations
Undergo Festival – Sav’h Film Festival
Cousin It – Rail Pub (6p)
Thomas Claxton, Ben Keiser Band – Bayou Cafe
Whiskey & Wine – Molly MacPherson’s

Saturday – 3/10
Savannah Stopover – Various locations
Undergo Festival – Sav’h Film Festival
Haunting Portraits – Sentient Bean (8p)
Reverend Bro Diddley & The Hips – Molly MacPherson’s
DIP – El Rocko (12mn)

Sunday – 3/11
Voodoo Soup – Congress Street Social Club

Monday – 3/12
Open Mic – Abe’s On Lincoln

Tuesday – 3/13
Ben Keiser Band – Bay Street Blues
Eric Culberson Open Jam – Bayou Cafe
Open Mic – Molly MacPherson’s

Wednesday – 3/14
Ben Keiser Band – Boomy’s

Savannah Stopover 2018 Spotlight – Ratboys


You’ve got to love a grassroots band that keeps plugging away until it comes into its own. Case in point: Ratboys. Ratboys is the brainchild of college friends Julia Steiner and David Sagan. What began as the acoustic project of two college friends in 2010 has blossomed over the last few years into one of the most stellar acts to stake their claim in the Chicago music scene.

The more you dig into Ratboys, the more you’ll start to recognize the subtle hints of their influences that tinge their music. The self-proclaimed post-country/indie rock band don’t shy away from their love of artists like Sheryl Crow and Kim Deal. And certainly, there’s a good bit of Jenny Lewis/Rilo Kiley influence that’s evident as well, especially with their latest album release, GN. Equal parts affectionate, confessional, and earnest, Ratboys is certainly not an act to be missed at this year’s Stopover. Be sure to catch their set at Barrelhouse South on Saturday, March 10th at 9:30pm. Be sure to keep an eye out for more hissing lawns coverage as we get closer and closer to Stopover 2018!

Savannah Stopover Survival Guide – updated 2018 version

Stopover-1

Happy Stopover! One of my favorite musical weekends of the year is upon us again. You already bought your tickets, right? I wrote this festival survival guide a couple years ago, but I think it may be helpful again this year. I, uhhh, disregarded several pieces of my own advice last year and Stopoverdid it opening night. Anyway, the basics of having fun don’t change a lot from year to year.

Which, come to think of it, is a good place to start….

1.) Have fun. Seriously, if you’re not having a good time, you’re doing it wrong. So, ditch your annoying friend, or sober up, or have a drink…..wait, actually just read on.

2.) Be cool. Only slightly less important than having fun is letting everyone else have fun. Be patient, don’t get liability-to-your-friends drunk, don’t talk over quiet bands, you know, don’t be a dick.

3.) Wear comfortable shoes. Hell, comfortable clothes in general. I know you want to look hot, or badass, or whatever, but you’re going to be walking a lot, or at least on your feet for a long time, and sore feet will suck the life out of a party. You might want to throw a rain jacket and warmer clothes in the car/hotel/bag too, because you never know.

New Music Monday – 3/5/18

And this week we have new work from:
pronoun
Ruby Velle and the Soulphonics
Dinosaur Jr.
Parquet Courts
Honduras
Sarah Shook & The Disarmers
Car Seat Headrest
Smash Mouth

pronoun
New York City, NY
“Run” out now on Sleep Well Records

Stopover alumni, pronoun, was one of my favorite sets of 2017’s Stopover season. The band is certainly a refreshing take on the current indie rock scene, offering up intricate lyricism as well as lush guitar work on top of vocal harmonies. Think Third Eye Blind but with a more mellow, modern spin. ~ Petee

Ruby Velle and the Soulphonics
Atlanta, GA
“Call Out My Name” from their sophomore album State of All Things

With their intriguing mix of psych rock and soul, Ruby Velle and the Soulphonics are sure to be another big name on many people’s Stopover list this year. Brass instrumentation, 70’s rock guitar work, and synths all come together perfectly under Velle’s soulful vocals that can’t help but remind listeners of modern vocalists like the late Sharon Jones and Amy Winehouse. ~ Petee

Dinosaur Jr.
Amherst, MA
“Hold Unknown” from the Adult Swim Singles Program.

Has any band ever reunited and come back as strong as Dinosaur Jr.? This (maybe?) stand alone single for Adult Swim continues their current run of greatness. It’s exactly what you would expect, J. Mascis’ catchy, warbly, melodic vocals over a rock solid rhythm section and some of the best guitar heroics in the game to boot. Somehow classic despite having come out this week.
tom

Parquet Courts
NYC, NY
“Almost Had to Start a Fight/In and Out of Patience” from upcoming full length Wide Awake!

I’m a fan of Parquet Courts, and 2016’s Human Performance got a bunch of spins late night on the headphones. This new single is a two part affair, with a percussion led first half that I wouldn’t like nearly as much if it didn’t shift gears into a classic, catchy, jangle pop coda. Cool.
tom

Honduras
Brooklyn
“Need the Sun” from the new 7″ available only at shows

Honduras brought their garage rock/punk to Savannah Stopover in 2017, and I’m thrilled that the Brooklyn-based band is headed back for the 2018 festival. They’re out touring with Public Access T.V., and both bands will be playing prime evening slots on Friday, 3/9, at Barrelhouse South on Congress Street. = bill

Sarah Shook & The Disarmers
Chapel Hill, NC
“Good as Gold” from the forthcoming LP Years

Ever since I started listening to Sarah Shook & The Disarmers after they were announced for Savannah Stopover, I’ve been telling everyone to check them out. What’s better than hard-edged country at midnight on a Friday at The Jinx? Not much. – bill

Car Seat Headrest, Smash Mouth
CSH covers Smash Mouth’s “Fallen Horses”; Smash Mouth covers CSH’s “Something Soon”

Will Toledo was about 2 years old when Smash Mouth was formed, but the generational divide only makes this unique collaboration even more interesting. As much as I like Toledo’s vocals in CSH’s rendition of “Fallen Horses,” I think the Smash Mouth cover of the brilliant CSH song “Something Soon” is the standout song here. – bill

Larry Jack’s Magical Music Tour – 3/2/18 – 3/8/18

Hey everybody,
Well, we are now into Stopover Countdown time. My favorite musical event may be only one week away, but there are plenty of things worth checking out this weekend. Surprisingly, there are many early shows that will be worth checking out. Friday brings us City Hotel and Matt Eckstine playing early shows. And Saturday brings a rare free show from the Fabulous Equinox Orchestra, along with plenty of other daytime music. There are also several good shows both evenings too, of course. Then the week slides right into Wednesday, with the Stopover kick-off show at Graveface. Looking forward to seeing many of you soon.

 

Friday 3/2
Hitman – Tubby’s Thunderbolt (6p)
City Hotel – Ghost Coast Distillery (6-9p)
Matt Eckstine & Friends – Rail Pub (7p)
Stayin’ Alive Canada – Lucas Theatre (7:30p)
Beth Head, Jeff Zagers – Sulfur Studios (9p)
Nelly – Club Elan  (9p, $36)
Lady Valore, Garden Giant, Lulu The Giant, Too Much – Wormhole (9p)
The Tens – El-Rocko
Holey Miss Moley, Juice – Barrelhouse South
Deep State, Giving Up – Jinx
Train Wrecks – Congress Street Social Club

Saturday 3/3
Fabulous Equinox Orchestra – Ellis Square (5-6p, Homeless Fundraiser)
Matt Eckstine & Jay RuddDriftaway Cafe (6-9p)
Keith & Ross – Tubby’s Thunderbolt (6p)
Damon & The Shitkickers – Jinx Happy Hour
Thomas Claxton & The Myth, 5150 – Coach’s Corner (7p, $15)
Heavy Pets, Voodoo Fix – Barrelhouse South
Mechanical River – El-Rocko
Bottles & Cans – Jinx

Sunday 3/4
Sav’h Songwriter Series – Sentient Bean (7p)
Voodoo Soup – Congress Street Social Club

Monday 3/5
Open Mic – Abe’s On Lincoln

Tuesday 3/6
Adam Nye – Foxy Loxy Cafe (7p)
Ben Keiser Band – Bay Street Blues
Eric Culberson Open Jam – Bayou Cafe
Open Mic – Molly MacPherson’s

Wednesday 3/7
Kid Dakota, Whispertown, High Up, Dreamend – Graveface The Night Before Stopover (7p)
Ben Keiser Band – Boomy’s
Pheller – El-Rocko

Savannah Stopover 2018 Spotlight – Shopping

Photo by Matthew Arthur Williams

One of the best things about Stopover is the growing variety of acts that the festival has been drawn to Savannah over the past few years. With over 80 bands playing during a 3 day span, you’re bound to find a couple of bands that you haven’t heard of or that absolutely blow you away out of the blue. Sure, there’s a plethora of indie rock, garage rock, and other festival standard genres that you’d expect to see at any festival, but the Stopover team has been working hard to incorporate a number of genres that you may not expect like soul, funk, alt-country, and post-punk. Adding to this year’s eclectic mix of artists featured on the lineup is the British trio, Shopping.

With their infections bass lines, super clean and catchy guitar riffs, all of which are accompanied by bouncing drum beats, Shopping have given the post-punk scene a much needed breath of fresh air. The trio have taken great care to make sure that their frugal arrangement of guitar, bass, and drums is just heavy enough to keep things interesting, while also incorporating a bevy of new wave and pop influences to make sure their audience is having a good time. The slightly dead-pan delivery of their lyrics is offset by their dance inducing beats and make for an awesome time. Be sure to catch Shopping Thursday, March 8th at midnight (that’s Thursday night/Friday morning for you sticklers) at El-Rocko Lounge. And stay tuned here for more scoops on everything going down at Stopover 2018!

Kitchen Conversations: Beth Head, Hestia Resident Artist

Last week, the bed and breakfast I manage, Diamond Oaks Treehouse, became part of a nomadic artist residency pilot program, called Hestia. The program has three artists in town for a 10-day immersive residency, which you can read about in detail in this killer feature story my buddy Kris wrote for Do Savannah.

Hestia paired the awesome Alexandria Hall with our house. Chad, the homeowner, is a poet and music nerd. Hall is a poet and musician. I write, sometimes, too. I guess I like music as well. So yeah, the pairing made sense.

Hall performs under the name Beth Head these days. Formerly, the solo, electronic project was under the name tooth ache, which released an album on Father/Daughter Records. The kick-ass Phillip Price brought by several of his old-school synths and keyboards for Hall to play around with as well. Chad and I set her up a space in our sunroom and she’s been jamming this week, while I do laundry.

I sat down with Hall in our kitchen and did a little Q&A as a preview for her show on Friday with Jeff Zagers at Sulfur Studios, which is part of First Friday.

Here’s our conversation, which as been lightly edited for clarity and length:

JP: Let’s start from the beginning. How did you get into music? How did this whole project start?

HALL: I started playing music when I was young. When I was in high-school, I played the bar, cafe thing and did acoustic stuff. Then when I was 18, I started playing music with a friend. I started using his gear to make more electronic stuff. That’s when I started tooth ache. I did that for about 8 years. Then, I started feeling like I had boxed myself in with my expectations for that. I just felt like I need to reinvent myself a bit. I ended that project and started something new. It’s still me. It’s still my solo thing, but it’s more I am trying not to limit myself or censor myself.

JP: So, for you, Beth Head and tooth ache are two very different things in your head?

HALL: Yeah, they’re pretty similar, as far as my songwriting style. But, I think, because I used to be all about hardware and using my synths and stuff—I started using the computer more and paying attention to producing things. Just experiment with different sounds that I was interested in. In a way, they are similar, but it’s like Beth Head, for me, is more about doing what I want to do and not listening to that self-censor.

JP: What drew you into writing electronic music? Was it playing with all the different stuff?

HALL: I always wanted to do that and wanted to know more about it. When I was young, I didn’t know anyone who did that kind of stuff and it was intimating to get started. I had friends who knew some stuff and had gear I could play around with.

JP: Was there a particular album, or artist in that genre that catapulted you into it?

HALL: Around that time, I was listening to The Knife a lot. That kind of stuff. There was always lots of different stuff, but that’s the one that sticks out for me.

JP: It seems like a fine line to be able to write something musical with all the noises and stuff, instead of a stringed instrument. It seems like it’s a different approach to writing music, right?

HALL: Yeah, in some ways. It depends. Especially now, that I am just doing whatever I want to do. Now, I will just write a piano song and it’s a Beth Head song as much as anything else is. Or, I wrote a song two summers ago that was on guitar and then I turned it into more of an electronic thing. But, that was the first time I’ve done that.

JP: Do you start with a beat then?

HALL: Yeah. Usually, I’ll start with making a beat and building it up, layer by layer, which for me, is really because I like to work alone, I like to collaborate too, but since I end up working alone a lot, it’s nice to be able to work on things in a layered way like that. I’ll usually start with a beat. Sometimes, I’ll start with a chord progression as well and work from there.

JP: I am always curious about process. I think it’s a little different for everybody, but there are a lot of similarities.

HALL: I always like to hear about it too. I always have this weird nagging feeling that I am doing it wrong. (laughs)

JP: Right? Same. But, maybe there really is no wrong or right way. As long as you get to the end, it’s kind of like whatever.

HALL: Yeah, as long as you’re doing it.

JP: How does your poetry blend into this project? Are the two separate in your mind, or are they linked?

HALL: They’re usually pretty separate in my mind, but I do think they’re linked. Because, I think, the music definitely feeds into how I think about words and poetry. I think also, lyrically, whatever I’ve been wrestling with in my poetry mind I feel like that comes up in lyrics.

Writing lyrics is very different than writing poems for me. If you just put one of my poems to my music, it wouldn’t—they’re different.

JP: Do you sit down with more intention to write poems as opposed to lyrics? Or is there a crossover? Like, you’re writing, thinking that something is a poem and think, this would be better as lyrics?

HALL: Usually, if I sit down to write something, it’s a poem. If I am writing lyrics, it’s usually just that I am listening to it back, or playing it and singing it. Sometimes, I’ll have a line and think about it later. It’s never really, I am sitting down to write lyrics.

Although, sometimes that’s happened. Actually, the other day, I was in a coffee shop here in Savannah and I was trying to write a poem and I couldn’t focus and I started hearing the melody from one of my songs that I haven’t finished the lyrics for and I was like Oh! Ok! Sometimes, if I write a poem that is not a very good poem, doesn’t mean it wouldn’t be a very good lyric.

JP: You have one track out for Beth Head. Are you working on new material?

HALL: Yeah. I am a real slow worker when it comes to stuff like that. I had this whole plan for this past summer. I am going to have the album finished by July. But, none of that happened. Now, I am in a place where I am actually settled. I have a little apartment. I have a studio space, so now I can work on things.

JP: You have a bunch of new songs, then?

HALL: Yep. It’s just a matter of, sometimes I get lost in the big picture. I remember I have to sit down and actually work out the details of stuff. Like, actually make the recordings sound good.

JP: That’s the work part. I think that’s true of a lot of art. In my experience, there’s this artistic, flow part that is just pure creativity. Then the other side of it, is more logical work. You have to hone in and change things. It’s not very creative. You just have to clean it up. Then you start to miss the fun part.

HALL: Totally. Sometimes, I’ll get into that zone and then I’ll start to feel guilty, I should be doing something creative. Then I don’t do either of them and go to the movies (laughs).

JP: Same! So, Hestia is pretty cool. What’s the experience been like so far you?

HALL: It’s been amazing. Everyone involved, yourself included, has been so nice. It’s been really nice to get to know Savannah and get to know the people, and the places and the art and stuff. That whole taking in of things has been really good. I haven’t spent much time creating. It’s a little overwhelming, but in a good way.

JP: Yeah, you’ve been busy. Then asshole hosts (me) ask for interviews in the middle of your day?

HALL: Yeah, god damn it! (Laughs). It’s really nice to be able to be away from home and work. It’s been so nice. I feel like, since it’s the kind of residency that doesn’t expect you to produce something by the end and show what you’ve done, it’s so good, in that you feel taken care of and it’s supporting you without demanding.

JP: That’s kind of brilliant, I think. I feel like, it’s the afterward of an experience that you get the most creative influence. Like, once you get home and digest everything.

HALL: Absolutely. I feel like I have a slow metabolism for most things that I end up creating. One thing that I was thinking about with Hestia is going to another place, I never end up writing about that place while I am there. Oh, now I have the perspective to write about home while I am away from home. It’s also, I am going to stew in this thing.

JP: I think that’s part of the creative process. Feels like, for me, it’s hard to get a line on things until you get away from it. When you get away from it, it seems clear, maybe still murky, but you know what it is.

HALL: Exactly. Because you’re too close to it. Which is nice! It’s a whole other experience.

JP: I’ve been doing artist dates, lately. I see similarities between that Hestia. I feel like this is something that will spur creativity later in the artist in residency.

HALL: Absolutely. That’s one of the reasons I’ve just been recording sounds form the synth that Phil brought. I can’t possibly do everything I want to do with this right now, but I can use these sounds to like come up with something later.

JP: You should sample our washer. It has the weirdest tones.

HALL: I know! They’re so pretty and cute.

JP: Let’s end it there. That’s perfect.

HALL: Thank you!


JP: Thank you!

New Music Monday – 2/26/18

This week we have new work from:
Lovelorn
Yeah Yeah Yeahs
PJ Harvey and Harry Escott
Dreamend

Enjoy!

Lovelorn
Philadelphia, PA
“Chains” from upcoming e.p.
Creepoid played their last show ever this past weekend, but don’t fret too much, check out Lovelorn. 3 of the 4 founding members of Creepoid are on board, and unsurprisingly it sounds like one of the softer, hazier songs from their previous band. That’s a good thing. Creepoid is dead, long live Lovelorn.
tom

Yeah Yeah Yeahs
NYC
“Thirteen”, a Big Star cover from Spotify Sessions.

The Yeah Yeah Yeahs are slowly crawling back into the spotlight and stopped by Spotify Studios to record Maps and this cover of the Big Star classic Thirteen. Karen O’s fragile vocals are a good fit for the tune and it slips easily into my top 5 versions of the song.
tom

PJ Harvey and Harry Escott
UK
“An Acre of Land” from the soundtrack to Dark River.
This one is a pretty, string laden, multi-layered collaboration between the iconic Paula Jean Harvey and film composer Harry Escott. Really cool, if a bit mellow.
tom

Dreamend
Savannah, GA
“Falling” from s/t, out April 6 on Graveface Records.
Oh, I like this one a lot. The lead single from Ryan Graveface’s self described “depressing” project isn’t depressing to me at all, it’s a comforting brainworm. Admittedly I’m not a lyrics guy, and I have no clue what Ryan and his Casket Girls cohorts are singing about, but it sure does sound good to me, with a fuzzy bass line and glitchy drums backing some dreamy vocals which end up cascading over each other. Rad.
tom