Feedback wasn’t surprised to learn that a bunch of local musicians contributed to Keith Morris‘ Songs from Candyapolis. That’s the standard around these parts: help out like-minded musicians and they’ll do the same in return. But even with that understanding, Morris managed to employ an impressive and diverse group of musicians on his debut, ranging from musician/actor/poet Richelle Claiborne to Charlottesville Chamber Music Festival co-founder and cellist Raphael Bell.
Keith Morris and friends will summon the world of Candyapolis at Gravity Lounge on Wednesday, December 12.
|Take a listen to "Billy Weir’s Dress" from Keith Morris‘ Songs from Candyapolis:
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Courtesy of Keith Morris – Thank you!
How’d he get such a cast together? Well, his experiences when writing about local music at The Daily Progress and here at C-VILLE certainly helped, as did working with local producer and engineer Jeff Romano. "I would be blown away by particular players when I’d go out to see a band, and I just kept those folks in mind," says Morris. "And Jeff knows everybody, so we would sit around and go ‘That part there, who does that sound like?’"
|Take a listen to "Candy Apples" from Keith Morris‘ Songs from Candyapolis:
Working with Romano also helped Morris hook up with Brooklyn-based City Salvage Records to release Candyapolis. "Paul [Curreri] and I were recording at the same time at Jeff’s," he says. "Jeff would play stuff that we’d recorded for Paul, and Paul really liked it and eventually sent some stuff along to [City Salvage founder] Andy [Friedman] and he liked it. Next thing I know, they asked to release it." And, considering that Curreri and Devon Sproule, both City Salvage artists, contribute to Candyapolis, it makes perfect sense.
Speaking of sense, Candyapolis possesses a very whimsical one, with songs like "Rainbow Rollercoaster" ("What if the rainbow was a rollercoaster?" it asks), "Candy Apples" (which Morris playfully morphed to get the album’s title) and a cover of Daniel Johnston‘s "Casper The Friendly Ghost." Along with writing tunes for his nieces, Johnston’s style was a major influence on Morris’ fanciful nature. "I really embraced [Johnston’s] wide open approach, not having influences so much and just writing from that absolute original energy of the emotion," he says.
You can have it all: Buy your sweetie tickets to Yo La Tengo’s show at Satellite on January 9.
Morris will re-create that spirit on stage for the Candyapolis release party at Gravity Lounge on Wednesday, December 12. Like on the album, Morris has gathered an impressive team of musicians to accompany him, including Sproule, Curreri, Romano, cellist Brandon Collins (who also plays on the album) and members of the Hogwaller Ramblers. And if that wasn’t enough, Sproule, Curreri, Brennan Gilmore (of Walker’s Run) and Tom Proutt will make the night even more interested by each covering one of Morris’ tunes.
Paul Curreri’s The Velvet Rut (1), Truman Sparks’ The Gentle Laxative Demonstration (2), Sparky’s Flaw’s EP (3) and Corey Harris’ Zion Crossroads (4) will all look good wrapped up in a bow.
What we’re listening to
"No Compassion," by Talking Heads, (from 77)—Operatic (but with a thin voice), this restrained orchestration contains the classic elements of the Heads’ greatness: deadpan lyrics, nerdy repetition and ultimately a tight, paraprofessional groove that beautifully belies all that irony.
"A Little Lost," by Arthur Russell (from Another Thought)—Russell’s cello sings a duet him in this sparse but heart-melting love song.
"The Art of Story Tellin’ Part 4," by Outkast (from DJ Drama‘s Gangsta Grillz: The Album)
"In the Arms of God" By Corrosion of Conformity (from In the Arms of God)
"5-0 Blues" by Corey Harris and the 5X5 (from Live at Starr Hill)
"The Champ," by Ghostface Killah (from Fishscale)
"River in the Road," by Queens of the Stone Age (from Era Vulgaris)
It’s that time of year. You know: merry this and jingle that. Never fear, though, because Feedback is here to provide a few gift ideas for music lovers that crave something more than songs about drummer boys and jolly snowmen.
For the kid or the kid in you: Keith Morris’ Songs from Candyapolis. See above.
For the knee-slappin’ bluegrass fan: Tickets to the Hackensaw Boys‘ New Year’s Eve bash at Satellite Ballroom. When we saw the Hacks in April we found ourselves in the middle of a sweaty, hoot-and-holler-inducing hoedown, so we can only imagine how they’ll ring in 2008.
For the broke indie rocker: Truman Sparks‘ The Gentle Laxative Demonstration EP. These local rockers sold all of the copies of this limited edition tour CD. Didn’t snatch one up? Too poor to buy your friend a present? No problem on either front, as the band has made it available as a free download through local online label, Recordtheory.com.
Take a listen to "Egglore, The Dragon Mummy" by Truman Sparks:
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Courtesy of Truman Sparks – Thank you!
For the veteran indie rocker: Tickets to The Freewheelin’ Yo La Tengo at Satellite Ballroom on January 9. Any Yo La fan will be delighted to see this mostly acoustic show, which, according to the press release, will include "stories about their life as a band, and an encouraged back-and-forth with the audience."
For the perpetual townie: Paul Curreri‘s The Velvet Rut. The title references the every-so-comfortable cradle that keeps people in Charlottesville, and these tunes add yet another reason to stick around: You get to see Curreri play them live every couple of months.
Take a listen to Paul Curreri‘s The Wasp:
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Courtesy of Paul Curreri – Thank you!
For the teeny-bopper: Sparky’s Flaw‘s self-titled EP [iTunes link]. Take that Maroon 5 CD out of your Amazon.com cart and buy local! The Flaw recently signed a major label deal with Mercury Records, so if you get this EP, you can say you heard them before the hordes of screaming girls.
Take a listen to "Under Control" from Sparky’s Flaw‘s new EP:
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Courtesy of Red Light Management – Thank you!
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