Tuesday, September 1, 2009

"All My Friends Are Funeral Singers" (New Califone!)



Several years ago, some friends and I saw Califone play a small gallery/loft show in Brooklyn. The light was just right, the crowd was eager, the band seemed relaxed and excited to be playing together.

If I remember correctly, it was their first show in a while, and the mood was that of a warm reunion. Percussionist Ben Massarella sent his musical saw singing across the hardwood floors and through the crowded, candlelit space. The audience went from eager to entranced. A seated and sheepish Tim Rutili was the furthest thing from a band-leader or frontman. He seemed more interested in getting swept up along with the crowd in the mounting swells and little cacophonies, throwing out fractured chords and embellishments from his Casio as the rest of the band knitted blankets of sound around his whiskey-drenched, half-narrative/half-dadaist lyrics. Jim Becker switched between banjo and fiddle, both perfectly aching. Joe Adamik's cymbals were bowed and brushed...

It was one of the most memorable shows I've ever been to. I'll stop trying to capture the memory in words. Needless to say, it further solidified Califone as one of my favorite bands.

And joy of all joys, they are about to follow up 2006's excellent Roots & Crowns with All My Friends Are Funeral Singers (scheduled for release on October 6, 2009 on Dead Oceans).

The (sort of) title track is reliably fantastic. I was mentioning to someone recently that I think one of the few common threads throughout all the art I love is subtlety, and Califone are definitely masters when it comes to reserved, unassuming beauty.

Here, take a listen...

Califone :: "Funeral Singers"




After the show, we strolled the streets of Brooklyn with the saw still singing in our ears and came across a family of raccoons, moseying leisurely along under the diffuse light of city street lamps. It was perfect.

You can Pre-Order All My Friends Are Funeral Singers HERE.

Here is the trailer for the companion feature-length film of the same name...

All My Friends Are Funeral Singers Trailer from Califone on Vimeo.


Here is the album's tracklist:
1. Giving Away the Bride
2. Polish Girls
3. 1928
4. Funeral Singers
5. SNAKE'S TOOTH = PROTECTION AGAINST FEVER AND LUCK IN GAMBLING
6. Buñuel
7. Ape-like
8. A WISH MADE WHILE BURNING ONIONS WILL COME TRUE
9. Evidence
10. Alice Marble Gray
11. Salt
12. Krill
13. SEVEN, FOURTEEN, OR TWENTY-ONE KNOTS
14. Better Angels
15. Lunar H.

And here are some tour dates:
October 10-11 Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago, IL*
October 13 Andy Warhol Museum Pittsburgh, PA*
October 14 Beachland Ballroom Cleveland, OH*
October 15 Mohawk Place Buffalo, NY
October 16 Cornell Cinema Ithaca, NY*
October 17 Ukrainian Federation Montreal, QC*
October 18 The Monkey House Winooski, VT
October 20 Iron Horse Music Hall Northampton, MA*
October 21 Space Portland, ME*
October 22 Brattle Theater Cambridge, MA*
October 23 92Y Tribeca New York, NY* (tickets)
October 24 World Café Live Philadelphia, PA
October 25 Rock and Roll Hotel Washington, DC
October 26 The Southern Charlottesville, VA*
October 27 The Earl Atlanta, GA
October 28 WorkPlay Theatre Birmingham, AL*
October 29 The Basement Nashville, TN
October 30 Bear's Place Bloomington, IN*
* - denotes a film performance