You could call it clever marketing, or just a nice gesture, but it’s becoming fairly common for musical acts that are on the road to offer free music to fans to let them get a taste of what they may hear in concert. This week, we’ve got two such samplers, free EPs from Sea Wolf and David Byrne with St.Vincent.
SEA WOLF Under the name Sea Wolf, singer/songwriter Alex Brown Church writes languid and lush tales, populated by gypsies and wolves, veering between natural grandeur and urban sophistication, and shot through with the universal concerns of seeking, getting and losing love.
Church/Sea Wolf released his/its third album, “Old World Romance,” last September and is still on the road bringing it to the people. After touring as opening act for Josh Ritter earlier this year, Sea Wolf has been on the road for the past few weeks as a headliner and will wrap up the current tour next week at the El Rey in Sea Wolf’s hometown of Los Angeles. (See tour dates, below.)
For longtime Sea Wolf fans, the new album may echo the intimate feel of the 2007 debut “Leaves In The River” more than it does 2009’s “White Water, White Bloom” but it reflects major events in Church’s recent life. Returning to his native California after a several-years in Montreal, Church found himself dealing with Big Things – the death of a close relative, the birth of a child, relocation, relationships and the usual rough patches that come with full-fledged adulthood.
The nice folks at NoiseTrade are offering a free 5-song EP, with three previously unreleased b-sides from the “Old World Romance” recording sessions, plus two songs from the album. You can also enjoy a full stream of the “Old World Romance” album.
DAVID BYRNE and ST. VINCENT – The origins of last year’s collaboration between St. Vincent (Annie Clarke) and David Bryne, “Love This Giant,” date back to when the two were introduced in 2009 at the charity concert for “Dark Was The Night,” an indie all-star compilation album produced by The National’s Aaron and Bryce Dessner. Days later, they met again at another benefit – a one-off collaboration between Bjork and the Dirty Projectors where the organizers asked Byrne if he might consider doing something similar with Clark. For the next two and half years, the exchanged ideas via email or, when schedules put them both in New York City, in studio sessions.
Byrne invited Clark to sing on “Here Lies Love,” the musical he co-wrote with Fat Boy Slim (a sensation in its current New York run) about the life of former Filipino First Lady Imelda Marcos. Clark had the idea that they write with a large brass band in mind. (Longtime Byrne fans will recalled his brass experiments on “Music from the Knee Plays.”)
Last fall, three years after the two musicians first met, “Love This Giant” emerged, and the pair, who’d never done a proper gig together, hit the road. The live set included new songs and old favorites from both their solo catalogs, backed by an 8-piece brass band and featuring synchronized dancing. Byrne and Clark will be taking the show back out on the road this month and next. (See tour dates, below.)
In a recent web posting and email to folks on his mailing list Byrne wrote:
“One of our business folks had the idea that we might offer a taste of what we’re up to—to those who might have missed the tour or the record or maybe thought it was some weird arty collaborative project. So we put together a downloadable EP to give folks that taste. The EP has one song that didn’t make it on the record (a waltz featuring some lovely glass harmonica), a couple of energized remixes of some of the album tunes and two live tracks of the sort of more familiar material we do in the set.”
He added, “We’re very excited at how this whole project came out so we want more folks to discover it.” You can do so here. There’s also a free download of the studio track “Who” at the duo’s web site.
And now for those tour dates…
Sea Wolf Tour Dates:
6/08/13 – New York, NY – Bowery Ballroom
6/09/13 – Washington, DC – Rock and Roll Hotel
6/10/13 – Virginia Beach, VA – Jewish Mother
6/11/13 – Raleigh, NC – Pour House Music Hall
6/13/13 – Manchester, TN – Bonnaroo Festival
6/15/13 – Baton Rouge, LA – Spanish Moon
6/16/13 – Dallas, TX – Dada Dallas
6/17/13 – Austin, TX – Stubbs Jr.
6/19/13 – Phoenix, AZ – Crescent Ballroom
6/20/13 – Solana Beach, CA – The Belly Up
6/21/13 – Los Angeles, CA – El Rey
David Byrne and St. Vincent Tour Dates:
6/12 – Montclair, NJ – Wellmont Theatre
6/13 – Baltimore, MD – Meyerhoff Symphony Hall
6/15 – Asheville, NC – Thomas Wolfe Auditorium
6/16 – Manchester, TN – Bonnaroo Music Festival
6/18 – Charlotte, NC – Blumenthal Performing Arts Center
6/20 – New Haven, CT – Shubert Theatre
6/21 – Portland, ME – State Theatre
6/22 – Shelburne, VT – The Green at Shelburne Museum
6/23 – Ottawa, ON – Confederation Park, Ottawa Jazz Festival
6/25 – Rochester, NY – Kodak Hall at Eastman Theater
6/27 – New Bedford, MA – The Zeiterion Performing Arts Center
6/28 – Red Bank, NJ – Count Basie Theatre
6/29 – Port Chester, NY – The Capitol Theatre
6/30 – Greensburg, PA – Palace Theater
7/2 – Louisville, KY – The Kentucky Center – Whitney Hall
7/5 – Des Moines, IA – 80/35 Music Festival
7/6 – Highland Park, IL – Ravinia Festival
7/7 – Grand Rapids, MI – Meijer Gardens Amphitheater
7/8 – Ann Arbor, MI – Michigan Theater
7/10 – Cincinnati, OH – Taft Theatre
7/12 – Kansas City, MO – Crossroads KC
7/13 – Littleton, CO – Denver Botanic Gardens
7/14 – Telluride, CO – Telluride Town Park
7/15 – Salt Lake City, UT – Red Butte Garden Amphitheatre
7/17 – Eugene, OR – Cuthbert Amphitheater
7/18 – Woodinville, WA – Chateau Ste. Michelle Winery
7/20 – Saratoga, CA – The Mountain Winery
7/21 – Oakland, CA – The Fox Theater
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