Your wild days have returned

Wax Tablet
By PORTLAND PHOENIX MUSIC STAFF  |  April 17, 2014

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Sew Your Wild Days Tour Vol. 1, by Big Blood 

>> A whole lot of amazing old Big Blood albums previously only available on CD-R have been uploaded to bandcamp. The cathartically experimental group sprouted as a two-piece from the waning days of legendary post-rock band Cerberus Shoal, and have issued wave after wave of the fearless and mystifying songs that make up their saga, from hypnotic swamp-blues to weird Indian folk to rally-round-the-firepit post-punk. Newly interested parties will have a lot of ground to cover; we recommend starting with Sew Your Wild Days Tour Vol. 1, which has a legitimate cover of Can’s “Vitamin C” and the total stunner “Spit Shine.” The project has been filled out with other personnel in recent years, but these two remain a serious inspiration for those wishing to make vital, life-affirming music beyond their 20s. Originally issued on their own imprint dontrusttheruin, physical copies of most albums seem still available, and come dressed in gorgeous hand-designed covers crafted by Colleen Kinsella, a preternaturally talented visual artist. Visit dontrustheruin.bandcamp.com to hear.

>> While we’re wandering through these particular woods, we might also note that outsider-folk group (and Big Blood kinspeople) Village of Spaces announced a new album coming in June. Titled Welcome In, it spans three years of collaboration between core players Amy Moon and Daniel Beckman, who also run the imprint of untamed musick Turned Word Records up in Belfast. The record’s also got guest appearances from Big Blood’s Caleb Mulkerin and Kinsella, plus Maine folk explorers/life-livers Micah Blue Smaldone and Asa Irons. While they’re a little hard to pin, Village of Spaces records generally offer glimpses of the life of the pastoral artist, practicing the delicate task of growing authentic subculture in areas dominated by tourist commerce and mainstream media forces. Formally, they generally play that out in the language of spooky, meditative folk. Visit villageofspaces.bandcamp.com for their early work and turnedword.com to sniff out the whole operation.

>> Back above sea level, the musician and producer Spencer Albee is the principal architect behind a new web platform for local musicians called Live at the Studio, Portland, a series fusing the talents of Tim Tierney (and his staff at the Studio on Casco Street), filmmakers No Umbrella Media, and The Freezing Process, a podcast airing in-depth, informal discussions about the local music scene between guest musicians and some dudes with opinions. What Brooklyn’s Serious Business on Breakthru Radio has done for indie-rock bands (including several of ours), Live at the Studio, Portland aims to do for local pop artists, compiling videos of in-studio renditions of songs recorded at the Studio with Grammy-nominated producer Steve Drown. Albee’s slated the electronic pop group Other Bones, Sara Hallie Richardson, bluegrass-folk group the Ghost of Paul Revere, and his own self for the first few episodes. Visit liveatthestudioportland.com to see it unfold.

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