Year In Review, Vol. 9 - A.A. Bondy

This December, to celebrate the music of 2007, I asked a bunch of the artists I’ve featured on PHW over the last 11 months to share their thoughts on the “year that was”. I asked a mix of my favorite local artists, as well as several larger acts, with the hope of having a diverse assortment of reflections on the music that mattered to the artists that mattered to me.

My favorite discovery of 2007 was the music of A.A. Bondy. I didn’t need Pitchfork to do it. I didn’t need other bloggers, or a magazine, or a friend’s recommendation either. I needed my own ears, and I needed to be in the right place at the right time. That place was The Bowery Ballroom, and the time was the opening set for the March 2 Bright Eyes show. That night I watched a singer/songwriter take the stage, alone with an acoustic guitar and a whole bunch of harmonicas, and listened as he sung 9 or 10 of the most magnetic folk songs I’d heard in a long time.

Fast forward a few months to the release of Bondy’s solo debut album for Superphonic Records, American Hearts. After months of eager anticipation for this release (and of living off the scraps of whatever mp3s I could scrounge up online) I was prepared for the result to not quite fulfill the high expectation. You probably know the rest - it far surpassed them. I knew from the first listen that I was hearing an artist of the highest caliber - a songwriter with the sharpest of pens and a voice, like the Jeff Tweedy of the mid-90s, that could sing anything and I’d believe it. American Hearts is a record that never let me down this year.

MP3 :: There’s A Reason
MP3 :: Vice Rag
(from American Hearts. Buy here)

MP3 :: I’m On Fire
MP3 :: Mightiest of Guns
(previously unreleased. From the American Hearts sessions)
Mr. Bondy was kind enough to pass along the following words regarding his take on the music of 2007 and his part in it.

the past year has been pretty great, in the way that I made
a record for myself in a barn with a great many
ghosts and shadows around. To me it's the first record I’ve ever made.
music for music's sake you know? it seems
like more and more that's what people are doing. The ever rusting machine rarely
sells many millions of records anymore, and the concept of that generally gets in the way
of true things with only a few exceptions.. That's how it seems to me.
I'm happy that I did something with no corporate grease involved and people respond to
It (good or bad). Fashion is worth less and less these days, and that's a good thing.
I get songs from the moans of old pines, bears, wheeling hawks and the holes in my clothes. There are a lot of really great bands out there. They know who they are.
I drink to them and anyone who has the guts to stand in the light

These pictures are from Bondy’s 12/12 show at the Mercury Lounge.

1 comment:

KBAB said...

His voice is fantastic (guitar as well), but this makes me like him even more.