One of the most unique albums I heard all year was the full length debut from New Jersey’s Out Like Lambs. Not unlike Lambchop, Out Like Lambs is a huge ensemble who play warm, lived in songs that never feel overcrowded. The songs that comprise Not So Winter Waltz are steeped in folk and jazz, all sounding as if the sixteen musicians credited in the liner notes just brought in some loose song ideas, rolled tape, and whatever happened, happened. That’s not to say the album feels haphazard, not by a long shot - the songs themselves come across more like hymns, with whispers, high harmonies, and communal chants floating around in the mix over the dozens of instruments (and speaking of instruments, if it can be plucked, strummed, or blown into it probably makes an appearance on the record). At their best, as on opener “Bred to Bug” the results can be completely disarming – that song is a wondrous 7-minute slow jam that slowly evolves without overpowering, its gentle, seemingly improvised beauty more felt than heard. Check it out:
When I checked in with Out Like Lambs for this Year In Review series I got more than I bargained for…six members responded with some reflection s on 2010. Listen up:
My two bests were finding Michael White's back catalog available online and, of course, watching the owner of The Runway Bar lose his shit while watching Dan Higgs.
Jon Francis Lucow/Out Like Lambs
1) Wiñay Taki Ayllu live on the streets of Pisaq, Peru. T’was crying like a baby….’nuff said.
2) Woods – The release of Woods’ At Echo Lake and seeing the band live at Monkeytown and Kung Fu Necktie were hands down three of the best musical mindfucks of 2010. As is the case with all Woods releases to date, Echo Lake is a tour de force imbued with a heavy pop sensibility yet marinated in something completely ineffable from the beyond.
3) The Dust Dive Flash – Someday We’ll Be Together – Fully ingested this one on a mountain somewhere between Pisaq and Amaru. A beautifully haunting testimony full of pathos, longing and hope. Absolutely remarkable. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MzPr3HsWyfo
4) Spider Bags – Dog In The Snow 7” – Always love me some Spider Bags. Especially dug the solo set Dan McGee did for some cable channel in North Carolina. Looking forward to new songery from these folks in 2011.
5) Jessica Pavone’s Songs of Solitude @ The Stone, NYC. A pleasant drowning in a sea of strings.
6) Josephine Foster and Dave Ross performing a duet of Prince’s ‘Sometimes It Snows In April’ live at the 3rd Degree, Asbury Park, NJ. WTF?
7) Deerhunter – Halcyon Digest
8) Daniel Higgs live @ the 3rd Degree for an audience of three. Evidence forthcoming. Judy Garland meets Nusrat Fatheh Ali Khan.
9) Josephine Foster/Will Shine live @ the Issue Project Room, Brooklyn, NY. http://vimeo.com/11212582
10) Daniel Carter/Paul Flaherty/Chris Corsano live @ Bowery Poetry Club, NYC.
MLS/Out Like Lambs
2010 was a fruitful year, The release of the Harmonize Most High self titled LP and the Out Like Lambs "Not So Winter Waltz" album along with the recording of the American Cloud Songs "Aum " record and the new Out Like Lambs 10" kept myself and many of the other lambs working diligently throughout the year. Here is my Inspirational top 5 list for the year 2010 A.D.
1- Moon Duo "Escape"- Sanae Yamada and Erik Johnson of the Wooden Ships long play on Woodist . The even more fuzzier follow up to the "Killing Time "EP. You can site all the kraut rock influences you like, still no one in the last two decades have come close to this brand of saturated Germanic mysticism done soulfully by a current American two piece.
2- Roky Erickson "True Love Cast Out all Evil"- A Beautiful record , Will Sheff and The Okkervil River not only did Roky Erickson's music justice they elevated it 13 floors! This should have won a Grammy. Being familiar with some of these songs from various bootleg recordings I was thrilled to hear them done tastefully and with respect to the man behind the music.
3- Sun Ra Arkestra - Jonny Brendas Philly PA- Marshall Allen's 86 birthday show! What everyone needs to do once in a while is see the pioneers of Cosmic Free Jazz well into they're twilight years kicking serious ass all over the stage for three hours making everything now seem pedestrian and square. Space is the Place!
4- Autobiography of a Sadhu- Baba Rampuri- The first non Indian initiated into the religious sect the Naga Babas who he refers to as "The Hells Angels of Indian Spirituality" an amazing and inspiring read.
5- Daniel Higgs "Say God"- Another amazing solo release from the former Lungfish frontman. Double gatefold LP on Thrill Jockey, proving Daniel's magical mystery tour is gaining ever increasing momentum and spiritual advancement." Hoof prints on the ceiling of your mind"!!!
Robert Ryan- One of many Lambs
The most obvious thing that comes to mind of the glory of 2010 is it was the year that I was asked to join Out Like Lambs for their micro-tour of the Northeast, which led me to being a full-time member of the band. I had worked with them a little on Not So Winter Waltz and on their debut cassette, but to now be involved which such a wonderfully talented group of people on a regular basis is truly inspiring. The friendships that have sprouted from this endeavor are nothing short of priceless.
As far as music is concerned, Grinderman 2 is easliy the best thing I've heard since...well probably their last record. Honestly, I would expect nothing less from this fearless group of musical pioneers.
Ok I haven't seen any films this year due to my paranoia with the recent bed bug epidemic, but Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows got me out to take the risk and being a fan of the books, it didn't disappoint. That being said I'm well aware of my nerd status and don't even get me started on Sci Fi or we'll be here all day.
Forget that last sentence because now I have to mention the fact that 2010 is also the year that the hit TV series Lost came to an end. Another piece of my life gone, but the inspiration I got out of it was well worth the trip.
For those in the recording world, 2010 will forever be remembered as the year Pro Tools actually listened to it's users and opened their doors to both third party interfaces and a much less crippled version of the software. Just to be clear, these limitations being lifted is equivalent to Jesus Christ himself coming out of the clouds on a golden chariot and declaring world peace for Pro Tools users.
2010 signifies the year I first tried oxtail. I've seen it countless times on Top Chef, but until now, had never had to chance to try it. It kinda tastes like beef stew.
That pretty much sums up 2010 for me, I'm sure there are many things I left out, but I fear I've already bored any readers enough.
Adam Vaccarelli / Out Like Lambs
1. "The Passing Show:the Life and Times of Ronnie Lane" great documentary about ronnie's retreat from the world of arenas, champagne, and Rod Stewart with the Faces, to traveling the English country side playing folky acoustic rock in a carnival tent. the music has heart, and you can feel that he lived it. here's a clip of the song anniversary, behold the twin fiddle attack http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ycToIofrFFc
2. 2010 releases that I kept coming back to-Midlake-Courage of Others, Beach House-s/t, Jack Rose-Luck in the Valley, Arcade Fire- the Suburbs, the Walkmen-Lisbon, Ariel Pink's Haunted Graffitti-Before Today.
3. Favorite Song of the Year- "I Can See Your Tracks" by Laura Veirs-eerie song about tracking someone through the woods, or being followed, not too sure.
1) The Party of Helicopters reunion
2) Woods - At Echo Lake
3) Built to Spill @ the Stone Pony in Asbury Park, NJ
4) Montagna & The Mouth to Mouth - Ultrapolyamorous 7"
5) Birthwater - CD cassette
6) Woods @ Kungfu Necktie in Philadelphia, PA
7) Bruce Springsteen - Darkness on the Edge of Town 3disc/3dvd boxset
8) Montagna & Remer (split) - Women to Blame Vol.1 cassette
Rachel Ade/Out Like Lambs