We recently taped a session for NPR’s World Cafe in Toronto, where we dished on some details about writing and recording our new album, as well as debuting three stripped-down versions of some brand new songs (along with a track from The Slideshow Effect).
We’ve been through a long winter that we weren’t sure was going to end until about last week. I know you are distracted now by colours you haven’t seen in eight months, but hopefully you can find your way to one of these shows.
Dear Plant Earth,
Canada is cool and all, but they do not fulfill my needs as a strange and cranky individual who likes to stay in bed and eat dumplings while I re-watch all the episodes of Arrested Development. There is too much driving and not enough sleeping involved in playing shows in “real life”. This is why they invented the internet, so I can be lazy. Please watch our online show at stageit.com on June 23rd where Evan and I will play some songs for you and be extra comfortable knowing we are not sleeping in a shifty motel after the concert is done.
Make song/cover requests on our facebook page! You can buy tickets here! (Pay what you can)
We wanted to share this music video for everyone as a way of saying thank you for sticking with us this past year. You’ve dragged us around the world and we have been fortunate enough to meet so many of you, and we feel that a sincere, heartfelt, weirdly familial, sloppy hug (in the form of a song) is in order.
The gratitude we wish to express reaches far beyond the touching messages of hope, and the insane donations you’ve provided us at our lowest point, but extends to the good times we’ve shared with all of you this past year. It’s 2013 and some of you are actually still buying music. In the time it takes to read this sentence (with the same energy you’ve exerted) you could be stealing our record, and literally every song ever recorded by a human being and Elvis.
So consider this music video our modest thank you for being the type of people that you are. It’s about friendship, and love, and is kind of a mix between Randy Newman’s Toy Story theme and the intro to The Golden Girls. You’ve given us a gift, the size of which cannot possibly be exaggerated. Thank you for being a friend indeed.
After three weeks of traveling through Europe, we have finally arrived back in Canada. Thanks to everyone who came out to the shows, we very much enjoyed playing them! Highlights include the spilling of our drummer’s blood all over a Zagrebian cinema and mass confusion in London evolving the split cultural understanding of the word “ham”.
Here are a few videos from our travels - the first, the band looking extra stylist doing a rendition of “Little Expressionless Animals” in Hamburg, Germany; and the second, our loving ode to Father John Misty’s “Only Son of a Ladies Man” from Paris (check out some of our other songs from this session here).
There’s no good way of saying that we have had some unfortunate luck. Last night our van was broken into just outside of Washington, DC and most of our equipment has been stolen. To our dismay, we have no choice but to drop out of the upcoming Philadelphia and Boston shows with Washed Out. We are asking for donations to help buy/rent equipment so we can get back on our feet for New York and continue on the rest of the tour. We hate to ask but we suffered a huge loss and anything would really help. Thanks to everyone for your support and I hope to see you all very soon.
In light of the new year, Evan and I have decided to record a cover of one of our favorite Zombies songs, “This Will Be Our Year”. Thank you everyone for all of your support in 2011, and I hope this song helps motivate you to lose 5 pounds, stop smoking, and watch less reality T.V. (or is that just me?). Lots of exciting things are in the works this year, onward and upward!
We’re going to find a more appropriate host to download the .mp3, but for the time being you can grab it HERE!
I know many of you have been curious about our new album, so Evan has been gracious enough to set up a small Q&A in order to fulfill your child-like wonder. Thank you all for sending in your questions on Facebook and Twitter - I hope we got to them all!
The time has finally come to share the first taste of our upcoming LP, The Slideshow Effect, and—forsaking further unnecessary divergences into Star Wars laced rhetoric—I must say that I’m quite excited. This new Memoryhouse track, titled The Kids Were Wrong, contains all of the tenets of that classic Memoryhouse sound(!) such as rhythm, and at some choice moments…melody.
Alright, it’s December 16th, how many awful press junkets have you read this year? Did any of them actually make you want to listen to the song? I didn’t think so. We have a new song coming out today, it’s going to be on our new record which is coming out on February 28th, 2011. Shut up and put it in your ears, I’ll wait.
(Stream The Years in its entirety above featuring new and unreleased visuals from Jamie Harley.)
Here’s a quick reminder that The Years is available just about everywhere today (UK physical release is next Monday). Also, many, many thanks to everyone that came out to see us on our recent trek with Peter Bjorn and John.
Things will remain active for us in the forseeable future with some headlining dates in Canada/U.S. this October, CMJ, The Radio Dept. Tour, and of course, much more music to be violently unleashed, Godzilla-style, upon masses both unsuspecting, and inquisitively in-the-know.
"As a kind of unifying aesthetic, The Years was created with many references to the author Virginia Woolf. The title of the EP quoting her 1937 novel by the same name, To the Lighthouse a 1927 novel, ‘The Waves’, a song on the original release, another novel written in 1931. Despite popular belief, it wasn’t because of the connection to the beach (why would it be?), but to the theme of the passage of time.
For the past few years, I’ve been fascinated with the illusion of how time seems to overlap over a consistent space. During the recording of the EP I was able to visit a house that I once lived in, but was too young to ever form a full image of it. To my knowledge, no one had lived there in at least sixteen years, but in my own mind, it had not changed since the day I left it. Of course, it was in shambles. A country home, untouched, unentered, in almost two decades. It was like I was watching the paint peel off of the walls, the basement flooding, the wet and cold seep through the windows, and still place my memories in each room they occurred. It was an eery sensation that could only really be interpreted by someone who understood the relationship one has to a specific space and time, to their own static and often distorted memory of something. Somehow Woolf understood this very well.”
Receiving things in the mail can be nerve-wracking (ask the Unabomber). Especially when you just got your first smart phone and you’ve streamed too many videos of cute baby animals. Yet, once in a while, you receive a package from Sub Pop that makes all those data charges drift away like kittens down a slippery park slide.
By all accounts, it should have ended with “To the Lighthouse”, like the old one did. There’s an air of finality in the way Denise sang the line “hush the static sound of time dispersing” that appeared to serve the dual purpose of reiterating the main argument of The Years, while shoehorning some vague semblance of closure to the preceding.
Yet the E.P has changed, undeniably, since it made its first, embryonic appearance nearly two years ago. Beyond the physical product with which it will be packaged as, but rather, the idea of what the release means, especially to Denise and I. These feelings, outlined in Quiet America, will vary from person to person—affectionate addendum—precocious post-script—endearing epilogue—or perhaps just curious cash-grab.
I tend to view Quiet America as a sort of “Hello!” to counter Lighthouse’s “Goodbye!”. A “Hello” steeped in ambivalence, and a little self-doubt, but a greeting none the less. I suppose that’s what I mean when I said the E.P. represents something else to us now. Whereas it’s initial release—set loose upon the ravenous bowels of the internet (and what ravenous bowels they are!)— was a resignation of sorts, mired in the kind of disconnection and existential angst that played a large role in defining the aughts for many. The Years now represents the idea that life can improve in the most unusual and fantastical ways if one were to open themselves to experience (something I fought tooth and nail for many years) and that, as always, music has the capacity to grow with us through the many different stages in our lives.
So in short, I think we’ve come a long way from the hospital bed in “Lately”, and I’m very grateful that we have the opportunity to say much more (when the time is right)(…tick tick tick…) but for the time being, I hope a “Hello” shall suffice.
Very proud to share a first glimpse at our inaugural release with Sub Pop. This of course, is the first physical pressing of Memoryhouse’s first EP, The Years, but I tend to find the term “reissue” doesn’t really capture just what this EP entails. We’ve re-recorded Sleep Patterns, Lately, and To the Lighthouse in a manner that is consistent with memoryhouse’s noises and idiosyncrasies while broadening our sonic pallet, and cleaning things up so that the songs are, you know, listenable. I’m even more excited about the new additions, “Modern, Normal”, and “Quiet America”. Believe me, these weren’t added just cuz, which is to say that this isn’t like the cantina scene from the 90s Star Wars re-release where random CGI monsters are found to be co-mingling with muppets. No. This EP is still full-muppet, but will provide some insights as to where our music is heading on our RealD 3D debut. So if nothing else, take with you the understanding that re-imagining The Years was a thorough and well-considered process, one that should hopefully yield many listens as the clock inches ever closer towards our first L.P.
"Was I sleeping while the others suffered? Am I sleeping now? Tomorrow, when I wake, or think I do, what shall I say of today…Astride of a grave and a difficult birth. Down in the hole, lingeringly, the grave-digger puts on his forceps. We have time to grow old. The air is full of our cries…At me too someone is looking, of me too someone is saying, he is sleeping, he knows nothing, let him sleep on.”
Here’s a video of us playing a new song at Pianos in New York. This is definitely on the L.P, albeit with a bit of a different arrangement. And alas, it isn’t titled “I Won’t Follow You Back Home”, though if we ever become a parenthesis band, then this would definitely be a contender for top parenthesis (if there exists such a wonderful distinction). Finally, a sincere thank you to everyone who came out to this string of concerts, it was a thrill to get to perform with our expanded line-up, and test out some of our new material. We’ll be on the road again very soon, and we’ll cover more and more ground, until we will render ourselves geographically redundant.
P.S. - Big thanks to iwaseasymeatfor these great high quality audio/video recordings of our songs.
Here’s a formal reminder that Memoryhouse is playing some shows in the U.S. this week as part of a “Memoryhouse Awareness Campaign” sponsored by Omni Consumer Products. We’ll be playing some new material that we are rather excited about, as well as a selection of older material we are informally obligated to play. (I jest). This will also mark the debut of our new five piece band line-up (we taught a robot how to feel pain, play keyboards).
If you scroll down two journal entries, you will find a complete list of dates, as well as links to purchasing tickets. Or you could click on the hyperlink I provided. Everyone’s doing it.
I hope it’s alright if I continue my break from watery ambient pieces (is there anything more tenuous than tagging something as “ambient” in 2011!?) in favor of some more classic film scores. The mixes I’ve been sharing as of late have featured artists that I feel have factored into the writing process of the new selection of Memoryhouse songs, which will likely surface sometime between Back to The Future 2 and Star Trek:First Contact, and indeed, these film scores occupy their own special place in our creative psyche, which will hopefully amount to something beyond cheekymeta-textualreferences, songs within songs, and other things you guys like to complain about on youtube.
Back on topic, today we have “Love Theme From “Chinatown” (Reprise) by Jerry Goldsmith from the Chinatown soundtrack.
Here’s a mix of songs I’ve had on repeat during these rainy Spring days. I was very touched by the tragic story of Jackson C. Frank so this collection is more or less an extended tribute to perhaps the most tragic figure of the 60’s folk movement.
"Past the flannel plains and blacktop graphs and skylines of canted rust, and past the tobacco-brown river overhung with weeping trees and coins of sunlight through them on the water downriver, to the place beyond the windbreak, where untilled fields simmer shrilly in the A.M. heat: shattercane, lamb’s-quarter, cutgrass, sawbrier, nutgrass, jimsonweed, wild mint, dandelion, foxtail, muscadine, spine-cabbage, goldenrod, creeping charlie, butter-print, nightshade, ragweed, wild oat, vetch, butcher grass, invaginate volunteer beans, all heads gently nodding in a morning breeze like a mother’s soft hand on your cheek."