Here is our second label compilation, filled with 14 tracks from all our artists. Free for you to hopefully discover something new. I feel like this summer I really learned what it is to enjoy that sometimes hot and bothersome season. But summer is that wonderfully romantic season where we should say yes to just about everything, be outside as much as possible, drink a lot of Rolling Rock….
While the only way you can get this compilation is from your computer, we highly suggest you download it can listen to it somewhere else. Put it on in the car and drive someplace you’ve never been. Take public transit as far as it goes and see what’s there. Walk around your town at 5am. Take it somewhere with you, and reconnect with your romantic and impulsive sensibilities that are all too often quieted in our busy busy lives.
Hi, Anthony LaMarca here – I am the curator of sorts here at the newly christened Primary Records. I was asked to start this label with my friend Oren Kessler and my initial thought for building an artist roster was to simply gather all of my musical friends who were already doing staggering work and playing in each otherâ€™s bands – and thatâ€™s just what we did! As you will see as you read on (and hopefully listen along with our PR Sampler Vol. 1) that this is a very eclectic group. You may be surprised that some of the most extreme parts of the various bands are the same performers; the gents providing the dulcet tones for In One Wind are the flamethrowers in Killer Bob. The bobbing bass player of The Building is the heart ripping frontman with Names of War. The long and short is that these are balanced artists making a conscious effort to show their full scope of ideas. Though it may be confusing at first, I think its important to present all this music side by side so that the listener has a concept of the context that this music is being created in.
That being said, letâ€™s dive in!
Whatâ€™s this? Jazz?Â Some strange French soundtrack?Â Is that a Casio MT-100?Â Whereâ€™s the solo? His own compositions began in a traditional jazz context but now are evolving into a more simple form: leaving out the improvisation and focusing on sonics and melody. He has shared with me some even newer recordings in which we hear some singing from Mr. Rosen.Â What I love best about his music is that it floats between two well known genres yet defies them both.
In One Wind:
In One Windâ€™s Angelo Spagnolo and Rob Lundberg like to throw potluck parties at their apartment. It was at one of these parties that IOW played their first show. I was playing drums, Angelo was reading the lyrics from his notebook and I think it sounded pretty bad. The band was straightforward in those days, simple folk songs with the occasional metric hiccup. I soon got busy with touring and in my absence Max Jaffe took the drum throne. Next time I checked in the band had become the R&BNeo-SoulFolkNoiseArtRock powerhouse they are today. But wait! Full circle! They ask me to produce their first LP How Bright A Shadow!
This is my band; and by that I mean the band that my brother Angelo LaMarca and I write the music for. We have played together since we knew how to play (and even before that). Over the years we have had many bands of many styles; with this one, though, we are settled on simple songs that could be based in both country and pop. We are interested in glorifying these simple forms like the American geographies and characters that populate our songs.
While compiling this roster I quickly thought of having William Flynn (former St Vincent bassist) involved in some way. I have enjoyed his late night van DJâ€™ing on tour and wait every month with bated breath for his mixtapes he puts online under the moniker â€˜Manos de Monosâ€™. He (along with St Vincent/The Building/Names of War reedist Evan Smith) is also a part of The Prigs, a band that generates nothing but questions. William describes SW as â€œexploring tones and textures that can engage you passively. You don’t have to pay attention and wait for hooks and choruses but rather let it fill a room or headphones and hopefully add to the experience of whatever you are doing at that moment. Whether walking down the street or flying in a plane, sitting in your bed up too late, or making soup in your kitchen.â€
Robert Lee is a gentleman in the truest sense. I knew him a little bit from New School, and also from recording In One Wind (he plays some extra woodwinds). I did not know he wrote songs until Angelo Spagnolo asked if I was interested in playing with Rob. Rob then sent me demos he recorded at home on his laptopâ€™s internal mic. I was immediately floored by what I heard as it sounded so odd, yet so pleasant and familiar. I told Rob it reminded me of Arthur Russell, to which he responded, â€œI donâ€™t know who that is. This is me trying to be Nick Drake and Bobby McFerrin.â€ â€¦Duh!
Steven Lugerner Septet:
Mr. Lugerner is the woodwind player for In One Wind, as well as so many other groups on this label. This track comes from his epic double disc debut as a leader â€œNarratives/These Are The Wordsâ€. Steven has gotten a lot of attention recently for these records, and for good reason. There are not only great compositions and improvisations (let alone the amazingly polarizing bands he assembled for each disc) but he has also dedicated attention to texture and non-traditional production for the genre, something I think is a great annoyance in modern jazz records.
Lookalikeâ€™s Tyler Theofilos is a fellow Ohioan. He would like to confuse you. Make sure that you are not sure about what this is. Tyler has told me he tries to do things the wrong way while recording for this project. I saw that when we recorded some keyboard parts without hearing what we were playing. He says, â€œI’m much happier devoting my full attention to whatever weirdness happens to transpire. In the past, I used to wonder if what I wrote was too conventional or unconventional. With these songs, I was able to convince myself that it didn’t matter.â€
Pony of Good Tidings:
The lead Pony here is Natalie Green, and she wants to share with you some good news. Gospel, if you will. Of course there are no tambourines and no large singing groups, or even handclaps, but at the heart of it, this is straight gospel. Friendship, love, death, Jesus and life’s gloriesâ€¦all are safe here.
For some it may be hard to believe that 3/4ths of this band is half of In One Wind, or maybe not. Either way it is a joy, and allows both bands to make more sense. The odd man out is guitarist Dave Scanlon. I asked Dave to comment here: â€œMonastic was written over the Christmas holiday in 2009 on an upright piano at my family’s house in Perkasie, PA. I sang the first line and wrote it down (which became the guitar and sax melody). Then worked on a counter-melody (which became the bass and drums part). This was the writing process used for most killer BOB material written before June 2010. This composition was then arranged collectively. The guitar and bass parts in the “swing section” came from Max noodling on a Casio keyboard during a rehearsal. We took his joking around very seriously.â€ Casio = not a joke.
Names of War:
Leader Andrew Carlson is a dear friend of mine from middle school. We have made some embarrassing music together (and independantly) over the years, but this is not it. For this band Andrew assembled the instruments that he and his father collectively play/ed (guitar, acoustic bass, clarinet, tenor sax). Like the great photographer Carlson is, he shifts perspective and brings to light the great and terrible things a family can be.
Again here we see Steven Lugerner and Max Jaffe performing in a different form. This time they have teamed up with their San Francisco childhood friend Matthew Wohl (bass). Â I didnâ€™t have to tell you that – their music has the sound of familiarity built into it. It abstracts the importance of composition vs. improvisation with a childlike gleam of â€œwhat does it matter?â€
I hope that helps give you a clearer picture of this amazing group of artist and why they are all here at the same time. Our great friend Matt Miller also made an amazing interactive chart below to help visualize -