Chances are if you are fan of music and photography, you may know the name Ryan Russell. This humble photographer has taken thousands of photos of bands and scenery in his career. Russell has worked with bands like Death Cab for Cutie, Against Me!, Mastodon and his photographs have appeared in such periodicals as Rolling Stone, Spin, Esquire, Playboy and New York Times.
No Sleep Records has partnered up with celebrated rock photographer Ryan Russell to release a new photo book titled “Continental Obscura: From Birmingham to Bellingham” this coming fall/winter 2013. The title is derived from his recent departure of his long time home to a new city all the way on the other side of the states and will showcase photos taken by Russell prior, during, and after his move.
I am really stoked to see this book. I have been a fan of him, and his dog Ava, for quite some time now.
Fans are invited (if not already doing so) to follow Russell’s journey via his Instagram account http://instagram.com/ryanrussell where he will be posting daily photos over the course of the trip with the hashtag #continentalobscura.
This post right here is proof that Brokenheadphones.com caters to everyone including our future musicians.
A Chicagoan by the name of Jessica Hopper reached out to me recently letting me know about a pretty cool little event going on this week.
I did a little research on Jessica just so it sounded like I knew what I was talking about on this post. Seeing on how I wanted to talk about her book I felt the need to talk about here too and honestly I learned a lot about her making this even more of an interesting post for me to create.
Jessica Hopper has been in the music scene for quite some time. She was involved in the Riot Grrrl movement, played in numerous short stinted bands, acted as a touring bassist for a couple bands, was a tour manager, and even published her own ‘zine at a young age called Hit It Or Quit It. She was in fact a teen feminist and was outspoken at that. She was (and still is) a punk rocker that has an open mind and loves to share.
Recently she wrote The Girls Guide To Rocking, a book aimed at the young ladies from ages 10 to 16 who want to know about how to form a band, book shows, record their music, and other musical tidbits to ensure a better start off into the world of being a musician.
Truth is from the intro I read so far, the book can be a useful read for any girl, boy, woman, or man who is looking for a hint on what ingredients are needed to cook up a band. I actually hope to get my hands on a copy soon so I can read the entire thing.
The book has been getting a lot of national attention (see links below) and Jessica has actually been touring around the states reading excerpts from the book and at times is being joined by folk rock music artist Katie Stelmanis and her back up singers The Ghost Bees.
Jessica emailed me to let me know that this week she will be at Visible Voice Books in Tremont on 8/20. She will have the book even from about 7:30pm and then the party will move to a place I seem to have been frequenting a lot, the Happy Dog, located on W. 58th & Detroit Ave. At about 9:00pm Katie Stelmanis and The Ghost Bees will put on a show to add to the event that usually is together. I would assume that due to space restrictions at Visible Voice Books the event had to be split up.
It looks to be a great time on Aug. 20th and I am sure the little ones out there who have dreams of being the next rock star will love it. The show is all ages and I encourage any of you parents out there to take your kids to this. School is right around the corner and me thinks this would be a great way to put a nice little end to your children’s summer vacation. Who knows, maybe they will learn a thing or two and so will you. (please note I can not be held responsible if your family turns into a Partridge Family, you are on your own there folks…)
May 15, 2009 – When the first cryptic bits of news about Dark Night of the Soul began trickling in earlier this year, it all sounded too good to be true. Though the whole project was shrouded in mystery, it appeared that Danger Mouse and Sparklehorse’s Mark Linkous, two of the most inspired artists making music today, were collaborating on a new album. That alone was enough to get our geek gears spinning with excitement. But there was an unusual twist that few of us at NPR Music could make sense of: Director David Lynch was somehow involved.
It all started back in March, at the South by Southwest music festival and conference. A number of us on the NPR Music team had noticed strange posters around downtown Austin, Texas, that read “Dark Night of the Soul.” They looked like movie posters and had David Lynch’s name on them, alongside names of some of our favorite artists, like Danger Mouse, Sparklehorse, Vic Chesnutt, Jason Lytle and more. We wondered if it was some sort of musical film.
Soon after our Austin trip, NPR Music received copies of the mysterious posters in the mail. No return address. Someone was messing with us. I tried to find out more, but had zero success. Then, weeks later, I finally got a note from a publicist with all the details we’d been waiting for.
It turns out Dark Night Of The Soul is an album and the songs were written by Danger Mouse and Sparklehorse, though the myriad singers featured on each track also had a big hand in composing and producing the work. The album was initially going to be packaged with a book of photos taken by David Lynch. But now there’s word that the music may never be officially released at all.
An unnamed spokesperson for Danger Mouse says that “due to an ongoing dispute with EMI” the book of photographs will “now come with a blank, recordable CD-R. All copies will be clearly labeled: ‘For legal reasons, enclosed CD-R contains no music. Use it as you will.'” When contacted, EMI declined to comment and wouldn’t confirm whether the label is even involved in the project.
You can order the book, sans music, from the official Dark Night Of The Soul Web site. In the meantime, you can hear the entire album here on NPR Music as an Exclusive First Listen.
I’ve listened to the record all the way through at least a dozen times, and can confirm that Dark Night of the Soul delivers in every way you’d hope for. It’s beautiful but haunting, surreal and dark, but sometimes comical and affecting, with ear-popping, multilayered production work. It just gets more mesmerizing with every listen.
In addition to Danger Mouse and Sparklehorse, other artists appearing on Dark Night of the Soul include James Mercer of The Shins, The Flaming Lips, Gruff Rhys of Super Furry Animals, Jason Lytle of Grandaddy, Julian Casablancas of The Strokes, Frank Black of the Pixies, Iggy Pop, Nina Persson of The Cardigans, Suzanne Vega, Vic Chesnutt, David Lynch, and Scott Spillane of Neutral Milk Hotel and The Gerbils.
Check out the Dark Night Of The Soul official website where you can pre-order the book associated with the release full photography and a blank CD-R. The blank CD-R is there for you the reader/listener to add whatever music you see necessary. Freedom of choice. I like that.
I would rather see this entire album be released but that shall be determined.
For now head over to NPR.org where they are streaming Dark Night Of The Soul and see what the fuss is all about.
1. “Revenge” (featuring The Flaming Lips) – 4:52
2. “Just War” (featuring Gruff Rhys) – 3:44
3. “Jaykub” (featuring Jason Lytle) – 3:52
4. “Little Girl” (featuring Julian Casablancas) – 4:33
5. “Angel’s Harp” (featuring Black Francis) – 2:57
6. “Pain” (featuring Iggy Pop) – 2:49
7. “Star Eyes (I Can’t Catch It)” (featuring David Lynch) – 3:10
8. “Everytime I’m With You” (featuring Jason Lytle) – 3:09
9. “Insane Lullaby” (featuring James Mercer) – 3:12
10. “Daddy’s Gone” (featuring Mark Linkous and Nina Persson) – 3:09
11. “The Man Who Played God” (featuring Suzanne Vega) – 3:09
12. “Grim Augury” (featuring Vic Chesnutt) – 2:32
13. “Dark Night of the Soul” (featuring David Lynch) – 4:38
UPDATE: Looks like EMI bitched out and canceled the two videos below that I posted. I swear if this album is not released then fingers should be pointed at EMI for reasons why the music industry is struggling. I listened to the stream 3 times now and think the album is brilliant and may be one of my top 10 for 2009.
Do yourself a favor and check it out before EMI sucks harder and pulls the stream from NPR.org.
NOT an official video, but still pretty entertaining:
I also found this interesting site that I will not mention what it is about but it may interest you. I am not sure how long it will even stay up…