In the family album section, who are these guys?
Wait, they look somewhat familiar behind those goggles. And those mountains, doesn't Norway have mountains like that. And Norway is next to... Sweden and not very far at all from Ostersund, Sweden, home of old Cedar pals Hoven Droven. Look what they got up to last month!
So we had a little fun the other week. Our friend/hero/mentor/recordcompany/ex. bandbember Gustav Hylén recently turned fifty, and since Jens recently turned forty we decided we had to celebrate. We booked a show at Storulvån, a great skiing resort close to the Norwegian border. We invited Janne, our ex. organ player to join us and suddenly we had the Hoven Droven big band! Every member of Hoven Droven since 1991 on stage at the same time. One lengthy set filled with old favourites, some of wich hasn..t been played in a long time, and it was a blast! It spawned some ideas for the future...Whee! The Hoven Droven big band hasn't played in Minneapolis in quite a long time. Sounds fun.
They really like us.
Here's what the Carolina Chocolate Drops had to say about the Cedar once they got back home. Always have to get in the weather joke, though.
We then drove seven (7!!!) hours to Minneapolis to see our old friends at the Cedar. This was our third time there and each one gets better and better - they treat us so nice and the audiences are so warm! (Maybe to compensate for the chilly weather... :) )We really like you, too. The 'Drops just signed a contract with Nonesuch Records and plan to put out an album with them early next year. More info on their website, and oh yeah, the baby's still due late in May.
While we were there I went to the Mill Museum to find out more about Minneapolis and went up the Flour Tower (of Power, I like to add) - who knew flour could be so interesting?? Dom saw some great music and we got to hang out a bit with John Whitehead, one of our earliest champions and a great film maker.
Remix as today's highest art form?
Somebody wrote that last year, like maybe Sasha Frere-Jones at the New Yorker, before Lawrence Lessig wrote Remix: Making Art and Culture Thrive in a Hybrid Economy. Anyway, everybody does a remix album these days...they're cheap, can be fun, and they bridge the gap for fans while bands write new tunes. I downloaded the new Watcha Clan remix disc that came out last week, Diaspora Remixed. Yep, didn't want to wait six months. No, they haven't played here...yet, but have been featured in this blog several times (1/20/09 and 10/22/08 ) and always do great blog posts to their Myspace when they are on tour. I've have only made it through the whole thing twice, but it features fun folks at the controls like Dunkelbunt, Transglobal Underground and DJ Click. So far I'm groovin' on the EarthRise Sound System's slowed down fiddle- and kora-enhanced take on "Goumari." I'm not sure exactly what you call that type of fiddle, but it sounds more like the one the guy in Habib Koite's band plays, kinda scatchy? Lots of fun mixes here, and although the same handful of tunes are chosen by the re-mixers, there are a great variety of sounds here. Good party fodder!
Look who's coming back to town!
It was one of those shows that not many people got to, but those who did each told about ten of their closest musical friends "Wow! This was so cool. You really need to to see them next time they come to town." Yep, I'm talking about Racheal Unthank and the Winterset's show at the Cedar last September. And hey! They're coming back to see us again on Memorial Day, Monday, May 25. After hearing something like the above from at least three Cedarheads whose musical opinions matter to me, I will SO not miss them this time.
Enough gossip for now? Tune in next week for exciting free download links and other fun stuff!