Posts Tagged ‘Bonnie Prince Billy’

Last month, Matt Sweeney and Bonnie ‘Prince’ Billy announced their new album,Superwolves”, out digitally April 30th and physically June 18th. Today, they release a new single “My Blue Suit,” with an accompanying video directed by Geoff McFetridge, and announce their first tour together since 2014. The tour will see the duo return to their ancestral lupine roots in Big Sur, the site of one of their first live performances, and beyond.
“My Blue Suit” follows previously released singles/videos “Make Worry For Me” and “Hall of Death.” Where “Hall of Death” featured a full band (courtesy of Tuareg guitar giant Mdou Moctar), “My Blue Suit” presents the duo at their core with Sweeney on acoustic guitar and Bonny (aka Will Oldham) on vocals. 

McFetridge elaborates on the video below:
I started this video by painting. The work I created, in response to the song, was large scale figures I could use in scenes filmed on camera. All the images in the film are done in camera, there are no digital effects. The graphic sequences were done with paintings wrapped around a garbage can placed on a Techniques 1200 turntable. The tools used to create the effects were knives, glue, paint and tape.
The pieces created for the film are nearly life size portraits done with acrylic on paper. These works, the film and the animated elements will be shown in the project space of Cooper Cole Gallery in Toronto, opening May 1st.”

Track from the Matt Sweeney & Bonnie “Prince” Billy album “Superwolves,” out on Digital & Streaming on April 30th, 2021 and LP/CS/CD on June 18th, 2021 from Drag City/Palace Records and Domino Recordings.

Bill Callahan and Bonnie ‘Prince’ Billy‘s collab-a-thon continues and this week’s cover is Iggy Pop’s “I Want to Go to the Beach.” The original, from Iggy’s 2009 album Preliminaires, was a sombre, piano-led affair, but the Bills make it decidedly more beachy. The musical direction this week comes courtesy of Cooper Crain, who you may know from Cave, Bitchin Bajas and other Chicago groups. The arrangement is reggae / dub, but in an off-kilter, noirish sort of way that fits lyrics like “Waiting, hating the shit life throws my way / Hating, waiting to make my escape.” Listen below.

Who dares to break Iggy’s Jah? Pop’s 2009 cabaret jazz project yielded this perfect song, “I Want To Go To The Beach” a predictably improbable contribution to the beach song oeuvre. The noirish resignation of Iggy’s original modulates bouncily into Cooper Crain’s post-dub version, a beat that draws epic crosstalk out of all the Bill Callahan and Bonnie “Prince” Billy’s (way) out there in space.

Last week was a Drag City all-stars event with the Bills covering Silver Jews’ “The Wild Kindness” with Cassie Berman, David Pajo, Haley Fohr (Circuit des Yeux), Meg Baird, and Matt Sweeney

Bill Callahan & Bonnie Prince Billy - credit: Photos by Hanly Banks Callahan / Mabel Cooper

Bill Callahan and Bonnie ‘Prince’ Billy have continued their collaborative covers series, and this new one is a very special one. It’s of “The Wild Kindness” by the late singer songwriter David Berman‘s band Silver Jews, and guests on this one include none other than David’s wife and Silver Jews bandmate Cassie Berman on bass, along with David Pajo on guitar, Tony Crow on keyboards, and Brian Kotzur on drums, with additional vocals by Haley Fohr (Circuit des Yeux), Meg Baird, and Matt Sweeney. The Bills and Cassie sound great together, and they really do justice to the song while making it their own. Flags flying at full mast (forever!), Silver Jews are paraded through the party on the back of Cassie Berman’s reverent version of one of the late David Berman’s finest songs. Everybody sings — everybody! — and that includes you. And it’s you crying, not us! OK maybe us too…

Featuring: Bill Callahan, Bonnie ‘Prince’ Billy, Cassie Berman, Boneman the dog, David Grubbs, Bill MacKay, George Xylouris, Shelagh Hannan, Apollonia Xylouris, Fred Somsen, Sue Ng-Espada, Matt Kinsey, Tony Crow, Azita Youssefi, Caitlin Rose Mahoney, Cory Hanson, Brett Sova, David Pajo.

“The Wild Kindness” (feat. Cassie Berman) · Bill Callahan · Bonnie “Prince” Billy  Drag City Records Released on: 2021-02-19

A perfect pairing is a joy to come by, and a blind pairing is even finer; here, a role of dice slides Bill Callahan into Jerry Jeff Walker’s big shoes to walk over an ethereal Mojave country take on Mike Burton’s classic cowboy tune, courtesy of Wand’s Cory Hanson, shape-shifting into his solo persona with ease, and giving Bill and Bonnie ‘Prince’ Billy plenty of room to display theirs too. Cover artwork by Aline Cautis, shown as part of the group show “The Monochrome Set”, at Soccer Club Club, October 2018.

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Released January 20th, 2021

Recorded at the Bomhard Theater in Louisville, KY on December 13th, 2020 with the Best Hands band: Jake Xerxes Fussell, Nathan Bowles, Anna Krippenstapel, and Nathan Salsburg. Guest appearances by Julia Purcell and Bonnie “Prince” Billy.

Proceeds from this album go to support the Best Hands Band that supported me. With their own tours delayed and the future uncertain, they deserve some love!
The support I have felt from you all recently has been moving beyond words. I thank you for keeping music close to your hearts right now. Love to everyone. Joan

released April 9th, 2020

The performers:
Joan Shelley – vocals, guitar
Nathan Salsburg – vocals, guitar
Jake Fussell – bass
Nathan Bowles – drums
Anna Krippenstapel – vocals, fiddle
Julia Purcell – vocals
Bonnie “Prince” Billy – vocals

superwolf matt sweeney and will oldham

You may remember way back in the mid-’00s all new indie bands were required to have the word “wolf” in their names, hence Superwolf, the 2005 collab between Will Oldham and Matt Sweeny. Fifteen years later, Will & Matt brought Superwolf out of retirement to help East Village vegetarian join Superiority Burger and Will’s label, Drag City, with this new jam.

From Superwolf’s home in the sea comes a new, long-awaited exclamation. “You’ll Get Eaten, Too” is a sunbaked song-comet streaking through our suddenly emptied, wide-open skies. Ostensibly a song about meat and the star-crossed destinies of us all, here in the chain of organic life, the song explores affirmations, impermanence and downfall for anything that can evolve and grow (like bacteria….or a virus), in a taut and purposeful three minutes of rock anthem. Atop burgeoning arpeggiation and soaring string bends, Bonnie Billy and Matt Sweeney get ever higher, voicing conflict, contradiction, acceptance and celebration in a manner that invites all to sing with them.

“You’ll Get Eaten, Too” dates from Superwolf’s long middle-period between their initial album release (2005) and the planned release of a new album, which is almost fully rendered, awesome and now awaiting the new world order to be sorted. Will music be marked any more non-essential than it already has? Matt and Bonnie certainly hope so. In the meanwhile, “You’ll Get Eaten, Too” is a (de)commissioned number from a decade back, recorded at the old Rove studio HQ in Shelbyville by Paul Oldham, and with Peter Townsend on hand to round out the sound. With such a message to send, and such energy, “You’ll Get Eaten, Too” has sat it out for too long, waiting to play a role – but the time is now, as a new organic growth spreads unchecked across the nations, truncating life as we know it everywhere. Faced with rallying support on any number of fronts, Bonny and Sweeney are throwing the profit from this single behind NYC’s Superiority Burger, as good a vegetarian/and sometimes vegan option as there is – as well as the beleaguered staff of Drag City, currently facing an uncertain future slinging their own patties. Sing for your support, please! 

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Featuring artwork with a timely new take on the original Superwolf artwork from original artist Spencer Sweeney, “You’ll Get Eaten, Too” is available for consumption on Bandcamp exclusively for 3 days, for $3 or more – and please note the ‘or more’ here, as anything extra you give will benefit disenfranchised workers struggling to get back to making alternative products for the world to consider (and consume).

released March 27th, 2020

No photo description available.

GQ clothes-horse and man who saw a darkness Bonnie Prince Billy has his first album of new songs since 2011. This time, he brings the lightness, with help from a Louisville band including picker Nathan Salsburg, ex-Gary Burton Quartet drummer Mike Hyman and singer-songwriter Joan Shelley. Influenced by songwriters John Prine and Tom T. Hall and inspired by the state of Hawaii, I Made a Place finds Bonny using his considerable powers for good.

“This Is Far From Over” features and was edited by Captain Olivia O Wyatt. She just completed a solo transpacific crossing from San Diego to Hawaii on her 34 ft. boat, Juniper. The voyage lasted 23 days and was chronicled on her blog Wilderness of Waves . From Hawaii, she will sail around the world to destinations guided by humpback whale migration patterns. As Olivia traverses the sea, she is creating an ethnographic film exploring the mystery of humpback whale songs from the perspective of indigenous communities who revere them as deities.

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Track from full-length Bonnie ‘Prince’ Billy album, available January 31st, 2020.

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Joan Shelley recorded “Coming Down For You” in Iceland. Despite this venture away from her native Kentucky, her love of banjo, guitar and bass still ripples, swirls and flows around Shelley’s voice like a river over well-worn stones. “Coming Down For You” is out now on No Quarter Records.

The Louisville singer-songwriter Joan Shelley makes lovely, warm acoustic folk music. Last year, she released the covers EP “Rivers & Vessels”, taking on songs by people like Nick Drake and Dolly Parton. A few months ago, she shared covers of Frank Sinatra’s “I Would Be In Love (Anyway)” and Kate Wolf’s “Here in California.” And now, she’s back with some more new music of her own.

“Coming Down For You,” her first original song in over two years. She travelled to Reykjavik, Iceland to record it with a whole host of kindred spirits from the folk music scene — Bonnie “Prince” Billy, Nathan Salsburg, and James Elkington — and its cover art features a photograph of her mother.

The song “came to me while I was in motion and I couldn’t write it down,” Shelley says. “I was thinking of the rhythm of animals, of work, and of travel; the rhythm of someone riding into chaos to bring a loved one back out again.”

The new album, Pond Scum (out today), is an integral piece in the evolution of Bonnie ‘Prince’ Billy’s progressive and prolific catalogue. A collection of sessions recorded for John Peel’s influential BBC show, it spans eight years of Bonnie’s career and is essential for longtime fans and first-time listeners alike.

Bonnie 'Prince' Billy

…similar in tone but NOT from the forthcoming Bonnie ‘Prince’ Billy release “Pond Scum”, in stores LP, CD, and Cassette on January 22nd on Drag City Records. “Rich Wife, Full of Happiness” appears on Bonny’s EASE DOWN THE ROAD RECORD in its full-arrangement. The BBC sessions gave room to represent the original bones of the song.

There are no Peel sessions anymore – that tradition was buried in the pyramids with John Peel himself upon the great man’s passing. Of the thousands left in the wake, six are ascribed to Bonnie ‘Prince’ Billy – and of those six, three have been combined to form the deeply congruous experience of  “Pond Scum” .A span of eight years is covered, in reverse, and many chestnuts are rolled out, freed of former contexts with sparse arrangements. “(I Was Drunk at the) Pulpit” feels, ten years from inception, more vividly worn; “Death to Everyone” is loosed from its frame, the bones decoupled and spread out, giving the song a reflective air (as opposed the biting declamation of the original); “Arise, Therefore” adapts its metronomic base, the evangelic twist of its roots made palpable. With the center of the performance in stark relief, the gnomic qualities of two “Get On Jolly” pieces are intensified. Further accenting the devoted spirit of this collection is the inclusion of Bonnies take on Prince’s “The Cross”, as well as the previously-unreleased original “Beezle.”