Posts Tagged ‘ denison witmer

btv051 Ester Drang : Pleasure Themes and Get Rich Schemes

Ester Drang
“Pleasure Themes and Get Rich Schemes” (btv051)
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Track listing:
1.Easy Money
2. One Hundred Times
3. All the Feeling
4. Pleasure Themes and Get Rich Schemes
Tulsa, Oklahoma’s Ester Drang released their ground-breaking Goldenwest album on Burnt Toast Vinyl in 2001. Soon after those sessions, they went into the studio and recorded “All the Feeling” with Trent Bell (Flaming Lips) for a multi-media compilation that never came to fruition.

This recording features Flaming Lips’ drummer/multi-instrumentalist Steven Drozd on several parts. The project then morphed into a one-sided LP with three additional tracks mixed and completed after their sophomore full-length Infinite Keys was released on Jade Tree in 2003. Aside from an out of print, self-released split 7”, Pleasure Themes and Get Rich Schemes is Ester Drang‘s only available vinyl release to date.

Pleasure Themes and Get Rich Schemes opens with the instrumental track “Easy Money” finding the Drang using electronics far more than normal. When the programmed drum tracks kick in, you realize that this is something very different. Layers of synthesizers are coupled with a simple guitar track and the electronic beats to meet a trumpet part. Drozd’s various contributions to “All the Feeling” result in a fuller, more expansive and lush version than what appears on Infinite Keys. The side closes with the title track showcasing Ester Drang’s signature atmospheric, cinematic sound. Tracks 1 and 4 are originals and Tracks 2 and 3 are alternate versions to those which appear on Infinite Keys.

The album artwork features portrait sketches drawn by singer/guitarist Bryce Chambers and was designed by keyboardist David Motter. Members of Ester Drang have been touring and recording with Pedro the Lion, Sufjan Stevens, Denison Witmer, Starflyer 59, Unwed Sailor, and even Ryan Cabrerra. In addition, several members collaborated with Unwed Sailor’s Johnathon Ford as Circle of Birds (Burnt Toast Vinyl). Ester Drang is planning to record their third full-length in 2005 which will be released on Jade Tree.



btv052 Denison Witmer : Live

Denison Witmer
“Live” (btv052)
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Track listing:

1. Intro
2. Things Never Turn Out the Way You Think
3. You Got Me Good
4. I Won’t Let You Down
5. 24 Turned 25
6. You and Me
7. Birds (Neil Young cover)
8. Stations
9. Steven
10. Are You Lonely
11. The ’80s
12. Thirteen (Big Star cover)
13. Meant To Be
14. Forgiven

When Denison Witmer was about to depart on a national tour in the fall of 2001, Burnt Toast Vinyl’s Scott Hatch gave him a compact minidisc recorder, a single stereo condenser microphone, and a huge supply of minidiscs and said, “How about recording your tour?” Dutifully, before the start of each show, Denison inserted a blank disc, hooked up the mic, and pushed the red record button.

Several months and 40+ concerts later, Scott, along with Denison’s brother Douglas Thut Witmer, carefully catalogued, reviewed, scrutinized, and selected the material that appears on this album. The 14 tracks on this project are culled from a half-dozen venues in the U.S. and Canada. It’s just Denison in natural solo form and a few great collaborations with guitarist Matthew Stone and the Cleveland-based band The Six Parts Seven on material that dates from his earliest release to songs written just before the show.



btv053 The Six Parts Seven : The Attitudes of Collapse

The Six Parts Seven
“The Attitudes of Collapse” (btv053)
Buy Online | $8ppd

Track listing:
1. From California to Houston, on Lightspeed
2. On Marriage
3. The Attitudes of Collapse
4. Song of Impossible Things

The Six Parts Seven are very patient men. Spend some time with their three full-length players and you’ll be convinced of it. Since brothers Allen and Jay Karpinski started the band in 1995, Ohio’s finest instrumental outfit has worked to build stunning musical landscapes based wholly on the principles of melody and restraint. The band is careful to avoid the early grave of mediocrity that plagues so many instrumental bands, adding intricate and essential touches to their triguitar, drums and bass setup (a hear tbreaking lap steel , the understated backbone of a grand piano, subtle and tasteful samples).
Nothing is exploited, and the complete package is congruent and sure, boasting a maturity smart enough to not choke the very necessary space where the songs live and breathe.

The Six Parts Seven have perfected their signature lush and leading compositions, leaving listeners dazzled by fresh sonic additions to the independent rock cannon and haunted by a fully inescapable moodiness.

The Six Parts Seven became connected to Burnt Toast Vinyl while touring with roster artist Denison Witmer in spring 2002. Label owner Scott Hatch alternated between daytime Florida spring training baseball games and nighttime shows, becoming friends with the band and proposing a one-sided LP release. Later in 2002, The Six Parts Seven played parts on Witmer’s Philadelphia Songs album released on Burnt Toast Vinyl and toured with him again in Spring 2003. Now, in 2004, the
final result, The Attitudes of Collapse, finally finds its way to retail outlets.

The one-sided LP features 3 brand new songs and a fourth song that was previously recorded and released, but was revamped and rerecorded for this release. Though piano parts have been used by The Six Parts Seven in the past, the songs on The Attitudes of Collapse one-sided LP make heavier use of the piano to carry melodies, shifting the band’s sound in a more focused and refined direction. Piano parts are fundamental to both “From California to Houston by Lightspeed” and “On Marriage” and the result is more restrained and refined than other releases. The shifting dynamics are still present, but tweaked to be less rambunctious. The repetitive use of spoken samples in “From California to Houston by Lightspeed” is as close as the band gets to actually adding vocals to their instrumental songs themselves. The title track drops the piano in favor of warm lap steel warbles, light drum beats and cymbal crashes, and layered guitar and bass parts in their signature style. “Song of Impossible Things” distills the chord progression of the traditional “Amazing Grace” with unbelievable interpretation that makes the song wholly theirs, perhaps a successful result to which the song title alludes.



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