Raising the Canopy Wire (btv067)
Buy Online | one-sided LP
|I first heard June Panic right before the full-length Horror Vacui was released on Secretly Canadian. This is an often overlooked classic and I went back to hear all of the previous June Panic releases, becoming a big fan. Hailing from Grand Forks, North Dakota, June released several cassettes of his music in the early ‘90s. He was good friends with Ben and Chris Swanson who later released several of his albums on their Secretly Canadian label.
I saw June play in NYC later that year, in 2000. He filled in for Songs:Ohia after their gear had been stolen right before their CMJ showcase performance. In 2003, I was in Holland for a few days that coincided with a June Panic/Scout Niblett/Danielson tour. My friend Lucas and I rented a car and drove from Amsterdam to Dordrecht where we saw the trio play in an art gallery. Afterwards, we ended up driving some of June’s North Dakotan friends back to Amsterdam.
June and I worked out the idea for a release in mid-2004 with the initial recordings happening very quickly after. Now, after many tweaks and revisions, the complete package with artwork is ready for you to hear.
Raising the Canopy Wire is one of two new EPs from June. The other is called Bellybuttonless Boy and is available from the Spanish label Acuarela. Both EPs were recorded by Jim Zespy in Bloomington, Indiana at what used to be a church. All you can see from the mixing room is the church graveyard where the infant of Virgil Pogue, among others, is buried. A misspelled engraving outside reads ‘Christain Church’, unintentionally invoking Christ’s blood stains. Two of the songs from the sessions lovingly involve the so-called founders of the Quakers, George Fox and his wife Margaret. The other songs retain the spirit of the Society of Friends….Peace and work, Swans and plates, Memories of sleep.
These are the first recordings June has done in which the basic tracks, including his voice, were all recorded completely live with very few overdubs added. The juxtaposition of rock and hymnal is meant to suggest that gospel music is not a separate genre, but a sub-genre unaccountably present in all other genres of music.
On Raising the Canopy Wire, June Panic re-records “David Poe” and “Baby Divine” from that groundbreaking Horror Vacui album. He includes the title track as an entirely new June Panic song, rounding out the side with the Ramones’ “Oh, Oh, I Love Her So” (with some extra June additions) and Willie Nelson’s “(I’d Have to Be) Crazy.” In keeping with the portrait theme of the Burnt Toast Vinyl one-sided LP series, the cover is a chalk drawing of June done by his wife Mandalynne. She also did the beautiful B side etching. Raising the Canopy Wire (and Bellybuttonless Boy) have received rave reviews…from June’s friends, who are the only one’s to have heard them yet. Fall in love with June Panic once again (or for the first time) with this wonderful vinyl-only release.