Scientists discovered that early humans painted their bodies with the color red. That beginning might be seen as a symbol of beginnings, and so this color will be seen within Death Blues events and elsewhere throughout Spring. Historically, it has also represented courage, sacrifice, love, happiness, anger, aggression, danger, warning, attraction, seduction, passion, success, and purity.
With spring comes new life and to celebrate there will be a small amount of Death Blues music related events throughout the midwest. Featuring Jon Mueller, Jim Warchol, and Ken Palme, the trio will present entirely new music that utilizes elements from both the ‘Death Blues’ LP and the ‘Here’ CD in ways that will create an entirely different experience.
Click here to view the event dates and locations.
Thanks to Hometapes and Taiga for releasing this. Thanks to the musicians that helped me realize it. Thanks to the wonderful ears and willingness of Shane Hochstetler to try something different. And thanks to all the people who have started conversations around this record. Yes, this is music, but it is also a vehicle to give each of those that hear it something more. I hope it takes you somewhere good.
Lisa Thatcher recently penned a review of the Death Blues LP at Dusted Magazine:
The pulsing thrash at the heart of this recognition is Death Blues itself, a writhing album infused with a tumultuous life force and a call to action regarding the exaltedness and immediacy of acting on one’s life.
The full review can be read here. The LP itself should be available very soon.
Rich Hughes, editor of the UK based online magazine, The Liminal, and I recently had a an email conversation about the Death Blues project. Our chat focused not only on the music, but also how the music connected to the rest of the project.
Here’s an excerpt:
Music in general is a connector, a situation that presents a variety of dots that can connect in different ways: ideas, emotions, and even physical feeling. So, any kind of music addresses the personal experience. Music inspires individual thoughts about personal taste, discovery, and senses which both can and cannot be put into words. For ‘Death Blues,’ by working with things like repetition, it asks a favor – to be patient, to listen, to focus, to be present. From there, more subtleties might be noticed and details discovered (both in the sound and the listener’s mind) based upon one’s willingness to interact. Music becomes both a guide and a backdrop to one’s ideas, memories, and new stories they might tell themselves while they listen. Each sound can inspire something different in each person, and when repeated, these things can be strengthened. This practice, of course, is nothing new. It has been the approach within various musical cultures throughout time, and there are some fascinating books on the subject that go far deeper into the topic. But this was my intent with working on ‘Death Blues,’ to focus on the alignment of the concept and the musical function to create a more powerful effect.
Click here to read the full conversation.
“Play loud, rejoice, cry, forgive, love, hit, run, swim.”
This, from Massimo Ricci’s review of the Death Blues record at Touching Extremes. Beyond a simple ‘good/bad’ judgment call, the record is looked at from a number of angles. I hope you enjoy his writing as much as he enjoyed this music. Click here for the full piece.
Joe Kirschling has posted a photographic overview to the first evening of the recent Death Blues event at Alverno Presents. It’s interesting to see these perspectives, since some of them I wasn’t even able to be in the room for during the event (nor were most performers).
Certainly, there are some missing things, and each person that attended might have had some different views, focusing on areas of their choosing. But I’ve always liked Joe’s photography, and am honored he attended and spent the time to produce these. Thanks, Joe!
Taiga and Hometapes are now offering the vinyl edition of Death Blues - the record, for pre-order. Choose from Black, Silver, or Gold-Blue vinyl. The LP jacket also contains the complete text from the Death Blues manifesto. Only 500 copies have been pressed so act quick. Details here. ***UPDATE*** The gold/blue edition is now sold out. Silver and black are still available.
For non-vinyl listeners, the record can still be purchased (or streamed) digitally via Hometapes here.