Gilded Lilies b-w Young, Wild & Free

New Single

We’re back, and you can’t stop us! We released a new single yesterday, and Slitzky has once again emblazoned the work with the “doesn’t suck” stamp he keeps right next to the Neve master bus. Bastard.

Sidle over to or to our bandcamp page to take a listen and, y’know, support the cause. Niles is looking mighty thin these days.

Gilded Lilies

This outing’s eponymous effort is a slow burner called “Gilded Lilies.”

OK, so what’s it about?

I think often these days about Samuel Clemens, the man who coined the term “Gilded Age” and who described it with unparalleled mirth. But it is his very early career that fascinates me the most, his time on the river, and those first steps away from that river and towards the sunset, a literate man traveling westward amid the spectacular vistas of the Great American Desert.

I wonder what Sam would have thought of our own times, and I wonder at savagery with which he would have tormented the politicians of our age. It also saddens me to reflect on how familiar our current politics would be to him; fear of foreigners who don’t share our religion or way of life; the complicated and sometimes volatile relationship between white and black citizens; the ever-changing role of women in our society; oligarchs and their seeming lock on political power; debate about the role of America’s military might in the world; the sense that there is decay at the core of the great American experiment, but little agreement about where it lies or what its remedy might be.

But it’s nice also to think of him before all of that, after he’d left his riverboat career and was beginning to make his way across the short grass prairies, carrying with him the stories of his time on the river which would soon launch his career and provide him his new name. I imagine him as a young man with dark hair and a shaggy mustache, sitting on a wagon, enjoying a “rank old pipe” beneath a sunset that he must have thought was as iridescent and impossibly huge as the American experience itself.

“Gilded Lilies” is kind of about that… I guess.

This tune was tricky to record. Unlike a lot of the electric material we’ve recorded recently, this song required tracking multiple acoustic instruments in the same room. Also unlike most of our material, this song required overdubs of instruments that we had already recorded in our annual winter recording session.

The final iteration features Dan Sauve-Rogan, Niles Krieger, and David Slitzky playing live together, with my parts layered in later. I tracked the guitar in my home library late at night, as my wife slept upstairs and my dogs napped in the adjacent room, occasionally lifting their heads to peer through the glass French doors as I labored into a microphone, a glass of bourbon bearing witness on the desk.

We take these things for granted now, but I still marvel that we can play at different times and produce a piece of music that occurs in a single time and space. It’s black magic. And, to the extent that it works artistically, it is due to the awesome skill that David Slitzky has brought to bear on this project, and to the unique relationship that we, the players, have built over the years. It works because it is planned and executed carefully, and because, even separated by time and space, we can anticipate each others’ playing in an intuitive way. I’m grateful for all of it.

Oh, and we recorded a cover. Slitzky’s calling it his magnum opus. You be the judge.

A Plea

Not guilty!

I jest. If you’ve read this far, and you’ve listened to this music, then I think I can assume you like what we’re doing. Do me a favor, think of someone you know who likes this kind of music and point them our way.

This is a bootstrap project. No labels. No A&R. It’s just us working our tails off between our day jobs. We’re going to keep doing this as long as the muse visits, but the only prayer of us ever bringing in a few shekels for our efforts is for word to spread.

So please, help us spread the word.
Thank you,

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