Willa Cather in 1936
Grocery shopping with our friend, photographer and director, Bob Sweeney
We're excited to perform next Saturday (4/28) in the great city of Reading, the polis that bequeathed to the nation Wallace Stevens, John Updike and Keith Haring (you're welcome).
More info here: https://www.facebook.com/events/596971277322216/
Many thanks here: thanks to Bob Sweeney for shooting and stitching together this excellent video, thanks to Sofar for hosting us. Unrelated, but of equal importance, thank you to everyone who made last Thursday's show at Elixr so great.
Dear Chairman Dances enthusiasts,
I’m playing a solo set at Philly’s Elixr Coffee on Friday, 10/27. I go on first at 9 p.m., then my friend Michele Ward will read poetry; musician Dane Galloway will close the evening. I anticipate performing mostly new material, however, if you have a request, send it along. I’m happy to oblige.
According to the show promoter, there will be “free coffee and pastries and possibly free cider.” This is big news, as Elixr’s coffee is excellent, though 9 p.m. is a dangerous time to be drinking it; you may want to stick with the pastries and cider. The show is free with a suggested donation of $5. If you don’t have money, don’t worry about the donation.
Things have been fairly quiet here, which has given me the opportunity to write and consider and rewrite. Nevertheless, there have been some exciting public moments of late. The band was featured on the BBC, with the host of its alternative channel calling us his “new favorite band,” which is fairly incredible. A few months back, we played a secret show at a literary society. A video of part of that performance is forthcoming.
OK. Take care, everyone. Hope to see some of you at Elixr.
Won't you come see us on tour?
NYC-area friends: we’ll be in Manhattan on Feb. 26 for a show/event that will be novel and fun and gratifying because a) there will be free snacks and b) our set will run in tandem with a talk about El Salvador given by Timothy Wotring, who runs the blog Black Flag Theology.
More details about the event can be found via the facebook event. The basics are below.
Where: Broadway Presbyterian Church, 601 West 114th Street,10025
When: 8 p.m.
Subway: Take the 1 train to 116th Street-Columbia University, and walk downtown two blocks.
Bus: Neighborhood bus routes include the M4, M5, M11, M60, and M104.
Happy new year, all. As you thumb through your 2017 calendar, you may wish to add:
Saturday, February 18 - The Chairman Dances at Boot & Saddle (Philadelphia): Facebook Event
Friday, March 10 - The Chairman Dances at Empathic Sorcery Collective (Washington, D.C.): Facebook Event
More winter shows are in the works. We'll announce a (probably solo) NYC show (to happen in the coming weeks) soon. I might forget to write here, so check social media.
Additionally, we're thrilled that our album was included in two "Best of 2016" lists. Thanks a bunch to Wake the Deaf and Chicago Independent Radio Project (CHIRP), especially its show Local Mythologies, for bestowing on us the honors. Means a lot.
Eric here. Like so many, I'm still grieving for my country, its children, the vulnerable and perhaps especially those made (more) vulnerable by the election results. I'm not in the mood to talk about art. About a week ago, I was feeling good. A Canadian radio program called and we did an interview, the second half hour of which was devoted to the dissidents included on our album.
There are white supremacists in my neighborhood flying a German flag above their Trump/Pence sign. To them I say, while I respect all humans, including yourselves, I will be louder than you. I will turn up my amplifier so loud that you won’t be able to hear yourselves think your bigoted thoughts. We will paint over your Nazi graffiti and we will paint our heroes, and they will guide us.
A few bits of disparate news:
WE\ARE\MIRRORS penned this nice review of our song for Fannie Lou Hamer.
We're opening (as a two-piece) for the great Rhett Miller, of Old 97s fame, at World Cafe Live this December 12 [link]. I've been a fan of Rhett's music for a long, long time. This will be fun.
Lastly, how's my DJ voice? We made our first ever Station ID for the University of Wisconsin’s WIPZ.
Luke and I are beyond thrilled to perform at NYC's Maryhouse this Friday evening. Maryhouse was founded by the great Dorothy Day (pictured above); Dorothy lived and worked there for many years.
At this free, salon-type event, which starts promptly at 8 p.m., we'll talk just a tiny bit about the album (I may make a handout), then we'll perform most of it with just an acoustic guitar and electric guitar.
Let me tell you how excited I am for this show and how thankful I am that the great people of Maryhouse invited us. Maryhouse's address is: 55 E 3rd St
New York, NY 10003. Again, the event starts at 8, at which point there will be a brief introduction, probably given by Jane Sammon, then we'll be on.
We're excited to share a new, beautiful and strange music video with you all.
Thanks to Tom Contarino, who dreamed up these dreamscapes. And thanks to Impose Magazine for premiering the work and for interviewing Eric about the album. You can find their words here: https://t.co/31ZqOHBqT.
We make art so that Wake The Deaf can write about it. It’s every artist’s dream to have an interested party approach their work respectfully, make an honest inquiry into it, then feel compelled enough to put pen to paper, to engage in dialogue with that work so that the two - the writing and the art that prompted it – inform one another in meaningful ways.
Journalist Jon Doyle researched the lives and documents (letters, books, etc.) that prompted the songs that make up our album. I could not be happier with his review. I am so pleased. [link]
The rumors are true. Time Without Measure is ready for consumption. You can get your copy here: store.thechairmandances.com.
Looking forward to seeing you on tour! We play Philly's Boot & Saddle tonight.
I'm pleased to announce that our new single, a song for and about civil rights and labor activist Cesar Chavez, is streaming on Austin Town Hall. Check it out and get pumped for our album release and release show this Friday! If you're not in Philly, let's meet on our ongoing, piecemeal tour. (Thanks to everyone who has hosted us or otherwise made us feel at home these past few weeks.) -Eric
I’m pleased to announce that PopMatters is streaming “Dorothy Day and Peter Maurin,” the first single from our forthcoming album Time Without Measure, out August 26th via the immensely supportive folks at Black Rd Records. You can pre-order the album now (and it’d be great if you did).
Time Without Measure took a little over a year to make. We work quickly — and more or less constantly — but, with this album, long stretches were devoted to revision, reworking: arrangements were taken apart then glued back together, lyrics changed then changed again — revision on top of revision. Our friend Daniel Smith (of the great band Danielson, though you might know him from his work with Sufjan Stevens or mewithoutYou) produced the album. Our five day recording session provided yet another opportunity to assess and alter the songs, which we did, and often drastically. The result is, by far, my favorite record of ours. I’m excited for you to hear it.
I thought I’d write just a bit about the lyrical content. I conceived of Time Without Measure as a book of saints. Each song is a biographical sketch of the person or persons named in the title. Representation was an important concern. As the album came together, a secondary theme of activism emerged, which many early listeners — bandmates, friends, and concertgoers — embraced with an enthusiasm I had not expected.
Time Without Measure was arranged and performed by Ben Rosen, Dan Comly, Luke Pigott, Kevin Walker, Ashley Cubbler and myself. I can’t praise this group enough, and I’m excited to tour with them, as well as our friend Rachel, in the coming weeks and months. (See the Shows section of our website.)
Again, you can pre-order the record here. Additionally, it would be very helpful if you could spread the word about the release. If there’s one thing I’ve learned in the six years we’ve been a band, it’s that I cannot will us to success. If you could lend a hand, that'd be wonderful.
OK. Thank you all for being a lovely community of friends and listeners. Stay tuned for more announcements in the weeks ahead.
Eric for The Chairman Dances