Has it really been this long since I’ve put anything up on here? Well, yes, I guess it has been. I hope this post finds you in good health and good spirits. Myself, I am knee-deep into putting the next MERCH record together. I am struggling with the guide tracks to figure out exactly what I want all the rhythm instruments to be doing along with the orchestra. “Wait, what was that?” you might be asking. “An orchestra?” Yes, an orchestra! This past November I raised enough scratch together on a crowd-sourcing campaign to head all the way out to Prague in the Czech Republic to record the songs for the next MERCH record with one of the finest orchestras in the world. They have worked with musical artists as diverse as Arcade Fire and Joanna Newsom to doing the scores for incredible films by visionary directors like Quentin Tarantino and David Lynch. My orchestral arranger on this is a wonderful man named Richard Hieronymus and he took my ideas for where I wanted these songs to go and made it all better. The only problem is, now I have these incredible orchestral songs that my original rhythm-instrument parts just can’t stand up to. So here we are in the struggle and every time I think I get it, I feel like I better come up with something better. My deadline to have this all worked out is in the next month, then some rehearsals, then laying down the rest of the tracks. By Hell or high water, this album will be done in the summer and out into stores by the fall.
Of course, I couldn’t have put any of this together without all the support the vinyl of MERCH ‘This Betrayal Will Be Our End’ received over these last couple of years. I didn’t tour it in the normal sense (the songs hit a little too close for me to want to them live), but I did get to do a monologue about the record in various locations around the country and that was super great. At some point, I will get it together to do this as a tour of record stores. Someday.
Finally, Sassafras Records & Distro will be back up to its normal distribution strength and schedule in the fall of this year. At the moment, the focus is getting the last of this latest pressing of ‘This Betrayal Will Be Our End’ out of here. This will be the final pressing of ‘This Betrayal’ to have this particular cover–so if you see it around, be sure to snatch it up. When the initial pressing was being planned, I was commissioning an artist in Brooklyn to allow use of an artwork of hers for the cover, things didn’t align at the last minute, and we were forced to comb through Creative Commons images for a fast cover. We checked around to see if it had been used for a record cover by anyone else, no one found anything, and six months after ‘This Betrayal Will Be Our End’ is out and had built up some critical acclaim–it turns out Bill Evans had used the same cover image for an album called ‘Undercurrent.’ Damn.
All future pressings of the album will have new artwork (still figuring out what that is going to be) and multiple-language liner notes and hype stickers for our friends overseas.
Well, I believe that is it for the moment. I will be good now about peaking my head in here every week. I’m sure there will be some high-faluting fancy site up in the next few too.