Bonnie Prince Billy
Wexner Center for the Arts
January 25, 2013
Tag Archives: Bonnie Prince Billy
Bonnie Prince Billy
Will Oldham is coming to town as Bonnie “Prince” Billy, accompanied by players from his Chijimi EP: Cheyenne Marie Mize and Emmett Kelly. It’s a special performance — just one of three on this mini tour — that will likely incorporate a fair amount of songs the trio played at a sacred music festival in Milan.
To read more about the show, as well as BPB’s upcoming Everly Brothers covers record with Dawn McCarthy, check out my preview in the penultimate issue of The Other Paper. Deville also typed up his conversation with Oldham, and the Wexner leaped outside the box and had Oldham and Jeni Britton Bauer of Jeni’s Splendid Ice Creams interview each other.
Onetime Bonnie “Prince” Billy tourmate and collaborator Cheyenne Marie Mize played last year’s Nelsonville Music Festival, and her set was memorable for me because a.) I introduced her, b.) she had just lacerated her finger or hand and instead of canceling the show just learned new ways to finger chords, c.) she sounded great, and d.) she’s, well, easy on the eyes. (I doubt someone could pull off the concept for this “Wishing Well” video so successfully otherwise.)
But point C is the take-home here, as you’ll also notice from the video and Mize’s new EP, We Don’t Need, which is out now on Yep Roc. There’s not one song that sounds like another, so expect her to keep things varied tonight on the Kobo stage.
Donora and Fever Fever open tonight’s show. Doors at 8pm, $5.
The folks at Stuart’s Opera House in Nelsonville followed up last week’s festival with a fairly big show announcement: Bonnie “Prince” Billy at Stuart’s on Sept. 27. Hopefully Cheyenne Marie Mize will accompany.
You guys hear about Will Oldham’s new band, The Babblers? This video is from the band’s debut performance in Tennessee. Weird costumes, lots of sunglasses, loud music then quiet music. Vexing. (Although, as Oldham sings in the video, “It doesn’t matter who we are.”)
Well, on the way back home from the band’s Town Hall show in New York (Wednesday night), they’ll stop by the Rumba Cafe for a last-minute Columbus performance. There’s an early show booked that night, but Oldham and the Babblers will take the stage at 11:30pm. They’ll play for about an hour. $7 cover.
If I were to scribble my own Overlooked in Ohio piece, Brian Harnetty would likely be my artist of choice. I’ve written about Columbus’s gentle giant quite a few times, and I began wondering what Harnetty has been up to lately. Turns out, quite a bit.
Like he did for his collaboration with Bonnie “Prince” Billy, Silent City, and his previous full-length, American Winter, Harnetty continues his excavation of the Berea College Appalachian Sound Archives in Kentucky, finding old folk songs, interviews and other odds & ends from Appalachia and layering the found sounds with his own instrumentation. His new album will be called Rawhead & Bloodybones, and it’s a collection of old archival folk tales as told by children. “The combination of the children’s innocence and the often gruesome tales is a pretty powerful combination already. I added some instrumental parts, and other samples,” Harnetty says. This one will be out in late winter/early spring of next year — on vinyl this time, too.
Harnetty also has a sound installation that will open Nov. 12 at a sound art gallery called the Audible Gallery, which is part of the Experimental Sound Studio in Chicago. The installation is based on the archives of enigmatic jazz musician Sun Ra. (He’s hopeful that this, too, may become an album, pending permission from the Sun Ra archives trustees.) Full description of the installation below. I particularly like this excerpt from Harnetty: “I am not a jazz musician. I cannot lay claim to Sun Ra’s history, nor can I ever fully understand him or his music. But I can listen, intently, and enter a dialogue, bringing my own knowledge and thought and experience.”
Many are still mourning the passing of immensely talented and woefully overlooked country singer Larry Jon Wilson. But to celebrate his music, Bonnie “Prince” Billy and Columbus’s the Black Swans “Sing Larry Jon Wilson” on this new Drag City seven-inch. The Bonnie Prince, with some help from Cheyenne Mize, tackles “Bertrand My Son” off Wilson’s 1975 Monument Records debut New Beginnings. Jerry DeCicca, who produced LJW’s self-titled “comeback” album released on Drag City last year (my fav of ’09), enlisted his Black Swans to do “The Man I Wish For You,” an unreleased song that DeCicca says he found “rotting away on a reel-to-reel in the EMI basement in Nashville.” (Drummer/Orchestraville alum Keith Hanlon recorded the session at the Grandview Heights Public Library.)
LJW is a particularly difficult artist to cover. His rich, Georgia baritone and singular guitar style gave all his songs an inimitable feel, and any songs he covered became Wilsonized so much that you’d think they were his songs all along. These two tracks succeed in much the same way while still paying homage and communicating a reverence to a man DeCicca and Oldham revered.
Artwork was screenprinted by Nick Nocera of Alison Rose. In Columbus, you can find several copies for $7 apiece at Yeah, Me Too coffee in Clintonville; the rest of the world will have to wait till Sept. 21 when Drag City will exclusively handle distro.
Long live Larry Jon Wilson.
Brian Harnetty is a Columbus local/ mild-mannered giant. Brian dropped an album on Altavistic awhile back called “American Winter”. “American Winter” had Harnetty sampling historic Appalachian archives from Berea College’s vaults to create new compositions that honored and echoed it’s source material while also expressing Harnetty’s own political and emotional visions.
I guess Bonnie Prince Billy was peeping game. He hooked up with Harnetty and jumped on some tracks for Brian’s upcoming album “Silent City”, out in June on Altavistic.
This first song is Sleeping in the Driveway.