The summer of 2014 officially is awesome. First! Vagabondage has released our new EP!!!! It's called Slow Room Bar and we wrote it while we were touring the Pacific Northwest a few years ago. Or rather, we had the adventures that informed the lyrics that made the songs on that tour. The songs themselves took a little more time to bake. So we added Sean (fiddle) and Scratch (junk percussion) to our line up, started woodshedding the songs live, and now, after a real professional recording session, after hiring the amazing artist Natalie Robles to draw the art, and after many hours of Scratch mixing, we can haz album. Hot damn is it good. You can listen / buy it here: http://vagabondage1.bandcamp.com/album/slow-room-bar.
Summer has officially arrived in Oakland and it is just great. I've so far been spending my time playing out at Jerk Church, hitting the Starry Plough with Vagabondage, and getting Feral ready for some album recording in July. All awesome all around. This month the wife and I are also celebrating 16 years together. Wow. Feels like no time has passed and also like I can't imagine this crazy artsy adventure of a life without her. Here's the recent times in pictures. Next stop playing a fancy old timey carnival wedding in Los Angeles. Woo!
Being the hilarious ride that my life is, Feral next gig is at a badass spoken word event. I LOVE IT WHEN MY WORLDS COLLIDE. Come on out for the beatnik cowboys country showdown.
May 3, 6pm, Stork Club in Oakland! \m/
[event details below]
The social and literary experiment IDENTITY CRISIS, hosted by Paul Corman-Roberts and Youssef Alaoui at the Stork Club, previously held in December 2013, was a blast.
Each participant reads the next in line. The last poet reads the first poet.
No one reads their own work.
The poems, fiction or prose focus on the topic of IDENTITY.
The end result is fascinating.
This show boasts a smash up of rockstar participants:
MUSIC by FERAL!!!!!!
"Fuggin’ Emchy’s music gets on with the part of my soul that hangs out drinking in the woods and on boats but also while drinking eighteen cups of coffee and getting tattoo’s and howling at the moon. It’s the wind rattling through ghost town saloon doors and campfire punkrock murder ballads. Just do yrself a favor and get it." - Wallflowercabaret
Day Three but about 48 hours since the moment of release and OMG HUNDREDS OF PEOPLE HAVE LISTENED. First - that’s just overwhelming. I put so much of my raw guts into this. I made it a free download because really just getting it out into the world matters more to me than making money off of it. I mean yea - I have bills, and I paid most of the people involved because art deserves cash so I’m totally in the negative on this (which is why there aren’t physical copies yet) but OMG so far no one has actually taken me up on downloading it for free. Everyone has paid and it’s practically bringing me to tears. I mean - you guys… just… that’s so fucking NICE. I’m not really used to nice. But second - so many people are sharing it and saying nice things about it… I just. I’m glad I’m not the only who likes it. I’m glad I’m not deluding myself. I’m just… fucking grateful. Thanks. Get your copy at emchy.bandcamp.com xo
So for a variety of reasons I was feeling gunshy about this release. Maybe because the songs are so close to my heart. It feels very naked to put this one out. It is all me. My stories, my moments, my joy, and my pain. But a good friend gave me a talking to and just said GET OFF YOUR ASS. So I did - and here you go. Because I just want to get the songs out into the world - it's going to be a free / pay what you can sort of deal (until it's not - this is likely a limited time thing). Please still share or reblog since… this was a long time coming. a lot of hours and passion and tears and you name it went into it.
Featuring the musical chops of Carolyn Mark, Joel Fernandes, Sean Malroy, Norman Carley, and Ed Cagnacci.
Album art by the amazing Hayley Heartbreak.
no musicians were harmed in the making of this album (unless you count hangovers)
My new americana folk punk project just has it's first couple of shows this weekend! Excited doesn't even begin to cover it. I played my heart out and left it on the stage for the absolutely packed Sidequest Gallery in Oakland, then soaked it some wine and did the same down at the Bear's Hideaway in San Juan Bautista along with those crazy kids Honky Donky and Heartbreaker and Carolyn Mark and Her New Best Friends. What a thrillride. More later but wow.
Looks like Popa's Tunes is the first rock star of the internet to review the new Sinners Tonic album. Here's a wee excerpt - click the quote for more!
"...Long a fan on Ms Emch's many endeavors, on Sinners Tonic she and Sizzle display a personal bond, as they weave heatfelt lyrics with thier unique intertwined instrumentation and compositions..."
This coming Tuesday marks the release of the new album from Sinners Tonic. This is a pretty big deal to me. Back in 2011 I asked Sean Malroy to sit in on a Rhubarb Whiskey rehearsal. We were working on our new album and thought a fiddle might sound nice here and there. Within a couple of practices Sean [aka Sizzle] was an integral and permanent part of the band and it was awesome. The three of us did two albums together, and while more are on the horizon, geography and life circumstances have Rhubarb Whiskey on a bit of a hiatus. As Sizzle and I were talking about music, and what next, and arguing about Led Zeppelin we realized that something we had never tried was working on songs just the two of us. So we put our homo-rific and fabulous selves together and started having queer americana music listening nights while experimenting with food, sharing long long stories of our adventures, unearthing old musical nuggets we had in our personal archives, and trying to figure out what it would sound like if we made our own weird idiosyncratic version of roots music. Out of it came three songs. A good starting point for an EP, for an experiment to capture a moment in time between two friends. I kind of think the music sounds like if Mazzy Star and Jane's Addiction had a honkytonk baby it might sound something like this. The songs are introspective, nostalgic, and above all celebrate friendship and the ways that friend love can absolutely fuel our lives and fill our souls. I wrote the barebones of the songs and lyrics while Sizzle made beautiful things happen within the arrangements. I am so proud of what we made.
The song Lansing is the oral history of my early 20's with my best friend in Michigan. Days and nights that literally saved my life and helped build me into who I am. Fog and Roses is a goodbye song written as I was driving over the Bay Bridge to the last in-person Rhubarb Whiskey rehearsal before Boylamayka moved to the rust belt. The bridge full of fog, the night full of beauty, sometimes you know you'll never get another night like that again. It marks the end of an era. Whiskey & Burn Barrels was written about one of the most beautiful engagement events I'd ever attended. Dozens of friends gathered to surprise my friend with a specifically meaningful song while her love asked for her hand and whiskey was passed round. It was the longest night of the year with burn barrels blazing in West Oakland. Surrounded by tattoos, hoodies, cigarettes, and smiles I've rarely felt so much love, warmth, snark, and family.
So this album comes right from my gut. From my memories and the moments that are most sacred to me. It's a love letter to so many different friends. It's a love letter to chosen family. It's a love letter to Sean and us making music together. It's my heart strung out on a guitar chord, for you. Here's hoping you find some beauty in it too.