This year’s third Three Lobed Recordings / WXDU co-produced Day Show during the Hopscotch Music Festival was an embarrassment of riches once again, featuring a number of one-time-only collaborations. But perhaps nothing was more hotly anticipated than the brief spring into existence of the Little Black Egg Big Band, named after Georgia Hubley’s solo guitar project Little Black Egg, which she has performed only rarely: guitar luminaries Steve Gunn and William Tyler together with Hubley, Ira Kaplan and James McNew of Yo La Tengo. Letha Rodman Melchior also provided the pre-recorded material that was mixed and manipulated into the live recording.
Hubley, Kaplan and McNew’s participation in this event was brought about in part by their desire to support Melchior, a friend and fellow musician who hoped to join for the day show but was physically unable. Melchior, who has played music under her own name as well as under the alias Tretetam, and in the band Ruby Falls, was diagnosed with stage IV melanoma in 2010, which she has documented on a personal blog. Melchior’s illness has produced considerable financial hardship for her and husband Dan Melchior in addition to the agony of her cancer. An effort to offer further support to Melchior is also the reason why we are honored to offer this performance to the wider world today.
What the fans in the room at King’s in Raleigh saw at the show (along with those who heard it on the stream by Duke University’s WXDU) were five masterful musicians collaborating in real time on an at-times brooding, but oddly hopeful soundscape. Instead of soloing all over each other, each artist blended into a whole that spoke with one voice. Over its nearly forty minutes, the piece gains on itself in increments, with the bed of guitars and Melchior’s pre-recorded effects manipulated by McNew, a technique familiar to anyone who has seen him perform as Dump.
The piece honored Melchior as well as the spirit of the entire event, which celebrated the power of experimental music, the validity of independent labels and college radio, artist-run venues like King’s, and the ever-present, unquenchable thirst that the best artists have to evolve, change, and create. Three Lobed has a fan base primed to understand that this particular grouping probably wouldn’t be playing YLT classics like “Big Day Coming” with a bunch of extra guitars added in. What was expected, and what was received, was a unique offering that could exist only in this single moment. It was a performance for the benefit of people who believe the best artists never stop taking chances and are as generous with the product of their minds as they are with their time. People like the ones sitting on that stage.
This recording was made with Schoeps MK4V microphones in the center of the stage, combined with a stereo soundboard feed by the King’s staff. Because this download is offered for donation only, we are not streaming it, but you can trust me that the quality has been approved by the artists and is excellent. We are deeply grateful to all of the five artists involved for playing this show and for giving us the opportunity to help benefit Melchior and share this music with the wider world.
Thanks to Cory Rayborn, Ross Grady, Kelly Davis (and everyone else at WXDU), Paul Siler of King’s Barcade, Ira Kaplan, Georgia Hubley, James McNew, Steve Gunn and William Tyler for making this possible.
AT THE REQUEST OF THE ARTISTS, THIS DOWNLOAD HAS EXPIRED.
This recording raised approximately $4,000 in seven days for a worthy cause. We thank the artists and the others noted above, as well as all who participated, for their support of Letha Rodman Melchior.
[Photo courtesy of Rodney Boles]
Little Black Egg Big Band
Three Lobed Recordings / WXDU Day Show
Hopscotch Music Festival
Raleigh, NC USA
Exclusive download hosted for donation only at nyctaper.com
Recorded and produced by acidjack
Schoeps MK4V (onstage pair)>KC5>CMC6 + Soundboard>Edirol R-44 [OCM]>2x24bit/48kHz WAV>Adobe Audition CS 5.5 (mix down, light compression)>Izotope Ozone 5 (adjust stereo image, light EQ, light harmonic effects)>xAct (tagging and conversions)>FLAC ( level 8 )
Tracks [Total Time: 38:28]
Musicians (in alphabetical order)
Letha Rodman Melchior (pre-recorded material mixed and incorporated into the performance)
Along with supporting Letha Rodman Melchior, please support these musicians. You can buy Steve Gunn’s albums from Three Lobed and Paradise of Bachelors, Yo La Tengo’s recordings from their website and Matador Records, and William Tyler’s latest work from Merge Records.
[Photo courtesy of Rodney Boles]