Jon Langford and Jean Cook: February 13, 2016 Brooklyn House Party

February 24, 2016


Correspondent Neil D writes:

Jon Langford is invariably described as a “renaissance man”: painterauthorradio show hostbathroom-sink sea captain, and performer in more bands than any one person has a right to be in (Mekons, Waco Brothers, Three Johns, Killer Shrews, Bad Luck Jonathan, to name a handful). I consider myself very lucky to live in New York, because though Langford was born in Wales and has lived in Chicago the past two decades, New York is the home of one of his best bands, the Ship and Pilot, consisting of Mekons drummer Steve Goulding, Pere Ubu bassist Tony Maimone, and violinist/singer Jean Cook.

Goulding and Maimone were absent for this show (actually, Goulding was there, but only as an audience member), a house party in someone’s tiny living room in Brooklyn with every available surface covered with Langford prints for sale, leaving Langford and Cook as an acoustic (and entirely unamplified) duo. It was more than enough, because Cook is Langford’s secret weapon: To his country-folk-punk tales of Welsh undertakers and Joseph Stalin penning country-and-western answer songs, she adds harmonies and violin playing that is by turns ethereal and eccentrically creative — one of her other gigs is with the new-music collective Anti-Social Music. On a song like “Youghal,” about the tiny Irish town where Gregory Peck filmed “Moby Dick,” Langford and Cook combine to make you wonder why they would ever need anyone else. (Speaking of renaissance people, Cook is also on the board of the Future of Music Coalition, and the mother of a one-year-old who provides some audience commentary between a couple of songs here.)

Given the stripped-down conditions, this was recorded with a pair of CA-14 cardioid mics placed at the performers’ feet, and pointed straight up at them. The result is, as NYCtaper himself remarked on hearing it, “raw and real and you’re right there.”

Thanks to Jon and Jean, and to Jon Raaen for hosting us all at his lovely home.

Download the complete show: [FLAC] | [MP3]

Jon Langford and Jean Cook
Private Residence
Brooklyn, NY

CA-14 cardioid mics > Church Audio ugly battery box > Sony PCM-M10 > WAV (24/48) > Sound Studio (mild EQ) > FLAC (16/44.1) > Tag > FLAC

Recorded and mastered by neil d

01 [set one]
02 Summer Stars
03 Pill Sailor
04 Tubby Brothers
05 Streets of Your Town [Go-Betweens]
06 Tom Jones Story
07 Youghai
08 The Country Is Young
09 Hank Williams Must Die
10 Sentimental Marching Song
11 [set two]
12 Walking on Hell’s Roof
13 Drone Operator
14 1234ever
15 Diana Story
16 Haunted
17 Homburg
18 Nashville Radio
19 Luxury
20 Tom Jones Levitation

Check out more on Langford’s many forms of art at the terrific site maintained by Nobby Knape, or just wait around long enough, and he’ll probably show up in some guise or another.


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