The future holds many things. Soon Letters will include the talents of Nahal Ghoghaie and Chask’e Lindgren (both of whom lent their talents to moments of All the Adventures to See Them I Will). Edmond Lapine (of Dreamriot), who’s been playing in Letters for the last eight months or so, will also be participating more in the creative process. To make room for some new songs to come into the world, I’ve been doing what I call “cleaning house” and digging up Letters material that never made it onto anything, or putting stuff online that has never been online before. So far, I’ve put our first album, In Case We Lose What We Have up on Bandcamp:
In other news, I’m starting a tape label called Antiquated Future. The first release will be an album from Blindfolder, alter ego of Seattle musician (and former Letter) Kieran Harrison-Buhlinger. I’m really excited about it. Website and more info coming soon.
There’s also talk of there being a split vinyl (!!!) release with Tempe, AZ’s Barren Nieces. See what comes.
Also would like to thank Kelsey Smith and Sara Pete for hosting us at the Olympia Timberland Library recently (see photo above). It was good times.
We just played a benefit in Portland for the Sex Workers’ Outreach Coalition that was really awesome. We were honored to be a part. We also shared the stage with great folks like Slow Teeth, Dhahm Roland, and the ever-bad ass Upside Drown. If you haven’t checked them out, you really should. To me it feels like getting a garage pop tarot reading. Which is awesome.
We also just posted a song on our Soundcloud. It’s off the Things We Do Not Yet Know How to Say tape that came out last year on Corpus Callosum. And since it’s one or two copies away from going out of print for good, we thought it a good time to share it further.
Is now finally out. Meaning: you can buy it online. We did all covers for our side. Our Poppet cover is on the last post (Poppet covers us on her side, too! It’s like they used to do on split 7″‘s in the 90′s!) and here’s another. Something we never ever thought we would do. But sometimes you get so upset and the lyrics of pop radio songs start to make a whole lot of sense.
There’s always this idea that things will get said on the road. We’ll do things and then tell people about them. But, alas, doesn’t seem to happen. So here are some brief words about this last tour: the kindness of friends and fans is stunning. People really did us well this time around. So many great venues, bands, and people putting us up in their homes. So appreciated, there’s almost too many to name, so hopefully you know who you are and you know how much that meant to us. The tour was maybe the loosest Letters has been in years – it being a stripped down line-up with a small repertoire for most of it, we tried out a lot of things (new and old) on the road, sometimes successfully and sometimes…not so much. Six people played in Letters at different points and every night was a little different. We played some really straightforward shows and some really performance-based odd shows. There were flower burials, lipstick smearings, on stage haircuts, yarn connections, many crown bestowings, not to mention all the amazing things we did with Poppet.
It’s good to be home. Expect some Northwest shows with the more guitar-driven line-up of Edmond Lapine and Ben Hargett in the months to come. And there will be an Olympia Timberland Library show in May when our favorite Letter (Alexis Wolf) returns from her time abroad for a couple months.
Here’s a song of our tour split tape with Poppet, soon to be released to those of you that didn’t catch us on the road.
Another round of the road. And, this time, with our dear Poppet. Shows are almost totally booked and can be kept up-to-date on over here. Some details are still falling into place. Facebook event is made, tour flyers go out tomorrow. This is something good.
What can you expect this time around? I think it will be a variety show. Trying to fit as many genres into one set, perhaps? No theme, just a little bit of everything. Danielle Rodeo Warhola will be along for the whole thing, Molly (Poppet) will be playing on songs here and there, Ben Hargett and Edmond Lapine will be playing the Northwest shows. Ben and Edmond make it rock a little more than I’ve heard Letters rock in a while. It’s nice. Outside the NW might be a little sparse instrument-wise, but hopefully we’ll be constantly finding new ways to make it interesting. Will probably be getting a little weird along the way, but we’ll see what comes. Ideas are overflowing, but time is getting close, so some things might need to get put on hold for next time.
We’ll also have Letters/Poppet split tapes! Coming just in time for tour. Along with a bunch of other cool handmade merch. Many projects and interesting things in the works. We’ll also be doing some performance art and dance routines for Poppet’s sets. Come to the Olympia and Portland shows if you want to see (former Letter) Bob Schwenkler work his amazing choreography for Poppet songs! It’s pretty awesome. He’s the best.
When I first read Gertrude Stein’s Useful Knowledge, it changed how I looked at words. It might have been one of the first times I thought about performance and what words mean when you say them out loud and don’t just read them on a page. Though perhaps a challenge to read too much of at any given time, her work serves as a constant inspiration for me. A reminder to embrace the absurd, look at the words we use in a different way, and (most of all) to always do what you want and make the art you want to make.
With all that build up, here’s just a little something. A small passing moment.
is my very favorite Carter Family song. And, when America Salutes the Carter Family was first coming together, I showed it to Ariel Birks and we ended up doing a cover of it together. The album just came out and we’re proud to sit alongside such a fabulous line-up. I like Markly’s liner notes of this song: “There are so many fantastic musicians in my neighborhood that I could have easily done this entire project here. Take for instance Joshua James, AKA Letters, and his friend Ariel Birks, whom I ran into while walking to band practice one fine summer day. We walked over to my bandmate Sara’s place where they sat in the dining room, opposite the laundry room, and they cranked out this little number at the dinner table. What a song! And Ariel sings like a bird.”