We Are All Hopeful Farmers, We Are All Scared Rabbits
Membership and horizons continue to expand for Badgerlore, now the great tribal council of the dubiously-dubbed "Freak Folk" movement. Founders Rob Fisk (Deerhoof, 7-Year Rabbit Cycle) and Ben Chasny (Six Organs of Admittance, Comets on Fire) released their debut in 2002. Tom Carter (Charalambides) and Pete Swanson (Yellow Swans) joined in 2004; in 2006, Glen Donaldson (Blithe Sons, Jeweled Antler) and Liz Harris (Grouper) added their voices. Now the clan extends its cadence of mantras, dirges, prayers and curses with its third full-length release, We Are All Hopeful Farmers, We Are All Scared Rabbits.
While the group enlarges, the form compresses, into a brambled nexus of sound, as quaverous organs and guitars, humid vocals, and florid tape manipulations all intertwine. It's their most song-oriented recording to date, the tracks functioning as tightly-clasped fetishes and buried amulets, exerting a phantasmic pull on the listener. Together the musicians proceed with masterful nuance and inexorable tension. It is the sound of effigy mounds slowly rousing from prehistoric slumber.
Forget New Weird America; forget Old Weird America. In devotional murmurs and arboreal whispers, the denizens of the Badgerlore lodge summon the dreadful, breathing shadow of the Old Weird Universe.
Features original artwork and tintypes by San Francisco artist Allison Watkins
Graphic design by Grammy Award-winner Susan Archie
“Alternating heartrending drone and quietly affecting folk carved by taciturn hermits, [Badgerlore] speaks through distant symbols, inky clouds, and thin pine-needle patterns on the floor. These pipers at the gates of dusk are holed up against the witching hour, creating beauty within a crumbling, musky night.”
“Organic sure, but [Badgerlore's] touchstones are, in their intellectualism and breadth, surprisingly more art than folk, recalling Eno's Ambient series, Laurie Anderson's warmer vocal narcissism, and even John Cale's early, occasional organ visitations.”
“Like some cave painting that starts to glow and move before your eyes as the torch sputters out … Inspired.”
Sir Richard Bishop
No Neck Blues Band
w/ John Fahey and Coach Fingers
R. Keenan Lawler
The Great Koonaklaster Speaks:
A John Fahey Celebration
Table of the Elements
John Fahey's death is shrouded in confusion and camouflage. He is believed to have died in the explosion of a house during the filming of Michelangelo Antonioni's Zabriskie Point in 1969. His remains were never found, and the question remains: Did Fahey purposely stage his own death for his own occlusive purposes?
A collusion of folk, blues, ethnic and modern classical methods, Fahey's music suggests both the trickster and the shaman, and has attracted a cult of musician followers over the years, ranging from the ridiculous to the sublime. His unsolved disappearance has inspired another cult that worships Count Saint Germain, a Rosicrucian adept who is said to have never died and assumed various identities over the centuries. Disciples of this sect, heard on this record, believe Fahey, "The Great Koonaklaster," to be the most recent incarnation of Saint Germain. They view Fahey's music as a synthesis of Saint Germain's abilities as a classical composer and skills as an alchemist, and have absorbed his guitar style in order to pay homage to him.
There is much to be gleaned from the Koonaklasterians' rites contained within; whether or not you choose to accept this "Immortal Motherf#cker of the 20th Century" as Saint Germain is up to you.
"If [I Am the] Resurrection is the first and worst tribute to [John] Fahey released since his 2001 death, The Great Koonaklaster Speaks is the newest and best, the clearest and most brazen picture of the onus and inspiration Fahey has left for modern music. Importantly, this is a tribute record, but it's not a covers record: Instead, it collects unreleased work from 11 current experimental acts that feel Fahey's influence and attempt to offer a glimpse of it here. Alternately humorous, solemn, grounded, and neoteric, the rangy work on Koonaklaster asserts that Fahey wasn't perfect or filtered, and that his legacy is at once challenging and lifting. It's not about critical doublespeak or who can pick the best six-string. Instead, its liner notes are a fictional mythology of Fahey's life written in his style, and the playing recasts the characteristics that fired his legacy. Bravo"
1. Jack Rose "Since I've Been a Man Full Grown" 11:08
2. Greg Malcolm "Spanish Flang Dang" 5:13
3. Ben Vida "Exorcise/Intone" 7:24
4. Sir Richard Bishop "Hood River Lap Dance" 4:25
5. Michael Hurley "My Babe, My Babe" 3:00
6. No Neck Blues Band w/ John Fahey and Coach Fingers "Overcome" 3:46
7. Lichens "Escapisms in a Comedic Forum" 3:27
8. Badgerlore "Red Apple" 5:31
9. R. Keenan Lawler "I Used to Strive for a Tree; Now I Thrive on a Mountain" 4:06
10. Pumice "Ceremonial Knives" 4:53
11. David Daniell "Crossing the Susquehanna River Bridge" 11:31