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July 15, 2008

In brief

Young Widows open Old Wounds in Sept.

Young Widows singer and guitarist Evan Patterson wanted something different for the band’s follow-up to 2006’s Settle Down City. The new album, Old Wounds, was recorded with Kurt Ballou of Converge, and will be released this fall by Temporary Residence, a new York-based label run by Louisville native Jeremy DeVine. He talked with LEO Weekly about what kind of difference he had in mind. 

LEO: How did the concept behind Old Wounds come about?

EP: The recording concept came about by my interest in the mixing of different recordings. The idea of putting a studio recording engineer on tour with a band and documenting the energy of a live performance, (rather) than mixing with the sterile, over-produced studio environment, seemed exciting. The original concept was to record 10 live shows and pick one song from each show to be on the record, but the four live performances we recorded on the way to the studio worked out great. We used two entire live songs, and about four other large sections of the record are live.

LEO: This album is being released on Temporary Residence and not on Jade Tree. What brought about the switch?

EP: Jade Tree seemed to be losing its steam, and Temporary Residence Limited is very proactive with their bands. TRL also has been very vocal about their opinions and interest in our record. There wasn’t enough individual focus with Jade Tree. I still really appreciate all the time, money and work Jade Tree put into our band.

LEO: Did you guys consider continuing without a label?

EP: We aren’t playing music to sell records or to satisfy really anyone but ourselves. It does help to have the extra support of a label to fuel the passion of creating art, but the label is not the goal. The music is the goal. 

LEO: One of the earliest descriptions of YW was that it wears its influences on its sleeve. Was that ever the case? Is it true today?

EP: We will never deny our influences, but hope we have escaped from the sounds of them. Music has always been about influence and taking risk. Since our last record we have taken many huge risky steps.

LEO: As a trio, is the “size” of the band’s sound always in the forefront when you’re writing songs. In other words, do you feel compelled to play bigger than you are?

EP: Honestly, if I could find eight musicians that were responsible enough to practice twice a week and tour a few months a year, I would be an eight piece. The size doesn’t matter (insert Michael Scott quote here). I feel more compelled to progress in any direction of sound that we haven’t already gone.

www.youngwidows.net

The Glasspack reissues Powderkeg on vinyl

Vinyl sales are increasing, and The Glasspack is already ahead of the game. A few years ago, American Exhaust was released that way. In the coming weeks, a remastered version of the band’s 2002 album Powderkeg will hit the racks courtesy of Sleeping Village Records. Part of the ’Pack’s current love affair has to do with the proliferation of downloads and digital releases. 

“There’s some small revival in vinyl,” says guitarist and singer Dirty Dave Johnson. “It’s not real big. It’s not going to be like millions of copies, but lots of bands now, they’ll sell a vinyl record to a music fan and then give it away for free on the Internet. A lot of people know that there’s a big difference in sound quality between vinyl and mp3. It’s a spectacle.”

Johnson says the band charges as much as $25-$30 apiece for vinyl and the customers don’t flinch. In the coming years, they hope to rerelease all of their albums on vinyl. A one-off 7-inch with Noise Pollution Records is also in the planning stages.

www.theglasspack.com

That’s Unstopable

Father Jah’s record label has its hands full in the second half of ’08. The longtime Louisville emcee dropped his latest album, Philosophies of a Modern Day Mastermind, in May. Expect fellow Unstopable artists Da C.o.r.n.a. on Aug. 12, and Donnie McFly’s newest, Come Fly With Me, on Sept. 2. Stephon Barbour, who handles video production for Unstopable, has a new show, “John Doe’s Main,” airing at midnight on Sundays on Channel 7 WBKI.

myspace.com/fatherjah