Heraldic Beasts evolving update

July 24, 2006 | Pelt

hey all -- here's the ongoing scoop on Heraldic Beasts, the new Pelt double LP that just came out on Eclipse. Keep checking back for updates as I attempt to dig up more info on the recording dates and locations and so on. Here's what I've got thus far: All tracks are live, recorded (mostly by Mikel Dimmick) as they were played. First song is "Dream of Leaping Sharks" from a set opening for Sonic Youth in Atlanta in 1998. Amy guests on drone fiddle with me on slide tanpura, Jack on one of the cigar box hurdy gurdies or lap steel and Patrick on organ. This recording appeared on Carbon Records "Nature of Systems" comp some years back. Next song is "Dreaming Philadelphia," also called "Tibetan Ass Hash," along with a shorter unnamed excerpt, both from a 1999 show at the old Astrocade in Philadelphia. I think it was a bill with Miller/Schumacher, and I think we opened up with some acoustic guitar/banjo/bowl action before turning on the amps. These pieces are double guitars plus organ. Shorter piece hasn't seen daylight before except maybe on one of the Six of Cups variations, longer one was on Klang V comp (ed. of 100) in a shorter edit cut to match the length of the rhBand track that was otherwise the comp's longest song. Now it just goes until the tape runs out. "Tolling Slow," also called "The Colonel's Rag No. 2" from the Cooler in NYC in 1998, when we shared the bill with Lhasa Cement Plant. Lots of weirdness that night -- Patrick overcome by some sort of creeping flu-sort of illness; smashed his guitar to bits near the end of the set, was basically carried to the van nearly unconscious. Donald Miller jumped up with us at the show's end, taking a file to my guitar while I played shenai. There may have been some om-ing in the middle too. On the piece presented here, I'm on another of the cigar box hurdy gurdies and guitar, Patrick is on organ (that great old tube Lowry) and Jack is on guitar, playing with his truckstop ebow and Allen wrenches and so on. This song was on one of the "Six of Cups" cdr versions, edition of who knows -- probably 15 or so. First LP finishes with "Humping the Pole," a hurdy gurdy/double guitar workout from the Rudyard Kipling in Lousiville in 2000, same night, though many hours earlier, that Keyhole I sprang into being. It's named for the wonderful dancing it provoked from a member of the audience, an old guy who either was a farmer or local university professor, at least that was our guess. This was on all the Six of Cups, I think, so it had a run of maybe 30 or so. Second record has three tracks from Houston 2001 (record store show with Charalambides and Rotten Piece), all released on cdr of that name in edition of under 50. Instruments are beat frequency oscillator, tanpura and chord organ, then esraj, tanpura and chord organ. Tom Carter's tour diary notes about this show are here (scroll down to find them). Album finishes with another esraj, tanpura and chord organ song from the Cellar in Blacksburg, Va., in the late summer of 2001, where the bill was shared with Fursaxa, I think. In Houston, Patrick was on chord organ and Jack was on tanpura. In Blacksburg, they swapped. Drone, of course, is different, partly due to this. Esraj follows where the drone calls. This song hasn't been out of the tape box before. As mentioned in earlier versions of this post, the idea is to get the music out to more folks (and on a better-sounding platform -- thanks, Ed!), not to force anyone to buy stuff twice. Folks who already have all the cdrs, etc., and just have to hear the remaining song(s) can email me and we can work it out. Thanks, and I'll keep posting additional info when I can. Who knows, maybe there are some pix around or something I can put up. If you've got a picture or account of these shows or something, email us! NOTE: There was a very small run cdr (gone so quickly it didn't even make it to this site) out there a year or so ago during a Pelt Northeast swing that used some of the Heraldic Beasts gatefold art as a cover. There's no overlap in material between the 2xLP and that cd-r. --mg