|Simon Joyner ≡ Ghosts (2012)|
Simon Joyner ≡ Ghosts
Location: Omaha, Nebrasca, United States
Album release: August 14, 2012
Record Label: Sing Eunuchs / SE1112
01 Vertigo 7:21
02 Last Will and Testament 4:13
03 Red Bandana Blues 5:50
04 Sing a Little Lullaby 5:04
05 The Tyrant 8:50
06 Will You Stand Up for Me 5:17
07 Cotes du Rhone 4:55
08 If Its All Right With You Its All Right With Me Pt. 1 3:55
09 If Its All Right With You Its All Right With Me Pt. 2 5:03
10 Answering Machine Blues 6:28
11 Swift River Run 5:09
12 When the Worst Doesnt Happen 5:53
13 If I Left Tomorrow 4:50
14 The Last Parade 5:24
15 Hard Luck Heart 5:55
16 Please Forgive 4:55
17 Ghost 2:46
◊ Double vinyl LP pressing including full digital download. 2012 release from the veteran Omaha-based singer/songwriter. Recorded on reel-to-reel in Joyner's warehouse on a 16-track tape machine over many months, Ghosts sounds unlike any Joyner record. The influence of dark, '60s and '70s private-press psych and folk records, as well as the noisy, transcendent music of New Zealand heroes like This Kind of Punishment, Alastair Galbraith and The Dead C are highlighted on this experimental, full-band song-cycle that pays subtle as well as brazen homage to several influential double-albums (perhaps most obviously with its Exile on Main Street-inspired gatefold artwork). Joyner's music gathers acolytes rather than casual fans, contributing to his ''songwriter's songwriter'' status and inspiring comparisons to other artists like Bill Fay, Townes Van Zandt, David Blue, and Leonard Cohen.
◊ Simon Joyner has been crafting records for a good twenty years now, and ever since ‘Umbilical Chords’ he’s been putting an unmistakable fingerprint on his particular brand of off-kilter rock. ‘Ghosts’ is his first for a few years now, but is just as epic and arching as you’d expect. Recorded to reel-to-reel it sounds like the unhealthy merger of independent New Zealand jangle rock and 70s US drug-core and is just as unpredictably great as that might sound. If you like your music jagged and served with a pack of 20 Marlborough Reds then ‘Ghosts’ is certainly the album for you.
Simon Joyner Returns with 'Ghosts' Double Album
By Josiah Hughes
◊ Omaha-based singer-songwriter Simon Joyner has been releasing top-quality records on a regular basis since his eponymous Umbilical Chords cassette came out in 1992. Most recently, the artist released Out Into the Snow in 2009, and he's now revealed plans to follow that up with a new full-length.
◊ The new release, which marks Joyner's 13th long-player, is called Ghosts. Like 1998's Yesterday Tomorrow and in Between and 2001's Hotel Lives before it, Ghosts is a double album that a press release says "follows in their footsteps."
◊ While its immersive nature and unified theme might put it on par with previous efforts, the description continues to explain that Ghosts "sounds unlike any Joyner record," adding an "influence of dark, '60s and '70s private-press psych and folk records, as well as the noisy, transcendent music of New Zealand heroes like This Kind of Punishment, Alastair Galbraith and the Dead C."
◊ The album was recorded in Joyner's own warehouse on reel-to-reel, and features a full band.
Q&A: Simon Joyner kickstarts old ‘Ghosts’
≡ Above: Simon Joyner (far left) and his current supporting band The Ghosts celebrate the release of Joyner’s 13th album Friday, August 3rd at They Sydney in Benson. Photo by Zach Hollowell.
≡ When Omaha singer-songwriter Simon Joyner released his first cassette tape, Umbilical Chords, it was the same year Michael Jackson, Mariah Carey, Madonna and Whitney Houston all landed No. 1 hits. It was the same year race riots, fueled by the acquittal of four policemen for the unlawful beating of Rodney King, broke out in Los Angeles. It was 1992 — the same year Bill Clinton took office and the original Dream Team won gold in Barcelona.
≡ Over the next 20 years, Joyner’s music took him far away from Omaha — even across oceans — all the while winning fans and admirers one by one as they sat, legs crossed, in sparsely populated rooms, listening to Joyner singing stories about the dusty dreams of ruffled characters. The number of admirers only grew with each new release, ranging from teenagers clad in thrift store apparel to tastemakers of modern music culture.
≡ Today, as names like Jordan and Bird ring mum to the fresher chimes of James and Durant — and the voices of King, Houston and Jackson are now forever quiet — Joyner prepares to release his 13th proper full length, Ghosts, a double vinyl LP recorded with techniques and tools that were standard practice 20 years before Umbilical Chords was first duped to tape.
≡ However, in making Ghosts, Joyner also took a new, more modern approach. He launched a successful Kickstarter campaign to fund the recording, opting to release the artfully-crafted (and expensive to make and distribute) double vinyl himself, rather than leaving the burden to one of the many labels that’ve supported him over the years, among them Jagjauwar and Team Love.
≡ Over a few back-and-forth emails, Joyner wrote about the all-analog making of Ghosts, the allure of the double album, why independent record labels deserve more respect as well as his recent bout of West Coast touring.
≡ You can catch Joyner and his backing band, aptly named The Ghosts, on Friday, August 3rd at The Sydney. Admission is free with the purchase of the new album, otherwise it’s $5. Lightning Bug, Solid Goldberg and Sun Settings offer support.
Omahype: Hoping the tour with The Renderers went well. I see you also did some recording in Los Angeles?
Simon Joyner: Yes, it was so wonderful playing with The Renderers for a week on the coast. They’re absolutely one of my favorite bands. They just get better with every record they put out and they’re even more expansive and surprising live from night to night. And yes, the band and I got together to record with Dennis Callaci, who runs the Shrimper label and is in the band Refrigerator, to make an album over the course of a weekend while we were out there at the end of our stint with The Renderers. Dennis and I collaborated on a record about six years ago under similar circumstances and had been trying to get together again for years so it was great to take a couple days off and record some of his songs and my songs with more musicians at our disposal this time. The previous record, Stranger Blues, came out on Catsup Plate Records and represented one day of recording at Dennis’ place but it was just the two of us that time. This time we had Jarvis Taveniere from the band Woods and my whole band for the session. It was a very relaxed experience. Everyone seemed to have been playing together for years, it was all so natural. We recorded a lot of songs so we should be able to put together something really good for a release on Shrimper sometime soon. (excerpt; continued on: http://omahype.com/2012/08/qa-simon-joyner-kickstarts-old-ghosts/) / Author:
Will Silvey Simons Writer/Editor/Musician
|Simon Joyner ≡ Ghosts (2012)|