Mount Eerie with Lori Goldston
"'Real Death' is a private confession gone public, a signal sent out in hopes of finding support and comfort in a world full of people that have dealt before with pain that’s so fresh to him. It’s mourning, broadcast as a means of necessary connection." – Pitchfork, Best New Track Listen to it HERE.
On Tuesday, April 4, the Community Center for the Performing Arts and University of Oregon Campus Radio 88.1 FM KWVA proudly welcome Mount Eerie to the WOW Hall for a seated concert featuring special guest Lori Goldston.
Mount Eerie (songwriter Phil Elverum) has announced a string of West Coast tour dates this spring, including appearances at When We Were Young Fest and FORM Arcosanti. Guess what, his tour kicks off right here at the WOW Hall!
Elverum recently shared a video for “Ravens”, the second single from the upcoming album A Crow Looked At Me, which was written and recorded in the wake of the death of Elverum’s wife Geneviève Castrée. The video was directed by Elverum and created using footage shot by himself and Castrée in the months and years before her death, reflecting the intimate, candid nature of the music.
Previously Elverum shared “Real Death,” the lead track from A Crow Looked At Me and an unvarnished expression of stark domestic grief.
In high school in Anacortes Washington in 1996, Phil Elverum started calling his tapes of self-recorded noise and songs “The Microphones”. Since then he’s produced two decades worth of records that span a wide spectrum from studio heavy atmospheric landscaping to simple raw songs.
The Microphones project was nourished by and located within the community of artists around K Records in Olympia in the late 90s/early 2000s, and Phil Elverum’s musical ideas were clearly the product of the flood of independent music in the NW during those years.
After five albums the project was renamed Mount Eerie just as The Microphones were getting some unexpected attention from the widespread acclaim of The Glow pt. 2 (2001). The Mount Eerie recordings got weirder and broader, and Elverum left K Records and began releasing everything himself, ultimately building a self-contained small town operation in Anacortes called P.W. Elverum & Sun. Radical self-sufficiency has been a theme and obsession; always all ages shows, always self-recorded, hands on in all details.
Mount Eerie’s albums have always aimed to push into new territory, both in sound and idea, but the thread of Elverum’s voice has remained constant throughout, soft and human amid the wide range of textures and worlds. Often the lyrics have attempted to grapple with big questions, the briefness and the smallness of human life being a running theme. On occasion the music has been called “black metal” (Wind’s Poem, 2009), “dream landscape” (Clear Moon, 2012), and “raw and direct” (Lost Wisdom, 2008).
The new album, A Crow Looked At Me, sounds closer to the latter; minimal instrumentation, no production, clear and heavy words right up front. The difference here is the subject matter. In 2015 Elverum’s wife, the French Canadian cartoonist and musician Geneviève Castrée, was diagnosed with a bad cancer just after giving birth to their first child. She died a year later. Elverum wrote and recored the album throughout the fall of 2016 in the same room where Geneviève died, using mostly her instruments; her guitar, her bass, her pick, her amp, her old family accordion, writing the words on her paper.
The songs are about the brutal details of that experience, from the hospitalizations to the grieving, the specific domestic banalities that become existential in the context of such huge and abrupt loss. These songs are not fun. They are pretty and they are deep, and they find a love that prevails beneath the overwhelming and real sorrow. It is unlike anything else in the Mount Eerie catalog in its unvarnished expressions of personal grief, metaphor-free.
The writing draws inspiration from Karl Ove Knausgaard, Julie Doiron, Gary Snyder, Sun Kil Moon, and Joanne Kyger (whose poem “Night Palace” is on the album’s cover). The sound was influenced by the spare production of the 1996 Will Oldham album Arise Therefore.
Classically trained and rigorously de-trained, possessor of a restless, semi-feral spirit, Lori Goldston is a cellist, composer, improvisor, producer, writer and teacher from Seattle. Her voice as a cellist, amplified or acoustic, is full, textured, committed and original. A relentless inquirer, she wanders recklessly across borders that separate genre, discipline, time and geography, performing in clubs, cafes, galleries, arenas, concert halls, sheds, ceremonies, barbecues, and stadiums.
Current and former collaborators and/or bosses include Earth, Nirvana, Mirah, Jessika Kenney, Ilan Volkov, Eyvind Kang, Stuart Dempster, David Byrne, Terry Riley, Jherek Bischoff, Malcom Goldstein, Matana Roberts, Dana Reason, Lonnie Holley, Cat Power, Ellen Fullman, Mike Gamble, Mik Quantius, Embryo, Secret Chiefs 3, Marisa Anderson, Trey Gunn and Pat Mastelotto, Ô Paon, Tara Jane O’Neil, Natacha Atlas, Broken Water, Ed Pias, Byron Au Young, Christian Rizzo, Threnody Ensemble, Cynthia Hopkins, 33 Fainting Spells, Vanessa Renwick, Mark Mitchell and Lynn Shelton.
Her work has been commissioned by and/or performed at the Kennedy Center, Frye Art Museum, Portland’s Time Based Art Festival (TBA), WNYC, The New Foundation, Northwest Film Forum, On the Boards, Seattle International Film Festival, Seattle Jewish Film Festival, Bumbershoot, Crossing Border Festival, Boston’s Museum of Fine Arts, Joe’s Pub, the Stone, Wayward Music Series, Oregon State University, Northwest Folklife, University of Chicago Film Studies Center, One Reel Film Festival and throughout the U.S. and Europe. She has received awards from Meet the Composer, Artist Trust, 4 Culture and Seattle Arts Commission, and has taught at the University of Washington, EMP, Idyllwild Arts Academy, the Vera Project and the Bush School.
This is a seated concert, with seating on a first come, first served basis. Doors open at 7:00 pm and showtime is 8:00. Tickets are $13 advance and $15 at the door.