A lot has happened in the last several months.
Without going into all the boring details, we’ve run out of excuses to delay this album we began way back in August of 2012. As of two weeks ago (March 4th, 2013), all studio recording on Never Love A Stranger is complete!
All that’s left is mixing, mastering and production of the physical album. While we’d love to do vinyl, we’re going to live within our means here. That means CD, digital download, and perhaps a limited edition tape.
I know that I, personally, am so ready to get this material out there. I’m ready for my friends and family to hear what we’ve spent so much time working on. Some of these songs began their lives nearly five years ago without ever being set in stone.
Now, that doesn’t mean I want to throw this material out there to get rid of it. I know that’s how a lot of artists feel releasing music that’s been brewing for a while. As I listen to the in progress mixes of the album, I can say with all honesty that this is some of my proudest work. After performing some of theses pieces 50+ times, I still don’t hate them yet, and I’m proud of what we as a band have been able to accomplish.
GIMME THE DETAILS
While we don’t have a firm release date yet, expect the album no later than May 2013. The art and exact specifications for physical production are being worked on now, so expect an album art and packaging reveal in the coming weeks.
The whole album clocks in at around 45 minutes, and the track list might still change a bit. Some of the songs flow together, so we still need to decide if they’ll be separate tracks or not. We might also cut South Africa. But that’s the general gist of things.
Here’s the personnel:
John Praw (vocals, harmonium, glockenspiel, trumpet, vocoder, ambient sounds)
Corey Murphy (keys, noises, gang vocals)
Luke Annear (drums, noises, gang vocals)
Tom Teslik (guitar, delay pedals, noises, gang vocals)
Sam Ludwig (saxophone, noises, gang vocals)
Recorded by Brian Nolan at House Arrest Studios in Madison, WI.
We hope to have a beautiful album to show you soon.
John Praw & co.
Stars & Letters’ Awesome Moth-in-Vial Limited Edition Album
Mixtapes|Heartbreaks Features “In The Bleak Midwinter”
Sister Crystals’ Amazing New Single “For So Long”
Rahsaan Roland Kirk Blowing Minds in 1969
3-Way Singles Club, Vol. 18
Ladies and gentlemen, have we got a treat for you!
As we near the completion (finally) of Never Love A Stranger, we’ve decided to kick off the new year with this brand new single. “In The Bleak Midwinter” was originally made for our live performance on a WYOU winter telethon. The telethon required us to perform at least one Christmas song, so we chose a classic carol with words written by the English poet Christina Rossetti sometime before 1872. Twisting the words a bit, we turned a Christmas carol into an anytime love song.
The track was recorded at House Arrest studios in Madison, Wisconsin by Brian Nolan (who you may know from American Hi-Fi). The cover photo was originally taken by Nikki Gibson and edited by John Praw.
What have you been doing all this time?
Yes, it’s been a while since we’ve posted stuff here. If you want to see updates from us more often, Like us on Facebook. To answer the question, though, we’ve been up to a lot.
The band has been in a weird place, but in a good way. Our main focus is on the album. A lot is yet to be set in stone, but you can bet that the art will be similar to that pictured above. You can click on that picture, or click here, to download a free preview of the album. The track list is pretty much set to be a representation of our live show. If all goes according to plan, we will finish recording this week.
We have had our fair share of setbacks, so I’ll be extremely happy to get “Never Love A Stranger” out there. For a few months, Tom was on tour with another band. Our recording engineer had a baby. Our jobs and holidays got in the way. Some of us moved farther away. There are other excuses, but we’re all really excited to be nearing the home stretch here, and the quality of the album material is shaping up better than I could have ever guessed.
When are you playing? Why aren’t you playing so often?
Good question! You can always find our upcoming shows on our Gigs page. We have two shows coming up this month. On December 21st at the Dragonfly Lounge, we will be playing with Noxroy (MAD), William Z. Villain (MAD; feat. P-P alum Ben Cameron) and Soul Low (MKE). That show will be the first day of winter, and thus, the kick-off party for the Lost City Winter Series. The Lost City Music Festival is very much a product of the people in this band, so the Winter Series means a lot to us.
For the second show, on December 29th at Mad Planet in Milwaukee, we will be playing with Blue Boy (CHI), Animals In Human Attire (MKE; feat. P-P alum Myles Coyne) and Ivy Spokes (MKE). That show will be awesome.
To focus on the album, we’re not playing so frequently. We also made the decision to no longer be involved with shows we aren’t dedicated to. We’ve all played and organized too many shows that don’t really matter to us, so we’re done with that. Instead, we’ll be playing shows that we can really invest ourselves in. Also, we’re busy as crap. All of us are in other bands, and two of our members live over an hour away from Madison in different directions.
Okay, enough talking. Goodbye. Take it easy.
You too, buddy.
As some of you know, my house was struck by lightning a few weeks back. Because of this, I have no choice but to go without a computer of my own for a while. my old one – which happened to be the one I used to do all of my work – was completely fried. Luckily, everything was backed up on an external that survived the strike.
So now I’m stuck scrambling to get everything done on time. It kills me not having a dedicated machine of my own, but for now, I’m making do. Luckily, I now live with Corey, my long-time partner in crime. Check out some of his music here and here. Corey and I are hard at work settling into our new house and getting the live Pushmi-Pullyu show in shape. Our first sets back will likely be a bit on the short side, but there is still plenty we can do.
Hopefully, we’ll have a nice solid show for you guys very soon. In fact, our first show back after over a year of inactivity in Madison is in three days! Come check us out in Jamie Yanda’s basement in Green Bay, Wisconsin, on Friday, August 20th. Information on that show can be found here. The show is all ages.
Nine days after that – Sunday, August 29th – you can catch us at the Frequency here in wonderful Madison, Wisconsin. While you’re there, you can play some bingo in between sets. You can find information on that show here. The Frequency is a 21+ venue.
Both shows are FREE!
~ John Praw
P.S. We might be booking shows IN OUR LIVING ROOM this year. Stay tuned for more on that.