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Okay, so that Boston CD release party was fantastic! Many thanks to everyone who came out and supported. You made the night very special. We were sooo happy to see the extended family show up and dance and sing along. You got a taste of the beginning of the next stage for us and yo made it great. For those of you who missed it, so be it. Some interesting tidbits include:
An appearance by the (some would say imaginary, we say) impressive and inimitable Don Dilego who has been inspirational to us throughout the making of this record.
Application of Miss Fairchild tattoos to various body parts with saliva and tongue. And none of the tongues were ours! (Photos to follow…)
Friends reporting from Providence, Chicago, Portsmouth, Portland and Nantucket: Wow! Way to bring your own brand of funk Beantown way.
The van: Her name is B.E.S., but you can call her Bessie. She’s doing great and we love her. Pictures to follow sooooon.
T-shirts: well, they weren’t there at the show, but they’re here now. Their designer was there. His name is Andy and he’s available. Ask us to get in contact. Once again: photos tomorrow.
Great Scott: is fantastic. We love it there. Ben, Carl, you guys are great. Thanks for all your help this summer with The Miss Fairchild Show. We’ll never forget it.
Tour tidbits to follow daily from now on. Check back and stay in touch!
We love you,
So much has happened in my absence from this little journal. We announced the dates of our midwestern/Canadian tour, we bought a van (more on that later), we were interviewed on the radio, we scaled a very large mid-Manhattan building, we explored some Bolivian silver mines, we starred (and did our own stunts) in a major motion picture and we won the lottery for the largest quilt ever made! Some of that is even true! And also…
For the first time ever, we presented Ooh La La, Sha Sha… in public. And boy, was it fun; Portland, ME turned out in droves to celebrate with us and get down on it. The Model Airplane opened the show, and they got soul! Lyle, Bob, Daniel, Pete, Dane and Jocelyn: well done. We look forward to playing with you again.
And then we played a very high energy set, including a rare trio performance of “Cheatin’ Man,” that may become less rare in time. Jodie and Brendan took some great photos and here are some from Jodie, in case you are interested.
So says Sam Pfeifle of the Portland Phoenix.
As you might know by now, Miss Fairchild is throwing the wildest shindig ever to reach your fair city. Because, what happens on August 30, 2007 at Great Scott in Allston, will not only be one hell of a party, but our sophomore long-player Ooh La La, Sha Sha… will be available to you for the first time. To celebrate this memorable occasion, we would like to offer you all the opportunity to attend this show at a discounted rate. That’s right! Send an e-mail RSVP to firstname.lastname@example.org with your intention to attend and we will amend our register to include your name. Instead of the ten dollar door fee, you will pay a scant five dollars.
Again, this will be the biggest, baddest and best party of the year. RSVP now to email@example.com for this special offer. Bring your friends and relatives, too. It’s a family affair.
Miss Fairchild Presents The Ooh La La, Sha Sha… Release Party
featuring Ammon EP, Certified Bananas & The Miss Fairchild Show
Thursday, August 30, 2007, Nine PM ’til late
Great Scott, 1222 Commonwealth Ave, Allston, MA 02134
18 Plus, Ten dollars at the door, Five with RSVP
In case you hadn’t heard, 2007 is the fortieth anniversary of 1967. Yeah, that seems kind of obvious, butlook at all the anniversaries we’re seeing this year:
The fortieth anniversary of Sgt. Pepper’s.
The fortieth anniversary of the Red Sox’ Impossible Dream.
The fortieth anniversary of the summer of love. (Personally, I find it strange that we celebrate big events every five years starting ten years after. How much new perspective do we have between the 25th and 30th anniversaries of a classic album? Enough to warrant a wallet emptying reissue, it seems. I guess 20, 25 and 30 years out is peak nostalgia range…) But what about the other fortieth anniversaries? The formation of the ABA, Thurgood Marshall sworn in to the Supreme Court, The Monterey Pop Festival, Elvis and Prscilla get married! And what about the bad stuff? Shouldn’t we remember that stuff, too? Race riots in Newark and Detroit.
Che Guevara is captured and executed.
Woodie Guthrie’s dies of Huntington’s…
Clearly 1967 is an important year in our history, so allow me to talk about something I like from that year, something that relates to the premature passing of just-mentioned folk icon and ever-important human-being Woodie Guthrie: the emergence of his son, Arlo. Indeed, in 1967, Arlo released a pretty famous record called Alice’s Restaurant. Now, it would make sense to wait until Thanksgiving to talk about this record, seeing as it is set on that day and all, but the front of the Boston Globe Living & Arts section had a really nice fluff piece about Arlo today, so I thought I’d talk about him, too.
I saw Arlo perform a few years back, when I was living on Nantucket. He did the extended version of “Alice’s Restaurant Masacree.” No, not the 18 minute version from the record with the similar name, but a thirty some-odd minute version that included this interesting revelation: Apparently, the time of the original recording of the song and matches the amount of time missing from the Watergate tapes. There’s no way that Nixon had that record, though, right?
Wrong. Arlo claims to have seen it in the White Library when he was invited for the Carter Inauguration. So, decide for yourselves. In true Guthrian fashio, though, I’m off the topic. What I really came to talk about is Alice. And the restaurant. Actually, no, not that either.. I wanted to bring something up that Arlo is quoted as saying in this article:
“If you do anything for 40 years, you can do it comfortably… And it will always be good. But unless you’re willing to risk it being bad, it can never be great.”
I guess that’s what this 40 year thing is all about. But he’s right. Anyone can be good, but to be great, you have to risk being bad. That’s what Miss Fairchild is all about right now: taking risks and getting people involved. And when I say ‘involved,’ I don’t mean selling fans on some wack pyramid scheme. I mean that we’re buying low on this funk music thing because we believe that it’s ability to bring people together to participate in something is worth more than being a slave to the changing fashions of a so-called “modern” world.
Arlo Guthrie is an interesting figure. He is the son of an absolute legend, a one-hit wonder, an apparently tireless musical voice, a man that has embraced humor in a musical genre that doesn’t always take humor so seriously. (He was at Woodstock, too, so he was on the brain before I saw today’s paper…) So, as we celebrate ’67, it’s good to remember this guy as an important figure. “And all kinds of things…”
Miss Fairchild, the Boston-based Pop-Funk band, announce the release of their sophomore long-player Ooh La La, Sha Sha… on Tuesday, September 4, 2007. With a style that distills the best funk and pop music from the past thirty years into a fresh new sound, the album fuses the band’s flair for spectacle with a genuine knack for what works.
Building on a history of razor sharp production values, Ooh La La, Sha Sha… features ten new songs, including four first heard on the summer sensation The Miss Fairchild Mixtape, released in May of this year. Two of these are “Number One,” which has “got everything you want, really… A nice story, a sick beat, and a chorus that gets your whip moving around the corners a little faster in the morning,” (Music For Robots) and “Vanilla Place,” “which shows off the band’s appeal in less than four minutes: bright layered melodies, funky rhythms, and lead singer Daddy Wrall’s charming, El DeBarge-like vocals.” (Idolator)
Balancing the varied sensibilities of the slick dance floor rhythms of The Jacksons and the down and dirty funk of Graham Central Station, Sha Sha… showcases the catchy melodies, infectious rhythms, and tight arrangements that have made Miss Fairchild so successful in their previous releases: 2004’s :Album and 2005’s Housing Prodgect EP, as well as production credits on JedSed’s Lipschitz: Jed Sed.
True “Homemade Superstars,” Miss Fairchild epitomize their moniker, having written, arranged, recorded and produced the entire album themselves. With beats and production helmed by Samuel P. Nice (aka Sammy Bananas of Certified Bananas fame), vocals by Daddy Wrall and instrumentation performed by Schuyler Dunlap, Miss Fairchild enlisted friends and family to fill out their sound with strings and horns, making the record a true family affair. And fans of The Miss Fairchild Show will be pleased to find that Ooh La La, Sha Sha… sees the band emphasizing the influences of their live incarnation: the unbridled energy of Sly & The Family Stone, the tightness of The Time, and the unadulterated fun of Tony Toni Toné. There’s a reason popular mp3 blog Music For Robots says, “Miss Fairchild is the house band for the good times.”
Ooh La La, Sha Sha… will see pre-Tuesday premiers in Portland, ME (8/24), Boston, MA (8/30), Nantucket, MA (8/31), Providence, RI (9/1), and Brooklyn, NY (9/2).
We played at the Psyforia Festival yesterday and what a fun time we had! The event was held at the American Legion in Cambridge, outdoors, right next to the Charles River. I should mention that it was pretty hot yesterday. I never saw a thermometer, but I’m pretty good at guessing these things and I would estimate we were in the low to mid nineties (that’s Fahrenheit, by the way). That river started looking pretty good after a few minutes performing in direct sunlight, but not one for swimming in city rivers, we stayed ashore, played our funk music to a festival crowd and had a whale of a time.
We were invited to the event by our close friend and original Jive Sucka! Ammon EP, who is a terrific dj, an emerging producer and unbelievable hooper. That’s with a hula hoop for those of you unfamiliar with the fad. (I call it a fad not to be derogatory, but because when I was taught the word ‘fad’ in elementary school, the hula hoop was the example that we were given. In fact, whenever I think of the word, an image of plastic tubular ring, often in bright shades of orange, pink and green, comes to mind.) So, listen, I’m serious: Ammon is unbelievable with a hoop. The whole phenomenon is so much more developed than I previously realized. In fact, there were quite a few people hooping at the event and they were all pretty much amazing.
And there was food (thanks Heidi!) and more music and a great crowd. There were friends and family. Not to rub it in, but I really don’t know how you missed it. (Did I mention we performed?)
Speaking of which…
Some of you have been asking about a song that we play, an early sixties style ballad about hair. Well, it’s called “Your Hair” and here we are performing it. It’s on our first record, :Album, in a completely different treatment. Samuel has been playing a mean sax solo on this tune since we started performing this particular version. It’s pretty much right in his wheelhouse and I’ll be darned if hasn’t hit it out of the park at every show. In fact, it might be my favorite moment of our show right now. It certainly was at Psyforia, so Sam: I applaud you. When can I get that autograph finally?
So, not having had enough festival for one day, we retreated to an undisclosed location somewhere in Massachusetts. (The same undisclosed location from which we phoned in an interview with Charlie Gaylord of 98.9 WCLZ in Portland. That interview will be airing on August 15th at 6pm, for those interested.) And at this undisclosed location, we watched the director’s cut of Woodstock. Wow. No matter how many times you see the film, it’s pretty inspiring. From Richie Havens’ opening chords to Jimi Hendrix’s closing ones, there is an undeniable sense of energy to this event. The moment that gives me the longest lasting chills is (of course) the Sly & The Family Stone performance. Talk about wow. Between his speech (“Most of us need to get approval from our neighbors before we can let it all hang down, you see. And what is happening here is we’re gonna try to do a sing along. Now, a lot of people don’t like to do it, because they feel that it might be old fashioned. But you must dig that it is not a fashion in the first place. It’s a feeling, and if it was good in the past, it’s still good.”), Freddie and Larry’s dancing and the knowledge that this people were roused from slumber in the wee hours to shout “higher!” with the band, I find the whole thing awe-ing.
A few years ago, we were lucky enough to discover (via Daddy Wrall’s persistent searching) a video called “Graham Funk Bass Attack,” a bass instructional video by the one and only Larry Graham, featuring Gregg Errico from Sly & The Family Stone and Robert “Butch” Sam from Graham Central Station. In this video, there exist some very memorable performances as well as some discussion between the guys. At one point Larry turns to Gregg and asks him about his time with Sly. The conversation goes something like this (forgive my family obligation to exaggeration):
“Hey Gregg. We played a lot of memorable shows with Sly, but there must have been one that really stands out for you. What would that be”
“Well, there were so many. I guess one that I remember was [names a San Francisco venue that may or may not have been one of the first that the Family Stone played.]”
“That great and all, but wasn’t there one in particular that really stands out?”
“Well, there were so many…”
“Think, Gregg. One that was really special. There were half a million people there? The town’s name starts with a W…”
“Wood… Wood… Woodstock? Woodstock!”
“That’s the one. Now wasn’t that just the best show?”
[Nodding.] “Of course. Woodstock was amazing…”
So, leading questions aside, (and let’s be honest, Larry could get any of us to say just about whatever he wanted. He’s got that chaRAZma) I can see why Mr. Graham would highlight this show. It just has something about it. It’s the event by which other festivals are measured and modeled. The event that shames them all. It created a new kind of hope (even if that hope was largely dashed at Altamont five months later.)
It was certainly imperfect, but there was some line-blurring at Woodstock. The trend towards dividing music into genres, that has, in m opinion, overstayed its welcome, hadn’t taken the business over quite yet. At Woodstock, the rock and soul branches of the r&b tree were close enough to their roots to remember each other, and with that in mind, we can still see how similar this music thing is at the trunk. There was no need to distill and purify such specific styles of music. Sly & The Family Stone are fantastic examples of this, but also look at Richie Havens and Joe Cocker: they each appear to be one thing, but sound like another. Jimi Hendrix and Pete Townshend have more in common than not according to the footage I’ve seen. This the kind of line-blurring I’m talking about; sure, the lines weren’t quite there yet, but they didn’t need to. And don’t think I’m asking that we turn all of music of today into one homogenous mess. Quite the opposite, in fact. I’d just like to see it side by side, supporting each other.
I am a bit unaware of the outdoor multi-day festivals of now. I’ve been to day long affairs, but never have I participated in anything like the temporary city at Yasgur’s farm. Until I’m on stage at one, may never be, but I can’t help but to see these events as great opportunities. Most of the time, I find it sad to see the music industry in such a decline, because music has such a potential to uplift. Maybe a little shaking up needs to happen, though, to get people back to making something positive with it. If these festivals are an example of that something, then sign me up.
Let’s blur the lines a little. Let’s drop out of the School of Too Cool. Let’s worry less about whether something is in fashion and focus more on what Sly said: “if it was good in the past, it’s still good.” Let’s put rock and soul and hip-hop and everything back in the pot, make it real and honest and have a little fun.
And Happy Birthday Ammon.