Blitzen Trapper Wild Mountain Nation

Blitzen Trapper Wild Mountain Nation

History —

History — The Garmonbozia years I dropped out of school and began to write songs, to play music. This was not music that ever traveled, at least not for many years my lower-class, small town upbringing ensured I had absolutely no ambition , but it was music that permeated everything. My friends and I lived together, made recordings, played occasional shows and mostly just worked out our demons through narcotic substances and song.

Their first known recording as a band is untitled and incomplete; only two songs, "Something Blue," and "Oklahoma" remain. The two approaches to these very early songs hint toward later song structures throughout their pre-label albums, up to and including their breakthrough album, Wild Mountain Nation.

In , the band's output exploded, as they self-recorded four albums with homemade artwork, which they distributed at concerts.

The band headed back to the studio to record 's Boom which contains a very early version of the song, "Sadie"; a more polished version of the song would later close Blitzen Trapper's Destroyer of the Void album in Increasingly, the band's songs were edging closer to tracks that would place on albums in the band's Blitzen Trapper incarnation; their final studio recording, R L, included early versions of several songs that would appear on Blitzen Trapper's eponymous first record, including "AppleTrees," "The All Girl Team," and "Texaco.

None of these recordings have ever been made available commercially, although many of these records were distributed at Garmonbozia concerts in Portland, and have later surfaced occasionally on the internet. Pre-label In , the band changed their name to Blitzen Trapper, reportedly a reference to singer Eric Earley's seventh-grade girlfriend, who kept a Trapper Keeper binder and drew pictures of Santa Claus and his reindeer on it, her favorite reindeer being Blitzen.

A decade later, Earley recalled the recording process: I don't remember much about making this first record, too long ago maybe.

I guess I remember this Mexican dive bar we'd go to after sessions with GW Gregg Williams who was engineering the record. We'd drink tequila and play pool and watch Blazers games.

Drew took the cover shot down at the coast at some junk shop off the highway. An Indian and a zebra. That says it all. Despite this local publicity, the album Blitzen Trapper failed to make much of an initial impact, and was soon followed by 's Field Rexx, also released on LidKerCow. Eric Earley recorded a new album, simply titled Trapper, on a two-track reel-to-reel in his bedroom; like the Garmonbozia records, Trapper was not released.

They worked with producers Mike Coykendall and Gregg Williams to record some tracks for the new record - recording others by themselves - but, as publicist Matt Wright later stated, "Waking Bullets just wasn't really coming together as an album," and the project was shelved.

This paved the way for Blitzen Trapper's breakthrough album, 's Wild Mountain Nation, which Earley describes as "a record that sounded like it had been authored by a drunken scarecrow who had been dragged behind a truck. It's the work of an assured band who can not only treat genre like so much fingerpaint, but brave enough to play it straight for a minute -- not as an empty exercise, but a chance to aspire Wild Mountain Nation is a revelation from beginning to end. Rolling Stone named the track one of the best of , placing it at 98 and calling it "A shambling, hypermelodic jam from Portland, Oregon, indie boys down with Native American culture Essentially living at the studio, head writer and lead singer Eric Earley worked on many of the songs late at night when the other bands in the space had gone.

One of the main components of the album's sound was a barely usable out-of-tune piano discovered at the studio one day, and featuring on the tracks, "Not Your Lover" and "Echo.

It was me becoming aware of the past I'd been trying to forget, and of the greater world around me. It's no surprise that the opening track is a dream-like treatise on the state of the western world. Rolling Stone gave it four out of five stars, calling it, "an engaging album full of rootsy beauty: Throughout the album, Blitzen keep their songs highly tuneful, making Furr a breakthrough Club called Furr Blitzen Trapper's "most focused album yet" in its A- review, while Pitchfork gave it another 8.

Furr was Blitzen Trapper's most popular album yet, reaching on the Billboard "Top " chart, and hit 22 on the Top Independent Chart and went as high as 6 on the Heatseekers chart. While classic American music is their source material, the band is devoted to radically rearranging it, scuffing it up and refitting it to serve their own purposes. Band member Marty Marquis hinted at the direction of the new album, stating, "We've got a bunch of new material and have also gone back and looked at a bunch of unreleased stuff that we think are really strong tunes that would make a contribution with the new stuff," further explaining that the song, "The Tailor," would be "a really crazy, psychedelic tale along the lines of Furr, but the arrangements are not so folky and simple.

The tale itself and the poetry that expresses it is, I think, the next level above what we did with Furr. National Public Radio provided a full stream of the album in late May , calling the album, "another ambitious and stylistically diverse curveball. I had already cobbled together a new record during the previous year of touring, Destroyer of the Void, a patchwork of songs from my past and present which hung together like a house of cards. But there were certain glimmers of where Blitzen Trapper was heading, a certain feeling of open road and of heartfelt loss.

The band played the album's "Dragon Song" on Late Night With Jimmy Fallon on June 17 of that year, and, as part of an extensive tour in the United States and abroad, took part in the Crossing Border Festival in Amsterdam, one of the most massive music and literature festivals in Europe. Pitchfork proffered a 7. The roughness of rock and roll and the independence of travel act as the flip-side to all this sentimental backward-glancing.

The earthiness of these songs makes you want to get loaded and get in a fight, or find a girl and fall in love forever, simultaneously. For the new record I wrote them all in a month or so. I'm not a good deliberator, I get out a guitar and it comes to me. Despite the very personal nature of the songwriting Earley even indicated that the record had originally been intended as a solo effort , American Goldwing became the first Blitzen Trapper album to which creators outside the band were invited to collaborate.

Bassist Michael Van Pelt suggested bringing in Grammy-winning producer and audio engineer Tchad Blake to mix the album, and Portland-based producer Gregg Wiliams Quarterflash , The Dandy Warhols , who had recorded some of the tracks for the Waking Bullets at Breakneck Speed project, co-produced all the tracks on the record. Sub Pop released two trailer videos for the album, one straightforward clip featuring Earley riding in the back of a truck, underscored by musical snippets of "Might Find it Cheap" and "Stranger in a Strange Land", and a more surreal movie-trailer video, featuring a narrator with a spooky-seductive French accent, murderous clowns, and bodies floating in swimming pools, based around "Street Fighting Sun".

AllMusic pegged the record as "a straight-up, mid-'70s inspired Southern rock album that fuses the Saturday night swagger of Lynyrd Skynyrd with the stoic peasantry of The Band ," while Rolling Stone called it an "intoxicating roots fantasy. On the following Record Store Day April 20, , and in celebration of its tenth anniversary as Blitzen Trapper, the band released a remastered vinyl version of their first, eponymous, album on vinyl, with five unearthed bonus tracks included.

Remastered specifically for vinyl by Bruce Barielle, only 1, black vinyl copies were pressed, with "Coke bottle clear" records mixed in randomly with the release; all copies included a digital download code. Rolling Stone heralded the new release with a streaming preview of one of the bonus tracks - "On a Tuesday" - about which Earley stated, "Not sure I recall what the song's even about — something sad, that's for sure.

Blitzen Trapper prepared its seventh studio album, with a somewhat new direction Eric Earley described VII as "hillbilly gangster," saying: It's just me wanting to mix that dark, gangster vibe with the kind of music I grew up listening to and see if it can kind of make sense It seems to work.

It's a good vehicle for telling stories, too. The album itself fared well on the charts, peaking at 41 on the Independent Albums chart and 11 on the Folk Albums chart.

In February, Rolling Stone premiered a streaming outtake from VII titled "Coming Home"; Eric Earley stated that "with this track we wanted to lay down some good old-fashioned country funk, with horns and banjos side by side It recalls the swampy truck stop sounds of Jim Ford or Mac Davis , telling ourselves that home is just around the bend.

Rather than release a physical album or an album through media outlets such as iTunes, Blitzen Trapper made Live In Portland downloadable or streaming for free, or as a "name your price" download through the website Bandcamp. Explaining the intent of the album, Eric Earley said: This is our first release of any live material and it's got everything I like about our live show, it's intimate, it's messy and it's grounded in our interaction on stage, just these guys that grew up together playing songs and messing around on a stage.

This is for all the fans who've seen us and know that when we're performing we're trying to give as much as we possibly can. So it's also our gift to the fans, a free live thing for the Holidays. Live Harvest was released on April 18 as a gram vinyl LP with a download card. We wanted it to be something that the fans can connect with as we play it.

Plus, it's an easy record. The songs are so well-written and smooth -- it's really easy and fun to play. The announcement stated, "Really hope you guys enjoy this one - we think it's our best yet.

It's probably the truest-sounding to our live show In certain ways, it harkens back to American Goldwing or even maybe some stuff on Furr. It's a return to a classic rock sort of thing. The site also indicated that the performance would not only include songs from Live Harvest, but also several songs from the new album.

Announced by Rolling Stone on May 13 with a link to stream the new song , the playlist was released exclusively for streaming on June 3. A Night of Stories and Songs," intending it to be a "stripped-down acoustic experience Focusing mainly on live versions of songs from All Across This Land , the ten-song album also included "Texaco" and "Love the Way You Walk Away," two live versions of songs from earlier studio albums that had not figured on their previous live album, Live in Portland.

According to the site: Portland folk rockers Blitzen Trapper refuse to be pinned down and boxed in. The acclaimed band has mixed genre after genre into their musical arsenal over the fifteen years of playing together.

Now they're unleashing their sound — and knack for lyrical storytelling — on the PCS stage. They've mined their Oregonian roots to create a show that asks: What's the sound of a life falling through the cracks? Fusing the energy of a rock concert with the imaginative possibility of the theater, Blitzen Trapper and PCS join forces in this new project, tracing the unforgettable stories of ordinary Americans caught in an extraordinary struggle to not get left behind.

The band released a limited-edition companion album containing ten tracks - "Black River Killer" from Furr , "Below the Hurricane" from Destroyer of the Void , and "Astronaut" from American Goldwing , along with seven tracks recorded exclusively for Wild and Reckless. The release was limited to only vinyl pressings and CDs, sold only at performances of the show. When asked what his typical songwriting process is like, Earley responded, "It's different for every song.

Generally, it just depends on the type of song. If it's a story song, I'll start with the words. If it's not, sometimes it starts with the music, sometimes it's sparked by someone else's song or someone's story they tell me.

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A nostalgia-driven cautionary tale of corruption, drugs, heartbreak, and science fiction -- think Bonnie and Clyde meets Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas -- the track set includes seven songs from the musical and five new numbers, all of which brood, shimmy, pine, and shake with the distinctive backwoods Laurel Canyon vibe that became the band's forte upon the release of 's American Goldwing. Still, Earley remains an engaging vocalist and lyricist, and it's easy to get swept up in all of the weird roadside Americana imagery, even if it's not often clear where the narrative is going.

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