Editor’s Note: This story was originally published on defunct, Central Indiana arts website Sky Blue Window on September 26, 2014. Some content, style and formatting may differ from the original version.
By now, even casual music fans have likely heard of Record Store Day, the annual celebration of brick-and-mortar sonic purveyors and all things vinyl, which takes place on the third Saturday of April each spring. Listeners may be less familiar with the holiday’s younger sibling, Cassette Store Day, which returns for its second installment this Saturday.
On the surface, Cassette Store Day may appear gimmicky or misguided to those old enough to recall the frustrating process of reeling in a tangled ribbon of cassette tape with your pinky finger. However, the format has seen a minor resurgence in recent years as independent musicians seek to provide listeners with a tangible release at a fraction of the cost of vinyl or CDs. With cassette duplicators available at an affordable price point, musicians can produce a limited-run tape without bothering with the added cost of a third-party manufacturer.
Several local record stores will host festivities related to Cassette Store Day this weekend. LUNA Music has planned a sidewalk sale, a guest DJ set from Musical Family Tree’s Jon Rogers, and a pop-up shop from Little Super. Around the corner, Vibes Music will host live performances from local artists such as Chives, Hair Peace and Golden Moses, along with a DJ set from Jorma Whittaker. Both events are for all-ages.
For those unable to partake in Saturday’s festivities, Indy CD & Vinyl will host its monthly KIDS DAY this Sunday, featuring an all-ages performance from Mr. Daniel, better known as longtime local musician Daniel Paquette. All in all, this weekend offers a laundry list of reasons to hit your friendly, local record store.
Prep for your weekend sonic adventures with this video of Jon Rogers’ alternate persona Golden Moses from his recent album release party for Face Boot, which was held at Joyful Noise Recordings. The video was shot by BrainTwins.
Written by Rob Peoni
Editor’s Note: This story was originally published on defunct Central Indiana arts website Sky Blue Window on September 11, 2015
“I rarely do live performances,” Stuart Hyatt says. “Almost never.” This is an odd statement coming from a former Grammy nominee carrying two recently released records under his arm.
The statement proves less contradictory the more familiar one becomes with Hyatt’s work. He is in the process of releasing the second in a five-album series under the name of Field Works. For each album, Hyatt collects field recordings from a specific place. Those recordings are then offered up to musicians of Hyatt’s choosing, who take the sonic building blocks and transform them into original compositions.
“What I do is I exchange files with other musicians and we kind of build it from there,” Hyatt says. “So, I can’t take personal credit for a lot of the music. It’s more like commissioning.”
“I’ve always been kind of a hack, self-trained musician,” Hyatt says. “I played in bands a long time ago, but I’m pretty untrained. I can’t read music — typical, electric guitar in the bedroom with a cassette four-track, and that never went away. So, I continually found myself trying to integrate that spirit into these more formalized art projects.”
The National Road was the first album in the Field Works series, and it featured the sounds of Washington Street in Indianapolis. “This one is all over the place, because it was my first one,” Hyatt says of the album. “I was really in a rush, and worked with a lot of different people. So, there are things that are bordering on ballads. Then there’s spoken word. There’s this one really weird, almost like a rap battle between this emcee and this homeless guy. So, this is all over the place.”
Filmmaker Jonathan Frey has collaborated with Hyatt to create a visual accompaniment to the Field Works albums. “Stuart is wonderful, and he is great,” Frey says. “He’s a hustler, and really brings together phenomenal artists and musicians and has a really unique vision to bring these people together. He’s always creating.”
For the second installment, Hyatt collected sounds from Indianapolis’ Pogue’s Run. The National Science Foundation funded the album, an opportunity that arose out of the place-based arts and science learning project Streamlines. The album’s A-side is designed to literally follow the course of the stream from the source, through the city, into the tunnel where it was buried by Indy’s infrastructure. The B-side of Pogue’s Run focuses on the fiction and narratives that have emerged about Pogue’s Run over the years.
“To me, Pogue’s Run is that tension between the natural and the manmade,” Hyatt says.
The final track of the album features a story by Indianapolis novelist Ben Winters that imagines if George Pogue, the man for whom the stream was named, came back to life to discover the modern metropolis atop his namesake.
Local actor Rich Komenich narrates Winters’ story and the recording features guitar by renowned Nashville picker William Tyler. Frey’s film for Pogue’s Run serves as the visual accompaniment to the final track of the LP.
“Track six doesn’t make a lot of sense until you watch this film that we shot in the tunnel, which we’re going to premiere at LUNA,” Hyatt says. “So, this is actually just the kind of outtake soundtrack to that film. The film is really awesome. I’m so excited.”
On Sunday, LUNA Music will host the album release party for the Pogue’s Run project. The festivities will feature a premiere of Frey’s short film, which Hyatt, Tyler and Komenich will accompany as a sort of live soundtrack. It will be the first and only time the music will be performed in a live setting.
“I’m going to sit there with a keyboard and trigger some samples just so I can say I played with him,” Hyatt says of Tyler.
The three subsequent Field Works albums will be released within the next 18 months, all on Hyatt’s own label Team Records. The next release is currently in the works, and it features sounds collected in Lancaster, Pennsylvania. It’s tentatively titled Born in the Ear.
Last month Hyatt spent an extensive amount of time at the Indiana State Fair collecting sounds for the fourth LP, a “wacky, dance record” entitled The Fair State. If everything goes as planned, that album will drop during the State Fair next year. The final installment of the Field Works series will attempt to imagine earth, post-humanity. Hyatt has yet to decide how he will form the recordings for such an endeavor.
As is evident, Hyatt is nothing if not ambitious. He’s also not concerned with the commercial appeal of the individual or collective releases. Hyatt finances the projects through grants and foundations, which allow him to pay the artists he collaborates with up front.
Learn more about Sunday’s Pogue’s Run release at LUNA Music via Facebook.
Written by Rob Peoni
For music fans, Record Store Day presents an annual opportunity to come out and support the very artists and establishments that make your passion possible. April 21, 2012 will mark the Fifth Annual Record Store Day. Today, Indianapolis’ LUNA Music announced its plans for the festivities. The independent establishment will have a sidewalk sale featuring $1 CDs and vinyl. Upland will be on hand offering shoppers libations. Starting at noon, LUNA will play host to a jam-packed line-up of local musicians. Check out the artists and set times, here:
Noon: Winslow (Indianapolis Debut)
1 PM: KO
2 PM: Mike Adams at His Honest Weight (Review: Oscillate Wisely)
3 PM: Sleeping Bag
5 PM: Ancient Slang
Written by Rob Peoni