Tuesday, December 14th, 2010
In The Dirt
Review of S. Carey’s All We Grow and giveaway
Cameron WittingIt doesn’t seem like much of a selling point to be the drummer in the band that’s generally held to be a pseudonym for the songwriter and frontman. But for Sean Carey, who works under the name of S. Carey, the Bon Iver connection is much more than a marketing angle.
While Carey’s debut solo effort All We Grow wasn’t recorded in solitude, ensconced in a rural Wisconsin cabin – it was assembled piecemeal over time between tours – it taps into a similar emotional wellspring as For Emma, Forever Ago. Built on layers of Carey’s gentle vocals and wrapped in gently insistent piano motifs, stark yet complex percussion and raw guitar work, All We Grow is hypnotic, meditative and suffused with a serene sort of longing. It’s the sort of record that could simultaneously lull you to sleep while reminding you of an unshakeable ache in your heart.
Many found For Emma an unbearably beautiful record – I wasn’t one of them. I liked it and certainly understood what people found so emotionally resonant about it, but it didn’t strike that chord in me like it did others. All We Grow, on the other hand, hits much closer to the mark. If Justin Vernon makes the next Bon Iver record into more of a band-crafted affair and Carey can contribute some of the depth that he’s infused his own work with, the results could be devastating.
The Daily Iowan talks to Sean Carey, who is currently on tour and will be at the Horseshoe Tavern in Toronto this Sunday, December 19. Tickets for the show are $11.50 in advance but courtesy of Collective Concerts, I’ve got two pairs of passes to give away for the show. To enter, email me at contests AT chromewaves.net with “I want to see S Carey” in the subject line and your full name in the body. Contest closes at midnight, December 16.
Mark Kozelek finally returns to Toronto – he cancelled his last scheduled visit in June of 2008. This time, he’s scheduled to play Lee’s Palace on March 22 as part of a solo tour supporting Sun Kil Moon’s latest Admiral Fell Promises.
Not content to be known for records, rock operas and possibly plays, Colin Meloy of The Decemberists talks to Spinner about his literary ambitions – his novel Wildwood is currently in the editing stage. The new Decemberists record The King Is Dead is out on January 18 and they’ll be at The Sound Academy on February 1.
There was some disappointment when it was revealed that The Radio Dept.’s forthcoming Passive Aggressive compilation wouldn’t be a total rarity treasure trove as originally hoped, but a mix of singles and b-sides that would be of limited value to people who’d collected the band’s one-offs over the years. That disappointment has been allayed some with the announcement that the collection will be released on double vinyl in an edition limited to 2000 pieces and available for pre-order exclusively from Insound. I will leave you all to claim the other 1999 yourselves. The set is out January 25 and they play Lee’s Palace on February 7. And they have a new video.
Video: The Dø – “Slippery Slope”