Tuesday, January 15, 2019

Berlin Trilogy / New Album / Playlists

1) Bowie’s Berlin Trilogy recordings for sale

After months of rehearsal, three epic performances, and three weeks of mixing and mastering, Shearwater’s 2018 live performances of David Bowie’s Berlin Trilogy of Low“Heroes”, and Lodger are finally available for you to hear, in the way we’d like them to be heard.   They’re for sale on our Bandcamp page.

Due to copyright restrictions, we can’t stream samples of the shows online (or allow downloads of individual tracks) – so we have them for sale as 3 individual albums, or as a complete 31-song playlist.

This is the only way to download them; and they sound really, really good.  WNYC’s team of engineers recorded the performances beautifully, and Dan Duszynski (from Loma) and I spent nearly 100 hours mixing and mastering the performances, bringing out as many of the details as we could; and they’re 24-bit, high-quality .wav files.

All the versions for sale include printable album artwork and credits, and a scan of the programs issued to audience members during the concert series; we also have a limited number of tote bags remaining that we made for the performances.

It might be difficult to hear a sample.ย newsounds.org, where the shows were broadcast in January, doesn’t have them up anymore. You can tune into their excellent online radio station and hope that a rerun plays.

Otherwise, you’ll just have to take my word for it that the shows were a highlight of our performing lives. It was like doing a study of a giant, supremely detailed painting, and trying to do justice to these strange and beautiful records was a learning experience I’d recommend to any musician.  And it was an honor (for me) to work with such an insanely talented ensemble.

As I’ve said before, I have no interest in becoming a cover bandโ€”and I feel a little silly having issued two separate versions of Lodger before a new Shearwater full-length.  But these really were special performances;  and it seemed perverse to simply issue our versions of Low and “Heroes”. Also, I think you’ll find that this version of Lodger differs quite a bit from our 2016 take; it’s a much larger band in a much larger room, with a live audience, and has a different energy about it. In some ways it’s much better.

But I expect these will be the last recordings of material by another artist that SW will release for quite some time.   Note, before you ask: We are hoping to be able to issue these as a 3xLP set someday; but and we’re not certain if that can really happen (or when).  

2) Streaming playlists

We’ve been working on getting our online presence caught up with the rest of the world. You can now follow us on Bands In Town as well as on Songkick, so you’ll never miss a show again.

You’ll also notice we have been modernizing our pages on the various streaming systems as well. We’ve posted some streaming playlists you can enjoy today. If you’re here, you probably know all the songs included, but perhaps it might be a useful way to share with friends.

3) New Shearwater album news

In the next few months, I’ll be starting a crowdfunding initiative to fund the production of a new Shearwater albumโ€”a follow-up to 2016’s Jet Plane and Oxbow.  There’s a new Loma album in the works right now that I’ll be working on in February/March, so I’m hoping to clear the decks to start a new SW project in the fall of this year (if I can summon up the scratch to do it). I’ll have more details about this soon.

This has been the longest period without making a Shearwater album, for me, since 2001; but I’ve been glad for the chance to stretch out in some new ways, and looking forward to making something really special.   

I hope it’s been a good start to 2019 for you, wherever you may beโ€”and thank you, as always, for listening and supporting me/us on this journey.  

JM / SW