Having never paid much attention to Archers of Loaf or Crooked Fingers â€“ despite being told on numerous occasions I should â€“ I wasn’t sure what to expect from Eric Bachmann’s solo LP To The Races (out on Saddle Creek on Aug. 22). What I do know is that he is set to tour with Richard Buckner, one of my favorite artists, so I probably owed it to myself to listen. And, I gotta be honest, this is the first Saddle Creek release I’ve listened to (sorry, Bright Eyes fans).
According to a one-sheet at Saddle Creek, Bachmann wrote To The Races in June and July of 2005 “while voluntarily living in the back of his van.” Um, OK. I’m not sure why anyone would do that to themselves what with all this modern technology of running water and electricity we have. Bachmann then recorded the album in a hotel in Buxton, N.C. Is this the indie-rock Henry David Thoreau or what?
Living in a van (“down by the river!”) is either a genuine motive to reach some higher artistic power that I could never attain sitting in the comfort of my synthetic leather IKEA swivel chair or a story that looks great on a press release. I’ll guess the former.
It must have worked because To The Races is pretty gorgeous: the type of sparse, haunting acoustic storytelling that I love so much about Buckner. Their touring together seems like a natural fit.
The Buckner/Bachmann tour hits Tucson on Sept. 2 as part of the Club Congress anniversary party. (We’ll be at a wedding … which also happens to be the same day Centro-Matic plays Modified in Phoenix. This better be one hell of a wedding.)
It’s my mom’s birthday today. She probably never reads this, much less logs on to the insanity that is the information superhighway, but I thought I’d tell her happy birthday anyway. She’s on an Alaskan cruise with a good family friend whose lymphoma is in remission, and I hope they’re both having a great time.