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(Editorial Director of Music)
January 13, 2018 (Saturday) - As Leonard Feather and Nat Hentoff were to jazz journalism of the 1950s and 1960s, so is Jessica Hopper to music journalism (rock and genres otherwise) of the 1990s and early 21st century. Jessica Hopper currently serves as the editorial director of music at MTV News. She has done duty as the editor-in-chief of the Pitchfork Review. She has penned pages for the Chicago Tribune, The Village Voice, SPIN, and GQ, to scratch but the surface of her written compendium. Hopper is the author of two books: The Girls' Guide to Rocking, and The First Collection of Criticism by a Living Female Rock Critic. The latter was featured in the New York Times Review of Books. She has been interviewed by Newsweek and Time. More vaunted than all this, (and all that), in our eyes, is Hopper's unmitigated voice supporting and defending the place of women in the music industry. By turns subtle and razor-sharp, Hopper never hesitates to brand as "foul play" the all-too-typical practices and behaviors of male chauvinism, as found enshrined and protected in the tower. For all of these reasons, and then some, we are delighted to embed this screenshot for posterity, commemorating one fine day back in September 2017, when Jessica Hopper took a moment on her Twitter Feed to remark upon the merits of the album Shaky by Thayer Sarrano. Many, many thanks, sent by way of Athens, GA, due north, to a place called Chi-Town.
To bump the Hopper commemoration up a notch, we thought we would take this occasion to unveil some photographs that are now a year-old this very month. The photographs are of the Thayer Sarrano String Chamber Ensemble, performing at the Flicker Theatre on January 20th, 2017. The Chamber was constituted on this occasion by, moving left to right: JoJo Glidewell (vox), William T. Kissane (vox), Sarrano herself (vox, guitar), Keiko Ishibashi (violin), Maria Kindt (viola), Elijah Neesmith (bass), and Will Taylor (cello). This show was part of the annual Camp In Festival in Athens, Georgia. Camp In is the East Coast mirror of the West Coast Camp Out, two showcases hosted by two immortal headliners Camper Van Beethoven (namesake) and Cracker. Thayer Sarrano joined both Camper and Cracker for their respective sets across that weekend, playing keys and contributing vocals. You can read our original write-up of that event here in our Vaulted Archives. You can also visit the full gallery page, replete with all the photos of the Sarrano String Chamber Ensemble séance here. If you examine the photographs closely, you can spy Mr. David Lowery himself, sitting on the Camper / Cracker frontman row to the left, wearing the jazzy hep-cat lid (or "hat," for ye layfolk and squares).
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April 11, 2018 (Wednesday) - The 5 Spot hosts the shoegaze gospel pedal pyrotechnics of Thayer Sarrano this evening in Nashville, Tennessee. Sarrano is joined by two other bands, contributing each a set of their own. There is the Melbourne-native (as in Australia, neither Québec nor Kentucky, folks) Jo Schornikow, who in 2012 released her album – First Time, Long Time – alongside an EP – What Could Have Been – that same year. There is the NY-native Peace Police, which is the new musical project of Francesco Saxton. Our most subtle readership will recognize this as that particular Francesco Saxton of Heaven’s Jail, with whom the mighty Thayer Sarrano Band performed in tandem, back in September 2016, at Berlin in New York City. Should you doubt the inkpots of we monks, know thee well that a most supple memory is housed in our Archives, thwarting not only any and all protestations of hindsight, but also the future Godspeed obsolescence of Facebook. In honor, for nostalgia’s sake, and that of the future, we’ve trotted out below the tour poster of that Berlin date of yore, as photographed by that stately lens craftsman of Curtis Wayne Millard Studio. You can catch the new Peace Police video for the new single "Hard Time Hanging on to Me" video right here.
(Photo Art: CWM Studio)
(Poster Art: Travis Trevisan)
March 3, 2018 (Saturday) - Live at The Cobra, in Nashville, is Thayer Sarrano. Her set this evening is in support of Tape Deck Mountain, all to honor that band's freshly released record - Echo Chamber Blues (2018). Tape Deck Mountain are Nashville-transplants by way of San Diego. Also appearing tonight is The Inscape, similarly Nashville by way of California -- apparently, you turn right on the Pacific Coast Highway and just keep driving. Brazenly breaking the mold this evening are Those Far Out Arrows, en route from Omaha, Nebraska. Each of these acts boasts several albums to their credit. In addition to Echo Chamber Blues, the Tape Deck Mountain catalog features: Sway (2013), and Ghost (2009), alongside a couple of EPs. The Inscape catalog claims: We're All Wrong (2017), Paradise Lost and Other Sounds (2014), and No Expectations (2012). The turntable of Those Far Out Arrows is likewise stacked three-high: Where Are You? (2016), From the Sun (2016), and a self-titled debut from 2014. Thayer Sarrano claims Shaky (2015), Lift Your Eyes to the Hills (2012), and King (2009). Providing the umbrella for tonight's meteor shower at The Cobra is the The Nashville Psych Alliance, proudly going where country music has never gone before. Silver Cord Cinema kindly proffers light-craft.
January 27, 2018 (Saturday) - The 5 Spot Revisited. Thayer Sarrano. She's the one doing the revisiting. Out on Highway 65 (It's an Interstate, actually.) Courtesy of Cold Lunch Recordings, Sarrano performs live at this East Nashville venue of world reputation. Our spurious readership will recall, if their memory stands whatsoever to any purpose, that this same Cold Lunch was responsible, two weeks ago, for the Cold Lunch Cares Coat Drive, which went down at H.O.M.E. (Helping Our Music Evolve), also along the banks of the Cumberland. In addition to Sarrano, three other bands take The 5 Spot stage this evening. There is Brooklyn-based headliner Soft Fangs, whose latest album -- Fractures -- from 2017, is out on Disposable America. Previous Soft Fangs adventures into the recorded medium include: The Light (EIS Records, 2016), and a self-titled EP from 2014, (again on Disposable). Two Nashville-based bands round up tonight's bill. There is Summer Palace, with an EP - Summer Callus - to their credit. There is Zook, whose own EP of that same year of 2017 - Carrots - is likewise available on Bandcamp.
According to our extensive Scriptorium Archives, where prolix is the norm, and which may occasionally overstate things for effect, but which would never intentionally lead anyone astray, at least not too far along the paths of our paradisiacal gardens, Thayer Sarrano last invaded The 5 Spot in September of 2017. On that occasion, it was the inimitable Cosmic Thug Records who hosted the proceedings. This evening Cold Lunch Recordings acts as the surrogate. Many thanks to them both.