The Rich Girls Are Weeping

28 February 2007

The evolution of a track, of an album, of a band. So -- giant, hearty congratulations to Shearwater on the occasion of their new deal with Matador. As the Matablog points out, this was about the worst-kept secret in the history of indie rock secrets -- even if I was able to completely keep silent about this for months out of courtesy to all the parties involved. Ha!

So, I suppose I am now allowed to say that a few months ago, on a side street off South Congress on an oppressively muggy evening, the Pinkster and I had a long, long conversation with frontman Jonathan Meiburg about the future of Shearwater? And that I told him the following, right after sort of crumpling into tears as I tried to express how important his band was (is! still is!) to me:

1) if Matador shows interest, sign with them
2) ...but whomever you sign with -- compel them to let y'all release a new version of Palo Santo the way you originally envisioned it

And look! Shearwater's on Matador! And there's a new deluxxe version of Palo Santo due April 10. New art! Vinyl version! Extra tracks! I'm glad to see people occasionally listen to my rants and blatherings. Heh. Doesn't get much better than all this -- save maybe the fact that they're touring with Xiu Xiu and Casiotone for the Painfully Alone. (Brilliant! SERIOUSLY. This is going to be the most gut-wrenchingly emotional show OF ALL TIME.)

The neatest thing about this whole process, though, (because, after all the weirdness and strife and now relief, there's got to be a papertrail somewhere...) is that we now have THREE versions of one of the best songs on the album -- "Red Sea, Black Sea" -- that serve as an interesting object lesson in the evolution of a track from demo form to well, utter perfection.

Remember the demo version, back when the song was called "Turn Your Transmitters Off?" It was so jangly and I loved the tiny windchimes. It was so evocative of standing on a high cliff, overlooking the sea -- out into the wide nothingness as giant waves crash beneath your feet. Being able to see as far as the eye could see in all directions. I remember one reader in particular loved this version more than the Palo Santo one -- but I think she'll be pleased with the re-done version. The Palo Santo version was so processed and distant and compressed -- it made you feel as if you were inside a squeezebox -- not that that was a particularly bad thing per se, but I sometimes felt that this wasn't quite what the band had in mind for the finished product. Which is something that's confirmed on the new version -- the grandness of the demo is back -- and it's bigger and more ominous and massive and there's a storm on the horizon now and it's chasing you down. The band shrieks and howls and rumbles like the winds ripping around you and the flash floods crashing through empty canyons down, down, down to the sea.

This is the eerie, unsettling, and gorgeous music we knew was lurking inside those deceptively gentle and unassuming people. Shearwater has arrived.

Shearwater -- Turn Your Transmitters Off (Red Sea, Black Sea demo version)
Shearwater -- Red Sea, Black Sea (Misra version)
Shearwater -- Red Sea, Black Sea (Matador version)


Shearwater -- Mountain Laurel
(remember when this was the first 'evil' Shearwater song?)
Shearwater -- My Good Deed
Shearwater -- Mistakes
Shearwater -- I Can't Wait

Have I mentioned how much I love this band lately? No?


I fucking love this band.

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Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm so glad this blog exists because I have body dysmorphic disorder and every time I read one of your posts I puke up all of my food and then I feel skinnier.

Wednesday, February 28, 2007 9:38:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Neat! We're a purgative!

Kiki, hon, I think they have pills for that now.

Thursday, March 01, 2007 12:34:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Dear Cindy Hotfoot:

Thank you so much for convincing us to sign to a highly respected indie label with extensive credibility, wide distribution, high name recognition, and a strong sense of professionalism.

Were it not for your guidance on that oppressively muggy day on south congress, i might have signed to skull swingers, new jersey's premiere gothabily-core label.

Furthermore, I would likely have encouraged them to re-compress all of our records at 14 kbps and re-distribute them on paper 78s.

Thank god for you, Cindy Hotpants.
Thank god.

Thursday, March 01, 2007 12:46:00 PM  
Blogger cindy hotpoint said...

Dude, I am so excited! Apparently, we're no longer untouchable by trollers and flamers.

Apparently everyone's forgotten how charming my self-importance is. I'll be sure to rectify that ASAP!

Thursday, March 01, 2007 12:59:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Also, dude needs to brush up on his Meiburg delivery. Channeling Thor might be a full contact sport though...

Thursday, March 01, 2007 1:14:00 PM  
Blogger Bret said...

You girls lack a "contact us" Feature, which is inconvienent but understandable. The raw shivering masses of the internet need to be kept at bay. However, what is one to do when they discover wonderful and strange musical concoctions? Take the Puppini Sisters, who i found out about at "Looking at them," this is information that you might want, possibly. And i have to leave it in the commments section, like a common spammer! For Shame!


Thursday, March 01, 2007 3:16:00 PM  
Blogger carolyn rhea drapes aka chacal said...

how cool is that? snaps and purgatory effects all in one page. this is something dante would have loved. keep those non-limboesque burlesque missives coming, girlies. we all need saving from those quivering masses of regurgitating redacts.

Thursday, March 01, 2007 4:32:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

(Pls. disregard beginning of this message if you were referring to somebody else who had a strong preference for the demo version...) You're so right, I LOVE the Matador version! It took all of .5 seconds, too. I was hooked as soon as I heard that thundering kick drum at the beginning. And then the fucking banjo right up in the front of the mix!!! Hallelujah, is all I have to say. Can't wait to hear the other redone songs. (Although the nerdy fangeek in me is a smidge nervous about "Hail, Mary" and "Johnny Viola" ... I love them plenty just the way they are.)

Oh, and the Xiu Xiu shows. Just kill me now, before my heart explodes out my ears. I'm flying up to Boston for the TT the Bears show, if everything goes as planned.

I can't believe how lucky I'm getting this year in regards to live music. Tool, The Police, Spoon, AND The Hold Steady at Bonnaroo, Shearwater touring with Xiu Xiu and CFTPA, and the fucking DISMEMBERMENT PLAN REUNION SHOW!!! I didn't think anything could top Okkervil River one night followed by Broken Social Scene the next night, but obviously I was very, very wrong.

Thursday, March 01, 2007 7:39:00 PM  
Blogger lal:tree said...

Well *I* still loves ya. I've been waiting for your post about this! I understand NYC is keeping you busy but C'MON! ;)

xo L

Thursday, March 01, 2007 8:15:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Shearwater is so freaking amazing, some of their songs practically break my heart from being so beautiful.

Friday, March 02, 2007 6:59:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

speaking of a "contact us" link, I second that motion. mostly because i'm totally embarrassed about how desperate i'm about to be, but not so much that I won't actually ask this. I'm just really bummed that all the New York Pipettes shows are sold out, and seeing as you guys are so in-the-know and all, I was hoping maybe maybe maybe there's some sneaky method of obtaining a ticket that I haven't yet thought of (craigslist + ebay have been exhausted).

and not that I really have to say it, but this blog is fantastic. I've been reading for almost a year now and you've made my music collection (and ears) so very happy. thanks!

Monday, March 05, 2007 10:09:00 AM  
Blogger carolyn rhea drapes aka chacal said...

read the "curated by" paragraph to locate the much-sought contact address.

Monday, March 05, 2007 4:15:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Have I mentioned how much I love ham lately? No?


I fucking love ham.

Tuesday, March 06, 2007 10:41:00 AM  
Blogger cindy hotpoint said...


Wednesday, March 07, 2007 5:10:00 PM  
Blogger cindy hotpoint said...

Sara: Yes! It was you -- thank you for leaving a comment as a reminder. (:

Wednesday, March 07, 2007 5:11:00 PM  

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