Chamber GirlsRegular price Sale price $18.98 Save $0.00
LP comes w/ Poster Insert & Download Card.
CD is 4 Panel Digipack.
Korey Dane grew up in Long Beach, California, as a skateboarder kid with a gearhead father and an English teacher mother and with a guitar he learned to love as he learned to play, letting a few inherited books and a handful of records lead him away from home and into the great American unknown. That’s where he found his last album Youngblood, born from months exploring and hitchhiking and putting songs together piece by piece, then presented as promise and potential to veteran producer and A&R man Tony Berg (X, Public Image Ltd.). He set up in Berg’s Zeitgeist Studios and with a crew of top-notch sessioneers—just like they used to do with the Wrecking Crew during L.A.’s golden age—he hammered Youngblood into something real, releasing it with Innovative Leisure in the fall of 2015.
Then smash-cut to September of 2016, with Dane coming off tour, a relationship about to crack in a half, and his 27th birthday about to hit, just like he’d predicted—unwittingly—in his song “Hard Times.” (The day before he started recording, he’d had a fortune teller tell him hard times were coming, but that was a waste of money—he already knew that.) He was left standing at the leading edge of his new album with … well, nothing ...but his songs and a beautiful room where he could record them. Oh, and 96 hours to get it all done.
So he got it done: he tapped a few close friends to back him and cut Chamber Girls almost completely live, searing instinct and experience direct to tape at L.A.’s analog time capsule Valentine Recording Studios. He produced everything himself, too, except for a quick assist from Berg on one a song, inspired by the deceptively simple ethos he’d internalized while making Youngblood: pursue greatness. “Writing a song that you know someone might skip over later is sacrilege,” he says. Instead, he wanted every song on Chamber Girls to feel not only live but alive, too, with that go-for-broke spirit that animates everything he says, does, or sings: “I’m writing all the time,” he says. “I’ve lived by a line a day sometimes. I try and stop when it’s good. If you try and simplify it down to its bare elements … it’s truly a redemptive act.”
That’s why he calls Chamber Girls—despite those hard times, or because of them—a celebration. “It’s a rock ‘n’ roll record”, he says. It’s got a lot in it, and “it talks about important shit,” he adds. And it does—it’s poetry at velocity, a trick that goes all the way back to Dylan and the Hawks. Opener “Half Asleep” is a Westerberg-style wake-up call (“Five, four, three, two, one, gone / I'm a cloud of smoke”) and from there it’s an album made from ash and fire, with a burner like “Hard Times” (and its swaggering Big Star guitar) only steps away from the smoky but stark “Always.” “Down In The Hole” is like Tom Waits back alley cabaret by Leonard Cohen’s deathless ladies’ man. Closer “Steady Forever” is a streak of light like the hungry young Springsteen, with lyrics hiding literature and a line that catches the spirit of the whole album: “Such a strange bell we’ve been ringing / Like rock n roll on a church organ.”
You can feel it everywhere on the album and you can see it on the album cover too, with the sunlight, the shadow, the eyes closed and the hand reaching out—it’s somewhere between an awakening, a resurrection and a last goodbye all at once, shot at that special half-there time of day that could be sunrise as easily as sunset. It’s a moment when possibility is endless, and when the past and the future and the hard times and good times find a perfect instant of sublime balance. Chamber Girls started as an ode to those who stay at home, Dane says, but you know how it goes: you can’t love your home if you don’t ever leave your home, and part of Chamber Girls is that mythic trip between the unknown and the known. In that very first second before he started this album, Dane was standing in the wreckage of everything he’d had planned for so long—but then he stepped through that studio door and made the record anyway. And in a way, Chamber Girls is the story of that step.
Youngblood Cassette TapeRegular price $6.00 Save $0.00
Korey Dane Youngblood album on cassette.
YoungbloodRegular price Sale price $14.98 Save $0.00
CD is a 4 Panel Digipack.
LP comes w/ Poster Insert & Digital Download Card.
Prufrock had the Emperor of Ice Cream in a headlock when the roar of a ’37 Triumph Speed Twin made them both forget what they were fighting about. In walked an Anglo-Cherokee-Japanese skateboarder. “I’m Korey Dane, and you’re both acting like children.”
He had ridden from Joshua Tree where his father was rebuilding a 1953 Chevy Hardtop. “I’ve put my board away, gentlemen, and I’ve picked up a guitar. I figure the board will never really let me say what I want to say, and frankly, nothing makes me cry like the 3 minor chord.” The table was cleared for a round of Old Pulteneys as Korey Dane began his tale of woe and redemption.
“I’m twenty-five years old. My mother handed me East of Eden when Iwas twelve and I’ve never been the same since. Neither has she. Mom and Dad headed in opposite directions; academe called her name and Dad, well Dad drove into the desert until he ran out of gas. And there he hung his hat. I tumbled for a while...and grumbled. But four wheels brought me where I needed to go. I probably did a little too much of this and way too much of that, but that’s ok. I’m better for it. Lera says I’ve still got a long way to go. Hell, she’s from Ukraine, for Christ’s sake. She should know.
“Luckily, I heard and saw some things; Tom Waits, Bruce Davidson, Bob Dylan, Joni Mitchell, Aaron Embry, The Beatles and the Stones, Blake Mills, Mark Gonzales, Karen Dalton, and the ‘Mats. Hitching across the country is like a 72-day answer to the question, ‘What’s the worst thing that could happen?’ Well, I’ve gathered a lot of answers to that question. But the bestthing that could happen was going around the country until I found myself back home. Listen to me. I’m Dorothy fucking Gale!
“Home is where I decided to take a position. Orville Gibson and Ernie Ball were my earliest accomplices. The three of us were sequestered for a couple of years until we all agreed I needed to step outside. I played for a few friends and nobody hit me. I felt this might work out.
“I rolled some Legend of 91 and got to work. A hundred songs...three of them decent. Then I slept for three days. Woke up and wrote a hundred more. This time, two of them were worthwhile. This wasn’t going well. After a while I met some folks. They were nice. They were encouraging. And they said, ‘Surely you can do better than this.’ They introduced me to a man—a cruel man—who made me do things no man should have to do. Scansion, modulation, chromaticism...he was mean and relentless.
“But here I sit. Open to whatever comes. You’re both older gentlemen, now. Go home to your wives, your families. I feel ready.”
The three of them went their respective ways. Prufrock and the Emperor are now long gone.
Korey Dane is standing right outside your door.
Jules Verne b/w Fade Into YouRegular price $8.99 Save $0.00
Limited-Edition 7" Vinyl featuring an exclusive B-Side Cover of Mazzy Star's 'Fade Into You'