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KRAMER

Kramer

And The Wind Blew It All Away

    Celebrated as a collaborator, producer and champion for some of the most boundary-pushing artists of the post-punk era, the musical ringleader known as Kramer is emerging from a pandemic-year gestation period with his first solo collection of original songs since 1998. The 10-track And the Wind Blew It All Away is the culmination of Kramer’s 2020 stint as Artist-In-Residence for Indianapolis-based Joyful Noise Recordings. The indie label’s goal was to provide a forum for his original material and support a revival of his groundbreaking but long-dormant Shimmy-Disc label, whose roster has included Daniel Johnston, GWAR, Jad Fair, King Missile, the Boredoms, and Kramer’s bands Bongwater and Shockabilly.

    The central product of the residency was a subscription-only, limited-edition, five-LP box set. Although the subscriptions sold out, 75 copies are being released for retail-only sales in a gesture of support for independent record stores. Wind is the fifth installment of the set, which is also available in digital form. Shimmy-Disc and Joyful Noise are partnering on the album’s release as a standalone statement. Like the project’s other sides, Wind was mixed on a vintage tube console from the historic United Western Recorders studio in Hollywood, where the Wrecking Crew played sessions for the Beach Boys’ Pet Sounds and Smile, Love’s Forever Changes and the Mamas & the Papas’ biggest hits, among other activities. Kramer – whose production credits also include Galaxie 500, Will Oldham, White Zombie, Low and Urge Overkill – performed all the instruments and vocals on the record, which features nine new songs and closes with a cover of Leonard Cohen’s “Winter Lady.” The album’s vibe is meditative and atmospheric, Kramer’s vocals ghostly but not unfriendly. Musically, it’s a gentle and magical mystery tour of simmering electric guitars, acoustic string instruments, organs, pianos and mellotrons, tape loops, reversed tracks, found sounds and a bare minimum of percussion. Lyrically, weather metaphors seem to represent personal, emotional entanglements.

    In typically cryptic fashion, Kramer described the mood that fueled the writing and recording. “A terrifying wind is coming,” he said. “I recorded this LP as I wondered, through sound and song, if I’ll ever collaborate on making music with another artist by my side again, or live to see another New Year’s Eve, or ever hear my daughter’s voice again, or ever Love again. Time will darken it. It always does. “Do I really want to be the last man standing, in a wind like this one?” Yet, from those dark origins, Kramer has crafted an achingly beautiful and ultimately hopeful song cycle that conveys a full spectrum of emotion while retaining a cohesive and distinctive sound. And the Wind Blew It All Away is a record that can stand its ground.

    TRACK LISTING

    Side A.

    1. Falling Skies
    2. In The Rain
    3. The Wind
    4. The Crying
    5. No Words

    Side B.

    6. In Absentia
    7. The Heartache
    8. She Knows
    9. The Killing
    10. Winter Lady

    Kramer

    Words & Music, Book One

      Spoken word recordings from Gregory Corso, Tina May Hall, Sam Lipsyte, Christine Schutt, Gary Lutz, Allen Ginsberg, Dawn Raffel, Jason Schwartz, Kathryn Scanlan, Scott McClanahan, & Terry Southern. About 40 years ago, in a record shop on Long Island during a weekend visit there to see my parents, i found a double-LP that looked like something i should definitely buy. It was called "BIG EGO", by the The DIAL-a-POEM POETS. On the cover was a picture of John Giorno (a great poet Ed Sanders had turned me on to) on a NYC rooftop with Philip Glass, Meredith Monk, and two kids. It cost $2. I bought it and rushed back to my parents house, where i still had my old turntable in the basement, not far from my Jimi Hendrix and Zappa Crappa posters, and my framed portrait of John Cage.

      My copy of Eno's "Discreet Music" was still on the turntable, having been left there years before, when i'd fled Long Island for good. I lifted it from the platter, gently slid it back into its sleeve, like a priceless religious artifact, and put Side A of the Dial-a-Poem LP on. I almost lost my mind while listening to it. The next day i went back to the same record shop looking for more DIAL-A-POEM LP's. i found two. One had a long list of names on the back, some famous, and some i'd never heard of before. I bought both LP's, and an hour later, for the first time in my life, i was exposed to the art of Laurie Anderson, whom i'd never heard of before. This was 1978. Her contribution was a piece called "Time To Go". It changed my life. Or at least, that’s how I remember it. I was just a kid, so there were a lot of moments like that, around then. Nowadays, these moments can be had in seconds, with a click of the cursor. That evening, as i sat alone by my imaginary campfire (ie; that record player in my parents basement), i promised myself that someday, somehow, i would embark upon a WORDS & MUSIC project that might move people the same way i was moved when i first heard Laurie, and Robert Wilson & Christopher Knowles, and Burroughs, and Ginsberg, and Corso, and Anne Waldman, and John Ashbery, and the great Charles Olson, and so many others.

      Words, for the very first time, had wielded the same power as music. And it was visceral. Just like music. It ran deep. It was a FEELING. John Giorno died in 2019, but he kept poetry alive like nobody's business. I was lucky enough to have spent some time with him in the early 1980's, when i was briefly a member of The Fugs, and often found myself surrounded by those Ginsberg called, "...the greatest minds of my generation". Ed Sanders (who'd ushered me into that scene) once told me that when he came to NYC, it was easy to go to a cafe, or to St Marks Church, and hear Burroughs, Corso, Ginsberg, and all the greats, reading their poetry. He said that even if you were just a bum on the street, you could just walk right up to them, and start a conversation.

      They were totally accessible, if they were in the right mood at that particular moment. So i was shocked when Sanders told me he didn't approach any of them, not even once, til he'd been going to their readings for nearly ten years. "For almost a decade, I went to every reading, every lecture, every panel discussion. But I never went near them. Never approached them. Not even once", Sanders told me. "For ten years, all I did, was listen." It took me four decades, but ... better late than never. I finally made WORDS & MUSIC, Book One.

      TRACK LISTING

      Side A

      1. Army
      2. The Extinction Museum
      3. Home Land
      4. An Unseen Hand Passed Over Their Bodies
      5. It Collects In Me

      Side B

      6. At Apollinaire’s Grave
      7. Fresh, Blood
      8. Jackal Pattern
      9. Vagrants
      10. James
      11. Surrealist Dialog / A Proclamation

      Jad Fair & Kramer

      The History Of Crying

        JAD FAIR has been one of the premiere artists of the American Indie Music scene since the late 1970’s. He has recorded with many of the best musicians and bands in the history of the world, including Half Japanese, Yo La Tengo, Daniel Johnston, R. Stevie Moore, Teenage Fanclub, Moe Tucker, The Pastels, Danielson, and KRAMER. He's released over 50 albums. Not content with being a pretty boy rock & roll legend, Jad is also an accomplished artist, and has had 16 books of his art published in Europe, Japan and America. He and Kramer have worked together since Kramer produced two seminal LP’s from Half Japanese in the 1980’s; MUSIC TO STRIP BY, and THE BAND WHO WOULD BE KING.

        They first collaborated as a duo in 1988 when they released ROLL OUT THE BARREL, and then again ten years later with THE SOUND OF MUSIC. KRAMER is a world unto himself. After paying his dues for 5 years with Eugene Chadbourne in both The Cadbourne’s and Shockabilly, Kramer joined the BUTTHOLE SURFERS in 1985 but only remained with the band through their first European tour before departing and establishing NOISE NEW YORK, his own 16-track recording studio in NYC. It was there that he founded his notorious SHIMMY-DISC record label, producing and releasing music by artists as diverse as DANIEL JOHNSTON, KING MISSILE, GWAR, GALAXIE 500, PUSSY GALORE, and his own bands, B.A.L.L. and BONGWATER. He then moved to a state-of-the-art 24track recording studio, Noise New Jersey, where he produced some of the greatest recordings by WILL OLDHAM, URGE OVERKILL (“Girl, You’ll Be A Woman Soon” - for the Pulp Fiction Soundtrack), DANIELSON, and the first two LP’s by LOW. THE HISTORY OF CRYING is JAD FAIR & KRAMER’s third collaboration, and their first in almost 20 years; 12 brand new songs produced by Kramer at his Florida studio, Noise Miami. Longtime fans of Jad Fair will be stunned by how he SINGS on this LP. No other LP in Jad’s storied career features him singing complex melodies in the manner he does here. From a life in music spanning over 40 years, It is unlike anything he has ever done before, and it is a wondrous thing to behold. Jad SINGS! This LP also features guitar solos by PAUL LEARY (BUTTHOLE SURFERS), whose contributions to this LP cannot be overestimated. BS fans will go hog wild. 

        TRACK LISTING

        1/Red Red Sun
        2/I Wanna Make A Movie
        3/The History Of Crying
        4/I Won’t Eat Til You Come Back To Me
        5/I’ll Give You The Moon
        6/Pickpockets Of Love
        7/Do You Really Need A Map To My Heart
        8/All I Need Is A Kiss
        9/Analog Warmth
        10/You Cripple Me
        11/Tearjerker


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