Saturday, November 29, 2014

Concert Review + Photos | Ha Ha Tonka + John Henry + Bo and the Locomotive at Off Broadway in St. Louis

Ha Ha Tonka, backstage after their second encore of the evening | Photo by Jason Gonulsen

I see me as I was, you as you were
Me as I was, you as you were
Before the color began to bleed
Out of us

One day all of this will end. The post-Thanksgiving Ha Ha Tonka shows in St. Louis, often held at Off Broadway, will give way to another tradition, with a new audience, a new band. There will be new shirts to sell, new craft beers to drink, new songs to sing. One day we'll look back and wonder where all the time went. One day we're gonna miss our friends.

And really, a part of Ha Ha Tonka died last night. The show was in a sense the last of its kind, as drummer Lennon Bone will be leaving the band at the end of the year, not because of discord or a wound that won't heal. The truth is that he's got a new family now, a baby girl, a new beginning. A new place to call home.

But last night, we still had the original Ha Ha Tonka, a band from Springfield, Missouri, singing about color and how it fades. Singing about lessons, about them being the same -- about how those lessons absolutely can't stay the same.  About being dead to the world, and how that really can't happen if any of this is to continue.

Continue it must. There is still thunder in songs like "Lessons" and "Rewrite Our Lives." There is still feeling in "Lonely Fortunes," which will always be one of my favorite songs to sing on road trips. How can you not think of a better future while singing that song? How can any of this not go on?

Three years ago, Ha Ha Tonka played the Austin City Limits Music Festival, in the midst of a three-month drought. Not a single drop of rain in 90 days, until during their set when the skies opened, drenching everyone in the audience. Except no one took cover. If anything, it enhanced the experience.

And that's how I'll remember last night. It might have signaled an end of an era, but that fact only heightened the show's spirit.

Because even as things end, there still lies promise.

Me as I was. You as you were.

The color bleeds, but we'll always remember.

// Words and photos by Jason Gonulsen //



Photos | Primus at the Orpheum Theatre in Phoenix

Primus recently made a stop in Phoenix at the Orpheum Theatre, and Speakers in Code photograher Joe O'Toole was on hand to shoot the show.

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

50 Songs for Thanksgiving | "Music is the Healing Force"

Photo by Jason Gonulsen

MUSIC IS THE HEALING FORCE. Thanks for the reminder, Vintage Vinyl.

We'd like to thank everyone for reading our words, viewing our photos, and commenting on both. It's been a great year, and it's not over yet.

As we sometimes like to do, we made a playlist for your travels today and tomorrow, however near or far you roam. It's our small gift to you. Listen below, or subscribe to the playlist here.

Monday, November 24, 2014

Jam of the Day | Houndmouth - For No One

Photo by Jason Gonulsen

I do it all for you
But I'd do it for no one

This is brave because it's simple. It's also brave because it's not exactly what you'd expect from Houndmouth, a four-piece from New Albany, Indiana, who you would just assume give us another "On The Road." But I always got a sense that Houndmouth bored with that type of song, maybe because they wrote it in "like ten minutes." And, really, this is no pop band.

Let's have a listen to "For No One,"a single from "new sessions" that will hopefully lead to a new album in 2015.

Thursday, November 20, 2014

Jam of the Day | Bartholomäus Traubeck - Picea (Spruce)

via Bandcamp

Austrian composer Bartholomäus Traubeck's Years is one of only a handful of wholly unique listening experiences I've had this year, and I can't wait for you to experience it.

Traubeck took sections of wood from different varieties of trees that grow in his homeland and converted the tree ring patterns into music. Sounds wild, right? It is. Strength, thickness and rate of growth data from the sections was used to generate piano music built upon a scale that was determined by the visual properties of the wood.

Take a listen below:

Photos | Sturgill Simpson at the Rhythm Room in Phoenix

All photos by Joe O'Toole

Sturgill Simpson, who released one of our favorite albums of 2014, Metamodern Sounds in Country Music, performed at the Rhythm Room in Phoenix on Tuesday, and Speakers in Code photographer Joe O'Toole was there to capture these great shots of the show.