Sunday, February 07, 2010

The Whitehaus Family Record Family Record

"A hootenanny captured in vinyl"

The artists of Jamaica Plain collective, The Whitehaus Family Record, present an onslaught of the best tracks from label artists and friends. This sampler reflects their shows called ‘hootenannies,’ which feature a wide spectrum of audible enjoyables, from slam poetry to acoustics to psychedelics. It’s a little ‘hoot’ captured in the grooves of this vinyl only double LP.

Brian S. Ellis kicks the compilation off with a feedback infiltrated poem, setting an open-minded tone with lines like, “I can be more than a planet. My body was made of music and river.” As the record progresses, each track holds something unexpected and infinitely intriguing. Playful pop tunes bubble straight into digital experiments. The fidelity of the songs range from lo to hi. Charming demos capture space and mood like seeing the musicians sitting on the carpet right in front of you. Live tracks distill the band’s energy and personality in a way that only a performance could. Then there are crisp, fully mastered, fully orchestrated professional recordings.

For those involved in the collective, the compilation is sort of a milestone and documentation. Hard evidence of the experience they’ve been having and sharing around town. As an album description, Ellis wrote a short narrative poem on their website. It’s from the perspective of a girl, tracing her time at the Whitehaus from her first awkward steps up the dark porch. Ellis tells her, “Now under your skin, a record is written of the electric stutterspit heartbeat of a place, made of movement and songs, made of history and fiction, and yes, it was written by everyone.”

The release coincides with the third annual Blastfest on March 20th. They’re an appropriate pair, as Blastfest is an all day talent show pastiche of the artists that have formed a family of sound.

// Jamaica Plain, MA //
// Released on The Whitehaus Family Record//
// March, 2010 //

Published in Performer Magazine, April 2010 issue.

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