Record Store Day is less than a week away. If you’re like us, you’ve had it circled on your calendar for months. It’s a great opportunity to score exclusive vinyl and support your local record store. If you’ll be in the NYC area on Record Store Day, come celebrate with us! On April 18th we’ll be cutting a record live with Sondre Lerche at the Rough Trade store in Brooklyn. It’s a thrill to be a part of Rough Trade’s fantastic Record Store Day event, and we hope you can be there.
A new season breaks through and we are filled with the promise it brings. Exciting new music and screenings and big, big news are all ahead. The 78 Project this Spring is green with new growth. And we wanted to start by sharing with you a performance from our California trip, the sweet and wistful flipside to the beautiful acetate we cut with John Reilly and Tom Brosseau for The 78 Project Movie.
John Reilly & Tom Brosseau – “Single Girl, Married Girl”
Shot in Pasadena, CA, January, 2013
In 1932 George Saliba, inventor of our Presto, wrote a book called Home Recording and All About It, a punk rock title if ever there was one. And we’ve felt like The 78 Project was at many times a very punk rock endeavor. Lugging the gear through gardens, up mountainsides, around the country. We and our artist collaborators are always stripping it down, rolling up our sleeves, improvising, and always at the moment of truth, performing passionately.
It is why, when we were introduced to Joe Jack Talcum of Dead Milkmen by the gracious folks at the International House Philadelphia, and when he agreed to cut a record live at our Philadelphia screening of The 78 Project Movie earlier this month, we were thrilled. It felt like a perfect fit for the DIY, come-what-may nature of this journey, and for what was very much a hometown screening, a return to our Delaware Valley roots.
Joe’s “Railroad Bill” rides the rails and conducts his life with abandon and glee. And his story unfolds, twists and turns in exactly that spirit over the course of Joe’s vivid, driving performance.
Joe Jack Talcum – “Railroad Bill”
Shot at the International House in Philadelphia, PA, January, 2015
Recorded at the International House in Philadelphia, PA on January 15, 2015
When we enter into a New Year, we are never sure what we will find. We can look back on the year past and count all the things that happened most unexpectedly, both challenging and wonderful, but we will never know what the year ahead holds until we begin to live it.
As we cue up 2015 on the turntable of time, we feel optimistic.
It’s a most beautiful trait in human beings, our ability to marvel at what is possible. To delight in potential and progress. It helps us through otherwise trying times. We have found this to be true all year as we forged new paths in our journey, released two soundtrack albums and a feature film, cut records, put many more thousands of miles on the car, improvised, attempted to innovate, came out alive and happy.
All of this is why this found souvenir recording of two sisters at the 1939 New York World’s Fair – bought months ago without knowing its contents purely because it was made on a Presto – seemed like just the right tone to usher in the New Year. The record begins with the host at the Macy’s Pavilion asking, Celeste, won’t you tell me what you think of the worlds fair? To which Celeste replies, Why it’s simply wonderful…
There are many things in 2015 that we can’t know yet to expect. But we are looking forward with wonder and awe, to the year ahead and what it will bring. And we are looking back with gratitude at the year we’ve just lived and all the things it contained that we never could have wished for, but wanted more than anything.
We love a gentle winter lullaby and a sweet, cheery carol, but sometimes your holidays just need a little holler. That’s why we wanted to share this recording from our nationwide theatrical release tour to screen The 78 Project Movie.
This September as we journeyed once again across the country, we made a stop in Little Rock, AR, where The Oxford American presented a screening of The 78 Project Movie in the beautiful CALS Ron Robinson Theater. Onstage after the screening, local musician Adam Faucett joined us to craft a very distinctive live 78. Adam wowed us all with his mighty voice, performing “Moonshiner” a capella. It’s a performance that remains as commanding on record as it was in the room.
Thank you again to Adam Faucett, our great friends at the Oxford American and everyone who came out to see the film screen in Little Rock.
We enjoy traveling immensely, whether it’s for filming or for screenings of the film. But there’s no place like home, and there’s no time to be there that is quite as warm as the winter. These last two weeks at home as the holidays have drawn closer, we’ve been thinking about all of that for which we’re deeply grateful. The opportunity to connect with you through music and film, in person and online, is the thing we find ourselves most thankful for this year.
Being at home also reminds us of the very first time The 78 Project Movie screened in our hometown of New York, and we wanted to share that happy memory with you this holiday weekend, by streaming the one-of-a kind acetate The Big Bright cut that night.
When we were fortunate to be invited to premiere our movie at the Film Society of Lincoln Center’s Walter Reade Theater this past August, we wanted to make it an unforgettable evening. But even with all our excitement and preparation, we couldn’t have dreamed how beautiful the night would turn out to be. That is thanks to the overwhelming support of our family, contributors, friends and fantastic New York filmgoers, and also because of the stunning recording by The Big Bright.
Without the need for amplification, the music was alive and sweet. The gentle harmonies of Fiona McBain and Liz Tormes and the sweet drone of Glenn Patscha’s pump organ lured us all closer, to the edges of seats, our senses piqued by the deep feeling of the performance. We were all hushed in our hope to drink in every part, every second, of those three minutes.
Thank you again to The Big Bright, our friends at the Film Society of Lincoln Center and everyone who came out to see the film screen in New York City for the very first time.
Touring to bring The 78 Project Movie to theaters and to watch the film together with audiences has been a gift to us. It’s given us a whole new set of memorable experiences. Making the movie brought us into new places and introduced us to new friends, and showing the movie has once again been a journey of connections and momentous events.
We traveled to Athens, GA in September on the invitation of the Athens Ciné, an independent movie theater run by truly the kindest, coolest folks, and Patterson Hood generously offered to join us there to cut a live 78 after the screening. Patterson sang a warm and visceral rendition of “Tramp in the Rain,” a family song from his childhood. As all of us in the room let out the breath we had been holding during his performance, Patterson explained that his grandmother sang the song to him when he was a child, as a lullaby at night. He had learned his words, and the subtle and sure style of singing them, from her.
Thank you again to Patterson, the fine folks at the Athens Ciné, and everyone who came out to see the film.
We hope you’ll be able to see The 78 Project Movie on the big screen. Take a look at our sidebar for a new batch of screenings coming up both in the U.S. and abroad.