The 78 Project at Rough Trade NYC for Record Store Day

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.

More info and the full concert lineup are on Rough Trade’s website.

If you’re closer to Minneapolis, Pepito’s Parkway Theater is hosting a special Record Store Day screening of The 78 Project Movie. It’s part of a great double feature starting Saturday, April 18 at 6:00 pm. Tickets are available on The Parkway Theater website.

Record Store Day is the perfect time to crate dig at your local record store for your copy of The Original Soundtrack to The 78 Project Movie on vinyl if you haven’t already!

Leave You Not Alone: Watch and hear Jackson Lynch’s “Roving Cowboy” recording from the Brooklyn Folk Festival

There was a mood of fellowship in the Bell House the April morning we arrived with our Presto, a feeling in the air that anything could happen, and that anyone at any time might break out into beautiful song. So many people milling around at the Brooklyn Folk Fest that afternoon were great musicians, and every soul in the room an appreciator.

The spontaneity of the day led us to recording a side with Jackson Lynch, and as we always are when struck by good fortune, we were grateful to opportunity and appreciative of the musical talent that continues to grace us. Jackson performed the 19th Century Western Ballad “Roving Cowboy” with his fiddle bow gliding in a long journey across the strings. Like the cowboy of the song, never to settle, headed to who knows where.


 

Also, hear and see John Cohen’s recording “Danville Girl” from the other side of our Brooklyn Folk Festival acetate.

Thanks again to Eli Smith, the Bell House, John Cohen, Jackson Lynch and all the musicians, organizers and folks who came out to the Brooklyn Folk Festival.

Look Up, Look Down: Watch and hear John Cohen’s “Danville Girl” recording from the Brooklyn Folk Fest

Our afternoon workshop at the 5th annual Brooklyn Folk Fest felt momentous. It was finally Spring! It was Record Store Day! It was the midpoint in a weekend of exceptional folk music, a gathering of some of the finest musicians and most enthusiastic appreciators around. And we were honored to be scheduled just before Anna Lomax presented her father’s film “Ballads, Blues and Bluegrass.” We were among friends and fellows, with legendary banjo player and historian John Cohen in front of our mic.

Thanks again to Eli Smith, the Bell House, John Cohen, Jackson Lynch and all the musicians, organizers and folks who came out to the Brooklyn Folk Festival.

 

Night Will Come: Hear Leah Siegel’s 78

How did we imagine things when we were children picturing our adult lives? Exciting and strange, moving more quickly than the quiet creep of childhood, and painted in much broader strokes inside much more confident outlines. We would fill our houses with grass instead of furniture. And when we fell in love, we would be held fast in strong arms or gentle, delicate hands, and kissed as the sparkling night kept us safe.

We met Leah Siegel in that fantastic possibility, in a mischievous loft with grass instead of carpet, the magical surroundings completed by ladders leading to hideaways and a forest wall scattered with glittering stars. And when the Presto was nestled snugly in the soft ground, she sang of a whimsical and lovely romance contained in the smallest most innocent of gestures.

Our beautiful early hopes and feelings are not lost to us. In fact, more often than we even know, we look for and find them again in songs.

Buy it on iTunes.

The rest of the story is a memory. A view of a dreamy past carried along through life, strange and unforgettable and intoxicating.

 

 

 

 

A Clip from The 78 Project Movie: Tube Test at Leeds Radio

We like to say that The 78 Project bridges 100 years of technology.  And it’s true that in the course of shooting our movie the Presto has met and befriended many an iPhone.  It’s the simple beauty of the technology and design behind the Presto that invokes the fascination that drives The 78 Project…

Just past a bustling artisan market, behind a graffiti-ed gate on North 7th Street in Williamsburg, Brooklyn, lies a 2,500 square foot vacuum tube wonderland named Leeds Radio.  For the vintage amp and hi-fi fanatic, it’s a dream come true, and for those who simply appreciate weird science and beautiful design, it’s a fascinating place to spend an afternoon.

Leeds RadioThe keeper of this shop is Richard Matthews, a man who knows his tubes – each and every one of the more than 100,000 he has stashed on floor-to-ceiling shelves.  He also knows our tubes, because we bought them from him, and bring them back periodically for him to test.  Our Presto relies on Richard’s sage knowledge of vacuum tubes to run its best, we just like to shoot the breeze with him and to pick his brain about technology.

On an unseasonably hot Saturday a few weeks ago, Richard pulled open the gate and invited us in with our camera to talk about Prestos, Tesla coils, radios and every topic in between, and to give our tubes a good going-over before our next road trip begins…

 

In My Dreaming: Hear Valerie June’s 78

As summer drifts away in a shimmery breeze, it’s hard to remember what it felt like to be truly cold in the winter months.  But listening back to the recordings we made in February with Valerie June we were instantly reminded of the chillness in the air that made the warmth in her performance so especially lovely.

Valerie chose “Happy or Lonesome” to pay tribute to a performer from the past who might just be her namesake.  But as she sang her long-distance longing with such a hopeful tone, we had to wonder if she had Memphis on her mind, too.

Valerie is effervescent when she plays a happy song, so buoyant and free that it fills you with a heady happiness to hear her. For her flipside she chose a love song, “Raindance” – maybe to offset the murder ballad she’d done earlier in honor of Valentines Day – but definitely to bring a little light to the dark winter evening.

The 78 Project One-Year Anniversary!

This weekend marked The 78 Project’s one year anniversary.  Labor Day weekend of 2011 we had a marathon first three shoots, Dawn Landes in the Brooklyn Botanic Garden, The Reverend John DeLore and Kara Suzanne at the High Horse Saloon, and The Mynabirds in our backyard in Williamsburg (the episodes from those shoots are reposted below!)  We knew then that something special was happening.

We talked many times this year about a time when we’d be on the road, traveling to record.  Now that we are, it’s every bit as challenging and spectacular as we dreamed it could be.  We’re so thankful for the wonderful generosity of the musicians, friends and enthusiasts who have helped us to take The 78 Project this far.  This first year’s work is dedicated to you all.

The first three Full-length Episodes of The 78 Project, shot August 31 – September 1, 2011 in New York:

Episode #10 of The 78 Project: Valerie June “Happy or Lonesome”

Where ya headed?  We meet like fellow passengers at the end of a nearly abandoned train car in Brooklyn.  But the train doesn’t budge, because we’re not there to travel, not really.  It’s dark inside, and we light candles, it’s chilly outside so we bundle up.  It’s silent at first, without the chugging of the engine and the tripping of the steel wheels over hundreds of miles of track, so we fill the space with music.

She’s a New Yorker now, but Valerie June brought her Memphis along in her reedy, bouyant voice.  And as she sings the sweet longing for a long-distance love in “Happy or Lonesome,” we almost expect her hometown to answer.  But it’s the Presto that does, in the end, with a satisfying click.

This train’s not leaving the station, but it doesn’t need to.  So what if we’re rooted in place, we’ll still get carried away.

Thank you so, so much to Pete’s Candy Store for giving us such a warm Brooklyn welcome, and for mixing our 78 Sours so strong!

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