Anti-Social Music + Gena Rowlands Band | The Nitrate Hymnal

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Anti-Social Music The Gena Rowlands Band Nitrate Hymnal official website

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Pop: Chamber Pop Classical: Opera Moods: Type: Experimental
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The Nitrate Hymnal

by Anti-Social Music + Gena Rowlands Band

A chillingly beautiful treatment. There are serious musical chops at work here, liquid runs of 20th century classical violin, electrified and electrifying guitar buzz, discordant brass and even, at one point, a church organ.
Genre: Pop: Chamber Pop
Release Date: 

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  Song Share Time Download
1. The End
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4:49 album only
2. I Had a Dream
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3:02 album only
3. The Mountain is Gone
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3:14 album only
4. Pictures from her Perfect Life
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3:50 album only
5. Dear Posterity
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7:20 album only
6. Dreams
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4:10 album only
7. Bloodsong
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3:26 album only
8. The Body Wants More Than Skin
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6:19 album only
9. Secrets
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3:58 album only
10. Finale
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5:03 album only


Album Notes
"On The Nitrate Hymnal, Anti Social Music returns with less to prove, backing the cinema-obsessed, operatic Scott Walker-isms of the Gena Rowlands Band. Bob Massey's saved his most genuinely affecting material to date for this outing. Nitrate Hymnal is that rare record that's pretty right away and gets creepier with each spin. Sometimes rebellion means screwing with conventions and heads before they really know what's happening." - Flagpole

"Infused with Anti-Social's soaring avant-garde chamber style and the superb swelling vocals of various female and male singers, the songs come off as fresh, exposed, and heartbreaking. All in all, The Nitrate Hymnal is an intense modern opera that even people who might not like tremulous singing could appreciate." - Venus Zine

"Think of Godspeed gone more classical and less glacial, add some better vocals and dose liberally with purified theatricality. I hear an air of detachment here that's missing from the symphonic post-rock of your choice. This is in no way damnation; in fact, it typifies the life/film dynamic the opera ­ or rather this song-cycle from the opera ­ seeks to convey. Not an easy listen, but most certainly a memorable one." - Dusted Magazine

The Nitrate Hymnal is a record of songs taken from the hit post-punk opera of the same name, a joint collaboration by Anti-Social Music and the Gena Rowlands Band. The recording presents reorchestrations of songs taken from the original opera production, and hits stores in April 2006 courtesy of Lujo Records.

The Gena Rowlands Band and ASM met three years ago during the creation of the original production of The Nitrate Hymnal by Bob Massey (Gena Rowlands Band, ex-Telegraph Melts) and David Wilson (True/False Film Festival). The opera was inspired by 50 years of actual home movies given to Bob by his grandfather, and told a fictional story of a couple who obsessively filmed their lives. Staged in a Masonic temple, lit by three giant projection screens, and bringing together players from D.C.'s underground rock scene (ex- Circus Lupus, Crownhate Ruin, Frodus, Mary Timony Band) and New York's avant-classical scene, The Nitrate Hymnal sold out its four-night run and won lavish press attention.

Says The Washington Post about music from the original production:

"Despite Massey's pedigree as a post-punk guitarist, much of 'Hymnal' hearkens back to 17th-century opera, with lithe, chantlike vocal lines written as nearly continuous recitative, and a chamber orchestra (acoustic strings, electric guitars, keyboards and drums) playing a gently supportive role. But if the form of "Hymnal" hasn't reinvented the operatic wheel, its sound world feels fresh. That's not to say Massey doesn't raid a few genres – post-punk rubs shoulders with post-Sondheim; progressive jazz melds with fusion; and brief visits are paid by Shostakovich, Piazzolla and Glenn Branca – but the musical stew is very much his own. There's less guitar-driven music than you might expect from an indie-rock composer. But the canny orchestration... uses the guitars for color, to growl threateningly under the strings or simply add a little grit."

For the recording, the through-composed score was cut into songs and reorchestrated by ASM and Gena Rowlands Band, then recorded in three days powered by passion and caffeine. Mixed at Brown Rice by Warn Defever of His Name is Alive, mastered at Silver Sonya by TJ Lipple of Aloha.

Featuring the many and varied talents of the Anti-Social Music and GRB crews:

Words by Bob Massey
Music by Bob Massey with David Durst and ASM

David Durst (The End, Bloodsong)
Pat Muchmore (Perfect Life, More Than Skin)
John Wriggle (I Had A Dream, Secrets)
Peter Hess (Dream Segue)
Andrea La Rose (Finale)
Ken Thomson (Mountain)

Caleb Burhans, violin
Hai-Ting Chinn, voice
Paula Cho, viola
Paul Chuffo, percussion
Ty Citerman, guitar
Jean Cook, violin, viola
Leanne Darling, viola
David Durst, piano, keyboards
Andrea La Rose, flute
Bob Massey, voice, guitar, and sounds
Pat Muchmore, cello
Susan Oetgen, voice
Eric Rockwin, bass
Philippa Thompson, violin
Ken Thomson, clarinet
Alex Weinstein, guitar
Andy Zipf, voice

This record was funded in part through a grant from the Aaron Copland Fund for Music, Inc. This fund is administered by the fine people at the American Music Center


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