Review From Sweden, 2008!
This review was originally posted at: www.heavenisabove.blogspot.com (from Malmo, Sweden, check it out!!!!
Building Castles In the Shifting Sands
The new album from the Leaves is simply unbelievable! And it continues the tradition of interesting artwork with a brilliant art noveau sleeve. In fact, it\'s as good as their first album which is already a classic in my book. Treats and Treasures had some real stand-outs in \"When I Close My Eyes\", \"The Summer\'s Gone\" etc, and although nothing on Long Lost Friend reaches quite the same heights, the lows are nonexistent. On the whole, the music is a notch softer and leans more towards the jangle end of the folk rock spectrum, where the debut had a bit more of a garage punch and some psychedelic flourishes. I\'m not kidding when I say this is the best janglepop since East Village and has as justified a claim to the Best Album of the Year So Far title as The Airfields\' cd. There\'s more Rickenbacker and acoustic 12-string in these 36 minutes than what is officially healthy!
The record leads off with \"Lighthouse\" (that you can hear on MySpace) - an instant classic and one of David Beckey\'s finest compositions. Guitarist Jon Hunt (almost John Hunt\'s namesake!) has contributed the next one called \"Summer Sunshine Girl\" which made for a perfect soundtrack to a cuppa coffee in a sun-drenched backyard earlier today. Reading the songwriting credits is actually rather interesting as they\'re just vague enough. E.g. the backwards five-second intro \"Emo Texan\" is credited to Yekceb (read it backwards!). If you didn\'t know already, you\'ll learn that \"In the Morning\" is a Bee Gees cover. Given a beautiful treatment here with harmonies and banjo-style Rickenbacker picking. And I tracked down \"You Can\'t Be Serious\" as a 1966 b-side by British pop-sike group The Mirage. That\'s the one song that sticks out in the set, because of its raucous vocal - I\'m guessing it\'s Keith Patterson singing... just because he plays such a mean-looking Burns Bison bass! \"Wintertyme Joy\" is the only psychedelic song this time around and can also be found on MySpace, along with the laidback title-track. \"Make My Move\" doesn\'t exactly suffer from having almost the same melody as \"The Rollercoaster Ride\" by Belle & Sebastian, and \"Back to Me\" has a very Felty guitar line (including a solo that even Lawrence ought to dig). The closing track \"Bonfire In the Sand\" connects with the heathen theme of the artwork, thanks to some freaky vocals and chuckling goblins.
That\'s almost all the tracks and they all deserve to be mentioned, honestly, because even the ones I left out are brilliant. More brilliant American pop is on If Things Were Perfect, in the shape of a rare Honeybunch flexi track.
Posted by The Boy and the Cloud at 4:53 PM
The Leaves\' new album, \"Long Lost Friend\" should indeed sound like a long lost friend to fans of such 80\'s hush-rock bands as The Church, The Go-Betweens, and The Feelies. Band leader David Beckey and his team also pull off some nice Byrds-style paisley-electric fok, especially on the sweetly harmonized \"In The Morning.\"-CR, vita.mn, april 17th, 2008
It\'s been six years since local songwriter David Beckey\'s Autumn Leaves came out with a new album, but its sound has hardly grown stale in the meantime-the gently psychedelic, catchy take on 60\'s Britpop is as vintage as a fine cabernet. The lineup on the new Long Lost Friend is a perfect storm of Minneapolis retro-mod aficianados, including The Conquerors\' Keith Patterson and Steve Kent plus guitarist Jon Hunt, and is produced by Gary Burger of \'60\'s garage-rock legends The Monks. Friend moves mainly in a mellow Kinks/Nick Drake vein, branching out for Beckey\'s surf-washed \"Next To Me,\" two Byrdsian numbers from Hunt, and a cover of late-\'60s English combo The Mirage\'s \"You Can\'t Be Serious,\" delivered in Patterson\'s patentable growl.
The Onion-AV Club, Volume 44, 2008
The Story of Long Lost Friend
Current mood: Paisley
Category: Paisley Friends
Writtem By David Beckey of The Autumn Leaves:
The Autumn Leaves recorded Long Lost Friend in the idyllic setting of Turtle River in northern Minnesota last summer with 60\'s beat-punk legend (and Mayor of Turtle River!) Gary Burger of The Monks producing! Keith befriended Gary about 16 years or so ago through his friend Adam Fesenmaier of The Conquerors. Recording up north was a fantastic experience, we recorded it in two extended weekends. Everyone came very well prepared and there was a mininum of overdubs and re-takes, for the most part it was all very un-fussy, just the way we wanted it. The majority of it was recorded live, all four of us at the same time, in the studio.
Gary is an excellent producer, a super guy, and was very patient with us! He has some coowull studio tricks that I haven\'t seen any other producers use, they worked very well. Top secret! The term gets over-used but The Monks were truly wayyyyyyyyyyyyyy ahead of their time (a la feedback experiments and very \"punk,\" and this was 1967!) http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=T3fAzQzgeSc (That\'s Gary on lead vocals) Here\'s more: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-5iI0__9S1c&feature=related Velvet Underwho?) Anyway, their songs have been covered by The Fall, Jon Spencer, The Silver Apples, The Spectors, Psychic TV, Faust, The Raincoats, and many more.).
Some people think \"Long Lost Friend\" is our best album (how would I know, they\'re all my kids!) , I\'m sure proud of it, and feel blessed I got to work with all the people who worked on it with me. They are:
Gary Burger: producer, engineer
Jon Hunt-vocals, guitar, percussion
Steve Kent-vocals, drums, percussion
Keith Patterson-vocals, bass
It was a grand experience!
David Beckey-vocals, guitar
Here\'s the track listing:
Lighthouse-A good friend of mine, got me in to feng-shui, so that was part of the inspiration to write this, and the other part of that same inspiration, of course, was that special person that causes the sparks. We all have that person we want to be with. Keith thinks the song is sad, I think it\'s happy, you be the judge! ( I said \"Keith, why do you think the song is sad, the song says he gets to see his ol\' lady* tonight, how can it be sad? \"No he\'s not!\" he replied, remaining unconvinced. *Okay, so I use the term \"ol\' lady\" ironically, it\'s so old school and archaic that I think it has a certain charm to it. I had a second uncle who used that term to describe his wife, my aunt, completely straight-faced, I thought it was hilarious, I thought it was great every time I heard him say that, so shoot me! This song was the \"Song of The Day\" on the splendididid Twin Cities radio station The Current on Friday, May 2nd, so if you like it, please ask them to play it some more, thank you! www.thecurrent.org
Summer Sunshine Girl-I\'ve had the privilege of playing with Keith & Steve off and on for about 14 & 11 years(!) now, respectively, I could not ask for a finer rhythm section to play with. But why why why it took me so long to ask Jon on board (especially after we had so many line-up changes) is something that will haunt me for some time. I have had a long string of excellent guitar partners though. Jon even \"offered his services in the skyway one day\" about five years back. (Jon got a huge kick out of that last line when he read it, I didn\'t mean it like that, hee hee!) Anyway, we did get this album done, and also got about a year\'s worth of shows under our belt before he moved to California. This is Jon\'s wonderful sunshine pop tune, originally from his Silvergirl project, which can be heard here on MySpace.
Jonny says: \"Summer Sunshine Girl\" -- This song was originally meant to capture the idyllic canyon-pop beauty of bands like America or Bread -- an idealized version of California and an idealized California girl to go with it. Keith Patterson, though, saw in the song something else -- a hopped-up, poppy Hollies number, which is how it appears here. I think it works well both ways!
Wintertyme Joy-This is a sort of folk-baroque song I had kicking around for quite some time, the finger picking pattern and most of the lyrics. If you capo up on high on the neck of a 12 string guitar it creates a kind of harpsichord effect. Keith and Steve came up with an extremely coowull west coast jazz intro I never would have thought of, and Jon\'s guitar solo is positively wicked! Keith came up with the \"brings on the springtime that summer destroys\" lyric which adds a nice sinister touch . One of my fave memories of this band is playing this song to a full house at The Suburban World Theater in Uptown, we rocked and shocked the house with our four part vocal harmonies!
Long Lost Friend-My favorite track on the album. It started off as a quiet acoustic finger-picking guitar and voice number on a demo, I wasn\'t sure if a band would fit on it, I thought of it as maybe a kind of Bert Jansch type song (If I may be so bold!) but once again the band came up with some twists I hadn\'t thought of, like Steve\'s \"train comin\' down the track\" drum part, and Keith\'s absolutely brilliant bass line, beat that! Jon\'s guitar accompaniment fit perfectly and he and Steve\'s harmony vocals are positively sublime! (For those keeping score, Steve does the real high harmony and Jon does the \"boyish\" middle part, Gary let me use his acoustic when I did my guitar overdub!
Emo Texan-! aedi s\'htieK
Next To Me-I woke up one morning and wrote a ska song. (Don\'t ask me why, I won\'t tell you!) How many times has this happened? Once! I promised Steve this would never happen again. Great bass playing again by Keith, and very fine drumming by Steve, this was our big \"dance hit\" for a while! That\'s Jonny on the Rubber Soul-eque \"oooh la la la\" vocals.
Staring At The Sun-This song started when ex-Leaf Jeaneen Gauthier and I inadverdently started playing phone tag, each time we didn\'t reach each other we\'d come up with an impromptu song made up on the spot to sing on the answering machine. Eventually it turned in to something we actually liked! The \"doo doo\" vocals Steve and Jon are singing were originally a violin part by Jeaneen. Nice dual slide guitar parts (more harmonics!) by Jon and an excellent driving bass line by Keith. I remember Jonny saying \"This record sounds like \"Wild Honey!\"
Feels Like Rain-Another excellent song by Jon, we kept this one on the set list even after he left. A song about how falling in love feels like rain, and rain is a good thing. Rain gets a bad rap. It\'s good for the lakes and it\'s good for the land, it\'s good for the audience and it\'s good for the............band!
Jonny says: \"Feels Like Rain\" -- this song is part of my ongoing love affair with musicians like Gram Parsons and Mike Nesmith -- yes, THE Mike Nesmith, of Monkees fame -- who combined pop music with country before that combination became corny. David\'s right, the song likens falling in love to a warm summer rain. I\'m awfully fond of the line \"On the hottest day of summer \'05\" -- nobody\'s written a song about the \"aughts\" yet, I figured it was time!
You Can\'t Be Serious-Leave it to Keith to find a super great obscure 60\'s beat number and make it his own. This song was originally by a group called The Mirage. Keith arranged this number, and he sings the excellent lead with Jonny and Steve on stellar backing vocals. Jonny and I both play lead guitar, in harmonics, with me doing the fills. Somehow I think if Ringo played lead guitar, his fills would have sounded like that, don\'t ask me why! My 6 seven year old niece Brynn is a fan of this track, and she thinks it\'s funny!
Make My Move-Surf pop! This is another song ex-Leaf Jeanean Gauthier (of Jan fame) helped me write. I had the initial riff, the chords for the verse and the lyrics and chords for the bridge, but dangnabbit, I just couldn\'t get anywhere else with it. I handed the ideas I have over to Jeaneen and she wrote the great \"yeah yeah yeah yeah yeah yeah yeah! chorus and most of the lyrics on the verses too. All four of the Leaves are singing on this one, Keith is singing in what he referred to as his \"Aunt Bea\" voice! This seemed to be one of Gary\'s favorites on this album.
In The Morning-I love this song, it was written by The Bee Gees in the mid-sixties, believe it or not. We\'re all big fans actually. This is another cover version I\'d have to say we made our own! I love the lyrics, even though I am definitely not a morning person!
Back To Me-This is another one of my \"Oh am I in trouble\" songs! This song was originally released on a compilation cd called \"Friend With Benefits\" which was a benefit for cystic fibrosis. (The original version featured myself, Jeaneen, Chris Dorn, Scott Berndt and Bill Quinn. That particular line-up recorded Rick Nelson\'s \"Easy To Be Free\" which you can hear on this very MySpace page. That song was the title track to a Rick Nelson tribute we were on two years ago. In my opinion, Ricky Nelson is highly under-rated, both as a rockabilly and country-rock pioneer). Anyway, this is a different version, sans Bill Quinn\'s pedal steel guitar, but Jonny did a fine job of replicating that sound with some twists of his own. Again, Steve and Jonny and harmonies, I ripped off some riffs from a song I wrote ages ago called \"Tomorrow\'s Just A Ghost\" and it was Keith\'s idea to come up with that \"stadium rock\" ending! Some people are still convinced that that is Jeaneen singing that high harmony on this version, but yes folks, it actually is Mr. Steve Kent!
Bonfire In The Sand-Easily the most controversial track on the album! Freak folk! Wyrd folk! (Hey, a style we first visited with our \"Sphere of Ocean Tides Illuminates The Sea\" 45 Prospective records single from \'94! What, was Devendra like, in kindergarten when that came out? ). Anyway, this is what happens when you listen to a lot of Donovan, Syd, The Pentangle, and have bonfires on the beach and jump in Lake Superior when its super cold. I knew I had Keith\'s endorsement on this one, as I had given him a rough demo of it quite a long time ago, but the rest of the band and Gary hadn\'t heard it until the day I went in to record it. I was up \'til about 3 or 4 a.m. the night before refining the lyrics on the bridge. I was nervous as h*ll when it came time to record it, just me and the guitar. When I was done singing, playing, and recording it, Gary said \"What exactly is this?! I\'m putting the BOOM down on you guys!\" Which instantly broke the tension and made us laugh! I looked out at the patio where the rest of the band was listening to the playback and Jon was pacing back and forth and positively BEAMING! I\'m not sure if it was because the madness of David Beckey was finally caught on tape once and for all or because he liked the song, maybe both? (Then again he did say he liked the track!) Anyway, Steve started making some jackal-like movements that put me in to hysterics. Then somebody, I think it was Keith, came up with the idea of us adding laughter at the very end, that\'s all four of the band cackling away. I was worried it might sound contrived, but those laughs were very very real! Keith and I have certain jokes we share that are ALWAYS funny, and one of them is his Sidney Poitier impersonation, the \"I think I better go!\" quote from one of my favorite movies, \"To Sir With Love.\" I think this song was a perfect way to end the album.
After our recording sessions we\'d usually head over to a fantastic bar a few miles from the studio called Jammers, they had \"open mic\" and the musicians there were nice enough to let us borrow their guitars and electronic drums(!) and play a few numbers, and the owner, Dawn Eve, and her staff, were also very good to us. As we looked @ the young crowd around us, Jon said \"It\'s official Dave, we\'re old!\" Well yeah, for rock musicians, but hey, Brian Wilson and Glen Campbell just put out fantastic records very recently, so who\'s to say? On the day of our final recording session we brought our own instruments to Jammers and did a full gig that night. There weren\'t a lot of people there, but a lot of the ones that were there were dancing, we played most of the new album, a few older songs, some covers, and of course our Elevater Operator (Gene Clark)/Born On The Bayou (John Fogerty) medley, during which Keith, uh, took off his pants! The crowd loved this (definitely not the first time I\'ve seen Keith in his underwear on stage), cameras flashed, and before we knew it we were playing for the first time ever that three chord wonder we all know as \"Louie Louie\" (\"Don\'t forget that minor chord\" Keith reminded us), a great and fun way to end the night!
The next day we said our goodbyes to Gary and his wife Cindy, thanking them for everything, and started our drive home feeling a bit melancholy that our totally excellent adventure was almost over.
Steve and Jonny are in to some thing known as gadgetry. I mean, you\'d think they just walked off the set of a sixties sci-fi tv show or something. In fact, it\'s well documented that Jonny has had dreams about Leonard Nimoy and William Shatner (offering his services, no doubt! j/k!) and Bruce Johnston of The Beach Boys actually called Steve a \"Trekkie\" one time in the early nineties. (No lie, there\'s a photograph with them together if you need proof!) Anyway, Steve and Jon have these things called \"cell phones\" (pronounced \"sell fones\"). They\'re kind of like walkie-talkies in that people can talk to each other even though they\'re not in the same room, like they can still talk to each other from really long distances. Anyway, these gadgets came in handy on the drive home, Jon left earlier tham us and was driving home separately in his VW and unfortunately it broke down. He then called Steve on his \"gadget\" and we went to get Jonny so he would have a ride home with us. The mechanic that worked on his car was nice enough to store his car for free until he came back to get it! People are awfully nice once you get out of the city!
On the ride home we listened to some interesting stuff. Ever since our east coast tour in \'97 it\'s been a tradition to listen to \"trucker music\" from the sixties and seventies while we\'re on the road, great songs like \"Six Days On The Road\" by Dave Dudley and uh, the infamous Red Sovine (courtesy of Keith, of course!). Red has to be heard to be believed. Red\'s music and lyrics are just so wrong! Hilarious stuff though, it just makes it a little hard to drive when you\'re laughing that hard. I do agree with Keith though, that Red\'s version of \"Lay Down Sally\" rocks wayyy harder than Clapton\'s! When I dropped off Steve @ his house, he quoted yet another movie (which I will NOT mention!) , and in his dry deadpan style said \"Well, I don\'t think we\'ll be seeing each other in a while!\" Perfect Steve Kent humour, I miss it, I must admit! Keith and I have joked about when the \"official\" end of our (rock and roll) youth was, and I half-jokingly told him that it was that night, the night we arrived at each of our homes, put our heads on our pillows and fell asleep. Game over. Aging hypsters for life now, hee hee!
Steve, Keith, and I continued as a trio for a while after Jonny left, including a successful show @ The Acadia in Mpls. Our last show as a trio was in April for our cd release party @ The Kitty Cat Klub in Minneapolis, it was fantastic, people danced, people pranced, our show was worlds better than our practice the night or two before, and we sold some merch! Break-ups-Such is the nature of bands. I\'m not sure what to do at this point. I\'ve re-invented this band about as many times if not more than one of my musical heroes, Roger McGuinn, had re-invented The Byrds back in the day . I\'ll be careful not to make an \"Autumnaniax\" or a \"Farther Leaves\" though. In any case, I\'ll never stop playing. These days I mostly play acoustic sets in my living room for my cats, Ian Marvin and Ava Bonita. (yes, my cats have middle names)
Anyway, to paraphrase jazz legend Del Paxton \"It ain\'t no use to try keep a band together, you\'ve just got to keep playing!\"
In might not be over just yet for The Leaves though: There is a label I have been talking to that are interested in releasing another Autumn Leaves cd, new stuff, and some unreleased songs from the archives, so we shall see. Our psychedelic epic, \"Mellow Voyage (Nice Going To Space With You\") still needs to see the light of day, darnit! And \"Silvery Moon!\" And \"Seaside Samba!\" And \"I\'ll Be On My Way!\"
Also, a video, shot by Sally Sweet, has surfaced recently, it\'s a Turf Club show we did in December of 2006, hopefully we\'ll get some of this on youtube and/or MySpace soon! And our official video for \"Maria\'s Hat\", filmed @ \"the witch\'s tower in Mpls by Billy Swarts! And some other goodies in the archives..................
Anyway, our cd has a six panel insert, a lovely front and back painting by Henry Clive, photography by Scott Walker, and excellent graphic design work by Jonny Hunt and Sally Sweet!
Take Care & Thanks to all who attended the shows, played us on the radio, said/wrote kind words, bought the cd/music helped make the cd happen, filmed our shows/videos, booked us, photographed the band, clapped, cat-called, endured the poems I nervously read before Spectors shows, snickered, guffawed, laughed, pranced, and danced!