All My Pretty Ones Performs Live At Pirate Cat Radio in San Francisco (5 videos)
All My Pretty Ones brings luscious harmonies and practiced instrumentals to indie folk music.
I hadn't heard of All My Pretty Ones when Elia asked me to come by Pirate Cat Radio Café to film them performing live for his radio show Tiny Antenna Have Large Receptors back in October, 2009. Now, after editing their videos for this blog post, I am a huge fan. Dare I even prophesize that the band is going places? A cliché phrase indeed, and one that I allocate sparingly, but it seems to be a succinct way to explain the greatness that I'll call AMPO. The best part is that should this prophecy be fulfilled it will be a result of their meticulous music making, not necessarily a desire to go places - a noble attribute indeed.
All My Pretty Ones is the fluid musical project used to add instrumental accompaniment to the songs of Derek Schmidt. Past musicians that have participated earn a spot on “All My Pretty Ones Hall of Fame Super Lucky Alumni Association” listed on their Myspace. The incarnation captured in these videos consists of Jess Wade on guitar and mandolin, Jocelyn Bentley-Prestwich on oboe, Matt Payne on percussion, and Genessa Kealoha on upright bass. These musicians add intricately arranged instrumentation to Derek’s songs while blanketing his mournful vocals in sometimes as many as five part harmonies.
So what makes AMPO so good? I think it's that they take their music very seriously. Their focus and demeanor as a group during their performances resembles a classical woodwind ensemble more than an indie group or a contemporary folk group. It is evident by their impeccable harmonies, their complex arrangements, and their coordinated entrances that this band practices their music a lot. It quickly becomes clear after watching them perform live and reading their website that above all else, they desire to create music that is whittled to perfection.
In the age of instant communication, accessible recording equipment, and altered standards of acceptable music, so called "indie" music acts as a non-discriminatory categorization that leaves its doors open to songwriters and bands of any talent level. The only requirement seems to be that one must have a desire to create music. I love this about independent music and I praise this evolution of music. But, ironically, the canvas of sound painted by indie music on a generation of modern music lovers creates a clear contrast that enables those songwriters and bands with real practiced talent to easily stand out from the crowd. This is the fate of All My Pretty Ones. They play indie and folk music enshrined in luscious harmonies rarely found in any live performance and intricate instrumentals rehearsed time and time again.
A few days after this blog post goes live, All My Pretty Ones is recording a live album at the Chapel of the Chimes in Oakland, CA and the Maybeck Recital Hall in Berkeley, CA, produced by Chris Arnold of The American Opry. This excites me because I feel that All My Pretty Ones best exemplifies the true essence of their music when they are performing live. The album should be released in the spring of 2010. Then soon they will begin work on a full length album produced by Dan Wool.
Visit All My Pretty One's website: allmyprettyones.net
As I said, I think this band is going places.
This blog post was written byRyan Andersen