I am sitting in my kitchen. It is 7:15pm, just home from work, and I am now beginning my real work. As I sit down to write, Kacey and Asia are cooking dinner. They are making squash soup. As the kitchen swells with the smells of good taste, the swells of quite lullabies rise and fall. Emily sits at my left, singing harmonies with Tyson as he strums his Gibson. They pause, and Lewis, suggesting a change before the bridge, bows his cello.
One Night Music recorded Devotionals on January 30th, 2010, in Michael Musika's living room. Now they are practicing in my kitchen. This is what music does, this is what food does; hats off to the kitchens of the world- the cookers of our souls, the keepers of our hearts. Kitchens and living rooms, mine or Michael's - when they are full, so are our bellies as is our gratification. That Saturday afternoon at Michael's, there was a lot of bustle, a lot of movement, but the quiet rhythms - those wondering sounds you must strain to hear, like squinting at the sun through a rain-drop - suggested the world is just as small as it needs to be. Little fairies tiptoed on the keys of old typewriters. Devotionals commanded everyone's attention.
For the session the band was Tyson Vogel, and brothers Anton and Lewis Patzner of Judgment Day on guitar, violin, and cello, respectively. Aside from Tyson, members fluctuate. Jeff Blair plays percussion, after the One Night Music Session Andrew Maguire joined with vibraphones, Emily Ritz sings from time to time. There is something about the aesthetic of the band that is just plain gorgeous. Go to their Myspace page to see the new record's album art and you will know what I mean. What is it exactly? Tyson is omnipresent in his music and art. Each element builds a new layer to define Devotionals, materially, but really it defines something much grander: a feeling, perhaps, a concrete moment to hold to possess for yourself. As if the band were a natural by-product of a greater presence.
Their presence is pretty good. Devotionals' humble aesthetic matches their humble work-ethic. Tyson, the individual, is quite active in San Francisco music. He is the drummer for Two Gallants. He recently curated shows at SF Art Institute and SF MOMA. At the Art Institute he gave out some 200 CDs and tapes of a Bay Area music compilation he made, each one lovingly spray-painted by hand.
I mentioned the aesthetic of the new album art, what about the new album? The CD release show will be at Bottom of the Hill on August 6th with Kacey Johansing and Sean Hayes.
Recorded in San Francisco, CA on January 30, 2010.