Monday, October 19, 2009

The Daredevil Christopher Wright - Denver show preview

The Daredevil Christopher Wright, hailing from Eau Claire, WI, will perform in Denver for the first time this Saturday, October 24th at the Meadowlark, along with Tim Pourbaix of Brooklyn and locals Andrea Ball and Dan Craig. DCW is currently touring in support of their new record, In Deference to a Broken Back, released in May 2009 on Amble Down Records. The band's debut full length is quite good, and I'm not just saying that because their fellow Eau Claire friend Justin Vernon (you know, the king of all things blog related) mixed their album. I've listened to the album a number of times over, and I find a new appealing characteristic in it upon each listen.

In Deference is quite an eclectic mix of songs, with instrumentation that is well placed and never overdone, nicely complimenting a strong ensemble of vocals, which are undoubtedly one of the greatest strengths of the album. The texture of the album varies from song to song, from "Bury You Alive," a bright sounding and upbeat (in spite of the title) track reminiscent of the Decemberists, to "We're Not Friends," a song driven by a catchy guitar progression and bearing the marks of being the "rocker" of the album. Perhaps the strongest song on the album is the quiet and ambling track that shares a name with the band. I find the value of this album to be the diversity of moods and sounds the band captures throughout, such that one can always find just the right song for whatever frame of mind you might be in at the time.

If you like what you've heard on the band's myspace, but want a few songs to throw onto your ipod, you can download the tracks from the Daytrotter session they recorded last year.

Finally, I'd like to pass along the email interview that the guys from Daredevil Christopher Wright were nice enough to do for Windfarm (links added by me):

Windfarm: You’ve recently released your new album, In Deference to a Broken Back, on Amble Down Records. What goals did you have sonically going into the recording process for the album?

Daredevil Christopher Wright: When we were preparing for and recording the record, our hope was to try to actualize all the arrangement ideas that we had been hearing throughout our time writing and performing these pieces as the three piece band that we are. To achieve this we reached out to a whole bunch of friends in Eau Claire and elsewhere. There is an abundance of musicians of every variety in Eau Claire due to the university in town and also I think just due to the nature of the folks who are in the area. Sonically and compositionally we tried to take each song individually and create a mood and a sound that served the style and message of the song. That is, we didn't think very specifically about unifying the sonic elements of the record. We hoped just by virtue of our doing the writing and arranging there would be a unified feel even as we hoped there would be a real sense of variety in terms of genre and style throughout the record...if that makes sense.

WF: Touring as a three piece band, should listeners expect a different sound or varied arrangements in your live show in comparison to the album?

DCW: For sure the arrangements are adjusted for the live show due to our being a three piece but, we would like to think anyway, that the energy that is present in the live show is just as satisfying in a different sort of way as the record. We like the idea of a recording being a picture of a certain series of ideas captured and that the live setting affords you the freedom to expand upon, change, or scrap those ideas for the sake of the continued development of the song. Now that I've reread what I just wrote I think that is almost certainly over intellectualizing it. We just like the idea of being able to change stuff if we want. Some of the live arrangements are very much like the record and others go far a field.

WF: Tell us about the music scene in Eau Claire. Has it been a supportive atmosphere in which to develop your sound?

DCW: The Eau Claire music scene has been a great place to grow up as a band. Like I said earlier, there are just all kinds of music being made in that place by a whole lot of really talented folks. It's been a great place to create because it is small enough where you can be a part of the arts scene with relative ease and make an impact. People just genuinely want to encourage each other. There certainly are struggles at times to get the broader community out to shows and the amount of kids getting together to make rock bands goes up and down at times but I think right now there are just a bunch of good bands. It's great to know them and imagine how things will look as more and more of these bands (hopefully) get out on the road.

WF: What new releases from other bands, either local or national, are you the most impressed with right now?

DCW: Our friends Laarks from Eau Claire just signed with Absolutely Kosher and will be releasing their record An Exultation of Laarks soon. It is a great record and should resound through this whole country and beyond. We are all really into the new Cryptacize record. We also got to play with a band called Helado Negro recently, who incidently are also on Asthmatic Kitty, and they are amazing both live and recorded. Their new record is Awe Owe.

WF: What can we expect from The Daredevil Christopher Wright over the course of the next year?

DCW: Our current focus is to tour as much as we can to support the release of In Deference. We just finished up nine weeks on the road touring East of the Mississippi and are just preparing to head out west in about a week. We are also working on some possibilities that will hopefully take us over seas. In the midst of this we're hoping to take some time to do some more writing and preparing for the next opportunity to record, though I don't know when that will be at this point. I guess right now we're trying to introduce ourselves to most everyone, everywhere. It's a big job but enormously exciting.

WF: Anything else we should know about the band?

DCW: If people are interested in the Eau Claire scene, here are some bands to listen to:

Meridene, Laarks, The Cloud Hymn, We Are the Willows, Cranes and Crows, Bon Iver, The Gentle Guest, The Wars of 1812

Other than that, this will be our first time in Denver. We're excited to be one mile up in the air.

WF: Denver, don't forget - catch The Daredevil Christopher Wright on Saturday, October 24th at the Meadowlark.

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