Singer Mali here.
This past September, I was fortunate enough to have the opportunity to realize a lifelong dream ~ I got the chance to go to Australia. I attended a conference in Voice Movement Therapy, and was a special guest at Amanda Palmer and The Grand Theft Orchestra’s concerts in Sydney and Brisbane. I also played sets at a couple of house parties with Amanda.
We play our first ever show in Worcester, MA this Sunday, October 27th ~ as part of Cirque du Noir, a Halloween celebration of art, music, and community, with all proceeds going to the Worcester County Food Bank.
Cirque du Noir includes a silent art auction which includes this stunning work by John Pagano:
& get your tickets here.
the following Sunday, November 3rd gets even scarier, with:
Singer Mali produces, bringing together performers to raise and express their artistic voices around the concept of free speech and the suppression thereof. From reinterpretations of banned works to revelations on self-censorship to experiences of making art in lands less free, performers will be pushing the acceptability envelope and exploring the idea of what should ~ or should not ~ be seen, heard, and spoken. In keeping with the end of this year’s Halloween weekend, we will be presenting an original live score to a segment of the 1922 banned film, Häxan: Witchcraft through the Ages, plus putting a darkwave jazz spin on the “Devil’s internal”, and throwing in a dose of Disney.
Last night, we embarked on an impromptu 6-stop Ultra Mini Tour of Street Pianos Boston ~ a public arts project that saw 75 pianos, each artistically rendered by local artists, installed throughout the Boston area. It’s rare that we get to play in the streets, out under the sky ~ & it was sheer magic. The pianos are up til Monday, October 14th so may we suggest ~ BOSTON, GO AND PLAY!
This Sunday night, as part of Org: Colors, we released the Paprikah video, which we filmed last summer with director, Noah Blumenson-Cook:
The Hostage Heart video is up and ready for your viewing ~ available on both youtube (below) and vimeo:
The time has come.
We filmed the video in March, with director Michael McQuilken, at the Galbraith mansion in Cambridge, currently being rented by Amanda Palmer and Neil Gaiman who graciously let us take it over for a few days while they were out of town. The shoot seemed blessed from the start, and we are all extremely excited to share it with the world. Here are a few stills to whet your appetite:
That’s all for now . . . but we will be posting more to our Facebook and Twitter pages.
Like the banner says, this is a FREE 9-day festival of music and performing arts, and we are totally thrilled to be a part of it. We just finished two days of rehearsals (what we call Jaggery camp) and have FOUR count’em FOUR new songs ready for the show. We will be playing the Spiegeltent as part of this festival, and start promptly at 8:30pm. This is the Spiegeltent:
In addition, Singer Mali is getting ready to share ten songs she wrote and recorded as part of a project she embarked on with painter Steven Bogart in 2011 ~ Ten Paintings/Ten Songs. Mali and Steve met and exchanged songs and paintings over ten months, and have a gallery showing and opening reception at the Bromfield Gallery in the South End (Boston) on Friday, August 2nd from 6-8:30pm. You can read more about the project at their tumblr. Mali is posting samples of each song as she finishes recording them ~ check here to listen. The full band will be featured on several of the songs. Here is a sample of Steven’s stunning work ~ enamel on black velvet:
We pretty much had the time of our lives last Friday at Oberon, for Org: Prom, a prom-themed event produced by Singer Mali. We learned songs like The Bangles ‘Eternal Flame’, the Righteous Brothers ‘Unchained Melody’, and we put together a late 80s/early 90s medley of pop dance tunes that we’ve decided needs to stay in the Jaggery rotation. This photo says it all:
That’s Jonah Sacks on the far left ~ he played cello for us (Tony couldn’t make the gig).
Thanks to everybody who came to the show, and helped to make it happen! This Org will be tough to top.
Singer Mali, here. It’s been 6 weeks since Jaggery returned home from our biggest adventure to date ~ the Altered States Tour. It’s taken me this long to get to a place where I feel able to even attempt to share the experience, and to reflect on it.
Jaggery has done a fair amount of touring over the years, mainly in the Northeast and along the East Coast. The Altered States Tour was an entirely different beast, taking myself and Tony completely around this vast country, traveling through roughly 27 states, and in and out of all the Time Zones, including ones I didn’t even know existed (ie Mountain Time).
The tour had three legs to it ~ the first leg had Tony and I driving the conversion van that he had recently been given by his brother-in-law (complete with purple plush interior, two count ‘em two cassette decks and a vhs VCR) from Boston to Seattle, with all the gear, doing a handful of duo shows along the way. The rest of the band would fly to Seatle and meet us for a string of full-band West Coast dates. This second leg we shared with our dear Boston band buddies, Walter Sickert & the Army of Broken Toys. They had a van of their own which could fit Rachel, the drums, Joel (our tour sound engineer), and the Toys themselves. The third leg began after the last full-band show in TX, when everybody else flew back, and Tony and I began the long drive to MA, playing more duo shows.
Tony and I hit the road on April 4th. We had given ourselves nine days to get from Boston to Seattle (over 3000 mi) and had booked three shows along the route ~ in Binghamton, NY, Buffalo, NY and Chicago, IL.
Here is Tony and I, posing cheesily in front of the van, our home for pretty much the month of April:
Here is the tightly-packed interior of the van, leaving just enough room for the harp to squeeze in:
The highlight of the first leg duo shows for me was Buffalo. We played in the darkened, candlelit backroom of a used bookstore, Rust Belt Books. The two women who opened the show totally blew me away. Pamela Swarts, a friend of Tony’s, had set up the show, and she left me in rapture with her soaring voice, guitar, keyboard, and loops. Lara Buckley completely overwhelmed me in the best possible sense, with a wildness and freedom of musical spirit I have only rarely witnessed, but humbly aspire to.
This is Pam during her set:
An amazing thing happened in Ohio ~ despite the fact that we’d left on different days, as well as the sheer unliklihood of such a coincidence, we ran into Walter and Edrie, who were driving the Toys van out to Seattle like us, at a rest stop. We all decided this was very a good omen for the tour:
In IL, we stayed with my awesome interior-decorator cousin Sally, who lives in a highly unique house with soaring ceilings and trees growing inside of it. Here’s some of our gear, hanging out in what felt like a small segment of the Tropics in Palatine, IL:
After Chicago, we had four and half days left to get to Seattle. We were starting to get into areas of this country I had never been in before. At first, we had grand plans of visiting the Badlands in South Dakota, and Yellowstone National Park in Wyoming. But a major Midwest storm was heading our way, directly along the route we had planned to take. So we adjusted our expectations, realizing we would have to settle for what most touring bands have to settle with ~ you cover a lot of ground, but stopping and seeing the sites isn’t part of the itinerary.
The storm caught up with us on our second driving day. We needed to pull over when night approached, despite not even having made it out of Nebraska. We found ourselves in a sleepy, flat, tiny little town ~ Lewellen, NE ~ covered in an ever-growing layer of freshly-fallen snow. It was very, very cold. When we’d left Boston, it was getting springlike there. It felt as though we’d traveled to Winter. Too bad Tony had forgotten his winter coat.
The next morning left me with one of the best memories of the tour ~ driving hour after hour along endless, icy, flat roads of Nebraska. Early on, we found ourselves traveling alongside a freight train, and developed a sort of symbiotic relationship with it ~ it felt to me like we were traveling in the wake of a ship. I shot a short video that I feel captured a bit of the expansive peacefulness of this experience, but I haven’t been able to figure out how to compress it enough to fit on this site. (Taking suggestions.)
When we stopped for an oil change, we noticed geological ice formations growing on the van from the storm:
The ride into, and of out, Wyoming was absolutely stunning. This was definitely cowboy country, and the views made it feel like we were in a Western. Here are some shots from the road:
I hadn’t even seen the half of it, but I was already experiencing the otherworldly magic of the cross-country road trip ~ seriously, folks, if you have the opportunity to do it, DO IT. However, you will need to get used to this sight:
This was the painful reality ~ an enormous amount of gasoline was necessary for this trip, and at times it felt downright gross. One day I aspire to use a vegetable oil-fuelled vehicle. We did our best to stick to 55 mph to maximize our fuel efficiency, but even so, with all that gear I think we averaged 16 miles per gallon. I had to go into denial about it, and I guess I kind of still am.
Montana, I think, was Tony’s favourite. We ended up at a place called the Mangold Country Store & Hotel, located next to a rushing river, in a town called Saltese, MT that felt like it may have had a population of 20. (I actually just looked it up, and apparently we weren’t far off ~ population is recorded at 28). Here it is:
Here is Tony the next morning, doing his best Grizzly-Adams-on-a-cell-phone impersonation:
For some reason, someone didn’t want anybody to know the dates associated with the geology of the area:
Still, the adventures continued ~ we managed to hit another snow storm just as we got into Seattle. We were later told by several different people that it’s always snowing on this particular route:
Now started the real fun ~ the full band, joint Toys, leg of the tour. And this leg was definitely my favourite part, though it took some adjusting ~ suddenly, it wasn’t just the well-oiled machine that Tony and I had become ~ we now had two more in the van with us, and eight others to contend with. It was a sort culture shock.
The West Coast shows were fantastic. We started at The Royal Room in Seattle ~ a restaurant and listening-room complete with grand piano. We weren’t sure if Rachel ~ who was flying in later than everyone else due to an amazing opportunity for her high school students to play at Symphony Hall back in Boston ~ was going to make our set, but two songs in, she charged the stage in a rustling flurry of taffeta and quarter-inch cables. We played a joyous reunion set, and after the show, at the merch area, a Starbucks executive raved about us to both me and the man she was with, expressing how Jaggery should hook up with Starbucks music. And here is where I wonder if I’m just not cut out for this job, because I didn’t even get her name, let alone her card. So if you’re out there, Starbucks executive with the open-backed shirt, email me: firstname.lastname@example.org !
Here is a photo of me in the green room of the Royal Room, tour aglow:
The next morning, we hightailed it to Portland, where we did a live taping for radio station KZME‘s “Sessions from the Box” with all-around awesome music guy, James Dineen, who had also set up our Portland show later that night. Our session was just posted, and you can listen to it here. James took the only full band photo we have from this tour outside his door:
Take a look at this awesome cartoon by artist Mandy Newman, that she created for the session posting. I have to say, it’s very flattering to have a cartoon made of you and your band:
Our Portland show was the most unique of the tour ~ we weren’t playing a regular old set ~ instead we, and the Toys, created a live score to the 1922 Swedish/Danish silent horror film, Häxan: Witchcraft Through The Ages. We’d spent weeks creating a score that incorporated themes from many of our songs, as well as Foley aspects, and improvisation. Here is the poster that James made for the event:
Here are some of us setting up and getting ready for the show:
It was a very, very cool undertaking and experience, and my wheels are currently turning about doing it again in Boston.
After the show, we immediately piled back into the van and drove 420 miles overnight into California. We would have to repeat this feat the following night. Lulu made herself a lair in the backseat area of the van:
We slept maybe four hours tops at a hotel in Redding, CA, then had another 200+ miles to get to San Francisco, where we played with the incomparable Unwoman, at Cafe Du Nord (all I saw of SF). One of my all-time favourite bands, Faun Fables, showed up to support us. Folks ~ dreams do come true.
Then back in the van to do it again — another 400+ miles overnight. We were divvying up the driving at this point, and I was due for a shift. I sang Madonna songs under my breath to keep myself awake at the wheel as we passed through stunning mountainous terrain and state parks in the breaking dawn hours between night and early morning.
Then another 3-4 hours sleep at yet another Econolodge (Victorville, CA), and on to San Diego. Here is a photo from a rest stop, where everyone was too exhausted to even maintain our practice of what lulu coined Rest Stop Yoga (ie, stretching whenever possible):
In the meantime, we had heard about the Marathon bombing back in Boston, and I was feeling a mix of relief at not being there, but I think more strongly, regret, for the same reason. I felt very far away from home, and many people I loved very much.
The surreality continued when we arrived at our San Diego venue, Queen Bee, where a Zumba class was going on on the dance floor, while Joel set up the stage:
This show felt like one of the highlights of the tour for me ~ full, receptive house, unique, supportive venue (Queen Bee calls itself an “art and cultural center” ~ hence the Zumba class alongside the rock concert), and I even got to stroll around the neighborhood a bit and eat glorious vegan food at a restaurant not 2 block away. Thumbs up, San Diego ~ you are beautiful!
Everyone felt deliriously joyful at the fact that we were actually going to get to sleep that night ~ however, a sign directly outside our rooms at this Econolodge quickly laid to rest any ideas we might have still clung to about the glamorous life of being a band on tour:
The next morning afforded some of the most spectacular views on the tour as we passed through mountains,
and hit a beautiful sunset as we neared our next destination ~ Scottsdale, AZ:
We had another typical tour surprise when we reached the venue only to find a large hole in the front of the stage that had apparently been in the process of being fixed all afternoon, but still had a ways to go considering the first act was supposed to start in an hour:
Somehow, the stage got repaired in time, and we ended up having a blast that night. Our friend, Tom, who was at the SF, SD, and AZ shows, wrote a blog about the ills of internet hate, and ties it into this show ~ you can read it here.
That night, we stayed at my uncle Randy’s place in Mesa. Randy is a car collector and all-around fantastic character. Before we left the next morning, I snapped this photo of Tony and Daniel in Randy’s ’55 Buick Special convertible (I hope I got the model right):
Randy also has been taking care of the only car I have ever called my own ~ my ’89 sandstone SAAB Turbo that I drove for many years while living with my parents in Lexington. Sadly, it had an oil leak, & I moved to NYC where I did not want to have a car, so Randy took it out his way. Someday, I hope to retrieve it. Here we are, together again. I miss you, sweetheart:
We then began a day of astonishing views and landscape shifts, driving through Arizona. The middle of nowhere? We’ve been there:
New Mexico was even more flabbergasting. This whole trip was beginning to make me feel as though I had landed on a different planet. This was Earth? Not only that, this was the U.S.??? The magnitude was overwhelming to my mere human capabilities of understanding.
Lulu sighted dust devils ~ small, but powerful, and visually menacing, dirt tornadoes ~ coming our way, and not long after, we saw this comforting sign:
Soon (not) we reached Texas. I was right at home with my fanny-pack-cum-holster belt:
I proceeded to have a mini-meltdown that day ~ understandably, I suppose, under the conditions of prolonged exhaustion. When we reached our Stockton, TX Quality Inn, I needed to get away from everybody and set forth on a late walk in the industrial, hotel-strewn area that our Quality Inn was situated. I wasn’t gone but fifteen minutes before I spotted a patrol car that saw me, slowed, and pulled over. I was then interrogated about why I was out walking so late at night in this area, and was grilled for identification. I had purposefully left my wallet, with my MA driver’s license, at the hotel, thinking ~ I don’t really know where I am, may as well have nothing on me just in case I get mugged (this is sometimes the way I think). The first cop called for back-up. Apparently, my social security number didn’t register in “their system.” Keep in mind, I was also in the middle of an emotional melt-down. But I pulled it together under the circumstances, and finally must have presented myself enough as a U.S. citizen that they let me go.
This blog is getting incredibly long-winded, so let me pick up the pace. We played the two remaining full band shows in Victoria and Austin, TX, respectively. The Victoria show had us fulfilling one of my personal dreams ~ to play in a gazebo. I got to run around and sing to families sitting in lawn chairs during ‘No Sympathy.’ At the same time, we had learned that Boston was in lock-down.
Our last show was in Austin, TX, and it was heartening to come across this sign:
Through it all, Daniel maintained his überclean, über raw eating habits. Here he is pondering the health benefits of the sugar snap pea from the backseat of the van:
and ~ what else ~ munching on a durian (or is that a coconut?) outside the Austin venue:
Daniel, Petaluma, Rachel, and the Toys flew out of Austin the next morning, and Tony and I began the last leg of the tour. This last leg was the most difficult, in my opinion. It was difficult to keep momentum after everybody left and we were on our own again, and I think both Tony and I were getting increasingly anxious about just getting home. But we showed up and played our hearts out for five more shows.
And our first stop was nothing to complain about ~ New Orleans.
I had never been, and was overwhelmed by the oozing sensuousness of the place ~ flowers bursting with color, lush foliage dripping from the vines, and Mardi Gras beads still strewn about the sidewalks.
We stayed with Tony’s friend, Sundog, a loop artist who makes glorious, crunchy electronic and organic pop music (coming to an Org near you soon). He set us up with a show in a huge, found-object-laden art space near the French Quarter.
I took up Petaluma’s spot in the back of the van for some of this trip:
But mostly, I could be found in the passenger seat ~ bless Tony’s drive-a-holic soul ~ nestled underneath blankets, with my feet on the dashboard:
On to Atlanta, GA, where we we played with the The Ghosts Project ~ these guys had played with us on our last Atlanta visit in 2007. We also made contact with Gavin from Stickfigure, who has supported us and helped us with distribution for years, and stayed at a friends beautiful loft which she left in our care while she was at work. We found amusement in the wireless network names:
Our last show was at World Cafe Live, in Philadelphia, PA, with the truly sublime and incomparable Andrew Lipke & the Azrael Quartet. Tony and I returned to Boston on April 29th ~ and that was that.
When I got home, my apartment felt huge after living in a van for a month. The transition was difficult for me. In a way, it felt almost like the tour hadn’t even happened ~ suddenly, I was back to my old life in Boston as though no time had passed. The constant motion was gone, and I found myself feeling ironically ungrounded by staying put, without the structure and spontaneity of tour. I’ve had to go through one of my approximately-every-three-or-four-months Question Everything periods, since being back. But writing this blog has been helpful for me in acknowledging, processing, and integrating what was truly an awe-inspiring adventure, and one that I feel incredibly fortunate to have had the opportunity to experience.
Now, for the acknowledgements: I want to thank my Jaggery bandmates for being willing to go on this adventure with me and for working and pushing so hard; Walter, Edrie, and the rest of the Toys for being such wonderful, loving tour mates; Edrie, in particular, for all her essential planning, booking, and otherwise mothering of the tour; Joel, for making us sound better, night after night, then we ever could have dreamed; the many bands and solo acts we played with along the way who inspired and supported us; and most especially, our fans and friends ~ old and new ~ who came out to the shows, left us out of inventory of three of the four albums we brought with us, and received us with open arms and ears. We love you, and we are looking forward to playing for you again when we can make it happen. In the meantime, please keep in touch and know you are appreciated by some darkwave jazzers out here in Boston.
Much love, Singer Mali
! hello populace of the United States of America [and beyond!] !
it is with utmost delight that I announce at last the cross-country North American April TOUR we have been planning for many months now.
[we are working on a pun-ny name for the tour, but didn't settle on one before this went to press. it will come.]
here are the UPDATED dates, cities, & venues:
basically, the full band is touring the West Coast (for the very first time) with our friendsWalter Sickert & the Army of Broken Toys (who are touring in support of their STELLAR new album).
to make this tour happen, myself and Tony will be driving all the gear and ourselves to and from the West Coast in the conversion VAN that Tony was GIVEN, doing duo shows on the way and back.
here is a picture of the van, in the Boston snow:
(expect many more photos of this van ~ particularly the inside of it ~ throughout April, as we keep in touch with everybody at the usual social media hangouts.)
you can help us make this tour a success by COMING OUT if you are in our line of fire, and by spreading the word to those you may know in our path.
and we really appreciate this in advance & we seriously cannot wait to play for you!
for more detailed information about the individual shows, check the shows page here.
i will be updating the info as everything falls into place.
our Portland, OR show will feature us and the Toys playing a LIVE SCORE to the 1922 Swedish/Danish silent film, Häxan, at the Hollywood Theatre, on Sunday, April 14th:
Tony & I are working on new, never-before-performed material as part of our duo shows.
i got a new keyboard that can do electronic gorgeousness, & Tony will be multitasking on upright, electric, sintir, accordion, trumpet, and percussion (at least that is his plan ~ i’m not convinced we can fit all that stuff in the van).
Tony & I are super excited about holding things together to and from the full band leg of the tour.
check back often for updated info.
hope to see you all around these far-flung United States.
~ Singer Mali
Lots happening in our individual and collective lives ~ we feel lucky to say it’s been a winter of collaboration and creation:
We are in the process of booking a WEST COAST TOUR in April, that will entail Singer Mali and Tony doing a cross-country duo tour to and from, and then the full band gigging from Seattle to Austin. Stay tuned ~ check the calendar for shows as they are booked.
Singer Mali is taking part in an experimental multidisciplinary theater project called Lunar Labyrinth, inspired by an unpublished short story be Neil Gaiman, produced by Liars and Believers, and directed by Steven Bogart. It goes up at Oberon in Cambridge, MA on Wed, Feb 13th, and is pretty much sold out, but if you show up early, you could get lucky. Click on the poster image below for more info, and tickets:
Here is a little video interview of Mali talking about the show:
Petaluma is in the process of recording her first solo album! Go Lulu! We’ll keep you posted . . .
Mali and Tony are taking part in a live music & dance event, giving life to Beck’s new album, Song Reader, at the historic Somerville Theater in Somerville, MA, on Thursday, Feb 28th. Produced by Burns and Webb (Jaggery friends and frequent collaborators), the event will feature interpretations by over 150 different performers, including a 50 person choir. It’s going to be ENORMOUS. Tony will be on stage for much of the night, and Mali will be singing as well as choreographing. You can get tickets here, and watch a clip about the show below:
Hope to see some of you Boston folks in February, and many more of you in April!
Keep in touch.
Our 5-song EP, Private Violence, has been officially released. You can order your very own copy via bandcamp here. You can read the press release here. We hope you will give it a listen. Please pass it along, and share freely.
We are pleased to announce the Private Violence TOUR DATES:
Private Violence is an EP we’ve been working on for quite some time. The five songs on the EP were all inspired by Singer Mali’s feelings after reading Truman Capote’s In Cold Blood, which took hold of her and didn’t let go. We will be playing a few East Coast dates in the days preceding the official release (11/13/2012). The tour begins with Org: Literati ~ a literature-inspired multimedia affair, featuring some of our favorite Boston-area artists; NYC’s show will be at our favorite listening room in the city, and the band we are sharing the bill with ~ our junkyard cabaret friends Not Waving But Drowning ~ designed for us what may be the best poster of our career (see here); in addition, we are playing in DC on a Saturday night (dream come true) at the estimable DC9 and we finish off in Philly, at The Fire, opening for a project called When Guitars Attack that includes one of our favorite Philly singer/songwriters, Andrew Lipke. More info about all shows at the right sidebar –>
Please spread the word about these shows ~ especially to your weirdo-rock loving friends.
Hoping very much to see you East Coasters on the road!
it is official: the Private Violence EP will be released on November 13th, 2011.
We are incredibly excited to unleash this EP to the world ~ in physical CD format complete with illustrious booklet full of lyrics, photographs (by the incomparable Noah Blumenson-Cook) including collages of the art pieces that Rachel made as part of the local-and-digital-only pre-release that was Org: Murder Ballads.
Mali is busy booking the Boston CD release show (likely an evening of literature-inspired performance) as well as a smattering of Northeast tour dates, so check back soon for updates!
here’s a preview of what the cover looks like:
we are delighted to be taking part in this year’s Ars Nova 54/10 Music Marathon (“The Best Music You’ve Never Heard”) which aims to showcase “off-kilter and dynamic bands on the brink.” Ars Nova is a NYC-based nonprofit, and an artistic hub “committed to developing and producing theater, comedy, and music artists.”
our set is Thursday, August 9th at 10pm. show is all ages. more info and tickets HERE.
our next Boston show is coming up fast ~ Sunday, July 22nd at Church. the last time we played Church was the Upon A Penumbra CD release almost exactly 2 years ago. the electricity went out and we played an acoustic set and i stage dived. (click here and scroll down for photos). we can’t promise these exact circumstances again, but we are planning some wild magic, featuring butoh dancer, Jen Hicks, and more new material. we are playing with avant-garde free rockers Kayo Dot, and Providence-based avant-rock experimenters Something About Horses. advance tix here thru ticketfly. early-ish show ~ first band at 8:30pm. we’re on at 9:30pm. come & pray with us. ~ Singer Mali
Singer Mali here. we had so much fun on the Road Awakening tour that i want to tell you all about it.
we had not toured in something like two years. we rented a 12-passenger van on blind faith that all five of us, and our stuff, would fit. luckily, we did. this is how the van looked at the beginning of the tour:
Day One: June 22nd, New York City
first day of tour definitely snuck up on me ~ i felt woefully unprepared. during the heat-wave week preceding our departure, i had become obsessed with the making of our T-shirts to the exclusion of much else. it took us 6 hours to get from Boston to New York. we had anticipated as much, so we actually arrived early, staying true to our Daniel-proclaimed moniker of the Most Punctual Band In Show Business. here are a couple of photos from that first ride. petaluma was eating gluten-free delights at the time, and didn’t want to show her face. Tony did 99% of the driving, and never lost his cool (bet ya didn’t know he had those tattoos, now did ya?):
Jaggery actually formed in New York ~ i lived there for six and a half years, until 2008. it’s always fascinating for me to visit ~ oscillating emotions battle one another in my head and heart. kind of like visiting a former lover, and remembering our time together ~ a sort of wistfullness, a longing, getting hit with how much potential there was, potential for this endless wild maniacal exciting everything-at-your-fingertips to-the-second-power sort of existence, but then remembering too the feeling of never really feeling appreciated, or a part of. (wow, i just realized i closely relived that with an actual person soon after moving to Boston. blog epiphany!)
we played The Living Room that night (Lower East Side/East Village area) in between warm summer thunder showers, with Not Waving But Drowning, a NY band who is fronted by a self-taught multi-instrumentalist named Pinky, as well as a fellow who used to live in the same loft as myself in Greenpoint, Brooklyn. they call themselves ‘a junkyard cabaret’ and their joy-filled noise needs to come to Boston and/or an Org ASAP. while we fiddled around w/ our T-shirts, and prepared for our first set of the tour, these guys phonofiddled and stomped above. here is myself, Petaluma, and Rachel, fiddling with T-shirts:
The Living Room is a lovely, listening room, with a baby grand, and an always-no-cover policy. it was a beautiful first night of tour, and we felt the New York love like we never have before:
after our set, Rachel, Petaluma and i proceeded into the bar area, where the instant-photo booth turned us into giggling school girls on a mission for a skincare endorsement:
that night we drove to NJ to stay at Petaluma’s apartment, and noted the rainbow colored lights of the Empire State Building, in honor of Pride. we slept long and hard at Petaluma’s place ~ the last time we’ll ever see it, as she moves to Cambridge this month!!! while some of us were still sleeping thru the late morning, the landlord barged in with a couple who wanted to see it. it was awkward. later i bumped into the same couple at the local coffee shop, and the bohemian disarray had not deterred them ~ they’d put their deposit down.
Day Two: June 23rd, Bethlehem, PA
we had a very short drive to our next destination ~ Bethlehem, PA. first off we found a fantastic restaurant called Horns that served drinks in ball jars, had a dark wood interior, and whose local-and-fresh emphasized menu utterly hit the spot. as evening approached, we made our way to the art-space where we would be playing with our buddies This Way To The Egress and A Bear, who set the show up for us.
the space was amazing. here is Petaluma trying to tune her harp amidst sweltering but visually inspiring conditions:
we stayed at Taylor (of Egress) ‘s parents place, and ogled Egress’s fantastic 15-person van:
Sarah and Taylor, who head Egress, are on the top end of my list of All-Around Awesome Musician Friends. i love these two. the folks from A Bear were also exceptionally awesome. i wish these folks lived closer to Boston.
Day Three: June 24th, Baltimore, MD
Day Three was another short drive, to Baltimore. first stop: WLOY, Loyola University’s radio station. we chatted with DJ Christopher Sweeney about all sorts of stuff ~ he recorded our show later that night, and we will post the combined links/archive when they’re up. here are some photos:
we hung around in the Hampden neighborhood of Baltimore for a few hours. i got a kale salad dropped on my foot at a local cafe, and then got another salad for free b/c of it. was a good thing we ate earlier, b/c the venue, The Windup Space, was in a no-food zone, at least on a Sunday night.
this was the musical highlight night of the tour for me. The Windup Space is a beautiful spot, with excellent sound. the opening band, Three Red Crowns, blew me away: intricate mainly-instrumental Steve Reich-ish compositions with conversational interplay between violins, cello, and saxophone. headliners Yeveto saturated my synapses with trance-inducing tribal-esque “crespuscular” sounds bringing to mind the Blue Man Group band, in their heavier moments.
that night, we stayed with local Baltimore musician Letitia Vansant, and her awesome pitbull, Champ, who curled up in bed with petaluma. we made ourselves so much at home there, that later on we realized we hadn’t idiot-checked our departure, and had left a few things behind in Baltimore. a word to the wise: never EVER forego the idiot check!
Day Four: June 25th, Washington, DC
lucky us, we had another very short drive to our nation’s capital ~ and Rachel’s hometown ~ the following day, where we played The Red Palace. we had played this venue during our last tour (with our friends, and Rachel’s other band, Walter Sickert & the Army of Broken Toys) and it had been revamped, revealing a larger stage and performance area (and less focus on the ‘museum of oddities’ theme of the previous Palace of Wonders). this night we were afforded the one-and-only sound-check we received for the entire tour. we played with post-orchestral rockers Strange Victories and the experimental and improvisational Parsons de Lautreamont’s Uncanny Orchestra. we also got a review where we were described as “Requiem for a Dream dreamy” (we’ll take it) ~ you can read the full review here.
here are some photos from that night:
as if the night couldn’t get any better, after the show we were invited to an absolutely exceptional bar ~ Church & State ~ a few doors down by friends of Rachel who happened to own it. it was closed, but they opened it just for us, and mixed us drinks made only from small batch U.S.-sourced ingredients while we gasped at delight at the beautiful decorations ~ all foraged from churches. in case you didn’t know, i have a thing for churches. this place was heavenly (tee hee) we went a little nuts when we found out there were confessionals in the back:
that night we stayed at Rachel’s moms place outside of DC and got to fawn over little-kid pictures of Rachel. but sleep was short ~ we had our Long Run the following day:
Day Five: June 26th, Jamestown, NY
first on the agenda was to head back to Baltimore to retrieve the stuff we’d left behind. then we spent ten, count’em TEN, hours in the van, from 9am to 7pm, when we finally arrived in Jamestown, where we were scheduled to play TWO shows. yikes. here is a shot from somewhere along the route:
Jamestown is right outside of Lakewood, where Tony lived for many years in a cottage on a lake. we’ve spent a bunch of time there over the years, and played Jamestown last time we were on the road. we first arrived at Labyrinth Press Co, the local coffee and sandwich shop, with a stage in the back. this place has delicious, rich coconut milk lattes, and thick green, sweet smoothies. our friend Jeremy, who was opening for us on accordion and percussion, was already there, as we tumbled out of the van and tried out our stiffened limbs. we played a pared-down set (just ca’hon, not full drum kit) to a crowd of under 21-ers, who wouldn’t be able to get into our later show, which was directly afterwards and a couple of streets down, at Mojo’s.
Mojo’s makes me very happy, but even the warm and welcoming vibe, and the stage smoke during our set couldn’t overcome the physical exhaustion and vocal fatigue i began experiencing that night. i was relieved when that day was over. never will i do two shows in one day again! (though Tony says he’s heard me say that before).
Day Six: June 27th, Toronto, ON …. actually, scratch that: Buffalo, NY
the next morning, after our traditional breakfast journey to Wegmans, we made our way towards Toronto, for a show with the haunting Clara Engel at The Boat. Twas not to be. We were DENIED ENTRY into Canada ~ told by the humourless guard that legally U.S. bands were not allowed to play an establishment like The Boat, which is not a proper “concert venue” but is more of a restaurant and/or bar. apparently, by playing our show, we would be taking away opportunities from Canadian bands. i had thought i had the proper paperwork for avoiding such a debacle, but apparently not. later, a different guard was incredibly sweet and apologetic and told us we didn’t do anything wrong. Rachel tried to give him a CD, but he told us he couldn’t take it as it might look like bribing. but he did take a sticker.
we headed back to Buffalo, with heavy hearts:
we began a concerted effort to find a show in Buffalo, and basically began knocking on venue doors. we were all hungry and rachel and petaluma looked up food places on rachel’s iPad (which was definitely the star of this tour ~ helping us out immeasurably on a daily basis). the first place that came up was Merge, a vegan-friendly restaurant that also had live music, which friends had told me about when i was planning the tour. in fact, i had been in touch w/ Merge about doing a show, but the dates hadn’t worked out. we traipsed over to Delaware Avenue and began our solicitation. unbelievably, the free jazz duo scheduled that night had cancelled. the night was ours!
after what was probably the best meal of tour, we set up. we had to run our own sound (or rather, Tony ran our sound), and we needed to keep the volume on the low side, as we were essentially providing backdrop to dinner patrons. we did what we could promotion-wise, announcing on Facebook and Twitter the new show info. Jeremy, who played with us in Jamestown, lives in Buffalo, and he came down with a bunch of his friends. to a small, but rapt audience, we played an extended semi-acoustic set. our ‘monitors’ were our own ears, hearing ourselves live and acoustically. i learned a ton about how i sing through this show ~ bad habits, as well as good. one audience member bought us two bottles of wine and talked Zen with us after the show.
as a control freak, i don’t allow for much spontaneity in my life, and to have such a positive spontaneous outcome out of what was really a shitty situation was pretty sweet. Daniel agreed:
we drove back to Tony’s old cottage in Lakewood that night, gaped at the stars, and slept by the lake.
Day Seven: June 28th, Binghamton, NY
all that wine and good times resulted in us yet again not doing an idiot check, and when we woke up on Thursday, we soon realized we’d left our remaining merch at Merge. it was awfully convenient actually, as we were all too happy to go back there for lunch. but man.
after lunch in Buffalo, we headed to Binghamton ~ a mountainous journey with stunning views. we arrived at the hoppin’ Lost Dog Cafe, an expanding restaurant, bar/lounge, and now performance space ~ part of which was a former hair salon. street view:
wall in performance area:
we had no idea what to expect, but were reassured by the message on the bathroom wall:
quickly, it became apparent we were in good hands ~ the head bartender, Sage, welcomed us, letting us know “if you need anything, ANYthing at all, just yell ‘SAGE!’ ~ feel free to use the mic.” the free dinner was EXCELLENT ~ big, hearty portions, and exquisite food with plenty of gluten-free and vegan options for the predominantly choosy Jaggery palette. we had been given a monster 3 hour set, and as were setting up, we decided the plan would be to play our entire discography in chronological order. however, once the show began, we abandoned this idea as we quickly realized that we would need more than 3 hours for that, so we just picked our favourites from each album. the room filled with folks who came specifically because they’d heard there would be live music ~ a new thing at Lost Dog (apparently we were the second or third band to christen the space). the audience was one of the most supportive of the tours ~ buying us almost out of T-shirts and CDs. (one fellow bought all our CDs before we even played. a harp can do that for you.) Lost Dog treated us both like royalty and like family. after the monster set, we hung out with the staff and locals and learned about the history of the place, and the fine, hard-working and beautifully-spirited women who run it.
later that evening, the dream continued ~ we had arranged to stay with the parents of a friend of ours. we arrived well after they’d turned in, to find new toothbrushes placed carefully on each of our designated pillows, and a hand-drawn map of the house. the next morning we were treated to a lavish pancake breakfast, as though we were in a b & b. the kindness of strangers awed me.
Day Eight: June 29th, Providence, RI
things get a little fuzzy for me here ~ the ongoing lack of sleep, the relentless heat, and the awareness of the finish line has made my memory not as sharp for this day. (also, this blog has gotten way too long. congratulations if you’ve read this far.) after coffee at a very cool spot (White Electric), we arrived at Firehouse 13 ~ a former firehouse-turned-music-venue. we had an absolutely delicious dinner at Jillian’s (i want to go here on my birthday ~ it was that good. this was the best-eating tour any of us could have imagined). Allysen Callery and her band, Night Kitchen, opened the evening with delicate, haunting experimental-ish folk (Snow Pony is my favorite song of hers). Alec K Redfearn, and two of his Eyesores, played next ~ accordion, keyboards, and upright bass. next was us. i had fun going a little crazy during No Sympathy, and i ended up covered in bruises, with a bunged-up knee later on. it was a blast. the headliners, Daniel Oullette and the Shobijin, have to be seen to be believed ~ i will not even attempt words. at one point they passed out little plastic dinosaurs and mustaches. this is how that night ended:
we drove back to Boston after the show, unpacking the van and falling in a heap into my apartment. Petaluma and i didn’t get to bed until the sun was coming up. the next day was a no-gig day, in preparation for the final show.
Last Day: July 1st, Somerville, MA
tour would not have been complete without the Monster Masquerade. this show was a long time in the coming. as some of you know, it was originally scheduled for a different venue for the night previous, but due to unforeseen circumstances, we had to change it somewhat suddenly. Somerville’s relatively new venue, Radio, saved the day, offering us the night and going above and beyond the typical rock venue, catering to our every request. what could have been a really bad situation turned into a glorious, festive, celebratory homecoming show. this is how happy Daniel and Tony were, en route to Radio:
pictures were taken:
instruments were exchanged:
toasts were made:
Rachel rapped like Rob Base (and those are real antlers around her waist):
Petaluma wore cookie monster eyes in her hair:
i left lipstick marks on my favorite masked monster:
& the unreasonably gifted Kristilyn Stevenson painted:
then it was over.
i wrote all of this to process it somewhat for myself ~ it’s so easy to return and just hit the ground running, immediately getting caught up in what’s next on the agenda. i wanted to take a moment to reflect on what was really a special experience. i also thought sharing the experience might prove interesting for fellow bands, as well as friends and fans. most of all, i wanted to express my gratitude: to my unreasonably dedicated, exceptional bandmates, to the bands we played with, the venues we played, and the many strangers who became our friends during this entirely non-rude awakening tour. i know i felt quite blessed on this tour, and i am so grateful to all of you who made it so.
i, for one, cannot wait to do it again. however, this was daniel’s reaction to that proposition:
we can’t wait to see you all again. keep in touch to find out when, and where, that will be.
love to all, Singer Mali
after two years of playing mainly within the Boston-area environs, we are HITTING THE ROAD. The Road Awakening Tour brings us out into the wilderness beyond the Massachusetts border. here’s the when & where:
specific info about each show is to the right ————————>
OR by clicking SHOWS above, at the top of this page
(details for some shows are still being worked out, but will be updated, so visit often.)
we are so very excited at this opportunity to play for so many new folks, as well as those in areas we have not visited for some time now. we need YOUR HELP to SPREAD THE WOR D about these shows ~ if you would like to help, email: email@example.com with the subject header: Road Awakener (that would be you).
& guess what else: we will have T-shirts.
see you somewhere in the East Coast area trés soon!
we are eagerly anticipating our next Boston show, which is taking place on Saturday, May 19th at the beautiful all-ages, grand-piano toting venue, Cafe 939. Heather Christian & the Arbornauts (NYC) will open the night ~ they had us all shocked and drooling when they played with us at a private event in March. Heather is part blues musician, part pixie, part old lady and she “howls like a werewolf with a voice made of molasses.” (Variety Magazine). Her dream-hymnals are a staple at esteemed venues in New York like Joe’s Pub and LaMama. You really do not want to miss her set, so get ye to the show early. Sarah Rabdau also joins the bill, with her new side project, Foolish Ida. Inspired by Sarah’s favorite children’s book, “Outside Over There” by Maurice Sendak, the Foolish Ida song cycle is composed of tales suggesting how the main character ~ Ida ~ might have grown up after being forever changed by the events from Sendak’s book. Swirling piano, strings, organ, and layers of voices paint a picture of possibilities about a young woman wracked with familial responsibilities, love, and doubt. Jaggery’s set tonight features Jonah Sacks on cello, and a handful of brand new songs with which we’ll be testing the waters before we hit the road for a short tour in June. This show is gonna be dreamy and delicious so hope you can make it!
Image: Stian Berg Larsen
Some of you may know of the Org performance party events Singer Mali has been producing at Cloud Club, in Boston, over the last four years. These are generally “themed” evenings of local (and sometimes beyond) music, story-telling, art, film, performance art, dance, and community. Occasionally Org moves beyond the intimate environs of Cloud Club and takes up space at the club-theater Oberon, in Cambridge, MA. Org: Intoxication is the third Org to be held at Oberon, on the heels of Org: Murder Ballads, and Org: Asylum. The show is Friday, April 20th, at 8pm.
Singer Mali will be musically MC-ing the night, joined by her long-time collaborater (who also happens to be her brother), Raky Sastri ~ of You Won’t and NoHow On. The two formed what eventually became the Jaggery you know of today, in 2001, under the name The Throes. Raky, though no longer the primary Jaggery drummer, continues to appear on Jaggery albums and sometimes at live shows. However, this show will be the first actual Throes “reunion” in over a decade!
An assortment of musicians, dancers, magic-makers, filmmakers, and other artists will be riffing on the theme of inebriation for this one, seeking to “exhilarate and stupefy as if by liquor”. Enter the hookah bar of your imagination, and be prepared to get into an altered state via music, dance, film, magic, and more.
Info and Tickets HERE
A few of us will be coming out of winter hibernation to play at the second annual [Songs of] Winter recital, hosted by Brian King of What Time Is It, Mr. Fox?, this year, at the esteemed Club Passim in Harvarcd Square, Cambridge. Mali, Rachel, and Tony ~ with Nate Greenslit on drums ~ will perform an assortment of wintry covers and originals. Adv tickets here: http://bit.ly/w4FznO
in honor of the winter holy daze, we have a digital stocking stuffer for you revelers ~ our take on the 16th century lullaby lament, Coventry Carol:
click here for your no-minimum-pay-what-you-want download.
and last year’s, Arabian Dance (from The Nutcracker) still holds up as well:
please share far and wide.
we wish you all the best for the holidays and the coming new year!
our current undertaking has us arranging songs by Def Leppard, Paula Abdul, and Rob Base (with some Cocteau Twins and Dead Can Dance thrown in for good measure) ~ among others. why? the lovely folks at Boston Band Crush asked us to be a part of their Mixtape series and the year of note this time is 1988. this is also a self-indulgent personal fantasy for Singer Mali, who came of age in the late 80s, and has always had a soft spot for the power ballad and feathered bangs. join us at the new Union Square (Somerville, MA) club, Radio, on Saturday, December 10th, in your late-80s finest, and be prepared for some serious sing-along-ing. the esteemable Jonah Sacks joins us on cello for this one (’cause how, we ask, could we perform Love Bites without a cello?):
more info here
next on the agenda: we aim to turn The Middle East Upstairs upside down and into an interactive art space ~ for one night only. We’re sharing this experiment in audience art participation with some of our favourite new-ish Boston bands: the rock opera-tastic SchoolTree, the inspired avant-art-rockers BENT KNEE, and the beautiful, alterna-lilters, Sounds of Venus.
contrary to what the flyer says, doors are actually 9pm. advance tickets thru Ticketfly HERE and thru Ticketweb HERE, and of course at the Middle East box office, if you are smart and want to avoid the service fees. (box office hours: daily 2 – 8pm).
bring your inner artist, and PLAY WITH US.
Our next endeavor has us assuming the unique role of live radio drama house band, contributing a live “soundtrack” for the Post-Meridian Radio Players adaptation of The Legend of Sleepy Hollow. The show is part of The Big Broadcast of 1954 ~ a two part radio drama running for six nights (Oct 19th, 20th, 21st, 27th, 28th, & 30th) this month at the beautiful Regent Theater in Arlington, MA. We’ll be performing creepy music written by local Boston composer, Michael J. Veloso ~ and we’ll be sneaking in a few post-show Jaggery sets, featuring our most Halloween-y material ~ on Thursday 10/27, Friday 10/28, and Sunday 10/30.
shows are all at 8pm, and are $20 general admission, $15 for students/seniors
more info about the broader Sleepy Hollow Ride Across America (of which our production of Sleepy Hollow is a part) here: http://www.sleepyhollow2011.com/
hope you will join us …..mwahahahahahahahahahahahahahhahahahahaha!!!!!!!
thanks to all who made the Unabridged residency a phenomenal experience for us!
next up . . . Org: Asylum
info, and tickets, here: http://www.cluboberon.com/events/org-asylum
we are excitedly preparing for our August residency at the Lizard Lounge in Cambridge, MA:
each night will feature a different Jaggery formation, and a totally different set. we guarantee will never repeat a song.
each night also features some of the best and most innovative new Boston band projects (links below):
8/18 ~ Honeycircuit ~ new project from Kara Trott, former lead singer of Fluttr Effect, plus Eric Freeman
8/31 ~ Hello Dust~ formerly Now You, the duo of Carla Kihlstedt and Matthias Bossi (Sleepytime Gorilla Museum, Tin Hat); savagely delicate, majestically intimate, stark, raw, and shocking in beauty and intensity
we hope you will join us (almost) every Wednesday in August for these very special evenings.
ticket link coming soon
for a limited time ~ til July 8th ~ we are offering sneak-peak-preview downloads of our to-be-released EP
photo: Noah Blumenson-Cook
after July 8th, the EP will go into hiding again until the Fall (date tba) when we will be officially releasing it as a CD with artwork and a booklet, and (we hope) on vinyl.
info about pre-orders coming soon.
•••• download the Private Violence EP via bandcamp here ••••
until July 8th, we will also be selling a few limited-edition hand-made (by violist, Rachel Jayson) Private Violence art pieces, which come with the download code.
check out the art-merch:
prices range from $15-$25, email
info at jaggery dot org
for ordering details, and better photographic evidence
we also have a few $7-$8 prints, also with the download code:
looking forward to sharing the new music with our most loyal fans!
image: Figures At The Base of An Exeuction, River Hunt © 2003
very excited for our next show, opening for the illustrious indie loveliness of Wye Oak (Baltimore) and the jazzy art-rock of Callers (NYC) ~ our set features Raky Sastri on drums and Petaluma Vale on harp and backing vocals.
tickets –> here
So we did it!
The RPM Challenge 2011!
For those who don’t know, The RPM Challenge is a concept and project started by staff at the Portsmouth, NH alt-newspaper, The Wire. They began it in the mid 2000s, and it caught on nationally and internationally. The challenge is to record (and they suggest write, too) an entire album (10 songs or 35 minutes) of original material over the 28 days of February. Here’s what they have to say:
“Don’t wait for inspiration – taking action puts you in a position to get inspired. You’ll stumble across ideas you would have never come up with otherwise, and maybe only because you were trying to meet a day’s quota. . . Show up and get something done, and invest in yourself and each other.”
How could we say no to that?
Here is the result ~ Sp(l)ice, 35 minutes and 40 seconds of Jaggery experimentation: pure pop, drum ‘n’ bass, creepy Halloween-y, ambient, this thing is all over the place. It’s essentially unmixed & unmastered, but we’re ready to share the results with you!
photo: Tony Leva / graphics: Mali Sastri
tickets –> here
Singer Mali & Rachel Jayson perform on SUNDAY, FEBRUARY 6th as part of this evening of wintry sounds:
Tickets here –> http://www.brownpapertickets.com/event/154431
~ Happy Winter Solstice ~
We are pleased to present you with our first ever holiday single:
Tchaikovsky’s ‘Arabian Dance‘ from The Nutcracker Suite.
Free download available thru bandcamp: –> here <–
Check out our new video (just released) directed by Noah Blumenson-Cook!
We are thrilled to unveil our second music video:
directed by Noah Blumenson-Cook
click on the link, have a look, & leave your comments!
coming directly to this page soon . . .
We are thrilled to unveil our second music video via youtube on
Cyber Monday, November 29th, 2010
Sea of Sideways ~ directed by Noah Blumenson-Cook ~ premiered recently at Café 939 in Boston and Oberon in Cambridge. We had a handful of DVDs for sale, in handmade-by-Rachel-Jayson sleeves, but those sold out immediately.
Soon YOU can see the video for yourself!
Noah Blumenson-Cook won Most Promising Filmmaker 2009 for his work on our first video, O Scorpio, from our 2006 album Polyhymnia. Sea of Sideways ~ from our recently released third recording, Upon A Penumbra ~ was filmed during a heat wave this past August in Littleton, MA.
Tune into youtube anytime after 12am on November 29th ~ we’ll be launching a new Jaggery youtube channel as well:
exact link for video tba!
THANK YOU EVERYBODY
Greetings friends. We members of Jaggery are still recovering from our second music video shoot, for the Upon A Penumbra track, Sea of Sideways. Director Noah Blumenson-Cook (who directed our first video, O Scorpio) put us all through a physically arduous & gruelling experience ~ all in the name of art, of course! We look forward to sharing the finished product with you in the coming weeks, while we mend our bruises, cuts, & bug bites.
check out photos from last week’s CD release here: http://foundwaves.com/
Foundwaves has been very good to us.
If you are an artist, photographer, videographer, writer, etc, check them out ~ they are always looking for contributors:
Welcome to the newly rehauled Jaggery website! Stay awhile, have a look around, take a listen to our new album, & do keep in touch!