Thursday, June 30, 2011
“There are no greater truths than those learned through the miracle of song,” Jackie Greene writes in the introduction to Gone Wanderin’: The Songs of Jackie Greene 2001-2011. “All is exposed. A lyric may unearth a knowledge from your soul that you didn’t know you had.”
Greene, a Salinas native, will celebrate the release of the 200-page songbook with an acoustic performance on Saturday, July 2, at Henry Miller Library. The collection features the lyrics of every song the singer-songwriter has penned over the past 10 years, including unreleased material he plans to play for the first time in Big Sur.
“It took me quite awhile to put this book together,” Greene explains on his website. “I went through old notebooks, demo tapes and made some footnotes for many of the songs, just to give a little bit of insight into their origin and whatnot.”
Greene’s sixth solo effort, Till The Light Comes (produced by Greene and Tim Bluhm of The Mother Hips), also recently hit the streets. The album’s 10 tracks are a jumble of country, blues, folk and dusty Americana. The six-minute-plus title track comes at you like a Robbie Robertson-inspired wall of sound fueled by organ, electric guitar and unexpected rhythm changes.
On Sunday, a divergent-but-no-less-popular musical vibe finds the stage as Blonde Redhead brings its seminal dream pop to the redwoods.
In 2008, the trio – consisting of Japan native Kazu Makino and Italy-born brothers Amedeo and Simone Pace – was given a quirky task: to score the music for The Dungeon Masters, a documentary on the role-playing game Dungeons & Dragons.
“I guess the film’s director must have liked our music, because I had never heard of [Dungeons and Dragons],” says singer Makino, just after finishing a soundcheck in Calgary, Alberta.
Blonde Redhead’s ethereal sound has proven to fit nicely with several film and television soundtracks throughout the years, including the vigilante thriller Hard Candy and the British TV series Skins, which paved the way for the video game.
“Once [our music] is released, it belongs to everyone, and I’m OK with it being used in any way,” Makino says.
The title song from the group’s acclaimed LP 23 has a shoegazer sensibility similar to My Bloody Valentine and Lush. Makino’s celestial voice sounds like it merges with the guitars to become one instrumental entity, an element present on all eight of Blonde Redhead’s albums.
“I always feel like all our albums are so similar, but people are always saying that we change so much,” Makino says. “I know that no one hears the music like we hear it.”
Since the band formed in 1993, Makino says, the most creative moments usually come at the most unexpected times.
“[Our songwriting process] comes in different varieties,” she says. “Sometimes when we’re preparing for tour or in the studio, we end up fooling around, and if we all like the ideas coming out, we take it further.”
JACKIE GREENE plays 8pm Saturday, July 2, at Henry Miller Library, a quarter mile south of Nepenthe Restaurant on Highway 1, Big Sur. $35. 667-2574.
BLONDE REDHEAD plays 7pm Sunday, July 3. $30.