SCV Podcasts Vol 74: “Morning Light, Day Light, Evening Light” by Danny Paul Grody
SCV Podcasts Vol 74
“Morning Light, Day Light, Evening Light”
Compiled and mixed by Danny Paul Grody
Danny Paul Grody is a multi-instrumentalist who has been releasing records since 1995 with the start of the San Francisco based band Tarentel. Now he is a founding member of The Drift and has formed a body of work that stretches into many regions of contemporary music. Lush and emotionally rich, his music will stand the test of time and fits in perfectly with the world of new American music. His sounds are a part of a group of musicians who are defining why it is so special to experience this collection of thoughts, energy, wisdom and creativity of modern roots music. We contacted Danny to compile a mix for our podcast series and he was very gracious to give his time. Creating a mix with materials that have influenced him lately along with 2 unreleased tracks he plans to release with full lengths this year, we were blown away immediately by the results. Sound scape visual stimulation occurs every time I listen to his music and we could not be more proud than to present this beautiful roots orientated mix of music. Below is a brief statement from Danny about the mix, the link to listen via our Mixcloud page and an interview we conducted today. Enjoy! -Erik Otis
From Danny Paul Grody:
It’s not overtly themed, but more of a sampler of stuff I’ve been digging lately. In addition to songs that have inspired me, I’ve also included the solo track “Hello From Everywhere” from my forthcoming LP on Students of Decay entitled “In Search Of Light” which will be released in August as well as a track called “Sunday Brunch” from a project I’m in called Moholy-Nagy (myself, Trevor Montgomery, and Jefre Cantu-Ledesma – all from the Tarentel family!) which is releasing our debut full-length entitled “Like Mirage” coming out this Fall on Temporary Residence Ltd. It will be available on CD, LP, and digital formats. I’m happy to share some teasers before their respective releases.
Tracklisting (song > artist > album):
1. Window / Stefano Pilia / Action Silence Prayers
2. Summer Street / Black Eagle Child / Lobelia
3. Moonyean / Loren Connors / As Roses Bow
4. Morgengruss II / Popol Vuh / Coeur de Verre
5. Around The Old Neighbourhood / Mark Mcguire / Living With Yourself
6. Tribute To The Philosophy Of James Estell Bradley / William Ackerman / It Takes A Year
7. Spring / Voice Of The Seven Woods / Solo Guitar Recordings
8. Untitled / William Eaton / Wayfaring Strangers: Guitar Soli
9. Hello From Everywhere / Danny Paul Grody / In Search Of Light
10. Sunday Brunch / Moholy-Nagy / Like Mirage
11. Fernwärme / Michael Rother / Fernwärme
Sound Colour Vibration Interview with Danny Paul Grody
How did some of these songs find you and how does it represent your view of where music has gone?
Well honestly my ears are always hungry and they know when something is really special or speaks to me in some way… often times it’s the stuff that gradually seeps in and takes hold of my subconscious over repeated listens and not the always the songs that immediately stand out.
What are your favorite settings to enjoy music in? Headphones, bike ride? Huge system, your computer? With friends, without? Any specific settings that you have naturally utilized to make your experiences more worthwhile to you?
At night as I fall asleep, on long drives, amongst friends, live, while looking at the pacific ocean, on headphones at sunset/sunrise. Of course, these are all romantic notions. (the reality which sounds less interesting!) is that I hear music more consistently at home in my studio from my computer or record player.
I feel the same, if I could have it my way I would listen in all the settings you mentioned everyday. Is there a certain part of the pacific you like to go?
Well the Pacific is lovely from most anywhere, but seeing that I live in SF, some special spots are China Beach, Ocean Beach, Marin Headlands, Presideo… to name but a few.
Lovely, I am from Southern CA and the oceans beaches from Frisco on up start to change a lot, more rocks and the water becomes very cold. Do you ever create any of your music while on the beach?
Yeah.. I come from San Diego so I can totally relate. Not the same ocean in that sense.
I love Laguna Beach in San Diego, some of the private sections have the most beautiful coves. The reverb and echo is nuts inside of them! You ever use any areas like that to record?
To answer your question, no I have not created music while on the beach, but the ocean certainly inspires! There’s this old military battery fortification in the marine headlands called “Battery Townsley” that’s famous amongst lot’s of locals for recording in. I’ve recorded and done performances there – super special space with tons of natural reverb overlooking the pacific, the SF Bay, and the epic surrounding landscape.
I have to check that out, that sounds incredible. do you remember the songs in particular you recorded there?
My band Tarentel did some recording there many years ago. It’s been so long that I can’t remember the specifics. I played there solo last year for a festival that recorded my set… many songs from my forthcoming release. The festival was called Soundwave. It’s a non profit annual fest. They recorded the set with “ambisonic” mic’s that supposedly re-create a sound very close to the actual acoustic live experience and have created an event to listen back to the records of the performances… should be cool. here’s a link (scroll down): http://www.me-di-ate.net/playback-audiobus-battery-townsley-soundlab/
I wanted to ask you about your project Moholy-Nagy which you have included an unreleased track for us in your mix. How did you guys come together and decided that a proper release with Temporary Residence was to be in order?
Moholy-Nagy was purely born from a shared fascination with cosmic music, German kraut, and the simple fact that we have played music over the years and felt it was time to re-convene and play together, as it had been some time since we all shared the same space that way. Very casual, fun, and exploratory affair. Not a ton of pretense. We never really set out to be a “band” and release albums etc. It just evolved and felt worthy of recording. One third of the group, Jefre Cantu-Ledesma was moving to Berlin so we decided to record it all before he left. We sent it to our long time collaborator and friend Jeremy Devine who runs Temporary Residence and he was into it…
Speaking of Tarentel, I have wanted to ask you about the inclusion of Paul Clipson who displayed super 8mm film when I saw you guys in CA some years ago and it was an exceptional aspect to the live performance. Where did you guys source the 8mm film from and do you plan to carry that on with other projects of yours?
Paul was considered a band member for many years. He came everywhere with us – Europe, Japan, all over. The super 8 footage was all shot by him on his super 8 and 16mm cameras – he’s a bonafide filmmaker. Super talented guy. We all collaborated with him in many settings in and outside of Tarentel and will continue to do so…he’ll be making a video for The Drifts upcoming album – super excited about it!
Do you guys have the concept filled out for the video already?
No we have always worked very loosely this way on purpose. Paul usually soaks in the music and then responds visually. We all come from abstract points of view so that method has seemed to suit best. When film and music is paired there’s always uncanny relationships made – very satisfying and exciting way to work.
I love that idea, I am starting a film series based upon the setting of musicians and that loose feeling of anything they shoot and record ideas too. I always love when people don’t over think a situation. I have always felt the music you create is very cinematic in the result of it all. What are some films that are very close to your heart?
Thanks! let’s see… recently “Nostalgia for the Light”, Herzog’s ”Cave of Forgotten Dreams”, less recently… anything by Tarkovsky, Terrence Malick’s “Day’s Of Heaven”, “Night Of The Hunter”, all Hitchcock, Akira Kurosawa’s “Dreams”, “Afterlife”, on and on…
Did you get to see the Tree of Life from Malick?
Good. Yeah… saw Tree of Life. Mixed feelings. I have such high expectations from Malick and felt in many ways it was a beautiful film, but it also felt (dare I say) overly ambitious and a little half-baked as a result. My friend put it perfectly using the analogy of rich chocolate cake. The first couple bites are so so good, but then it starts to be too rich, too sweet, and you begin to feel queasy and almost ill from it… that, to me, was how it felt visually… all the billowing open windows and sun-dappled close-ups of beautiful people. Got to be a bit much over the coarse of the whole film.
Everyone keeps recommending it to me, I plan to see it very soon.
Definitely worth seeing. Opinions are opinions… you may have a very different reaction. I know tons of folks who loved it. Plus, Malick is an important filmmaker and deserves notice regardless.
Before we end this interview I wanted to say thank you for your time. I really appreciate it along with the mix. We will be supporting your music for years to come, cheers.
Thanks so much Erik. It was a nice chat and really appreciate your support and interest!