From Then to Now
Welcome to the new band blog! The Belle Jar really doesn’t have much of a blogging history to date, so this shouldbe fun…in moderation, of course. Everything in moderation. I think I did a blog post when Fall Systems Go (download it for free here) finally got done, but that was back when it was a solo project, so it may as well have just said, The album is done. What do I do now?
Move ahead to 2012, and we’ve got all this fancy social media stuff that Matthew has set up since he’s been in the band. The Belle Jar Facebook page, for example, transformed from essentially nothing into something light-years beyond my comprehension in its awesomeness. No joke. It was only about a month ago that I personally figured out how to “officially” invite people to shows via Facebook. This should tell you everything you need to know about how much I have contributed to the Belle Jar social media upgrades.
As for the band, there are six of us Belles now.
In order of appearance, Matthew came first. Matthew possesses several useful skills. He plays bass, sings harmonies, and makes people hear of the band via computer machines and telephones.
I met JJ next. The first thing he did was write a flattering review of Fall Systems Go for the new G to C Magazine. And as it turned out, he also played drums. Both effectively and with all kinds of energy. He became the full-time drummer not too long after that.
Both Andy and Courtney showed up last November…just in time to help us open for Kathryn Calder at Larimer Lounge. Also a member of New Pornographers, Ms. Calder was on tour supporting her new solo album, which had been getting lots of time on NPR and such. Not a bad first gig, I’d say. Incidentally, Andy and Court both possess the rare ability to come up with great parts that I never would have stumbled across on my own. Never. Andy does it on the guitar, Court does it on the violin, the keys, and the accordion. That’s great, because arguably the hardest part of collaborative song-building is trying to explain with words what you’re hearing in your mind, mostly while using phrases that don’t actually mean anything. Phrases like, “I’d like to hear something a little less bouncy and a little more wistful.”
Finally, we found Emily Rose Lewis to play some sparkling violin while Court was in London this past summer doing England stuff. I don’t exactly remember how we convinced Em to join us on a more permanent basis, but I’m glad we pulled it off. As if we weren’t already having a great time…
As for the new album, Union Station, we are aiming for an early spring release. In the meantime, we will be fundraising and recording. Check back soon for more news and updates, and come see us live on December 17 at Larimer Lounge with Kopecky Family Band!
[post by Ryan]
photos by Dan Shargel