HH Blog

Whether the couple behind the music of Holly Hunt realizes it or not, they treat their instruments as channels into something beyond simple music. Their instruments are like ray guns. The tool emitting this spectral ray may look impressive or intimidating, but behold that psychedelic beam of light: a thing that exists beyond the object producing it. Guitarist Gavin Perry and drummer Beatriz Monteavaro are the architects behind the wall of texture that defines Year One, a brilliant if heavy vinyl record that will appeal to fans of metal, avant-garde, psychedelic rock and noise. P1000575Label genres also might include sludge core and stoner metal. You can go down that road, but this album’s possible appeal across several underground music scenes comes from a discreet tension between ambiguity and minimalism. I would take its DNA as far back as the early seventies when Philip Glass experimented with what he called “psychoacoustical” music like Music With Changing Parts.

It’s as pure and unique as that. It’s chaos that depends on discipline. The texture Holly Hunt deals in stands as something more than a random roar of guitars and a clatter of drums. The first note of Year One is an awe-inspiring thing to hear unfold. It’s a sizzle wrapped in a rumble enveloped in a zip coated with a thrum. Most of the album’s great moments come from Perry licking at his guitar slowly and methodically, allowing for the reverb to reveal the density within the tones produced by his playing. Monteavaro pounds along with minimal flair. She strikes skins, cymbals and peddles in halting unison, allowing space for Perry’s guitar to produce a sound of incomparable quality. Though the structure of the instrumental pieces that define Year One are often repetitive and droney, there exists a chaos in the notes, a sort of beautiful abstraction with each release that only slightly differs from one note to the next. Even if the same in tone, each note possesses as unique a quality as each successive ocean wave crashing into rocks along a shoreline.

Perry and Monteavaro allowed for a peek behind the curtain when they agreed to a meeting at Miami’s most uncompromising bar when it comes to bands like Holly Hunt, who also rely on ear-piercing volume for its overall effect: Churchill’s Hideaway. They nestled into the corner of an outside bar, while longtime local musician Henry Rajan strangled an electric guitar indoors—with his teeth. The screeches peppered our conversation. The 6-foot-plus, bushy-bearded Perry loomed over the spindly framed Monteavaro. Holly Hunt by Lisa Martin-OwensThe two have been a couple for 18 years now, though they only recently began playing together as Holly Hunt. Monteavaro says the band’s unique sound came into existence in February of 2011, after some sonic experimenting and jamming that included them playing other instruments with Nick Klein on guitar.

She parsed out the chain of events via a conversation on Facebook:

“We usually consider our first show at pre-INC [International Noise Conference] 2011 (February) to be the beginning on the band. We did have a noise piece called ‘Carrie Fischer’ come out on the previous December on a cassette, and although it was under the name Holly Hunt, we consider it more proto-Holly Hunt.

“I play bass guitar on that recording, Gavin drums, Nick Guitar. It was a jam. It was after I joined but before we moved to our rightful instruments. I started playing with them in October of 2010 … The band had no name, and the jams were not heavy at all.

“After we recorded the piece that would go on that first tape, Nick left town for several months. I can’t remember how long he was gone, but in January he told us we could play a pre-INC show. So we worked on making that noise piece, Carrie Fischer Holly Hunt cover art. Image courtesy of Holly Hunt.‘Carrie Fischer,’ more structured. That became ‘Cueva,’ and that’s what we played at INC. We played a few more shows with Nick, just playing ‘Cueva,’ or ‘Cueva’ and another version of ‘Carrie Fischer,’ but he lived in West Palm Beach. He was having a lot of trouble making it to practice, so that we could move the band forward. He then decided it would be best if Gavin and I go on without him. No mystery, geographic problems.”

Perry adds, “Nick is a good friend who helped me get up off the ground. He/we were invited to play our first pre-International Noise Conference show at a space called Cueva. We had this piece that was arranged around our current setup with Nick playing bass. The piece got its title from the space as I remember. That really started everything for us.”

There exists a brief testament to the performance at Cueva on video, which captures the layers of sonics distinctive to Holly Hunt before the poor videographer got overwhelmed by the thrashing crowd:

“We met Rat Bastard [aka Frank Fallestra, the brains behind INC],” continues Perry. “He invited us to play the next night at Churchill’s for INC proper. Shit really just kind of took off from there.”

Indeed the sound of Holly Hunt continued to flourish fine and healthy without a third member. Density in sonics like these cannot be restrained. Back at Churchill’s, Perry casually explained his set-up as the duo’s singular guitarist. “I play through two heads right now,” he says, “and that really sets up that dynamic that sort of feels like you could have multiple guitars playing. I have a sort of dedicated bass frequency, low, midrange frequency and a dedicated treble, mid-treb frequency, sort of rig, so I think that sets up a weird stereo kind of feel. You start to really feel like there’s a much broader sound, so it can’t possibly be coming from one instrument. Aside from that, all the oscillations and the buzz sort of develop other things.”

Just as Philip Glass admitted to having been tricked into hearing singing by his own layering of music during a 1969 performance of “Music In Similar Motion,”* Gavin Perry in Holly Hunt. Photo by Danny Kokomo.Perry and Monteavaro both admit people have come up to them with notions of a vocalist on stage. “We get that a lot,” notes Perry. “I think in one of our early shows someone came up and asked, ‘Where’s the singer? Somebody’s got to be singing here. I can hear voices.’”

Monteavaro adds, some of the questions she usually gets include: “Is some of it pre-recorded? Is there a tape going?”

Within that chaos of noise and reverb, lies the open-ended magic of abstractions turned hallucinogenically concrete at an aural level by the duo. Though Holly Hunt writes songs with clear melody, albeit with a droning repetitive quality, there exists dynamism to every refrain, ocean waves providing that perfect metaphor. The members remain modest to their role in the Holly Hunt sound. “I mean, nothing special, I don’t think,” says Perry. “Maybe it’s in our songwriting too, maybe some of the harmonies, discordant notes that we’re playing, the rhythm structures kind of put you into a trance.”

Monteavaro, who has played drums in various hard-edged local bands going on 20 years now, including Beings, Floor and Cavity, notes her style of drumming may assist in shaping the dissonance. “I think maybe also because the tempo is kind of slow,” she says. Beatriz Monteavaro in Holly Hunt at Grand Central. This photo originally appeared on SaltyEggs.com. Photo by Monica McGivern.“It gives all the oscillating things room to sort of build … It’s not like playing these kinds of beats is totally alien to me, anyway, from previous bands, but, when starting this band, and figuring what this band was going to do, I really thought, specifically about the really open, abstract drumming like the Goslings or the first EP of Earth, which is very, very minimal drums, but the ones that are there are just like the old-timey drums on Viking ships to get people to stroke.”

“I think it’s super heavy because there’s not all this flourish and fill,” Perry says of Monteavaro’s playing. “I think that just adds to the level of impending doom, crescendo.”

If you’re listening to Holly Hunt’s debut album on vinyl at a low volume, you are missing out on half of the band’s sound. The album is divided into four sides that spin at 45 rpm, which is important to capturing the subtlety in the “subtext,” per se, of the songs. The vinyl is also decidedly clean sounding, allowing for the chaos of reverb to rumble and the high-pitched whizzes to morph and undulate below the din at high volume without distortion. These notes are sort of auras that are never purposely produced but exist in the moment and come into being from loud volume, a manner Holly Hunt is keen to perform in as well as have its record played. The album was recorded by Torche bassist Jonathan Nuñez at his home studio deep in the Miami suburbs of the Village of Pinecrest.

P1000582

Perry notes that seeing Torche and Harvey Milk play a show at Churchill’s led to an epiphany that became the catalyst to the Holly Hunt sound. “I just had a very visceral experience with their amplifiers,” Perry recalls. “Their tone really just sort of struck. I really just wanted to do that.”

Year One marks Holly Hunt’s debut on vinyl after releasing and selling out two cassettes (now only available in digital form: see Holly Hunt’s bandcamp page to stream all the band’s music from proto-Hunt to Year One). Two independent labels with ties to the Miami alternative music scene joined forces to make it happen: Other Electricities and Roofless Records. Though Other Electricities is based in Portland, Oregon and releases music from bands as far off as Russia and South Africa, the label’s owner, Emile Milgrim recently dropped roots in Miami, where she could not help but notice Holly Hunt. “Having heard so much and having seen them live, I was just mesmerized,” she says. “It spoke to me.”

Plans on a release began at Miami-based Roofless Records, an indie label well-known for working with heavier bands like Holly Hunt. Milgrim says, “I assumed Roofless Records was going to release it, so I approached Matt [Preira, owner of Roofless Records] and asked him, ‘So, when are you going to release that Holly Hunt record?’”

According to Monteavaro, Preira had already designated some funding from a Knight Foundation Grant the label had won the previous year in order to release something by the band. She says the label was considering a pair 7-inches or an EP until Milgrim volunteered her resources. “I think they complimented each other very well,” notes Perry of Preira and Milgrim, “and it’s been a pretty smooth experience.”

As a dual release by Other Electricities and Roofless Records, Milgrim says, Holly Hunt had an object that paid proper respect to its sound. After some waffling on the idea of carrying on the notion to release a single or EP, the decision for a full-length album was an easy decision for all involved. “We went back and forth on whether we were going to do an EP or a full-length,” recalls Milgrim, “and then it finally came to a point where we decided let’s just go for broke. Let’s do a full-length, let’s do a double-LP, let’s make it 45 rpm. Let’s make it as massive as possible because this record’s representative of what they’re doing, and it’s massive.”

All the ingrdients of Year One by Holly Hunt

As already noted, what pours forth from the speakers at not only a Holly Hunt show, but also this brilliantly produced record, released only earlier this month, is something beyond experiential. At first listen it may seem like power chords and head-banging sans singing. But the beauty lies in the details found on that psychoacoustical level, with discreet unintended textures born of chaos. Side C opens with a quavering sustain that lasts for nearly one minute. Before the aptly titled “Molasses” lulls you into thinking the band has veered into the deep-end of ambient music, Perry strokes his guitar strings and Monteavaro bashes at her cymbals sending the track lumbering away like a score to a Godzilla movie.

To Monteavaro, the idea of Year One and civilization-destroying dinosaurs is an apt comparison (the record even includes a track named after the Godzilla movie Destroy All Monsters). Someday, when humanity passes on the way of the dinosaur, physical testaments should remain. Vinyl records could be one of those, including this thing called Year One. “It’s not like absolutely the world’s going to end anytime soon,” she says, “but there’s something really amazing about vinyl in knowing that you don’t even need electricity to get sound out of it. It’s an actual, physical recording that takes no technology. You need a pin, and it’s all there. That’s just so amazing to me. And it seems like the perfect record in case something catastrophic does happen.”

Hans Morgenstern

*Note: According to the liner notes on Music With Changing Parts by Tim Page.

(Copyright 2012 by Hans Morgenstern. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed without permission.)

As promised in the first part of this two-part series of “From the Archives,” here are some samples of the reporting I did to augment my earlier sit down with Sam Beam of Iron and Wine, just before he signed a deal with Sub Pop Records. This reporting resulted in a story in the “Broward/Palm Beach New Times,” which you can read here.

First, here is a simple between Q&A Sam and I compiled from email that followed our face-to-face interviews (This was mostly to flesh out details. I always have more questions as I begin writing a piece, and I would never call any story I turn in a finished work, just turned in at deadline, so I probably could have kept asking him questions)…

This was in response to an email dated May 19, 2002:

Hans Morgenstern: What singers would you consider an influence on your music?

Sam Beam: Lots of influences, primarily J.J. Cale and Nick Drake.

HM: There are lots of references to Christian imagery in your lyrics.  Are you Christian rock? Maybe a follower?

SB: I’m not a Christian. I think the imagery slips in there so often due to the fact that I draw so much of my musical inspiration from the area where I grew up. I was raised in South Carolina, and the Bible belt tends to leave a very lasting impression.

HM: Did you know a friend of yours gave your demo to someone at Sub Pop?

SB: No, I didn’t know. His name is Ben Bridwell*, and he and I had been sending each other our music for quite some time (he was part of a band called Carissa’s Wierd) and Subpop was interested in doing a 7-inch with them and so he kind of stuck some of my music in their ears while he had their attention. I think half of the city of Seattle has heard of Iron and Wine thanks to Ben Bridwell. He’s really quite a saint.

HM: Did you record these songs to get signed?

SB: No, I had no real plans for getting signed. In fact, I was doing research at the time in order to release it myself independently. I honestly didn’t think anyone would be interested. Luckily I was wrong. Personally, I never really liked the idea of making a demo. I believe the music should come about for a different reason anyway. If I were to have sat down and tried to write songs in order to be signed, or to please some people that I’ve never met before, the songs probably would never have come about. Songwriting is hard enough without the added grief.

HM: How did you wind up on the Yeti compilation?

SB: Ben Bridwell again. He is good friends with Mike McGonigal and when [McGonigal] was putting together the Yeti #1, he asked if he could use one of the songs. It’s funny, Mike says he got emails from Czechoslovakia saying, “Iron and wine… what the shit fuck… where I find.” That was the defining moment, when I realized I had finally reached the Czechs… I knew I had a calling…

HM: How did you feel when you heard Sub Pop wanted to release your album?

SB: It was great.

HM: Did you ever think you’d release your songs on such a big shot label?

SB: Are they a big shot label? When I ask most of my friends in Miami if they’ve ever heard of Sub Pop, they say, “Who?” No, I never dreamed of it. It’s really very flattering.

HM: Why were you doing music in the first place?

SB: It seems like I’ve always been doing music. Ever since I got a guitar when I was 14, it’s just been a hobby of mine. It wasn’t until I came across a 4-track recorder a couple of years ago that I started thinking a little more seriously about it. Until then, it was just something to do in those spare moments of the day while trying to resist watching television.

HM: Your sister has red-hair right?

SB: Yes, she does have red hair.

HM: How old is she?

SB: 24

HM: What’s your heritage (what part of Europe are your roots from?)?

SB: Scotch, Irish and English (hence all my internal conflict).

HM: Did you ever think you would be a making a career out of making music?

SB: No, in fact my father had some experience with music promotion when he was in college and warned me very early on not to look at it as anything but a hobby. I think it stuck, I never thought of it seriously as a career. He’s right in a lot of ways, the history of the music industry was written by thieves. So I just spent my spare time playing and writing out of pure enjoyment. I’d still do it, to be honest. The record deal and tour still seem pretty unreal.

HM: If you can, would you be satisfied to do that?

SB: Who doesn’t dream of being rewarded just for doing something they love to do?

HM: What’s it like to get your hobby turned into a career?

SB: When it happens, ask me again.

I think I hit them all, let me know if you need anything else. Good luck Hans and thanks for all your interest–

Talk to you soon-

sam

* * *

You never interview just one person for an artist profile, and as I first saw Sam performing with Rene Barge of Cavity on that fateful night described in Part 1 of this post, I had to include him. After all, he was the more famous of the duo at the time. Plus, it turned out that odd pairing at Churchill’s was no fluke. They would play in that format again at now defunct club called Billabong (I believe it was located in Hollywood, Florida), a week or so after the publication of the original article.

Were there ever recordings made of the two playing these meandering prog-rock instrumentals? I would love to know. I had an old cell number for Barge, but I have not been able to reach him.

Rene Barge interview:
HM: Why is Cavity no more for you?**
RB: I did not feel ourselves as a unit. My needs at this time have been shifting
towards things more personal.

HM: How does it feel to turn from frontman to drummer?
RB: It’s quite different, focuses shift, so do sensibilities.

HM: What is so special about Sam that you want to be in this project with him?
RB: Sam writes beautiful music and is open to many possibilities.

HM: What do you bring to Iron and Wine, creatively?
RB: The drums and percussion that is required. A patient and easy drumming that
locks into and rides just beneath intricate guitar playing. Oddly enough, it’s
got to find its place without interruption.

HM: Have you ever played drums before?
RB: About 10 years ago.

HM: Will you do anything else but play drums in this project?
RB: Sure, in time.

HM: Is this your full-time music job or are you keeping busy with other things?
RB: This is full-time and I do keep busy with other things.

HM: Are you going to tour with I&W, if need be?
RB: Yes. We leave on tour June 15 throughout the NE and MW with Ugly Cassanova and The Kingsbury Manx.

HM: How do you like being linked to Sub Pop Records?
RB: The folks at Sub Pop are fantastic, they are a true pleasure.

* * *

And now on to an email correspondence I had with Sub Pop CEO and co-founder Jonathan Poneman…

Hi, Jonathan,

It’s Hans at the Miami New Times.  I was just finishing up the Iron and Wine story, which we will run before Sam heads out on the road, and I wanted to have something from you in the piece (which is due Monday).  Can you answer a couple of quick questions for me?

Jonathan Poneman: My pleasure!

HM: First, what is your title at Sub Pop?

JP: CEO, I guess.

HM: How did you come across Iron and Wine?

JP: I was introduced to Iron & Wine by way of a CD compilation that accompanied the first edition of “Yeti”, a pop culture ‘zine published in Seattle. I was initially entranced by the meditative quality of the music. Eventually I became enthralled by Sam’s voice and words.

HM: How soon after hearing their recording did you want to sign them?

JP: After a little badgering, Sam sent Sub Pop two CDs full of songs. After listening to both CDs once through, I was utterly convinced that working with Iron & Wine would be a tremendous opportunity and an even bigger honor.

Having now listened to both CDs dozens & dozens of times, I can say in full confidence that Sam is one of the greatest songwriters of his generation.

HM: What did you hear in Iron and Wine’s music that made you want to sign them to your label?

JP: Great songwriting– eloquent, spare and timeless. Beyond that, Sam has a knack for arranging that makes each song quietly arresting.

HM: Is he really contributing to the last of your “singles-of-the-month” offers?

JP: Yes, he is.

HM: Why end that club?

JP: This’ll be the second time that we’ve ended it. It may return someday. It just felt like the time to give it a rest for a spell. If we had a dozen singles of Iron & Wine quality laying about, we’d certainly keep it going for another year.

Thanks! That’s it. I hate to do this to you, but I need your answers as soon as humanly possible, as my story is due no later than Tuesday, first thing in the morning. Much appreciated! Thanks for taking the time to do this. It’s a big deal that a guy from little Miami is signed to your prestigious label.

* * *

So those are some of the emails containing a bit of the raw information that would form the story published in the “Broward/Palm Beach New Times” way back in 2002, just before Beam found his career in music. I leave you with the last song I recorded of him performing at Club Revolution, in Fort Lauderdale on April 12, 2008. It’s the full song of “Naked As We Came.” It’s a fitting end to this 2-part blog post, as it features just Sam and his guitar, like back in the old days, except on a bigger stage.

*He was singer in Carissa’s Wierd at the time of this interview but has since moved on as the frontman of Band of Horses.

**Cavity broke up about a year before this article was printed.

Read Part 1 of this archival piece.

(Copyright 2010 by Hans Morgenstern. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed without permission.)

Iron and Wine’s website has only seen a few news bits dropped this past year. Most recently the band announced the title of its new album, Kiss Each Other Clean, slated for release sometime in early 2011. Not only is there finally some news of a follow-up to 2007’s the Shepherd’s Dog, but also a new tour. Mastermind Sam Beam corralled the band and kicked off a small tour in Europe only a few days ago. A longer North American tour will commence for a couple of dates in October and then again in mid November.

As far as how it pertains to the neighborhood from where I am blogging from (the Greater Miami area), the band has scheduled a stop in Miami Beach on Nov. 18 (tickets went on sale just this past Friday). I do plan to be there, video camera in hand.

So that’s the news on Iron and Wine, which makes it all too suiting for another installment of … “From the Archives” where I offer up some of the older stories I had written for press, prior to this blog.

I had the honor of knowing Beam as a local, low-key musician before his sudden rise to fame after signing to Sub Pop Records in 2002. As many Iron and Wine fans know, Beam originally hailed from Miami before he turned over is home-recorded demos to Sub Pop and got national exposure (he has since moved to Austin, Texas). Click on the retro-era mug of Beam for a link to the original story I wrote for the “Broward/Palm Beach New Times”:

Beam's first publicity shot for Sub Pop, click it for a link directly to the story I wrote for "New Times."

But I don’t want to simply dwell on the published piece. I also would like to offer some behind-the-scenes perspective on what lead to the article and some of what occurred during the writing of the piece. This two-part blog posting, will not only reveal some of the work I do to compose an artist profile but also offer some of the unpublished information on Beam before he became the rock star he is today.

I first heard Beam’s guitar playing wafting out of Churchill’s Hideaway in the Miami neighborhood of Little Haiti, sometime in the later part of 2002. This was before he had even signed to Sub Pop. I think that night was supposed to be one of Churchill’s famous noise festivals, but what I heard as I approached the front door of the famous pub was this amazing droning, progressive electric guitar music. The musicality was like nothing I had ever heard during one of those festivals, and it wasn’t just because it was melodious. It also came from the fingertips of a very talented player, and one I had never seen on the local music scene before.

The guitarist had a strange, long bushy beard, unheard of on rock musicians in that early era of the ’00s (it has since become a trend bordering on cliché). His only accompaniment was Rene Barge, a local musician and former singer of underground noise punkers Cavity, on drums. They played meandering instrumentals that sounded like math-rock merged with country. Beam plucked his guitar strings in a manner that could have fooled the audience (if they had been paying attention) into thinking there was more than one guitarist on stage. Even the ringing effects emitting from the lo-fi guitar amp added a depth to the duo’s sound that made it sound more like an quartet than a two-piece, making for a mesmerizing aural experience. I, for one, was blown away.

After the show, Barge would introduce me to the guitarist, Beam.mBeam came across as a very friendly and humble sort, appreciative of meeting a new fan. He informed me that he was about to sign a recording contract with Sub Pop, and I immediately suggested a story in the “New Times,” a publication I often freelanced for back in those days. He would later send me a CD demo of tracks that would mostly become his debut for Sub Pop, the Creek Drank the Cradle (they were essentially the unmastered tracks).


The track list Sam Beam wrote on the insert for the CD demo he sent me as I composed his profile for "New Times."

I had been expecting more of the droning, melodic prog-rock stuff I had heard at Churchill’s– the kind of music a less hyper Robert Fripp might have produced. Instead, I heard this super chill singer-songwriter stuff with a country-fied twinge. I must admit, I was at first disappointed, my expectations being what they were. When I asked Beam about the music he had created with Barge, he told me the CD he gave me is what Sub Pop was planning to release. I proceeded with the story anyhow, though it would not be until the second (and last) solo live show I saw of Beam that he had truly won me over again with this atmospheric, mostly acoustic side.

I describe my first live Beam solo experience a bit in the article above. What I never mentioned in the article, though it would have been a colorful detail, was how terribly Sam was screwing up his songs in front of the small audience. Though intimate, the spectators also featured some big shots like the CEO of Sub Pop Records, Jonathan Poneman, and Isaac Brock of Mouse on Mars, who wanted Iron and Wine to open on a tour for his side project, Ugly Casanova. A smattering of movers and shakers from the local music were also there (some just to meet Brock). There was a barbecue brewing and Sam was there with some of his family. It was all real casual and cool. But when Sam took the stage, with his sister next to him on vocals and tambourine, he would start playing but seemingly trip on the tricky guitar lines of his creation. I could also tell he was shaking a bit with nerves. I thought, man, is this guy really going to get signed? Is this all a joke? But Brock and Poneman were super supportive and positive of Beam’s talent. Beam later admitted to me he was nervous as hell to be playing in front of these guys.

The next time I saw Beam, he took the stage at the One Ninety restaurant and club, in October of 2002. This was the show the article was promoting. The venue was an obscure spot for local music that I had never been to or since for a live show. Besides myself, in attendance were only the patrons of the establishment, some students of Beam (he was teaching a cinematography class at Miami College at the time), my then “Broward/Palm Beach New Times” editor, Jeff Stratton and another local music writer who had also recently written a piece on Iron and Wine, Shawn Bean. On stage, it was just Beam and his guitar, and I finally heard the music as it was meant to be heard. He played the guitar with amazing prowess, letting the delicate, swaying melodies flow, as he sung in that beautiful hushed voice. He was relaxed and jovial, as he students hooted in support.

After the show, I had him sign my just-released Creek Drank the Cradle CD that night (see image at left), on my editor’s suggestion, as he felt Beam was going to go places. The only other local musician I had seen go places up until that point was Brian Warner, a.k.a. Marilyn Manson , and that was way back in 1995. I never felt any inclination to have my CDs and records signed by local musicians. In this case, though, I was glad I did.

Though Beam had later recommended we hang out and finally go over our shared love of cinema (I too had once taught a college film class), I never followed up. The next I knew, Thurston Moore had become an early fan and I heard his music accompanying an M&Ms commercial in a movie theater. I’d never personally hear from Beam again.

So, that’s what I think about when I recall this story. In the second part of this post, I will offer some of the straight-forward Q&A culled from emails between myself and Beam, Barge, and Sub Pop CEO Jonathan Poneman (besides email, there were also telephone and face-to-face meetings that added to the short profile linked above). In the meantime, I leave you with a video I recorded of Iron and Wine performing “Upward Over the Mountain” at Club Revolution in Fort Lauderdale, on April 12, 2008. This is the full song without cuts, sounding pretty damn good:

Read Part 2 of this archival piece.

(Copyright 2010 by Hans Morgenstern. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed without permission.)
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