Kofi's hat

Kofi's hat

MP3s, music news and reviews, and a sprinkling of pop culture. Named by Aqualung's Matt Hales, after his son.

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Location: Los Angeles, California, United States

Ink in my blood, a song in my heart. Metaphor is my middle name.

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Rich Aucoin Blankets Canada to Preview and Record "Public Publication"

Blogging, like life, is such a rich tapestry. After I wondered aloud (so to speak) in a recent Good Night, States review, "what Rich Aucoin is up to these days", the alt-pop Renaissance man himself wrote with word of his latest merry exploits, which include recording Public Publication EP/Over The Top! (The Hidden LP): We're All Dying To Live while touring.

However, reeling from the news that a close family member "was being evaluated for cancer" and that the prognosis would be poor if they did have it, I didn't open his email for several days. Instead, I scribbled a mental note to read it when I was up to complex tasks like reading. Fortunately, the relative does not have cancer.

In a hand-to-forehead, "I could've had a V8!" moment, I suddenly remembered: "Rich Aucoin!" while listening to the Winter Hours' "Hyacinth Girl", which xolondon sent (and first mentioned in responding to a Syd Straw post. Yes, it's all a rich, confusing tapestry, a sort of crazy quilt.

What links talented troubadour/multimedia artist Rich Aucoin and the gentle alt-folk of "Hyacinth Girl"? Might an audio/video (video of audio, that is) comparison yield any clues?

Rich Aucoin - At War With the Cynics (on the Personal Publication EP)

Symbolically, the hyacinth represents "constancy"—sincerity if it's blue. Does the song sound "rich", as in "rich tapestry of life" or "Rich Aucoin"? Many theories may be valid. The important thing is that something triggered the memory, so I can finally write this update du Aucoin. Sadly, we've run out of time in this installment...oh, perhaps we can run long, if we just notify our affiliates. First, a recap:

Last summer, while promoting the beautiful, Sufjan Stevensesque Personal Publication EPmy favorite EP of 2007—Aucoin raised money for the Childhood Cancer Foundation during a coast-to-coast Canadian bicycling tour. As part of his fund-raising efforts, at each concert Aucoin invited an audience member to cut off a lock of his hair.

This summer, Aucoin is running half-marathons and raising money for the Heart and Stroke Foundation as he makes his way through Canada, touring and recording his next album with the help of a large, rotating cast of independent musicians, a diverse assortment of instruments (including the mandola), and recorded "choral chants" from concert audiences.

Among the over 50 independent musicians who have contributed to the project so far: Tim Kingsbury Arcade Fire, Jace Lasek and Olga Goreas of the Besnard Lakes, Mike Bigelow of Wintersleep, Taylor Knox of Major Grange, Rolf Klausener of The Acorn, Ben Welland of Sadie Hell, Dan Mangan, and Aucoin's brother Paul of the Hylozoists.

While Personal Publication was written to sync with How the Grinch Stole Christmas, for the new album Aucoin is crafting a film collage from a variety of over 30 movies in the public domain, including "classics" (such as It's A Wonderful Life) and "cult hits" (like Night of the Living Dead). In re-imagined form, these film clips, "tell the album's story about living life."

New songs are being previewed in concert (so as to record those "choral chants), so Canadians can find out a bit more info about that story. Aucoin does hint that the Heart and Stroke Foundation's "philosophy on healthy living coincides nicely with the theme of this particular record."

'Cause when you think "Night of the Living Dead", you think "healthy living".

Yet in a way, when we use the earth's precious resources, aren't we all "flesh-eating zombies"? That's totally it, isn't it? Either that or that zombies prefer to pursue the unfit (they're slower).

Seek further hints on Aucoin's infotaining tour blog, and, for instance, learn what differentiates American and European echo. Use the info as a pick-up line, and once it works take your date to a zombie movie, then out to a (healthy) dinner. Listen to some beautiful music about life, and ponder the nature of serendipity and other odd connections.

Note: While proofreading this post, I followed the link to my year-end review of Personal Publication... Was surprised and annoyed to find this:

"Multi-instrumentalist Aucoin favors a sonic patchwork quilt approach"

Argh. There's only one thing to do. I'm making a mental note to start a band and a blog called Subconscious Quilt Fixation.

Rich Aucoin's Tour Dates:

June 19 - Vancouver, BC - The Railway Club
June 20 - Vancouver, BC The Peanut Gallery (with Brasstronaut)
June 21 - Victoria, BC Sugar – Victoria JazzFest (with Mother Mother)
June 25 - Calgary, AB Sled Island Festival (with Dan Deacon)
June 27 - Calgary, AB Sled Island Festival
June 28 - Winnipeg, MB Royal Albert (with Hey Rosetta!)
July 4 - Halifax, NS The Music Room (with See Rowboats)
July 5 - Halifax, NS Hell's Kitchen (with See Rowboats and The First Aid Kit)
July 19 - Halifax, NS The Marquee – Atlantic Jazz (with Deerhoof)


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