2004 album with 6 bonus tracks.
Long out-of-print vinyl reissue of seminal experimental rock band Califone’s critically acclaimed full length album ‘Heron King Blues’ via Dead Oceans. Inspired by Califone founder Tim Rutili’s strange, recurring dream of a bird-man creature, ‘Heron King Blues was produced by Michael Krassner and originally released in 2004 as the band’s third album’.
Primarily improvised in the studio, Heron King Blues started with a broken four string acoustic bass guitar that Rutili pulled out of the instrument room at Clava // Four Deuces Studio in Chicago. Ben Massarella cleansed the doorways, corners, and other dark spaces with burning sage, while Jim Becker, Joe Adamik, and Rutili began to quietly circle the live room in a clockwise motion, a slow incantation in E. Over the course of the afternoon, the participants slowly made their way to their instruments and 15 minutes after the initial note had been cast, ‘Heron King Blues’ was born.“
‘Heron King Blues’ is about the letting go. Each song its own ceremony. The earth, sun and moon. Wingbones. Shadow maps and dream logic. Stoplights. Meat Trucks. The Father, Son and Holy Ghost. Cocaine. Wild eyed robbers. Hunchbacked derelicts. Broken down angels, Lepers. Gay Lithuanians. Cheaters. Sex. Beggars. Rabid dogs. Sirens. Undertows. Reverse magnetism. Cock fighting. Electric shock therapy. Trick birds. Floods. Ancient Hebrew texts. The Illuminati. Haboobs. Bleach. Expired medicine. Severed tongues. Dragons, Spirit telephones. Bees. Modern Architecture. Electric fences. Dianetics. ESP. Snakes. Poltergeist. Haunted spaces. Crop circles. Demons. Feedback loops.
“How does one capture lightning in a bottle? You could call me a witness, or better yet an interloper, briefly given the wheel to the mythological ship called Califone. Where others might have attempted to exercise the demons, I chose to let the spirits run wild. We bored under the earth’s surface into its core until we reached the belly of the beast. These aren’t Songs of Love and Hate. This is no Street Hassle. No Main Street here. This is music that was pulled from the abattoir of Chicago rock, tattered and bruised and barely breathing. This is not music for pussies.” - Michael Krassner (Califone, Boxhead Ensemble, The Lofty Pillars), August, 2017
The deluxe reissue of Heron King Blues is a double album on black vinyl, including previously unreleased live tracks and outtakes. A digital download code for the album (containing 320kbps MP3s) redeemable on release day.
Tracklisting 1. Wingbone 2. Trick Bird 3. Sawtooth Sung A Cheater’s Song 4. Apple 5. Lion & Bee 6. 2 Sisters Drunk On Each Other 7. Heron King Blues 8. Outro 9. Electric Fence (Clava Live Version) 10. Sawtooth Sung A Cheater’s Song (10.11.03 - KRVX Radio, Austin, TX) 11. The Ocean Was Lungs (Faraway Bells) 12. I Walk On Gilded Splinters 13. St. Martha (Clava Live Version) 14. Red (Clava Live Version)