Back From Butte

John and Courtney Mckee, the incredibly generous owners of Headframe Spirits in Butte, allowed us 5 days of non stop recording for Modality’s next album, a kraut masterpiece of hot dog proportion. (Release dates on our freshly pressed vinyl, Modality’s first ever, will be up very soon.) We got to explore simultaneously the depths of their distilling tanks and the far reaches of the 2nd and 3rd floor, including the magnificent Pioneer’s Club ballroom. Watch their new (incroyable) sign spin hypnotically:

Modality’s biggest release in 2013 will (gawd willin’) be a double vinyl featuring 4 side-long pieces. Ben and I are trying to convince Jay to release under the name Modalität…’cause we’re all German and shit now. As soon as we have some audio sneak previews put together, well put them up on the site. We have many collaborators on this one already, with more in the works. Larry Hirshberg, Simon Detar and Kyle Hollingé have already contributed quite a lot in the way of bass, vocals and guitar. We planning for more collab with the likes of trumpeter Ross Peterson of M.O.F and our go-to sax guy, Mr. Nathan Hoyme. More to come as the production begins for Modalität! Here’s a slew of pictures from the Butte sessions:

Ben Weiss, reluctantly titled synth guru.

Hard to have a good time without our friend Bill.

The ballroom. Glorious!

There’s ‘ol boy.

Dedication from our friend and collaborator Kyle.

Simon “The Indispensable One” and Clark on the roof of Headframe Spirits, out for some smoky air.

Monks on Fire and Modality Live

It’s been a little bit since the last post to HouseofWatts, but not due to any lack of audio creation going on. The last post touted the merits of local dramatic audio sculptors Monks on Fire, now officially announced as the winners of KBandGA season two! (KBandGA is a competition-style radio program featuring local bands put on by her eminence of college radio, UM’s KBGA.)

House of Watts did the recordings for the competition and will provide the grand prize to M.O.F., a 4 song demo recorded proper-like in the studio! The folks from M.O.F. have already informed us of plans to release the songs on a 7” (their second), so be on the lookout for that in the coming months. We invited these bad ass dudes to play with us at the Top Hat last night…and wow.  You can check out the Modality recordings just above. Monks on Fire will likely post theirs on Soundcloud before long. Live mix by Louie at the Top Hat. Thank you sir.


MOFO Monks on Fire

Monks on Fire are radical. Their set at the Modality VFW residency show back in April was amazing! The combination of frantic drumming (Dylan Foley), rock-solid bass attack (the estimable KBGA jazz stalwart Ross Peterson), shredding guitar (Michael Richter) and the making-it-rain keyboarding (of Mr. Ed Wrzesien) make this group one of the most dynamic and engaging acts to play Missoula right now. Go see them. Listen for them during the KBandGA broadcast coming up in July, and download their entire VFW performance right here, right now:

Monks on Fire Live at the VFW

Prison Break

Piano improvisation is one of the easiest ways (I have found) to forget about time. Hopefully they have a similar effect for you listeners. House of Watts is releasing two of these improvisations from a session called Prison Break.

Working with a drone was (at the time of this recording) a break from musical norms for me. Modality now relies on this, combing different intervals with a series of different drones to emote/evoke. The strand in ‘ol duder’s head at the time was staging a break-out from the imprisoning nature of rapid or repeated, cyclical chord changes…aka blues and rock. Anti-Frantic, you know?. Artwork by Jay Bruns


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