Feb. 02, 2011 - Issue #798 : Communion
Sun, Feb 6 (8 pm), Haven Social Club, $8
In the darkest days of winter, a move to a warmer clime flits across the thoughts of many hunkered-down musicians living on the prairies. Portland looms large, as does Vancouver, but for Twilight Hotel—originally from the frozen tundra of Winnipeg—the Lone Star State's most liberal outpost of Austin beckoned.
"We'd been to Austin a couple times to visit and we spent about a month there in 2008 and we just fell in love with the city and the people there and the way of life," explains Dave Quanbury, one half of the musical partnership that also includes Brandy Zdan. "There's sort of like a lazy, sun-baked quality to life down there. I really liked the art—not necessarily art that would be on the walls, but the way people would build their buildings and use a lot of recycled wood and funky peeled paint, shabby chicness. It just has a special quality."
That special quality—in addition to life on the road—inspired the duo's latest album, When Wolves Go Blind. Movement and new experiences being cornerstones for the band, Twilight Hotel picked up and headed to Los Angeles to record its third album.
"We always love to record somewhere new, somewhere we've never been," explains Quanbury. "You can record in Winnipeg—and financially there's incentives to record close to home—but artistically it's really nice to go on a journey. We've made a record in Nashville, we made this new one in Los Angeles, just to soak up the vibe and the way you feel when you're not at home."
The record itself was recorded in only three days, something of an aberration in the music business, where recording a full-length can stretch on for months. The process elicited a fair number of surprises, explains Quanbury, as the bassist and drummer the band worked with turned over the songs in the studio. According to him, it was the magic that comes from newly-learned songs that Twilight Hotel was trying to capture.
"Sometimes the first take has that kind of energy where we don't know what the drums and bass are gonna do and I think you can hear that in what we're playing and the drums and the bass are listening to us and it's really just in the moment and sometimes that's the best take. When you go to do it again you think, 'OK, let's fix that thing but let's try to recreate that other thing that happened,' but you can never recreate it," he says. "Three days, it's not a lot of time, but when you've got the same instruments set up and you've got the sounds that you like and you're only doing maximum three takes of a song it's enough time to make a record."
Sun, Feb 6 (8 pm)
With Rob Moir, F&M
Haven Social Club, $8
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