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David Kilgour

Bio

"I change my mind every day about most things and this LP was certainly a result of that way of thinking."

David Kilgour's been changing his mind for a long time, and who can argue with the results? His first band The Clean changed the face of rock music when they kick-started New Zealand’s pop underground in the early 80s. His records — 'The Far Now' is album number six — are monuments to good old-fashioned song craft tinged with a becoming modesty. If you hunger for gorgeous melodies that’ll never make you sick, singing that puts across an emotion without hitting you over the head with it, and guitar playing whose effortless eloquence and virtuosity doesn’t make you want to fine him for playing too many notes, Kilgour’s your man. If you’re looking for a man in single-minded pursuit of rock and roll success, well, that’s another story; he loves music, but he loves life more, and while that attitude hasn’t put his face on too many billboards, it’s probably got a lot to do with why he’s still making records after 25 years.

In the late 70s a teenaged David traded in his surfboard for a guitar. Inspired in equal measures by the punk rock explosion and their Rolling Stones, Bob Dylan, Velvet Underground, and Beach Boys records, he and his older brother Hamish started The Clean. After a couple years of unstable line-ups and sketchy gigs (I know one guy who first saw them at a Sunday afternoon youth concert sponsored by the Dunedin police department) the brothers hooked up with bassist Robert Scott (later of The Bats) and got terrifyingly good. 'Tally Ho', their first single, sold thousands in their native New Zealand without the benefit of commercial airplay. But after a couple years that yielded some brilliant homemade EPs and concerts that people still talk about, David got sick of the pressure of being a guitar hero and quit to be a painter. Or something. He’s carried on in an episodic way ever since, fronting some bands (Stephen, Pop Art Toasters) and backing up his friends in others (Snapper, Yo La Tengo), starting and stopping The Clean, and pursuing a solo career.

'The Far Now' is his second album for Arch Hill Recordings, and his third album for Merge Records. It takes some cues from its predecessors, the shimmering, trippy 'A Feather In The Engine', which was mostly recorded in a wooden shed behind David’s house, and the lush, soul-tinged 'Frozen Orange', which was mostly recorded in Nashville with members of Lambchop, without sounding quite like either of them. It’s certainly not the record that Kilgour set out to make. “I thought at one point that this one would be a lysergic guitar heavy extravaganza. It’s actually ended up being quite mellow and reflective. The songs sprung into my lap and pretty much decided how they wanted to sound, and I followed their direction.” The first sounds you hear are a spinning lattice of nimbly picked acoustic guitars. “I splashed out and bought a new Gibson acoustic about a year ago and that guitar has really left its mark. Looking back now, it really has dictated the sound, feel and composition of the lp. It’s a gorgeous guitar; I’ve never owned a "good" acoustic before. Buzzing synths cut across 'Sun Of God's' surface and echo-bathed vocals swirl around the mix. It’s lysergic for sure, but hardly an electric freak-out. Next up is 'BBC World', the first song to feature David’s band The Heavy Eights. Acoustic slide licks, pillow-soft synths, and Tane Tokona’s crisp drumming usher in a graceful melody and a lyric that veers uncertainly between exuberance and dread.

The rest of the album alternates between layered solo extravaganzas and loping full-band excursions. “About half of the LP was recorded by myself here at home and the other half was with the band. I had the luxury of recording solo versions of songs and band versions, and then picking the grooviest one. The Heavy Eights made a huge contribution. They are dear friends and we all share a great love of music, so their input comes in many ways. Not just musically and technically, but emotionally and physically.

“A lot of the Heavy Eights sessions were really done on the fly. Sometimes the band knew the songs, but sometimes they had no idea what I was gonna do next and either did I. For example, the track 'Too Long From Me' was cut live with me yelling out the stops to Tane. I gave the Heavy Eights the impression that we weren’t in a serious recording situation and we didn’t have to produce anything worthy from the recordings. This makes everyone relax, but it also keeps everyone wondering what’s next, and I like that! We actually have little or no memory of recording some of these tracks. We would keep the machine in record mode and just record stuff all night.”

Once David got his hands on the jams, he added layers of synthesizers, vocals, and on three songs strings played by Alan Starrett. “At one point I thought the lp was gonna be synth heavy. I’ve had an old Roland Juno and a Yamaha DX7 in the house for a year or two and they just kind of got in. I have been looking for new textures, mainly by trying to mix sounds together to make new ones; just having fun really, no grand plan at the end of the day, although after making 'Frozen Orange' I did think I’d make this next one a fully blown over-produced freak-out. Some of the songs sounded this way until we mixed them; we certainly tamed some tracks down. 'I’m Gonna Get Better Lately' is probably the only one that comes close to being untamed.”

Kilgour is already thinking about his next album, and true to form, he wants it to be different from the last one. “I’m now determined for the next lp to be the guitar heavy LP. I’ve actually been recording some ideas towards this one already and hope to have the bulk of it complete by the end of our southern summer.” That is, unless he or the songs change their minds. In the meantime the rest of us can spend some time getting close to 'The Far Now'.

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Shade
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Joined: 17/07/02
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David Kilgour and the Heavy Eights USA tour
Posted: Tue Nov 6, 2007 6:29 pm
David Kilgour is on tour in the US with Euro's Child (featuring former front man from Gorky's Zygotic Mynci). Pitchfork jokes " Whaddya get when you cross Euros Childs and the guy from the Clean? Why, baby wipes, natch! Grrrroooooan. " Anyway, Pitchfork should probably look out cos this time David has the whole Heavy Eights with him on the road – and you shouldn’t mess with those big wave surfing boys.

• Sat Oct 27 Los Angeles, CA - Echo
• Sun Oct 28 San Francisco, CA -12 Galaxies
• Tues Oct 30 Portland, OR - Holocene
• Fri Nov 02 Salt Lake City, UT - Urban Lounge
• Sat Nov 03 Denver, CO - Hi Dive
• Mon Nov 05 Minneapolis, MN - 400 Bar
• Tues Nov 06 Chicago, IL - Empty Bottle
• Wed Nov 07 Detroit, MI - Pike Room
• Thurs Nov 08 Cleveland, OH - Beachland Ballroom
• Fri Nov 09 Brooklyn, NY - TBA
• Sat Nov 10 New York, NY - Mercury Lounge
• Sun Nov 11 Cambridge, MA - TT the Bear's Place
• Tues Nov 13 Philadelphia, PA - Johnny Brenda's
• Wed Nov 14 Washington, DC - DC9
• Thurs Nov 15 Durham, NC - Duke University Coffeehouse
• Fri Nov 16 Atlanta, GA - The Earl
• Sat Nov 17 Nashville, TN - The Basement
 

Shade
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David Kilgour - The Far Now - Out Now
Posted: Tue Feb 6, 2007 9:31 am
Arch Hill Recordings are very pleased to say that David Kilgour’s sixth solo album “The Far Now” is out today! If you get in quick you will get yourself a copy of the limited edition “Australasian Double” with a ten track bonus disc “Orange Feathers” - containing some outtakes and tracks from his last two albums...

Look out for David Kilgour and the Heavy Eights NZ Tour dates – details below...

The album is already getting the good word from the critics in New Zealand and abroad.

Russell Baillie in the NZ Herald gives the album FIVE STARS writing “an acoustic-powered psychedelic pop wonderland...it’s one beautiful album”

Grant Smithies writes in the Sunday Star Times “Kilgour’s albums are among the best made in this country...The Far Now may be his best solo album to date”

A number of highly respected US websites also give the album the big thumbs up. Spacelab writes “David Kilgour’s latest release The Far Now has rightfully made him one of New Zealand’s most veritable folk-pop heroes...The Far Now is one that will make people take notice of him in a new light and find serenity in its soft fluid motions with healing elixir strings.” http://www.thespacelab.tv/spaceLAB/2007/01January/MusicReview-10DavidKilgour.htm

Popmatters gives the album 8/10 and writes “Whether it’s how he records or how he plays or just how he is, his songs have always been more than the sum of their parts, luminous, mysterious and inexplicably gorgeous.” http://www.popmatters.com/pm/music/reviews/9177/david-kilgour-the-far-now/

David Kilgour and the Heavy Eights NZ/AUS Tour Dates

Thurs 8th Feb - Chch - Dux de Lux (with Anji Sami)
Thurs 15th Feb - Wellington – SFBH (with the Haints of Dean Hall)
Friday 16th Feb – Napier – Lattitude (with the Haints of Dean Hall)
Sat 17th Feb – Auckland - Schooner (with the Haints of Dean Hall)
 

Shade
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Kilgour in Rolling Stone Critics top 10
Posted: Mon Jan 17, 2005 9:24 pm
David Kilgour's 'Frozen Orange' features in Rolling Stone's critic Marie Elsie St. Leger's top ten albums of 2004. For the full list go to

http://www.rollingstone.com/news/story/_/id/6795933/elliottsmith?pageid=rs.Home&pageregion=single1
 

dixie45

Joined: 21/06/04
Posts: 25
Location: Auckland
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RE: "Frozen Orange" LP Release Announced
Posted: Tue Dec 7, 2004 9:35 am
yea cool Happy
 

Shade
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David Kilgour USA tour with Yo La Tengo
Posted: Wed Oct 6, 2004 7:49 pm
Merge have released 'Frozen Orange' in the USA (Arch Hill in NZ) and David is over there at this very moment touring the Eastern sides of the US with the Yo La Tengo rotational travelling road-show extravaganza. you can check the dates at http://www.mergerecords.com/index.php
 

Shade
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David Kilgour - Frozen Orange - Out Today!
Posted: Mon Sep 6, 2004 7:46 pm
Frozen Orange is David Kilgour's latest offering and a slight departure for him - not so much in style as in method. The idea for the record came about as David was touring the States with both the Clean and solo in late 2001 and early 2002. The 2002 tour in support of A Feather In The Engine featured David as the opening act for his American label Merge mates Lambchop. For the tour, Kilgour recruited several members of the eclectic Nashville collective to serve as his backing band. The experiment was a huge success. During rehearsals in Nashville, David also met Lambchop producer/engineer Mark Nevers (Calexico, Lambchop, Will Oldham and others) who convinced David that perhaps he should come to Nashville to record.

Frozen Orange was recorded almost entirely by Mark Nevers at his Beechhouse Studios in Nashville (2 tracks-"Dogs Barking" and "A Head Full Of Rolling Stones"- were recorded with the Heavy Eights back home in New Zealand), over the course of two visits in the summer and late fall of 2003. Frozen Orange features the contributions of Lamchop members Matt Swanson, Tony Crow, William Tyler and Sam Baker. There is even a surprise appearance by Jason Loewenstein. The album showcases a sublime combination of Kilgour's signature guitar lines and shambolic, quirky melodies with an added twist of country twang and a little bit of R&B/soul courtesy of his friends in Nashville. Frozen Orange also marks the first time that Kilgour has relinquished control in the studio to an outside producer; such was his faith in Nevers and his vision for the project.

An interview with David will screen on Headliners tonight (5.30pm) as well as footage from his new video for 'Living in Space'. The video was made by Bridget Sutherland and filmed around the traps and in the Nashville studio.

Look out for David Kilgour and the Heavy Eights on Tour in NZ
Dunedin - Sat 11th September with SJD
Wellington - Friday 17th September with Phoenix Foundation
Auckland - Saturday 18th September with the Tokey Tones
 

Kraven
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"Frozen Orange" LP Release Announced
Posted: Mon May 24, 2004 8:12 pm
David's new solo LP "Frozen Orange" will be released in the USA on 24th August on Merge Records. NZ release is still unconfirmed but will most likely be around September.

David is also playing at the Merge 15th Anniversary Festival in Raleigh, North Carolina, USA on August 1st along with Lambchop and the Clientele. Other gigs in the USA may be added.

David will tour the USA later in the year to promote the new LP.
 

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