Califone Reissues EP, Goes on Tour
Show @Mississippi Studios Nov 30
Califone started as the solo project of singer/ guitarist Tim Rutili in the late 1990s, after the dissolution of his band Red Red Meat. Soon enough, Red Red Meat members Ben Massarella and Tim Hurley joined the group, who recorded with RRM’s Brian Deck as well as at their own space and with Warren Defever in Livonia, MI. Sometimes Good 1f47 Weather Follows Bad People was originally released in 2000, and has been expanded and re-released.
That disc, originally issued by Glitterhouse in 2000, collected Califone’s first two EPs (on Perishable and Road Cone), plus two new songs. Four more songs, unreleased outtakes from the final Red Red Meat recording sessions, have been added here, to this new and expanded version. It’s all you need when it comes to the genesis of this well-regarded Chicago-based group.
These songs appear to fall apart and come back together again while you are listening to them. The first song on their first EP, the sleepwalking “On The Steeple W/ The Shakes (XMas Tigers),” sounds like a blues-rock anthem that got dosed at the Christmas party. Rutili says that the song was “made with a drum machine that I stole from my four-year-old son and a brown air organ from the thrift store. We were trying to make our own version of dub music.” Naturally it is followed immediately by a gorgeous, largely acoustic folk-pop number, “Silvermine Pictures.” Rutili and company were superb at playing what you didn’t expect.
“On the first two Califone EPs, we were definitely trying to allow some deep change and possibility into what we were doing, and the door was always wide open to accidental music and automatic writing,” Rutili explains. “We built a lot of this music on accidents and chance occurrences. Some of the songs are really good; some of it sounds like an expedition that got lost in the woods. I was still playing with toy drum machines, cheap or borrowed synths and a cassette 4track, trying to make songs out of all these insane sounds.”
This music is catchy and kind of weird. It’s aged as well as any of your favorites from the 1990s, from the Lily’s ‘Better Can’t Make Your Life Better’ to Bell Biv Devoe’s “Poison” which is to say, awesomely.
With Rebecca Gates
Nov 30 @ Mississippi Studios
8:00 Doors | 9:00 Show
$13.00 Advance | $15.00 Day of show