Facebook R&B crooner Mario has been relatively quiet on the music front for…
- Posted on Dec 16th 2009 3:00PM by Jillian Mapes
"The project with Nels is really long, and I procrastinate when left to my own devices," Elder tells Spinner. "I know Nels is very busy, too. We're doing the second edition of a John Fahey tribute for the label Ecstatic Yod, and it's LP-only."
Cline and Elder's tribute to Fahey, which captures the Americana stylings of the avant-folk guitar hero, doesn't have a release date yet. In fact, the two have never even spoken. "The concept of the series is that Byron [Coley] from Ecstatic Yod contacts two musicians, and you each pick one instrument that you're going to work with but you can't do multi-tracks," Elder says. "You record a side and mail it to the other person, then you swap and then you record over their stuff. Each person originates a side and then the other adds to it, but you never work together face-to-face."
Elder has few qualms about the project's unique structure, besides the obvious. "Byron likes to make people a little bit uncomfortable, if at all possible. For him to pick two people who have never met, it does add a bit of pressure," she says.
She selected the amplified dulcimer as her instrument of choice for the project, while Cline picked the amplified acoustic guitar. Elder, however, says she wishes she had chosen the lap steel for her tribute to Fahey, a steel-string guitar pioneer. "I'm going to try to stick with the dulcimer because I already recorded mine and sent it off to Nels," Elder says. "All we have to do now is play over the other's tracks and it'll be done."
In addition to Elder's collaboration with the famed guitarist, MV and EE are currently opening for their old pals Dinosaur Jr. while promoting their new album 'Barn Nova' and squeezing in their usual DIY basement shows along the way. According to guitarist and vocalist Matt Valentine, that's where the self-proclaimed "free folk" duo feels most comfortable.
"Our roots are in the sub-underground, and if we were not doing house shows along the way, I'd feel kind of cut off," he says. "It's so great to see the Dino guys playing much bigger rooms than they used to -- we're talking 1,500 people -- but it's important for us to go out and do our own merch and interact with the people whenever we play."