It's 2016, and DIY home recording legend Gary Wilson is busier than ever. The year has already included new releases, re-releases, and performances in Chicago, Iowa City, San Diego, and Los Angeles, including what can only be called a rather epic send off (along with Jimmy Whispers) to the original location of L.A. all-ages venue Perhspace. This past week, I had a chance to sit down with my friend, colleague, and musical hero, and chat a bit about the coming months. Needless to say, there was much to discuss.
Let's start with the latest offerings on wax (also available for download, if you prefer your weirdness in digital format). If you haven't heard his latest release, It's Friday Night with Gary Wilson, you are indeed in for a treat. I'd say start with "the Mermaid Song", but then again - it's an album chock full of bangers, for any fan of Mr. Wilson.
It's also been a great year for archiving, with three vinyl releases of rare material: Another Galaxy (Feeding Tube), Music for Piano (Feeding Tube) and the Lord Fuzz 45, 1967 Rare Acetate (Cleopatra). Another Galaxy takes us to Gary's jazzy roots, before You Think You Really Know Me (widely understood as his recording debut, and an underground, international classic), Music for Piano offers rare, abstract instrumental Wilson work from the vaults, and Rare Acetate delves even further into the annals of Wilson history -- back to Gary's teen years, in fact.
As important as these documents of recording history are, new offerings are already on the horizon for the home recording pioneer. Gary has completed a Christmas album (!), which Cleopatra will be releasing in time to guarantee your holidays are a bit weirder than usual. "They're moving ahead with it," Gary confirmed as we sat and talked. "It's called It's Christmas Time with Gary Wilson". As if that weren't exciting enough, the R. Stevie Moore/Gary Wilson collaborative album is nearing completion, so there is plenty to look forward to in 2016 and 2017 on the recording front.
Besides recordings, though, Gary is also active this fall and winter on the live scene, with appearances at Kung Fu Necktie in Philadelphia, the Meatlocker in Montclair, and "Shea Stadium" in Brooklyn on Sept. 24, 15, and 16, respectively. "I'm looking forward to it", Gary said. "It'll be my fist time performing in Philadelphia - ever. It's not too far from Endicott" And Montclair is another place I've never been to, so it'll be interesting. This won't be with the Blind Dates, it'll be with a large ensemble that has done special arrangements of my music. It's always nice to get to New York and have a lot of pizza and stuff."
When Gary's had his fill of pizza in the Big Apple, he'll be back on the West Coast for more adventures. Gary Wilson and the Blind Dates will be performing at Part Time Punks in L.A. with Drinking Flowers, and at the acclaimed Desert Daze festival in Joshua Tree. Coincidentally enough, other like-minded acts which have shared billing with Gary in the recent times, including Foxygen, Cellars, and Sloppy Jane, will also be performing at the desert music festival.
Thanks, as always, for tuning in. More soon!