Tag Archives: Wooden Wand


The Other Side of Life is proud to present:



WOODEN WAND (Lexington, KY)

Friday, May 23rd
810 E. Market Street (in the alley behind Decca Restaurant)
8 PM, $10
Advance tickets available here: http://www.ticketfly.com/event/574713-marisa-anderson-wooden-wand-louisville/.

Combining  boundless creative imagination with a deep reverence for American folk, blues and country music, MARISA ANDERSON‘s guitar playing is fluid, emotional, dexterous and original. Signal to Noise magazine calls Anderson’s guitar work “Utterly fabulous”, TIme Out London refers to her playing as “Stunning…haunting and evocative”, Pitchfork calls her latest record, ‘Mercury’,  ”Brilliant” and Wire Magazine says, “Her sound has strength in restless variety…Anderson’s playing is heartfelt and utterly American, free from grandstanding and steeped in respect for the old tradition.” Before going solo in 2009, Anderson played guitar in the Dolly Ranchers and the Evolutionary Jass Band. In the past two years, Anderson’s music has landed her festival appearances in Europe and the United States and opening slots for artists including Godspeed You! Black Emperor, The Devil Makes 3 and Sharon Van Etten. In August 2013, KBOO Community Radio released a split 7″ featuring Anderson and Elizabeth Cotton. Anderson’s music has been featured on NPR and on soundtracks including ‘Smokin’ Fish’, ‘For the Love of Dolly’, ‘Girls Rock’, and ‘Gift To Winter’. Her writings on music and activism  have appeared in Bitch Magazine, Leaf Litter, and in Rock ‘n’ Roll Camp for Girls, the book. Her new album, Traditional and Public Domain Songs, is now available from the Grapefruit Record Club.

Listen to Traditional and Public Domain Songs here: http://marisaanderson.bandcamp.com/album/traditional-and-public-domain-songs-2.

Watch an interview with Marisa Anderson here:

Wand-4 small_hi

For WOODEN WAND‘s new album Farmer’s Corner, James Toth decided to try something different: instead of spending a week in a studio with the same people, the same engineer, the same equipment and the same state of mind, he would record in fits and starts, whenever – and WHEREever – he felt like it, recording new songs as he wrote them. Over six sessions in four studios spanning three states, he began amassing tracks. Toth then chose his favorite ten songs for Farmer’s Corner, which is, remarkably, the very first self-produced Wooden Wand album. Toth is abetted on the majority of the tracks by electric bassist Darin Gray (On Fillmore, Jim O’Rourke, Grand Ulena, Dazzling Killmen), and guitarists William Tyler (Lambchop, Silver Jews, Yo La Tengo) and Doc Feldman. Toth also called on friends in St Louis, Nashville, and his current home in Lexington, KY to produce an album that splits the difference between the protracted psych of his work with the Vanishing Voice and the World War IV and the more lonesome, bucolic styles of his more recent albums with Michael Gira and the Briarwood Virgins.  The result is the most “Wooden Wand” album in the Wooden Wand discography, reflecting Toth’s omnivorous musical and narrative obsessions. The arrangements — think Little Feat covering Neil Young’s Harvest Moon — only serve to highlight his capabilities as both a songwriter and storyteller. The collected songs form an easy entry into the ever-growing Toth output, where outlaws on the run, epic landscapes, endless travels, agitated insomniacs and ditch-digging memory-evaders lurk behind every turn.

Listen to “Dambuilding” on Farmer’s Corner here:

Read an interview with WOODEN WAND here: http://fracturedair.com/2014/05/14/chosen-one-wooden-wand-2/.

Check out the Facebook invitation here: https://www.facebook.com/events/503577036431813.

To join our email list, send an email to louisvilleisdreamland@gmail.com.
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/DreamlandLouKY.
Twitter: @DREAMLANDLouKy.

Some Good Shows This Week

Tonight Vice-subsidized living legends PIERCED ARROWS play Headliners, with OLD BABY and DON’T (who have some sort of WIPERS connection). PIERCED ARROWS consist, of course, of Fred and Toody Cole from the amazing DEAD MOON, who we never got to see because they never played Louisville back in the day. Let’s hope tonight makes up for that. 8 PM doors, 18+, $10.

On Saturday, SONIC YOUTH‘s LEE RANALDO plays Zanzabar with his new band, which also features SY‘s drummer Steve Shelley as well as guitar slinger Alan Licht (one of our favorites). Opening is another favorite of ours, the ever-quotable WOODEN WAND. James Toth is a certifiable genius, or at least he’s married to one. Some other band called SEA HERO plays too. 9 PM, 21-and-over, $16 advance tickets (here), or $18 day of show.


Cropped Out and The Other Side of Life are proud to present:

WOODEN WAND (from Lexington, on Fire Records)
JEFFREY LEWIS (from New York, on Rough Trade Records)
TENDER MERCY (from Louisville, on Dunkenstein Records)

Friday, March 23rd
2100 S. Preston Street
9 PM DOORS, $6, 21 and over

James Jackson Toth has been playing and recording (and releasing) music for over a decade, most notably as leader of the now-defunct New York-based collective Wooden Wand and the Vanishing Voice. After a solo album in 2007 on Rykodisc, and Thurston Moore’s Ecstatic Peace! label and the Mad Monk label, he continues under the name WOODEN WAND. Toth is a maverick, good-hearted troubadour whose blend of smoky Americana has been garnering plaudits for the last decade. Unafraid to mix psychedelic workouts with sweet and soulful country, his varied and prolific output has resulted in a wealth of lyrically rich songs; the kind whose lines stick in your head for a lifetime.

Wooden Wand – Winter In Kentucky from fire records on Vimeo.

Born and raised Lower East Sider JEFFREY LEWIS leads a double-life, as both a comic book writer/artist and a musician. In 2001 JEFFREY LEWIS signed to Rough Trade Records (home of The Smiths, The Strokes, Belle & Sebastian, etc) and has since released five albums, in addition to touring the world and performing with Stephen Malkmus & the Jicks, Devendra Banhart, Black Dice, Thurston Moore, The Fall, The Vaselines, Beth Orton, Frank Black, The Fiery Furnaces, Daniel Johnston, Scout Niblett, The Mountain Goats, The Moldy Peaches, Cornershop, The Cribs, Dr. Dog, Kimya Dawson, Adam Green, Akron/Family, Roky Erickson, Au Revoir Simone, Peter Stampfel, and other luminaries.

TENDER MERCY is the brainchild of singer/songwriter Mark Kramer and can best be described as contemporary minimalism with strong acoustic leanings. Debuting with a track on the infamous Dunkenstein Record’s Doctors Of Dunk Vol. 2, TENDER MERCY began playing around Louisville, opening for the likes of Jamie Barnes, Tamara Dearing, The Deloreans, Ben Traughber, The Parade Schedule, and Nerves Jr. TENDER MERCY is about to release a 6 song EP next month entitled The Road To Good Intention Is Paved With Hell in the spring of 2012. It will be available through Bandcamp.com digitally and physically through Dunkenstein Records.

Check out the Facebook invite here: http://www.facebook.com/events/261920943884959.

To join our email list, send an email to hstencil AT gmail DOT com.

Wooden Wand & The Briarwood Virgins, Briarwood (Fire)

My review of Briarwood by Wooden Wand & the Briarwood Virgins ran in this week’s LEO Weekly:

The near-closing lines of the first song, “Well, it’s winter in Kentucky/And I’m all tapped out,” perfectly encapsulate the emotional desperation running like a crooked river throughout Wooden Wand’s ambitious new Briarwood. Recorded with a large ad-hoc ensemble of Alabama-based session players, Briarwood showcases the usually solo, Lexington-based Wooden Wand at his most musically accessible; it’s an album chock full of beautifully sung harmonies and well-played solos, overflowing with melancholic, defiant lyrics written from the perspective of scarred loners just trying to survive. In an era overpopulated with generic music masquerading trite sentiment as true insight, with hackneyed retro retreads posing as nods to “tradition,” the despondent personalities inhabiting Wooden Wand’s songs should earn him an appreciative audience akin to those enjoyed by the best American singer-songwriters. Alas, much as the characters of Briarwood well know, the small rewards eventually come to those who lower their expectations.

You can buy it from Fire Records here.


The Other Side of Life and Cropped Out! present:

WOODEN WAND (from Lexington, on Young God Records)
NATHAN SALSBURG (from Louisville, Kentucky; debut album forthcoming on No Quarter)
DANE WATERS (from Louisville, Kentucky; member of Sapat and Softcheque)

Tuesday, September 13th
2100 S. Preston Street
9 PM DOORS, $6, 21 and over

James Jackson Toth has been playing and recording (and releasing) music for over a decade, most notably as leader of the now-defunct New York-based collective Wooden Wand and the Vanishing Voice. After a solo album in 2007 on Rykodisc, and Thurston Moore’s Ecstatic Peace! label and the Mad Monk label, he continues under the name WOODEN WAND with his new release on Michael Gira’s Young God Records label, Death Seat. Abandoning the psychedelic wail of WW&VV for a starker, more direct songwriting style, WOODEN WAND’s most recent tunes are harrowing and hellaciously good. Michael Gira writes that Toth is “a passionate singer and guitar player and inhabits the songs as he performs them with straightforward, unpretentious, and confident gravitas. I’ve been listening to this record over and over for the last several months—we went through dozens of equally compelling songs before choosing the line up of tracks—and the more I listen, the more honored I am to be associated with James Jackson Toth.”

NATHAN SALSBURG is an archivist, producer, guitarist and writer based in Louisville, Kentucky. He has worked for the Alan Lomax Archive since 2000, for which he currently serves in the capacities of production manager, photo and video archivist, and general digital catalog editor. Since 2006 he has produced and hosted “Root Hog Or Die,” a vernacular/traditional music program on East Village Radio, and is curator of the Twos & Fews recording imprint, also a vernacular music entity, and a collaboration with Chicago’s Drag City label.  Salsburg maintains an index of on-line vernacular music resources at his blog, roothogordie.wordpress.com, and contributes occasional music writing to the Louisville Eccentric Observer and the Other Music weekly update. This past week, the Tompkins Square label just released Avos, a collaboration between Salsburg and Chicago guitarist James Elkington (formerly of the Zincs), and Salsburg’s first solo album, Affirmed, is due November 15th on No Quarter.

DANE WATERS is one of Louisville’s brightest musical talents. As a member of SAPAT and SOFTCHEQUE, she displays an impeccable melodic sensibility, and has a voice so wonderfully haunting, it sends chills down your spine. Dane is in the midst of working on her first solo album, which we can’t wait to hear!

Check out the Facebook invite here: http://www.facebook.com/event.php?eid=183890385017722.