Spacebomb Studios Opens its Doors
Spacebomb is proud to announce the opening of the new Spacebomb Studios, located at 11 S. 21st Street in the Shockoe Bottom neighborhood of Richmond, Virginia. At that address, Spacebomb East will be the hub for Spacebomb’s record label, music production, and music publishing projects, while the attic workshop at Spacebomb West in Richmond’s Near West End will continue being used for certain recording sessions and label operations.
Formerly Songwire Studios, Spacebomb has recorded numerous horn, string, and vocal sessions for its records in the studio, including founder Matthew E. White‘s most recent EP Outer Face, Howard Ivans’ hit 7” Red Face Boy, and Grandma Sparrow‘s forthcoming debut Grandma Sparrow & his Piddletractor Orchestra (due out May 20th). White’s full-length follow-up to Outer Face will be recorded exclusively at Spacebomb Studios for a release on Domino Records.
Spacebomb East is also very excited to open its studio doors to the public for the first time and share the space between its walls with all manner of local, regional, national, and international recording projects. Combining the best of both digital and analog recording techniques and technology, Spacebomb Studios create a unique and singular recording environment that acknowledges the strengths of the past, champions progress and innovation, and allows us and anyone who joins us here a rare and exciting recording experience. Spacebomb continues the great tradition of small Southern record labels and studios—like J&M Recording Studios in New Orleans in the 50s, FAME Studios in Muscle Shoals, Stax and Hi Records in Memphis, and Sun Studios in Nashville—hoping to carry this small town entrepreneurial spirit that is unique to our region into the 21st century with a place all its own, Spacebomb Studios.
Introducing Grandma Sparrow
Oh hello, hello to reach and one of all my children!
My title is Gr-r-r-andma for all these whoʼs wonder in slumber and still grin!
Follow me to the plunderfull town of Piddletractor, where we will search for my naughty little nephew, Alewishus, the clown prince of Piddletractor!
Thus begins the mythic non-saga of Grandma Sparrow, his nephew, and the various denizens of Piddletractor, USA. Joe Westerlund puts his performance alter-ego through the trademark Spacebomb wringer: strings, horns, and groovy houseband to produce a wild new thing, a psychedelic children’s song-cycle for adults that doesn’t defy description so much as dance around it and pull at its nose. It’s the kind of project that is rarely dreamed up these days, rarer still to be executed with such skill, bravado and glee (complete with an amateur youth choir). And on May 20th, Spacebomb will be proud to release Grandma Sparrow & his Piddletractor Orchestra (SB004) into the world.
Indy Week premiered the album teaser video today, calling the record a “sonic playground…[that] embraces absurdist humor and childlike whimsy, impulsive improvisation and pop collisions.” Watch the album teaser below:
May 1 – Washington, DC @ DC9
May 2 – Brooklyn, NY @ Baby’s All Right
May 16 – Richmond, VA @ Coalition Theater
w/ improv comedy by Pigeon
May 18 – Durham, NC @ The Pinhook (Sunday Brunch)
w/ Alexandra Sauser-Monnig (of Mountain Man)
Grandma Sparrow & his Piddletractor Orchestra (SB004) will be released on May 20th on Spacebomb Records (CD/LP/Digital)
Listen: Matthew E. White – “Ain’t That What Love Is”
It’s Valentine’s Day, so we thought what a perfect time to share this track from Matthew E. White, “Ain’t That What Love Is,” originally released as the B-side of his and Spacebomb’s first release. That 7″ record, “One of These Days,” (SB001) co-released with Hometapes, paved the way for White’s critically acclaimed full-length Big Inner (SB002) and the myriad of live performances around the world that followed. But today, on Valentine’s Day, we only hear him sing the reassurance of unconditional love: “I’ll pick you up when you’re down / Ain’t that what love is?” The love song is now available digitally, so grab it on iTunes or Amazon.
Listen: Howard Ivans – Pillows Dub
Listen to “Pillows (Version)” dub by Matthew E. White and Trey Pollard, originally premiered by IMPOSE Magazine:
On November 19th, we introduced Howard Ivans to the world via a 7″ single penned and sung by a man born with the name of Ivan Howard. In the spirit of collaboration and improvisation, Spacebomb’s Matthew E. White and Trey Pollard, whose own arranging voices abound throughout the two songs, had a go at creating a live dub remix of Side A, “Red Face Boy,” and now they follow it up with a stripped down dub of Side B, “Pillows.”
“This dub version of ‘Pillows’ gives the listener a privy view into the dynamics of Ivans’ arrangement,” writes IMPOSE Magazine of the remix, calling it a “mellow odyssey for the mind.” Read more, including an interview with Howard Ivans.
Howard Ivans Red Face Boy 7″ Released Today
photo by Ryan Patterson
Today marks the release of Howard Ivans‘ debut songs, “Red Face Boy” and “Pillows,” collectively known as SB003. Spacebomb is proud to have co-created these songs, aiding in the transformation from Ivan Howard to Howard Ivans and lending the voices of our house band and arrangers, and releasing them as a limited pressing on 7″ vinyl as well as digitally online.
See Howard Ivans’ tour dates with Matthew E. White below.
“Magnificent art-funk treasure” — SPIN
“Impressive…elaborate symphonic funk in the vein of Quincy Jones” — UNCUT
“Slick, upper-midwest funk” — Pitchfork
“Insanely catchy” — Speakers in Code
A. Red Face Boy
Howard Ivans tour dates
Dec. 4 – Allston, MA – Great Scott * (tickets)
Dec. 5 – Brooklyn, NY – Music Hall of Williamsburg * (tickets)
Dec. 6 – Philadelphia, PA – Johnny Brenda’s * (tickets)
Dec. 7 – Washington, DC – Rock & Roll Hotel * (tickets)
Dec. 13 – Wilmington, NC – Bourgie Nights ^
Dec. 14 – Raleigh, NC – Kings Barcade # (tickets)
Dec. 15 – Richmond, VA – Strange Matter # (tickets)
* w/ Matthew E. White, dosh
^ w/ Summer Set
# w/ Matthew E. White