Celebrating the 43
Presidents compilation as well as serving
as a benefit for Bands for Lands.
By Fred Mills
This weekend in Washington,
DC, a very special celebration is
taking place. No, not another inaugural party… those are so, like, next week. (Anybody else experience
pre-inauguration burnout?) On Saturday, Jan. 17, at the Sixth and I Historic
Synagogue there will be a Bands for Lands bash, and sure, while it’s billed as
“celebrating the Presidential inauguration,” it’s also an opportunity to
celebrate the wonderful Of Great and
Mortal Men: 43 Songs for 43 U.S. Presidencies, the three-CD set that was
released earlier this year containing, you guessed it, 43 separate songs each
focusing on a single U.S. President and featuring performances by Alan Sparhawk (Low), Mark
Kozelek (Red House Painters/Sun Kil Moon), Califone,
Xiu Xiu, Bill Callahan, Radar Bros., Rosie Thomas, Denison Witmer, Tom
Brosseau, Marla Hansen, Wooden Wand and others.
It was put together by J. Matthew Gerkin, Jefferson Pitcher
and BLURT contributor Christian Kiefer, and you can read our review of it HERE, or find out more about it at the official website, www.43presidencies.com.
Incidentally, Kiefer promises BLURT that the 44th presidential song – about guess who? – will be unveiled this week.
So the titanic trio of Gerkin, Pitcher and Kiefer have dressed
the dang thing up for the stage, and they’ve lined up quite a roster of talent
to perform songs from the collection. In addition to those three musicians,
among those that have been announced are Nellie McKay,
Jukebox the Ghost, These United States, Laura Burhenn, Tim Fite, Joe Pug, Denison Witmer, Silver Darling and Hiss Golden
Messenger. By the time of the show there should be even more scheduled to take
States will also be doing a special opening
set. Hey – you’re going to Washington
next week anyway, right? Might as well show up a few days early. Feel free to
crash at the BLURT penthouse suite. We’re just down the road in Silver Spring, after all…
Meanwhile, check out the amazing video for “Washington
Dreams of the Hippopotamus” (by Vince DiFiore, of Cake), below. It brings new
meaning to the concept of a “puppet government”….