LoveLand leader John Spalding (R) with Matt Bayles (L)
A few weeks ago while I was preparing for my weekly radio show on KEXP (Audioasis), local musician John Spalding dropped off some rough mixes of songs by his band LoveLand. The songs were written over eight years and Spalding initially began recording in 2006, but lost steam when he was diagnosed with terminal lung cancer. Eventually he completed the project, thanks to support and artistic contributions from an illustrious cast of his talented friends, including Andrea Zollo, Joel Coupling, Steve Snere, Dave Knudson, Jake Snyder, Cory Murchy, Rose Johnson, Dana James, Adam Fream, Matt Johnson, Evan Morris, Ben Verrelan, Chris Common and Matt Bayles.
Tragically, Spalding has been told by doctors that he has less than six months left on this mortal coil. While this obviously lends these recordings some powerful poignancy, the bottom line is that they are superbly crafted, soaring pop songs executed with all the grace and technical skill that one would expect from such an impressive cast of collaborators. It's easily one of the best local records of the year, and while I try to refrain from promoting Audioasis on SW's blog, it's very worth mentioning that Spalding is scheduled to give a live performance on my show next month: Saturday, November 8th at 8 p.m., to be precise. I say "scheduled" because Spalding's energy levels ebb and flow and his appearance is dependent upon how he's feeling that day. Keep your fingers crossed that he's able to do it, and in the interim, please check out his newly built MySpace page and the two songs he has posted ("Girl Get Pride" is my current fave).
UPDATE: "Girl Get Pride" seems to have some issues loading, so I'd suggest checking out "Good People", featuring Andrea Zollo's vocal contributions. It drives me bananas that FCC realities prevent me from playing this one on the radio, especially since the use of "fucking" in the opening verse is particularly inspired.