It's been an unbelievably productive and artistically satisfying five months for the group since we published our last update on them in September. In lieu of trying to figure out how to string it all together, here are some bullet points:
* Clogs continue to receive high praise in the American and European press, following the release of their third album, Stick Music, and subsequent touring on both continents. Click on the respective publication names to see the glowing notices in [LINK TO COME]New York Times, [LINK TO COME]Mojo, All About Jazz, and [LINK TO COME]The Wire. Most notably, we were high-fiving over a five-star live review in [LINK TO COME]The Guardian UK. It ran after their performance at Royal Festival Hall during the London Jazz Fest. On the same day, Sting had a lovely photo and a 2-star rating. Unfortunately, Clogs did not displace him on the pop charts, but we're working on it.
* In November, during that European tour, Clogs spent a week in Nantes, France with the duo, Man (pronounced "man"), where they developed, arranged, performed, and recorded several songs both old and new. Click here to see a video clip from the Clogs Meets Man concert at Pannonica Jazz Club. The groop so enjoyed their time with their French counterparts (pianist Rasim Biyikli and bass guitarist Charles-Eric Charrier) that they're considering titling their next record, Man from Nantes. We're encouraging them to paraphrase that, and call it Dudes from France. We expect we'll be debating this for awhile.
* An old friend of the groop by the name of Diana Cooper had an art show hanging at Carl Berg Gallery in Los Angeles, California between January 8 - February 5. It was awesome, not the least of which because it featured "Swarm," an installation inspired by Clogs' piece of the same name, originally heard on Lullaby for Sue. Okay, Clogs' piece is actually called "Swarms," but that's close enough, and the piece was inspired by the song. We apologize for not telling you about this in time to see the show in the flesh. Next time, we promise to be more timely. Blame our lone employee, Glenn. He's very very busy.
* In late January, Clogs returned to their original hometown of New Haven, Connecticut where they recorded their fourth album. They worked with Nick Lloyd at Firehouse 12, his brand new studio in the historic Crown Street firehouse, located in New Haven's 9th Square district. Mr. Lloyd is practically becoming Brassland's house producer these days, having recorded both The National's debut and its follow-up, Sad Songs for Dirty Lovers, as well as Clogs' most recent joint, Stick Music. Thank you Mr. Lloyd.
* Clogs already have an intense slate of activities scheduled for the next 12 months. First, Clogs will complete the second part of their National Endowment for the Arts/Chamber Music America-sponsored US tour, featuring Ingram Marshall's new composition, "In Deserto (SmokeCreek)." If you think you have an appropriate venue, contact them here. Second, we're spreading the news that Clogs and much-lauded electronic-acoustic duo The Books, have received an Arts Council England touring grant in support of a multi-city tour of the UK. The Books and Clogs will create music together, weaving acoustic and electronic sounds and samples into new compositions. The shows will begin in early 2006, and the project will also appear at select US venues. It may also develop into a recording.
* Just in case you're thinking "Geez, Clogs are going to collapse from all that activity," we're happy to report (for their sake) that they'll be taking the next few months off. Padma has returned to Mallacoota to chill out and write some new material. Rachael is going to Vermont to teach. Thom is going to gig around with various projects. And Bryce is going to be doing some touring with The National, for whom he plays geetar. (Padma will tag along on at least a handful of those dates.) Please keep an eye out for them in your town or shire.