! = recommended
* = all-ages
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I feel like it's been way too long since the last Her Space Holiday album (even though calendars tell me it's only been a couple years). Word just came in that the new HSH album is going to be released in five months (September 9, 2008), and there's already some tracks floating around to get us all reved up for the release and amped up direction Marc Bianchi is going with the beloved effort.
On the upcoming release, XOXO, Panda And The New Kid Revival, our heartbroken hero Marc is still brutally honest, but in the song he's posted on his website, this time he's brutally happy - and I'm all for it.
One of the highlights of the day? You can go to the special XOXOPanda MySpace page to hear a bunch of tracks from the new album. If you want to download a track for repeated i-pod listens, "Sleepy Tigers" is available for download from the Mush Records website.
And, in kinda related news that might be old to some of you... did you know Marc wrote his first children's book? The recently released book is entitled "the telescope" and the project was a collaboration with Japanese illustrator PCP. The book also comes with a ten-track cd that features a reading of the story. Though the book was a Japanese only release, you can buy it from the HSH website. Make sure to also check out the "the telescope" commemorative wallets!
A bit more info about the album from our pressy friends:
XOXO, Panda... finds Marc exploring creative territory only touched upon in previous Her Space Holiday efforts. The huge string arrangements and glitchy drum programming have been replaced by layers of live guitar and keyboard work over expansive foundations of live drums and percussion. The Her Space Holiday approach to melody writing has been expanded upon, augmenting melodic lines with lush layers of doo-wop and '60s pop inspired vocal harmonies.
In moving away from the computer, Marc has opened up a side of the Her Space Holiday he is extremely proud of, and hopes that listeners will see that what defined the shift from his earlier work in influential hardcore band Indian Summer into Her Space Holiday wasn't the addition of electronics, but instead a more daring approach to songwriting and arranging.
Marc Bianchi will be playing four shows to preview music from XOXO, Panda And The New Kid Revivial. The backing band will be made up of members of Marc's old touring line-up augmented by Mush Records' own Lymbyc Systym - Mike Bell playing drums and Jared Bell playing keyboards and some guitar. The result will be a great capturing of Bianchi's wonderful arrangements from this new album.
APR 23 - LOS ANGELES, CA @ THE TROUBADOUR
APR 24 - SAN FRANCISCO, CA @ BOTTOM OF THE HILL
MAY 05 - CHICAGO, IL @ THE EMPTY BOTTLE
MAY 10 - NEW YORK, NY @ THE KNITTING FACTORY