Simon Joyner’s thirteenth proper album will be released in August on LP and CD by Ba Da Bing Records. Step Into the Earthquake is a sprawling double album featuring a six-piece backing band, the Ghosts (featuring David Nance, Alex McManus of Lambchop and Bright Eyes, and Michael Krassner of Boxhead Ensemble). The album addresses America’s current political woes with grace and nuance. There is despair and disappointment from songs about difficult endings but these feelings stop short of nihilism, choosing instead to see the beauty, honesty, and dignity in our human struggles.
«Omaha has given us the reigning heir to Henry Miller’s dark emotional mirror, Townes Van Zandt’s three-chord moan, and Lou Reed’s warehouse minimalism: His name is Simon Joyner.» – Gillian Welch
“Pound for pound Simon Joyner is my favorite lyricist of all time. He has shades of all the greats (Van Zandt, Cohen, Dylan) but exists in a space all his own. Since I first heard his music at the tender age of twelve not a year has passed that I haven’t waited for and been rewarded with an amazing Simon Joyner release of one kind or another. This year is no exception. He truly is an American songwriting treasure. It is my hope that more people will discover his music and
share in the unique joy that it brings.” – Conor Oberst
«Simon’s always been a secret handshake amongst me and my peers. He’s a pioneer. He’s helped pave the way for many people, myself included. He’s an artist in its purest form–for his only concern is crafting a perfect song–which he’s done time and time again.» – Kevin Morby
David Nance, Omaha veteran of warble and hiss, returns with Negative Boogie, his new concoction of chug, throb and greasy swagger. For Boogie, Nance trades in his beaten up Tascam 488 for the bullet-proof, glass walls of ARC Studios. Where else can you brew the negative boogie? And what exactly is the negative boogie? Well, it’s a bit like Canned Heat but with Pere Ubu’s queasy rhythms and someone playing five finger fillet with Swell Maps. Ensconced in his ivory tower and soundproof rooms, Nance reached for unlikely weapons to tear down his own lofty experiment. He had his pick of rare guitars, cowbells, steel drums, vintage amps, Crazy Horse microphones, mellotron, and the restless but indefatigable rhythm section of Kevin Donahue and Tom May. They started at sunrise and recorded 15 songs by midnight. Maybe it’s his Midwestern work ethic, maybe he’s a sonic cheapskate. Maybe it’s just the sound of negative boogie. True to habit, Nance built on scraps and scrapes as his startingpoint. “Some songs were unused for half a decade, some songs were changed the day before recording and some songs were recycled and reinterpreted from the last album leftovers,» he says. And yet, bits and pieces, false starts and vicious jams, all came together like the cover art collage suggests, to make something he’s never done before – a rock epic. These songs stab and flow into one other like a perfectly orchestrated classic. The songs are drenched with Nance’s most biting and comic lyrics to date, peaking on “DLATUMF Blues» (Don’t Look At This Ugly Mother Fucker Blues). And ripping through the entire thing is the cracked power he yanks out of the guitar, a veritable The Good, The Bad and the Ugly of riffage. This is a departure for Nance. It’s bigger and grander but it’s far from easy music. It’s his Plastic Ono Band, his For Your Pleasure, his fever dream of Rocket from the Tombs. Shredders sit with jangling rockers, manic energy spills into depressive torpor, providing the ultimate record experience: one of power, nuance and emotion. But this of course is only a press release, written by a team of robots using words programmed to seduce you. You knew that, right? Did it work? Whether you are nodding yes or shaking no, it’s safe to say that we are all dancing the negative boogie.