Perennials: 1 Band. 1 Year. 52 Songs. 12 Charities.
Posted by Walt on August 3, 2014 at 8:45am
A little over a year ago, Jones Street Station (Overcome, In Verses, The Understanding) found itself facing a strange reality: Brooklyn would no longer be home to the majority of the band.
Walt had just moved to Chicago. Danny was getting set to head to Boston. Sam was firmly ensconced in Vermont. And soon enough, Jonny would be in L.A. This left JB to hold down the fort in the borough that will forever be our creative home. We decided instinctively, that we wanted, in fact needed, to keep making music together. This instinct gave birth to Perennials, a year-long song-writing project for charity, through which JSS released a new original song for 52 consecutive Tuesdays (September 4, 2012 to August 27, 2013 for those keeping count). It's tough to say how, exactly, we pulled it off. But there is little doubt that we would have failed without the newest member of the JSS family, Paul Apelgren. Paul, who is a mind-bogglingly virtuosic piano player, is also a gifted song-writer, composer and music editor. Without him we wouldn't have lasted through the Fall.
Over the last 12 months our Perennials Project proved to be not just a way for us to stay musically connected, challenged, and enriched, it also managed to put us in touch with some of our dearest musical friends.
Including JSS, over twenty different musicians contributed to the project:
Posted by Walt on September 5, 2013 at 6:29am
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Story Behind The Song: "Dolly's Lament"
Dear friends, our 52nd (and final!) perennial is a long song about a dolphin. Jonny explains:
Back in January, when I was still living in Brooklyn, a dolphin somehow managed to get itself trapped in the Gowanus Canal - an twisty little inlet off the Hudson that has transformed, over the last 200 years, from a creek that soldiers swam through during the Revolutionary war into to one of the most polluted industrial waterways in the US. Soon after appearing in the canal, this poor dolphin passed away. This all happened about a block from where I used to live with Danny and Walt, and where and our neighbor, Linda, has been an advocate for cleaning up the canal for years.
Anyway, I was struck by this and started to imagine how this dolphin ended up in the Gowanus, and I began to write this song. I pictured a loving dolphin couple getting into a fight, leading to one of the dolphins being overcome with sadness. So sad she was, that she lost her way, took a wrong turn, and ended up the canal. Her distraught partner (in the song) searches hopelessly, never knowing if she ran away or if something terrible has happened.
Now, the crazy thing here - besides the fact that this…Continue
Posted by JSS on August 27, 2013 at 8:30am
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Story Behind The Song: "Love Song For The Ambitious"
This week's dispatch comes from Walt:
As the penultimate release of the Perennials project, I thought it might be fitting to include a song for the ambitious folks out there trying to balance their personal lives with their work. This dispatch is called "Love Song for the Ambitious."
Each of the JSS members contributing to the Perennials project have incredible "day" jobs that they're both excellent at and passionate about. I'm proud to be surrounded by such resourceful individuals who ably balance their many projects with grace and good will. By day, I manage a nonprofit that (among other things) provides a cloud platform for researchers looking to analyze large datasets in a wide variety of scientific disciplines.
This song is dedicated to my talented bandmates who've managed to release 51 out of 52 songs in a year, our loved ones who weathered the weekly storm close at our sides, and my stellar coworkers at the Laboratory for Advanced Computing and Open Data Group. Once the project is…Continue
Posted by JSS on August 20, 2013 at 9:20am