Perennials: 1 Band. 1 Year. 52 Songs. 12 Charities.
Jones Street Station recently found itself spread across the United States, with core members living in Brooklyn, LA, Boston, Chicago, and beyond. Rather than closing up shop, they decided to up the ante, pledging to write more music in a year than they had in the previous seven. Knowing this would take a musical collective, the band reached out to their friends and began planning "Perennials."
The project, which aims to write, arrange, record, mix, master, and release 52 songs in 52 weeks, will be created in studios across the country and collaboratively honed in the cloud, using Dropbox, Evernote, Google Hangouts, Ning, Network For Good, SoundCloud, and other tech partners to organize the effort. Proceeds collected during the marathon songwriting project will benefit 12 hand-picked charities personally important to the band.
Originally formed in Brooklyn in 2005, where the albums Overcome and In Verses were written, JSS has shared stages with acts such as Grace Potter and Ben Kweller. In 2010, the band scored the musical Twelve Ophelias and in recent years has written for several feature films, including Hello Lonesome and Who Cares About Kelsey? In 2011, Jones Street collaborated with Danny Pudi, of NBC's Community, to create a video for the band's single 'The Understanding'. In 2012, JSS performed regularly with The GIRLS, a vocal trio which includes Alison Brie, of Community and Mad Men.
Charity partners include: Charity Water, New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Foundation, Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America (IAVA), Musicians on Call, Cause Effective, Rosie’s Place, Camp Interactive, Old Town School of Folk Music, Housing Works, The Trevor Project, Para Los Ninos, and Evacuteer.org.
Quotes Regarding "Perennials"
> On the writing process/project inception:
“We know the project might sound a little crazy, but it actually wasn't something we had to deliberate over or convince each other to sign up for. There were two choices: stop making music together, or adapt. There was no real consideration of the first option, so the project was born of necessity. We're excited and also a little terrified about what lies ahead. But we think we can pull it off, and we hope some good songs come out of it.”
>On the tech partners:
“Collaborative software has evolved to a point where a project like this possible. It's really hard to imagine how we would coordinate composition, arrangement, tracking, editing, and mixing between 4+ studios without Dropbox, Evernote, Google+, and Logic.”
> Regarding the charities:
“We thought about just throwing up the tunes on our site or releasing them on iTunes but this seems like so much more fun. Plus, adding 12 charities gave the project a natural organization - 1 each month, 12 mini-albums. So, these causes helped give the project form while also increasing its potential for doing some good. We feel great about this facet of Perennials.”
"Of all the bands Brooklyn has produced in recent years, rarely has the borough birthed an Americana-rock love child like Jones Street Station. But this isn't just Appalachia-on-the-Hudson—the band is just as fond of rockstar timbres and synths as it is mandolin, banjo licks and harmonica. We're not the first to liken them to a little band called Wilco, and we'd humbly submit the folk/pop stylings of The Avett Brothers and the jamboree ethos of Akron/Family for comparison as well."
- Paste Magazine
“Listening is like running down a mountain on a switchbacktrail, the sound of surprise generating its own momentum. There’s apunk glee inside the bluegrass craft–and a punk vehemence insidethe bluegrass smile.”– Greil Marcus
“... charming, unusually graceful music” – The New YorkTimes
“...like 1995 Wilco with the sensibility of 2007 Wilco.” –The Onion AV Club, Milwaukee
“They play their catchy originals with virtuosic mandolin jamsand honky-tonk piano fillers, and top them with off-kilter,good-time harmonies.” – Time Out New York
JSS in the Wall Street Journal - 8/22/11