My favorite Wooden Wand release is 2005’s scratchy, stripped down, and spooky Harem Of The Sundrum And The Witness Figg. My mind wandered a bit after Second Attention, but Hard Knox, a collection of demos and castaways put to tape in Knoxville between October 2002 and January 2007, has me listening closely to James Toth again. (A longtime member of the Will Oldham club of naming, he’s retired “Wooden Wand,” so the 14 tracks are attributed to Wand.) Hard Knox comes with some notes that explain the contexts and various other details. The words on “Trails” are interesting:
Jarvis [Tavaniere of Woods, the Vanishing Voice] was an advocate for including this song on [2008's] Waiting In Vain, but I thought at the time it was a bit slight. Interestingly, this is the first of two appearances by a mysterious digital watch, which adds an audible beeping sound to the track. But here’s the thing: neither Jexie [Jex Thoth] nor I wear a watch. We searched the house in vain trying to find the source of the interruption, but turned up nothing. We’ve only ever hert it one other time — during the playback of another song. This will likely remain a mystery.
Take a listen to James, Jexie, and that watch.
Wand – “Trails” (MP3)
Hard Knox is out via Ecstatic Peace!. Toth goes on tour today, meeting up with various folks of note.
07/22 – Knoxville, TN @ Pilot Light
07/23 – Fairmont, WV @ River City Grill
07/24 – Baltimore, MD @ Metro Gallery ^
07/25 – Brooklyn, NY @ Issue Project Room &
07/26 – Webster Hall New York, NY @ %
07/28 – Northampton, MA @ Artifacts of the 20th Century
07/29 – Albany, NY @ Valentine’s
07/30 – Portland, ME @ The Apohadian Theatre !
07/31 – Boston, MA @ Paradise Rock Club ^^
08/02 – Columbus, OH @ Rhumba
08/03 – Bloomington IN @ Russian Recording
08/05 – Chicago, IL @ Empty Bottle
08/06 – Rock Island, IL @ Daytrotter Rock [session and show]
08/07 – Detroit, MI @ Magic Stick
08/08 – Toronto, ON @ Sneaky Dee’s #
08/09 – Montreal, QC @ Green Room
08/11 – Washington, DC @ Rock &Roll Hotel $
08/12 – Carrboro, NC @ Cat’s Cradle $
08/13 – Atlanta, GA @ E.A.R.L. $
08/14 – Birmingham, AL @ The Bottletree $
^ w/ Crazy Dreams Band
& w/ Michael Gira
% w/ Larkin Grimm
! w/ Fire on Fire
^^ w/ Destroyer
# w/ Woods
$ w/ Akron/Family