“Love’s The Only Engine Of Survival”
A Deeply Loving Document of Doom-Americana: And A Special Raging Album Preview Show Set For Columbia City Theater on June 15, 2013
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For immediate release-
Bat Country, founded in 2006 by vocalist Melissa Cerise-Bullock (Blackmoor Travelling Picture Show, Chaotic Noise Marching Corps, Glenn or Glennda?) and guitarist Mikey Sellars (Kids On Fire, Rain City Shwillers, Glenn Or Glennda?), grew to become Seattle’s one and only licensed purveyors of undiluted, 100-proof Doom-Americana – A unique blend of raw, yet hook-laden noir-country and neo-cabaret, heavily influenced by the creeping existential dread and twisted, pretty melodies of Tom Waits, Neko Case, Nick Cave, and Leonard Cohen.
After losing their bass player, “Meshugunah Joe” Albanese, in the May 2012 shootings at Seattle’s Café Racer, the band made the decision to cease performing live, and directed their energies towards the completion of an album based around tracks they had recorded with Joe before his death. Joe was a music scene vet and underground punk icon who had played a pivotal role in founding the earliest of the Arizona punk scene in bands like The Brainz and The Mighty Sphincter, and had gone on to perform in quintessential pillars of the Seattle neo-cabaret community, God’s Favorite Beefcake, The Circus Contraption Band, and Nu Klezmer Army, among many others. The profoundly disturbing loss of this underground titan is still felt every day throughout Seattle and his hometown of Phoenix, AZ.
The expansive, wildly creative line-up of Bat Country also featured, live and on the album, Bill Cerise-Bullock (Mea Culpa, Shorthand For Epic, Glenn Or Glennda?), Jill Zirkle (God’s Favorite Beefcake, Secretary); Count Constantin (Bucharest Drinking Team, Ensemble sub Masa); Dan Kaplan (God’s Favorite Beefcake, Nu Klezmer Army); Jack Chandelier (The Horde and the Harem); and Adam Garnich.
Bat Country have spent over a year creating, crafting, and preparing “Love’s The Only Engine Of Survival” — the title a line from the Leonard Cohen song covered on the album (“The Future”). That homage serves as a eulogy to both the cherished memory of their friend Joe, and to their time together as a band. Bat Country will celebrate its release in one final live performance, taking place June 15th at the Columbia City Theater.
Here is a link to DL the full album (for press/radio purposes):
Track Listing: 1. For A Good Time Dig Here 2. Knockin’ On My Coffin* 3. All Over Again* 4. The Black Freighter* 5. Ramblin’ Man (Hank Williams cover) 6. God Had Better Watch His Back 7. Strictly Speaking* 8. Show Me Your Chiclets* 9. Blue Faerie 10. The Future (Leonard Cohen Cover)* 11. For A Goodbye, Dig Here 12. All Hail Horror! (*Key track!)
Here is the line-up and show info for Bat Country’s Columbia City Theater performance in Seattle, WA, on June 15, 2013:
Bat Country Hounds Of The Wild Hunt Bakelite 78 Jason Webley The Mongrel Jews and Special Secret Guests!
Doors at 7:30, Show at 8:00pm $10 Advance Tickets / $12 Day Of Show
Advance Tickets available at www.brownpapertickets.com
All the performers are donating their time and music to benefit Dylan Michael Sellars, the infant nephew of Michael Sellars from Bat Country. Dylan was born with a rare intestinal defect called malrotation and has been undergoing major surgeries, the cost of which have placed astronomical medical debt upon the family. Bat Country is honored to have their final performance be in support of a worthy cause. – (This is actually fairly important, sorry I didn’t mention it in the info I emailed you. )
Story of Bat Country’s “Love’s The Only Engine Of Survival” LP:
When we began the process of recording the album in April 2011, Bat Country had existed for five years, slowly growing from its nucleus of Melissa and Mikey to become a four-piece when Bill and Jill joined, then later taking on a full rhythm section with the addition of Joe on bass and our original drummer (now general percussionist) Adam, and finally rounding out the complete sound with the addition of Dan, Costi and our current drummer Jack.
In that time we had changed and grown so much that a lot of what the recording process was about, initially, was figuring out where we wanted the songs to be in their final form. After getting the initial rhythm section and guide vocal tracks down, we spent about a year – between continuing to play live, eight people’s busy schedules, and various life crises – attempting to finalize the arrangements that would turn the tracks into something we’d be satisfied with for release.
When Joe died, however, after much grieving, and performing at some of the benefit and memorial shows that happened in the wake of that day, we decided to bring an end to the band as a performing entity, rather than carry on without Joe.
Instead, it became a mission for us to complete the work we had begun on the album, and we were faced with the fact that the tracks from those sessions were the only useable record of our music with him that we had to work from. Luckily, of all of us, Joe was always the most consistently professional and prepared performer, and he had nailed his bass parts near-perfectly in the initial recordings, so we had an excellent foundation to build the rest of the completed album on.
So, starting in August of 2012, we went into the Vera Project recording studio with Jeff McNulty and spend the next four months transforming the tracks we had with Joe into a last will and testament of the band – of our complicated and messy love for each other, of our love for Joe and his amazing soul and astounding musical talent, and of the songs that we had poured our hearts into and come to love so much over the years we were together.
It is perhaps atypical for a band to take their album title from the lyrics of a cover song they’ve recorded, but, for us, “Love’s The Only Engine Of Survival” has become the only sentence that could sum up everything that matters to us about this band and this album – taken in its original context, the idea that, in the midst of unfathomable madness, chaos, and horror, Love is the only thing that will ultimately keep you putting one foot in front of the other, that will keep you standing, and will keep the people that matter most alive in any way, even if they’ve been lost to the world.
We’ve learned that more powerfully, more viscerally, in the last year than any of us would ever have hoped to. It is the underpinning of everything this album is and has to say, and it is our duty and honor and privilege to share it with as many people who’ll hear it as possible.