Friday, April 01, 2011

Slow Runner - Damage Points

April 2011
Album of the Month
This One You Need to Own

One of the Best New Albums of 2011:

Slow Runner - Damage Points

The Spirit of Discovery - Whiskey is one of the most potent alcohols out there and heaven knows it has fueled adventures and caused its own set of unique events in my fun-filled explorations. Even as I prepare to share with you one of the best new projects of 2011, I think back of a particularly golden night of music and ambiance in which whiskey and music filled a particularly dark Boston night. The spirits of music exploration (and the whiskey) were in good supply the evening I witnessed singer Michael Flynn and multi-instrumentalist Josh Kaler completely light up a Hub audience. I stood there, with my mouth open (at least that's how I imagine it) stunned about what I was hearing. Flynn & Kaler, who go by the sound explosion moniker; Slow Runner, have a really great chemistry which compliments their challenging, shifting song structures. I am a guitar guy but even more than that I'm a piano guy. I hide it well, but couldn't this night. The most layered and looped of these Slow Runner tracks plays out like a live jam with a rapper and his crew. But these wild, electronic numbers are stacked right alongside gorgeous melodic presentations your girlfriend would love to receive on her next mixtape. It is just this versatility, talent and wit that caused me to explore their back catalog.

Slow Runner has toured with folks like Josh Ritter, The Damnwells, Say Anything, Built to Spill, Gomez, The Avett Brothers, and Evan Dando, as well as had their music featured on shows like Greys Anatomy and One Tree Hill. You wouldn't know it from talking to these guys. They shrug off the platitudes and would prefer to just play the songs. And play they do. Aided these days by Jonathan Gray (formerly of Jump Little Children) on bass and sometimes with Scott Baumil (formerly of The Young Republicans) on guitar, Flynn & Kaler are capable of creating even more unimaginable sonic landscapes.

Damage Points is Beautiful - This is an accomplished record - and one that keeps growing on you. None of this, of course, comes as a surprise. It's a natural trajectory album - Slow Runner has only improved since the last I have heard them and this album is the product of that rewarding process. The band and the sound have descended an elegant staircase and are now sipping whiskey with their listeners. The silky smooth, vibrant sounds echo a familiar past and an unknown future but it's an exciting ride I will be making many times this year. We find Slow Runner more experimental, more obsessed with beauty and emotion and generally just better in 2011. One of the Best new projects of the year is available for purchase now. Here is my favorite song:

April 2011 Dates

April 1 – Canal Room – 8 PM
285 West Broadway, New York, NY

April 2 – The Red Room @ Café 939 – 8:30 PM
939 Boylston Street, Boston, MA - SOLD OUT

April 3 – Iron Horse – 7:30 PM
20 Center Street, Northampton, MA

April 5 – Brillobox – 10 PM
4104 Penn Avenue, Pittsburgh, PA

April 6 – World Café Live – 8:30 PM
3025 Walnut Street, Philadelphia, PA

April 7 – Rams Head On Stage – 7:30 PM
33 West Street, Annapolis, MD

April 8 – Jammin’ Java – 8:30 PM – All Ages
231 Maple Avenue, East, Vienna, VA

April 9 – Jammin’ Java – 7:30 PM – All Ages
231 Maple Avenue, East, Vienna, VA

April 10 – The Pour House Music Hall – 8:30 PM – 21+
224 South Blount Street, Raleigh, NC

April 12 – Evening Muse – 9 PM
3227 North Davidson Street, Charlotte, NC

April 13 – The Square Room – 8:30 PM
4 Market Square, Knoxville, TN

April 14 – Smith’s Olde Bar – 9:30 PM
1578 Piedmont, Atlanta, GA

April 15 – Workplay – 9:30 PM
500 23rd Street, South, Birmingham, AL

April 16 – The Wormhole – 10 PM
2307 Bull Street, Savannah, GA

April 17 – 3rd & Lindsley – 8:30 PM
818 3rd Avenue, South, Nashville, TN

April 19 – Hi-Tone Café – 9:30 PM
1913 Poplar Avenue, Memphis, TN

April 21 – The Marquee – 8:30 PM
222 North Main Street, Tulsa, OK

April 22 – The Loft – 10 PM
1135 South Lamar Street, Dallas, TX

April 23 – Fitzgerald’s – 9:30 PM
2706 White Oak Drive, Houston, TX

April 24 – Stubb’s Bar-B-Q – 10:30 PM
801 Red River, Austin, TX

April 26 – Southgate House – 9:30 PM
24 East Third Street, Newport, KY

April 27 – The Ark – 8:30 PM
316 South Main, Ann Arbor, MI

April 28 – Shank Hall – 8:30 PM
1434 North Farwell, Milwaukee, WI

April 29 – Old Town School of Folk Music – 8:30 PM
4544 North Lincoln Ave, Chicago, IL

April 30 – The Mill – 9:30 PM
120 East Burlington Street, Iowa City, IA

* even more dates in May 2011 *

Slow Runner
iTunes / Web / Fb / Tw


brian said...

awesome album..these songs sound amazing!

The God Of Biscuits said...

Slow Runner continues to put out great album after great album, I agree, Damage Points does not stray from the trend.

RadioPotato said...

Ryan, you've really captured Slow Runner so well. I got to interview the band last year and they are the real deal through and through. Intricate and interesting with a heavy dose of wit. Nice work! Here's the link to the interview, too: