Friday, December 12, 2008

Gentleman Auction House

It seems only appropriate that youth and maturation are two of the lyrical themes that thread their way through Eric Enger’s songs: His band, Gentleman Auction House, has spent the last year navigating the space where the two words intersect. Formed in the summer of 2005 (with its current lineup solidified in January of 2006), the band itself is still young, with the average age of its seven members hitting just below the quarter-century mark.

GAH spent their first year hitting the stages in St. Louis, MO, as frequently as their schedules would allow, playing shows in front of audiences across the town. As excited performances converted excited fans, the band took its cue and recorded their debut EP The Rules Were Handed Down just in time for their performance at 2006’s Pygmalion Festival in Champaign-Urbana, IL. The self-recorded EP was self-released in October 2006, and had sold out of it’s first pressing by the time the band played their now-annual Christmas show, which happened to score a mention in SPIN magazine’s list of must-attend events in St. Louis that December. TRWHD sold enough copies before the year’s end to make it into the Top 15 best-selling records of 2006 at Vintage Vinyl, St. Louis’ premier independent record store. The EP made the list again a year later, and now has sold over 3,000 total copies to date.

The next year was spent playing local and regional shows in support of TRWHD, and though the feedback was consistently filled with praise, the band’s recipe of boy-girl vocals, dueling drummers, and multi-instrumentation had become standard indie-pop fare. Around every corner loomed a band that bore a resemblance to GAH’s own musical reflection, and every review cited the same touchstone Canadian collectives. Feeling the need to delineate the band’s sound, Enger penned a handful of new pop songs to round out material for what would become Alphabet Graveyard, the band’s full-length debut.

October 2007 found GAH in Washington, D.C., recording at Silver Sonya studios with Chad Clark (Beauty Pill, Smart Went Crazy), Devin Ocampo (Medications, Faraquet), and TJ Lipple (Aloha), who the band hoped would help them audibly infuse the enthusiasm and youthful energy of their live show and contextualize all of the different components of their new record. After two weeks of feverish recording, a robbery at gunpoint, and the unexpected illness of Chad Clark, two records emerged.

May 2008 welcomed The Book of Matches EP, which serves as the thematic and sonic precursor to the band’s new full-length. Due out in August of 2008, Alphabet Graveyard is a record that documents the maturation of a band who has shed the weight of its comparisons and forged a direction all their own to a very new place where solemn folk ballads, epic mood pieces and infectiously danceable pop very naturally find themselves on common ground.

Fresh off of a string of spring tours including a showcase at SXSW and a Daytrotter studio session, the band will spend the remainder of the year touring consistently, including a stop at Diversafest (DFest) in Tulsa, OK, and their third trip to Champaign’s burgeoning Pygmalion Festival.

Christmas is right around the corner and to help spread the holiday cheer Gentleman Auction House's third release of 2008, Christmas In Love, hits stores today. There are six tracks on this EP, of which only one is a traditional holiday classic. Be sure to check out Gentleman Auction House on their final tour of the year where you can purchase the tour only limited edition hand wraped/numbered Christmas In Love CD. If you can't make it to a show just head over to your favorite record store or digital retailer. Merry Christmas! Recommended!

Gentleman Auction House - On The Rooftop
Gentleman Auction House - Home For The Holidays
Gentleman Auction House - Daytrotter Sessions
Gentleman Auction House @ MySpace

Check Comments for Bonus!


Blogger Ziggy said...

The Killers - Day & Age (2008)
Kanye West - 808s & Heartbreak (2008)
Guns N' Roses - Chinese Democracy (2008)

Joey Cape - Bridge (2008)
Whitey - Great Shakes
The Strokes - Room On Fire
Placebo - Sleeping With Ghosts
Jawbreaker - 24 Hour Revenge Therapy

Norah Jones - The Greatest Hits (2008)

The Flaming Lips - At War With The Mystics

The Flaming Lips - Transmissions From The Satellite Heart
Young Fresh Fellows - Electric Bird Digest
Andrew Bird - Armchair Apocrypha


Brett Anderson - Brett Anderson
Sufjan Stevens - Illinois

Sufjan Stevens - Greetings From Michigen + Illinois

Disturbed - Indestructible

Christmas Albums

Eric Clapton - Slowhand


2:00 PM  
Blogger Axi said...

Thank you!

8:19 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

yesss! been looking for that sufjan for soooo long!

seen that new cold war kids album anywhere?

8:42 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hello Ziggy:

Great collection !! Hey, just to let you know. Your first link isn't not working. Can you review it ?? Thanks a lot !!!

Your biggest fan !

6:29 PM  

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