. : : February 9th, 2014 : : .
While the world’s in a COVID-induced lockdown, I’m still in the process of combing my archives and trying to rediscover recordings that haven’t made it online for whatever reason.
My recording of PJ Bond, opening for Maria Taylor at the Drake Underground, is another that slipped through the cracks at the later end of the blog’s earlier incarnation. I actually had to double check the site to verify whether or not it had been already posted.
Seven and a half years later, I get to listen to the recording again for the first time — and I wonder why I didn’t remember it more vividly. Songs like Darlin’ I’ve Been Drinking Nights and Untitled (Robot Golf) are the kind of rootsy, punk-influenced Americana that is directly in my wheelhouse.
PJ received a generous 45-minute opening slot and filled it with a likewise generous set of 9 songs, including a preview of Calm in the Corner — a song that wouldn’t see public release for another 15-months on the Where Where You? LP. There was even a mid-set bonus song performed by PJ’s accompaniment, lead guitarist Marko Casso.
The set was even sprinkled with some top-shelf banter, including a tale of a Canadian fan who had previously invited Bond and his band up to Prince Edward Island with the promise of a place to stay and lots of Canadian beer but when they arrived, they found out the fan had recently separated from his wife and was living with his mom — but there was a beach nearby they could sleep on (as long as they didn’t light any fires for warmth)!. When PJ asked about the beers, the fan drove them to the local liquor stores to buy their own alcohol. Somehow, they pitiful tale ends up with PJ in the crow’s nest of a cable boat, driving it between the islands!
The recording was taped directly into the Edirol R-09 recorder; I think at this point I was having increasingly regular problems with the input jack and frequent battery drain on the mics. Luckily, the Drake Underground has absolute pristine sound quality, and even with the (slightly) inferior microphones, I managed to get a great sounding tape.
PJ has since become “semi-“retired, breaking a three-year streak of no shows only in 2019. It’s hard to say whether the clusterfuck that was 2020 interfered with any further musical momentum but at the time, PJ was clearing out old stock of t-shirts and albums, with all proceeds going to charitable organizations such as End Homelessness and Action Against Hunger. Assuming some merch is still available, you can find out more through his website (linked below) and place an order at email@example.com.
My hope is that this recording will help people who missed it the first time-around find PJ’s music (and hopefully support some great causes at the same time!). There’s some great songs sprinkled throughout the set that has me excited to go back and dig in. Give the sample below a quick listen and, if you’re so inclined, please join me!
- Grow Your Smile Wide
- Darlin’ I’ve Been Drinking Nights
- Untitled (Robot Golf)
- Stop Being Bad
- Hometown Hero
- You Know the Drill
- Alone With Everyone [Marko Casso]*
- Calm in the Corner
- I’m in a Bad Way
* Performed by Marko Casso