Tim and Tara rarely sit around the house idle. The years of 2004-2007 were no exception. Thriving on the fact of actually having an unlimited-track recording studio in the apartment, we made instrumentals, when the notion struck, for fun, adding to a project called Miracoli that started in the late nineties. After Tara's trip to Europe in 1997, TnT, who had for twenty years considered a tour to be the only kind of trip, started traveling a great deal particularly to Venice, Rome, Paris and Barcelona where Key shot thousands of photos, which would go onto the covers of Victory Park and 2008's Opus Mixtum. These travels inspired more tunes for Miracoli, conceived of as an instrumental suite.
Antietam continued to write new rock songs since Victory Park. When we went into the Seaside Lounge with Josh Clark, the producer Madell had engaged for Tralala, we thought we might record a rock record and combine with an instrumental one, something not too far from the vibe of the Rizzo/Key work. But the different notions in our career -- "Tara Key" in her solo work, "Rizzo/Key" and "Antietam" all seemed like parts of one thing. So we decided to craft it all together into one 2-CD, 3-LP work.
Josh Clark proved to be a sympathetic ear and a fantastic producer, getting both the Neil Young, seventies side of our guitar rock really better than ever before, and helping craft the instrumentals.
After the liberation of seizing the means of production and recording Dark Edson Tiger and Victory Park, it was truly good to be back in a recording studio. Clark and his partner Charles Burst at Seaside Lounge have managed to meld warm analogue sounds with modern technology.
Carrot Top released Opus Mixtum, and the band felt, twenty years on in this lineup that this might be our best work yet, a kind of weird position to be in, when we should by all accounts, be breaking up or replaying those hits from the earlier years.
ANTIETAM SAYS: Hear the one we are recording at Seaside right now, 2010!
These two interviews, done in 2008, will explain Opus Mixtum and much more.
Click HERE for the SEQUENZA 21 chat with Christian Carey and HERE for a POPMATTERS interview with Jon Langmead.
After the release of the record we had a years' worth of extraordinary shows to support it. First, our record release party at Southpaw (complementary/complimentary bookmarks given out to promote adult literacy) with Dump, The Scene Is Now and The Vanity Set (and James McNew and Josh Clark joining Antietam); a chaotic but fun SXSW which included four shows in three days; a ninety-minute expando-band set at the Brooklyn Public Library adding Ira Kaplan on keyboards, Clark on guitar, Mark Howell on trumpet, and Julia Rydholm of the Ladybug Transistor (who played as well) on violin. TK and TH catalogued all of the set by Dewey Decimal Subject Headings and presented a chart on an easel with each page dedicated to a song with its Dewey call number and a shout out for a different Brooklyn neighborhood. By the way, when we were asked to play the show they had no awareness of the fact that Tara has worked in libraries for over three decades of her life.
We played at the Bomhard Theater at the Kentucky Center for the Arts in Louisville with YLT where many members of TK and TH's families saw Antietam for the first time. This was only three blocks away from the loft space where the Babylon Dance Band practiced twenty-eight years earlier and only two blocks from the Old Galt House, where No Fun and the pre-TK BDB played together in 1978. In the fall of 2008, we played a show with Pylon at the Mercury Lounge in NYC -- something we had wanted to do for twenty-eight years. They sounded as awesome as ever. We think of Randy Bewley often and of the bandmates he left behind.
WHAT THEY SAID
"Opus Mixtum" is a wonderfully rich, variegated recording -- one of the few recent double albums that require its extended duration to share all of it rich aspects..." Christian Carey SEQUENZA 21
"Now in their third decade, this Kentucky-spawned, New York-based trio could pass for a bunch of eager newcomers who can't decide what kind of band they want to be when they grow up..." Jon Young SPIN
"Completely essential..." Jon Dale UNCUT