Hello my friends –
Here we go with our 26th Album of the Month. I’m starting to think we might be getting serious about this. For October 2011 we feature the brand spanking new album by Empire of Sleep. Who dat, you ask? Well, you knew them longago and far away as Moving Parts. Since they tossed in the towel in ’88 (temporarily it turns out) a couple million new Moving Parts have appeared and they decided to do the new name thing. When you take a listen you won’t have any trouble figuring out who it is.
Back when Moving Parts were guys I almost knew. I had their single and their EP – dug ‘em both. I member seeing them at the Central Tavern not long before they took their sabbatical and they were a mighty tight and excellent band at that point. Keith Livingston who worked in my studio in those days was pals with the bass player Don Lange, so I was always sort of kept up on their doings. In my teaching days at the Seattle Art Institute I used to tell the MP story of the pursuit of the MAJOR LABEL DEAL as a cautionary. Basically they had serious label interest from Epic and spent a couple years doing demos and moving up the “sure we’ll sign ya” ladder till it got to that last guy, the acting president had said to sign ‘em and then CBS sold the records group to Sony. Everything not signed on the dotted line was scrapped. All long time A&R people were sacked. Party over and not much to show for 2 years. That’s the way major labels worked in those days. Can’t say I really miss ‘em.
Fast forward a couple years ago. I go to see Red Dress at Eagan’s in Ballard. I’m on the list man! I sit in my appointed spot. On my right is Kim Fields who played in Slamhound Huinters and other fine bands. On the left is Jim Irwin, singer of the Moving Parts. Never met either before, we had a lovely evening with Mr. Minkler and associates. Jim and I got to chatting and here we are – Album of the Month! Hell yeah.
For the AotM I decided I would go right to the man and ask Jim the exact questions you would be asking if you were sitting in the room with him. Here they are.
TD – Hey Jim – so it took you 20 years to get a full album out. What have the various Parts been doing in the meantime?
JI – All of us have been working, paying bills, some of us raising children, learning and unlearning bad habits, yet still writing and playing music.
TD – How much of the new album are things you’ve had in your back pocket and how much did you write just for this project?
JI – One of the songs (Star) is from a PopLlama Christmas cassette from 25 years ago. I was really proud of the song but always wanted to sing it in tune. Another one was a Moving Parts mainstay that never got recorded, five other songs were from demos I did in 2001 and four were written just before and during the recording. I’m proud to say that we have three new songs rehearsed towards the next record. And I have several others in the can. The tap has been turned on again.
TD – I see you have shows lined up every month through December. Do you plan to keep playing every month or is it now or never if people want to see ya?
JI – We hope to be playing out at least once a month or every other month. Our hope is that the record generates new interest and new fans.
TD – You have a chunk of old Moving Parts recordings from back when. Any plans to let that stuff see the light of day?
JI – Definitely. One of our biggest mistakes was not putting out more of own records. We have old recordings that Glenn sound transferred for us. But, the priority is to get Empire Of Sleep recordings out.
JI – I try to pay attention, but it’s tough to write songs, run a DIY project, work a day job and then get out in the scene. But I do pick up on things. Of course I’m aware of these 2 bands and they don’t need my attention, but other local bands that have caught my attention and need more are: Picture Day (February 2011 AotM), Visqueen, Solvents, The Tripwires, The Diving Belland I’m missing lots. And of course, there’s always been The Green Pajamas. My brother Rich is a big fan of Jeff Fielder and Ian Moore. The great thing is there are so many venues and really good bands and artists. The scene is really deep in talent.
TD – What is the question you always wished someone asked you in an interview and what is your answer to it?
JI – “Are you aware that the acronym for Empire Of Sleep (EOS) is the name of the Greek goddess of the dawn?” Yes.
Click on the album cover to go buy it!
1. Angels In Reverse
2. Wasted Moon
3. Safer Than Sorry
5. The Imposter
6. Dumbing Down
7. Accidentally Beautiful
8. Too Far To Fall
9. When It Gets Dark
All songs written Jim Irwin and Empire of Sleep
© 2011 City of Trees Music ASCAP