Record label Burnt Toast Vinyl has just released DOVE, a brand new EP from Half-handed Cloud. John Ringhofer of HHC has been working on the EP for several years now, and it’s as much a story as it is a record. He recorded the demos for DOVE in early 2008 and then played six of the songs during a live vinyl pressing with the Henningham Family Press in London (see video above). In between recording for Stowaways, John finally finished the record in the church where he used to live.
Songs are on one side of the limited edition EP, and op-art is etched on the other side. You can buy it from Burnt Toast Vinyl here, and we are carrying the commemorative poster of the event right here on AK.
Over the next month, Half-handed Cloud will chart new territory. First, in the physical world, HHC will be touring from the west coast to the east, stopping in great American cities like Salt Lake, Lander Wyoming (also known as AK-HQ!), Fort Collins, Denver, Memphis, Knoxville, Balitmore, Philly, NYC, and Quincy.
In the musical world, HHC will be releasing DOVE, a one-sided LP, on Burnt Toast Vinyl. Fret not if that one-sided bit threw you for a loop; John Ringhofer of HHC is personally etching the second side as designed by the Henningham Family Press. Music+art!
And in the virtual world, the debate is now over on what social media service is the best (Twitter or Facebook or Google+ or SharededlyBookSpaceShare). Half-handed Cloud is now on Facebook, thereby making it the best time-waster ever invented by a Harvard dropout since North of Boston. Click here to engage in some quality HHC Facebook time!
You can see tour dates here, or preorder DOVEhere.
Next week on the 28th we get to release Half-handed Cloud's brand new As Stowaways in Cabinets of Surf, We Live-out in Our Members a Kind of Rebirth. Frontman John Ringhofer works as a custodian in a church in Berkeley, California and that is precisely where he recorded the album. We can't say enough great things about this album, so instead we'll just say we think it's his best work yet, and that it's available for preorder now a couple of ways: CD ($10), LP ($14), Bandcamp MP3 ($8).
HHC is also going on a tour of the west coast. Dates here
Those who've been with us since the beginning remember that Half-handed Cloud's debut was reissued by AK in 2001. This was our second release as a record label, preceded only by an album by the label's co-founder. Since then, Half-handed Cloud has released three more full-lengths, plus an EP/singles collection.
Today we are so proud to announce the fifth album, entitled As Stowaways in Cabinets of Surf, We Live-out in Our Members a Kind of Rebirth (or Stowaways for short).
Recorded on half-inch reel-to-reel in the sanctuary and custodial quarters of a church in Berkeley, frontman John Ringhofer recorded most of the parts himself, joined occasionally by friends. Daniel Smith (Danielson) mixed the record at his studio in Clarksboro, New Jersey.
Stowaways' tunes splash about in cavernous spaces opened up by irregularly measured rhythms and pocket-orchestra arrangements integrated with creaky pianos, sound-loops, a tugboat of a church organ, guitars, and billowing banjos. In other words, they are real gems.
Stowaways will be out September 28th, 2010 in CD, vinyl, and MP3. More details here.
This week we were the lucky ones to have released Cut Me Down & Count My Rings, a 46-song compilation of singles, rarities, and b-sides. Putting this many songs together was not easy! If you have already collected all these in one place then you are either John Ringhofer himself, or a very dedicated Half-handed Cloud fan (thanks for being one!). It has a selection of fine Christmas songs at the end, plus collaborations with Sufjan Stevens and a 7-part cover of WHY? songs. You can buy the CD for $10 here or the in-house-sold MP3 version for $8 by clicking here.
Or, if you happen to be in Denver tonight, Salt Lake on Monday, Davis CA on Tuesday, or next Sunday in San Francisco, you can buy them from HHC himself. If you are at all those locations, you are either John Ringhofer or a very dedicated Half-handed Cloud fan! Details on those tourdates here.
Via our Twitter account, what to do this weekend:
Fri: Half-handed Cloud @ Heaven Gallery #Chicago, Cryptacize @ Majestic Theater – Madison, @Jookabox @ Duke Coffeehouse – Durham Sat: Half-handed Cloud @ Bridgeport Church – Kansas City, @HeladoNegro @ Savannah College of A&D, Cryptacize @ Turf Club – #StPaul, @Jookabox @ Go Bar #Athens Sun: HHC @ T-House #Denver.
Next Tuesday we’re releasing Cut Me Down & Count My Rings, the 46-track rarity and b-side collection from Half-handed Cloud. It’s a real treat for anyone that’s a fan of HHC, but it will also make a nice introduction as well.
HHC, whom you may know rarely tours outside of homebase, is embarking on a frantic tour between tonight and Thanksgiving. He’ll start in California, move through Missouri, Kentucky, Indiana, Chicago, and then back again. You can see details of the tour here.
Sojourners has a short but sweet interview with John Ringhofer (HHC) and a terrific, exclusive MP3 from the album. Read and listen here.
We’ve all been hankering for some more Half-handed Cloud-ness, and boy are we in luck. Come this November 3rd, we here at Asthmatic Kitty will have the great pleasure of releasing Cut Me Down & Count My Rings. It’s a collection of songs from previously-released EP’s, vinyl singles, CD-R’s, compilation appearances, original versions, download-only tracks, unreleased tunes, a cassingle, and a trio of Christmas songs from the past nine years. Many of these songs are making their very first appearance on compact disc, and none of them are on Half-handed Cloud’s four full-length albums.
Collected by leadman John Ringhofer as a portable library of tunes on a single disc, Cut Me Down is a curation of forty-six songs (46!), previously only available in nearly as many places. Listened consecutively, the 46 songs track the career of one of our favorite performer/songwriters in the world. Concepts and instruments fade in and out of Ringhofer’s repertoire as the album progresses.
The Cut Me Down CD includes packaging and a poster with paintings by Ringhofer himself, and a descriptive writeup on the background of each original release, perfect for those nights when the conversation turns to HHC trivia (which happens often around here). Read about the release here.
Half-handed Cloud is going mobile. Not mobile as in an iPhone app that makes strange noises, but as in playing music on a moving bus. HHC will board the Larry Bus from Ashby BART Station in Berkeley at 7pm on Tuesday, then make a second pick-up stop an hour later. If you live in the area, don’t miss the bus.