04|29|09   Cowboys: the cure to anti-culture-shock!

So, poor Evan has, for the most part, been suffering a severe case of anti-culture-shock ever since he arrived here from New Zealand. The States, in many ways, is very similar to New Zealand. Both are fundamentally based on the Anglo-Saxon culture; both are very young countries; have similar landscapes in many parts of the country (Washington, Montana, and Oregon are painfully similar to NZ’s South Island); obviously we share a common language; and so on and so forth. Of course, there are many differences, but compared with countries like Egypt, Spain, Japan, et cetera, New Zealand and the United States definitely feel quite similar.

So when Evan and I drove through Wyoming and passed cowboys and horses, Evan nearly leaped out the window. Finally a genuine piece of Americana!

I guess you can always count on a cowboy to save the day :).

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04|29|09   Flickr Slideshow: Glacier National Park, Montana

After our shows in the Midwest, Evan and I had to cut westwards across the country in time to perform in Washington and Oregon. We did, however, have just enough time to cruise around Montana and take in some of its breath-taking scenery and national parks. Most of Glacier park was still closed due to snow (as was Yellowstone), but the main access road was still open and allowed us to see some cute deer and a stunning mountain sunset. You can view the entire photoset here on my Flickr account, or just take a look at the above slideshow.

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04|29|09   Flickr Slideshow: Talimena Scenic Drive, Arkansas to Oklahoma

Sorry for being so late about posting these photos. During our trip from Indiana to SXSW, Evan and I decided to take a scenic detour, which ended up being one of the most memorable drives of my life. The views were stunning, the weather perfect, and I ended up having to pour Minutemaid Orange juice over the break pads (see photo) to cool down our breaks, which we managed to smoke out within the first 10 minutes of taking the Talimena Scenic Drive. You can view the whole photos set here on my Flickr page or just use the slideshow above.

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04|27|09   US Tour: Mixtapes – East Moline, IL (April 10th, Day 8)

Mixtapes Record Store in East Moline
Mixtapes Record Store in East Moline

When we pulled into East Moline, my first thought was… oh dear, this isn’t going to be good. The town is part of the quad cities, and lies right on the shores of the Mississippi river, bordering Illinois and Iowa, but it’s far from a picturesque place.

East Moline, like the rest of the quad cities, struck me as very poor. The houses were small and run down, and the downtown area was more of a ghost town than a flourishing riverside community, with a few small shops flanked by a greater number of boarded up windows and neighborhood bars.

(Read the rest of this story…)

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04|27|09   How touring affects who you are

On the beach in San Francisco

This is a journal entry I wrote a few days ago, whilst staying in Olympia, Washington.

It’s Sunday evening now. Evan and I have spent all day in 70 degree sunshine exploring the Olympic peninsula, including the Hoh Rainforest and various isolated beaches. I’m feeling tired now, and a bit sad, even, that our brief holiday in Olympia is drawing to a close. The first ten days of the tour were immensely exhausting: we played shows pretty much every day, and spent many hours on the road. Looking ahead, now, our days and nights will once again be filled to the brim with driving, setting up, playing, packing down, finding random places to sleep, getting up early and unrested to spend as much as 12 hours per day on the road.

(Read the rest of this story…)

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04|21|09   The Enright House Newsletter Vol.1

What’s in this newsletter:

1) Intro + subscribing and unsubscribing
2) New Release: Enright House / Pushmi-Pullyu Split EP
3) New Video: We Might As Well Have Stayed Young
4) US Tour
5) A general call for help (please read this!)

1) Intro + subscribing and unsubscribing


The%20Enright%20House
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Hi, and welcome to the first Enright House newsletter!

Many of you have opted into this newsletter through various channels, a wee few haven’t. Some of you actively chose to be on it by subscribing via Reverbnation, some of you are just friends and contacts of mine, many of you left behind your email address to download much of our free catalog of music.

None of you should, however, feel any pressure to remain subscribed to this newsletter, if you don’t genuinely care to be on it, so if you would rather not get newsletters from us in the future, just reply to info@theenrighthouse.com with “thanks, but no thanks” or whatever you deem to be an appropriate response: “fuck you” would be harsh, but equally suitable, I suppose.

I would have provided an auto-unsubscribe feature, but then I would have had to use a newsletter client, and all the free ones use ads, or html, and all sorts of ridiculous other features, and all I wanted to do here is talk to you directly in the simplest terms possible. Plain text, no attachments, corporate logos, just you and I. Seriously, let me know if you already get too much stuff in the mail – my feelings won’t be hurt (unless it’s my mom or my girlfriend opting out).

2) New release: Enright House / Pushmi-Pullyu Split EP

We have a new release available for sale. It’s a strictly limited CD (100 copies) that was just released by mam!records in Madison, WI. In addition to Pushmi-Pullyu’s gorgeous music, you get two new Enright House tracks, and a really awesome cover of “Darkwave” by Pushmi-Pullyu. One song, in particular, I am totally excited about, namely “Distance”. It was inspired by the acoustic tour we did in New Zealand, and features a long field recording of me and my old friend Mary talking about our college relationship, layered acoustic guitars, piano, an old vintage accordion, and a vocoder, as well.

You can either buy the release directly through mam!records’ online store @ www.mamrecords.com/shop (which uses paypal), at our remaining shows in America, or, for all you back home in New Zealand who aren’t into paypal, you can email me, and I will send you through my bank details so you can just do a direct bank transfer. Whatever your choice, the split EP is very reasonably priced, and we’ll all do our best to make sure you get your copy as fast as possible!

www.mamrecords.com/shop
www.myspace.com/theenrighthouse
www.myspace.com/pushmipullyumusic

3) New video: We Might As Well Have Stayed Young

Ryan Alexander Llyod (ex-Christchurchian now living in Australia) shot a lovely new video for our song, “We Might As Well Have Stayed Young”. It’s now online on youtube at www.youtube.com/watch?v=BFh4_F9J3Tk, so please watch it, and if you like it, rate it favorably, leave a comment, and help us spread the word via facebook, blogs, twitter, word of mouth, etc.

www.youtube.com/watch?v=BFh4_F9J3Tk
www.vimeo.com/3742057

4) US Tour

Evan and I are still in the midst of touring America, with roughly four more weeks of concerts to go. If you have friends living in America, please let them know we’re in their neighborhood. And if you’re reading this and live in the US, then – f’ing A – come out and see us!

Our remaining dates are:

Apr 20 @ Dunes, Portland, OR
Apr 21 @ Kimo’s Penthouse Lounge, San Francisco, CA
Apr 23 @ 54321 fun! on KCSB 91.9FM, Santa Barbara, CA
Apr 24 @ Echo Curio, Los Angeles, CA
Apr 27 @ Kilby Court, Salt Lake City, UT
Apr 30 @ The Mountain House, Dallas, TX
May 1 @ The Vertical Violet, Wichita, KS
May 2 @ Czar Bar, Kansas City, MI
May 4 @ The Bridge PAI, Charlottesville, VA
May 6 @ WPTS 92.1FM on “The Live Show”, Pittsburgh, PA
May 8 @ The Model Home, Philadelphia, PA
May 9 @ Goodbye Blue Monday!, Brooklyn, NY
May 11 @ Labyrinth Press Company, Jamestown, NY
May 15 @ CPR, Lexington, KY
May 16 @ Castle Sunshine, Bowling Green, OH

You can follow our whole tour (photos, stories, mp3s, etc) via our blog at www.theenrighthouse.com and www.twitter.com/theenrighthouse.

5) A general call for help

This point, to me at least, is perhaps the most important reason why I finally decided to send out a newsletter. The Enright House, as many of you already know, is essentially a one-person operation. Evan, of course, is a huge part of The Enright House, and I don’t know what on earth I would do without his dedication and musical input, but, the truth is, when it comes to promoting and financing my music, I’m pretty much on my own.

At first, this was never really an issue, as I adore the DIY aspect of making music, but as time goes on and our profile and amount of releases and videos slowly grow, I find myself at my end’s wit with all the stuff that I should be doing, but can’t, due to lack of time and energy.

In short, I just can’t do it all by myself anymore. The myriad of social networking sites that need to be kept current, syndicating through blogs to myspace, entering tour dates in a million places, staying on top of last.fm, writing to blogs about our music and videos, writing and recording the music, booking dates, touring, organizing new releases, creating artwork and posters, keeping up to date with my own blog posts on my site, promoting new releases and videos, and so on and so on… it’s getting to be more than I can cope with.

In short, what I’m looking for is help. From you. I’m hoping that amongst all of you are a few people who really genuinely care about my music and want to help it succeed in some way, and have a little bit of spare time here and there to help out.

Perhaps, you would be willing to run one of the many social networking profiles related to The Enright House, such as Reverbnation or Last.FM. Or, perhaps, you might offer to start a new profile for us on sites I haven’t found the time to get to know very well, such as Bebo, Virb or Pure Volume, to name but a few.

Maybe you have friends who blog a lot. Perhaps give them a nudge and see if they would be keen to give away some of our music, or feature a video on their site? Do you have friends who work for magazines or newspapers? Maybe hand them a CD and ask them if they would consider writing something about us?

Basically, anything at all would help. Maybe a single twitter post that links to our new video, maybe a facebook message to your friends asking them to give our music a listen.

I guess what I wish for in my dreams is that a humble and tiny stream of gestures of help might help me raise the profile of my music ever-so-slightly over time. And, on a purely personal note, a few small gestures of faith that our music means enough to you that would consider helping out in small way, would be a wonderful thing to experience, and would provide much needed fuel for the months that lie ahead.

It need not be much, honestly, it need not even be prolonged; whatever you can do without it being troublesome to you in any way, is enough to make a difference.

The payoff, aside from the fact that many little small gestures can amount to something greater than their parts, is that I will try as much as possible to make it worth your while. I promise to continue to offer free releases and videos over the years to come. And for those of you who chose to offer more of their time (i.e. building and maintaining an online profile for our music, etc.), I would be more than happy to give you free copies of upcoming releases, send you signed posters, share unreleased demos with you, etc. Anything I can to show you my gratitude.

What I can’t do, unfortunately, is pay you – it’ll border on a miracle if I can even scrape together the money to release the new Enright House album! – but what I can do is promise to extend to you as much kindness, transparency, and generosity as I possibly can.

Please take a second to think about this. I know some of you value what we do with our music. Please find a way – any small way – to help us get the word out about the fact that we exist and are here to stay.

With all my gratitude for your interest and time,
All my love,
Mark

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04|17|09   Chartdisc Volume 1 Compilation!

chartdisc volume 1 2009chartdisc volume 1 2009 inside cover

Just wanted to help spread the word about this excellent compilation that CHART is about to release! It features various bands from my New Zealand hometown, Christchurch, such as Bang Bang Eche, Tiger Tones, The L.E.D.s, The Insurgents, Clap Clap Riot, Minisnap, Kimo, Jimmy Zoom & The Beytown Grifters, and – thank you so much Jeff! – The Enright House, as well.

Our song, Scattering The Sun Like Gunshot, actually closes out the album, and I couldn’t be happier about the fact that they chose this song, as I still think it’s one of our best to date and relates well to some of the newer songs that will be on the upcoming album.

(Read the rest of this story…)

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04|16|09   US Tour: Ames Progressive – Ames, IA (April 9th, Day 7)


Actors&Actresses (photo by Eric Laurence).

I’ll be keeping the Ames entry rather short, as there wasn’t too much to report really. The show was sweet, but very poorly attended, unfortunately. Everyone there, however, was super sweet, expecially Nate, who pretty much runs the Ames Progressive, is working really hard to build up a scene in Ames, and who’s house we later crashed at. Thanks Nate, you’re a real gem!

(Read the rest of this story…)

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04|15|09   New Release: Enright House / Pushmi-Pullyu Split EP

Cover art for the new EP - front.
Click to purchase the EP from the mam!records online store.

It’s my great pleasure to announce a new release of ours, which is a Split EP with Madison-based Pushmi-Pullyu, called “Together”. It’s a strictly limited-edition CD (only 100 copies world-wide), and will be followed by an even more limited edition cassette run to be released soon after in the States.

(Read the rest of this story…)

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04|14|09   New Music Video: We Might As Well Have Stayed Young

Sorry for delay on posting about this, but I’ve just been so insanely busy with the tour and all.

We Might As Well Have Stayed Young has always been one of my favorite songs, and I’m really happy that a video has finally been made for it! It’s directed and produced by Ryan Alexander Lloyd, and the director of photography is David Rusanow. Thanks to you two, and everyone who took part in the shoot!

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04|14|09   WNUR reviews A Maze and Amazement!

From the WNUR Airplay blog:

Many musicians come to America to find their audience; some have to leave its shores for England or continental Europe to reach a dedicated fanbase. Few of them pack their bags for the South Pacific for the sake of their careers, but Mark V. Roberts, alias The Enright House, has done just that. He began his career in Chicago but headed for New Zealand a few years ago, where he released his debut LP A Maze and Amazement and did several tours. A Maze and Amazement is a delicate yet expansive effort, incorporating healthy amounts of ambient atmospherics and programming alongside guitars, vocals and live drums. Its constantly shifting textures and stylistic variation make it a lastingly rewarding listen, one that most review sites seem to have missed when it was first issued in 2007.

A Maze and Amazement’s leadoff track, “Scattering the Sun Like Gunshot”, begins with an extended instrumental passage brimming with windswept sadness, and it comes almost as a surprise to hear the subdued vocals enter relatively late in the piece. Sounding just a bit like a stoned Jim Kerr fronting Explosions in the Sky, “Scattering” fuses ‘80s British indie and pop with recent-vintage post rock, and given the somewhat anthemic tendencies of both styles, it’s a wonder that the combination is not heard more often. “We Might As Well Have Stayed Young” is a lost slowcore classic, glacially marching onwards with a simple yet haunting melody and ending with a memorable closing line: “We might as well have stayed young / For it’s been useless to grow older”.

While most of the tracks on A Maze and Amazement feature vocals, the record takes many of its cues from groups that work primarily in the instrumental realm. “Darkwave Equals MC Squared” is more Album Leaf than its titular genre, hewing more to the soundscapes Jimmy Lavalle explored on the Into the Blue Again release than to the Cure-inspired electronica of Projekt-family bands. “Up” and “Do Re Mi” both echo the sadly gone Telefon Tel Aviv, featuring warm, atmospheric electronics accompanying sometimes-live, sometimes-processed percussion and Roberts’s quiet, shoegazey vocals. “A Car Facing Mountains” feels like an instrumental piece, even though it has no long instrumental passages; Roberts evokes the structure and slow-building passion of Tristeza and Unwed Sailor while compellingly grafting lyrics onto the substrate. “Solitaire” and “Remember the Stillness” introduce spoken-word female vocals, provided by Mary E. Jones (who is also the cover artist). The former features Roberts singing above Jones’s oration, while on the latter she speaks on her own; both tracks include extended sections of wordless, sung vocals which ache with bleak beauty, shattering the stoic solemnity of the spoken-word passages.

New Zealand may be where Roberts found his muse, but due to its geographical circumstances, it has a very insular music scene, and Kiwi groups rarely see success internationally (Crowded House excepted). Now back in the United States for a nationwide tour, Roberts is finishing up a second full-length, but his debut was sorely overlooked and deserves a wider audience.

- written by C.T. Heaney

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04|14|09   US Tour: WNUR 89.3FM – Evanston, Chicago, IL (April 8th, Day 6)

Playing live-to-air on WNUR’s airplay show was such a privilege for me, as it’s my alma mater’s own college radio station. During my years at WNUR I was always a tad mad at myself for not getting more involved with the station, but it seemed like a very elitist and mysterious club to me, and, at the time, and I might have just lacked the confidence to approach the people there. Odd really, since I knew numerous people who DJ’d there, such as my friend Nick, and one of my favorite room mates ever, Matthew Teti (what ever happened to you man!?).

(Read the rest of this story…)

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