75OL-209 Jacob Haller – Cabin Fever CD
$8.00 S&H Included
$8.00 S&H Included
Limited to 50 copies on compact disc. All cd purchases will receive an immediate download code for digital download. Forty of these were pre-ordered through a successful Kickstarter campaign.
1. My Little Lobster
2. I’m Sick (of This American Life) (by John Linnell and John Flansburgh)
3. Maybe I Know (by Jeff Barry and Ellie Greenwich)
4. I Wish That I Was Vegan
5. Swat the Bees
During the winter of 2015, Rhode Island songwriter Jacob Haller kept his spirits up by sharing some old and new home recordings with his friends. Once the weather calmed down a bit, he and 75orLess Records sorted through the recordings, picked out five or their favorites, and put them together to form ‘Cabin Fever’. Despite the brevity of the album, there’s a lot of variety here, from the disco beats of ‘My Little Lobster’, to the accordion-and-drum-machine blues cover of the They Might Be Giants song ‘I’m Sick (of This American Life)’, to the Lesley Gore acoustic tribute ‘Maybe I Know’, to the folksy singalong of ‘I Wish That I Was Vegan’, to the spoken word insanity of ‘Swat the Bees’.
Praise for Jacob Haller
“Providence musician Jacob Haller is as unique as his lyrics are clever.”
– Annie Messier, Providence Daily Dose, 10 May 2012
“Jacob Haller does music as though he were the secret love-child of Warren Zevon and Burl Ives.”
– Jeffrey Channing Wells, Skin Horse co-author
SUICIDE BILL & THE LIQUORS Cricket Wisdom
Low-budget Big Star worship abounds here. The fact that this is their fifth album and it sounds like a clunky demo might be worrisome to some, but I think it works. They never land square on the beat, their timing is always slightly off, the solos have duff lines here and there, the vocals slip out of tune, and it always sounds like it’s all happening in a basement next to a leaky water heater. These guys are not swashbucklers, they’re bunglers, but endearing bunglers with decent record collections and open hearts who probably remember their friends’ birthdays. Most of the songs are about how girls don’t dig them, which is cool. A few of the songs – funny/sad power-popper “No Friends,” the Husker-y “Cool Fail” – would be hits if somebody, you know, more competent recorded them. Overall, I’d say Cricket Wisdom squeaks by on low-watt charm. It’s not as good as I’d like it to be, but what is these days? (Sleazegrinder)
I AM TOM CUMMINS Holiday 3-Pak
A cruel person might suggest that “Squirrel Song,” with its ukulele accompaniment and spacy keyboards, is like something a mentally challenged person might conjure up—but I beg to differ; it takes a good deal of talent to come up with and put across this faux-naif approach. “Downy Woodpecker” is another supposedly poignant encomium to the natural world, replete with aah-ing chorus. “Resolve to Start Again” is a bit like a terminally depressed Mr. Rogers decrying the commercialism of the Christmas season. Short and sweet, but, all in all, a bit twee for my taste. (Francis DiMenno)
COMA COMA The New American Dream
If you like indie rock, I would say this album is above par. I’m not sure why, I just feel like if you like stuff like this, it’s a prime example. The end. (Sleazegrinder)
with He Heard Footsteps
Spotlight: What got you into playing music?
Laban: My mother bought a piano at an estate sale for $50 when I was in third grade. She brought it home and tried playing it for a week and then it just sat there unused with a red book on it that said, “How To Play Piano.” So, I read the book and tried to pick things up. I still have the piano and it’s one of few instruments that I have a good relationship with.
Spotlight: You’re like the punk rock version of Elvis Costello. That said, I want to know who and/or what actually influences your writing/singing/playing.
Laban: I am most influenced by sincere compositions either in rock, pop or R&B, but lately I’ve been listening to a whole lot of Black Sabbath and Red Fang. I also listen to a lot of female songwriters across a lot of genres.
Spotlight: Besides music, you seem to like to fish a lot. Is fishing a more calming release than hammering away at power chords? Any funny fishing stories?
Laban: I fish to honor my father. Fishing is the only thing that has ever completely satisfied my curiosity when it comes to nature. Story? When I was a small boy I was fishing in the Salmon Falls River that ran behind my childhood home in Rochester. I hooked a big lamprey eel but I didn’t know it until I yanked its whole body out of the water. The eel hit my bare leg and wrapped around it. I screamed and started running dragging the eel and my pole several feet before the eel rolled off onto the ground. I found the biggest rock I could find and beat the thing to death with the hook still in its mouth while I cried hysterically.
Well, I think that’s a funny story anyway.
Spotlight: You’re a relatively new “proud poppa.” How does parenthood change your perspective on things, artistically or otherwise?
Laban: My daughter Ernestine is three now. She has completely changed my perspective on music. I don’t write autobiographical songs anymore. I wrote those for years and years … very serious tunes about my own problems or social problems or whatever. After Ernie entered the picture, I write more using people I see or meet as characters and dress them up in situations I dream up. Of course, on the other end of that is Sam Hill (the metal band) where we tackle topics such as ice giants, serpents and stuff like that. It makes me feel like I’m a teenager again. I feel incredibly lucky that way. I don’t feel old.
Spotlight: Father John Misty. I hear you’re a massive fan. How’d he catch your ear? What’s he doing right?
Laban: Eric Ott turned me on to him and we went to see him in Boston the other year. He opened up the night by playing drums for the opening band without introducing himself. I thought that was pretty great and then he came on and killed it. He kind of has the whole package: Great lyrics, sincere songs and he is a funny performer. His first record I would put on my top five favorite records of all time list and the latest one is almost as good. He is a strong representative of our current 25- to 35-year-old generation and is saying things in his songs that are part of the casual national conversation, such as the over-prescribing of medications, student loans, drug use, unequal distribution of wealth, as well as poetic love. I think this has endeared him to a lot of people. Couldn’t recommend him enough. Especially to those dopes who say music isn’t any good anymore. Man, I hate that. What a bunch of lazies.
with Kris Hansen, Outer Style
with Balam and Hessian
RI Music Hall of Fame Ceremony with The Schemers, Raindogs, The Others, The Ascots, Marty Richards and Marty Ballou, and Brenda Bennett
with Ray Cashman