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Download by a World Cafe performance of “Mahogany Dread” by Hiss Golden Messenger

Hiss Golden Messenger | Photo by Rich McKie
Hiss Golden Messenger | Photo by Rich McKie

Hiss Golden Messenger recently visited the World Cafe studios. The North Carolina folk-rock duo of M.C. Taylor and Scott Hirsch, originally from California, relocated to the East Coast when Taylor decided to study folklore at the University of North Carolina. Continue reading →

Support for My Morning Download, from Flying Fish Brewing Company
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Hiss Golden Messenger boasts a rugged rock backbone at JBs

Hiss Golden Messenger | Photo by John Vettese
Hiss Golden Messenger | Photo by John Vettese

If all you know about Durham country-folk outfit Hiss Golden Messenger is that it’s the contemplative project of songwriter M.C. Taylor, think again. The band’s newest, Lateness of Dancers, was released this year by Merge Records and Paradise of Bachelors, and it expands the band’s vernacular into the realms of rugged country and hard-hitting rock and roll beats, in addition to the spaciness and solemnity that we’d heard previously. Along the same lines, the Hiss Golden Messenger live experience has expanded from Taylor and longtime collaborator Scott Hirsch playing a low-key set to a more robust, invigorating experience that was in fine form last Tuesday night at Johnny Brenda’s. Continue reading →

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Tonight’s Concert Picks: Hiss Golden Messenger at Johnny Brenda’s, Smooth Hound Smith at PhilaMOCA, and York Street Hustle at Boot and Saddle

Hiss Golden Messenger
Photo via www.facebook.com/HissGoldenMessenger

Indie folk duo Hiss Golden Messenger take over Johnny Brenda’s tonight following the recent release of their fifth album Lateness of Dancers. Former members of heavy punk band Ex-Ignota and alternative rock group The Court & Spark, MC Taylor and Scott Hirsh have been performing together for over two decades, and broke off to try their hand at a different genre. Their first album Country Hai East Cotton was released in a limited edition of 500 records produced on Taylor’s personal record label. For tickets and more information check out the XPN Concert Calender. Below, watch their recent performance of title track “Lateness of Dancers.” Continue reading →

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XPN’s Gotta Hear Song of the Week: “Saturday Song” by Hiss Golden Messenger

Photo courtesy of the artist
Photo courtesy of the artist

This week’s Gotta Hear Song of the Week is “Saturday Song” by singer-songwriter Hiss Golden Messenger, a folk and country flavored band fronted by M.C. Taylor. His forthcoming album, Lateness of Dancers, is being released on September 9th (Merge Records). The album is HGM’s fifth release, takes its name from a story by acclaimed Southern author Eudora Welty. Joining Taylor on the album are It Megafaun’s Phil and Brad Cook, Alexandra Sauser-Monnig of Mountain Man, guitarist William Tyler (The Lambchop, Silver Jews), and longtime member Scott Hirsch. Continue reading →

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Download a cover of Spoon’s “The Beast & Dragon, Adored” by Hiss Golden Messenger

Hiss Golden Messenger | photo by Harlan Campbell
Hiss Golden Messenger | photo by Harlan Campbell

Recent Merge Records signee Hiss Golden Messenger contributed a cover of Spoon’s “The Beast & Dragon, Adored” to a celebratory compilation, available now as a free download via Google Play.  The compilation accompanies a 25th anniversary retrospective documentary of the label, which is home to Superchunk, The Mountain Goats, Arcade Fire and Crooked Fingers (just to name a few).

Hiss Golden Messenger, the moniker of North Carolinian M.C. Taylor and friends, will release its Merge Records debut Lateness of Dancers this September, followed by a show at Johnny Brenda’s.  Tickets and information can be found here.  Download his cover of “The Beast & Dragon, Adored” here and check out a behind-the-scenes video of the recording below.

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Tonight’s Concert Picks: Fiona Apple and Blake Mills at Merriam Theater, Oldermost at Boot & Saddle, Lee Fields and the Expressions at Arden Gild Hall and more

fiona

Fiona Apple and singer/songwriter Blake Mills bring their collaborative Anything We Want tour to Merriam theater tonight. Apple’s sultry vocals and damaged goods attitude should combine well with the innovative guitar stylings of Mills. The pair will unite on songs as well as perform their own individual music. Get tickets and more information on the show here.

Continue reading →

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Watch Hiss Golden Messenger’s full set from his August show at Johnny Brenda’s (playing the Paradise of Bachelors showcase at Boot & Saddle on 10/19)

 

hgm

North Carolina’s Hiss Golden Messenger recently opened for Daughn Gibson at Johnny Brenda’s, performing songs from his 2013 LP Haw and a few from 2010′s Poor Moon debut.  It was a mesmerizing, mostly solo set by M.C. Taylor (though he was joined by HGM bandmate Scott Hirsch for a song or two) that was captured by local videographer orthophonix.  In two parts below, you can take in Taylor’s August 16th performance in anticipation of this weekend’s Paradise of Bachelors showcase at Boot & Saddle.  The music and literary event is being hosted by the record label in conjunction with the 215 Festival and will feature appearances by Amanda Petrusich, Nathan Salsburg, Promised Land Sound and Tara Murtha.  Tickets and information can be found on the Facebook event page.

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Watch a new video for “Busted Note” from Hiss Golden Messenger (playing Johnny Brenda’s on 8/16)

MC-Taylor-by-the-Haw-small

Described as “stately” and “gorgeous,” the new video for Hiss Golden Messenger‘s song “Busted Note” quilts monochromatic images of dunes, cliffs and the rushing current of a river into an abstract parallel to the song’s lyrics.  “Busted Note” comes from the North Carolina country / folk rock projects latest record Haw, which was released on Paradise of Bachelors last month.  Hiss Golden Messenger will open for Daughn Gibson at Johnny Brenda’s on August 16th; tickets and information can be found here.  Watch the video, directed by Joseph Kolean and Joshua Van Wynen, below.

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Watch Hiss Golden Messenger perform “I’ve Got a Name for the Newborn Child” (playing Johnny Brenda’s on 8/16)

hgm

Country / folk project Hiss Golden Messenger will join Carlisle, PA native Daughn Gibson at Johnny Brenda’s on August 16th.  Though a relatively new name to most, MC Taylor (one-half of Hiss Golden Messenger’s core) has been making music for 20 years in various bands including California indie rock outfit The Court & Spark and hardcore band Ex-Ignota.  April’s Haw, however, has spurred a current of attention and admiration for the North Carolina resident’s deeply reflective and inquisitive songwriting.  While earlier HGM releases were recorded as a partnership between Taylor and his longtime bandmate Scott Hirsch (also of The Court & Spark and Ex-Ignota), Haw, HGM’s second effort via Paradise of Bachelors, welcomed contributions from members of Megafaun, Lambchop and the Black Twig Pickers.

In addition to recording his full-length, MC Taylor teamed up with labelmate Steve Gunn on a Record Store Day 2013 release titled Golden Gunn for Three Lobed Recordings – stream “The Sun Comes Up a Purple Diamond” from the collaboration here and watch Taylor perform a solo acoustic version of “I’ve Got a Name for the Newborn Child” from Haw below.  Tickets and information for the 21+ show on August 16th can be found here.