Death Seat

Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - J. Allen
Sometimes the man behind Death Seat is Wooden Wand, sometimes simply Wand, and in the past, part of Wooden Wand & the Vanishing Voice, but he's always James Jackson Toth, and he's always an uncompromising singer/songwriter. That remains true on this outing, which is the first Wooden Wand album to appear on Michael Gira's boutique label Young God Records. In the past, the label has been known for freak-folk linchpin Devendra Banhart's neo-hippie musings, but while the Wooden Wand style remains an organic, lo-fi, acoustic-based sound, Toth is nobody's hippie. He's influenced by the poetic side of the outlaw country camp, and more than anything, Death Seat suggests what the ...
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Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - J. Allen
Sometimes the man behind Death Seat is Wooden Wand, sometimes simply Wand, and in the past, part of Wooden Wand & the Vanishing Voice, but he's always James Jackson Toth, and he's always an uncompromising singer/songwriter. That remains true on this outing, which is the first Wooden Wand album to appear on Michael Gira's boutique label Young God Records. In the past, the label has been known for freak-folk linchpin Devendra Banhart's neo-hippie musings, but while the Wooden Wand style remains an organic, lo-fi, acoustic-based sound, Toth is nobody's hippie. He's influenced by the poetic side of the outlaw country camp, and more than anything, Death Seat suggests what the dark country/folk visions of Townes Van Zandt might have sounded like if the latter were born into the indie folk generation. Not that these moody, imagery-laden tunes have no contemporary reference points -- they could also be envisioned as a product of the evil twin of Vetiver's Andy Cabic, or an alternate-universe version of Bonnie "Prince" Billy, if his highness traded his Yeats collection for a Bukowski library. Although Toth is joined by a number of guests on Death Seat, including members of Mercury Rev, Lambchop, Silver Jews, and Big Blood, the songs still conjure up a lonely world of dusty, wind-blown narratives from a troubadour doomed to roam the earth with nothing but his own mournful ballads for company. Even when Toth deals in the kind of themes that would entail warm-and-fuzzy warbling in the hands of another artist, he turns things toward a deliciously dark and twisted path. On "Until Wrong Looks Right," for instance, his approach to the subject of procreation brings the questions "What if we have a daughter who we can't trust?/What if we have a son and we hate his guts?" He even finds a way to turn heavenly symbols into something unwholesome, singing "Send me your benevolent angels/I'll make whores of them one by one" on "Ms. Mowse." In a less skilled writer's hands, this sort of thing might be off-putting, but with Toth behind the wheel, Death Seat makes for a weirdly wonderful ride.
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Product Details

  • Release Date: 10/26/2010
  • Label: Young God Records
  • UPC: 658457004425
  • Catalog Number: 44
  • Sales rank: 165,039

Tracks

Disc 1
  1. 1 Sleepwalking After Midnight (4:03)
  2. 2 The Mountain (4:09)
  3. 3 Servent to Blues (2:51)
  4. 4 Bobby (3:49)
  5. 5 I Made You (3:43)
  6. 6 Death Seat (3:28)
  7. 7 I Wanna Make a Difference (2:18)
  8. 8 Ms. Mowse (3:41)
  9. 9 Until Wrong Looks Right (3:22)
  10. 10 Hotel Bar (3:43)
  11. 11 The Arc (2:03)
  12. 12 Tiny Confessions (4:52)
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Album Credits

Performance Credits
Wooden Wand Primary Artist
Wooden Wand & the Vanishing Voice Indexed Contributor
Kenny Siegal Mandolin, Percussion, Theremin
Bingham Barnes Electric Bass
Caleb Mulkerin Electric Guitar, Vocals
Kerry Kennedy Vocals
William Tyler Mandolin, Piano, Electric Guitar, Electronic Mandolin
Joey Kneiser Acoustic Guitar, Electric Guitar
Colleen Kinsella Vocals
James Jackson Toth Acoustic Guitar, Mandolin, Electric Guitar, Vocals
D.M. Seidel Piano, Electric Bass, Electric Guitar
Siobhan Duffy Gira Vocals
Tyler Coppage Percussion, Drums
Brian Lowery Organ, Dobro, Pedal Steel Guitar, Electric Piano, Vocals
Spencer Duncan Upright Bass
Casey Kaufman Cello
Andrew Mosiman Fiddle
Technical Credits
Kenny Siegal Engineer
Kevin McMahon Mastering
Earl Kuck Execution
Joey Kneiser Engineer
James Jackson Toth Composer
Stephen Goose Trageser Engineer
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