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Karl Blau

Karl Blau is a prolific singer/songwriter, multi-instrumentalist, producer, and engineer. He works out of the small town of Anacortes in northern Washington state and has released more than three-dozen recordings under his own name. He is part of the Knw-Yr-Own label collective, but has also issued titles on K and Marriage Records. Many of his albums have appeared as individually designed cassettes and CD-Rs of homemade four-track recordings that were individually mailed to subscribers of his Kelp! Monthly or Kelp Lunacy Advanced Plagiarism Society (aka KLAPS) labels. Additionally, Blau is an in-demand session and touring musician. He has worked extensively with Laura Veirs, but his résumé includes recordings and tours with the Microphones, LAKE, Earth, and Mount Analog, to name a scant few. He is a founding member of D+, Your Heart Breaks, Captain Fathom, Les Hauts Sommets, Lovers Without Borders, and the Bundles.

Blau's own music is wildly diverse. Usually classified as an "indie rock" musician, it proves a woefully inadequate categorization. Blau's sounds include grafting folk and country-rock onto hazy blues, rocksteady reggae, '70s soul harmonies, and ceremonial-sounding flutes, bossa nova, dub, and experimental drone in an unpredictable, shape-shifting mixture of elements.

His first two releases, Doin' Things the Way They Happen and Blue Nomad, appeared as cassettes in 1996 on Knw-Yr-Own. They were followed by the acclaimed Shell Collection (a compilation of four-track sessions) in 1997. Due to his kaleidoscopic versatility, the album stood in sharp contrast to virtually everything else on the lo-fi indie underground at the time.

After a split self-titled outing with Tippy Young on Dead Turtle Recordings, Blau started issuing his KELP! Monthly albums in 2003 and through 2006, they appeared with startling regularity (though not strictly monthly). They include Dark, Magic Sea, The Coconutcracker, Dunkel Blau, If I Knew Zen What I Know Now, and Am. Blau's debut for K was 2006's Beneath Waves. He followed it with Dance Positive for Marriage Records in 2007, then returned to K for 2008's Nature's Got Away and 2009's Zebra; 96 and Baby Nettles were self-released the same year. Blau continued to record solo, but over the next several years, he worked with his various bands, toured, and did session work that claimed much of his time. In 2010, the Bundles issued their self-titled debut. In 2011 and 2012, he appeared on both volumes of Earth's Angels of Darkness, Demons of Light albums; he was also a member of the live ensemble, Your Heart Breaks, which released Harsh Tokes & Bong Jokes in 2012. In 2013, he played drums on the Microphones' It Was Hot We Stayed in the Water, and in 2014, he played bass and guitar on Nicholas Krgovich's On Sunset. That same year he released Maherican Dream on KLAPS, and reprised his roles on Krgovich's The Hills ‎a year later.

Back in 2004, producer Tucker Martine (My Morning Jacket, Bill Frisell, the Decemberists, Jenny Scheinman) and Blau recorded a cover single (as Mount Analog) of Tom T. Hall's nugget "That's How I Got to Memphis." The collaboration proved mutually satisfying, and the pair discussed cutting an entire album together. It took over a decade for their project to come to fruition. In 2016, Editions Mego released Introducing Karl Blau, a covers collection done in a 21st century cosmic-country style. It included songs composed by the Bee Gees, Link Wray, Townes Van Zandt, and Layng Martine, Jr. (Tucker's father). ~ Thom Jurek
full bio

Selected Discography

x

Track List: Zebra

1. Waiting for the Wind

2. Crucial Contact

3. Apology to Pollinateurs

4. All Over the Town

5. Free the Bird

6. Goodbye Little Song

7. Dark Sedan

8. Welcome to NW

9. Tha' Ole Moon Smile

10. MT Handed

11. Nothing New

12. Gnos LeVohs

x

Track List: Nature's Got Away

1. Moved On From Dreams

2. Make Love That Lasts

3. Before Telling Dragons

4. Nothing In The Way

5. Carry and Rob

6. Ghostly Appearance

7. Mockingbird Diet

8. Of Your Feet, Of Your Place

9. Stream Of Ganders

10. That's The Breaks

11. 2 Becomes 1

12. It's The Stars

x

Track List: Beneath Waves

1. Crashing Waves

2. My Johnny

3. Dragon Song

4. Slow Down Joe

5. Into The Nada

6. Notion

7. Ode to Ocean

8. Ode to Demons

9. Shadow

10. The Dark, Magical Sea

x

Track List: Clothes Your I's

1. Pendulum

2. Down In You Go

3. 1 0 0, 0 2 2

4. Thorns

5. Computer

6. Sunsign

7. Creepin' Jesus

8. Fasten Me To You

9. I Hold You

10. Bid -R- Bunch

x

Track List: Dance Positive

1. Are You Done

2. Deception Pass

3. Put Me Back

4. Megadose (Heavy Club Mix)

5. Heatherwood

6. I Hate The Business

7. Kill The Messenger

8. Sky

9. What's Not To Fall In Love With

10. Take You For Granted

x

Track List: Golden Chariot/Dub Chariot

1. Golden Chariot

2. Dub Chariot

x

Track List: Introducing Karl Blau

1. That's How I Got To Memphis

2. Six White Horses

3. Fallin Rain

4. Let The World Go By

5. If I Needed You

6. Woman (Sensuous Woman)

7. Dreaming My Dreams

8. To Love Somebody

9. Homecoming

10. No Regrets

x

Track List: Max

1. For Tenniscoats

2. Celebrated By Singing

3. Golden Chariot

4. A Melody To Wake Us In The Morning

Comments

Report as inappropriate
Rockin' ? Sounds like namby-pambyv i l l e to me. Thumbs down
Report as inappropriate
Rockin
Report as inappropriate
Neutral Milk Hotel wants their sound back.
Report as inappropriate
robby.neighb o r
karl blau is definitely from the skagit valley area, samish island particularly , and resides in anacortes along with homies phil elvrum (microphones , mt. eerie) and bret lunsford (beat happening). they're all members of d+, and fall of troy can go f**k themselves as far as i'm concerned.
Report as inappropriate
Karl Blau and Fall of Troy -- both from Mukilteo. Yeah! Representing the ferry dock and Ivar's Acres of Clams!
Report as inappropriate
rose.anticol a
Very similar to the Microphones. They actually have a song called 'Karl Blau' on their album 'It was Hot, so We Stayed in the Water'.
Report as inappropriate
wenberep
Rachel lol no thanks
Report as inappropriate
not bad, i agree with the microphones comment.
Report as inappropriate
neonlars
I like it, it has a good beat and you can dance to it.
Report as inappropriate
sounds like Phil Elvrum from the Microphones
Report as inappropriate
hippy lol no thanks

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