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Welcome “Home”, Peter Broderick.

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Peter Broderick is like the Swiss Army Knife of musicians; compact, elegant, multipurpose. What sets him apart is his restraint. With an arsenal of talents at his disposal, he prefers to reveal only one or two at a time.

Round about the time Broderick joined forces with Justin Ringle to form the lovely Horse Feathers, he was also recruited into the burgeoning Unsung Colony-era Norfolk & Western (routinely playing with some 7-9 players) who quickly dubbed him The Whipper Snapper, owing to his youthful demeanor (19 years old at that point) and his crushing skills on a bevy of instruments: violin, piano, banjo, saw, guitar…basically whatever you threw at him. He performed impressive non-musical feats as well, not least of which was sucking on an everlasting gobstopper practically every waking minute of tour.

The “Secret Weapon” (another nickname) didn’t remain a secret for long. Peter went on to perform with Loch Lomond and Laura Gibson as well as perform as a studio musician for M Ward, Zooey Deschanel, and Dolorean. Presently he lives in Copenhagen, Denmark where he brings his skills to the lush, much adored electronic/acoustic ensemble Efterklang.

You’d think working with as many as five different bands simultaneously wouldn’t allow Peter to pursue any kind of solo career. Likewise, his easygoing, unassuming demeanor might lead you to believe he didn’t have aspirations being accessible and available to lend a musical hand. But in late 2007 a steady stream of solo instrumental releases on respected labels Type and Kning Disk has all but established Broderick as the young composer / pianist / string player to watch.hsh083.jpg

Defying the lofty expectations that have already been placed on the young man, Broderick is set to release Home on September 23rd (on HUSH / Bella Union / Rumracket) showcasing his here-to-fore lesser known strengths as a guitarist / vocalist. (There is not a piano or violin note to be found on this record.)

With Home, Peter may have performed his most impressive feat yet: breathing new life into the most pedestrian arrangement in modern music. Broderick turns the open-mic night connotations of guitar and vocal on its ear with layers of vocal washes, x-acto fingerpicking figures, and his deceptively simple compositional style.

We are beyond excited to share this with you.

Listen to “Below It” and “Not at Home” from Home and get to know Peter at his Myspace page or his HUSH profile

Listen to previous releases Docile at Kning Disk, and audition Float at Boomkat.

(photo: Ronan Thenadey)

On Turning 10.

music1-570.jpgOMG. Carson Ellis (illustrator/artist extraordinaire) painted a picture of me with my kitties and stuff for a Mercury article. She is way too busy for that, and too famouso. Shoot, she’s getting married in less than a fortnight. Thanks Carson!

And people are being really nice and warm and fuzzy. I’m seriously getting choked up. I just have a good feeling about this upcoming show (Laura Gibson, Loch Lomond, and Nick Jaina this Saturday, the 12th at The Aladdin . I think it’s going to be really, really special and I’d love everyone–even if you’re like the skeptical person who caught the article and is reading this right now, suspicious the music actually merits profiles in the local weeklies–to come join us. It’s in the air. Good times.

I’m just glad Carson didn’t illustrate my secret diagram for a music trap. I totally have to patent it first. For more on the music trap and other wacky ideas you can refer to this kind Willamette Week article.

ps. I can’t resist a shout out to all my talented friends who keep it real. Thanks HUSHfolk! You rock me. Go Portland!

-chad

HUSH 10th Anniversary Show Saturday July 12

hush-anniversary-show-myspace.jpgLaura Gibson, Loch Lomond, Nick Jaina, all bringing their A-games. Join us.

July 12th is a very special day for HUSH. It’s the first time a bill of exclusively HUSH acts plays a larger venue in our hometown. If you live in the Portland area, we hope you’ll agree that in many ways this is the perfect venue for these HUSH artists: classy, comfy, and cool. It’s a big venue, but we’d hate it if you missed out for any reason: Tickets are available at The Aladdin Box Office and Ticketmaster. Sponsored by OPBmusic (In House host Jeremy Peterson will emcee). $10 adv, $12 day of show.

Also, we will be releasing a HUSH 10th Anniversary Compilation. We have been planning this for quite some time, but as these things go, we are racing to pull it all together, so a tracklist is not yet available. Nonetheless we expect this FREE album download might grow to double album size. There will be tracks from new and old HUSH roster artists, and it will feature a .pdf booklet. Tentatively out July 7th. Stay tuned to the website.

Podington Bear Revealed. Um, I’m me.

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If you caught anything of the Podington Bear story, you probably know that there’s some joker somewhere in Portland, Or. USA that made a bunch of instrumental tunes under a pseudonym and put them up on the internet for free, then archived it all in a box set, which HUSH is presently selling. Depending on how you roll, I guess, this is either mildy interesting, or a suspect ambition, or N/A. If you have a sensitive cute meter, the bear face drawing, songs with twinkle bell sounds and a blog with pictures of kittens may well send up red flags. Moreover, the sheer volume of music–One hundred and fifty or so songs in a player window, like tchochkes in a display case–will likely serve to reinforce a hunch about the music being applicable to your interest, N/A, or even an affront.

And so it goes in this information age where music saturation demands hair-trigger American Idol-esque parsing. If you spend a lot of time with and around music, it might increasingly feel like traffic court, which is to say, basically everyone is guilty and the clock is ticking, let’s keep moving so we can go home. Artists and bands who labor over making a case to be heard are afforded a few seconds from a judge (you and I and bloggers and the people compelled to make comments on the bloggers comments, etc.) and more often than not the instinct is, well you didn’t mean any harm, so I’ll reduce your fine. Now get out of my face. Bands are guilty of not trying enough or trying too hard. Guilty of making music that isn’t in league with the A list or aping the A list. Guilty of being preciously sincere or coy and artificial.

With this in mind I can’t say that I blame bands for dressing up in costume, having a shtick, trying to produce a “viral video”, or gaming myspace, or whatever.

All this is simply backstory for one aspect of why I chose to make music as a bear for 18 months. Yes, I am me. Podington Bear.


The larger part of the impetus to be a bear is refreshingly unadulterated. Making music is my personal therapy. It’s something that I can do to get into a really satisfying zone: to feel alive, happy, lose track of time, to feel challenged and creative and delighted. The anonymity part was an emboldening forcefield for that creative state. If you can get past the wrapper — the bear face and the 3 songs a week thing — maybe you’ll hear it?

Sincerely, Chad Crouch July 2, 08

About: Chad Crouch founded the HUSH records label in 1998 and has directed it since. His previous recordings include four albums with his band Blanket Music (2000-2007), one album under his given name (1997), and one EP under the name Toothfairy (2006). HUSH will be celebrating its 10th anniversary at The Aladdin Theatre in Portland with Laura Gibson, Loch Lomond, and Nick Jaina on July 12.