Balancing work, studies and music can be a challenge for musicians, especially ones yet to breakthrough. But Solomon Blaylock – the lead singer and guitarist for The Lobster Quadrille – has a plan.
"I'm thinking we need to have some prince in Dubai hire us to perform at his pleasure," he says. "Or maybe one can still get 'big in Japan.' If we could make real money doing that, I'd work 60-hour weeks and tour up and f------ down, from Hokkaido to Kyushu, all goddamn day."
In the meantime, The Lobster Quadrille (named after the Lewis Carroll poem that's also the 10th chapter in Alice's Adventure in Wonderland) will have a CD Release Ball at the Bug Jar on Saturday, June 6. Their self-titled disc features a unique sound and songs — like "Cora Livinia's Cotillion" and "The Slayer of the Lord of Death" — that seem like something off the mad hatter's iPod.
"It is ramshackle, clanky and sometimes it is very gospel" Blaylock says. "There are ragged blues and punk and klezmer in there. The CD is a bit more nuanced than the live performances, so there is slow burn. (There's) cues taken from band marches and reggae and a lot of other things."
The band — Mark Berends (drums), Kevin Farrell (bass), Lauren Manitsas (percussion), Amy McDonald (clarinet), Keith Rosengren (organ) and Blaylock's wife Amber McAlister (accordion) — have issued several self-released works, including, Old Time Tunes for Washboard and Spoons, Reviled Standards Translation, Bringing You Into a Holy Ghost (Live at the Bug Jar), and The Finished Mystery (bedroom demos).
The group began work on its latest CD just last year. "We spent basically two drunken nights recording all of the basic tracks last summer and have been mixing them over the course of the last year," Blaylock says. "We would work solid for a week and then not touch it for a month or more."
They've played all the new tracks live before and will play most of that material during the CD release event. But that doesn't mean there won't be any surprises.
"This show is going to be a hell of a lot of fun," Blaylock says. "We will occasionally play one cover at a show, usually toward the end, and we do have a couple of special ones picked out for that night. Oh, and we are encouraging people to dress up. We usually have a few folks that come out in suits and dresses but this is a ball, so we're hoping to get folks to dandy up a bit."