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the sidebar » Blog Archive » B is for Brassland
B is for Brassland
By Michael Kaufmann
Monday, September 28th, 2009

[Series explanation and index is here.]

Brassland has, among its central ethos, a notion of art which reflects deeply on the passing of time. Maybe it has something to do with musicians reflecting on mortality. It sounds grim in text, but lovely and transcendent on record. Brassland is also this strange juxtaposition between pop, poetry, and classical music. What a horrible term, right? Classical music. I don’t even know what that really means, but I use it for lack of better words. Maybe more appropriate than the term classical, would be orchestral impressionism/expressionism through the filter of modernism and tangled up with a mess of other 20th and 21st century “isms.” But cutting through all of this is the fact that the music and musicians of Brassland are communal and collaborative. In fact, Asthmatic Kitty artists seem to be crossing paths with these folks more and more. Be it one of its founders and owners Bryce Dessner (The National, Clogs) playing with Sufjan, coaxing the Run Rabbit Run release, or improvising with Lowell Brams on his upcoming Library Catalog release, or Bryce and Aaron inviting Shara Worden to contribute to their BAM commissioned baseball/Mayan inspired jam, The Long Count. Or maybe it is Shara contributing to the new Clogs record due out sometime in early 2010, or the third co-founder and owner Alec Bemis book-clubbing it with yours truly. There are also only a few points of separation between us and Nico Muhly — from his arrangement for the aforementioned Run Rabbit Run release, or his collaboration with Asthmatic Kitty friendly, Son Lux. The bonds of musical collaborations and friendships are tight, and I am proud to be connected to a label like Brassland (if even remotely), a label that inspires through its dedication to and presentation of a collection mature and vibrant sounds.


1. Doveman “Breathing Out” from The Conformist – Release Date: October 20, 2009
2. Nico Muhly “The Only Tune Pt. 3: The Only Tune” (feat. Sam Amidon) from Mothertongue – Release Date: July 22, 2008
3. Pela “Episodes” from All in Time EP – Release Date: May 17, 2005
4. Baby Dayliner “All Parties Are Over” (Ben Sterling Mix) from forthcoming new album – Release Date: TBD
5. Devastations “The Pest” from Yes, U (Beggars Banquet) – Release Date: September 17, 2007*
6. The National “About Today” from Cherry Tree EP – Release Date: July 20, 2004
7. Clogs “We Were Here” (feat. Shara Worden & Sufjan Stevens) from forthcoming new album – Release Dated: TBD
8. Erik Friedlander “Here Comes the Madwoman” from Maldoror – Release Date: November 11, 2003

* Although Devastations is on Brassland, they were not the label that released “The Pest.” Still, the song is so good, it represents Devastations best.

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