June 21, 2012

Making Noise: Post Provost begins new era; sounds like a lot's going on

Songs on the band's new CD incorporate ukulele, trombone, accordion and banjo along with guitars, keys, bass and drums.

By Aimsel Ponti aponti@pressherald.com
News Assistant

Saeko Nishimura, accordion player and a vocalist of Post Provost, describes the band's sound as "organic space folk pop." Post Provost made its recording debut last month with "Ancient Open Allegory Oratorio." The songs incorporate ukulele, trombone, accordion and banjo along with guitars, keys, bass and drums. GO caught up with singer and multi-instrumentalist Dave Gagne to discuss the band's origins and the inner workings of its CD.

click image to enlarge

Post Provost was formed on Peaks Island and is named for Normand Provost who died last year.

Courtesy photo

POST PROVOST WITH B.A. CANNING BAND AND BUILDER OF THE HOUSE

WHEN: 8 p.m. July 14

WHERE: The Big Easy, 85 Market St., Portland

HOW MUCH: $8; ages 21 and older; bigeasyportland.com

WHAT'S ON POST PROVOST'S iPOD

"Astor in Paris," 3 leg torso

"Bright Whites," Kishi Bashi

"True Love Will Find You in the End," Daniel Johnston

"Hood," Perfume Genius

"Es-so," tUnE yArDs

"Birds Lament," Moondog   

"Bori," Boban i Marko Markovic Orkestar

"Holland, 1945," Neutral Milk Hotel

"Waitin' for a Superman," Flaming Lips

 

TURN YOUR RADIO DIAL to 102.9 WBLM every Friday at 8:30 a.m. to hear Aimsel Ponti wax poetic about her live music picks for the week with the Captain and Celeste.

When did Post Provost come to be?

After I was in a van accident while touring in Canada with Eastwave Radio in April 2010, my wife, Saeko, and daughter Niko and myself moved into my mother and stepfather's home on Peaks Island to recover. During that time our high school friend Sam Franklin returned from train hopping out West and my folks offered to let him to stay in a tent in our yard. Sam is an amazing songwriter so it wasn't long before I started singing some of his tunes. It was around this time that producer Michael McInnis, upon hearing of my accident, donated some studio time to me. That spring we recorded the beginnings of a couple of tracks to what would eventually become the "Ancient Open Allegory Oratorio." We worked through the tracks, calling upon whichever friends and musicians we knew would compliment whichever song the best.  

Explain the name Post Provost.

It is named after the late Normand Provost who passed away last November. He was a fellow Peaks Islander and close friend to many of us in the band. He was also my drinking buddy, massage therapist and priest. He even married Saeko and I. He was one of a few friends that we lost in a short period of time on Peaks Island that year including bass player and mentor Chris Tuttle and best friend Ric Rhodes. I wanted the name to somehow pay tribute to that fact.

Why is the CD called "Ancient Open Allegory Oratorio?"

It is a lyric from "Tall and Strong," the fourth track on the record which was written by Sam Franklin. The lyrics to that song are about the beauty of life and certainty of death. That particular line drew a nice parallel between that and the retelling of stories and songs. It also just sounds cool.

The song "Time Piece" is very retro sounding. Tell us about it.

Sam (Franklin) and I had been recently writing a lot of songs with strange time signatures and complicated chord progressions, so I asked him to write something simple for a change. So instead of writing a compacted song in a strange time signature he wrote a simple song about time. 

What about "The Walking Cadaver?" Was it inspired by a real place?

Yes. This is loosely based on my experiences at the American Legion on Peaks Island. With that said, I've had many good times there, and still frequent there. There was just a point when I went there too much. 

Tell us something unusual or fun about the band.

My favorite thing about the band is that we have so much history together. Saeko, Andrew, Sam and myself all went to high school together and learned how to play music from my father, Mr. Gagne -- as they still call him. Charlie and I were best friends as small children but we didn't see each other for about 20 years. When we reunited, we both happened to be professional musicians. Also, Johnny and I both fell out of a rolling tour van together and lived to tell about it. Statistically, we both should be dead.

Staff Writer Aimsel Ponti can be contacted at 791-6455 or at:

aponti@pressherald.com

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