August 2005 News Archive (Older news link at bottom of page)
August 31, 2005
Discography Update
The discography page now lists and has pictures of a compilation released late last year in the UK that includes Hem's "Sailor." At Home In A Fragile State is mostly a collection of electronica or house music, but it's a disc billed as having chilled songs good for kicking back to at home, and "Sailor" certainly fits the chilled bill.
Another New mp3 at MySpace
Like the one before it, yesterday's Myspace blog entry includes an mp3 of a new but actually old song called "Medicine" that's part of the so-called "Burying Songs" song cycle. Go, listen, enjoy!
In the "Medicine" blog entry Dan also shares that blog entries will likely be on a daily Monday-Friday schedule and that Sally and Steve will make some of the entries too. Thus, I'm amending how I'll make news updates of blog entries yet again, hopefully for the last time, under the policy of SHUTUP (Sharing Hem Updates That're Unusually Promising). I'll note it here in timely updates when a Myspace entry includes new pictures, mp3s, tour news, specific album news, or similar types of downloads or exclusives. Otherwise, consider it a good idea to regularly check the blog for general journal updates.
2003 Tour Archive Update
In tiny news, the 2003 tour archive page includes a new tour date, the only one for February. I'm not 100% sure of it, but like other older dates, I've verified it best I can, in this case with a printed notice of the show.
August 27, 2005
New mp3 on MySpace
In addition to some background info on familiar Hem songs, today's Myspace blog entry includes an mp3 of a new song called "The Present." It's actually an old song, and the mp3 is an old live recording from 1990, when Dan Messe and Steve Curtis were in school at Carleton College. Anne Rademacher (who's now Steve's wife) also performs on the song. Go, download, listen! I'll be here when you get back!
In addition to this "Present" entry, since my last news update Dan made another very interesting blog entry. It's called "Troublemaker" and is the promised follow-up about the current writing of that (apparently very aptly named) song.
"Burying Song" Meanings Update
Based on information in today's Myspace blog entry, the meanings page clarifies what was already there about "Burying Song" on Rabbit Songs referring to Dan and Steve's "Burying Songs" collaborations.
Addition to the Articles Archive
The article/interview archive now includes a PDF file of the January 6, 2003 GO Brooklyn article already there in html format. You can download the PDF file by visiting this page (click the newspaper on the left).
August 24, 2005
Discography Update
The discography page includes an old but new-to-this-site compilation with a track by Hem. "Half Acre" is track 12 on a CD that came free with the July 2002 edition of CMJ New Music Monthly. That's the issue with a review of Rabbit Songs including a great review quote that's funny cause it's true: "[T]hese songs are absolutely beautiful, but are absolutely depressing, to boot. Main songwriter and pianist Dan Messe makes each song a regret-soaked cryfest." Updates
Hem's Myspace blog has a couple new entries since my last news update. Very roughly summarized, one called "The Pied Piper of Brooklyn" talks about Sally as the center of the universe and one called "Derek Jeter" discusses Dan and Steve writing new songs. The latter promises a sequel, so keep checking the blog for the update Dan is now obligated to write under the moral code of blogging. Also, the mysteriously changing blog entry mentioned in my Aug. 19 news update changed again to include a mix of sketchbook images from the original and revised entries. (Thanks so much for the spider, Dan!)
August 19, 2005
Ticket Picture
The tour archive now includes a picture of a ticket from Hem's August 3 show in Kansas City where they opened for Elvis Costello. You can also see a picture and the setlist from Elvis Costello's set at that show. Thanks, John and Mark!
Tour Picture...Sort Of
The 2004 tour archive includes a a new picture of Hem's November 14 show in Atlanta, GA (via offsite link). As you can see, though, by the preview to the left, it's a nice atmospheric photo of the venue rather than of the band. (Thanks, Michael!) As a reminder, the tour archive includes pictures of Hem performing at that show here. Update
There's another new Hem blog entry at Myspace, this one titled "Stupid Mouth." Also, even if you read Dan's August 17 entry, you should look again because the pictures might be different. I'm sure I saw different, larger images from Dan's sketchbook there in an entry called "Walking Past the Graveyard, Not Breathing" that starts with the same intro as the current "Things are not Perfect in our Yard."
August 17, 2005
Ticket Pictures
The tour archive includes new pictures of tickets for 4 shows: Northampton 4/10/03, Saratoga Springs 10/8/04, Northampton 11/8/04, and North Adams 8/6/05. Permanent links to the pictures are on the tour archive pages for 2003, 2004, and 2005 (once I move Aug. 2005 dates there from the current tour page). Thanks, Mike! Update
Dan continues his posting streak today with another new Hem blog entry at Myspace. Peek into one of his elusive, mythical lyrics books!
August 16, 2005 Update
Go check out today's blog entry at Myspace about Hem's last 3 days in the studio. (In related news, I had a pet mouse once and can surely simulate a mouse's scurrying feet sound on request. I can also whistle. Call me, record companies! We can work around how I'm otherwise lacking in musical talent!)
8/6/05 North Adams, MA Concert Review
The Berkshire Eagle has a nice review here of Hem's August 6 show in North Adams, MA. I can't help but clarify a few things to make use of some of the plentiful random info in my head: Sally didn't sing on Dan's answering machine but on a cassette she made, it was Sally who talked about a sad song ("Tennessee Waltz") needing to be a Hem song, and the title of the gifted anniversary song is "Half Acre."
August 14, 2005
Story of a "Lazy Eye" Cover
After Hem's November 15, 2004 show in Atlanta, GA a lucky young Hem fan named Hannah had the chance to sing her version of "Lazy Eye" for the band. You can read about and see pictures of her experience plus hear her (and her family's) recorded version of "Lazy Eye" on this page. It's a really sweet story. (Thanks, Ken!)
Eveningland Discography Update
The discography page now reflects that it's only the US Eveningland CD that includes the hidden acapella lullaby track "Now The Day Is Over" after the last song "Carry Me Home." I thought the non-US EMI Liberty pressing included the hidden track, but I've recently learned that this is not the case. So, to summarize, apparently the only Eveningland CD (commercial or promotional) that includes "Now The Day Is Over" is the US release widely available in stores. Update
Hem's Myspace blog entries continue to come on a near daily basis. Since my last news update, there have been 2 new entries about favorite song arrangements called Place Names and More Place Name (then a Long Season of Rain). The former reveals that the project Hem's currently in the studio for is an "album of B-Sides, Outtakes, Alternate Arrangements, Live Recordings, Rarities, etc." Excellent!
The general directive to check the blog every day that I mentioned in the last news udpate? I'm kicking it into effect. My updates aren't frequent enough as of late to keep up with Dan's posts. I'll still note it here in very timely updates when there's a non-blog Myspace addition, such as new pictures, exclusive mp3s, tour news, specific album news, or anything like that. But blog updates will be noted here in a more catch-up fashion when I'm otherwise posting news. However, I could maybe be urged to keep noting blog updates as immediately as possible if you want to give me a persuasive shout. I'm still figuring out what will work best for everybody.
August 11, 2005
8/3/05 Kansas City Reviews
You can read reviews of the show Hem opened for Elvis Costello on August 3 in Kansas City, MO in the August 10 edition of Kansas City Star and the August 11 edition of The Pitch. Free registration may be required to access the articles. The reviews are also accessible through the tour page (and later through the 2005 tour archive page). Update
Hem's spot has 2 new blog entries titled Bad Mood and Overhearing Yourself. Go, read! If Dan keeps making entries every day like this I'm going to have to stop noting updates and just assume there's a general directive to go look there every day. (Um, not that I'm complaining about too many blog entries.) They've also added a new picture at Myspace - the nice one I keep harping about that's on the cover of the promotional "Hollow" CD.
August 9, 2005 Update
Dan has two new blog entries titled The Perfect Song and The City And The Traveler. Go get some great song recommendations and read about Gary's birthday present finally seeing the light of day!
The Cuckoo
It's been a good week, so today I thought I'd share the wealth a bit with a little summer hoedown surprise. Click here to download a 750KB compressed wav file of Hem performing a foot-stomping rendition of "The Cuckoo" last Saturday in North Adams, MA. The quality is not superb by any means, but you'll get the idea. You'll also only get the idea for the next week - I'll take the file down next Tuesday, so grab it while you can!
August 8, 2005
North Adams show pictures
A few pictures of Hem's August 6 show in North Adams, MA are available through the tour page, the tour pictures archive, or by clicking on the picture. There aren't any photos of the actual concert, but there are images of promotional things at the show, like the show poster previewed on the left. The night's setlist can also be found through the tour page or by clicking here.
Berkshire Eagle article
The August 5, 2005 edition of the Berkshire Eagle includes a short article about Hem as a preview to their North Adams show. There are a few words from Dan about his songs and finding Sally (complete with a reference to the fabulous Wizard of Oz). For future reference, this article is listed at the interview archive. Update
I'm slow to note (sorry) that Dan has a new MySpace blog entry (August 6). From what he said at that night's show in North Adams, I don't think he was the only one dizzy after listening to 22 hours of his chosen music. I hope somebody buys Gary an iTrip of his own before the next drive does him in.
August 4, 2005
Tonight's St. Paul, MN show cancelled
Elvis Costello is sick, so tonight's show which Hem was set to open at The O'Shaughnessy is cancelled. The show will not be rescheduled, so seek ticket refunds at your point of purchase.
New Show Downloads
Three more live Hem shows are now available for download at Visit Hem's page for details (and Hem's taping policy), or visit the new show pages directly: London 2/25/05, Bracknell 2/27/05, and Dublin 3/3/05. Hem very generously allows show downloads here, so please abide by all the rules of distribution and help keep shows available to everyone!
As a reminder, if you'd like visuals to go along with the sounds, pictures for all three shows are at the tour pictures archive. Direct links: London 2/25/05, Bracknell 2/27/05, and Dublin 3/3/05.
Meanings Update
The meanings page includes new information for the songs "The Cuckoo" and "Jackson" from Hem's February 16, 2005 interview on BBC 6 Music's Gideon Coe show.
(Thanks to Geoff for making almost everything in this update possible!)
August 2, 2005
More Ticket Pictures
The 2005 tour archive includes new pictures of tickets from these shows: Brighton 3/10/05, London 2/25/05 (current winner of the prettiest ticket prize), London 3/9/05, London 6/22/05, and Reading 6/23/05. (Thanks, Richard!)
More About the Voice Article
The print version of the Summer 2005 Voice article (see July 31's update) does include a bit more than the online version. The cover image is a picture of Steve on a roof holding a guitar similar to the online picture of him with Dan. All three online pictures are (obviously) bigger in print and are less cropped. Two of the pictures include overlapping sidebar text that's not online at all.
With the picture of Dan and Steve is a quote from Dan: "One of the great fringe benefits of being stuck on tour for months is hearing what's on everyone else's iPod. It really becomes a wonderful way to expland our influences and grow as writers and peformers. Steve would play a lot of Bollywood music when he was behind the wheel, and there are elements of those sounds that found their way into the music."
With the picture of everyone standing up is a quote from Steve that's both amusing and depressing: "Touring teaches one how to meet all basic nutritional needs from gas station food."
Semi-related to the article, I have to say that the pictures from this New York photo session are great. They're the first ones that seem to really capture the spirit of the band. More like these, please!
August Show Cancellations
Hem's August tour dates in England and Scotland have been cancelled. That's been noted on the tour page for a while, but just in case anybody planning to go didn't see the news there I wanted to mention it front and center. For fans sad at the news, take comfort in knowing that Hem should be back there later this year.
Click here for older news

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