High Places Do Daytrotter Session

Performing at the estimable Che Cafe, in San Diego
Performing at the estimable Che Cafe, in San Diego
Steve Schroeder

The consistently excessively excellent Daytrotter Sessions--in which traveling musicians come through Rock Island, Illinois and record a handful of songs in the tour spirit, meaning lots of improvisation, half-wrecked gear, and fatigue--have posted their newest recording, of L.A. transplants High Places, performing four tracks off their last record. In particular, we point you to a wonderfully ethereal, even more diffuse-than-on-the-album version of "From Star Dust To Sentience," the sad anthem par excellence from a band with a catalogue full of them. High Places are a surprisingly assertive live band; they duplicate nearly every sound from their records by hand, in real time, at high volume. The drifting clatter here, confused spots, and not-the-least-bit precious vocal are all staples of their sound as they create it on the run. Plus, as per Daytrotter policy, we even get a whimsical genesis explanation:

    I owe the title of this song to something my sister Laura wrote for my birthday last year. I also owe the "billion-year-old carbon" line to Joni Mitchell. I recently read Ursula Goodenough's The Sacred Depths of Nature, and it's so refreshing to hear a leading cell biologist admit to feeling freaked out by the universe's vastness and her own insignificance within it.

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