Tuesday, June 23, 2015

The Unexpected Return, or, Hello Again After These Many Years, or, A Christmas Newsletter Goes Rogue

Hi.  It’s us, Seth and China. 

This blog post is kind of like a newsletter…one of those ones that should have gone out at Christmas (oh. so, you noticed we didn’t send out Christmas cards last Christmas??  yeah…we actually started them - made them ourselves…and then at the addressing stage I bailed.  Big time.  We sincerely hope you weren’t offended.  Maybe they will be resurrected as Thanksgiving Day cards this year?? Don’t judge…) Thing is, usually Christmas newsletters catalog the best sort of mundane American family life.  This post is actually about how our lives have been turned inside out (I know.  Again?!)  and how we decided to venture forth into the most un-mundane American-dream-family-life we could presently conjure, and still be considered decent parents.

Here goes.

Once upon a time there was a boy named Seth and a girl named China.  Through no fault of their own, their worlds collided (BANG!) and now they can’t remember what life was like before that big bang.  Naturally, they started working together making, playing, and generally music-ing.  Life was one joyous, albeit slightly untethered, occasion. 

Then there were the child bearing years for China and the “holy crap! I need to make money for this growing family!” years for Seth.  And the gypsy-creative-sing-song days seemed to wane.  Sure, China continued to teach music to children and Seth took many a guitar-tech/engineering job, (along with so many others, it’s hard to remember them all) but their own projects took a back burner, leaving room for the other beauty they were creating: family. 

Fast forward: November 2014:

The Kent family is in full swing.  Fender and Harper in full-time school, music lessons, baseball practice, dance classes, a full-bred Springer Spaniel romping around.  So all-American you would have swooned (or puked).  Life is good.  Life is normal.  Maybe too normal.

Seth finds a cigar box his parents gave him lying around the house.  It soon becomes a guitar under his luthier-skilled hands. That guitar becomes an obsession. Now he has a garage full of cigar boxes and builds strange guitars out of them. He begins to sell them, to donate them to silent auctions, and then he plays them at shows. Check them out here!

December 2014

China has a routine dental appointment (it’s always those routine ones, isn’t it?).  The pearly whites are fine, but there is a growth (a growth?) on her throat.  Appointments are made, biopsies are performed.  There really isn’t anything like a cancer scare to wake up the sleeping giants inside of us, giving us the strength to actually do the things we were meant to be doing all along. The biopsy come back clear, as does her vision, and she commits herself to recording an album and giving the one thing she has to the world: her music.

January: 2015

Seth’s “cushy 9-5” comes to an end, leaving his employment canvas blank… the possibilities are endless!  Should he purchase a mountain property and run back-country adventure trips? Should he buy an archery range/shop? Maybe pursue something completely new? After some research, soul searching and beer, he realizes that he still really loves music, especially music with China. He also remembers that he is good at a lot of things in and around music. He decides to dedicate 2015 to making music with China, to giving this Alright Alright thing another shot.

Spring: 2015

BIG CHANGES are afoot. We have been recording together since March to create a new and interesting album as Alright Alright. We are clearing schedules and booking rooms for choir recordings. We play a show to a room of 140 new sets of ears and we love it. We design and print t-shirts. The Safer EP (from 2007!) has been re-printed to sell. We are booking house shows and lining up gigs around town.

In the midst of all this creative movement, through a crazy set of circumstances, China hears about a house being remodeled just 13 blocks from our house. It is brand spankin’ new, in the quirky industrial part of our neighborhood. right across from the rail yard. Best of all, there is an 8’X40’ shipping container in the back that can become a recording/studio space. Before we realize what we are doing, we pack up our things and head east. 13 blocks east, turning our Zuni Street house into an Air BnB. Whew!

Check out this sweet logo! This has been waiting for 7 years!

Summer 2015

Now to what is next. More shows, more recording, more creative. We have a decent chunk of our recording done and will soon have space for all of the musical instruments, recording gear, and the old analog console Seth has had for years to all be in one place. The recording will be very Kentish.  You might just hear the trains passing in some of the songs.  The album will be out in September.  We will let you know when it is available (and we are stoked about it!!!)

mini-tour 2015

Yeah.  That’s what we said.  We are heading East in August, and on the way we are turning the trip into a mini house concert tour.  With 2 kids.  Maybe with our doggie.  Are we crazy?  Yup.  Quite.  Crazy enough to try to do this music thing in a way that works for us, in a way that is life-giving and relational and fun and, I don’t know, sort of the way we think music should be.  We have some experience with touring, and we want to try our hand at it with Alright Alright. 


Well, do you?  AWESOME! We are looking for places to play between Denver and North Carolina, mainly through Missouri, Kentucky, Tennessee, and North Carolina between August 8-12 or August 20-23.  Even if our route doesn’t hit your town this time, we will be back.  Please let us know if you are interested at alrightalright@mac.com!  We can’t wait to meet your friends and play some tunes for (and maybe even with) you! 


yes.  I knew that one would come up.  A house concert is a donation-based show that we play at or in your house.  You get to invite your friends, neighbors, relatives, co-workers, whomever you want to come share a night of music in your home (usually you have to invite twice as many people as you want to come in order to fill the room) and we pretty much provide the rest (everything but the booze!).  You get to introduce us, we get to play for you and your people, and at some time in the night, you pass a hat around the room (or yard!).  People can pay as much or as little as they want.  It’s great. It’s intimate.  It’s a musical experience like no other. Read more about it here on the Wikipedia page.