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Stalled Parade

by Eleventh Dream Day

Founded in 1983 by Rick Rizzo (guitar, vocals) and Janet Beveridge Bean (drums, vocals), Eleventh Dream Day was joined soon thereafter by Douglas McCombs (bass) and Baird Figi (Guitar).

1987 saw the release of their debut self–titled EP on Amoeba. Eleventh Dream Day recorded two more records on Amoeba before signing to Atlantic in 1987. Atlantic issued three albums and one promotional live album before releasing the group in 1994. 1995 saw the release of Ursa Major on Chicago’s Atavistic label. Yet another label change saw the release in 1997 of Eighth on Thrill Jockey.

In recent years Eleventh Dream Day has been the trio of McCombs, Bean, and Rizzo aided and abetted by friends such as Ira Kaplan, Tara Key, John McEntire, Wink O’Bannon and James Garbe. When recording Stalled Parade the trio solicited the help of recording engineer John McEntire on percussion and keyboards. Recorded in February of 2000 at Chicago’s Soma Studios, Stalled Parade is another lovely vista in Eleventh Dream Day’s 17-year journey. Touring ceased years ago, performances are limited to one or two a year. With only critical acclaim to line their wallets, Eleventh Dream Day are bound by the same force that created the group- the enjoyment of playing together and the musical results. The trio is made up of active musicians; Janet with Freakwater, Douglas with Brokeback and Tortoise, Rick with Tara Key and recent work with Smog.

The Eleventh Dream Day musical experience is further validated by these outside endeavors. When the group gathers to write, play or record, they return to a familiar dynamic bringing new ideas or new ways to look at their music.

"Valrico74" bears the mark of Janet Bean’s recent work with Freakwater, though clearly it is far from a Freakwater song. "On Ramp’s" mournful melody echoes Rizzo’s work with Tara Key on Dark Edson Tiger. Glimpses of McCombs’ textural adventures with Brokeback appear throughout the record. Along with Stalled Parade’s new introductions, there are some welcome returns: Rizzo’s lyrics, narratives directing "Ice Storm, " "Stalled Parade," "Interstate" and "Ground Point Zero, " the vocal interplay between Bean and Rizzo on "Way Too Early on a Sunday Morning, " and the propulsive combination of McCombs' bass and Rizzo’s guitar.

Stalled Parade is a beautiful record made only more remarkable by the fact that it is the ninth in a series of exquisitely well-crafted records. It is a measure of band that exists on terms and standards the members alone set.

When asked to comment on his new record, Rizzo only smiled and pulled a line from "Interstate" saying simply, "we’ve been here before and we’ll be back again." The smile and the modesty say as much about the group as the music.