|Helen Money «» Arriving Angels (2013)|
Helen Money — Arriving Angels
Birth name: Alison Chesley
Born: January 4, 1960, Los Angeles, California United States
Location: LA ~ Chicago, Illinois
Album release: February 5, 2013
Genre: Experimental / Metal / Rock
Record Label: Table of the Elements
1. Rift 5:40
2. Upsetter 4:15
3. Beautiful Friends 4:58
4. Radio Recorders 5:01
5. Midwestern Night Dreams 3:06
6. Arriving Angels 6:24
7. Shrapnel 5:05
8. Runout 5:59
By Gregory Adams (http://exclaim.ca)
¶ Since the mid ’90s, Chicago-based cellist Alison Chesley has recorded with the likes of Anthrax, Bob Mould, Russian Circles, Mono and Archer Prewitt.
¶ She’s also issued a couple of classically minded avant-garde LPs under the name Helen Money. The third Helen Money LP called Arriving Angels is released on February 5 through Profound Lore.
¶ The eight-song set follows 2009′s In Tune and is pumped up in a press release as being “one of the most intriguing Profound Lore releases to date.”
¶ Recorded, engineered and mixed by the iconic Steve Albini at Electrical Audio and featuring Neurosis drummer Jason Roeder on four tracks, Arriving Angels is a unique opus that mixes classical composition and progressive, dirge-like metal, performed almost entirely on the cello.
• 2011 Anthrax Worship Music (Megaforce)
• 2010 Mono Hymn to the Immortal Wind (Temporary Residence)
• 2009 Helen Money In Tune (Table of the Elements)
• 2009 Russian Circles Geneva (Suicide Squeeze)
• 2009 Broken Social Scene TBA (Arts & Crafts)
• 2007 Alison Chesley Helen Money (Cellobird Records)
• 2007 Krista Franklin and Alison Chesley Aural Anarchy (Naïve)
• 2007 Plague Bringer, Life Songs in the Land of Death (Hewhocorrupts)
• 2006 Mono You Are There (Temporary Residence)
• 2004 Mono Walking Cloud (Temporary Residence)
• 2004 Poi Dog Pondering In Seed Comes Fruit (Premonition Records)
• 2002 Disturbed Believe (Warner Bros.)
• 2001 Chris Connelly & The Bells Blonde Exodus (Invisible)
• 2000 Verbow White Out (Epic, 2000)
• 2000 Poi Dog Pondering Soul Sonic Orchestra (Plate-Tec-Tonic,)
• 1999 The Aluminum Group Pedals (Minty Fresh)
• 1999 Archer Prewitt White Sky (Carrot Top)
• 1998 Bob Mould The Last Dog and Pony Show (Rykodisc Records)
• 1997 Verbow Chronicles (Epic)
• 1994 Jason and Alison Woodshed (Whitehouse Records)
¶ Chesley was born and raised in Los Angeles, California. She moved to Chicago to attend Northwestern University, where she received a Master's degree in Cello Performance in 1994. While at Northwestern, Chesley met Jason Narducy. Chesley and Narducy performed as an acoustic rock duo that was renamed Verbow, and went on to release two albums for Epic Records – Chronicles, produced by Bob Mould and White Out produced by Brad Wood. Opening for such bands as Frank Black, Bob Mould, Counting Crows, Live, Morrissey, Liz Phair and Brad with Stone Gossard, Verbow toured nationally for seven years. Meeting and working with Bob Mould was a big influence on Alison Chesley forming the Helen Money project for aggressive, amplified cello.
¶ Verbow broke up in 2001. Since then, Chesley has fashioned a busy career in Chicago as a composer/performer and session musician in the studio. She most often records for two of Chicago's busiest recording studios; Steve Albini's Electrical Audio and Soma Studios. Some of the artists with whom she has worked include albums by Mono, Anthrax, Broken Social Scene, Russian Circles, Chris Connelly, Poi Dog Pondering and Disturbed, among many others. She also appears on albums by Bob Mould. As Helen Money, Chesley performs regularly around Chicago and across the U.S. She has opened for acts such as Shellac, Earth and Nina Nastasia and completed a Canadian tour opening for Joe Lally. In 2011, she toured American opening for Joe Lally and as part of his ensemble.
¶ In addition to Helen Money, Chesley has also composed music for film, theater and dance, including two major works[clarification needed] for Chicago based Mordine and Company Dance Theater, Quest and Time Stilled. Chesley was honored in 2007 by being granted a full scholarship to study composition with guitarist/composer Fred Frith at San Francisco's esteemed Mills College. She opted out from the offer, and instead decided against the move to concentrate on expanding her role as Helen Money.
¶ The release of Chesley's first solo album, with the eponymous title, Helen Money, was released on Cellobird Records in September 2007. Her second album as Helen Money, In Tune, was released on the Table of the Elements label. In Tune was recorded at Electrical Audio by Greg Norman and mixed by Sanford Parker at Semaphore Studios in Chicago.
¶ Alison was chosen by Portishead to perform a Helen Money performance at the ATP I'll Be Your Mirror festival that they curates in July 2011 at London's Alexandra Palace, and was chosen by Shellac to appear at the ATP Nightmare Before Christmas that they will curate in December 2012.
Chicago Tribune – December 16, 2009 – By Greg Kot
¶ 6. Helen Money, “In Tune” (Radium/Table of the Elements)
¶ Alison Chesley took her classically trained cello technique and brought it into the world of independent music in the ‘90s, and we’re all the better for it. Besides her work in Verbow, she’s collaborated with countless artists and written for movies and dance productions. But her solo albums, recorded under the moniker Helen Money, are her defining statements. “In Tune” is anything but obtuse; Chesley expands the vocabulary of the cello to make it sound like a guitar, a drum or a trash compactor. The inventiveness of her instrumentals will prompt not just respect (and awe) from music heads, but head-banging, fist-pumping approval from folks who just want to rock.
Decibel Magazine – January 2010 – By Jeff Treppel
¶ Up until now, if you wanted some cello in your metal, there was really only one place to go—and as much as this writer digs Apocalyptica, it’s nice to have alternatives. ¶ Enter Helen Money (a.k.a. Alison Chesley), whose raw, minimalist stylings make her the lo-fi Xasthur to Apocalyptica’s Dimmu Borgir bombast.
¶ Chesley laughs about the comparison. “Apocalyptica are geared more towards the spectacle and what looks cool, but if you’re into more—I don’t want to say ‘substance’— maybe something that’s more pure emotion, something that’s not as polished… I don’t want to dis Apocalyptica, I think they’re awesome at what they do, but I’m coming from more of a personal place.”
¶ Helen Money isn’t exactly metal (her main inspirations are SST guys like Bob Mould and the Minutemen), but she sure ain’t classical. With her music reminiscent of a one-woman Kronos Quartet or the soundtrack to an avant-garde horror flick, it’s no wonder that Chesley has been tapped to open for Earth and provide strings for Anthrax and Plague Bringer.
¶ “When I was in my 20s and listening to a lot of music, I wasn’t necessarily listening to metal, but I feel like that audience has kind of adopted me,” she says. “I feel really honored because that audience really wants to feel something when they hear music. ¶ When I listen to music, I want to connect with it—not in my head, but in my soul.”
¶ And she doesn’t take her songwriting lightly. These compositions are supposed to say something, even if it means that Chesley has to overdub herself or just strip down to basics. “I was listening to John Coltrane, and he has this recording called ‘Alabama,’ about these three girls that died in a fire down in Alabama in the ’60s. He was able to really capture those emotions [of loss], and I wondered if I could as well… I also wanted to see if I could communicate something without all of my pedals, just acoustic.”
¶ She certainly found the right place to record her second album, In Tune (Table of the Elements): Steve Albini’s Electrical Audio Studio. Chesley also had the esteemed Greg Norman (Pelican, Neurosis) engineer and Sanford Parker (Minsk, Yakuza) do the mix, so even though you can hear every bow scrape, you know that it’s by design. “I wanted [Norman] to get everything on tape because I felt like it was more present, more human. I actually like recordings where you can hear people making mistakes.”
¶ Chesley doesn’t feel mistaken in her judgment of her new fan base, however: “[Metal fans] are some of the most sensitive, intelligent people. They don’t only listen to metal; they’re into all kinds of music. It’s interesting. I feel like I’ve kind of found a home.”
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