AURAL HEATHER
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AURAL HEATHER

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Band Spoken Word Rock

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""The essence of cool""

An interesting twist on poetry, AURAL Heather has taken an artform to higher levels of cool. Pulling no punches, AURAL Heather drops the truth on a diverse array of controversial topics relevant to society. Doing it with an undeniable allure, lead poet Haley's voice is both sensual and intriguing delivering the real to you without apology.

For most, this form of artistic release may be quite new. The artists have been plying their craft in the underground scene for years, but do yourself a favor and open your ears and mind to a complex and intriguing ageless artform.

AURAL Heather has fashioned a unique style of melding some very cool musical production with haunting realities communicated in memorable, sensual and haunting vocal stylings. The core musical aspects of this act are the essence of cool, sporting a 60's laid back kaleidoscopic, hallucinogenic a la The Doors vibe.

AURAL Heather has recently been featured on CBC Radio, Liquid Lunch and Howl with Nik Beat-CIUT Radio 89.5 FM-Toronto, CKUT-FM-Montreal, Wax Poetic-CFRO/Vancouver, CKXU-Lethrbridge, Word Slingers-WLUW FM/Chicago, Outsight Radio Hours-Detroit, Nette Radio and Blog Talk Radio/Los Angeles and covered by the Village Voice, Tom Harrison-Vancouver Province, Vincent Tingueley-Montreal Mirror. They just returned from the first leg of their international tour and dates in Ottawa, Kingston, Chicago, New York, Montreal and Toronto. AURAL Heather will make BC appearances at they prepare to tour in Europe in April and Australia in May 2009. - Catsask.com


"Not Pulling Any Punches-Montreal Mirror"

Small sexy word event
NOT PULLING ANY PUNCHES: AURAL Heather

Quebec’s English Language Arts Network is kicking off a series of “Small Sexy Events” this Sunday, July 20 at 8 p.m. at Casa del Popolo (4873 St-Laurent), with West Coast spoken word icon Heather Haley.

She and musician Roderick Shoolbraid are touring in support of her latest CD, Princess Nut. Haley’s poetic performances draw on intense situations found in everyday existence.

“It’s what hits home, that which I feel in my gut, that is what I’m compelled to portray in my writing,” Haley explains. “I don’t like to preach or be preached at, neither do I pull any punches. I address disturbing issues like addiction and domestic violence and I’m so weary of people telling me my ‘work is dark.’ It’s rather akin to pointing out to me that my hair is red!” Other performers in the ELAN line-up include alternative world musician HuDost, and local accordianist/chanteuse Jordi Rosen. $5.
- Vince Tinguely


"SOUND BYTES CD Review: AURAL Heather’s “Princess Nut”"

SOUND BYTES CD Review: AURAL Heather’s “Princess Nut”

by

Bob McKenzie

Published July 12, 2008

Princess Nut
Aural Heather
RPW Records
2008
10 Tracks

I recently had the pleasure of seeing Heather Haley and Roderick Shoolbraid, who together comprise Aural Heather, perform live in a small room. Aural Heather’s words and music are well suited to such an intimate “chamber music” setting, reaching out and touching each listener at a personal level. The intricate interplay of of Haley’s words and Shoolbraid’s music works well in a studio recording and it was a pleasant surprise to see this duo carry it off so well in a live setting. These works are complex enough to have foiled a less talented duo.

To many listeners, these performances may be quite a new experience. In fact, while there is a certain freshness to Aural Heather’s presentation, performances and recordings in this genre have been available for at least five decades. If they are little known to the general public, it’s perhaps because artists in this genre have tended to be somewhat underground, playing to artists, intellectuals, and the coffee house crowd. Only occasionally has a recording of spoken word and music that edges toward experimental slipped over onto mainstream radio. One or two of the songs on this release may be able to make that crossover, or at least get played on college radio stations.

I’ve long found it interesting that styles in the arts often divide not north-south between Canada and the United States but east-west with the distinction appearing to be between artists working west of the Rockies and artists working in central Canada and the American states southward from there. In performance of spoken word with music, the west-coast style is quite distinctive. The performance of Canada’s Aural Heather falls quite firmly into that west-coast spectrum.

At root, these performances might be described as poetry read over somewhat experimental music. Of course, such a description is quite inadequate. It’s true that Heather Haley writes some quite powerful poetry and she reads and sometimes sings it over music created and performed by Roderick Shoolbraid. However, this is no poetry reading, no academic professor reading to a gathering of bored students, no jaded beatnick addressing equally jaded coffee house denizens. The poetry and music here is vital and alive. The performance has its own energy that goes beyond just the two performers and draws in the audience. There is a merging of the words and music that takes on a life of its own.

Neither is the content fey or artsy. In her poems and lyrics, Haley takes on real life issues and is clearly not one to hold her tongue. Among her topics are the murders of women in Vancouver that went ignored and uninvestigated for decades, drug culture in British Columbia, anorexia and bulemia, Wonderland (the movie about porn-star John Holmes’ drug involvement), and more. Shoolbraid’s music avoids the stereotypes of sweet electronic music or the schlock of Walter Murphy’s pop hits. Shoolbraid’s music abounds with rocking beats, solid blues riffs, surfing fills that would do Tangerine Dream proud. Put these words and music together, and the whole truly is greater than the parts.

Watching this duo in live performance and listening to a recording of Aural Haley differs only in the fine details. If there are flaws at all in this recording, they are technological and have nothing to do with the performances. At times, the sound is overmodulated and so becomes muggy. It’s possible that a bit too much compression may be enhancing this effect, adding to the mugginess of the sound. In my opinion, use of reverb is also excessive on this release, although a certain amount of reverb or echo is necessary in places to fill out the sound. Often, I find that digital recordings feel empty and are thus unsatisfying. This is usually because some producer has gone overboard cleaning up the sound until all depth has been removed. I’m happy to report that this recording has lots of “room” and feels close to analogue at times.

I’ve mentioned that Aural Heather stands firmly within an established literary and musical tradition. In that context, as I listen I am reminded of other east-coast artists. Shoolbraid’s spoken performance on “My Mountain” is reminiscent of Jock Blaney’s wonderful performances in the group 2nu2.com or the readings of Rod McKuen in pieces like “The Mud Kids.” Haley’s sung bits remind me of a number of other artists, especially at times of the recordings of California artist Belita Adair. Her spoken style reminds me of Sheryl Crow’s popular hit “All I Wanna Do” and of recordings by fellow Vancouverite Wyckham Porteous. Aural Heather is in good company, and is the equal of any of that company.

Whether you’re a long term fan of this artistic genre or it’s something you’ve not yet discovered, I highly recommend giving a listen to Aural Heather’s Princess Nut, subtit - Sound Bytes


"PUNK • POET • PRINCESS"

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
CONTACT: Pam Southwell-RPW Records
604 463-8339
rpwrecords@hotmail.com
http://www.rpwrecords.com


P u N k P o E t P r I n C e S s

AURAL Heather releases “P R I N C E S S N U T” C D

Vancouver, BC, April 11, 2008—Old School and proud of it, Heather Haley and RPW Records are gearing up for a spring release of her groundbreaking AURAL Heather cd of spoken word songs, “Princess Nut.”

Come celebrate at the official AURAL Heather, “Princess Nut” CD launch, Thursday, May 29, 8 PM at the Media Club in Vancouver with AURAL Heather and special guests Kate Newman, Susan Cormier, Beth Southwell and her band, Tony Bardach (of the Pointed Sticks), Kedrick James and emcee Kyle Hawke. Poet and publisher Warren Dean Fulton will be selling pooka press wares including one of Heather 's poems featured as part of their photo booth broadside series.

AURAL Heather is touring in July with dates in Ontario, Quebec and the eastern US. View the tour schedule and listen to AURAL Heather at: http://www.myspace.com/auralheather. Heather has videopoems and lots of other information and features at her website including her Anvil Press book of poetry. “Sideways”: http://wwwheatherhaley.com

AURAL Heather is available for interviews and personal appearances. Please contact pam@rpwrecords.

AURAL Heather is Heather Haley, Roderick Shoolbraid and “a unique, sublime fusion of song and spoken word.” Shoolbraid is a dazzling guitarist, composer, sound designer, and DJ. Haley is a maverick poet, singer, author and media artist often found pushing boundaries and always on the vanguard. “A Canadian national treasure,” Haley started writing verse in high school influenced by poets like bp Nichol, ee cummings and Susan Musgrave. Her life as a bona fide artist began on the stage of the infamous Smilin' Buddha fronting the all-girl punk band the Zellots. She was a member of The 45s with Randy Rampage and Brad Kent of DOA and the Avengers. Later she formed HHZ-Heather Haley & the Zellots-praised by music critic Craig Lee as one of 'Ten Great LA Bands'. She has made a commitment to honesty, feeling, craft and a sense of the absurd. “Supple and unusual,” her work asks all the questions a nice girl's not supposed to ask.
Haley is a gutsy and compelling performer who enjoyed a stint as an official BC Transit busker and has appeared at the Vancouver International Writers Festival, Crush Champagne Lounge, the Lamplighter Pub, Rime, Thundering Word Heard, the Art Bar in Toronto, Words & Music in Montreal, the Bowery Poetry Club in New York City, Red Sky Poetry Theatre in Seattle, Shakespeare & Sons in Prague, the Roar Lit Crawl with Edmonton's Raving Poets band and on CBC and Book Television. In 2004, she teamed up with Roderick Shoolbraid to produce a series of live shows and their first cd, Surfing Season. As Haley returns to her roots, their sound has evolved into the spoken word songs of AURAL Heather . This is brawny, uncompromising language from a voice that demands to be reckoned with” and there is nothing precious or flowery about the poetry on 'Princess Nut.' It rocks, in more ways than one!

Praise for Surfing Season:
“Beautiful. A credit to the genre.”-Ian Ferrier, Wired on Words
“Great job! An auspicious disc. One of the best albums of its kind.”-Kurt Heintz, e-poets
“Important work.”-Poseybeat

RPW Records is an independent label in British Columbia, Canada that showcases, promotes and sells independent music. They produce the compilation albums Violent Femmes and Coffee Music for Coffee Beings. Further information on AURAL Heather and Heather Haley is available through her website, http://www.heatherhaley.com as well as four tracks from “Princess Nut.”

# # #
- The Undercurrent


Discography

Surfing Season

Princess Nut

Photos

Bio

“AURAL Heather is the new weather, a unique, sublime fusion of song and spoken word by iconoclast, poet-singer Heather Haley and dazzling guitarist-producer, Roderick Shoolbraid.

“The intricate interplay of Haley’s words and Shoolbraid’s music works well in a studio recording and it was a pleasant surprise to see them carry it off so well in a live setting. These works are complex enough to have foiled a less talented duo. The poetry and music here is vital and alive. The performance has its own energy that draws in the audience. Put these words and music together and the whole truly is greater than the parts.” -Sound Bytes

These charming redheads, working in a myriad of media and from disparate backgrounds, have joined forces in bold experimentalism to produce a much-lauded video—Purple Lipstick—and their inaugural CD, Surfing Season.

Roderick Shoolbraid has always been open to re-working the paradigms at hand, though classical music and jazz are the pillars of his career. Haley is an artist intimate with the music of language, often found pushing boundaries and always on the vanguard. Raised on folk and country music, she discovered rock and was composing songs and poems from the age of six. “A Canadian national treasure,” she started writing verse in high school and formed HHZ—Heather Haley & the Zellots—praised by LA Weekly music critic Craig Lee as one of the city’s “Ten Great Bands.”

AURAL Heather’s brawny, uncompromising and emotionally charged spoken word songs rouse audiences with a high-impact live show that places them in a genre-crossing, category-defying position, truly and only unto themselves.

• "Poetess and ramrod Heather Haley proves there's rock and roll beyond art."-LA Weekly

• “Powerful words driven by great beats and sounds.” -Harry Kipper, Kipper Kids

• “Brilliant! You rock, and you’re going to make your audiences rock.”-Biff Mitchell, BlackTop Motorcyle Gang

AURAL Heather has recently been featured on CBC Radio, Liquid Lunch and Howl with Nik Beat-CIUT Radio 89.5 FM-Toronto, CKUT-FM-Montreal, Wax Poetic-CFRO/Vancouver, CKXU-Lethrbridge, Word Slingers-WLUW FM/Chicago, Outsight Radio Hours-Detroit, Nette Radio and Blog Talk Radio/Los Angeles and covered by the Village Voice, Tom Harrison-Vancouver Province, Vincent Tingueley-Montreal Mirror. They just returned from the first leg of their international tour and dates in Ottawa, Kingston, Chicago, New York, Montreal and Toronto. AURAL Heather will make BC appearances at they prepare to tour in Europe in April and Australia in May 2009.

“Princess Nut” available for purchase at:

http://www.iTunes
http://www.CD Baby.com
http://www.RPW Records.com

Links:

http://heatherhaley.com/aural_heather
http://www.sonicbids.com/auralheather
http://www.myspace.com/auralheather