Josh Cole

Josh Cole

BandRockAcoustic

Dust-choked vocals and barbed-wire guitar corralling punchy, teary-eyed, mystic songs into one righteous abode. Crash the house party...

Biography

After appearing with Wilco, Patty Griffin and Chuck Prophet on Paste magazine's first-ever CD sampler, Josh Cole ventured out as a wandering philosopher, a singing vagabond, a guitar-toting gourmet cook. Along the way he invaded the households of kind strangers, swapping songs for a roof over his head, and even worked on an organic goat cheese farm in the Oregon Coastal Mountains. Now, out of gratitude for all the warmth and hospitality he found while roaming the earth, Josh Cole and The Household bring you Hypocriticool, with dust-choked vocals and barbed-wire guitar corralling 13 punchy, teary-eyed, mystic songs into one righteous abode.

"While working on my brother's farm, I realized the industries of agriculture and music are the same in that they’ve grown too big," Cole says. "But when you're a farmer or musician on a small-scale, working household style, when it’s all about your relationship to your community, nature, and your craft--when you've got that in harmony--that's when it's not hypocritical. Life is bigger than being cool; to make better music and a better world you have to concentrate on being good to yourself and those around you and not being defined by what you're up against."

Hypocriticool is an eclectic collection that represents a conscious effort on Josh Cole’s part to define himself by bringing together extremes of sounds and words. While there is a lot of good music being made today, when he surveys the horizon Cole sees a great vacancy -- or rather, a vacancy for greatness. “That vacancy is somebody who pulls together the balls of rock and the lyrical assertiveness of classic folk and country to make original, quirky, hard-hitting songs; songs that awaken people’s imaginations and create new metaphors to cope with a radically shifting world,” Cole says. From Woody Guthrie to Bob Dylan to the Clash to Fugazi, Cole believes that “songs -- not the genres -- dictate what music should sound like.”

Recorded over a two-year period with veteran engineer/producer Nick Joyce (Miles Davis, Mighty Mighty Bosstones), the thirteen tracks of Hypocriticool feature Coles' own Household: drummer Peter Koeplin (Kahoots, Alotia, Drop Nineteens) pounding out a deep pocket and subtle time signature changes with raw ease, and long-time collaborator Andy Macdonald contributing bass, keyboards, and guitar that throb with an orchestrated sense of space and melody.

Hypocriticool also features several notable guest appearances. Boston blues guitarist Lydia Warren contributes a smoking lead and harmonies in the song “Leaning,” while New York singer-songwriter Felix McTeigue jumps in on the vocal choruses as if to emphasize (or sympathize with) Cole's overzealous romantic gestures. The haunting nightingale voice of singer-songwriter Rose Polenzani (Voices on the Verge, Daemon Records) sweetens several tracks. Her playful back ups ride the humor on "Hilary, You Drive a School Bus Through My Heart" (a flippant homage to Morrissey) while the delicate duet "Love is A Comma (Hannah and Chuck's Wedding Waltz)” evokes bittersweet tears.

The CD’s stunning package was conceived by veteran British designers Ken Ansell (UB40, XTC) and Luke Wakeman of The Clinic. Ken and Luke subtly meld images of a world-weary Josh Cole playing guitar at the Utah salt flats with those of a clean-shaven Cole rocking out in full color with The Household -- offering a deceptively simple visual for the space where quiet and loud collide.

Lyrics

Home is on the Horizon

Written By: Joshua Alexander Cole

Coloured lights, blurried sight
Dropping fire on spinning tires
A sinking ship, the sunset strip
Unending celebration

The house of brick, the pretty chick
Lucidity, just like she knows me
A lover’s weave, again I leave
Uncertain destination
And home is on the horizon

The cool air clears, breathing near
Perfecting, yet intersecting
Still so vexed to know what’s next
Unpatterned repetition

Caring still reaping ill
Lessons burn, still to learn
What is required, lifting fire?
Unimpaired ignition
But home is on the horizon

So why am I so goddamn afraid?
I got more than I’ll ever need
So why am I so goddamn afraid?
If home is on the horizon

The forward move, the choice improved
Thinking back and snipping slack
A familiar road, I should have knowed
Unsettling cognition

What is home? Not earth, not bone
A lover’s word, a pain endured
A fast embrace, and dreams unlaced
Unadorned, unconditional
And home is on the horizon

Why am I so goddamn afraid?
I got more than I’ll ever need
So why am I so goddamn afraid?
If home is on the horizon

Women & Dreams

Written By: Joshua Alexander Cole

And when I say that I hate music,
What I mean is that I’m tired of being alone
And when I tell you that it’s over,
What I mean is I can’t believe that you could be that strong

And when I look for you in the cracks in the sidewalk
What I mean is, “Why do you approach so slowly?”
And when I tell you that I don’t believe in you
What I mean is that I’m glad that you believe in me

But it wasn’t that way from the beginning of my story
Where nothing equals quite what it seems
Oh, but there really ain’t no cause to worry
It’s just what you get when you learn your lessons from women & dreams

And when my eyes say that I’m not sure
I’m just waiting for you to say something sweet
And wondering why you’d waste your beauty on me
My eyes beg of you that beauty to repeat

And when I walk away with confidence
It doesn’t mean that I’m taking you for granted
And granted that all the signs might seem to tell you so
Well, I’m just glad that something beautiful has been planted

And when I gaze upon you in silence
I’m probably just holding in a scream
But one of joy, not of poverty or violence
That’s what yo get when you learn your lessons from women & dreams

And when I say that I hate music
I just can’t find that perfect song
And when I tell you that I love to be alone
What I mean is that I love to belong

But it wasn’t that way from the beginning of my story
And it probably won’t be that way in the ending scene
But, babe, there really ain’t no cause to worry
It’s just what you get when you learn your lessons from women & dreams

Leaning

Written By: Josh Cole

You made me cry out loud
You made me dream with the crowd My suffering self was lost
Before I had a chance to count the cost

I’m leaning forward too far
I wish loving you weren’t so hard
I lean in forward for the kiss
But somehow I always miss

I’m leaning in too far again and again I’m falling forward again

I ain’t looking for sympathy
I ain’t looking for you to agree with me My glass ain’t half empty, my glass ain’t half full
Tell me now, am I full of shit or am I wonderful?

It don’t hurt much when I fall
I just wish you could have caught me once is all
But I guess you catching wasn’t meant to be
My problem is not you, it’s gravity

I’m leaning in too far again and again I’m falling forward again

Discography

Hypocriticool
Released October 25, 2005

1. Home is on the Horizon
2. Leaning (Feat. Lydia Warren, Felix McTeigue)
3. Hilary, You Drive a Schoolbus Through My Heart
4. Angel, Don't Go
5. Punk Rock Revival (Feat. The Halleluyeah Choir)
6. Love is A Comma (Feat. Rose Polenzani)
7. I Could Turn To You
8. Want You Bad
9. The Space Betwixt Us
10. She . . .
11. When The Old Man Reaches for His Gun
12. Gestation
13. An Action Bird

Photosyntheses
Recorded and released in 2001

1. 2 B Flying w/u
2. Women & Dreams
3. Let it Go
4. Plant the Flowers
5. Here's the Pillow, There's the Light Switch
6. Floating
7. The Ballad of the Punk Rock Window Washer
8. Fallow Fields of Folly
9. The Brightest of Lights
10. Escuchalo
11. Warm Enough
12. Crazy, You Make Me

Caught Assuming Love Things
Recorded and released in 1998

1. A Prayer for Patience in a Time of Matt Trakker's Notable Absence
2. The Could-Be Dream Lover of My Lifetime
3. Concentrated Drink Mix
4. Caught Assuming Love Things
5. Rebecca
6. A Good Reason
7. 'cuckoo-song'
8. Twilight at Swingset Day
9. Soiled
10. Forgetting
11. To a Much-Loved Sister of Brother Francis
12. Lonesome Moon Position
13. Green Rhymes With Yellow

Set List

Can play 4 hours+ without playing covers.

Some Songs:
2 b flying w/u
An Action Bird
Angel, Don’t Go
The Brightest of Lights
The Cowboy on the Bus
Crazy, You Make Me
Easter Hymn
Escuchalo
Eye Candy
Fallow Fields of Folly
Floating
Gestation
Here's the Pillow, there's the Lightswitch
Hilary, You Drive a School Bus Through my Heart
Home from Away
Home is on the Horizon
I Could Turn to You
Leaning
Let it Go
Love is a Comma (Hannah & Chuck’s Wedding Waltz)
Plant the Flowers
Plastic City Blues
Punk Rock Revival
Punk Rock Window Washer, The Ballad of the
She . . .
Talkin' Tango in Seattle
The Space Betwixt Us
Want You Bad
Warm Enough
When the Old Man Reaches for his Gun
Women & Dreams