A Plea For Dreamland
Pirate ships, rail yards, skee ball machines, blackberry brandy, and the Coney Island boardwalk -- these are just some of the sights, sounds, and smells found in the dimly lit thoroughfares of A Plea For Dreamland, Jason's third full-length album and first since relocating to Brooklyn.
"When I moved from Boston to Brooklyn, I began writing a lot. I bought this notepad for scheduling temp jobs and I ended up scribbling all over it, whatever came into my head. It was fun then piecing these threads together, without worrying how they related to me or where they would end up."
As the title suggests, these songs evoke a feeling of somewhere else -- the ballroom of a seaside hotel, a bus station in Meridian, Mississippi, or a dingy car on the Coney Island Wonder Wheel. We find places and characters who are far from perfect but are making their way nonetheless. This is a common theme that runs through the album, with Coney Island taking center stage as a place where the bizarre and fantastical comes face to face with the grit and grime of city life.
"Dreamland was one of the earlier parks in Coney Island, which ended up burning down in 1911. It had the usual thrill rides, but it also had world exhibits like imitation Venetian canals, Alpine landscapes, and a massive Tower of Pompeii. It was like this magically bizarre land from far away. I was taken in by how Coney Island has become this beautifully wounded corner of the world. It's this place that's completely laid bare, unapologetic, and equal parts tragic and magic. When we began recording, I wanted the songs to sound magical but also have that dog-eared and frayed feeling."
A Plea For Dreamland, released in June of 2009, was recorded at Glass Eye Music (Brooklyn, NY), Ceramic Lady Studios (Cambridge, MA), Austin's Studio (Somerville, MA) and Great North Sound Society (Parsonsfield, ME); and was mixed by Rafi Sofer at Q Division and mastered by Ian Kennedy at New Alliance East. It features Joel Arnow (Heather and the Barbarians, Julian Velard) on drums, Zack Hickman (Josh Ritter, Mark Erelli) on bass and pump organ, Austin Nevins (Josh Ritter, Anais Mitchell) on electric guitars, lap steel, banjo, and glockenspiel, and Sam Kassirer (Josh Ritter, Langhorne Slim) on keys and vibes.
It was co-produced by Jason Myles Goss, Austin Nevins, Zack Hickman, and Joel Arnow.