Harvester’s Slow Ascent of Mt. Tallac


Harvester has been talking about the new album for years.  It has been 90% done for the last few.  So what’s the fucking problem, Harvester??  Well, it’s not really a problem so much as the reality of us being in our mid-40s, having families, living in different states, and playing in bands with people in the cities we live in.  It’s a miracle that Harvester even clings to life in the first place.  While we’ve all moved on to different things, C# tunings and dog piles still beckon.

In 2006 we met in Ashland, OR, where Sean Harrasser was briefly living.  Jon Sebat was busy making breakthroughs in autism research in Long Island, NY, so we brought Ario Lynch along to play drums.  Ario had played with Sean and Todd in Dearest, Crown.  We spent a weekend quickly learning the skeletons of Sean’s songs and Ario made cassette recordings of them.  I went back to Sacramento, Todd and Ario went back to Portland, and Sean went back upstairs.

We threw around some different recording scenarios: Experiment and chill with Eno in the Bahamas, maybe hunker down in Chicago with Albini, or perhaps go balls out at Abbey Road??  We decided to follow our hearts and record with Ryan Martin in his Portland basement.  For free.

Harrasser in the basement bunker of Ryan Martin's Fort Lexington.

Harrasser in the basement bunker of Ryan Martin’s Fort Lexington. “Can I throw in some laundry after this take?”

The overall vibe of this batch of songs is wistful – more walks in the canyon, less rubber chicken.  Harrasser was experiencing a major life transition and the songs reflect that.  Out of the previous Harvester albums, it’s closest cousin is probably Mud Is My Ally.  My personal favorite is “You Were Awful Things”.  It’s got great finger-picking, melody, and punk surprise.  Listen:

Besides redoing a few vocals and remixing a couple of songs, Mt. Tallac was remastered a few months ago.  Think of it as an upgrade from mid mid-fi to upper mid-fi.  The album has a lot of mid-tempo swing to it.  One of the best examples of this is the narrative “Harbor Master’s Boat.”  Climb aboard:

Like most Harvester releases, you can order it from your pals (ok, pal) at Lather Records.  It’s available on CD or download.  You can still get most of the other Harvester titles from the Lather Catalog site.  When will Harvester play out again?  We’re still working on that.  The plan is to play Chico, Sacramento, and Portland this year.  Updates and nostalgia can be seen on Harvester’s Facebook page and/or Lather’s new Twitter babble.

Bands with mannequin fetishes struggle to finish albums.  Fact.

Bands with mannequin fetishes struggle to finish albums. Fact.

2003 Feature on Harvester in Sacramento News & Review

“She Don’t Mind That” video   

More Harvester videos

Sean’s band The Western Divide; Jed’s band San Kazakgascar; Todd’s band Killed by Bears

About latherrecords

A CoOp label for myself and my friends.
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