La Bête


La Bête

Jordan Anderson and I had been playing together in The Armada for a short time when he brought up the idea of playing music with Alika Herreshoff, a fellow classmate at SMFA. La Bête started practicing in a loft in Chinatown where I was living at the time, then moved to a room shared with The Lot Six in the Sullivan Square Music Complex. Alika and Jordan traded off on Wurlitzer electric piano, bass, and guitar duties, though I think neither of them wanted to be stuck holding down the low end. Our songs had relatively vocal-friendly structures, but lyrics weren’t much of a priority, particularly in the beginning.

While on the hunt for a new guitar amp Alika was introduced by Mary Timony to Andy Abrahamson, who, in March 2002, recorded six songs with us at Studio 8. It was a real pleasure working with Andy, getting cool sounds, learning about gear. Back then he was using a 1/2″ 8-track machine and we wanted to track everything together (with the exception of Ben Clouette’s cello parts), so we got pretty creative with mic placement. For some reason we decided to try mixing the songs ourselves with ProTools and, sadly, we never got around to finishing the project. Here is the last stab we took at them:

The Introduction
The Bees
The Bull
The Slide
The Lamb

At our Sullivan Sq. space we recorded a few songs using Mary’s 4-track. Some of those songs are below:

The Lamb
The Bees
untitled

We played a few local shows organized by friends the year or so we were together. Andy recorded our set at the Midway: live at the Midway, 2002

Alika, Jordan and NoahAlika, Jordan and Noah outside Beckett’s Pub

playing at Beckett’s Pub

Our last and best show was opening for Mary Timony and The Ivory Coast at 608 (Lilly’s). Ben joined us on cello and Alika and Jordan both sang. I wish we had recorded that one.

Summer of 2002 Jordan went home to Portland while Alika, Ben and I worked on new material. However, when Jordan returned the magic was gone and we decided to call it quits.

La Bête

In the years following Alika went on to do a number of interesting things–he was a member of the Dearraindrop collective and attended graduate school at Cornell–and now resides in Berlin where he makes awesome paintings. Jordan finished his undergrad at Harvard then studied at King’s College London and currently makes music and writes record reviews in Bend, Oregon. It would be great to make music with those guys again someday.

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