Los Angeles-based musician Guy Blakeslee (aka ENTRANCE), has released a new track, “Not Gonna Say Your Name,” in advance of the President-elect’s impending inauguration. Blakeslee says of the song, “I really wanted to write a song expressing my own feelings about the election and the state of things in our country – like many I was in a state of mourning. I wondered, how can I sing about this without saying his name?” In addition to penning his own protest song, Blakeslee has created a playlist of his favorite other songs of that theme and has given it exclusively to The Talkhouse, – click HERE to listen to his picks, as well as his own song!
“Not Gonna Say Your Name” is now available via Thrill Jockey and on participating DSPs, with all proceeds from song purchases and streams going directly to Planned Parenthood, an organization that Blakeslee holds near and dear to his heart. “I decided to use the song to benefit PP because one of the things that is so shocking about the election result is that it sends such a negative message to women and girls,” he says. “It’s the least I could do – for all of the women in the world, in my life, and especially for my mother – to fight back and make a clear statement that we will not accept this backwards agenda.”
There are people who say
we oughta give you a chance
but there’s not a chance in hell
that we’ll gonna sit back and watch you try to turn back the clock
and just sigh and say “oh well”
No, we’ll fight you every step of the way
you’re playing a losing game
and you’ll be the one with nothing to say
but I’m not gonna say our name
I’m sick of your name,
I’ve heard it enough
I’d rather not hear it anymore
but you’re wrong if you think we can look the other way
while you kick our friends to the floor
And though it’s hard to accept you’re really here to stay
our culture is obsessed with fame
I might have to see your face a hundred times every day
but I’m not gonna say your name
you let your name
be a symbol of hate
and you never said a word
anything you say now is too little too late
it’s pathetic and absurd
I hear the voices of hate they’re getting louder each day
we’re all looking for someone to blame
but I’ll keep on singing for love anyway
and I’m not gonna say your name
tell me don’t you have a mother?
a daughter, a wife?
Man, you really oughta be ashamed
the way you brag about grabbing what gave you your life
you must really think life is a game
well a big storm is coming, it might last four years
maybe nothing will ever be the same
but we won’t move away, we will stay right here
and we’re not gonna say your name
ENTRANCE – Book of Changes – Out February 24th, 2017!
Book of Changes documents the journey back to ENTRANCE for an artist who has gone through a creative rebirth. Guy Blakeslee’s 10-song set is the first new ENTRANCE album in more than a decade and he’s joined by several very talented friends including former bandmate Paz Lenchantin (Pixies, Silver Jews), Frank Lenz (Pedro the Lion, The Weepies) and Lael Neale. The album was produced by Blakeslee with the help of American songwriter, producer, and multi-instrumentalist David Vandervelde (Father John Misty, Tim Kinsella, Jay Bennett) who also mixed the album. Additional mixing from Chris Coady (Future Islands, Cass McCombs, Tobias Jesso Jr.) who lent his talents to focus track “Always the Right Time.” Book of Changes was mastered by Grammy Nominated engineer Sarah Register (David Bowie, The Shins).
Book of Changes, the new album by Guy Blakeslee as ENTRANCE, is a poetic song cycle about the seasons of the heart, tracing an emotional journey through longing and emptiness to peace and redemption. The record achieves a seamless melding of the personal, political and philosophical, a vibrant document of an artist hitting a creative stride and discovering an expansive new sound. The adventurously produced collection of songs is reminiscent of Townes Van Zandt’s ruminative lyricism and the gypsy flavored orchestral explorations of Arthur Lee and Love, uniquely channeled through Blakeslee’s 21st Century approach to the spiritual dimensions of American songwriting in a way that gives an old form new power.
Book of Changes was written and recorded by Blakeslee over the course of a restless year of travel, touring and transformation. The album took shape in 11 different studios in Los Angeles and London, produced by Blakeslee and mixed by multi-instrumentalist David Vandervelde (Father John Misty, Jay Bennett) at Elliott Smith’s New Monkey Studios in Van Nuys, California. Additional mixing came from Chris Coady (Future Islands, Cass McCombs) who lent his talents to the song “Always the Right Time.” Grammy nominated engineer Sarah Register (David Bowie, The Shins) mastered Book of Changes.
On the new recording, Blakeslee is joined by several very talented friends including longtime collaborator Paz Lenchantin (Pixies, Silver Jews) and percussionist Frank Lenz (Pedro the Lion, The Weepies) as well as vocalists Jessica Tonder and Lael Neale and the drummers Derek James and Will Scott. The accompanying art by critically acclaimed artist Amanda Charchian captures Blakeslee with freshly blossomed orchids.
Strings, pianos, xylophones, bells and dreamy female voices swirl around fluid basslines and fingerpicked acoustic guitars. At the heart of these songs is a voice, which holds an intensity of emotion that can only come from the depths of the soul. From the devotional pop of “Always the Right Time” and the western bolero of “I’d Be A Fool” through the stark blues of “The Avenue” and the dark romantic flamenco of “Molly,” Blakeslee’s singing carries the narrative with heart-stopping force. Each unfolding chapter touches a new emotional nerve, from the Lee and Nancy style sway of “Winter Lady” and the apocalyptic film noir piano dirge “Leaving California” to the anthemic album closer “Revolution Eyes,” which dissolves in a stormy melt of piano and bells as the listener is swept away on an ecstatic wave of liberation and joy. While at moments the ghost of rock ’n’ roll is invoked, for the most part this is something more fragile and ethereal; music from a half-remembered dream, strange and familiar at the same time.
When asked about the impetus for the new sound and style, Blakeslee replied:
“I desperately wanted to get back to the essential nature of ‘SONG’ – as opposed to a ‘track’… Most music that is released nowadays is really a track, not a song – it would be impossible for one person with an instrument to sit down in a room and perform it… So it was important that this album begin from actual songs that I could sing with a guitar or a piano… all of the textures and sounds I added along the way are the icing on the cake to expand the experience for the listener, but at the heart is a real song, a basic text of words and a melody. I want to do my part to see that tradition isn’t lost. I believe there’s still a lot of power in a song.”