New York City’s Antietam – the indie rock veterans, featuring Tara Key, Tim Harris, and Josh Madell – mark their 30th year together by releasing a charity album with long-time friends, Eleventh Dream Day, Yo La Tengo, Will Oldham, Freakwater, David Grubbs, and many more.
His Majesty’s Request: A Wink O’Bannon Select was made during the COVID-19 pandemic to help supplement ex-Eleventh Dream Day guitarist Wink O’Bannon’s medical costs.
Sadly, O’Bannon passed away in June 2020, however Antietam have kept the prominent Louisville artist’s spirit alive by completing this record, with proceeds directly going to two Louisville charities, Girls Rock Louisville and AMPED.
Wink O’Bannon has been described as a key architect of the Louisville punk scene in the late ’70s, and was the primal force behind the roots rock act, Bodeco, later joining up with Chicago’s sleeping giant, Eleventh Dream Day.
His Majesty’s Request: A Wink O’Bannon Select features Antietam and friends reimagining some of O’Bannon’s favourite songs.
Joy Division’s Shadow Play gets the proper Rick Rizzo treatment, while Eleventh Dream Day bandmate, Douglas McCombs, features later in the record with Sonny Sharrock’s Who Does She Hope to Be? So too, Janet Bean (also of the aforementioned Freakwater), with her performance of Gang Of Four’s To Hell with Poverty (also featuring Rizzo, and Jaime Fennelly).
In between it’s an all-star cast of indie rock royalty which have rolled through the decades and provided us with memories that will last a lifetime.
The rollicking interpretation of Donovan’s Hurdy Gurdy Man from Catherine Irwin, Will Oldham, Tari O’Bannon, and Anna Krippenstapel; the gorgeous rendition of George Harrison’s Beware of Darkness from Oldham and Slint’s Todd Brashear; the one-two serenade of Ira Kaplan’s rendition of The Kinks’ Tired of Waiting and Tara Jane O’Neil’s take on Burt Bacharach’s This Girl’s In Love.
It’s all here. Music that has influenced generations, presented by (from Sun 13’s perspective), artists that have inspired us as writers and lovers of music over the past three decades to do what we do within these pages.
While such sad circumstances having prompted the release of His Majesty’s Request: A Wink O’Bannon Select, still, there is much beauty to be found and alongside their friends, Antietam have provided it here in spates with a fitting tribute.