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Toth

Thursday, April 11, 2019, 6:00 AM


In July 2016, Alex Toth was recovering from a broken foot and a broken heart, stuck in his fourth-floor apartment in Brooklyn with cast and crutches. This is where Tths achingly beautiful debut album, Practice Magic and Seek Professional Help When Necessary, was born.A few months earlier, Alex and his Rubblebucket cofounder and love of more than eleven years had consciously uncoupled, after a period of helping each other through devastating challengesovarian cancer and alcoholism, depression and crippling anxiety. It was a separation rooted in profound respect, marked by matching stick-and-poke tattoos, and followed by a continuing, fruitful creative partnership.In the wake of the breakup, Alexa nocturnal wind-up dance toy who only sometimes winds down (he has worn a nicotine patch for four years straight with no exit plan)was lightning-struck by sadness. Almost convalescent at times, in his words, though rarely still. A fiercely dedicated jazz trumpeter by training, Alex is always playing. More importantly, he is always, always writing. And that spring, in the midst of dance parties and silent meditations, rooftop smokes and intense crying jags, a new kind of music started to come. Raw, stripped-down songs unfurling in the middle of the night without agenda, bent over an acoustic guitar. It never occurred to Alex that he was making an album. The idea sprouted later that spring when he was co-directing a David Bowie tribute with his friend Kimbraafter hearing some of his new songs, she strongly encouraged Alex to turn them into a record, an idea he brushed off at first (they went on to co-write Down for the Count on the album). But it solidified in June 2016, when Alex was onstage with his punk project, Alexander F, and broke his foot. Stuck there in his apartment all summer, through practice, solitude, and a lot of silence, Tth came to life.Practice Magic and Seek Professional Help When Necessary, due May 2019 from Northern Spy Records (worldwide) and Figureight Records (UK/Europe), is a self-help guide unlike any othera breakup album before wholeness, but after anger. Where you might expect to find bitterness, theres Blessing Song; where you might expect to find blame, theres Copilot (this, Tths first single, landed to instant acclaim in fall 2018, with a spot on NPRs top songs of 2018). The album turns as it goes, through lush, windswept sonics (Gorilla Vs. Bear), bebop trumpet solos, and spare folk guitar, recalling the shimmery harmonies of the Beach Boys in one bar and the vocal touch of Arthur Russell in the next. Years of meditation have given Alex a Taoist farmers aptitude for hitting walls and finding windows. For remembering and letting goand discovering what magic remains.

Cost: $0.00
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215 North Lumpkin Street
Athens, GA 30606

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