Welcome to King Baldwin's site. 

Here you will find new music,

old music, other music, and not music.

King Baldwin

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King Baldwin makes music. It's usually what one would call 'rock' music (to be vague) or 'art rock' music (to be arrogant). In any regard, said music happens thanks to the cooperation of a conglomerate of motley, intrepid souls: instrumentalists, engineers, vocalists, friends, relatives, and cravat-wearing ghosts who haunt the fertile creative hours of the night. Really, though, about that last one - Beethoven and Bach are just as vital to the King Baldwin creative process as Brecht or Bowie or Beck. We've got a sincere goal that genres spanning centuries can give each other hugs and even hang out as friends and lovers.  

 

Steering the ship are Alexander Eccles and Gabe Turow. Gabe and Alexander have now released two albums under the King Baldwin moniker; as collaborators, they've created seven albums together. The plan is... to not stop. With backgrounds encompassing classical, rock, funk, jazz, and afrobeat, the two are committed to creating music that's interesting and thoughtful. And, at times, weird as hell. But that's ok. In fact, that's chic, right? (Buy our music please please please)​

King Baldwin's Pictures At An Exhibition is both classical and rock, cover and rewrite, and continues the lineage of reframing Mussorgsky's famous classical work through rock and pop lenses. The piece has been referenced in tv and film: The Mighty Boosh, Burn After Reading, Looney Tunes, The Big Lebowski, even (yes) WrestleMania III. It's also been sampled by the likes of Michael Jackson and, most notably, covered/rewritten as a prog epic by Emerson, Lake and Palmer in the 70s. 

 

This rendition is a set of original songs inspired by and built upon Mussorgsky's thematic, conceptual, melodic, and harmonic content: King Baldwin has recreated each Picture with the combined contributions of a dead drunken Russian genius and two very-alive classically-trained songwriters. 


Alexander learned and performed Pictures At An Exhibition during high school. He listened only to classical music at that time, so finding Mussorgsky's weird, unruly, awesome stuff was tantamount to a kid's favorite band releasing a new album. Alexander remembers his favorite parts of the piece being the hymnal that appears

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twice in the concluding Great Gate Of Kiev, The Old Castle, and Baba Yaga. He also recalls not hitting a single right note in Baba Yaga (let's be fair: it's the piano-playing equivalent of sleeping on a bed of sledgehammers). 

Around 2014, Gabe and Alexander began discussing the idea to make a rock album wholly indebted to Pictures At An Exhibition. The composition, instrumentation, and lyrics all had to straddle the old and new and do so with a blend of obviousness and subtlety: Mussorgsky melodies become riffs; the band rocks yet is orchestral; and the lyrics adapt archaic imagery to modern ideas and problems. If you listen to Baba Yaga, which is now about an overprotective mother, it still drives and bangs like the original with downward crashes and even the same Aaagghhhh-I-Gotta-Get-Outta-Here bass octaves on the piano. In contrast, check out "Shell" and hear that the goofiness of "Ballet of the Unhatched Chicks" is retold as a metaphor for isolation, with only a single piano riff hinting at the source material (plus we tried writing that one as an up-tempo rocker and it sounded really dumb). Anyway, the whole project was and is pretty unusual, but Mussorgsky was self-taught and loved breaking the rules, so King Baldwin would like to think they have his blessing.  

 

You might think of this as a conceptual rock album, or you might think of it as a really, really out-there classical cover. Either way, it couldn't have been completed without a slew of talented friends, and it won't exist beyond the dusty corners of unknown rock acts without your support. So: if you dig this material, share it, enjoy it, and spread the word. But mostly enjoy it; we made this for us, but we also made it for you.  

Contributing Artists:

Alexander Eccles (Piano, Vocals, Production)

Gabe Turow (Drums, Keyboards, Production)

Zach Ostroff (Bass)

Dylan Haas (Sax, Guitars, Vocals, Production)

Duncan Lindsay (Guitars)

Paul Hanson (Bassoon)

Brendan Ahern (Vocals)

Debbie Neigher (Vocals)

Jay Pellicci (Engineering, Production, Mixing)

Alan Douches (Mastering)

Liz Turow (Graphic Design)

This album was recorded at both 25th Street Recording and New Improved Recording in Oakland, CA. We also tracked lead guitar at Shifted Recording in Brooklyn, NY.  The album was mastered at West West Side Music in New Windsor, NY.

Mussorgsky

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Explore Our

 

Go track by track and compare the original Pictures at An Exhibition to the new King Baldwin album. Also learn about Mussorgsky: his life, his visionary musicality, and his alcohol-soaked demise. 

 

 

Breakup

 

Forged in deeply intense recording sessions, King Baldwin's previous album is a meditative, mournful, cathartic collection of songs exploring what it feels like to be sad, lonely, lost, and really depressed. Whether it be the expansive and frank state of being in the title track or the more cathartic realizations in It Just Wasn't Our Time, it's our sincere hope that this music lets you reflect on a tough time or maybe even helps you get through one.

Contributing Artists:

Alexander Eccles (Piano, Vocals, Production)

Gabe Turow (Drums, Keyboards, Production)

Jay Pellicci (Engineering, Production, Mixing)

Bob Weston (Mastering)

This album was recorded at Tiny Telephone in San Francisco, CA, and at New Improved Recording in Oakland, CA. It was mastered at Chicago Mastering Service. 

 

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© 2018 King Baldwin 

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