Rick Rizzo (Eleventh Dream Day) and Tara Key (Antietam) have been a driving force in the Chicago/Louisville/New York rock underground for well over 25 years. Rick Rizzo is the guitarist/vocalist and founding member of Eleventh Dream Day, founded in 1983 and having released music on Homestead, Atlantic, and since 1997 on Thrill Jockey.
Tara Key is the guitarist/vocalist and founding member of Antietam, also founded in 1983 and having released music on Homestead, Triple X, and currently Carrot Top Records. The Village Voice has called Tara “the best female guitarist this side of the Atlantic.” Carrot Top will release the new Antietam record Tenth Life in May.
Just ten years ago, Rick Rizzo and Tara Key put the finishing touches on their Thrill Jockey debut, Dark Edson Tiger, did a few live shows including All Tomorrow’s Parties at Camber Sands, and jubilantly declared the whole affair a rousing success, vowing to ride the tsunami swell of momentum into their next project.
And now, in a Van Winkle like-daze, they are back, a new batch of instrumental collaborations ready to test the brave new decade. It would be easy to say that they simply wanted to wait out the debacle of poor government and unmitigated corporate greed, but truth be told, the seeds for Double Star were sown in early live New York City sessions with bassist Tim Harris not long after the Dark Edson dust had settled. These let-the-tape-roll sessions produced some of the guitar psychedelia that long-time observers might have expected from these two, including the epic tracks that now comprise "Noisy Attic" as well as the genesis of "Interruptive Organ".
Momentum, as any college basketball fan knows, is a fickle beast, and the astral duo lost it, although not unproductively, as they put their energies back into what “brung em” in the first place—Tara’s Antietam released their Victory Park and Opus Mixtum records while Rick’s Eleventh Dream Day put out the Prairie School Freakout reissue as well as Zeroes and Ones.
In the meantime though, they always returned to the digital swap method — Chicago-NYC-NYC-Chicago that generated D.E.T., now sending electronic files as opposed to bulky tapes. On Rizzo’s yearly visits to New York, Tara and Rick found time between tennis and tapas to lay down more loops and tracks, slowly building what would become Double Star. Josh Clark changed the landscape with his percussive sensibilities.
The DNA for this album of course lies in their respective Kentucky punk rock roots, but a lot of living has been done between then and now. Double Star is a barrel-aged kind of record, sometimes inviting small fragrant sips, but sometimes asking you to knock one back and burn the throat a little. Worth waiting a decade for.
Rick and Tara will convene for a handful of special Double Star performances in New York and Chicago in 2011 before parting ways, picking up their guitars, and hitting the road in support of Eleventh Dream Day’s new Riot Now! LP and Antietam’s forthcoming LP Tenth Life.