Artist Spotlight: Lifetime Achievement Award

Indie rockers Lifetime Achievement Award played Bremen Cafe Thursday evening alongside singer-songwriter Ellie Jackson and Twin Cities-based noise pop band the Florists. They enlisted Jo Kellen of Florists for a song to commemorate the late David Berman of Silver Jews and Purple Mountains, who passed away two days ago.

Lifetime Achievement Award is the primary project of singer and guitarist Jay Joslyn, while Alex Shah plays bass and Grant Postier drums. The band carries elements of math rock, lo-fi, and garage rock. Their most recent record “The Music Is a Curse! Emotions Are a Burden!” came out in June.

Joslyn explains the album title.

“I always considered songwriting a means to kinda take thoughts and feelings I have and better understand them…like taking them outside of myself and that’s always been my process. It’s cathartic and helpful but it’s also frustrating when that’s the only way I feel I can understand my feelings by doing that.”

He goes on to describe the recording process, which had been the first time the band had fully written material together.

“We recorded everything at home – we did drums and bass at Alex’s house (we live across the street from each other) and then I recorded guitar and vocals at my house. We mixed and produced it there and then I had my childhood friend Jake at Wolf Street Studios master it. We kept it in the family, so to speak. January Twenty Eighteen (their 2018 release) is music I produced on my own, and Reprise of the Hard Times (their 2017 release) is the first album with all of us. Reprise was all songs I wrote before in my songwriting project and we hashed them out as a band.”

“This project started with Jay writing a new song a week for fifty-two weeks and writing and recording all the parts himself, so I thought it was very true to that trying to mix in that collaboration,” Shah added.

“I wanted to get better at songwriting and hone my craft in that way,” Joslyn concluded.

This show is the last show the band has had planned as of now.

“We’ve been playing out the songs on the new record for a very long time – for almost the entire time we’ve been a band,” Joslyn said. “I wanted to take those songs and put them into the world and move on from those so we can write new material. We took this summer to play a couple shows and promote the record.”

“We’re also both in a couple bands and that’s kinda how it works,” Shah said. “One will do something really cool and you’ll release an album and play out a few times on it, and then it’s like you take a break and write some stuff while your other band plays out some more.”

Joslyn will be performing solo a bit next month; he has plenty of music recorded on his own that has not been brought to the band yet.

“There’s a lot of stuff I’ve been sitting on that I haven’t dedicated time to, so that’s next for us.”

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