Updates

A Man With Some Strange Ideas

July 17, 2017

One evening in 2009, in a dark corner of Yur’s Bar & Grill in northwest Portland, Tyler and I met a man with some strange ideas.  

In record label school the first thing they teach you is to not sign the inactive 15-person orchestral-basement band.  There’s a variety of practical and financial reasons for this.  And yet, here was Jared Mees—one half of the husband-and-wife-operated record label, Tender Loving Empire—with a simple proposition:

“If you make an album, we’ll release it.”

At the time of this proposal the band called Typhoon had been on an undefined hiatus for over a year and this particular songwriter was considering a career in the United States Postal Service.  I had a few new songs in the works, but my big plan to release them was a cassette tape buried in the ground.  

Luckily, Jared’s strange idea won out and consequently we recorded Hunger & Thirst.  From there it’s not a great leap to say, without TLE, Typhoon would be a band even fewer people have heard of.

To Brianne, Jared and entire TLE family:  Happy birthday!  Can’t wait to celebrate.

Tickets go on sale Friday July 21st: http://bit.ly/TLE10YR

Note: For those of you wondering “Why is Typhoon only playing ten-year anniversaries?”—I hear you. What began in late 2015 as a musical meditation on memory, its relation to fiction and its invariable deterioration—after over a year of writing, arranging, recording, revising, hair-pulling, ear-bleeding, the occasional joys and traumas of everyday life and the world’s tipping towards post-modern fascism—I now hold in my hands the final masters of our fourth LP.  

More soon.  

xoxo,

k

Kyle Made An Album & He’s Going On Tour

September 20, 2016

My Friend,

If you are reading this either: (1) it is likely that you are or have at one time been a listener of the contemporary music ensemble Typhoon and the paper trail of this fact has brought you to my doorstep, OR (2) having taken a few capricious turns in that garden of forking paths better known as the internet, you arrived here fortuitously. In the latter case, things are greatly simplified: I am a musician and I have recorded an album of songs; this is the accompanying blurb–half introduction, half apology (in the music business, as it is in the world of animal control, unknown entities must either wear ID tags or risk euthanasia).

Now, for those precious few of you familiar with my work, a small caveat: this is not the Typhoon record that was promised. The next installment in the orchestral-existential saga is currently underway but will not be suitable for public consumption for another several months. I’m sorry. It is what it is.

What you have here is a slight and hopefully scenic detour:

WHAT WILL DESTROY YOU
or
(The Net Sum of Sadness Down an Iota)
A solo record by yours truly

Most of these songs were written in about a day, many of them while walking aimlessly around Portland, others wrote themselves in the moments just before sleep. They were recorded and mixed with the invaluable help of Paul Laxer from the inviolate comfort of his living room, mostly in the evenings during the winter and early spring of 2015. At the outset there was no deliberate attempt at an overarching concept, though once finished and lined up together the theme of my subconscious was revealed to me: this was a record about love, more specifically (not devolving into platitudes just yet), the ambivalence of erotic love.

With a couple exceptions these songs are about kinds of love, from old fashioned heartache to acute sadomasochism; some drawn from personal experience and others extrapolated from years of keen observation on the subject. For the sake of research, I would be interested to hear your thoughts on any or all of them, though beware my dear reader, what is heard is often as revealing of the listener as it is of the teller.

Correspondence can be directed to wearetyphoon@gmail.com

Yr faithful servant,

k

20 September 2016


What Will Destroy You is out now. Stream it on Soundcloud, Spotify or Apple Music. Download it from the Typhoon store, Bandcamp, iTunes or anywhere else you get digital music.

You can reserve a vinyl copy from the Typhoon store. The first pressing is limited to 1,000 copies and comes with an instant digital download. Everyone who orders a vinyl copy between today and October 7th will be entered to win a signed WWDY test press.

You can pick up low-fee presale tickets for Kyle’s first solo tour from the Typhoon web store as well. Solo sets will include songs from WWDY as well as familiar Typhoon numbers, and maybe even a few songs from that new album you’ve been waiting for.

Jan 03 – Los Angeles, CA @ Bootleg Theater – InfoTickets
Jan 04 – San Francisco, CA @ Swedish American Hall – Info | Tickets
Jan 06 – Portland, OR @ The Old Church – SOLD OUT
Jan 07 – Seattle, WA @ The Triple Door – InfoTickets
Jan 09 – Vancouver, BC @ Rickshaw Theatre – InfoTickets
Jan 10 – Spokane, WA @ The Bartlett – InfoTickets
Jan 18 – Washington, DC @ Sixth & I Historic Synagogue – Info | Tickets
Jan 19 – Philadelphia, PA @ Johnny Brenda’s – Info | Tickets
Jan 20 – Brooklyn, NY @ Rough Trade NYC – Info | Tickets
Jan 21 – Boston, MA @ Cafe 939 – Info | Tickets

Tickets are on sale now.

Tour Dates

05 Nov
Portland, OR @ Revolution Hall [SOLD OUT]
w/ Loch Lemond and Jared Mees

Live at The Crystal Ballroom

Buy the album

Released as a free / pay-what-you-want album on November 11, 2015.

Recorded and mixed by Paul Laxer.

When I was a kid, the Crystal Ballroom–in Portland, Oregon–was about as high a pinnacle to which one could aspire. Our parents used to drive us up from Salem to see bands like Built to Spill and The Get Up Kids, events which, in the mind of a fourteen year-old boy, were enough to sanctify the venue as a sort of holy place.

Today, the fact that my band has actually played at the Crystal Ballroom does not reconcile easily with my early associations. That the stage there has been graced by so many of my musical idols seems to preclude the notion of my ever setting foot on it.

But then life is strange. I am over the moon to present you with Typhoon: Live at the Crystal Ballroom. Please forgive the minor muck-ups of the performance–to say we were all a little overwhelmed by the evening would not be an overstatement.

xoxo,
km
11.11.2015

White Lighter

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Released August 20, 2013 on Roll Call Records.

Recorded and Produced by Paul Laxer. Mixed by Jeff Stuart Saltzman.

Dear Reader,

I don’t remember much, but I remember this one thing with clarity.

I was in the backyard looking up at my father; he was bent over raking leaves, explaining to me over his shoulder what it meant to be a good man–to keep your word and do the work you set out to do. I was a child then and the words were a mystery, having little conception of what kind of man I would be, what sort of work I would do or how I would set about doing it. A few years later, as all my friends were entering adolescence, I got sick. Mine was puberty with a vengeance.

In my last letter I made mention of my illness. Since then I have been asked about it often and feel I should elaborate on its significance. The illness itself offers a tempting narrative hook, but while it is romantic to dwell on the individual suffering, what matters is the universal implication: Once on the other side one finds that there are no sides, that there exists no great partition between sickness and health, only various stages of dying and various ways of surviving that death.

This discovery had on me the effect of leveling all logical binaries to be replaced by ambivalence–not only could I not tell the difference between sickness and heath, but had further difficulty telling friends from enemies, progress from regress, love from resentment, sometimes even women from men. I realized that if I were to accomplish anything it would be to recover some kind of meaning in what my friend Zach Schomburg called the Wild Meaninglessness. You can consider it one very bewildered man’s attempt to explain the universe, to himself, in the language of bewilderment.

I had a lot of help. Without my friends in typhoon this music would have never reached your ears. It is thanks to them that these songs are songs and not just a bunch of quasi-apocalyptic ramblings. We recorded them on a farm in Happy Valley, OR while we lived there for a short, utopian six weeks in the spring and summer of 2012. The record is a collection of seminal life moments, in more or less chronological order, glimpsed backwards in the pale light of certain death, brought to life by a remarkable group of people who hold as I do that the work is somehow important.

When we started working on White Lighter, I had reason to believe that it would be the last thing I ever did. It is now six months since we finished. I’m still here and there’s still work to be done.

k.r.m. 6.21.2013

A New Kind of House

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Released March 8, 2011 by Tender Loving Empire.

Recorded and Mixed by Paul Laxer.

Dear Reader,

I once came very close to dying (bug-bite, failed organs), and though my life was spared thanks to thanks to modern medicine and a kidney given to me by my father, nonetheless I live with a persisting sense that my time is borrowed. My resolution–what I intend to do with my finite allotment– is to reach some small, yet conclusive understanding of my life in particular and the world in general; an understanding accomplished, in part, through a combination of music and words.

The last record we made, Hunger & Thirst, is a record that purposefully confuses physical sickness with ontological sickness, i.e. that most desires are only symptoms of the desire to be someone else. This new record picks up where we left off, though this time “purposefully confusing” the idea of time as a place. It imagines that my past is a composite of old houses and apartment buildings, that my memories are these little artifacts strewn about, and then there’s me with a single candle, picking up the artifacts one at a time and examining them by the dim light.

Songs as personal as these perhaps ought to be burned or buried rather than be paraded before an audience. But there is something transfigurative in playing music with so many close friends–what starts out as a solemn, solitary attempt is turned into something both communal and cathartic. I think we even have fun at times.

A New Kind of House (the title itself is borrowed from the brilliant poetry of Zach Schomburg) was artfully recorded on location (our house) by repeat-collaborator Paul Laxer; the artwork was beautifully realized by Ricky Delucco, and we have Tender Loving Empire to thank for so tenderly helping us put out a record a second time.

kyle ray morton / 01.11.2011

Hunger & Thirst

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Kyle Morton sings the first line of Typhoon’s Hunger & Thirst, “I’ve started a new beginning…suspiciously like the old one, only this time, I’m ready”, with the bravery and trepidation of someone who is staring down a familiar path, with all its known challenges and potential pitfalls, surrounded by his dearest longtime friends.

The seven core members of Typhoon (17 total contributors sing, play upright bass, toy piano, real piano, and a crumpled plastic bag for texture on Hunger & Thirst) have all known each other since high school or before, are aged 21.8 years on average, and either live together or within walking distance of one another. When playing unannounced house parties in their native Portland, Oregon, it is not uncommon for word to rapidly spread like wildfire online and over the phone, resulting in upwards of 400 people flocking to the scene within an hour of any announcement. There is a reason for this, and it’s not that anyone is mistaking Typhoon for a feel-goodfun-time-youthful-lots-of-members-andinstruments-party-band. It’s that Typhoon is magnetic, stunning, hypnotic, subdued in their visceral grandeur. People who know Typhoon—a dedicated population—have been waiting for this record for five years. The catharsis is palpable for them, and for the band.

When Morton and the other members of Typhoon (a force involving two drummers, multiple guitars, a horn section and group singing) play for a crowd at one of these houses or at a legitimate venue, it is blaringly evident that they are seasoned beyond their young age. Watching such a group edit, control and restrain themselves, fully aware of the beautiful tension of space between a whispered vocal and an explosive payoff, is an exercise n watching the kind of nonverbal cmmunication that is only possible through deep, almost familial, connection. Fittingly, producer Paul Laxer recorded Hunger & Thirst in Morton and his bandmates’ beloved old Victorian rental house. The lease was about to be up; the landlady was about to be back from Korea—everyone knew their time there was limited, that they were crafting an aural snapshot using room mics and dining rooms.That house can be heard all over the record if you’re listening for it, spaciously framing Typhoon’s lush, well-edited orchestration, its wood floors perfectly warming Morton’s empowered, concerned, delicate vocals in a way that any studio environment would be hardpressed
to capture.

These are songs about striving for what you want, then realizing that once you have it, you don’t want it anymore; that maybe that elusive “thing” was never really the issue anyway. Morton sings about the searches, in all their permutations, the bruises healed by those important to you, impermanence, joy, and
finding peace within the incessant desire that has always been man’s burden. He sings with strength and hope about renewal (“Starting Over”), with the entire band in gospel-chorus about confronting and progressing (the 47 second “The Mouth of the Cave”) and with brutal honesty about struggling with a lifelong illness (“The Sickness Unto Death”). Everyone has their own unique path to follow, and Hunger & Thirst is a record that should remind us of the preciousness of exploration, the value of those we meet along the way, and the power within that sustains us on our quests.

Young Fathers [Live At The Crystal Ballroom]

Young Fathers [Live At The Crystal Ballroom]

Prosthetic Love [Official Music Video]

Prosthetic Love [Official Music Video]

Dreams of Cannibalism [Official Music Video]

Dreams of Cannibalism [Official Music Video]

"Young Fathers" [Official Music Video]

"Young Fathers" [Official Music Video]