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 Band line-up 
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Joined: 11 Dec 2009 05:56
Posts: 5
Was it just me who felt a little short-changed (metaphorically) when the band appeared on their current Euro tour with such a different line-up? (Thor and Kim being 'on a break' and Jordan and Kevin, whose live contributions I always really enjoyed, apparently no longer part of the squad). I'm fond of the new album, a record which Thor and Kim have clearly both contributed heavily to. But I found it very hard to regard seeing them (twice) this week as watching anything other than Jonathan and four very competent sessions musicians.

What is Shearwater? Is it JM? Or is it a recognised 'band', because I'm not sure I know any more, and I'm quite surprised that the absence of Thor and Kim, and of Jordan and Kevin (whether or not they were ever officially part of Shearwater) has attracted so little comment.

Shearwater mean a lot to me. An awful lot. I've watched them about a dozen times in the last five years. But I just don't know how I felt about seeing JM on stage with four strangers.

06 Apr 2012 18:28
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Joined: 16 Jan 2011 22:49
Posts: 157
Location: Detroit, MI, USA
I really miss Kim and Thor too. They add a lot of dimension to the music and a ton of stage presence.

Jordan and Kevin left in 2010. They were credited as band members on TGA, but did not tour in the fall of 2010.

On the other hand, Danny Reisch (the drummer) produced Animal Joy. Lucas Oswald has been part of Minus Story and Hospital Ships along with Jordan. Mitch Billeaud is a member of Lemurs with Danny. I think Danny knew Christiaan, who might have the weakest connection to the band.

I saw the touring band live twice and am seeing them again next month. I thought they had a very good dynamic, especially for the Animal Joy material, back when I saw them, and if anything (judging from videos) they seem tighter now. Insolence, Pushing the River, Immaculate, Breaking the Yearlings are as indelible musical memories as any of the four performances I had previously attended (including the Island Arc show). And I really enjoy the backing vocals.

From what I've read and heard, the choice was not between touring with this band and touring with Kim and Thor and Jordan and Kevin. The choice was between touring with this band and not touring at all this year. I doubt Sub Pop would have released an album without any touring in support of it.

Though they have created some stunning and lasting musical worlds, I suspect the enterprise called "Shearwater" is more tenuous than many people realize. It sounds like there have been some serious existential crises in the last year. They got non-renewed by their label last year. I hope Animal Joy is a commercial success, but "success" is a far cry from what it was twenty years ago. As far as I know, they're not independently wealthy. Without money from touring, I don't know if they will continue making music.

So, to me, the question of "what Shearwater is" is a lot less important than whether Jonathan and Thor and Kim will keep professionally recording original music together.

07 Apr 2012 00:33
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Joined: 25 Jan 2012 15:05
Posts: 22
Shearwater Music LLC Company has the three members one would expect.

07 Apr 2012 19:32
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