Last Callers & Losers
The King Canutes are a Brooklyn/Paris combo comprised of Keir Woods and Richard Alwyn and a revolving cast of courtiers. Having met in New York as transplants from Manchester, UK (Woods) and Kansas City, MO (Alwyn), their rich, melodious compositions display native influences such as The Smiths and The Replacements and draw inspiration from wider sources including Lloyd Cole, Lou Reed, David Bowie, and the American Music Club. Their debut release, 'Last Callers and Losers,' has survived theft and relocation to reach it's November 2008 release date. An near completed version was stolen in the fall of 2006, mere days before Woods moved to Paris. Undeterred, the pair embarked on an international collaboration. Recorded by Jim Bentley at The Fort-Brooklyn the record features contributions from Dana Kletter (Dish, Dear Enemy), renowned jazz trumpeter Jim Rotondi and Margaret White (who has played violin for Belle & Sebastian and Yo La Tengo) as well as artwork by American contemporary art star Peregrine Honig. The band takes it's name from King Canute, ancient king of England, legendary for failing to halt the onrushing tide. Two apocryphal stories exist for his motivations: One claims his arrogance propelled him to have his throne set up in the surf, where the unyielding waves famously swept him away. Others suggest his true motivation lay in proving to a sycophantic court the limit of a king's power. Alwyn and Woods trade in such dichotomies and ambiguities within their songs, where characters struggle with the ramifications of their decisions.