Česká centra, Czech Centres

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Mar 24, 2010 12:00 AM - 12:00 AM


The bathroom tiles in Harrachov, the ski-jumping capital of the Czech Republic, were the first to hear the taped demos of Vaclav Havelka at the end of the nineties. Since then the singer-songwriter, performing under the alias selFbrush, has moved from the mountains to the Czech capital Prague and has grown increasingly familiar on the Czech indie scene. He has released several recordings independently, toured all over Europe, and supported artists Faun Fables, Tindersticks and Black Mountain and appeared as a guest performer on recordings by bands including Ecstasy Of Saint Theresa. His eclectic musical talents enable him to handle a solo acoustic set in a café, fuse folk with electronic influences, or perform as a member of a rock band.


Concert at the Czech Center
Wednesday, March 24, 7 pm





selFbrush's debut album Ghost of a Handshake was released in 2004 by Prague folk and country label Good Day Records, the album received widespread critical praise and was quickly picked up by Radio 1, the Czech Republic’s best-known alternative radio station. Ghost of a Handshake blends the composing talents of Vaclav Havelka with the musical and production skills of multi-instrumentalist Mato Misik.

Misik plays a large part in the diversity of the debut album, which travels through indie rock, alt-country and acoustic folk, all the way to ambient analog minimalism. They recorded the album with a number of guest musicians

in Misik’s apartment.

Vaclav Havelka’s easy-flowing songs are influenced by Smog, Will Oldham, Wilco, Beck, Tom Waits, Hayden, M. Ward, Sonic Youth, Sparklehorse, Devendra Banhart, Karen Dalton, Tim Hardin, Joanna Newsom and Mark Lanegan among others.  In 2005, following two years of Havelka and Misik’s sonic experimentations, selFbrush stripped down to an intimate folk/alt-country style. Havelka recorded second album Three Names in 2006 in Italy’s Maximum Volume studios, with producer Massimo Sartor.


Three Names was released to great critical acclaim in 2006 on Havelka’s own Absent Hour Records, with cover art by reknowned contemporary Czech painter Jakub Hosek. Soon afterwards Havelka began collaborating with American violinist, singer and sound engineer Bethany Lacktorin, leading to a string of performances as a duo. Havelka also recorded the song Wrong Time, Wrong Place with Czech electronica group Ecstasy of Saint Theresa, which appears on their album Watching Black.


In 2007, Havelka met Italian multi-instrumentalist Mattia Coletti through Prague’s avante-garde label Minority Records, and the pair began extensive tours of Italy and the Czech Republic. Afterwards, they laid down the basic tracks for the EP titled ...For A New Mother. The recordings were then arranged and produced by Havelka and Bethany Lacktorin, who also appears on vocals and violin. The line-up was completed by Italian drummers Giorgio Menossi and Michele Grossi, and American bassist Kenseth Thibideu (Sleeping People, Howard Hello, Tarentel, Pinback). The cover drawing is made by leading contemporary Czech visual artist Josef Bolf.


In 2009 Vaclav Havelka is working on a second record with his band Please The Trees produced by David Boulter from Tindersticks, a follow-up to the band’s acclaimed 2007 debut Lion Prayer. He is also composing music for the theatre play August: Osage County by Pulitzer Prize-winner Tracy Letts, directed by Michal Docekal. The play will premiere at the Czech National Theatre on June 5th, 2009.





Ghost Of A Hanshake / Good Day Records, 2004

Three Names / Absent Hour Records, 2006

...For A New Mother / EP, TBA, 2009


Please The Trees:

Lion Prayer / / Absent Hour Records, 2007

Inlakesh / TBA, 2010


Music for theatre plays:

The Idiot / Dejvicke Divadlo, Praha, dir. Miroslav Krobot, 2008

Red Light Winter / Divadlo Na Zábradli, Praha, dir. Zdenek Janacek, 2008

August: Osage County / Stavovske Divadlo, Praha, dir. Michal Docekal, 2009


321 East 73rd Street
NY 10021 New York
United States


Mar 24, 2010 12:00 AM - 12:00 AM


České centrum

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