VENTIFACTS, Damon Waitkus’ microtonal songwriting project with Ben Spees of The Mercury Tree, has released its first full-length album. Ventifacts grew out of a mutual

admiration and burning curiosity about what a fusion of

these two projects’ equally distinctive but quite disparate

styles could possibly sound like.

Like The Mercury Tree, Ventifacts makes extensive use

of microtonal instruments and tunings, creating colorful,

deeply-layered recordings that employ a wide range of

instruments both familiar and unusual, and feature guest

appearances by members of both parent bands. At heart,

this is deeply emotional music, devoted to melody,

narrative, and the thrill of the unexpected. Under the

pandemic’s hothouse conditions, Ben and Damon have

been feverishly pinging recordings back and forth between

Oregon and Vermont for two years, and this weirdly

joyous album is what came out of it.


Jack O’ The Clock’s new album, “Leaving California,” is now available on CD and as a download through Cuneiform Records.

Check out a new INTERVIEW with Damon Waitkus on

the making of Leaving California, the past and future of

Jack o’ The Clock, and his VENTIFACTS.


“...the quintet maintain clarity and breathing space in these intricate compositions, which contain traces of...all manner of ancient and modern Americana, with all the elements working together in an uncontrived way.” --THE WIRE, August 2021

“Each of these compositions is a magnificent example of how truly ‘progressive’ music can bridge musical gaps and expand its audience. Even though these seven songs unfurl over 45 anxious and dramatic minutes, the album still feels too short. It also feels like a candidate for record of the year.” --Shepherd Express

“[Leaving California] sounds like it was laid down in one truly inspired session...The rich textures and top shelf musicianship make it a real joy to listen to. And like a multi-faceted diamond there is always something new to discover, no matter how often it is played.” --Here Comes The Flood

“The album's architecture is...complex, featuring songs that seem created by a group of mad scientists who cross musical DNA with supervillain-like glee... Jack O' the Clock have a sound so distinctive, it almost functions as its own genre.” --SevenDaysVT

“[Leaving California” is complex, weird, and challenging at the same time...It has a wacky, mind-boggling, gentle, and crazy texture.” --Echoes and Dust

“[A]fter more than ten years, Waitkus and company know how to play together and have developed an idiom that suits them perfectly...Leaving California is the product of a mature band at the top of their game, and we can hope that their bi-coastal next phase continues the upward trajectory.” --Expose

“[M]uch like every album that preceded Leaving California, this labyrinthine ‘chapter nine’ is the best yet...[This is] one of those albums that seems to sweep you along in its emotional heft, but if you stop to listen harder, all kinds of lovely things await your puppy-like eagerness...”--The Progressive Aspect

“[Jack O’ The Clock are] perhaps the foremost modern dark Americana outfit...The mood to these songs is melancholy and yet also oddly exhibiting more joy than the group’s previous outings...[T]he songs call upon disturbing imagery combined with a strange sense of humor.” --Avant Music News 

“While this is a record which fights and defies you to classify it, it is nevertheless paradoxically accessible – at least, accessible enough to make the more out-there sections palatable enough listening until they find their focus in your mind and heart.” 

--Velvet Thunder


Damon, Emily and Kate trying out some new material, August 2021. It’s been

over 4 years since we’ve played together, but it hardly felt like it. We are

gradually building towards something here, ideally something live, pandemic-

willing--it’s been too long! Stay tuned...