Pub Can Records


Elegies & Laments
Ernest Hilbert
PC009 - released 2013

VINYL - $25
CD - $10
DDL - $5Ernest_Hilbert.html


ERNEST HILBERTErnest_Hilbert.html

Topography of a Bird
Mark Rice
PC008 - released 2009

CD - $12
DDL - $10Mark_Rice.html

Photo by Matthew Wright  |  Fig Tree Photography

Pub Can Records is the companion record label to Widget Studios, a sound recording and multi-media production company based near Philadelphia, PA.  The label began in 2005 with singer-songwriter Mark Rice’s EP release, entitled Be With You Tonight.  In 2009, Pub Can released Mark Rice’s debut full-length album, entitled “Topography of a Bird”, to critical acclaim.

The future for Pub Can burns bright as the word spreads about the highly anticipated release in 2013 of Ernest Hilbert’s experimental spoken word album, Elegies & Laments.



What’s a Pub Can?

Development began in 1969 by the Guinness Brewing Company to find a convenient way for customers to enjoy English draft-style ale in the comfort of their home.  The result is a 16oz. can with a round plastic widget floating inside (depicted in our logo). Commonly referred to as a pub can, the “widget can’s” invention represents to the brewing world what the paperback did for the literary world... and thus it has inspired us.
What would it sound like if a book of poetry had its own musical score, like a film, written specifically to match the poems word for word and line for line?

In 2009, after the release of his book Sixty Sonnets, poet Ernest Hilbert teamed up with veteran Philadelphia songwriter-musicians Marc Hildenberger and Dave Young to find out.

After signing a contract with Pub Can Records, the three embarked on a spoken-word project called Elegies & Laments that would eventually grow to include a string orchestra (scored by young composer Christopher LaRosa), a battery of vintage instruments and electronics, mad-scientist re-wirings, experimental technologies, session musicians, guest readers, and, perhaps inevitably, a harp.

The grape and grain-fueled late night sessions at Widget Studios, on the city’s outskirts, yielded a soundtrack of surprising variety and depth, mingling past and present, making use of indie rock, jazz, heavy metal, classical, and R&B styles. The result is an entirely new kind of spoken word album, sui generis and completely badass. Feel the legendary misbehavior, the satires and observations, the failed escapes, the famous elegies and laments of Hilbert’s Sixty Sonnets in a way you have never heard poetry before.

Elegies & Laments is essential for anyone interested in the ways poetry and music come together to create a new art form, for aficionados of experimental music to lovers of spoken word.

The album will be available March 15, 2013 for digital download from iTunes, Amazon, and all major services for around $5. It will also be available on CD for $10, and a deluxe limited edition of 100 vinyl records (with digital download codes) will be made available for audiophiles and true fans for $25 each.

Support local music, independent labels, musicians, and poetry!  Order your copy of Elegies & Laments today.






On Tuesday, April 16, 2013, Ernest Hilbert appeared on the NPR program, Radio Times with Marty Moss-Coane.  He read from his new book, All of You on the Good Earth, and they discussed and listened to excerpts from his new spoken word album, Elegies & Laments, produced by our very own Dave Young and Marc Hildenberger and released on Pub Can Records (see below for more info). In the Philadelphia area, the program aired on WHYY 90.9 FM. You can listen to the interview in it’s entirety right here.

On Wednesday, September 18th, 2013, Ernest Hilbert and producer Dave Young discussed the record Elegies & Laments on a radio show called The Blend with Keith Kelleher on WDIY, 88.1 in the Lehigh Valley.  Keith dug deep into the music, creation and production that went into making the record and played 2 excerpts from the album.  Listen to this interview in it’s entirety by clicking the link below.