DOORS: 8 PM, $10, ALL AGES
Portland, Oregon surf rockers THE SHIVAS formed back in 2006. In the 10+ years since forming they have brought their raucous dance party to almost all 50 states, and over 25 countries worldwide, meanwhile releasing five full-length albums and three EPs on labels such as K Records and Burger Records. With the release of their latest - TURN ME ON (Burger Records/Annibale Records) they set out on spring/summer tours across North America and Europe. Come hit the party wave and drown in some sweet sunshine soaked surf rock.
DOORS OPEN: 8 pm / ALL AGES / $10
The United States’ myriad inequalities, hatreds and phobias are painfully evident in 2017, offering proof that the age-old dichotomy of “political bands” versus “apolitical bands” simply doesn’t exist. Either you are comfortable and unfazed by the current reigning power structures, or you choose (or have no choice but) to use your music as a vehicle for the dismantling of oppression and the creation of something better. No matter what your songs are about, you are choosing a side.
The position of Providence, RI’s Downtown Boys has been clear since they started storming through basements and DIY spaces with their radically-minded, indefatigable rock music: they are here to topple the white-cis-het hegemony and draft a new history. In the words of vocalist and lyricist Victoria Ruiz, they are “five unique and individual people who believe in the spectrum of people, experiences and emotions.” On their self-titled 2014 EP on Sister Polygon Records (run by their like-minded friends in Priests), they offered songs like “Slumlord Sal,” which strikes out against abusive landlords. Its accompanying video relays the idea that cops can be literally smacked out of their oppressive mindsets and into an exuberantly queer dance party. This is how Downtown Boys began, combining revolutionary ideals with boundless energy and contagious, inclusive fun, and their resolve has only strengthened as both their sound and audience have grown.
Cost of Living is their third full-length, following a self-released 2012 debut and 2015’s Full Communism on Don Giovanni Records. They recorded it with Guy Picciotto, one of indie-rock’s most mythological figures, in the producer’s chair. (Although best known for his ability to sing while dangling from a basketball hoop, he’s also produced pivotal albums by The Gossip and Blonde Redhead, among others.) “He very much enabled us to believe in what we were doing enough to get the record done, and get it done well,” says Joey La Neve DeFrancesco, Downtown Boys’ guitarist, vocalist and primary songwriter. Picciotto fostered the band’s improvisational urges while also pulling the root of their music to the forefront: unflinching choruses, fearlessly confrontational vocals, and the sense that each song will incite the room into action, sending bodies into motion that were previously thought to have atrophied.
Downtown Boys are keenly aware of the increased visibility and credibility that comes with signing to a corporate-media conglomerate such as Sub Pop. They’re using this platform as a megaphone for their protest music, amplifying and centering Chicana, queer, and Latino voices in the far-too-whitewashed world of rock. Opener “A Wall” rides the feel-good power that drove so many tunes by The Clash and Wire as it calls out the idea that a wall could ever succeed in snuffing the humanity and spirit of those it’s designed to crush. “Promissory Note” is a bold self-introduction to the exclusive clubs that either ignore Downtown Boys’ existence, or possibly worse, feign appreciation: “So what’s the matter, you don’t like what you see? I can’t believe you’re even talking to me!” Ruiz shouts that she won’t light herself on fire to keep you warm, and, like underground rock pioneer Alice Bag’s vitriolic verse, it’s a claim you wouldn’t dare question. “Tonta,” one of the three songs written and sung primarily in Spanish, is an introspective and emotional portrait of anguish, and it calls to mind the mighty scrum of Huasipungo at an ABC No Rio matinee.
Compared to previous efforts, Downtown Boys have shifted from a once-meaty brass section to the subtler melodic accompaniment of keyboards and a saxophone, coloring their anthems with warm, bright tones while Ruiz spits out her frustrations, passions, and intents. Some might say it shows a sense of maturity, as Downtown Boys have undoubtedly smoothed down some of their earlier edges, but there is no compromise to their righteous assault and captivating presence. Like the socially conscious groups of years past, from Public Enemy to Rage Against the Machine, Downtown Boys harness powerful sloganeering, repetitive grooves, and earworm hooks to create one of the most necessary musical statements of the day. We should all do well to take notice!
DOORS OPEN: 8 PM, ALL AGES, $12 - $14
“The title Soft Sounds From Another Planet alludes to the promise of something that may or may not be there. Like a hope in something more. The songs are about human resilience and the strength it takes to claw out of the darkest of spaces.”
Michelle Zauner wrote the debut Japanese Breakfast album in the weeks after her mother died of cancer, thinking she would quit music entirely once it was done. That wasn’t the case. When Psychopomp was released to acclaim in 2016, she was forced to confront her grief. Zauner would find find herself reliving traumatic memories multiple times a day during interviews, trying to remain composed while discussing the most painful experience of her life. Her sophomore album, Soft Sounds From Another Planet, is a transmutation of mourning, a reflection that turns back on the cosmos in search of healing.
“I want to be a woman of regimen,” Zauner sings over a burbling synth on the album’s opening track “Diving Woman.” This serves as Zauner’s mission statement: stick to the routine lest you get derailed, don’t cling to the past, don’t descend. In fact, ascend to the stars; Zauner found artistic solace removed from Earth, in outer space and science fiction. “I used the theme as a means to disassociate from trauma,” she explains. “Space used as a place of fantasy.”
And yet, Soft Sounds From Another Planet isn’t a concept album. Over the course of 12 tracks, Zauner explores an expansive thematic universe, a cohesive outpouring of unlike parts structured to create a galaxy of her own design. In the instrumental “Planetary Ambience,” synths communicate the way extraterrestrials might, and on the shapeshifting single “Machinist,” which Zauner has been performing live for over a year now, she details the sci-fi narrative of a woman falling in love with a machine. “It’s pure fiction,” she explains, “But it can map onto real relationships in a relevant way.” The track, which begins with spoken-word ambience, moves into autotune ‘80s pop bliss and ends with a sultry saxophone solo, perfectly marries the experience: there’s a perceptible humanity in mechanical, bodily events.
Within its astral production, much of Soft Sounds From Another Planet stays grounded. “Road Head” is the last chest compression in attempt to resuscitate a doomed relationship, while the penultimate track “This House” is an acoustic dirge that honors Zauner’s chosen family. The baroque pop “Boyish” has a haunting, crystalline clarity that recalls the pathos of a Roy Orbison ballad, while “Body is a Blade” embraces the dark intimacy of Zauner’s Pacific Northwest heroes Elliott Smith and Mount Eerie.
With help from co-producer Craig Hendrix (who also co-produced Little Big League’s debut) and Jorge Elbrecht, (Ariel Pink, Tamaryn) who mixed the album, Zauner recontextualizes her bedroom pop beginnings, expanding and maturing her sound. The sheer massiveness of the big room production on Soft Sounds From Another Planet introduces listeners to a new Japanese Breakfast. Zauner’s familiar, capacious voice will serve as their guide.
“Your body is a blade that moves while your brain is writhing,” she sings. “Knuckled under pain you mourn but your blood is flowing.” There’s discernible pain in the phrasing, Zauner recognizing limitation, a lack of control, but then subverting the feeling, creating her own musical language for confronting trauma. Where Psychopomp introduced the world to Japanese Breakfast, Soft Sounds dives deeper. It builds space where there is none, and suggests that in the face of tragedy, we find ways to keep on living.
8:00 PM DOORS / ALL AGES / $10 - $12
Dent May - self-described hotel bar lounge singer and aspiring daytime TV talk show host - has been charming his way into the hearts of music fans since the release of his debut album The Good Feeling Music of Dent May & His Magnificent Ukulele on Animal Collective’s Paw Tracks label in 2009. The Mississippi-born, Los Angeles-based songwriter, performer, and Dolly Parton enthusiast has since released two more acclaimed records, Do Things (2012) and Warm Blanket (2013), dropped the holiday smash “I’ll Be Stoned For Christmas”, and played hundreds of shows from Shanghai to Chicago. His latest album, Across the Multiverse, is an interstellar voyage of mythic proportions.
“Don’t wanna move to Southern California / I wasn’t really meant for LA...” So sang Dent May once upon a time, now he’s eating those words with a side of avocado toast in his new Los Angeles bungalow. What made the lifelong Mississippi boy pull up stakes and head west? “No one looks at you funny if you wear a tuxedo to the supermarket.” What he means is he moved there to shake up his surroundings, clear his head, and write the most accomplished record of his young career, the magical mystery tour de force Across the Multiverse.
Following the lead of musical-polymaths-with-LA-ties before him like Brian Wilson, Van Dyke Parks, and Harry Nilsson, Dent’s style on Across the Multiverse will be familiar to fans of his previous work. Yet there’s something more refined about this collection... Stately strings mingle with boogie piano like old friends. Synths weave a celestial backdrop throughout. Every verse, bridge and chorus in its right place, giving it the unmistakable feel of a true songwriting craftsman at work. Lyrically Dent has never been sharper, musing on themes like modern romance (“Picture on a Screen”, “Face Down in the Gutter of Your Love”), existential dread (“Dream 4 Me”, “I’m Gonna Live Forever Until I’m Dead”), and the distance to the moon (“Distance to the Moon”) as he searches for meaning among the infinite scrolling feeds of our 21st century augmented reality. The title track, a duet with Frankie Cosmos, is a deep space love song about finding love beyond impossible boundaries.
Across the Multiverse was written and recorded in a sunny bedroom in LA’s Highland Park neighborhood, with Dent producing and playing nearly every instrument himself. The tracks were selected from dozens of songs written after the LA move, a gold rush of productivity inspired by late nights DJing rare disco funk cuts at local watering holes. It’s his first album for Carpark Records and will be released August 18th.
DOORS: 8 PM / $12 - $15 / ALL AGES
Experiencing one emotion at a time is a luxury of the past. Think back to that moment at the women’s march or the pro-science rally, when you spied a small child holding a handmade sign that read “I love naps but I stay woke” or “Boys will be boys good humans” or “May the facts be with you.” How adorable! How upsetting! How the hell are they going to make it to adulthood in this toxic environment?
Deerhoof is right there with you. They recognize that we are simultaneously living in two worlds, one a maniacal, mainstream monoculture hell-bent on driving humankind into extinction, the other a churning underground teeming with ideas and dogged optimism and the will to thrive and survive. Mountain Moves refutes the former by ecstatically celebrating the latter.
Though Deerhoof have often made albums from start to finish with virtually no input from the outside world, now is not the time for artists to operate in isolation. Mountain Moves throws the doors wide open. Working quickly, the band invited myriad guests to participate, some of them dear friends, others practically strangers. They are of different ages, different nationalities, different disciplines. The only common thread was that each and every artist on Mountain Moves doesn’t fit into a single, neatly-defined category – and doesn’t wish to.
The results, as expected, were unexpected. Guide vocals and simple melodies were dispatched via email, only to be answered with an outpouring of alternate harmonies, suggestions for arrangements, additional instrumentation. Every file received triggered a new rush of jumbled emotions. Some guests crafted their contributions in the small hours of the dawn, toiling in hotel rooms before driving eight hours to the next tour date; others hopped on the subway and recorded with the band in-person.
Collisions and collusions abound on Mountain Moves. In addition to its bounty of originals, the program includes three covers that epitomize the album’s assemblage of disparate ideas and personalities. Reducing Bob Marley’s “Small Axe” to a beat-less fragment of hymn-like simplicity magnifies the song’s rebellious spirit and undercurrent of violence. Deerhoof vocalist Satomi Matsuzaki, a Japanese immigrant, lifts the Staple Singers’ “Freedom Highway” out of its original place and time, imbuing it with a new sense of alienation from one’s own country. Snippets of the bass recitative “For behold, darkness shall cover the earth” from Handel’s Messiah provide the foundation for a fresh take on Chilean folk hero Violeta Parra’s bittersweet masterpiece “Gracias a la Vida.”
Adventures outside the United States also informed the making of Mountain Moves. During a recent visit to Brazil, the band was astonished to see how enthusiastically audiences at concerts sang, danced, and reveled – a cultural response, they learned, to the scarcity of resources for all but the nation’s wealthiest elites. Elsewhere, the experience of confronting unfamiliar audiences of fired-up Red Hot Chili Peppers fans taught them that one of their greatest skills – the ability to recalibrate their sound nightly to suit a particular venue – wasn’t limited to basements or small clubs. The broader strokes of Mountain Moves sprang forth from lessons learned while trying to engage audiences of 20,000+ across the vast distances of Northern European sporting arenas.
If Mountain Moves were a movie, it would be a double feature, Journey to the Center of the Deerhoof and Escape from Planet Deerhoof, shown side-by-side simultaneously. The record epitomizes the band at its very best, exploring new realms between the poles of independence and invention. It also serves as a welcoming point of entry for new listeners outside Deerhoof’s traditional orbit, an opportunity to bring even more voices into the communal conversation. We’re all in this together.
Deerhoof is John Dieterich, Satomi Matsuzaki, Ed Rodriguez and Greg Saunier. The only thing they see eye-to-eye on is the freedom to not see eye-to-eye. Their guests on Mountain Moves include Awkwafina, Juana Molina, Matana Roberts, Xenia Rubinos, Lætitia Sadier, and Jenn Wasner. Together, they made this record for you. For all of us.
$10, Doors: 8 PM, ALL AGES
DIY, psychedelic, primitive, lo-fi, and indie are all words used and abused to describe the current crop of Generation Y’s transgressive music makers, the aught’s response to the singular, wholly influential path laid out by countless ’90s lone wolf, road-doggin’ bands who shaped the current independent music landscape. But how many groups actually fit this model and do it any justice in 2014?
Naomi Punk is one band that speaks to lovers of this formula, tried and true. Their music is unique. They live in Olympia, WA and record music themselves. Their aesthetic is potent, refined and considered, their web presence slight, and their hooks ultimately sugary. It’s no surprise that Television Man, their second LP for Brooklyn label Captured Tracks, finds their sound and style gaining momentum. By powerfully reconstructing their vision as a post-‘90s punk powerhouse, Naomi Punk have garnered a specific type of cult following.
On Television Man, as well as their groundbreaking 2012 debut The Feeling, NP effortlessly spin circles around melodic motifs in repetitive, shifting patterns. Their instruments intertwine then unravel. Drummer Nick Luempert starts and stops and pushes and pulls while guitarist (only two guitars here, no bass) Neil Gregerson crunches atonal shards of strings from all angles. By the time the titular “Television Man” hits — which is essentially a calculated then deconstructed, motorik, a-rhythmic Krautrock mess — it’s evident that their style is also encompassing deep substance, with a long synthesizer passage trailing off and a mind-numbing refrain which singer Travis Benjamin Coster delivers in a woozy, water-damaged yelp. Sometimes all you need is a potent three-piece band to tear the roof off, and Television Man is a record that packs a powerful punch and is truly engulfing. A great sophomore effort from an interesting trio, whose vibe is truly old school.
Veteran agitators Dälek have never been ones to stick within the rigid parameters of genre. A group who seemingly hold the utmost contempt for conservative expectations regarding form, instead pioneering a volatile and timeless strain of hip-hop, drawing as much from My Bloody Valentine as Public Enemy. These practitioners of noise fuelled depravity are back with a whole new album, entitled Endangered Philosophies, their follow up to last years Asphalt for Eden, scheduled to come out via Ipecac Recordings September 1 2017.
With Dälek, the flow has often been usurped by scorched textures, the product of synthetic decay, themes flitting from pungent political rage through to outright Dionysian frenzy. On Endangered Philosophies, the lyrics are more focused and at the forefront than ever before, and MC Dälek's new experiments with rhyme styles and flow makes for a vital concoction. There's no doubt about it, Endangered Philosophies is a work of guttural catharsis, it is a call to arms…
DOORS OPEN: 8 PM / ALL AGES / $10
It is with much angst that I inform you I'd like to punt on the bio request. I am in the midst of several projects that are unusually stressful and interfering with my abilities to function as a normal human. The idea of starting from scratch on a bio is literally causing me to lose sleep. Nobody wants to update our press materials more than I, and normally it is a project that I like to take my time on and have a concept for (the above photo notwithstanding). I assure you that when the time comes to rollout a new and more awesome DEAD RIDER experience (very soon!), we will have a jaw dropping photo accompanied with a bio that will someday be studied as literature at future Ivy League universities. For now, I'd like to continue with the idea that the Hideout show be a laid back affair, a delightful and low pressure space, we and the audience create to reveal hidden manifestations of confidence and self actualization. -Todd, Espy, White Christmas
DOORS OPEN: 8 PM / ALL AGES
A tear in the firmament.
Beyond the noxious haze of our national nightmare - as structures of social justice and global progress topple in our midst - there lies a faint but undeniable glow in the distance.
What is it?
Like so many before us we are drawn to the beacon. But only by the bootstraps of our indignation do we go so boldly into the dark to find it.
And so Sheer Mag has let the sparks fly since their outset, with an axe to grind against all that clouds the way. A caustic war cry, seething in solidarity with all those that suffer the brunt of ignorance and injustice in an imbalanced system.
Both brazen and discrete, loud yet precise, familiar but never quite like this - SHEER MAG crept up from Philadelphia cloaked in bold insignia to channel our social and political moment with grit and groove. Cautious but full of purpose.
What is it?
By making a music both painfully urgent and spiritually timeworn, SHEER MAG speak to a modern pain: to a people that too feel their flame on the verge of being extinguished, yet choose to burn a bit brighter in spite of that threat.
With their debut LP, the cloak has been lifted. It is time to reclaim something that has been taken from us. Here the band rolls up their sleeves, takes to the streets, and demands recompense for a tradition of inequity that’s poisoned our world. However, it is in our ability to love - our primal human right to give and receive love - that the damage of such toxicity is newly explored.
Love is a choice we make. We ought not obscure, neglect, or deny that choice. Through the tumult and the pain, the camaraderie and the cause, the band continues to burn a path into that great beyond.
But where are we headed?
On NEED TO FEEL YOUR LOVE, they makes their first full-length declaration of light seen just beyond our darkness. Spoken plainly, without shame:
It is love.
This - is SHEER MAG.
If, as the saying goes, life is less what happens to you and more how you deal with it, RED CITY RADIO have succeeded in spades, insatiable in their heart and singular focus.
Since forming in 2009 in Oklahoma City, Red City Radio have proven their punk-rock proficiency, turning in beloved albums (2011’s The Dangers of Standing Still and 2013’s Titles) and winning over fans around with the world with a sweat-soaked, raved-about live show honed by years of touring along acts like Strung Out, New Found Glory, and Anti-Flag.
But the band— Garrett Dale, guitarist Ryan Donovan, drummer Dallas Tidwell and bassist Jonathan “Jojo” Knight—are evolving, both professionally and personally: Red City Radio marks the group’s first album for Staple Records (after years spent with Paper + Plastick)
The new contrast between Dale’s gruff tenor (now the sole lead voice) and an increasingly rock-based musicality gives Red City Radio an innately fascinating dynamic. As such, songs like the power pop-leaning “Two Out Of Three Ain’t Rad” and slow-burning, country-tinged “… I’ll Catch A Ride” showcase the band’s newfound versatility and expand the definition of just what a Red City Radio song can—and should—sound like.
It’s this nuance and nimbleness that makes Red City Radio such a stirring listen. Named one of the most anticipated albums of 2015 by Fuse and VICE - hailed by outlets like PunkNews, also receiving 4 out of 5 stars from Rolling Stone, the album isn’t wholesale change, but rather the sound of a band expanding its influence and stepping outside itself to keep pushing forward. A sound once reminiscent of punk stalwarts like Hot Water Music has now swelled to include hooky rock á la Foo Fighters and Jimmy Eat World, and even Dale’s love of country.
DOORS: 8 PM, $10 - $12, ALL AGES
Formed in 1992, Cherubs emerged on the Austin, TX, LSD punk scene with a jackhammer of nightmarish, rhythm-driven song structures and plenty of Butthole Surfers whimsy and terror to keep things more than interesting. Fast forward 20 years later and the band has reformed with more energy and songwriting acumen then ever.
Surf Curse is Nick Rattigan and Jacob Rubeck, who started their project in a basement in Reno, Nevada before going to Los Angeles to become a fixture of the DIY scene anchored by internationally-renowned venue The Smell, eventually linking up with likeminded groups like Girlpool, The Garden, and Slow Hollows. Their music is anchored with a blend of punk and pop elements heavily influenced by the pulp of 80’s, cult and arthouse cinema. Coming a few years after the boys broke out with 2013’s Buds LP and Sad Boys EP, their new album Nothing Yet marks not a return-to-form but a significant step forward from a group that has grown older, more mature, and more effective as songwriters.
DOORS: 8 PM, ALL AGES, $8 - $10
Despite over a decade of existence, Japan’s self-described “catastrophic noise-metal” outfit ENDON has largely eluded the attention of the broader Western underground music community. This began to change in 2016 with the stateside release of their 2014 album MAMA and tours along the East and West Coasts. Given the West’s fascination with Japan’s permutations of punk, metal, and noise, it’s unlikely that any band that has been frequently bestowed with the designation of “the most extreme act in Tokyo” would remain under the radar for long. After all, Japan gave us the unmitigated sonic abrasions of Masonna, the nihilistic fury of GISM, and the cataclysmic lurch of Corrupted, so any band that can somehow further push the envelope is destined for notoriety.
And notoriety was certainly a factor in ENDON’s early years, when singer Taichi Nagura terrorized local audiences with stage behavior so violent and menacing that people began actively avoiding their shows out of fear for their safety. Nagura insists that the outbursts were “not intended to be against the audience at all,” but admits, “during the early days of ENDON, there was a lot of fighting between the audience and me.” ENDON no longer takes out their aggression on bystanders, but their caustic blend of power electronics, harsh noise, gale force hardcore, and dissonant metal implies a kind of violence even more foreboding than a stray punch or a whipped microphone. With their most recent album Through The Mirror, ENDON galvanizes their arsenal of ballistic sounds into a streamlined assault on the senses. Captured by Kurt Ballou at God City Studios, Through The Mirror fuses Taro Aiko and Etsuo Nagura’s dual noise barrages, Koki Miyabe’s alternately harrowing guitar work, Shin Yokota’s pummeling drums, and Taichi’s animalistic howls and shrieks into eight songs that vacillate between molten blocks of viciously constructed metal and chaotic bouts of unbridled auditory hostility.
Through The Mirror opens with “Nerve Rain”, an exercise in punishment through repetition, with a series of sustained guitar chords being ruthlessly battered beneath blizzard squalls of contact-mic distortion, piercing modular synth drones, and thundering toms. It’s a powerful build-up to the explosive fury of “Your Ghost Is Dead”, wherein the band distills the chaotic energy of ‘90s cult hardcore bands like One Eyed God Prophecy or Honeywell and supplements it with added layers of misanthropic scuzz and grit. “Born In Limbo” pits Andy Ortmann-esque sound collages and inhuman vocal manipulations against a backdrop of gothic twang and kinetic drumming. Side one closes with the double punch of “Pensum” and “Postsex” where truncated hybrids of hardcore rage and black metal velocity serve as a springboard for Taichi’s lyric-less communication of the album’s “Anti Bildungsroman (anti-building romance)” concept through guttural bellows and horrific screams. If side one serves as an exercise in propulsive unrestrained attacks, side two is a study in sustained, strategic warfare. The spacious crawl of “Perversion Till Death” allows the flanking noise artists to saturate the mix like a hail of fire and stone. Title track “Through The Mirror” builds off bedrock of primitive punk and gradually opens the scope of the song with melodic electronics and Nagura’s funeral wails. Sublime desert drones open the finale “Torch Your House” and guide the band through a nine-minute journey of exotic melodicism and triumphant stomp-and-crush riffage.
Bully burst onto the scene in 2015 with their critically acclaimed album Feels Like. Today the band announces Losing. The album was engineered and mixed by lead-singer Alicia Bognanno in Chicago at Electrical Audio.
Fronted by Alicia Bognanno, Bully was born in 2013. Bognanno was an engineer who had cut her teeth working at Electrical Audio in Chicago. Together with guitarist Clayton Parker and Reece Lazarus on bass, they made a debut album received unanimous critical acclaim and Bognanno became a point of intrigue. A rock icon in the making, with her signature scream, messy blonde hair hanging in her face, and formidable skills as both a player and a engineer who prefers recording to tape. “The coarse Cobain head-scream of Bully singer, songwriter and guitarist Alicia Bognanno is its own resuscitating jolt of protest,” said Pitchfork. “She spends much of Feels Like tearing the house down with her howl.” The success propelled the band into an exhaustive touring cycle with spots on huge festivals such as Bonnaroo, Lollapallooza, Pitchfork Music Festival and ACL and a late night appearance on Conan.
While Feels Like tumbled headlong into the precarious nature of Bognanno’s young adult life, Losing is a document of the complexity of growth: navigating breakups with sensitivity, learning not to run away from your troubles but to face them no matter how messy they may be. The debut single, “Feel The Same’ is the album opener. Like an electric-shock Bognanno is back in your face tackling the angst of a young person feeling their way through the world. The song describes the prison of a manic mind-set, being trapped in your own head. On “Seeing It” she addresses the issue of personal safety and navigating the world as a woman. On “Running” she focuses on personal relationships and the avoidance of facing the demise of a personal relationship.
Losing is an internal, carefully focused record, a universalized diary and an exorcism—not of any one specific demon, but the host of them that characterize contemporary anxieties. Bully are growing up, sure, but their fire is in no way diminishing.
$10 Advance/ $12 Door
A L T E R E D S T A T E S presents
DOORS OPEN: 8 PM / $12 / ALL AGES
Part of the freshness of Find Me Finding You comes from working and playing within the Source Ensemble and exploring new sound combinations via a set of youthful and evolving musical relationships. Laetitia recognized the energy of the tracks in their initial form, and sought to preserve their vitality by not retaking too many performances — instead, the rawness in the tracks was retained and refined at the mixing stage, maintaining an edge throughout. When we hear synth lines diving, lifting and drifting, unusual guitar textures, the plucked sound of flat wound bass strings or the bottomless pulsing of bass pedals stepping out of the mix with an exquisite vibrancy, this is the sound of the Source Ensemble.
A key to Laetitia’s music is her use of vocal arrangements. Throughout Finding Me Finding You, the shifting accompaniment creates space to bring this element gloriously forward. Arranged by Laetitia with Joe Watson and Jeff Parker making string charts that were subsequently transposed to vocal parts for several songs, richly arranged choirs of voices provide depth along with the thrilling presence of extra breath in the sound. Laetitia’s community-politic is well-served by the groups of voices lending support to the machining of the song craft, providing additional uplift to her quintessentially for-ward-facing viewpoint — as well as massed voices from three different countries sharing space in harmony!
Working in collaboration is Laetita’s traditions, and a key to this album’s view on being free together (it is necessary, prefer-able and right!). The designation of Source Collective implies a new togetherness phase; alongside long-time collaborators Emmanuel Mario and Xavi Munoz, keyboard and flutes parts played by David Thayer (Little Tornados) were essential contributions, as well as further keys, synths and electronics from Phil M FU and several intense guitar sequences from Mason le Long. Chris A Cummings (aka Marker Starling, Laetitia’s favorite composer) graciously wrote “Deep Background” for her. The duet with Hot Chip’s Alexis Taylor on “Love Captive” (not to mention Rob Mazurek’s distinctive coronet playing!) gives voice to an ideological cornerstone of Find Me Finding You — that, should we be responsible enough to endeavor into a world of basic incomes and open relationships, we would make astonishing strides as a society. These sorts of things can only be done in agreement with others.
Expressing great compassion and expectation with startling immediacy, as well as an abiding belief in an underlying unity that permeates and intimately binds all things and beings, Find Me Finding You combines a rigorous process for music-making with a deeply invested mindset, making captivating music that promises many stimulating spins to come!
DOORS: 6PM / ALL AGES / $12 AT THE DOOR / $8 PRESALE
Come out for a great cause and some great music as we raise money to help save bees! Did you know if they go extinct shortly after so do we? Bee bags, auctions and great vendors will be there. Come out and support your locals bands, companies and organizations 🐝
Presented by Phoenix Artist Management
8 PM / ALL AGES / $5
DBZ DANCE PARTY
$5 $5 $5 $5 $5 $5 $5 $5 $5
Doors at 8:00
Show starts at 9:00
PARTY ARTIST (PARTYIST?)
Haunted Fortress of Doom
The show will be raising funds to try and find the dragon balls to ressurect the homies Mannequin Mishap; Two legendary fighters who were killed in an epic battle with the evil forces of "work", "rent" and "middle-managment not allowing a shift change". Support the adventure by coping their latest release https://mannequinmishap.bandcamp.com/album/acatalepsy
$7 cover // doors at 8 PM // show at 9 PM
I hear quite a few young people with talent, but very few who work to develop that talent. Amanda is one of those few. -- Ken Gaines (Anderson Fair, Kerrville Folk Festival)
Eli Winter is a guitarist and songwriter attending the University of Chicago. A rising star in Houston's experimental music scene, fans and musicians alike have long noted both his musicianship and the improvisational nature of his live performances, especially for someone twenty years old. But his move to Chicago has seen him write an accompanying burst of new songs—one, “Take No Notice,” was just released on Impossible Colors in the spring—with compositional chops to match his skill on the guitar.
8:00 pm / ALL AGES / $10 - $12
Current research indicates that within 2 years of use, a pillow’s weight increases by 30% due to the accumulation of dead skin cells, dust mites, and their droppings. In a similar fashion, Free Salamander Exhibit has gradually augmented its own weight through an accumulation of musical and literary droppings, distilled these into creative impulses- -impulses committed to memory and subsequently forgotten.
Originally called the Rock Springs Six, Free Salamander Exhibit makes no bones about being influenced by the early work of Sleepytime Gorilla Museum. “Yeah, we all have that first record,” they mutter nonchalantly. Their new name is taken from the Sleepytime Gorilla Press’s 1916 leaflet distributed by Pentecostal snake-handler George Went Hensley of Tennessee, wherein the gospel dictum “They shall take up serpents and salamanders” was treated to more or less literal interpretation. “Yeah, we all handle them, salamanders that is,” they confess. Yes, they have renounced their snake handling ways in favor of the modern hair-shirt, i.e. the burlap gown. Certainly their outfits are uncomfortable and make playing difficult, especially for the non-rock instruments they sometimes employ, but what price beauty?
It seems the past is something this band of burlap brothers would rather put to rest. Free Salamander Exhibit gained some notoriety in the early 2000s by impersonating the members of Sleepytime Gorilla Museum, even going so far as insinuating themselves into the SGM members’ households. When it was announced in 2010 that SGM had been “subsumed” into the very bodies of Free Salamander Exhibit, the music press understood this to figuratively refer to a simple regrouping. Boy, were they wrong.
Currently based in Oakland, CA, Free Salamander Exhibit continues to shed its dead skin cells, casting off an accumulated detritus of metal, prog-rock, and art-rock influences. Nils, Dan, Michael, David, and Drew (at least these are the names they claim) meet regularly in an underground concrete shelter. Here they sit at an oval-shaped table in a spirit of constructive argumentation, poring over the nature of memory and the illusory promise of free will. Eventually they emerge, ready again to absorb the environmental stimuli that nourish their world-view. Through this circular process of absorption and molting, Free Salamander Exhibit hopes to augment the mass of your own pillow as well.
Shed some skin with Free Salamander Exhibit in your town soon!
Houston is an ever changing and ever growing city, and we often come into contact with various people from different backgrounds. How often do we sit down and think about those that we walk by, drive by or even stand behind in line? What’s their story? Are they going through similar experiences like me?
Chronicles of a Collective is a chance for artists to share their stories of struggle, triumph, and the humorous experiences we often find ourselves in. We want this show to spark conversations that we may not usually have with people we may not usually speak to. With this show, we hope to bring the artist community and audience closer than ever. Each selected body of work will include a story relating to the work, and why that event meant so much to them that they had to capture it. No story is too risqué, miserable, embarrassing or even too hilarious to share. Let’s share our chronicles of life to the city of Houston as a collective group of individuals.
Featuring work from these talented artists:
Ronald L. Jones
Food will be provided by BoomBox Taco!
If accepted, there will be an entry fee of $10.00 per piece of work due at drop off date. We accept cash & cards ONLY.
Art Submission Guidelines:
1. All work must be original by the artist, created within the last two (2) years.
2. All work must be available for purchase.
3. All artwork must be "wired" and ready to hang...no sawtooth hangers or loose paper. We can and will reject work that is NOT properly prepared for installation.
4. 3D work must be presented on an ARTIST SUPPLIED box-type white pedestal
5. 2D art work cannot exceed 50” in any direction including frame
and 3D art work cannot exceed 36” in any direction
6. All work should be properly labeled on the back with: Artist’s Name, Title, Date, Medium, Size (including frame), Price, Phone # & Email.
7. Artist MUST include written or typed statement to include alongside their work. Remember the point of this show is to share our stories, so a statement is a MUST.
SHOW: July 29th 2017 at Walters Downtown 6-11pm
Art Submission Deadline: July 7th 12:00 am
(Participating Artists will be emailed by July 9th)
Drop Off: July 15th & 16th 12pm-3pm @ Walters Downtown
Pick up of unsold art: Work must be taken down at the end of the show
Fees: We will not be taking any commission from work, so artists are expected to stay the duration of the show for their own sales.
Doors: 8 pm / $10 / ALL AGES
The world is waiting… It’s ready now… So are you ready?
HIGH SPIRITS wants to know! Because the band is more than ready to share with you its exhilarating new album “Motivator” set for release on 16th September 2016 via High Roller Records. Here’s one album you definitely should judge by the cover: “Motivator” is fast, colorful, uplifting, and going far! It also marks the 500th release in the High Roller Records catalog (HRR500), a sure indication that the band and label alike are proud of their hard work and shared success to date.
When asked about High Spirits’ popularity, founder Chris once joked, “I don’t know! I expected this to be a ‘demos-were-better’ band!” It’s true that the self-titled 2009 demos collection may have caused a minor sensation, originally self-released as a plain white-label LP and sold at the first High Spirits show, which was in August of 2009. A European vinyl release via High Roller Records followed a few months later, and the white-label version is of course a nice rarity nowadays. Occasional Hometown shows in Chicago plus DIY tours of the USA in 2010 and again in 2011 turned out to be a lot of fun indeed, and meanwhile the first studio album was underway.
The album was titled “Another Night”, and upon its August 2011 release, the response quickly built to a rousing cheer. High Spirits and High Roller had a fantastic surprise: everyone seemed to love this album! It felt really good! By 2012, demand was “high” to see the band live in Europe. In May of 2012, High Spirits made its European debut at Rock Hard Festival, followed by two exclusive club gigs in Germany and then Muskelrock Festival in Sweden. By 2013, the band’s word-of-mouth fanbase was growing rapidly. High Roller met the demand with successive pressings of “Another Night” LPs, and the band delivered another run of European gigs, culminating in the long-awaited finale at Keep It True Festival. High Spirits then capped 2013 with an explosive hometown show and began work on the follow-up studio album.
Released in April of 2014, “You Are Here” was a sharper batch of songs compared to the debut. It showcased the more commercial side of High Spirits’ songwriting and also incorporated the raw energy of its live show to a greater extent. Response from the press and the record-buying public was enthusiastic, and the band’s audience continued to grow. Airplay on National Public Radio (NPR) in the USA was once again a fantastic surprise: although High Spirits remained fully rooted in the DIY practices of the independent music world, its appeal (and recognition) had officially extended beyond those borders.
During 2014 and 2015, the band undertook its most intense touring schedule to date, visiting unexplored parts of Europe, Canada, and the USA, as well as returning to places where support was already strong. In 2015 alone, the band performed at seven festivals in six countries! It was an exciting year that left the band feeling very grateful and also wondering what new adventures the future would bring. Songwriting for a third album had begun as early as May of 2014, and with intermittent studio sessions between tours, High Spirits had a finished album in hand at the beginning of 2016.
“Motivator” features High Spirits at its highest-energy, fully-powered best. It’s an upbeat, athletic record, incorporating all of the band’s characteristic musical dynamics and pushing them to the limit. The sound design is authentic, organic, yet richly detailed. And when it comes to the lyrics, the listener will no doubt notice that the album is nearly autobiographical, inspired by the band’s experiences in recent years and offering a potent dose of motivation (of course) for the days, nights, and years to come. High Spirits has never sounded so accessible yet so removed from the norms of modern-day rock music.
“Motivator” will be preceded in August by the single “Take Me Home”, which the band describes as “one of the more atmospheric cuts”, followed by the full album release on 16th September. High Spirits then will be back on tour in October, driven by what just might be their liveliest batch of songs yet, happily headed wherever the road (and skies) take them next.
Are you on board? ‘Cause here we go!