An Elliott Smith Tribute Show, Featuring
An Elliott Smith Tribute Show at Glasslands in Brooklyn, New York
Presented by THE BOMBER JACKET and Saltlands Studio
Elliott Smith died ten years ago. The show is a tribute to his life and prolific career in music. The evening will support the Elliott Smith Memorial Fund (www.sweetadeline.net/esmf.html), which benefits two charities: Outside In, a Portland-based nonprofit that helps homeless Portland Youth, and Free Arts for Abused Children, also a nonprofit that offers art programs for children who've experienced abuse, poverty, and homelessness. Some of the artists during the night will play Smith's music.
Additional fundraising page (with rewards) here: http://igg.me/at/AnElliottSmithTributeShow
Cat Power (Solo)
Zachary Cole Smith (DIIV) with Sky Ferreira
Yoni Wolf (WHY?)
The Low Anthem
Luke Temple (Here We Go Magic)
Sadie Dupuis (Speedy Ortiz)
Adam Schatz (Landlady / Man Man / Father Figures)
-Lake Street bar: http://lakestreetbar.com/
-Brooklyn Brewery: http://brooklynbrewery.com/
-Main Drag Music: http://maindragmusic.com/
Flyer designed by local artist Allison Specketer
Elliott Smith was born Steven Paul Smith in Omaha, Nebraska on August 6, 1969. His father Gary Smith was in medical school at the University of Nebraska, and his mother Bunny was an elementary school teacher. When Elliott was one year old his parents divorced, and he moved with his mother to Dallas, Texas. That same year, his father was drafted, assigned to the U.S. Air Force, and sent to the Philippines as a physician. By the time Elliott was 5, both his father and mother had remarried and his father and stepmother moved to Portland, Oregon.
From the age of four to thirteen, Elliott lived with his mother, stepfather and two half- siblings in Duncanville, TX (a suburb of Dallas). At fourteen, Elliott moved to Portland, Oregon to live with his father, stepmother, and two half-sisters. Elliott started to write and record songs at home in Portland on a four-track recorder. He attended Lincoln High School and graduated in 1987 as a National Merit finalist. While in high school he formed his first band, Stranger than Fiction. Elliott attended Hampshire College in Massachusetts and graduated in 1991 with a major in political philosophy.
He then moved back to Portland and formed the band Heatmiser along with Neil Gust, his friend and fellow-musician from Hampshire College. Elliott released his first solo album, Roman Candle (Cavity Search), in 1994. He followed with the self-titled Elliott Smith (1995) and Either/Or (1997), both issued on the independent label Kill Rock Stars. He also recorded three albums with Heatmiser in the early ʻ90s: Dead Air and Cop and Speeder (both onFrontier) and Mic City Sons (Virgin/Caroline). In 1997 director and Portland resident Gus Van Sant used some of his songs in the film Good Will Hunting (Van Sant had been a friend and fan of Smithʼs since hearing Roman Candle). One of those, “Miss Misery,” went on to earn an Academy Award nomination for Best Song in a Motion Picture. Elliott performed “Miss Misery” on the Academy Awards telecast March 23, 1998.
Elliott signed a contract with DreamWorks Records in 1998 and quickly released XO, his fourth solo album. That same year his cover of The Beatles “Because” was the end-credit song for the Academy Award winning film American Beauty. In 2000, Smith released his fifth solo album, Figure 8, to much critical acclaim. After the release of Figure 8 and subsequent touring in support of the record, Smith concentrated on writing and reworking more songs, many of which made up From a Basement on The Hill, which was released posthumously on Anti Records in October of 2004. Before his death on October 21, 2003, Elliott had realized his long time dream of building his own recording studio, New Monkey, located in Van Nuys, California.
Kill Rock Stars released New Moon, in May 2007. New Moon is a double-CD collection of 24 songs recorded from 1994-97, during the period of the release of the self-titled album and Either/Or. KRS also reissued both Roman Candle and From a Basement on the Hill in April 2010, placing all of Elliott's independent catalog onto one label (Elliott Smith biography via Kill Rock Stars record label).
Cat Power Solo
SUN is the new studio album from Cat Power. Six years after her last album of original material, Chan Marshall has moved on from her collaborative forays into Memphis soul and Delta blues. She wrote, played, recorded and produced the entirety of SUN by herself, a statement of complete control that is echoed in the songs’ themes.
Marshall calls SUN “a rebirth,” which is exactly what this confident, ambitious, charismatic record feels like. “Moon Pix was about extreme isolation and survival in the crazy struggle,” she says. “SUN is don’t look back, pick up, and go confidently into your own future, to personal power and fulfillment.”
The music on SUN employs a sweeping stylistic palette: There’s the classic Cat Power haunting guitar and provocative vocal hook in “Cherokee” (“marry me to the sky…bury me upside down”); the irresistible Latinsounding nine-piano loop of “Ruin”; upbeat, almost dancey electronic anthems like “Real Life” and “3,6,9”; and the stirring, 8-minute epic “Nothin But Time,” featuring a vocal cameo by Iggy Pop. The swagger of “Silent Machine” brings to mind mid-70s Jagger, contrasted with the unusual, sparse production of “Always on My Own.” The narrative arc of the record is deeply American in its spaciousness and optimism; the music is defiantly modern and global.
Though devoid of grave bedroom confessionals, SUN is possibly Cat Power’s most personal album to date. For all its layered expansiveness, it is as handcrafted as her debut, and never has a Cat Power album so paralleled her personality and state of mind – channeling her humor, anger, deep empathy, musical inspirations, technical skill, and spiritual inquiry into an album that’s both surprising and comforting.
Those versed in the Cat Power discography will detect elements of 2003’s landmark album You Are Free, which experimented with vocal forms and beats borrowed from urban music, and the spellbinding authority of songs like “American Flag.” Sonically, however, with credit to mixer Philippe Zdar (Phoenix, Chromeo, Beasties), SUN is incredibly fresh, reflecting its forward-looking mindset.
Lyrically, Marshall has transcended the angst and self-absorption of her young self, but is still inspired by youth; much of the album is a plea for overcoming societal expectation and individual oppression. “Human Being” puts faint minor-chord fingerpicking over spooky, repetitive bass, with lyrics that could read as feminist – “you got a right to scream when they don’t want you to speak” – but are for anyone who feels they don’t have a voice. “Peace And Love” opens with a Nina Simone line – “peace and love is a famous generation” – then cites Black Flag, flips off people who dismissed her teenage idealism, and proudly concludes, “I’m a lover but I’m in it to win.” Similarly, “Nothin But Time” implores kids to look past today: “You’re just trying to get by, but your world is just beginning…it’s up to you to be a superhero, it’s up to
you to be like nobody”.
SUN was recorded over the past three years in Malibu (in a studio she built herself), Silver Lake (in the Dust Brothers’ studio The Boat), Miami (South Beach Studios), and Paris (Motorbass), where she mixed with Zdar in spring 2012.
Cat Power is touring the world with a new band beginning in Fall 2012.
Zachary Cole Smith (DIIV) with Sky Ferreira
DIIV is the nom-de-plume of Z. Cole Smith, musical provocateur and front-man of an atmospheric and autumnally-charged new Brooklyn four-piece. Inked to the uber-reliable Captured Tracks imprint, DIIV created instant vibrations in the blog-world with their impressionistic debut Sometime; finding its way onto the esteemed pages of Pitchfork and Stereogum a mere matter of weeks after the group’s formation.
Enlisting the aid of NYC indie-scene-luminary, Devin Ruben Perez, former Smith Westerns drummer Colby Hewitt, and Mr. Smith’s childhood friend Andrew Bailey, DIIV craft a sound that is at once familial and frost-bitten. Indebted to classic kraut, dreamy Creation-records psychedelia, and the primitive-crunch of late-80′s Seattle, the band walk a divisive yet perfectly fused patch of classic-underground influence.
One part THC and two parts MDMA; the first offering from DIIV chemically fuses the reminiscent with the half-remembered building a musical world out of old-air and new breeze. These are songs that remind us of love in all it’s earthly perfections and perversions.
A lot of DIIV’s magnetism was birthed in the process Mr. Smith went through to discover these initial compositions. After returning from a US tour with Beach Fossils, Cole made a bold creative choice, settling into the window-facing corner of a painter’s studio in Bushwick, sans running water, holing up to craft his music.
In this AC-less wooden room, throughout the thick of the summer, Cole surrounded himself with cassettes and LP’s, the likes of Lucinda Williams, Arthur Russell, Faust, Nirvana, and Jandek; writings of N. Scott Momaday, James Welsh, Hart Crane, Marianne Moore, and James Baldwin; and dreams of aliens, affection, spirits, and the distant natural world (as he imagined it from his window facing the Morgan L train).
The resulting music is as cavernous as it is enveloping, asking you to get lost in its tangles in an era that demands your attention be focused into 140 characters.
Yoni Wolf (WHY?)
Yoni Wolf, the frontman of WHY?, is heading out on a rap-only tour this May. Sponsored by his podcast, THE WANDERING WOLF, the eclectic lyricist, singer, and rapper is bringing an MC/DJ show to the Midwest and Northeast. Best known for his unique range of styles and themes as the lead singer in WHY? Yoni is returning to his roots as a rapper. He will perform songs spanning his entire career: early to new WHY?, cLOUDDEAD, Reaching Quiet, guest spots on songs by Alias and Themselves, remixes by Boards of Canada, Dntel, and more. But don't expect a WHY? show or a crooning Yoni next to a piano. This is straight-up rap.
He will be joined on the tour by his friend and collaborator Serengeti, the Chicago rap visionary whose 2014 albums Sisyphus and Kenny Dennis III showed up on many year-end favorite lists.
The Low Anthem
From its hand silkscreened cover art to its meticulously crafted songs, The Low Anthem offers work meant to be held, savored, contemplated, and occasionally stomped along to. The Providence, RI, trio's Nonesuch debut offers a distinctly human touch in an era of instant uploading and ephemeral expression. The mood of Oh My God, Charlie Darwin is melancholic from the start—quiet, intimate, full of longing, and often hauntingly beautiful. In its lyrics, a dog-eat-dog society is nearing collapse and relationships are bruised, broken, or irretrievably lost. Yet in their tenor there is a pencil shaving of hope.
The Low Anthem combines folk and blues arrangements with the elegance of chamber music and the fervor of gospel. Much of Oh My God is hushed and hymn-like, but the trio throws a clamorous curve with raw, stomp-and-holler tracks like "The Horizon Is a Beltway" and its version of "Home I'll Never Be," a Jack Kerouac song passed via Tom Waits. Members Ben Knox Miller, Jeff Prystowsky, and Jocie Adams—all students of classical composition—bring a wide range of individual interests to the band. Prystowsky is a scholar of baseball, jazz, and American history. Adams, a classical composer and technical wizard, spent summers working an infrared spectrometer at NASA. And Miller, principle songwriter, painter, and general ruminator, can indeed expound upon the theories of Charles Darwin. They have a formidable work ethic, along with the ability to laugh at their maniacal intensity.
On stage and in its recordings, the trio uses a variety of unusual instrumentation—by its own count, the band mates took turns playing 27 different instruments on Oh My God—that gives its songs, at times, an otherworldly quality. For example, Miller and Prystowsky refurbished a World War I pump organ that had been dragged by chaplains into the battlefield and is now part of The Low Anthem's arsenal of instruments. Adams plays the crotales, a rack of bronze, cymbal-like discs often used with mallets as a percussion instrument. Adams, however, wields a bow to elicit feedback-like sounds. Some critics have called The Low Anthem's sound Americana, but what the group has really done is to conjure a varied and elusive sound of its own.
Luke Temple (Here We Go Magic)
In the winter Luke Temple moved into a cottage, a small one, in upstate New York. The snow fell quietly. He had frozen blueberries and bread and eggs and Coors Original. He sang and drank and played and drank and ate and shoveled snow and when the snow melted and the roads cleared he had his friends. Eliot Krimsky of Glass Ghost (keyboards) and Mike Johnson of Dirty Projectors (drums) dug into Luke's hut and together they built a fire. Luke called it Good Mood Fool.
Originally from Cape Anne, Massachusetts, Luke moved to the North West, sleeping rough in the woods, working in a candy store and as a janitor at a suburban mall. While in Seattle Luke met some people headed down the coast. All of his aimlessness lasted a year and half before Luke had had enough. He enrolled in school of the Museum of Fine Arts and spent five years painting portraits, after which Luke moved to New York and worked as a muralist and plasterer. As painting drifted from the foreground little songs started to emerge. He tried them out at the famous Sidewalk Café Monday open mic and the people there liked it.
After recording two critically acclaimed albums for Mill Pond, to little commercial reception, Luke was at the point of quitting a career in music. In 2008, feeling free in his new state, he made what would become the first Here We Go Magic album, forming the band and releasing the self-titled debut in 2009. Positive critical and commercial response to the record kept Luke busy through touring and recording two more full lengths and an EP. Since Here We Go Magic's 2012 release, the Nigel Gordich-produced A Different Ship, Luke has returned to his original solo ideas.
In a sense Good Mood Fool is an extension of the first self-titled Here We Go Magic record. It was recorded with the same sense of freedom and joy. The meat of the record finds Luke taking a sharp turn in order to keep himself interested. First single "Katie" is a prime slice of mid-80s intelligent pop, almost So-era Peter Gabriel in its rhythms and sound. Meanwhile, "Florida" is a blue-eyed soul hit, a lazy sunny evening of summer beauty. Good Mood Fool draws from myriad influences, from the hushed soulful wail of Curtis Mayfield to the dense harmonies of Gill Evans and the Bulgarian Women's Choir. It is meant to be clear in production and in content, hiding nothing.
Marissa Nadler wastes no time in cutting close to the bone on “July,” her latest
album and first for her new labels, Sacred Bones (US) and Bella Union (Europe).
“Drive” opens the record with one of her most devastating lines, addressing a
quandary we have all grappled with at some point: “If you ain’t made it now/ You’re
never gonna make it.”
There is catharsis in the chorus: “Nothin’ like the way it feels/ To drive,” she sings
amid a choir of celestial harmonies, elongating that last word as if it were a car
bounding down a long stretch of lost highway. It’s Nadler at her most elemental:
warm but spectral, vulnerable but resilient.
Nadler lays the listener – and herself – on the line with “July,” her sixth full-length
album in nearly a decade. Set for release on Feb. XX, it floats freely in the pop
cosmos somewhere between gauzy shoegaze, unvarnished folk, and even a hint of
metal’s doom-and-gloom spirit.
On “Firecrackers,” an acoustic strum frames a cascading melody that is simply
gorgeous until you realize just how much it belies the brutality of what Nadler has
to say. “Firecrackers/ Burned into heaven on the floor/ My attacker/ It’s me, it’s me,
it’s me you’re looking for.”
Then she slyly leavens the mood: “July Fourth of last year/ We spilled all the
blood/ How’d you spend your summer days?” Nadler asks with a straight face,
acknowledging you could either laugh or cry at such a sentiment.
This is the world of Nadler’s “July,” where you're likely to find the Boston-based
singer and songwriter “holed up at the Holiday Inn” watching crime TV or leaving
her instruments to freeze in the car. These settings, details, and themes are brand-
new to Nadler's canon, and they paint a far more realistic version of her life than
her previous records. The results are astonishing and occasionally reminiscent
of David Lynch (who is, appropriately enough, among her label mates on Sacred
Bones). As Pitchfork once wrote, her songs are “as gorgeous as they are elliptical
Recorded at Seattle's Avast Studio, the album pairs Nadler for the first time with
producer Randall Dunn (Earth, Sunn O))), Wolves in the Throne Room). Dunn
matches Nadler's darkness by creating a multi-colored sonic palette that infuses
new dimensions into her songs. Eyvand Kang's strings, Steve Moore’s synths, and
Phil Wandscher's guitar lines escalate the whole affair to a panoramic level of
beautiful, eerie wonder.
Her voice, too, is something to behold here, at once clarion but heavy with the
kind of tear-stained emotion you hear on scratchy old country records by Tammy
Wynette and Sammi Smith. Long gone are the days when Nadler summoned images
of 1960s folk singers who got lost in the woods. She is a cosmic force on “July,”
shooting these songs to euphoric highs and heartbreaking lows.
Celebrated for her crystalline soprano, she explores her lower register to profound
effect throughout “July,” turning “1923” into a cinematic ode to forlorn love. Strings
cradle Nadler’s vocals, cresting in a climax that is somehow vast yet still intimate. If
you were to hear only one song from “July” – which would be a shame, by the way –
let it be “1923.” It is Nadler in miniature: haunted, elegiac, and epic.
“July” is the kind of release that reminds you why NPR counts Nadler's songwriting
as so “revered among an assortment of tastemakers.” This is a singular achievement
for the artist, a record she couldn’t have made earlier in her career because, as every
songwriter knows, she didn’t just write these songs: She lived them.
Aaron Pfenning of Rewards
Sadie Dupuis (Speedy Ortiz)
After too much time freelance writing and watching re-runs in a windowless Brooklyn basement, guitarist and songwriter Sadie Dupuis left New York City for the wilds of Northampton, MA in order to pursue a master’s degree in poetry. In doing so, she began Speedy Ortiz, a self-recorded lo-fi project named after a minor character from the Love and Rockets comic series. Speedy Ortiz soon became something else entirely as bassist Darl Ferm, guitarist Matt Robidoux, and drummer Mike Falcone teamed up to form a full band, balancing abrasive noise with infectious earworms. The newly minted Speedy Ortiz quickly found an audience in the Boston DIY scene, playing frequently with their friends Pile, Grass is Green, Fat History Month, Sneeze, Krill, and Arvid Noe.
Almost immediately, the band recorded a two-song single, “Taylor Swift” and “Swim Fan,” with Paul Q. Kolderie (Pixies, Hole) and Justin Pizzoferrato (Chelsea Light Moving, Dinosaur Jr.), and self-released it in March of 2012. Shortly thereafter they spent a few weekends at the dingy yet atmospheric Sex Dungeon Studios in Philadelphia recording the Sports EP, a five-track, loosely conceptual 10” released that June on Exploding in Sound Records.
The creation of Major Arcana, their full-length debut, marks the evolution of Speedy Ortiz into a wholly collaborative effort. Darl leans toward basic, chunky parts, while Mike, a talented songwriter in his own right, helped arrange while also providing aggressive, boisterous drums. And Matt is a classically trained guitarist, but his experience in noise and experimental music comes through in his anti-melodic guitar solos, which counterbalance Sadie’s angular, scalar guitar riffs and poppy vocals.
The end result is a band able to distill their influences and creative impulses into something at once dissonant and melodic, noisy yet undeniably pop.
Adam Schatz (Landlady / Man Man / Father Figures)
The Perennials are an Indie/folk/rock band based out of Brooklyn, NY. The band formed as a duet with Pete and Amanda Wells and then soon expanded with drummer Aaron Hamel. Although additional members have come and gone, the three have remained the core.
Their unique sound capitalizes on strong, vocally driven melodies layered with harmonies and supported by intricate guitar lines, hard hitting drums and delicately understated piano pieces.
The hooks are never easy, but the challenges always pay off. Love of '90s indie rock pairs up with (re)visions of early post-punk, deep-seated anxieties resound inside interstellar echoes, heavy grooves undulate beneath shimmering melodies, drums make love to guitars, computers and humans coexist, and we all just hope to survive the digital era.
After years of independently producing bright, noisy pop, Tereu Tereu changed shape. Now a duo comprised of Ryan Little and Brendan Polmer, the band plays a dark breed of disjointed rock. Founded in 2006 as a two-piece, the band switched line-ups several times over the years and has since returned to its roots, albeit with a different drummer and a heavier sound. The duo incorporates samples, loops, and electronics into guitar-driven post-punk, toying with both laptop-assisted ambiance and Matador-style rock and roll. So far, the band has released a few EPs and an album, toured through much of the Eastern half of America, and played shows with bands like Ra Ra Riot and The Dismemberment Plan. Expect a new full-length in 2012.