Monday October 16th | Doors at 8pm
M. Ward returns with a stunning new album, More Rain, for release on Merge Records on March 4, 2016. Ward has released a string of acclaimed solo albums over the past several years, along with five LPs with Zooey Deschanel as She & Him and a 2009 collaborative album with My Morning Jacket’s Jim James and Bright Eyes’ Conor Oberst and Mike Mogis under the moniker Monsters of Folk. In addition to his celebrated work as a musician, Ward is an accomplished producer, handling those duties for such luminaries as Mavis Staples, Jenny Lewis, and Carlos Forster as well as his own musical projects.Get Tickets
M. Ward knows how to live with rain. Having spent the last decade-and-a-half based in the perennially damp Portland, Oregon, the singer-songwriter and producer has learned how to shine through the soggy gloom by simply embracing its inevitability. For Ward, there is inspiration in a dark sky and harmony in foreboding winds. And with his new album More Rain, he has made a true gotta-stay-indoors, rainy-season record that looks upwards through the weather while reflecting on his past.
“I think one of the biggest mysteries of America right now is this: How are we able to process unending bad news on Page One and then go about our lives the way the style section portrays us?” says Ward. “There must be a place in our brains that allows us to take a bird’s-eye view of humanity, and I think music is good at helping people—myself included—go to that place.”
This album, Ward’s eighth solo affair, finds the artist picking up the tempo and volume a bit from his previous release, 2012’s A Wasteland Companion. Where that record introspectively looked in from the outside, More Rain finds Ward on the inside, gazing out. Begun four years ago and imagined initially as a DIY doo-wop album that would feature Ward experimenting with layering his own voice, it soon branched out in different directions, a move that he credits largely to his collaborators here who include R.E.M.’s Peter Buck, Neko Case, k.d. lang, The Secret Sisters, and Joey Spampinato of NRBQ. The result is a collection of upbeat, sonically ambitious yet canonically familiar songs that both propel Ward’s reach and satisfy longtime fans.
More Rain begins with an actual rainstorm, then throughout the album, guitars chime, chug, and riff with Ward’s unmistakable earthy tone, while layers of atmospheric reverb and skittering drums climb and clip in equal measures. As the cloud of noise rolls in, the layers part ever so slightly to make way for Ward’s voice, which can play wispy and whimsical in one moment (“Pirate Dial”) or crackling and smoky in the next (“Time Won’t Wait”) just as well as it can climb to clear-sky clarity (“Confession”) then drop down to smooth, soulful crooning (“I’m Listening”), each one after the other. “Girl From Conejo Valley” is a nostalgic trot through people he used to know and a place he used to be, and “Slow Driving Man” is sweeping and lush in its orchestral climb towards confident heights.
As the album ends with the self-assured swing of “I’m Going Higher,” voices join together in a chorus of rising “ah”s and, for just a second, it seems the storm outside has slowed, making room for a ray of hopeful sunlight. As Ward knows, the rainy season is sure to return, but for now, More Rain is here to help us with our perspective.
With opening support from Whispertown:
Whispertown is the indie project of Morgan Nagler from Los Angeles, California, formerly known as The Whispertown 2000. They have toured with several prominent indie artists in the past few years, including Bright Eyes, Rilo Kiley, Jenny Lewis, The Breeders, She & Him, Maria Taylor, Johnathan Rice, Margot & the Nuclear So and So’s and The Elected.
There’s a buzz about this LA quartet, whose mainstay, aspiring actress Morgan Nagler, numbers celebrity admirers like Conor Oberst. Their lo-fi indie rock comes laced with antique country flavours and front-porch harmonies, a mix that gels to quirky appeal on, say, “Pushing Oars”, but unravels into faux-naive caterwauling elsewhere – “No Dope” is one offender. Nagler can certainly write a song – opener “103” is a droll comment on aging and “Atlantis” yearns for a state of grace to a simple, stately piano – but a touch more rigour wouldn’t undermine her authenticity. Country stars Gillian Welch and David Rawlings, whose label signed the band, should know that.
Friday October 6th | Doors at 8pm
with special guest Sam Miller
$10 tickets. If you’re buying your ticket in advance, select a quantity of 2 and enter coupon code “SHEERMAG” to get your second ticket free!
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.Get Tickets
Tuesday Sept. 19th | Doors at 8pm | FREE!!!
w/ Jack Ladder and Euth Group
Entertainer. Showman. Shaman. Cameron and his business partner / saxophonist, Roy Molloy, hit the road with a live show full of celebration, jubilance and industry know how. Described by Clash Magazine as ‘Sydney’s most literate song writer’, Cameron knows what he is doing, and the creative juggernauts of the international music industry are taking notice. So much so that Jonathan Rado of Foxygen described the first Cameron performance he saw as ‘one of the most memorable, moving concerts I have or will ever witness’, and music icon Henry Rollins described Cameron as being ‘right out of a David Lynch hell dream!’ This will be a free show. Come one, come all; and experience the jubilance. Support from Jack Ladder & The Dreamlanders http://www.jackladderandthedreamlanders.com/ and locals Euth Group Presented in conjunction with Townie Productions.FREE SHOW
Wednesday September 13th | Doors at 8pm
with special guest Sam Miller
Iska Dhaaf (taken from Somali, translated roughly to “let it go”)
In 2011 Nathan Quiroga (Mad Rad, Buffalo Madonna) and Benjamin Verdoes (Mt. St. Helens Vietnam Band) left their respective Seattle-based projects behind and began collaboration on Iska Dhaaf. The band was quickly embraced for their engaging live shows, and for creating the sound of a full band by way of two people. Together as songwriters they have steadily explored production, instrumentation, and an ever-expanding narrative voice.
After the release of their debut, Even the Sun Will Burn, they toured across North America, Western Europe, relocated to New York, and most recently wrote and performed in Paris and Berlin. Their upcoming album, The Wanting Creature, sees the duo emerging as producers, experimenters and genre-bending artists. The new songs show an ongoing devotion to lyrical depth and composition, and the album more fully utilizes their diverse musical backgrounds. Nearly five years in, they will surprise with their innovations-taking risks one would hope to see in a sophomore album.
“You’re the wanting creature you’re the soul that’s never satisfied”Get Tickets
Wednesday September 6th | Doors at 8pm
El Ten Eleven started as a duo in 2002 in Silverlake and have released six solely instrumental LPs to date using unique gear such as guitar/bass doublenecks, fretless bass, looping pedals and both electronic and acoustic drums. “It’s almost like our looping pedals themselves are instruments we’ve had to master,” bass player/composer Kristian Dunn explains. “I’ll loop Tim’s electronic drums with one of my pedals while looping my own bassline, then switch to my six string bass mid-song while he moves to playing acoustic drums, layering up the sonics and shaping the song as it all grows.” By refusing to use anything pre-recorded live they’ve pushed themselves into new territory, now able to deftly recreate their complex compositions nightly.
After 15 years together they’ve attained hard-won virtuosity with the devices and can now concentrate on songwriting itself rather than logistics. “Almost nothing we do is improvised live,” says Dunn. “When we first started playing shows we’d sometimes run into trouble with the loops and have to stop mid-song and try again!”
El Ten Eleven released their sixth full length album Fast Forward in 2015, and will release their first-ever vocal collaboration EP titled Unusable Love featuring Emile Mosseri on August 18.Get Tickets
Saturday September 2nd | Doors at 8pm
Thee Oh Sees are the latest incarnation of songwriter, singer, guitarist (and Castle Face fearless leader) John Dwyer’s ever-evolving pop-folk psychedelic group. Dwyer, who hails from Providence, RI, has been active on the San Francisco indie scene since the late ’90s, working with several bands, including the Coachwhips, Pink & Brown, Yikes, Up Its Alive, and Swords & Sandals, among others, and he formed OCS (which is an acronym for Orinoka Crash Suite, Orange County Sound, or whatever Dwyer decided it was on any given day) initially as a vehicle for the experimental instrumentals he was producing in his home studio.
In time OCS morphed into an actual band, and worked under the usual flurry of names, most notably as the Oh Sees or the Ohsees, and eventually as Thee Oh Sees, featuring Dwyer on guitar and vocals, Brigid Dawson on vocals and tambourine, Petey Dammit (sometimes listed as Petey Dammit!) on guitar, and Mike Shoun on drums. Along with a relocation to Los Angeles in 2014 the band has re-spawned a few times into their current incarnation of Tim Hellman on bass, Dan Rincon and Paul Quattrone on drums.Get Tickets
Thursday August 31st | Doors at 8pm
plus very special guest Broncho
Via Costa Mesa and down into the belly of Echo Park, The Growlers are the party band that grew into a traveling circus of psychedelia that influenced Burger and Lolipop Records and even spawned their own festival, Beach Goth. It’s a zonked-out, uniquely Californian vision of bleached blond hair and drunkard culture that many bands have imitated but none have managed to reproduce. Lead singer Brooks Nielsen draws the kind of devotion among Growlers fans that Jim Morrison once did. And they’ve built their cult following without a single album review in Pitchfork.Get Tickets
Sunday August 20th | Doors at 8pm
w/ Youngblood / Supercult / Red Mesa
Philly heavy psych quintet Ruby The Hatchet is touring in support of their new album, Planetary Space Child, out August 25, 2017 via Tee Pee Records.
The bewitching rock troop featuring vocalist Jillian Taylor, guitarist Johnny Scarps, bassist Lake Muir, drummer Owen Stewart and organist Sean Hur, recorded this album in an 1800’s era estate deep in the Pennsylvania woods with engineers Joe Boldizar (Retro City Studios) and Zach Goldstein (Kawari Sound).Get Tickets
Thursday August 10th | Doors at 8pm
w/ Phantom Lake
Negative Approach is an American hardcore punk band, formed in Detroit, Michigan in 1981. The band is considered among the pioneers of hardcore punk, particularly in the Midwest region. Like most hardcore bands, Negative Approach was little known in its day outside of its hometown. It is now idolized in the Detroit rock underground and the punk subculture, considered to be one of the elite bands of the “old school” era, and continues to be influential.Get Tickets