TORO Y MOI, FOSTER THE PEOPLE, Viva Voce, GEOGRAPHER, DAMIEN JURADO, BRAIDS, CLOUD NOTHINGS, Franz Nicolay (the hold steady), David Dondero

TORO Y MOI

FOSTER THE PEOPLE

Viva Voce

GEOGRAPHER

DAMIEN JURADO

BRAIDS

CLOUD NOTHINGS

Franz Nicolay (the hold steady)

David Dondero

Mon, March 21, 2011

Doors: 5:30 pm / Show: 6:00 pm

$12.00

This event is 21 and over

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TORO Y MOI
TORO Y MOI
The product of a move from South Carolina to Berkeley, CA and the subsequent extended separation from loved ones, Toro Y Moi's third full-length, Anything in Return, puts Chaz Bundick right in the middle of the producer/songwriter dichotomy that his first two albums established. There's a pervasive sense of peace with his tendency to dabble in both sides of the modern music-making spectrum, and he sounds comfortable engaging in intuitive pop production and putting forth the impression of unmediated id. The producer's hand is prominent-not least in the sampled "yeah"s and "uh"s that give the album a hip-hop-indebted confidence-and many of the songs feature the 4/4 beats and deftly employed effects usually associated with house music. Tracks like "High Living" and "Day One" show a considerably Californian influence, their languid funk redolent of a West Coast temperament, and elsewhere-not least on lead single, "So Many Details"-the record plays with darker atmospheres than we're used to hearing from Toro Y Moi. Sounding quite assured in what some may call this songwriter's return to producer-hood, Anything in Return is Bundick uninhibited by issues of genre, an album that feels like the artist's essence.

Born and raised in Columbia, South Carolina, Chaz Bundick has been toying with various musical projects since early adolescence. Having spent his formative years playing in punk and indie rock acts, his protean Toro Y Moi project has been his vessel for further musical exploration since 2001. During his time spent studying graphic design at the University of South Carolina, Chaz became increasingly focused on his solo work, incorporating electronics and allowing a wider range of influences-French house, Brian Wilson's pop, 80s R&B, and Stones Throw hip-hop-to show up in his music. By the time he graduated in spring 2009, Chaz had refined his sound to something all his own. Music journals across the board touted his hazy recordings as the sound of the summer, and he released his debut album, Causers of This in early 2010.

Since then, Bundick has proven himself to be not just a prolific musician, but a diverse one as well, letting each successive release broaden the scope of the Toro Y Moi oeuvre. The funky psych-pop of 2011's Underneath the Pine evinced an artist who could create similar atmospheres even without the aid of source material and drum machines. His Freaking Out EP, a handful of singles and remixes, and a retrospective box-set plot points all along the producer/songwriter spectrum in which he's worked since his debut, and Anything In Return is another exciting offering that shows he's still not ready to settle into any one genre.
FOSTER THE PEOPLE
FOSTER THE PEOPLE
Foster The People came together in late 2009 when Mark Foster met band mates Cubbie Fink and Mark Ponitus through mutual friends in the Los Angeles music scene. Foster hailing from Cleveland, OH had been writing and recording music since his youth but it wasn’t until the three members came together that Foster’s music for the bands upcoming debut release, Torches, was ready for friends to hear.

In early 2010, Foster The People posted their first song “Pumped Up Kicks” on the internet. Days later it was used to score a friend’s fashion video, days after that it showed up on Hype Machine and a year later it had seemed to make its way into the ears of millions of listeners around the world.

Foster The People released their first EP this January to give fans a taste of what they’ll hear on Torches which is out this May! Until then the band will be on the road playing a completely sold out U.S. tour with stops including SXSW, Coachella and Sasquatch music festivals.
Viva Voce
Viva Voce
Since the 2006 release of their Barsuk debut Get Yr Blood Sucked out, Portland, OR duo Viva Voce toured non-stop for nearly 2 years, both as headliners and supporting fellow Portlanders The Shins in the US and abroad.

Band founders Kevin and Anita Robinson took an entire year off from touring (unheard of for them) to finish their hand-built backyard home studio and gig around town with country rock band Blue Giant, and have since become something of a hub in the Portland music scene:

Kevin has spent time producing and recording bands like Tu Fawning and Thao with The Get Down Stay Down. Anita sang harmonies on The Shins' Wincing the Night Away album, and performed with them on SNL and on tour. With Blue Giant, Kevin and Anita made it a habit to incorporate a broad cast of Portland musicians to their live ensemble - and now the Viva Voce band itself has grown, as Kevin and Anita have welcomed Corrina Repp and Evan Railton to the official line-up.

Now Viva Voce are back with Rose City, an album they wrote, arranged, and recorded themselves all in one furious month - choosing not to deliberate over every little thing but living purely in the moment musically and lyrically. Immersing themselves in sonic experimentation, it was truly spontaneous and cathartic. The result is an angular, immediate record that pulses with the palpable urgency of a band yearning for a return to the vagabond life of the working, touring musician – a mode in which Viva Voce is truly at home.
GEOGRAPHER
GEOGRAPHER
In the summer of 2005, after a series of deaths in the family, Michael Deni left his hometown in New Jersey for San Francisco. He spent the next several months with his guitar and a synthesizer, turning that tragedy into the songs that would soon become the foundation for Geographer. With the additions of cellist Nathan Blaz and drummer Brian Ostreicher, Geographer spent the next year cutting their teeth in the Bay Area, winning over crowds with the heart-pounding epics that make up their debut record, ‘Innocent Ghosts’. After being selected one of three ‘Undiscovered Bands You Need To Hear Now’ by SPIN Magazine and garnering considerable word-of-mouth praise from their energetic live shows, the band signed to San Francisco-based label Tricycle Records, releasing a 7” single for the song ‘Kites’ in October 2009. ‘Animal Shapes’ follows up ‘Kites’, building on the synth-driven aesthetic of the single, while irting with darker, more esoteric underpinnings. The record merges Geographer’s aptitude for crafting beautiful, haunting melodies with textural sounds and polyrhythmic energy, marking an evolution of their distinct style. With the overwhelming response to the release of ‘Kites’ and ‘Animal Shapes’, punctuated by a dynamic and engaging live set, the band has already begun to make an indelible mark on the ears of music fans worldwide.
DAMIEN JURADO
DAMIEN JURADO
Urban folk singer/songwriter Damien Jurado quietly built up one of the strongest catalogs on the indie scene, earning high critical praise yet somehow never quite getting his proper due. Nick Drake had a definite impact on much of his work, but Jurado modeled his career on more idiosyncratic, unpredictable figures like Neil Young, Bob Dylan, Lou Reed, or Randy Newman -- songwriters who followed their own muse wherever it took them, whether fans and critics agreed or not. His independent-mindedness was born at least in part from the influence of punk, and one of the results was a concern for emotional authenticity that led him to delve into other people's lives instead of his own. Many of Jurado's best songs spun concise, literate tales of quiet everyday despair, which often earned him comparisons to short story writer Raymond Carver. But his storytelling bent -- not to mention his ambivalence toward confessional material -- arose from a stronger grounding in traditional folk than spiritual compatriots like Elliott Smith or Cat Power. And with detours into pop, roots rock, full-fledged electric indie rock, and even found-sound experiments, Jurado ensured that his body of work was impossible to completely pin down.
BRAIDS
BRAIDS
BRAIDS was formed by four best friends in their last year of High School in Calgary, Alberta. Convincing one another to skip university, they stayed in the garage all year and practiced obsessively, even while their fingers froze during the cold prairie winters. Then, at only 18 years old, they took the bold step of moving across the country together to Montreal, where they began crafting their self recorded/self produced debut album Native Speaker. BRAIDS let the song unravel like Stereolab would by keeping it so warm and beautifully controlled throughout. Not everyone needs to bottle up and explode and I think to be able to pull that off with the kind of music they make is pretty remarkable.
CLOUD NOTHINGS
CLOUD NOTHINGS
Album Review
Cloud Nothings
Turning On / Leave You Forever
[Carpark / True Panther; 2010]
Last fall, Cleveland native Dylan Baldi began recording songs in his parents' basement, on a computer, under the name Cloud Nothings. By December, Baldi was playing his first show, opening for lo-fi kingpins Woods and Real Estate in Brooklyn. There was one snag: Baldi, 18 at the time, was in the middle of his first college finals. He opted to drop out, play the show, and spend his time touring and recording like wild.
Turning On is a compilation that lassos together nearly everything from those first several months, including one split cassette, a 7", and the cassette-turned-CD-R-turned-vinyl LP from which it takes its name. All of the songs have been floating around online for a while, but the comp is as much a primer for a forthcoming full-length as it is an early portrait of a young songwriter with an immediate ear for what works and why. Though Baldi figured out pretty quickly how to deliver his hooks in a variety of styles (see: the post-punk squall of "I Am Rooftop" or the AM-radio twinkle of "Strummin'") his strength lies in always giving straight-ahead pop mechanics license to spazz out. Verses boast sharp fangs, choruses beg repeating, and everything is presented with throaty conviction.
But what becomes clear most quickly is how much these songs would benefit from a studio and band. (Baldi recorded every instrument himself.) Beneath his chorus and backup vocal on "Waddya Wanna Know", you can barely make out a handsome guitar line that, if heard more clearly, would only tease out more melody. Three quarters of the way through "Water Turns Back", the disc's highlight, Baldi solos loosely but very faintly, the sound of his Fender almost completely buried in an already heady mix. Moments like that are scattered throughout this compilation, though to really hear a difference, you need to hear something new.
Released alongside Turning On, the four-song Leave You Forever single, recorded this summer, finds Baldi giving his songs a bath. The guitars are clean and sharp, there's a drummer with verve behind the kit, and as a result, every hook is more vibrant. From the slingshot pace of the title track to the La's-like ribbons of "Talk to Me" to the harmony-enriched coda of "You Were Scared", there's a lot at which to marvel. Here, Baldi sounds not just like a guy getting over a girl, but someone whose melodic understanding continues to evolve as his confidence grows.
Review Written by— David Bevan, October 25, 2010
In recent years, Ohio has found itself on the receiving end of many jokes. Yet despite some unfortunate sports teams and economic problems, the Buckeye State remains fertile ground for great music.
In particular, the Akron, Ohio scene has produced legendary punk bands like The Cramps, Dead Boys, and Devo. More recently, The Black Keys exploded onto the national scene with their intoxicating mix of garage rock and blues. And, if it wasn't for Oberlin College, the world may never have heard of Yeah Yeah Yeahs — singer Karen O and drummer Brian Chase met while attending the school and were both inspired by Ohio's legendary 80s and 90s-era punk scene.
Lo-fi power pop group Cloud Nothings are the latest cool kids to rock out on the Ohio block. Upon first listen, you may think that they sound like any other garage band, but once the upbeat drumming and fuzzed-out guitars sink their teeth into you, you'll keep coming back for more. Songs like "Can't Stay Awake" and "Hey Cool Kid" — off their debut EP Turning On — are anthemic, undeniable gems.
Upon repeated listens, Turning On reveals a hidden depth that belies its lo-fi aesthetic. Buried beneath all the static and fuzz is the focused and talented songwriting of 19-year-old Dylan Baldi, who shows great promise for his age. Baldi possesses a MacGuyver-like resourcefulness to match his talent — he recorded Turning On with nothing but a microphone and his computer.
Expect Cloud Nothings to have a big 2011. They recently signed to Carpark Records and are recording their first full-length in Baltimore with Chester Gwazda — who in the past has recorded albums for folks like Dan Deacon and Future Islands — for a Winter 2011 release. The band is currently wrapping up some New York dates and will then tour Europe. Rest assured, they will no doubt be embarking on a North American tour shortly thereafter.

 
 
Franz Nicolay (the hold steady)
Franz Nicolay (the hold steady)
In Mother Night, Kurt Vonnegut coined the term "a nation of two" to describe that stage of love in which a couple seems to be creating their own self-contained world, with its own language and culture. In Franz Nicolay's haunted and redemptive new album Luck & Courage (out October 12, on CD from Team Science Records and vinyl from Sabot Productions), he expands the idea and writes the history of the rise and fall of one such country, one inhabited by the titular characters Felix & Adelita - in Latin and Spanish, luck & courage.

"They're untethered," Nicolay says of the protagonists. "She's a sometime bartender, he's been in the service, he's a little violent and she's a little distant; they don't really live in any one place - and they've accustomed themselves, at some point, to the idea that ultimately their lives are going to their own responsibility, so that when they find themselves together, almost against their will, their nation of two is doomed before it even begins. They're so used to leaving things behind, they don't remember how to stay - a battle between the pull of domesticity and the habit of packing up and moving on. And so their story, and the story of their nation of two, becomes the story of a plague-ridden, Cormac McCarthyian country as its society collapses."

FRANZ NICOLAY was a member of Brooklyn rockers The Hold Steady and punk orchestra World/Inferno Friendship Society. He founded the new-music collective Anti-Social Music, which celebrates its tenth anniversary in 2010; and is co-leader of the Balkan-jazz quartet Guignol, whose Fight Dirty came out in 2009. Also in 2009, he released his solo debut Major General (Fistolo/Decor) and vinyl-only EP St. Sebastian of the Short Stage (Team Science); and in early 2010 the short-story collection Complicated Gardening Techniques (Julius Singer Press). He made Luck & Courage in Brooklyn in two weeks in spring 2010, with producer Jim Keller (Willie Nelson, Franz Ferdinand). After completing the new album, he spent the past summer as a touring member of agit-punk band Against Me!.

"It is not raining, my shoe is not untied/I have not been unhappy my whole life."
David Dondero
David Dondero
David Dondero is an American singer/songwriter. In 2006, NPR's All Songs Considered named Dondero one of the "best living songwriters" alongside Bob Dylan, Paul McCartney and Tom Waits. Dondero's career began in the mid-1990's with the release of four records with Clemson, SC-based punk band Sunbrain- three on Grass Records and one on Ghostmeat Records. In 1997, Dondero joined This Bike Is A Pipe Bomb as their drummer. He left in 1998 to focus on solo material which was more folk in nature. He has since released eight albums - two on Ghostmeat (see below), three on Future Farmer Records and three on Conor Oberst's Team Love imprint. His ninth album, titled A Pre-existing Condition, will be released February 22, 2011 on Ghosmeat. Dondero is perpetually on tour and has shared the stage with such acts as Crooked Fingers, Jolie Holland, Against Me!, The Mountain Goats, Preston School Of Industry, Bright Eyes, Tilly and the Wall, Spoon and Willy Mason.

A Pre-existing Condition was recorded just outside Athens, GA with Rob Keller (Six String Drag) on upright bass and backing vocals, William Tonks (Bloodkin) on dobro and guitar and Russ Hallauer (Sunbrain) on mandolin and tenor banjo. The album distinguishes itself from other recent Dondero releases with exclusive use of acoustic instruments and extensive use of vocal harmony. Clay Leverett (Now It's Overhead) and Ken Will Morton also make guest appearances with backing vocals and harmonica respectively. The 13-track album features original compositions side by side with Dondero's interpretations of songs by artists such as Little Feat, Elizabeth Cotten, Charlie Pride, Neil Young, Woody Guthrie, Doug Sahm, Jawbreaker, Bob Dylan and Jimmie Rodgers.
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