PETER MURPHY

PETER MURPHY

MY JERUSALEM (Feat. members of The Polyphonic Spree, Bishop Allen, & the Twilight Singers)

Sat, July 26, 2014

Doors: 7:30 pm / Show: 8:30 pm

$20.00 GA - $100.00 VIP

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This event is 21 and over

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PETER MURPHY
PETER MURPHY
It’s 35 years since Bauhaus dropped “Bela Lugosi’s Dead” from a monochromatic Weimar dreamscape into our own universe. The clattering 9 and a half minutes of their debut – an audacious, totally Other, anxious-to-the-point-of-internally-hemorrhaging kind of 12” – ushered a ground-breaking aesthetics of atmosphere into the UK’s post-punk scene and signaled the start of a long, illustrious and varied music career for Peter Murphy.

When the band broke-up for the first time in 1983, the singer set off on a solo career that found him challenging his audiences at every turn. During an astonishingly fertile three decades, he eviscerated expectations and pin-balled a sprawling wasteland of musical styles: from carrying the mantle of 70’s Bowie to rivaling New York’s No Wave generation for seductively grainy, punishing grooves; from theatrical, gothic pop to 2011’s anthemic yet intimate and esoteric Ninth.

Few musicians of his stature seem as suited – nor as poetically inclined – to fulfill T. S. Eliot’s meditation on the path from life to death, that the “end of all our exploring will be to arrive where we started and know the place for the first time.” And, sure enough, Murphy has turned things inside-out once more and returned to the prone theatrics and masochism-flecked cool of the original Bauhaus. This time, to realize the particulars of his somewhat fanatical auteur’s vision, he is taking it on the road alone, after the last full-band Bauhaus outing demonstrated that his was not a perspective that everyone could accommodate.

After a tumultuous 18 days in an Ojai, California studio in 2006, the group had come away with Go Away White, a record displaying both the personal chemistry, as well as the incendiary aspects of the group dynamic. “It was typically Bauhaus,” says Murphy, who actively embraced the razor-wire tensions within the band. “The tension [on that album] is palpable, isn’t it? I loved it. People hear about that record retrospectively. Danny [Ash, Bauhaus guitarist] would say, ‘We couldn’t stand to be in the same room together.’ But that’s not my experience. I was always the biggest advocate for that band. We were warming up when it ended. I was still raring to go to complete that album.”

Though one suspects he’s not one to calculate when it comes to his art, he couldn’t have picked a better moment. While his records throughout the last decade were reaching out to a broader audience, conversely, the supposedly niche sound of early Bauhaus was finding him a whole new generation of fans. In 2010, you couldn’t go into a bar worth its salt in East London without hearing the likes of Bauhaus, Joy Division, and Einsturzende Neubauten, or pressing up against some nostalgic black denim and leather. Their influence can be heard seeping into countless contemporary bands, such as The Horrors, and notably in electronic music projects and on the industrial scene.

“I think younger audiences are just as aware that they don’t have any identity in the music they follow,” he says, commenting from a place of aesthetic analysis than any kind of bitterness. “Once they start listening to older music or music that isn’t generically issued, they start to hold onto things more. That’s why it’s more important for people like myself to connect with an audience. I’m not talking about Facebook—I’m talking about a live show. People can really start to form a congealed idea in their relationship with an artist. That kind of connection is missing in the digital world: You experience things more in a tangible realm than in a virtual existence. I don’t deny or get anxious about being labeled; I can’t really describe what I do, but it does have an outside effect on an audience.”

“People remember those things,” the singer says, laughing at memories of his onstage audacity. “They don’t remember some digital file they downloaded from the Internet that gets lost among the other 3,000 ones they already have.”

Those younger audiences discovering Bauhaus are connecting to Murphy’s artistic identity, the constellation of impressions he makes that he can’t quite pinpoint, inextricably bound up in the new and daring atmospheres he was seminal in bringing to pop music. The new legions of Bauhaus devotees aren’t exclusively black-clad hipsters and eccentrics; they’re anyone who has identified with Murphy’s rallying cry from the margins. Anyone stifled by the unrelenting saccharine of chart hegemony will be pleased to know that Peter, far from leaving his solo career behind, is - in tandem to preparing his Bauhaus tour - already putting the finishing touches on his next album. Produced by Youth (Killing Joke, The Verve, Paul McCartney) it looks to be his most accomplished work to date, and one that channels the artistic chicanery of 35 years, bringing the destination of that mortifying loop into clearer focus and searing it into our minds with more intensity than ever.
MY JERUSALEM (Feat. members of The Polyphonic Spree, Bishop Allen, & the Twilight Singers)
"Nobody ever paid money to see Harry Houdini escape being buried alive" says My Jerusalem founder and singer Jeff Klein. "They wanted the small chance of seeing him killed by the weight of the earth on top of him."

Behold the concept behind Preachers, the second full-length release from Austin's My Jerusalem. From the opening piano of the haunting title track, to the unexpected pummeling guitar and drums on closer "I Left My Conscience In You", Preachers leads the listener on a cinematic journey through a reckless, jagged landscape of Raymond Carver-esque stories, fueled by Klein's persuasive baritone, ominous guitars, dream-like keyboards and a deep rhythmic pulse.

Recorded in under three weeks by Spoon drummer Jim Eno (Heartless Bastards, Polica, Black Joe Lewis) at his Public Hi-Fi studio, Preachers is the first My Jerusalem album genuinely made by a band, not just performed by a group of musicians. Pushing aside hard drives and laptops to make way for analog tape machines and vintage keyboards, what Klein describes as the "Post-Modern Southern Gothic Soul" sounds of Preachers were born from organic, live performances Eno carefully captured and tweaked.

Preachers is the follow-up to 2010's critically acclaimed debut, Gone For Good, an album that earned the band performances on BBC Radio 6 and Daytrotter, as well as notices from NPR's All Songs Considered, AOL/Spinner's Song of the Day, and the iTunes Weekly Rewind. Along with European festival appearances at the Frequency Festival, Musikfestwochen, and Rock Im Saal, the band toured and played shows with a eclectic set of bands including Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros, Har Mar Superstar, Avett Brothers, Godspeed You! Black Emperor, and White Arrows.

Buoyed by the success of Gone For Good, Preachers showcases a band headed into the studio with a renewed focus and confidence. Preachers contains equal parts swagger (the swampy gospel of title track "Preachers", the strutting intensity of "Born In The Belly") and groove (the spooky beauty of "Shatter Together", the crescendoing, feral drive of "Devoe", the infectious crooner "Mono"); as much primal ("Death Valley") as it is humane ("Chameleon").

"It's a darker record," says Klein, who, before forming My Jerusalem in 2010, made 3 records under his own name. "So much had changed since Gone For Good. We'd all kind of been through hell and back again in different ways, and this was the natural artistic result of all of that. But I think it's a beautiful, comforting darkness. It's real, but not selfish."

"We finally have a shared collective vibe," adds guitarist/keyboardist Jon Merz, "I believe it's more representative of what our live shows sound like. This time around, Jeff would bring us song ideas and we would add our own perspectives to it."

The five-piece, which also features multi-instrumentalist Michael St. Clair, drummer Grant Van Amburgh, and bassist Geena Spigarelli, also had the opportunity to road-test much of the new material before recording, during their extensive touring behind Gone For Good. It was a luxury they didn't have the first time around.

"Working out the kinks live before recording them makes a big difference," reflects Klein, "They get a chance to breathe and grow before committing them to the world permanently. Because of that process, some songs, like 'Death Valley,' sound nothing like their early version. We're excited to take them on the road and see how they evolve even further."

Equal parts sweet, morbid, strange, and sincere, Preachers is an experience that could convert the most steadfast of non-believers.
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