Wednesday December 14, 2016
KGSR's 26th Anniversary Party featuring Band of Horses + Kurt Vile and the Violators with Lucy Dacus Presented by Ziegenbock
Join KGSR to celebrate 26 years of bringing music to the Austin airwaves with a night of performances from BAND OF HORSES and KURT VILE AND THE VIOLATORS with LUCY DACUS!
In the past, BAND OF HORSES founder and leader Ben Bridwell would literally run away from home to write: Holing up in a secluded cabin or other such remote location, emerging months later with new songs for his band to flesh out and fully animate. This time - whether by happenstance or conscious need for a drastic change - Ben stayed home to write. In the estrogen-charged atmosphere of a home shared with his wife and four - yes, four - daughters he allowed his everyday experiences to inform his process. Between dropping off and picking up the girls, changing diapers, and playing dress up, Bridwell spent every precious free minute - often the wee hours on the morning into daybreak - in his garage writing.
While Bridwell and his bandmates - Tyler Ramsey, Ryan Monroe, Creighton Barrett and Bill Reynolds - convened in South Carolina alongside producer Jason Lytle (Grandaddy), Bridwell struggled to bring the new material into focus. One day, at a particularly crucial part of the recording process Ben's phone rang. It was Rick Rubin - who'd randomly heard a Band of Horses song on the radio during a drive, and had been moved to pull over and call. Without going into details, Bridwell can't stress the value of this phone call enough. It was exactly the final push that his songs needed on their journey from conception to being sent out into the world.
The result is Band of Horses' fifth studio album, Why Are You OK, a record informed by experience and at the same time retaining the vulnerability that birthed their greatest songs. Creating capsule worlds populated by the strange but true cast of characters from Bridwell's hometown Charleston, SC, Why Are You OK's songs combined universal sentiments with Bridwell's patented knack for storytelling - all wrapped in the lush melodic textures that have long been the bedrock of Band of Horses' signature sound.
Why Are You OK is out now via Interscope Records/American Recordings. The album was produced by Jason Lytle, Executive Produced by Rick Rubin and mixed by Dave Fridmann.
Having been the subject and willing conspirator of many intentional lies planted in Sonic Youth bios over the years, I know first hand the way album lore can bend reality to its truth. After the infamous Byron Coley originated the SY "Trilogy" myth in the Murray Street bio, we had no choice but to fulfill those expectations with Sonic Nurse. "Why did you decide to make a trilogy?" was always the first question asked in interviews around that time.
But this is KURT VILE's bio, and I wont do that to him. Anyway, Kurt does his own myth making; a boy/man with an old soul voice in the age of digital everything becoming something else, which is why this focused, brilliantly clear and seemingly candid record is a breath of fresh air. Recorded and mixed in a number of locations, including Los Angeles and Joshua Tree, b'lieve i'm goin down... is a handshake across the country, east to west coast, thru the dustbowl history ("valley of ashes") of woody honest strait forward talk guthrie, and a cali canyon dead still nite floating in a nearly waterless landscape. The record is all air, weightless, bodyless, but grounded in convincing authenticity, in the best version of singer songwriter upcycling. In Kurt's words, "I wanted to get back into the habit of writing a sad song on my couch, with nobody waiting on me. I really wanted it to sound like it's on my couch -- not in a lo-fi way, just more unguarded and vulnerable."
For a record that plays like a cohesive acoustic experience, its musicality marks Kurt's departure from an electric guitar experience to include a range of instrumentation with a large group of players. From the banjo he plays on "I'm an Outlaw" to the piano and lapsteel on "Life Like This," and the myriad other instruments on other songs, including farfisa, resonator, arps, horns and synth, one never thinks about what exactly yr listening to as it all serves the song.??The heart of the record is "Stand Inside." The music is quiet and the melody, like a hymn, folds in on itself, and embraces full strength in a sexy, floating forcelessness that slowly gathers into a wave that doesn't go where you think it will or rather gives in to itself and celebrates a man willing to be defined by a woman and his love for her as witness to each other’s lives… Don't stand by my side, stand inside gives up roleplaying for true exposure and vulnerability.
It's a weird, accepting, mature record, acknowledging the inherent immaturity of being a person whether father, husband, partner, adult, musician, not perfect, but compelling for its understanding … that's life though so sad to say… I love this record,
b'lieve i'm goin down.
LUCY DACUS is a witty songwriter whose solo tunes have evolved into twangy indie rock slow-burners with help from the rest of her talented quintet. She began writing mostly for herself, but met up with like-minded players in Richmond, Virginia who helped flesh out and grow her skeletal demos. Dacus is a soft-spoken, in-the-moment kind of player whose lyrics are open-ended but biographical. She possesses an acute observational focus, one that gifts her with the ability to tell stories that resonate with thoughtful universal truth.