Music Hall of Williamsburg
Eleanor Friedberger

Eleanor Friedberger

TEEN, Cassandra Jenkins, "She's A Mirror" Debut Screening

Fri, June 28, 2013

Doors: 8:00 pm / Show: 9:00 pm

Music Hall of Williamsburg

Brooklyn, NY

$15 advance / $17 day of show

This event is 18 and over

Eleanor Friedberger
Eleanor Friedberger
At a time when most female singer-songwriters perform as alter egos, Eleanor Friedberger is simply, refreshingly herself. And that’s just the way her fans like it. Having spent the last decade fronting the indie-rock institution The Fiery Furnaces (currently on hiatus) with her brother Matthew, in 2011 she emerged as a formidable solo artist with Last Summer, a thoughtfully crafted tale of memory and place couched in the organic pop of her ’70s idols. Instantly, Friedberger established herself as a modern-day heir to the tradition of Donovan, Todd Rundgren, Ronnie Lane, and their ilk: Warm, nuanced, timeless songs. No gimmicks necessary.

The title of Friedberger’s sophomore album is Personal Record, and it is, in a sense. Personal, that is. But not personal in the way of, say, a coming-of-age record, or a diary about the past, which Last Summer was. Many of the songs seem to be about love, or love lost, but whether any of the experience is hers or someone else’s, she isn’t saying. “It’s not as specific a narrative this time,” she says. “There’s a universality to it.” So incisive are the lyrics, in fact, that Friedberger’s bassist incorrectly assumed that two of the songs were about him. “I loved that,” she says. “I want him to feel like the songs are about him. I want you to feel like the songs are about you.”

The term “personal record” also refers to an athlete’s best, and the double entendre is apt. An intense decade-plus of touring and recording has burnished Friedberger’s voice and imbued her songwriting with newfound depth; there’s a maturity and mellifluousness to this outing that feels downright epic. It was always the Eleanor-penned songs that gave the Furnaces’ albums their most poignant and graceful moments, especially in later work like I’m Going Away. Last Summer took that promise into full flower; Personal Record “is part of the same growth process,” she says. Faced with a six-month gap between the completion of Last Summer and its release and accompanying tour, Friedberger holed up at home in Brooklyn; by the time the tour started, she had twelve new songs to road-test. Though most bands work this way, the Furnaces didn’t. For Friedberger, touring with the unreleased material allowed her to flesh out a more rollicking, full sound from the get-go. “By the time I came home,” she says, “I knew exactly what I wanted the songs to sound like.”

She reunited with Last Summer producer Eric Broucek (the DFA-trained emerging talent whose clients include !!!, Hercules and Love Affair, and Jonny Pierce) to expand upon the warm, textured atmosphere of their first collaboration. Tracking began in fall 2012 with a week at Plantain Studios, the West Village home of DFA. To Friedberger’s favored electric pianos and classic-rock guitars, they added a menagerie including an upright bass, an alto flute, a bass clarinet, and even a portative organ. (It’s a device made of several recorders and a bellows in a frame that looks like a wooden castle. Or, actually, like Howl’s Moving Castle.)

Production then resumed at Broucek’s home studio in the Los Angeles hills, where the rest of the record was completed in just ten days. As the songs filled out, Friedberger went full-out in immersing herself in her romantic vision of that city. “I was just listening to Fleetwood Mac and Neil Young, driving around in a borrowed Prius,” she says. “Walking along Point Dume, playing tennis at Griffith Park.... I ate hippie food every day. Lots of lentils.”

The sun-warmed languor of the West Coast and its golden age of rock ’n’ roll shines through in Personal Record. It’s the aural equivalent of an afternoon jaunt up the PCH in an orange BMW 2002, fist pumping into the wind. “When I Knew” and “Stare at the Sun” rock out like the Furnaces’ finest, but with that unmistakable Eleanor gracefulness. “Echo or Encore” is a lilting love ballad underlaid with with a bossa nova beat. “I Am the Past” evokes the mystical side of the Me Decade with meandering bass clarinet and a balls-out flute solo (seriously). Though Friedberger may harbor a bit of a ’70s fetish, there’s an idiosyncrasy and intimacy to her music that’s undeniably modern. Above all, it’s pretty. “It’s such a romantic album to me,” Friedberger says. “But more so than love for another person, it’s really about a love of music.”
TEEN
TEEN
Pivoting from the melodic psych of their previous efforts, TEEN’s second full-length The Way And Color shows the young group confidently shifting direction with their distinctly modern, R&B-informed pop.

Searching for inspiration following their last album, the band’s three sisters – lead singer Teeny Lieberson, keyboardist Lizzie Lieberson and drummer Katherine Lieberson – found direction from a simple lineup tweak, joining with bassist Boshra AlSaadi to mine a new side of the band’s sound.

What emerged was the ambitious scope of The Way And Color. Recorded over a ten-day session in upstate New York, the band infuses their brooding pop with minimalist beats and complex harmonies, inspired by D’Angelo and Erykah Badu’s classic R&B.

Amidst the album’s rich patchwork, Teeny emerges as a expressive, inspired frontwoman, touching on themes of relationships, womanhood and power. The record’s crisp production from Daniel Schlett (DIIV) showcases her voice’s stylistic agility, from the theatrical vamping of “Rose 4 U” to the twisting, soulful “More Than I Ask For.” Toying with genre, TEEN successfully trades in the reverb for a punchy clarity and newfound maturity.
Cassandra Jenkins
Cassandra Jenkins has a voice that is at once tragic and hopeful. Bedded in haunting arrangements of tremolo guitar and washy organ, she draws you into a world lying somewhere between Mazzy Star and Twin Peaks. It’s an arrestingly intimate place, where if you listen closely enough, you’ll find something as timeless as it is bittersweet. She's joined by Malcolm Perkins on electric guitar, Michael Rosen on electric organ, and Noah Hecht on drums.
"She's A Mirror" Debut Screening
“She’s a Mirror” isn’t so much a video for Eleanor’s song as it is a film adaptation of it – a fractured story that reflects the song’s hydra-headed main character. Eleanor will play multiple roles: an actress starring in a film, the spy at the center of that film, and “Eleanor” herself as she performs at a band rehearsal and a live performance at the Jewish Museum. Incorporating a hybrid of documentary and fiction narrative, different visual formats (16mm film being paramount), and numerous versions of the title song, “She’s A Mirror” will be a funny, playful trip down the rabbit hole of a life in the performing arts. See the film in its entirety prior to Eleanor's set on the final date of her upcoming US tour, on June 28that the Music Hall of Williamsburg.
Venue Information:
Music Hall of Williamsburg
66 North 6th St
Brooklyn, NY, 11211
http://www.musichallofwilliamsburg.com/