Music Hall of Williamsburg
Mild High Club

Part of Northside Festival

Mild High Club

Cut Worms, Aerial East

Thu, June 8, 2017

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

Music Hall of Williamsburg

Brooklyn, NY

$16 advance / $18 day of show

This event is 16 and over

Mild High Club
Mild High Club
Following on the underground buzz generated off 2015’s debut LP Timeline, Mild High Club returned in 2016 with their latest effort, Skiptracing (Stones Throw), a thematic, psychedelic jazz-pop odyssey whose story arc follows a private investigator attempting to trace the steps of the sound and the spirit of American music.

Originally hailing from Chicago, Alexander Brettin, who writes and records under the moniker Mild High Club, relocated to Los Angeles in 2012, where his demos caught the ears of prominent local musicians and labels. After signing with Stones Throw Records, Mild High Club released their debut LP in September 2015, which Pitchfork described as “a record full of psychedelic soft rock that draws strongly from White-album era Beatles and T-Rex, with swirls of '80s-indebted synthpop.”

The band quickly became a preferred supporting act on the road, touring with King Gizzard & the Lizard Wizard, Allah-las, Quilt, Youth Lagoon, Wire, and appearing at festivals across the globe, their live act described as “hypnotizing and ethereal”.

The release of 2016’s Skiptracing was a major step forward for the band, which Aquarium Drunkard described as a “cool, grooving blend of lo-fi psych, lounge, and exotica” and was followed by sold out club tours across North America and Europe, as well as festivals in South America and Australia, and continue to tour regularly.
Cut Worms
Cut Worms
Cut worms is a command; if you say so - got a knife?

Cut worms is a crime scene; my god, who would do such a thing? Cover your eyes!

Cut worms is a gardening hazard; they feed at night! Treat with diatomaceous earth before they affect your beans.

Cut worms can mean many things, but today, most likely, Cut Worms means Max Clarke, singing up a storm for you on his new nightcrawler of an EP, “Alien Sunset.”

Some say, if there’s anything in the world you could be doing other than music, please god go do that thing. Well, Max Clarke could have done a number of things; after going to school for illustration, steering toward a career in graphic design, and taking some handy-man type jobs, he realized that songwriting, a pastime since he was twelve years old, was the only type of work that didn’t feel like just work. Writing and finishing songs had never been an effortless task for Max, more like a trip “through heaven and hell,” but he wanted to spend his mid-20s energy on something important and personal- and hey, a little hellfire is good for the complexion.

“Alien Sunset” is a collection of home-recorded “demos” from Max’s time living in Chicago (Side A) and New York City (Side B), written in spurts, like little designated creative coffee breaks. Following the example of a prolific roommate who had endeavored to write a song a day for a year and did so for FOUR years, Max decided to dedicate his daily hour of free-time after work to mindful musical regimen. He challenged himself to record two songs a month and release them online - for better or for worse, praise or criticism. Expecting little more than a few constructive comments regarding his 8-track fidelity, he was surprised by the positive reactions to his antique sound, classic voice, and Everly Brothers style close harmonies.

Each song on “Alien Sunset” has a sturdy, four-legged American quality, but also contains a gentleness and sense of stolen privacy. The arrangements are both dense and airy, decadent without sacrificing an ounce of effervescence. For sure, something about “Alien Sunset” looks back over time’s shoulder, but it isn’t really “retro” music - it just glitters in a way you don’t often hear these days.

If this collection can be said to have any sort through-line, a whiff of motif, it revolves around the obvious delight Max takes in singing his heart out, despite variegated agony. The lyrical work moves from simple, diary-like musings, self-consciousness on the dance floor and general lust problems, to illuminated text. As a lyricist, Max draws upon the Romantics and Symbolists of the rock and roll poet tradition; “Song of the Highest Tower” was written the day Lou Reed died and is an adaptation of a poem from Rimbaud’s “A Season in Hell.” The moniker itself, Cut Worms, borrows its striking and ambiguous imagery from a line in a William Blake poem: “The cut worm forgives the plow.”

For Max, making music is free passage back to the realm of ecstatic teenage feelings, and “Alien Sunset” is full of that intense, feels-so-good-to-feel-so-bad energy. Even when the lyrical content broods, the spirit sparkles, and Max’s emotive vocal performances bubble over with the tipsy dancing and diaphramic laughter of a writer lover fool who, having his wrestled his demons, hit his head upon a multitude of dead ends, and failed thrice and half times at self-immolation, has nowhere left to go but relief.
Aerial East
Aerial East
Aerial East isn’t a stage-name. “My Mom wanted to name me Ariel but didn’t know how to spell it,” she explains. “So she looked it up in the dictionary.”

East’s dizzyingly ambitious debut album, Rooms, was released in May 2016; as unpredictable and undefinable as her name. With its classic vocal style, vintage melodies, and full orchestral arrangements, Rooms sounds like the lost huge budget opus of a forgotten 1960’s pop genius. It begs the question: who is Aerial East and how did she manage to make this huge, eccentric album?

After graduating high school, Aerial and her best friend moved from a small town in Texas to New York, knowing no one, and without specific aspirations or expectations. Aerial got a job waitressing at an Olive Garden in Times Square. Their first week in New York, they met some older musicians who invited them to a weekend at a house upstate. These musicians eventually started passing a guitar around, singing each other songs in the dark woods. “I didn’t play an instrument yet, but I made up songs, just singing, just for myself,” Aerial says. “I used to sing Katherine to sleep, but I didn’t plan on being a musician. Where I came from no one became a musician. So, I wasn’t planning on even telling these intimidating New York people I’d just met that I sang or wrote songs, but Katherine forced me to sing them one of my songs a cappella in the dark.” The moment she finished singing, everyone present asked to produce her.

She’d fallen into a scene of musicians that included Sharon Van Etten, Here We Go Magic, Reggie Watts, and Adam Green of The Moldy Peaches. Luke Temple of Here We Go Magic recorded an unfinished album with her and Adam Green cast her in his experimental film Adam Green’s ALADDIN. Through Adam’s social group of musicians, she met producer Gordon Minette and drummer/producer Mike Johnson (Dirty Projectors, Glass Ghost). “I had an impossible fantasy of making 1950's Disney orchestral music like from Cinderella or Alice in Wonderland but also channeling Pet Sounds, Burt Bacharach, and Nilsson,” Aerial says. “It turned out Gordon had always wanted to make an orchestral album with all real instruments. I still can’t believe I was able to make this album. It’s my masterpiece.”
Venue Information:
Music Hall of Williamsburg
66 North 6th St
Brooklyn, NY, 11249