Music Hall of Williamsburg
Laura Stevenson

Don Giovanni Records Showcase Night 1

Laura Stevenson

Jeffrey Lewis, Waxahatchee, Lemuria, Hilly Eye

Fri, February 8, 2013

Doors: 7:00 pm / Show: 8:00 pm

Music Hall of Williamsburg

Brooklyn, NY

$13 advance / $15 day of show / $20 2-Day Pass

This event is 16 and over

Laura Stevenson
Laura Stevenson
Laura Stevenson is finally learning not to worry. After more than a year of national and worldwide touring following the release of her critically acclaimed album Wheel, both headlining, and alongside such varied acts as Against Me!, The Go-Go’s, Kevin Devine, Tim Kasher of Cursive, and The Gaslight Anthem, the songwriter made the move from her between-tour home base of Brooklyn, to upstate New York’s Hudson River Valley. There, she rented a nineteenth-century Victorian, a former brothel in a cement-mining town-turned hippie-enclave, and converted the attic into a makeshift studio. It was in this space that she and her band went to work arranging and demoing the eleven songs she had written that would make up Cocksure, Stevenson’s fourth album. The record features musicians Mike Campbell, Alex Billig and Peter Naddeo, who in various incarnations have performed with her for over seven years, as well as newcomer Samantha Niss, a long-time Hudson Valley resident and the veritable go-to drummer of the region.

Where 2013’s Wheel was full of lingering uncertainty, harkening to Stevenson’s folk and country leanings, Cocksure is a straightforward, to the point, emboldened rock and roll album. Although some existential dread still peaks through the cracks, Stevenson treats themes as heavy-hearted as sudden and tragic death, self-imposed exile in small windowless rooms, and that back-of-your-mind anxiety that the road you’re on may not be the right one, as their own signs of life; a life that is brightly colored by those realities.

With influences ranging from The Lemonheads, Liz Phair, and The Replacements, to early Weezer and the Smoking Popes, Cocksure maintains Stevenson’s unique vulnerability, and steadfast devotion to a solid and honest melody. In the writing process, she challenged herself to be true to whatever was going to come out of her, with many of the tracks featuring melodies that were purely stream of consciousness. “I felt like over-working it would suck some of the spirit out of the songs… this record needed that spontaneity. Spending so much time editing and second guessing yourself takes all the life out of it.”

This sense of spontaneity was maintained in the way Cocksure was recorded. In May of 2015, Stevenson and her band traveled city-bound to Room 17, a studio located in her old neighborhood of Bushwick, Brooklyn. “It’s this very positive and amazing space, and Joe Rogers, the engineer, was so enthusiastic about what we were doing. Everyone was comfortable enough to just really play and not get caught up in anything else.” All the main instrumentation on Cocksure was performed live, no clicks/no punches, under the watchful eyes of Rogers and producer Jeff Rosenstock, Stevenson’s long-time friend and collaborator. “Jeff was the perfect person for the job. All of his Bomb The Music Industry! and solo recordings have this energy to them, they’re like living things. I wanted to capture some of the magic he has.” The album was later mixed and mastered by Jack Shirley (Joyce Manor, Deafheaven, Tony Molina) at Atomic Garden Studios in Palo Alto, CA.

Self-assurance is a new hat for Stevenson, and on Cocksure she confronts her usual tendencies toward self-deprecation head-on. “It’s freeing to stop being so hard on yourself, and to quiet down all of the outside noise,” she says. “Once you’re able to do that, you can actually write what you should be writing.”

Laura Stevenson will release Cocksure on October 30, 2015, via Don Giovanni Records.
Jeffrey Lewis
Jeffrey Lewis
Born and raised New Yorker Jeffrey Lewis leads a double-life, as both a comic book artist and an indie-rock musician. Beginning with homemade cassettes in the late 90s, and moving on to touring the world and releasing "proper" albums since 2001, Jeffrey's now 15-year career has included sharing bills and tours with the likes of The Vaselines, The Fall, Stephen Malkmus & The Jicks, Roky Erickson, The Mountain Goats, Daniel Johnston, Devo, Pulp and many other luminaries. In between his contemplative folk narratives and bashed-out indie-punk songs Jeffrey is known for often including a couple of his illustrated songs in each concert (what he calls "low budget videos") sometimes covering historical topics (like "The History of Communism"), biographies (like "The Life of Barack Obama") or strange flights of fancy (like "The Creeping Brain"). Appearing in the past as Jeffrey Lewis & The Jitters (featuring his brother Jack and David Beauchamp), Jeffrey Lewis & The Junkyard and other touring ensembles, his newest band incarnation is Jeffrey Lewis & The Jrams (pronounced "drams") featuring Caitlin Gray on bass and Heather Wagner on drums.
Rough Trade Records (label of The Smiths, The Strokes, etc.) has released six Jeffrey Lewis albums to date; Jeffrey has self-published ten issues of his comic book series Fuff, and Jeffrey's writing, illustrations, comic books and music have been featured by The Guardian, The History Channel and The New York Times (among other places).
Waxahatchee
Waxahatchee
Katie Crutchfield’s southern roots are undeniable. The name of her solo musical project Waxahatchee comes from a creek not far from her childhood home in Alabama and seems to represent both where she came from and where she’s going. Since leaving home, Crutchfield has drifted between New York and Philadelphia but chose to return to Alabama to write her first two albums: American Weekend, her debut filled with powerful lo-fi acoustic tracks full of lament, and Cerulean Salt, a more developed and solid narrative about growing up. Both are representations of a youthful struggle with unresolved issues and unrequited feelings.

Waxhatchee’s latest record, Ivy Tripp, drifts confidently from these previous albums and brings forth a more informed and powerful recognition of where Crutchfield has currently found herself. The lament and grieving for her youth seem to have been replaced with control and sheer self-honesty. “My life has changed a lot in the last two years, and it’s been hard for me to process my feelings other than by writing songs,” says Crutchfield. “I think a running theme [of Ivy Tripp] is steadying yourself on shaky ground and reminding yourself that you have control in situations that seem overwhelming, or just being cognizant in moments of deep confusion or sadness, and learning to really feel emotions and to grow from that.”

Recorded and engineered by Kyle Gilbride of Wherever Audio at Crutchfield’s home on New York’s Long Island—with drums recorded in the gym of a local elementary school—Ivy Tripp presents a more developed and aged version of Waxahatchee. “The title Ivy Tripp is really just a term I made up for directionless-ness, specifically of the 20-something, 30-something, 40-something of today, lacking regard for the complaisant life path of our parents and grandparents. I have thought of it like this: Cerulean Salt is a solid and Ivy Tripp is a gas.”

Crutchfield is accompanied by both Gilbride and Keith Spencer on Ivy Tripp, and the record was produced by all three of them. With the addition of more guitar work, piano, drum machines, and Crutchfield’s vocals in full bloom, we are given a record that feels more emphatic and pronounced. Ivy Tripp opens with “Breathless,” filled with only a distorted keyboard and layers of vocals, showcasing Waxahatchee’s pension for quiet, personal reflection. The record then opens up into “Under a Rock,” a quicker guitar-driven song that lays the foundation for the rest of the album, which as a whole resonates with strong, self-aware lyrics, energetic ballads, and powerfully hushed moments of solitude. Crutchfield’s voice is certainly the guiding force behind Ivy Tripp—commanding and voluminous in the rock song “Poison,” candied and pure in the frolicking “La Loose”—gripping you tightly and then softly releasing you into the wilds of emotion.

As far as her goals with Ivy Tripp, Crutchfield says, “I heard someone say that you have to be the change you want to see. I just want to be the kind of musician I want to see in the world. I want to present myself in a way that reflects that.”
Lemuria
Lemuria
Lemuria's sweet sounding post-punk with pop sensibilities is unlike anything out there right now and for that reason, along with the band's stellar and hard-working track record, is why Bridge Nine Records is excited to welcome them to the roster. Label owner Chris Wrenn said, "It's important for us to have a diverse roster of artists and we feel like Lemuria compliments a lot of our other bands while standing strong on their own accord. We've had Get Better in rotation in the office here for a while and after adding two hardcore bands to our roster, Mother of Mercy and Foundation, we decided to change it up a bit and sign Lemuria. I think our roster really mirrors our collective musical tastes and it's always exciting to expand on the types of music we release." Formed in the summer of 2004, Buffalo's Lemuria has garnered quite a bit of attention thus far in their career. The band has released a myriad of splits and 7"s (drummer Alex Kerns runs the label Art Of The Underground) and one full-length LP, Get Better, on Asian Man Records in 2008 that Punknews.org called the best debut full-length of the year. This July, Lemuria hit the studio with producer J Robbins at the Magpie Cage in Baltimore, MD (Hey Mercedes, The Promise Ring, Jawbreaker) to record their Bridge Nine debut. Drummer Alex Kerns said, "We are so proud to announce that Bridge Nine will be releasing our second full-length album. B9 is a family of great bands and great people and we are honored to be welcomed aboard. We can't wait to get started recording this July with J Robbins from Jawbox right after we wrap up a full US tour." This will be Lemuria's first Philadelphia show following the release of their second LP, "Pebble"!
Hilly Eye
Hilly Eye
Venue Information:
Music Hall of Williamsburg
66 North 6th St
Brooklyn, NY, 11249
http://www.musichallofwilliamsburg.com/
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