UPCOMING SHOWS

Rent Party w/ The Soggy Po' Boys

SEPTEMBER 24 @ 8PM | UPSTAIRS
NO COVER

The last Friday of the month we’re bringing in this Seacoast favorite for a big hurrah before the rent comes due.

The Soggy Po Boys, native to New England, have quickly become an institution. They are spreading the good news of New Orleans music across the northeast and beyond, playing at concert halls and street corners; music festivals and burlesque festivals; bars and libraries; wherever the party requires. Part of the beauty of New Orleans music is that it’s celebrated and appreciated wherever it goes, from the street to the theater.

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GLASS ARROWHEAD

SEPTEMBER 25 @ 10PM | DOORS 9 PM | UPSTAIRS

Producer/DJ from Portsmouth

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Jamal's Birthday Bash
w/ The Bulkheads, DJ Chad Banks, The Incredible Chuck, Myles Burr, Colin Mckenna & Friends, Ti-Doub, Citizen Kane, and Special Guests

SEPTEMBER 27 @ 7PM | DOORS 6:30PM | UPSTAIRS

Our own Jamal Cooley’s B-day, feat a killer line-up.

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Tuesday Night Jazz Jam

SEPTEMBER 28 @ 6PM | UPSTAIRS
NO COVER

Sean Rowe

SEPTEMBER 30 @ 8PM | DOORS 7PM | UPSTAIRS

A very good songwriter.

“This album was truly a risk and a chance encounter. It played out like a spring storm in Eau Claire, Wisconsin.”

About half-way through the recording of Sean Rowe’s excellent new album, The Darkness Dressed in Colored Lights (Fluff & Gravy Records), he and producer Troy Pohl were taking a break. They were holed-up in Eau Claire, Wisconsin, working at Brian Joseph’s studio, Hive, which is situated on a remote acreage of rolling green hills. While catching their breath, they noticed a minivan that had turned off of the rarely traveled road adjacent to the property and onto the grass, driving straight towards them. It pulled so close that it almost touched the picnic table. A stout and somewhat menacing man emerged, who did little to calm suspicions when he spoke.

“You ever been on TV?” he asked.

Rowe, thinking that’s exactly the kind of thing someone might say before murdering you, replied, “I actually have. Have you?”

“Yep, back in the early 90’s, I was on David Letterman twice.”

“Oh yeah, for what?”

“Stupid Human Tricks — I could pour two beers at once without using any of my appendages.”

Troy and Sean nodded in recognition and without another word, the man climbed back into his minivan and drove off. As he was pulling away, Brian Joseph came sprinting across the yard to see what was happening. They recounted the head-scratching tale of their brush with a minor celebrity and after some failed attempts to make sense of it, went back to the business of making a record.

A blessing and curse of a curious mind paired with a sense of adventure is that one becomes a collector of stories. Some, like this, play out over the course of a few minutes while others, more profound and complex, take years to untangle. Rowe, an artist and nomad at heart, has made himself into the perfect repository for spun yarns of every variety — hysterical, terrifying, heartbreaking, mystifying, and ridiculous — and on this record, he makes it clear that at some point it’s hard not to feel them all at once.

The album’s title is taken from its first single, “To Make It Real.” “All this darkness, dressed in colored lights. Everything is wrong but you look so damn beautiful tonight.” It’s a relatable couplet that illustrates the paradox between what once was and what now is, while the chorus howls in response to being lost in the inbetween. “When you lose your way, when you lose your face, when you’re paid in full for what you used to steal. When you lose that love, when you lose your mind, well then oh my God, you make it real.”

While “To Make It Real” was forged from the despair that comes from losing yourself to heartache, “Little Death” recognizes that both in spite of and because of such events, it’s possible to find yourself again. Here, Rowe brushes off the dirt and looks ahead to the freedom of only being accountable to oneself. “A little death, it won’t kill us after all and that’s fine. When you ain’t there, you ain’t there to feel all that pain.” In the chorus, he lists some of what he’s looking forward to. “I’m gonna write a song, gonna phone a friend. I’m gonna fall in love with the road again. I’m gonna wrap my arms around her waist. Work me Lord and wash my sins. I’m gonna fall in love with the woods again. Fix that sorry shape I’m in.”

Rowe opened up about some of the work he’s been doing to build a fitter, happier version of himself. “The heaven and hell that swirls around in our head — to a large extent, we make both. So, in realizing that, you begin to realize that you have the ability to decide which one you’re gonna make.” Rowe credits therapy and a guided ayahuasca retreat with helping him to reach this understanding.

“Over the course of an intense weekend, I had three profound experiences that stripped away all of my defenses and rationalization, along with the guilt and anger that built up over the course of being a human. Two of those experiences brought me to a place of such intense beauty and peace, while the third showed me the exact opposite. I think that the lessons learned over that weekend are still being revealed but in those moments, I seemed to experience real heaven and hell. Now it’s up to me to choose which one I want to exist in.”

The Darkness Dressed in Colored Lights is ripe with both dimensions. It was produced by Rowe’s friend and longtime collaborator Troy Pohl, whom he has known since he was in his early twenties while Pohl was still a teen. The two grew into their professionalism together and here, they make the most of their combined ambition and experience.

The studio Hive in Eau Claire, Wisconsin was chosen so that they could work with the Grammy-winning engineer, Brian Joseph (Bon Iver) and for its proximity to a group of musicians that Sean came to admire while listening to Anna Tivel’s remarkable album, The Question, in his manager’s basement studio. That group includes drummer/percussionist, and producer Shane Leonard, along with Jeremy Boetcher on bass, and Ben Lester on keys and pedal steel. Courtney Hartman was flown from Colorado to provide background vocals and guitar. Chris Carey provided additional bass, while John DeHaven, Jeff Nania, and Joel Yannuzzi made up the album’s brass section.

Rowe’s admiration for Tivel’s album was not limited to its sonics. The Portland, Oregon label Fluff & Gravy Records, which has released all of Anna Tivel’s albums, is home to The Darkness Dressed in Colored Lights, which will be released on CD and double-vinyl, as well as available on all streaming services on October 8.

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Sunday Night Jazz: The Jason Yeager Quartet

OCTOBER 3 @ 6PM | DOORS 5:30PM | UPSTAIRS

Talented New York composer performs work inspired by the late, great Kurt Vonnegut.

New York City-based pianist/composer and Berklee piano professor Jason Yeager returns to the Press Room with his quartet, this time presenting his “Unstuck in Time: The Kurt Vonnegut Suite,” a collection of spirited, evocative, and whimsical pieces inspired by Vonnegut’s quirky characters, dark humor, and social criticism.

Yeager creates music that is deeply expressive and multi-faceted, defying convention while reveling in the traditions of Black American Music, European classical music, and Latin American folk traditions. He most recently released New Songs of Resistance, a “musical reflection of troubled times and a search for affirmation nonetheless” (Boston Globe) that has been called “one of the best albums of 2019 in any style of music” (New York Music Daily). He plans to record the music from “Unstuck in Time: The Kurt Vonnegut Suite” later this year, for a 2022 release coinciding with Vonnegut’s centennial.

Yeager has worked with such noteworthy artists as Luciana Souza, Greg Osby, Ran Blake, George Garzone, Sean Jones, Ayn Inserto, Jason Anick, Randal Depommier, Fleur Seule, and Julie Benko, among others. Since 2012, he has taught piano at Berklee College of Music.

Website: www.jasonyeager.com

Instagram/Facebook/Twitter: @jyeagermusic

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“…[Jason] always impressed me with his talent, his curiosity and his desire to create his own music while really investigating the jazz piano tradition.” -Fred Hersch, Grammy-nominated pianist/composer and Doris Duke Fellow

“An individualist with a high concept, [Jason Yeager’s] music contains grace and color and a great deal of depth.” -Greg Osby, renowned saxophonist/composer

“An incredible composer and musician…[who] surprises you like a thunderbolt.” -Ran Blake, pianist/composer, MacArthur Fellow

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Open Mic w/ host Colin McKenna
feat. Planet Parlor & The Rodeo Doctor

OCTOBER 4 @ 7PM | UPSTAIRS
NO COVER | SIGN-UPS @ 6:30PM

Tuesday Night Jazz Jam

OCTOBER 5 @ 6PM | UPSTAIRS
NO COVER

Rachel Baiman

OCTOBER 7 @ 8PM | DOORS 7PM | UPSTAIRS

Roots goodness.

With her 2017 debut Shame, Americana songwriter and multi-instrumentalist Rachel Baiman emerged as a fearless voice of the American female experience. “Shame” was featured on NPR’s “Songs We Love”, called a “Rootsy Wake-up Call” by Folk Alley, and described by Vice’s “Noisey” as “flipping off authority one song at a time.” On her new full-length album Cycles, Baiman has found a grittier musical medium for her signature unabashed and defiant songwriting, employing a majority-female team including co-producer Olivia Hally, known as the front woman of Indie-pop band Oh Pep!

Cycles is a collection of songs encompassing the many ways that we destroy and rebuild as people, as families, and as a country. Songs about the cycle of life inspired by the birth of a nephew and the loss of a grandmother, songs about internal mental cycles of ambition and self-doubt, the cycle of progress and regression in our country’s political journey, and the cycles of growth and reinvention that relationships take on. At times heartbreaking, at times celebratory, the album is a reflection of a lot of life experienced in a relatively short amount of time, a desire to hold fast to the people we love in the wake of so much uncertainty, and an exploration of the immense and unique strength of women in the face of adversity.

Originally from Chicago, Baiman moved to Nashville at eighteen, and has spent the last decade working as a musician in a wide variety of roles, from session musician (Molly Tuttle, Kelsey Waldon, Caroline Spence), to live sidewoman (Kacey Musgraves, Amy Ray), to bandmate and producer. Fiddle music was her first love, and she is known in the bluegrass and old time world for her work with progressive acoustic duo 10 String Symphony with fiddle player Christian Sedelmyer. Her first solo album Shame, was produced by Andrew Marlin of Mandolin Orange, and established her role as part of a new generation of political songwriters. Since 2017, Baiman has toured her solo project internationally with appearances at the Kilkenny Roots Festival in Ireland, the Mullum Music Festival in Australia, and the Kennedy Center Millenium Stage in Washington, DC. She has also released a variety of small scale projects; her 2018 Free Dirt EP Thanksgiving, which read as a sort of epilogue to Shame, a duet project with singer Mike Wheeler, which is a more stripped down nod to her acoustic roots, and a 2020 single, Wrong Way Round, which shows more sonic experimentation and hints at musical direction of Cycles.

Inspired by the burgeoning grunge rock scene in Melbourne, Cycles was recorded in Australia in the glorified storage unit known as Purple Wayne Studios (Big Smoke) with engineer Alex O’Gorman (Angie McMahon). In addition to Hally on bass, piano and guitar, and Baiman on guitar, strings and banjo, other musicians include Melbourne drummer Bree Hartley, guitar players Cy Winstanley (Brandy Clarke) and Josh Oliver (Mandolin Orange), and guest vocalists Dan Parsons, Dan Watkins and Maggie Rigby (The Maes). The album was mixed by GRAMMY winning engineer Shani Gandhi, who is based in Nashville but originally from Australia as well.

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Jazz Party: Tyson Jackson

OCTOBER 8 @ 7PM | DOORS 6PM | UPSTAIRS
NO COVER

Let this brilliant young drummer start your weekend off correctly.

“Every time I have the opportunity to play music, I count it as an absolute pleasure. Without it, I would not be who I am today. As I create, I never lose focus on the main idea which is that it must be played in order to positively affect and influence the listener.” Born in West Palm Beach, Florida, Tyson Jackson first discovered his love for music at the ripe age of 3. He distinctly remembers discovering his passion for music and the drums at New Bethel Missionary Baptist Church; beating on hymnals during church services was his forte`.

Throughout his academic career, Tyson has attended performing arts institutions dedicated to music—these institutions further peaked his interest and allowed his love for music to grow. Throughout his musical career, Jackson has been afforded many opportunities to study and be mentored by world-renowned artists including Dee Dee Bridgewater, Terence Blanchard, Darren

Barrett, AJ Wright, Terri Lynn Carrington, Ralph Peterson, Tia Fuller, Sean Jones, Nona Hendryx, etc. Tyson feels that these experiences are invaluable and have truly helped to propel him in his professional career. “As an artist, I realize that I serve as a vessel for music to flow through. It is my duty to continue to pay homage to the masters who have come before me, while incorporating an innovative approach to my artistry, personal brand, and musical endeavors as I develop”.

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Dub Apocalypse

OCTOBER 9 @ 9PM | DOORS 8PM | UPSTAIRS

Dun dun dun dun dundundun, dun dun dun dun dundundun

Dub Apocalypse is an instrumental dub reggae band from Boston, MA. Band members are Tommy Benedetti-drums,Van Martin-guitar,Johnny Trama-guitar,Aaron Bellamy-bass,and Timo Shanko-sax/bass. The band came together in 2007, led by drummer Tommy Benedetti and guitarist, Johnny Trama.Tommy Benedetti is one of the founding members of American Reggae Pioneers,John Brown’s Body. He brings a wealth of experience from the reggae/dub scene to the table,having recorded albums for the legendary Shanachie Label,John Zorn’s Tzadik Label (mixed by Bill Laswell),and is currently with John Brown’s Body on Easy Star Records. This history is combined with almost 2 decades of International touring,as well as backing some of the giants of Jamaican music,including The Meditations and Justin Hinds.

Guitarist Johnny Trama adds a soulful blues touch to the Dub Apocalypse signature sound.Trama has spent time on the road with the great Ron Levy, BB King’s organ player, as well as many other regional rock and soul/r&b acts. Not long after Dub Apocalypse came together, longtime friend Timo Shanko entered the fold.A dual threat on both bass and saxophone,Shanko is a veteran of the blues and free jazz scene.He spent many years on the road with Blues legend, Eddie Kirkland, as well as with G. Love and Special Sauce. Shanko is also a prolific composer,and his improvisational stylings are an integral part of the Dub Apocalypse sound. Although DA started out as more of a collective,in the past few years the lineup has solidified with the addition of bassist Aaron Bellamy and guitarist Van Martin. Bellamy is a longtime fixture in the Boston funk scene,and in combination with Benedetti ,they form the deep,militant sound at the core of Dub Apocalypse.

Originally hailing from Chicago,Van Martin rounds out the lineup on guitar. Martin has much touring experience as well, including appearances with Bernie Worrell and Big Daddy Kane. His sonic textures,adventurous playing and songwriting have helped Dub Apocalypse take their sound to a new level. The DA sound is an evolving mix of original compositions and their own interpretations of classic Jamaican and UK songs and dub plates. Heavy hitting drum and bass grooves set the table. A twin guitar attack, with Trama’s rhythmic anchor,and Martin’s dub sonics, swirl in and out in tandem. These pieces, combined with Timo Shanko’s Coltrane inspired sax approach, give Dub Apocalypse a sound that is truly their own.

The band has appeared at many clubs and festivals throughout New England.They’ve won a Boston Music Award,were named “One of 10 Local Acts You Need To Hear Now” by The Improper Bostonian,and have one of the most popular and longest running weekly residencies in Boston.Dub Apocalypse released their first cd, “Road To Oblivion” in March 2015.The cd release will be followed by an International release on vinyl through Mnemonic Dojo Records out of the UK.

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The Imaginaries

OCTOBER 14 @ 8PM | DOORS 7PM | UPSTAIRS

Sweet, sweet folk via Oklahoma.

The Imaginaries is an Americana band formed in the open plains of Oklahoma. Consisting of husband & wife duo Shane Henry (guitar, vocals) & Maggie McClure (piano, vocals), their debut album was released March 26, 2021. It was recorded in famed Muscle Shoals, AL with legendary “Swampers” & serves as both an introduction to The Imaginaries and the beginning of their journey as a band after both singer songwriters have enjoyed their own successes as solo artists. The songs are filled with effortless harmonies, heartfelt lyrics & real-life lessons. Maggie, with her subtly sweet vocals and piano-driven style fuses seamlessly with Shane’s blues-rock grit to form their own unique blend of Americana/Singer-Songwriter music.

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Brown Eyed Women

OCTOBER 20 @ 9PM | DOORS 8PM | UPSTAIRS

The bottle was dusty but the liquor was clean.

An all-female tribute to the music of the Grateful Dead

Brown Eyed Women is an ensemble of powerful female players from popular bands around the country, celebrating the music of the Grateful Dead with a unique spin.

Members hail from Massachusetts, New Jersey, Florida, New York, Georgia and Pennsylvania. Their high-caliber musicianship and shared love of the Dead drew them together. This band is decidedly different in a field brimming with tribute acts. BEW brings authentic jams and a soulful new approach to the familiar Grateful Dead catalog.

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Habibi

OCTOBER 23 @ 9PM | DOORS 8PM | UPSTAIRS

Sunny, surfy pop.

As the world starts to re-emerge and awaken, the summer of 2021 proved to be a hot one and Habibi is ready to dance. After being coined by the New Yorker as having “the Colgate white glisten of sixties girl group pop combined with an uncensored edge” for their acclaimed debut album, Habibi broke boundaries by introducing Farsi-sung tunes on their EP ‘Cardamom Garden’ that “shed rigid definitions of what constitutes American music” (Pitchfork). In 2020, a month before the world drastically changed, ‘Anywhere But Here’, the group’s prophetic sophomore album was released which led NPR’s Robin Hilton to call them a “noir girl-group.”

This fall, Habibi will release a two-song EP of original compositions, titled ‘Somewhere’ to inaugurate their signing to the legendary label Kill Rock Stars. The EP will move the unique four-piece’s sound into the escapism of disco club era New York City, an expansion upon their Detroit-bred garage roots. Habibi knows it’s time to cut loose and take you to the dance floor, enlisting producer Mike Stroud from Ratatat and Heba Kadry as mastering engineer. Fans of the Tom Tom Club and ESG will find here plenty to love.

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The Trichomes
w/ Good Trees River Band

OCTOBER 28 @ 9PM | DOORS 8PM | UPSTAIRS

Got that spirit of  ’78.

The Trichomes are leaf hairs, they reflect radiation, lower plant temperature, and reduce water loss. When you touch trichomes the scent sticks to you, much like the music of the band. Melting audible chocolate into your ears, the sticky sounds of The Trichomes are not easily forgotten. Neither are their hi-energy funkadelic infused performances.

Some even say, “it will bring you back to ’78.”

Infectious grooves, cosmic riffs, mated with insightful lyrics and a dirty back beat spontaneously combusting into the heels of your shoes.

Since the band’s union, they have enthralled music lovers from all walks of life; performing at a variety of festivals, venues, making loads of public appearances, starting their own annual music festival, all the while recording new music.

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Dr. Gasp & The Eeks!

OCTOBER 31 @ 9PM | DOORS 8:30PM | UPSTAIRS

It wouldn’t be Halloween without Dr. Gasp!

Do you distaste the flavor of wax lips? Throat sore from cackling like a phantom? Well… don’t lose your head! Haunting can be daunting… and to be Frank; a pain in the neck! This season leave all the ghoulishness to that maniacal minstrel… Doctor Gasp! Beneath the mask of this phantom is a New England folk musician Dan Blakeslee with his unique bag of all original songs of Halloween oozing with vampires and ghastly creeps. Blakeslee’s songs are a throwback to old-time cult horror themes, giving nods to Bobby Pickett (Monster Mash), Alfred Hitchcock, John Zacherle and the cavernous voice of Paul Frees. Each October the unexpected spectacle Doctor Gasp rises from the shadows delivering an earful of eerie for the young, old and immortal!

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S.G. Goodman

NOVEMBER 2 @ 8PM | DOORS 7PM | UPSTAIRS
A clinic in great songwriting from The Bluegrass State.
S.G. Goodman is a singer-songwriter based in Murray, KY.
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Kitchen Dwellers

NOVEMBER 3 @ 8PM | DOORS 7PM | UPSTAIRS

Fine bluegrass out of the Big Sky State.

In the near-decade they’ve been together, Kitchen Dwellers have performed for thousands at Red Rocks, shared bills with the likes of Railroad Earth, The Infamous Stringdusters, and Twiddle, and graced festival stages everywhere from WinterWonderGrass to Northwest String Summit with their intoxicating blend of bluegrass wizardry and rock and roll energy.

 

The Montana four-piece’s spectacular new album, Muir Maid, is their most daring and collaborative work yet, an eclectic marriage of past and present fueled by virtuosic instrumental work, airtight vocal harmonies, and transportive storytelling. The Chris Pandolfi-produced record follows the band’s acclaimed 2017 LP, ‘Ghost In The Bottle,’ which was helmed by Leftover Salmon’s Andy Thorn and featured a slew of special guests, including Little Feat’s Bill Payne and Greensky Bluegrass’s Anders Beck.

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Strange Ranger
W/ Ezra Cohen

NOVEMBER 4 @ 8PM | DOORS 7PM | UPSTAIRS

Dreamy bedroom pop.

On their third full-length Remembering The Rockets (out 7/26 via Tiny Engines), Strange Ranger continue to excel at translating the way intimacy can feel so overwhelmingly gigantic. With a dozen releases across their 10 years as a band, the Philly-via-Portland-via-Montana group, currently featuring Isaac Eiger (guitars, vocals), Fred Nixon (bass, piano, vocals), Nathan Tucker (drums), and Fiona Woodman (vocals), have traversed genres, moods, and textures while maintaining one important throughline: an exploration of closeness.

“Trying to close the distance between yourself and another person and wondering how much can really be done about that gap,” Eiger says. “Sometimes you don’t want to be close with others but you feel guilty, and sometimes you do but you can’t.”

Their 2016 double-LP Rot Forever (which they released under the name Sioux Falls) was a 72-minute freakout that paired Built To Spill grandiosity with early Modest Mouse intensity. Many of the songs were six-minute treks that pushed guitar/bass/drum indie-rock to its breaking point, but the band was singing about crawling into bed and running back a lifetime’s worth of minor interactions.

After putting that into the world, Eiger and Nixon (the primary songwriters) felt they had gotten a rip-roaring rock record out of their systems, so they hung up their distortion pedals and traded caustic yelps for Alex G-esque croons on 2017’s Daymoon (Tiny Engines). It was a synth-adorned, insular bedroom-pop record that floated rather than soared, and they opted for lyrical impressionism over the hyper-specific outbursts of Rot Forever.

On both albums, Eiger’s writing style reads like a loose assembly of quotes from conversations he’s had with others (some trivial, some extremely confessional) spliced with his own, private introspections. He asks a lot of questions in his music, often with no traditional context or exposition, which forces the listener to fill in the blanks between the visual details (“I thought you talked to the reporter / she had a polka dot recorder”) and the dialogue (“how was work, are you okay? / how’s your mom, is she the same?”) to either understand his story, or project your own encounters onto his.

Eiger, who writes the bulk of Strange Ranger’s lyrics, is a modern master of conveying the anxiety and uncertainty of growing older through a mixture of childhood nostalgia and interpersonal tidbits. There’s plenty of that on Remembering The Rockets, but after all of these years of singing about his own coming-of-age story, the album approaches the quandary of whether he’ll ever be able to impart that process—through which he’s reaped so much artistic joy and curiosity—onto someone else.

“So much suffering and horror is coming if we don’t seriously restructure our entire society, and I just really hope we get it together. I want to be a dad more than basically anything, and it’s unclear if that’d be an OK decision to make,” he says.

For a topic as severe as ecological collapse affecting his own parental aspirations—as well as other melancholy ruminations on loneliness, the passing of time, and the complications of emotional intimacy—Strange Ranger still ended up making the lushest, smoothest, and most pleasingly hypnotic album of their careers.

“After making Daymoon, I think Isaac and myself were both feeling pretty creatively exhausted with the rock band format,” Nixon says. “We wanted the feel of the next record to put you in a trance.”

Opener “Leona” is a celestial pop song with a springy bassline and a shimmering, magical synth effect that dusts over its punchy outro groove. “Nothing Else To Think About” is a bobbing sunset soundtrack with a drum sample that puffs and clacks behind its ASMR-inducing bassline. For “Beneath The Lights,” Eiger pulls out the drawly, prickly croon of a Daymoon ballad like “Most Perfect Gold of the Century” and then contorts it with warbling, Justin Vernon-esque auto-tune. Ambient interludes like “athens, ga” and “‘02” are void of vocals and “traditional” rock elements altogether.

“It was definitely a learning curve figuring out how to do some of the weirder stuff,” Eiger says. “We’ve been using keyboards for a while now, but before we made this record we got this old Japanese synthesizer [Korg M1] which has like a trillion sounds. So that was a totally different experience.”

“We really didn’t know what we were doing and probably stumbled our way into a bunch of sounds we wouldn’t be able to recreate if we tried,” Nixon adds.

Portland, OR producer Dylan M. Howe was an essential contributor in this regard. Most of the samples and electronic beats were designed with Howe’s assistance, and he helped the band navigate the archaic software of the Korg M1—which was used for nearly every synth sound on the album. For many of the songs, such as “Message To You”, which Fiona Woodman sings the entirety of, the only component the band had going into their home studio was the drum loop. From there, they experimented with different arrangements and benefitted from Nathan Tucker’s versatile drumming abilities to build that song, and many others, outward.

Although Eiger taps The Cure, Oneohtrix Point Never, and Yves Tumor as integral influences, the main inspiration behind their foray into trip-hop drum loops and unearthly reverb was the 1996 song “Standing Outside a Broken Phone Booth With Money In My Hand.” It’s a one-hit wonder from the alt-rock group Primitive Radio Gods that Eiger first heard in the van a few years back, and he found it mesmerizingly beautiful.

“I think we’ve always been attracted to music that you can nod your head to, and this time around I think we really tried to emphasize that,” Eiger says.

Tracks like “Pete’s Hill,” “Planes in Front of the Sun” and “Leona” lock into a similar breed of entrancing, rhythmic bliss. And they hit with maximum impact every time because they’re tastefully offset by a cheeky alt-country burner like “Ranch Style Home,” or a Lemonheads- esque cruiser like “Sunday.” But like all Strange Ranger albums, the band saved the most emotionally devastating songs for its finale.

“Living Free” and “Cold Hands Warm Heart” play like they’re in conversation with one another. The former is a synth-soaked reckoning with age (“all the years as blurry cars and trees / screaming right past me”) and purpose (“awkward angels in the snow / what if I just want a family?”). The latter is a sparse, two-and-a-half-minute piano ballad where Eiger acknowledges tepid hope as the only way forward. “Flickers of a world to come / here but lovelier than this one / see it rippling in the river,” he sings with a shaky intonation.

“The image of a rocket in the sky just feels very beautiful to me and full of possibility,” Eiger says. “If you’re someone who wants to have kids and you decide not to, that kinda feels like folding and just saying, “yeah everything is fucked, there is no future.” And why even live at that point? It sucks that ‘hope’ has—for good reason—become this cheesy, lame idea. But if you’ve got no hope, you’re completely fucked in a situation like this one.”

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The Mallett Brothers Band

Welcome back, boys.

“FOUNDED IN 2009, THE MALLETT BROTHERS BAND HAVE HAD MULTIPLE LINEUP CHANGES AND STYLISTIC SHIFTS OVER THE YEARS, BUT THEY’VE REMAINED STEADFAST IN DELIVERING HEARTFELT SONGS WITH EMOTIONAL LYRICISM, VIVID IMAGERY, AND DYNAMIC MUSICAL TONES…” – NO DEPRESSION

The Mallett Brothers Band is an independent rock and roll / Americana / country band from Maine. Their busy tour schedule since forming in 2009 has helped them to build a dedicated fanbase across the U.S. and beyond while still calling the state of Maine their home. With a style that ranges from alt-country to Americana, country, jam and roots rock, theirs is a musical melting pot that’s influenced equally by the singer/songwriter tradition as by harder rock, classic country and psychedelic sounds.

NOVEMBER 6 @ 9PM | DOORS 8PM | UPSTAIRS
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NOVEMBER 7 @ 7PM | DOORS 6PM | UPSTAIRS
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Marco Benevento

Let’s find out if it’s possible to have too much fun.

It’s impossible not to hear freedom and excitement coursing through the veins of Marco Benevento’s new studio album, ‘Let It Slide.’ Produced by Leon Michels (The Arcs, Lee Fields), the record introduces a gritty, soulful edge to Benevento’s brand of high-octane keyboard wizardry—an uptempo, uplifting sound he playfully describes as “hot dance piano rock.” For all Benevento’s virtuosity on the keys though, the songs here are driven primarily by intoxicating grooves, with spare drums and minimalist bass lines underpinning infectious, intentionally lo-fi vocal hooks. The resulting vibe is a timeless one, filtering elements of vintage R&B and soul through modern indie rock and pop sensibilities and peppering it with the kind of adventurous improvisation that Benevento’s come to be celebrated for worldwide.

 

Acceptance is a recurring theme on the record, and Benevento’s songs often find themselves recognizing that contentment can come only once you’ve freed yourself from the chains of desire and regret. Upon close listen, one can find Benevento’s own personal philosophies subconsciously bubbling up throughout the songs. “You’ll feel better, I’ll just say / When you finally let it go,” he sings on the funky “Say It’s All The Same,” which features vocal contributions from bandmate Karina Rykman. The hazy “Solid Gold” celebrates the simple joy of being in the moment with someone you love, while the Lennon-esque “Lorraine” (co-written with Simone Felice) grapples with loss and change, and the anthemic “Send It On A Rocket” contemplates loneliness and connection.

 

Dubbed “one of the most talented keys players of our time” by CBS Radio, Benevento’s released six critically acclaimed solo albums over the last decade, performed everywhere from Carnegie Hall and Newport Jazz to Lollapalooza and Bonnaroo, and worked in the studio and on the road with the likes of Richard Swift (The Shins, The Arcs), Jon Brion (Spoon, Aimee Mann), A.C. Newman (The New Pornographers), and Simone Felice (The Felice Brothers, The Lumineers) among others. “It’s safe to say that no one sees the keyboard quite like Marco Benevento’s genre-blind mashup of indie rock, jazz and skewed improvisation,” the LA Times raved, while NPR said he combines “the thrust of rock, the questing of jazz and the experimental ecstasy of jam,” and Rolling Stone praised “the textures and colors available in his keyboards and arsenal of manipulated pedals and effects,” along with his “deceptively rich, catchy melodies and straight-ahead grooves.”

NOVEMBER 11 @ 9PM | DOORS 8PM | UPSTAIRS
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NOVEMBER 12 @ 9PM | DOORS 8PM | UPSTAIRS
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NOVEMBER 13 @ 9PM | DOORS 8PM | UPSTAIRS
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HORSE JUMPER OF LOVE
w/ Wednesday & They Are Gutting a Body of Water

NOVEMBER 15, 2021 @ 7:30PM | DOORS 7PM | UPSTAIRS

Much more than a sick band name.

Memory looms large on Horse Jumper of Love’s hypnotic sophomore album, ‘So Divine,’ but it remains elusive. Throughout the record, tiny snapshots from the past float to the surface, baring themselves for brief moments before diving back into the ether. Like abstract collages, the Boston-based three-piece’s songs jumble richly detailed scenes and vivid imagery, papering over one moment with the next until each string of seemingly unrelated thoughts coalesces into a breathtaking work of art, one that reveals deep truths about ourselves and our psyches.

“A lot of these songs are about making small things into huge deals,” says guitarist/singer Dimitri Giannopoulos. “They all start with these very specific little memories that, for some reason or another, have stuck in my mind. Memories morph and change over time, though, and they become freighted with all these different meanings. We’re constantly adding to them.”

The same could be said of Horse Jumper of Love’s music. Praised by Stereogum as a “delightfully distorted mess of energy,” the band’s sound is absorbing and urgently hypnotic, with songs that develop at a glacial pace, progressing forward with almost imperceptible momentum to carve deep canyons and valleys through walls of solid rock. Giannopoulos officially launched the group with bassist John Margaris and drummer Jamie Vadala-Doran in 2013, taking their moniker from a Latin phrase that had gotten more than a little lost in translation. The band would spend the next three years refining their studio craft and live show, garnering a devoted following playing DIY gigs around New England as they climbed their way into what Pitchfork described as “the top tier of the Boston house show scene.” In 2016, they released their self-titled debut to rave reviews, with NPR praising the band’s “slow, syrupy rock songs” as “cautiously measured and patiently curious” and Audiotree hailing the “soft spoken, contemplative trio” for their “unique sonic palette and precise compositions.” In 2017, the group released a vinyl and digital re-issue of the album along with a limited edition demo anthology.

‘So Divine’ will mark the band’s first release for Run For Cover Records.

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TŌTH

DECEMBER 1, 2021 @ 8PM | DOORS 7PM | UPSTAIRS

Magical solo project from the Rubblebucket frontman.

When Alex Toth wrote his debut solo album, Practice Magic & Seek Professional Help When Necessary, he was recovering from a broken foot and a broken heart. Toth was stuck in his apartment and struggling to process the end of a nearly 12-year-long romantic partnership with his Rubblebucket bandmate Kalmia Traver, so he did what he normally does to process his thoughts: write music. Taking the advice of Practice Magic to heart, he enrolled in his fourth silent meditation retreat in three years and began to accept the open-endedness of love. Toth wound up writing over 100 songs in that period, chronicling a path to healing from grief and addiction and learning what it means to share yourself with someone.

That exercise opened the floodgates. Toth fell in love anew, wrote the mantra song “You And Me And Everything,” and went for a bike ride while it played on repeat in his head. The next thing he knew, his chronic anxiety melted into bittersweet melancholy and he was crying at the sight of a flock of birds flying out of a tree. If indulging the human instinct to pair bond seemed risky, then at least it came with the perspective to see life as an expansive wealth of experiences, big and small.

On You And Me And Everything, his second solo album as Tōth, he dives headfirst into what it means to accept things beyond your control, especially when feeling stuck in a place of heartache and sorrow. Across these 12 songs, Tōth turns to Buddhism as refuge. The sense of calm it brings him sounds like an infinite indie rock landscape, stretching from bossa nova guitar riffs to cushioned horn swells and earnest piano runs, each one bleeding into the other naturally while maintaining an overarching sense of clarity. Mixed by Grammy-winning producer Noah Georgeson (Joanna Newsom, Devendra Banhart, Cate Le Bon), You And Me And Everything recalls the fluid technical prowess of Chet Baker or Alice Coltrane, all open-ended verses with woozy improvisation and palpable heart.

Tōth divides his talent across guitar, piano, synths, trumpet, and drum machine, but arguably his biggest musical strength is his voice. With a gentle delivery, subtle rasp, and surprisingly vast range, his distinct singing style recalls that of Arthur Russell. It allows Tōth to traverse through vulnerabilities with a mix of honesty and curiosity. When he depicts the knotted tangle of falling in love, experiencing suicidal ideation, coming face-to-face with cancer, and healing through grief at the core of these songs, he does so with a ray of sunshine tucked in his pocket. Even the saddest tracks offer a reason to carry on. Perhaps it’s because of Tōth’s conversational lyrics (“Thank you for making everything totally meaningless, beautiful narcissus/ I too am just a daffodil /Slave to the breezes blow me to pieces till I am nothing,” he sings on “Daffadowndilly”) which create an atmosphere of camaraderie between him and the listener.

Inspired by the creative energy of friends and collaborators like Kimbra and Adrienne Lenker, Tōth gets to showcase his strengths as a singer-songwriter in new ways on You And Me And Everything. On “Turnaround (Cocaine Song),” a recounting of one of the lowest points of his life, he fashions detailed snapshots of funerals and alcoholism into motivation for self-improvement. Later, the enormous “I Might Be” hits like an uptempo Bon Iver remix, complete with stacked vocal coos and a buoyant bass line that begs you to dance. Then there’s “Butterflies,” a bite-sized ode to chronic anxiety as the ying to joyful vibration’s yang, a sentiment he mirrors with crashing symbols and an exaggerated vocal slide. Throughout it all, Tōth never loses sight of his sense of humor. On “Guitars Are Better Than Synthesizers For Writing Through Hard Times,” he uses it to balance out an otherwise bleak moment. “My ex just broke up with the person they broke up with me for/ Three years later and at the same time as I’m falling in love,” he sings. “The breakup album I made about her isn’t even out yet.”

You And Me And Everything was created during a period of deep transformation and self-discovery for Tōth. He finally understood on a deeper level that in order to share yourself with someone else—with some modicum of happiness—you have to learn how to love yourself. The album sees him embrace relationships as an experiential journey in real time, even if they have the potential to result in dissolution or depression. To paraphrase “I Might Be,” if love is impossible to define, then you might as well dance together until the music stops. Tōth not only figured that out, but he brought that truth to life through song, too — and with You And Me And Everything, he’s inviting you to join him on that unpredictable, fulfilling ride.

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THE YELLOWHOUSE BLUES BAND

FEBRUARY 19, 2022 @ 8PM | DOORS 7PM | UPSTAIRS

Blues Band with a heart of gold.

An 8 piece band with a funky horn section, The YellowHouse Blues Band is a Seacoast based blues band that will perform for you a set of blues standards, combined with hits from The Rolling Stones, Van Morrison, Bonnie Raitt, Tom Petty, U2 and others! Known for playing Benefit Concerts to support Big Brothers Big Sisters of NH, they’ve raised over $27,000 for BBBSNH to help the children in our community.

Members of the YHBB have performed all over ME and NH at venues including The Music Hall in Portsmouth, NH, The Word Barn in Exeter, NH, Vinegar Hill Music Theater in Arundel, ME, Portland House of Music in Portland, ME and Port City Music Hall in Portland, ME.

 

The mission of Big Brothers Big Sisters of New Hampshire is to provide children facing adversity with strong, professionally supported, one-to-one mentoring relationships that ignite the power and promise of youth. These mentoring relationships change the lives of our children for the better, forever.

“Every child needs a mentor… Who was yours?”

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Everything is Terrible!

FEBRUARY 27, 2022 @ 7PM | DOORS 6PM | UPSTAIRS

The internet!

Everything is Terrible! is the video and performance collective that is responsible for some of the internet’s most hilarious and bizarre videos. EIT! has posted daily re-edits for 11 years that have been culled from the mountains of dead media on the verge of abandonment by humanity. Some of their most widely shared videos include the creepy yoga farmer Yogi Ogi Dogi, the pedophile-hunting Yellow Dino, Cat Massage, Pubic Hair Dying, and of course, the demi-child-god Duane.

Beyond creating what the CBC called ‘The best site ever’, Everything Is Terrible! has also collected over 24,000 Jerry Maguire VHS tapes that will one day live in a permanent pyramid in the desert. Their Jerry Maguire Video Store immersive art installation in Los Angeles was praised by The New York Times, Vice, ABC News, The Paris Review, and more. EIT!’s legion of cult-like followers drive for hours with offerings of hundreds of Jerrys to their one-of-a-kind live experiences which showcase their videos, costumes, puppets, performances, and insane worldview. They have made 7 feature length movies and their most recent, The Great Satan (2018) was called “a masterpiece’’ by both Film Threat and The Chicago Reader.

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Leif Vollebekk w/ Special Guest

APRIL 3, 2022 @ 7PM | DOORS 6PM | UPSTAIRS

Dreamy and panoramic songs from a talented Canadian songwriter.

New Ways is a new album by Montreal’s Leif Vollebekk, his hotly anticipated follow-up to the Polaris Prize finalist Twin Solitude. It’s a record that lives between the kick and the snare, in that instant of feeling before the backbeat.

“The way that it was is the way it should be,” Vollebekk sings on “Phaedrus”—a line that’s a memory and a wish. New Ways is that too: the sound of desire in its unfolding. Two years ago, things were changing so fast, and the songwriter didn’t want to forget. “I often think of Leonard Cohen’s line, ‘I hope you’re keeping some kind of record,’” he says. “So I did.” It was like he was pretending you can compose a soundtrack to your own life (which perhaps you can).

In the end, New Ways is a document of everything Vollebekk felt, the way each moment arrived and moved through him. Whereas Twin Solitude was about self-reflection, New Ways is about engaging and changing, touching and being touched. It’s a physical record, with louder and tighter grooves, and the rawest lyrics the musician has ever recorded. A portrait of beauty, desire, longing, risk, remembrance—without an instant of regret. “She’s my woman and she loved me so fine,” goes the chorus to one tune. “She’ll never be back.”

“Anything that I wouldn’t ever want to tell anyone—I just put it on the record,” Vollebekk says: tenderness and violence, sex and rebirth, Plato and Julie Delpy. A story told through details—“the sun through my eyelids,” “a sign on the highway covered in rain.” The songs came fast—recorded a week here, a week there, initially just Leif and a drummer. “After each take, we’d go into the control room and listen back and see how it felt,” he says. “If it didn’t feel right we’d do it again, or switch from piano to guitar, or change the drum sound, or the microphones.” Once they got it, he’d move on. Never at rest, always in movement: 10 different tracks for 10 states of motion—each with its own pulse, drawing the listener in.

There’s the heat of the night and the cool blue of morning, hints of Prince and Bill Withers, the limbo of a lover’s transatlantic flight. “Hot Tears” is all hot-blooded memory. “Apalachee Plain” is a clamorous goodbye. “I’m Not Your Lover” would be a perfect love-song were it not for its chorus—a song that lets two opposites be true at once. “That last record I made for me,” Vollebekk admits. “This one is for someone else.”

Imagine the singer at the end of last September, performing at midnight in one of Montreal’s rarest and most intimate venues—a century-old porno theatre called Cinema L’Amour, a temple to the true and the carnal. He was sitting at a piano. The chords were moving like shadows on a wall. “She’s my woman and she loved me so fine!” Leif cried, singing to the rafters. “She’ll never be back.”

When everything was finally over—when the mixes were perfect and the masters cued up—Leif says listening to the album was like re-watching a film. “Now I knew what was going to happen,” he remembers. “Now the moments didn’t feel fleeting—they felt eternal, almost fated. The songs spoke to me differently, but they hadn’t changed. I just heard them in New Ways.”

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Yumi Zouma

APRIL 15 @ 9PM | Doors 8pm | UPSTAIRS

Shimmering pop via New Zealand.

Originally created as a long-distance project between friends online, Yumi Zouma is a collaboration drawn from around the world, with members based in New York City, London, and their home of New Zealand.

The self-produced quartet have honed their craft of delicate pop tapestries by way of emailed home recordings, resulting in 2020’s acclaimed Truth or Consequences, lauded by FADER as “shimmering nostalgia-pop.”

However, on the fearless new single “Give It Hell,” singer Chris Simpson issues a call of resistance amongst the chaos of our modern age. The song, which was recorded over remote sessions undertaken throughout 2020, showcases an expanded sonic palette of live drums, grand pianos, orchestral strings, and woodwinds, revealing a cacophonous glimpse of the band’s fourth and most formidable album yet, out early 2022.

ON SALE 10/1 @ 10AM

Stories of Love: Steve Niece and Ajuq

MAY 18 @ 7PM | Doors 6pm | UPSTAIRS

A magical night of music.

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