with opener Twain
6:30pm doors • 7:30pm show
Tōth is a new project of Brooklyn multi-instrumentalist songwriter Alex Toth, known for collaborating and writing with Kimbra, Alexander F, Rubblebucket, Cuddle Magic and others. As Tōth, he presents his most vulnerable songs and performances yet, often sung in a style reminiscent of Arthur Russell, while also adding trumpet and guitar. Forthcoming debut album Practice Magic and Seek Professional Help When Necessary comes out May 2019 on Northern Spy Records (worldwide) and Figure Eight (EU/UK). The album is mixed by Andrew Sarlo (Big Thief, Nick Hakim).
For this special performance, Tōth will be comprised of:
Clarice Jenson – cello
Hannah Epperson – violin
Jeremy Gustin – Drums / percussion
Ryan Dugré – Bass
Alex Toth – singing, trumpet, guitar, loops
The Westerlies brass quartet
“Drifting, dreamy songwriting… a beautiful, sighing return, reminiscent of Cocteau Twins ” – Clash Mag
“Tōth presents heart-breaking vulnerability portraying the turmoil of unrequited love with a video drawing inspiration from Charlie Chaplin’s iconic performance art” – The Line of Best Fit
“Alex Toth is winning” – NPR First Watch for “No Reason”
See more at tothtunes.com!
In July 2016, Alex Toth was recovering from a broken foot and a broken heart, stuck in his fourth-floor apartment in Brooklyn with cast and crutches. This is where Tōth’s “achingly beautiful” debut album, Practice Magic and Seek Professional Help When Necessary, was born.
A few months earlier, Alex and his Rubblebucket cofounder and love of more than eleven years had “consciously uncoupled” after a period of helping each other through devastating challenges. Alex was lightning-struck by sadness. “Almost convalescent” at times, in his words, though rarely still. A jazz trumpeter by training, Alex is always, always writing. And, that spring, a new kind of music started to come: raw, stripped-down songs unfurling without agenda, bent over an acoustic guitar. It never occurred to Alex that he was making an album.
The idea sprouted in songwriting sessions with his friend Kimbra, when she heard this new sound and encouraged Alex to make a record. But it didn’t solidify until June 2016, when Alex was onstage with his punk project Alexander F and broke his foot. Stuck there in his apartment all summer, Tōth came to life.
Practice Magic and Seek Professional Help When Necessary, due May 2019 from Northern Spy Records (worldwide) and Figureight Records (UK/Europe), is a self-help guide unlike any other — a breakup album before wholeness but after anger. The album turns as it goes, through “lush, windswept sonics” (Gorilla Vs. Bear), bebop trumpet solos, and spare guitar, recalling the Beach Boys in one bar and Arthur Russell in the next. It’s an album for remembering and letting go — and discovering what magic remains.
Have you ever…
…faced an impossible question, to be answered at once by a kaleidoscope of wind, diffusing your bewilderment into thousands of spinning bulbs?
…awoken to hear the person sleeping beside you speaking a language they do not speak in their waking life?
…felt your legs possessed, to throw you across the room in shapes?
…lost your heart, only to find it on the bank of a cold spring, in the hands of a filling station attendant, or in the dust swimming through the light of your bedroom window?
Have you ever listened to Twain?
“A lonely day, I went outside to smoke awhile,
and think about a picture in a book:
He was laying in the grass in his suit,
as the angler posed in pursuit of the fish”
For the past decade or so, Mt. Davidson has cultivated his songs and sounds, attempting to create a bridge, a meeting place, between the terrestrial and the mystic. He is a ponderous and delicate sort of creature, short and vaguely leonine, who has spent most of his young life abiding in the midlands of transcendence.
“Oh to be there, the smell of her hair,
the deer swimming through the watery woods,
life won’t last long for those who hate it,
for those who love it, it lingers on like a dream”
Following its quiet self-release in 2014, his fifth and most recent LP, Life Labors in the Choir, has steadily gained devoted listeners throughout the globe and continues to blossom today. The album describes a marked evolution in an alluring yet strange and hesitant discography. Progressing from the bashfully childlike sounds of 2005’s Madeline, (now lost), through self-constructed garage multi-track tangles of Sleeping Tree (2007) and Almanack (2008), we hear the progress of a young man struggling to free himself from the shackles of depression and neurosis. In 2010’s Love is All Around, a distinct breakthrough can be felt in the form of a question that challenges the foundation of the doubt and fear running through the early music. This sudden evolution is in no small part owing to the addition of two musicians – Peter Pezzimenti (drums and vibes) and Ken Woodward (basses) – and a sound engineer – Adrian Olsen. The music really began to breathe.
“Free’d from doubt, my cigarette went out,
the sun came out and warmed up the house,
oh to be fainting into that painting,
as I wrap up the tune and bring it to you”
This fall, Twain will release a new record of songs – Rare Feeling – on Keeled Scales Records (Austin, TX). These recordings have been gently fermenting for an extended period of time, and are now ready for consumption. The foundation of the record was captured in a tool shed by the great magi-bard, S. McMicken (Dr. Dog), using ancient and secret methods of time distortion. The resultant reels were then brought to Richmond VA, where master engineer and sound-seeker Adrian Olsen guided the songs into completion. As with the previous LP, the band has labored to present a purely AAA analog disc, and is eager for you to experience the special magnetic warmth that results from the process. (We once again are indebted to the mysterious and mighty Paul Gold of Salt Mastering for his kind attention).
If you would like to hear some music, please head over to twain.band.
(Lyrics from “Freed from Doubt”, from Rare Feeling)
Cellist and composer Clarice Jensen is the artistic director of ACME, the American Contemporary Music Ensemble. A graduate of The Juilliard School, she studied with Joel Krosnick, Harvey Shapiro and has taken master classes with many composers such as Milton Babbitt, Elliott Carter and Roger Reynolds.
Armed with her violin, loop pedal and voice, sonic weaver Hannah Epperson arranges musical landscapes without indulgence or over-saturation. As a solo performer and collaborative artist, she has joined forces with a versatile cast of collaborators across a spectrum of genres and disciplines. More recently, these creative explorations have included composing and performing for interdisciplinary film and dance projects across the country and in New York, where she now resides. Hannah’s breadth as a collaborative and compositional powerhouse stems from from an eclectic experiential and educational background: from learning Appalachian folk tunes by ear with a cowgirl in Utah to travelling through Scandinavia and Europe as an accompanist; or from touring her solo project by sailboat with permaculturists to accompanying Flamenco dancers in Spain, before finishing her Honours Degree in Human Geography and representing Canada at World Championships for ultimate frisbee in 2015 and 2017.
The versatile and collaborative journey of this Salt Lake City born violinist informs the creative compositions she offers in her solo projects. Hannah‘s unique approach to composition and performance earned her one of British Columbia’s Peak Performance Project awards in 2013 and international recognition as a powerful songwriter whose compositions weave classical emotion together with the raw energy of indie music. Her sound crosses genres and will continue to offer various levels of musical and emotional exploration to the same listener at different times.
Hannah Epperson’s debut LP – Upsweep – was released in September 2016 as Volume I of a two volume exploration in bifurcated songwriting and production.
Ryan Dugré is a freelance guitarist and multi-instrumentalist based in New York City. After graduating from New England Conservatory in 2007 he has been active performing, recording, and touring with artists and bands such as Joan As Police Woman, Rubblebucket, Landlady, and Eleanor Friedberger. He released his first solo record Gardens in 2016 on Brooklyn cassette label Very Special Recordings. The Humors, which comes out March 8th on Birdwatcher Records, marks Dugré’s second collaboration with engineer Sam Owens (Sam Evian).
Ryan has performed internationally at festivals including Le Festival d’été de Québec, Bonnaroo, Haldern Pop Fest, as well as NPR‘s Tiny Desk Concert series and BBC 6 Radio with Marc Riley. He has also performed as a guest artist at the Afghanistan National Institute of Music in Kabul, Afghanistan, and Eliot Fisk’s Boston GuitarFest at New England Conservatory of Music.
The Westerlies are a New York-based brass quartet comprised of childhood friends from Seattle: Riley Mulherkar and Chloe Rowlands on trumpet, and Andy Clausen and Willem de Koch on trombone.
Formed in 2011, the self-described “accidental brass quartet” takes its name from the prevailing winds that travel from the West to the East. “Skilled interpreters who are also adept improvisers” (NPR’s Fresh Air), The Westerlies explore jazz, roots and chamber music influences to create the rarest of hybrids: music that is both “folk-like and composerly, lovely and intellectually rigorous” (NPR Music). Equally at home in concert halls and living rooms, The Westerlies navigate a wide array of venues and projects with the precision of a string quartet, the audacity of a rock band, and the charm of a family sing-along.
The ensemble has produced two critically acclaimed albums of genre-defying chamber music: its 2014 debut, Wish the Children Would Come On Home: The Music of Wayne Horvitz (Songlines), and a 2016 double-CD of primarily original compositions, The Westerlies (Songlines). Sought-after collaborators, The Westerlies are also featured on recordings by Fleet Foxes (Nonesuch), Vieux Farka Touré (Six Degrees Records), Common (Lakeshore) and Dave Douglas (Greenleaf). The group is currently developing an evening-length program in collaboration with Grammy-nominated vocalist and composer Theo Bleckmann, entitled Song of Refuge & Resistance.
The Westerlies’ 2018-19 season includes engagements at Seattle Pacific University, the Norton Center for the Arts, the Moore Theatre, Shenandoah University, Purdue University, the Oxford Performing Arts Center, Luther College, the Schubert Club, St. John’s University and the University of Washington. In addition, the ensemble is producing the first annual Westerlies Fest, September 20-23 in Seattle. Combining evening performances with daytime in-school concerts and a weekend creative music workshop, The Westerlies will reach over 1,000 students in Seattle and surrounding underserved areas to give back to the city that raised them.
Recent performances include the National Gallery of Art, the Cliburn, Mobile Chamber Music, Musical Masterworks Old Lyme, Joye in Aiken, and Delta State University, in addition to residencies at ClefWorks in Montgomery, Alabama, Orcas Island Chamber Music Festival, and Bay Chamber Concerts in Rockport, Maine. The ensemble was featured with Fleet Foxes at Coachella, the Hollywood Bowl, the Greek Theatre Berkeley, Red Rocks, the Newport Folk Festival, Merriweather Post Pavilion, the Santa Fe Opera, Outside Lands in San Francisco, Panorama New York City, and the Pitchfork Music Festival.
Education and community engagement are core elements of The Westerlies’ mission. Each season, the ensemble reaches thousands of students around the country with their innovative and inspiring assemblies and masterclasses.