BIG THIEF

BIG THIEF

Luke Temple (of Here We Go Magic), Henry Jamison

Tue, March 7, 2017

8:00 pm

Rickshaw Stop

$12-14

This event is all ages

ADV TIX $12 / DOORS $14. There's a 6 ticket limit for this event per household, customer, credit card number and email address. Patrons who exceed the ticket limit can have their order cancelled automatically and without notice.

BIG THIEF
BIG THIEF
Big Thief's music, rooted in the songs of Adrianne Lenker, paints in vivid tones "the process of harnessing pain, loss, and love, while simultaneously letting go, looking into your own eyes through someone else's, and being okay with the inevitability of death," says Adrianne.

Masterpiece, Big Thief's debut album (Saddle Creek), is filled with characters and visceral narratives, songs that pivot in the space of a few words. Adrianne's voice and guitar playing speak of rich emotional territory with grace and insight. In her words, the record tracks "the masterpiece of existence, which is always folding into itself, people attempting to connect, to both shake themselves awake and to shake off the numbness of certain points in their life. The interpretations might be impressionistic or surrealistic, but they're grounded in simple things.

Adrianne met her longtime musical partner, guitarist and singer, Buck Meek, in Brooklyn a few years ago, and they quickly formed a creative bond tempered by the experience of traveling and performing for months on end in old dive bars, yards, barns, and basements together. They recorded a pair of duo albums (A-Sides and B-Sides), and Adrianne showcased her songs on a solo album, Hours Were The Birds.

Now, as a full rock and roll band, with Buck on guitar, Max Oleartchik on bass, and James Krivchenia on drums, they bring a steady wildness, giving the songs an even deeper layer of nostalgia.

"The songs of Adrianne Lenker and guitarist Buck Meek are tender and poetic, with punch, philosophical, thoughtful and singable." --NPR Music
Luke Temple (of Here We Go Magic)
Luke Temple (of Here We Go Magic)
I want to call Luke Temple a disciple of Hank Williams and Roger Miller. I want to call him an avant-garde traditionalist. I want to say he’s got an unmatched intuition for the askew. I want to say his only real contemporary peer is another master songsmith named Cass McCombs. I could make a pretty infallible case for any of these statements. But at the end of the day, it’d be adding too many bells and whistles to what his new album is. At its core, it’s one of the year’s most stunning folk records. You should just let Temple’s high-and-lonesome salve of a voice raise your goose-pimples from their dormancy. You should let his insightful, devastating lyrics make tiny, tender tears in your soul.

A Hand Through the Cellar Door is, in many ways, Temple’s most straightforward collection of song-storying tunes to date. There are tales of dysfunctional, broken homes and of dysfunctional, broken people. “Birds of Late December,” with its fluttering, nimble fingerpicking, paints an exacting but impressionistic portrait of divorce through the eyes of an exceptionally wistful child. In both “Maryanne Was Quiet” and “The Case of Louis Warren” we follow two characters whose lives unravel in very different ways, though their central question is the same: After you shed all the things you think make you who you are, what is left? Temple is creating small, confident stories with a massive scope - like a good Alice Munroe story. Album standout “The Complicated Men of the 1940s” is a thought experiment concerning the sacrifice of a passing generation, where the heroes of yesterday seem like the stuffy, old guard to a new generation that’s grown just a bit too entitled to their comfort.

But this being Temple and all - the creative mind behind Here We Go Magic - nothing is really ever so straightforward. The arrangements, kept to a minimal drums/guitar/bass/string set-up here, expand and contract in unexpected ways.Temple writes with the eye of a painter like Eric Fischl. Whereas Fischl will put a subtle provocative image in the margins of a piece to create a feeling of imbalance, Temple will add a guitar hiccup or a just-behind-the-beat string section to create a sensation of everything being slightly off. And in that imbalance, both artists show us grace. Yes, while the tales Temple weaves are bleak, the aura of hope never quite fades from the picture. He turns the tragedies of human folly into a celebration of our eccentricities.
Henry Jamison
Henry Jamison
Assuming that a pedigree in such things has any relevance at all, which is certainly unclear, Henry Jamison was perhaps predisposed to songwriting. His great-great-great-great-great-great-great (etc.) grandfather was the 14th century poet John Gower (friend to Chaucer and Richard II) and his great-great-great-great grandfather was George Frederick Root, the most popular songwriter of the Civil War era. Probably more relevant is that his mother is an English professor and his father a classical composer, who gave him a Korg 8-track recorder and his first guitar.

Henry attended a Waldorf School near his hometown of Burlington, VT, sang in a traveling folk choir and played viola in local youth orchestras. After an academically turbulent stint as an English major at Bowdoin College in Maine, he left on tour for two years with a band of bearded friends. This period was full of joys and sorrows and ended in a move back home. After a few attempts at recording a solo debut with a cadre of talented players, Henry decided to demo some new ideas on his old Korg 8-track, which would go on to become The Rains EP. These songs show a central interest in exploring inner worlds, observing their treasures and holding none in contempt. They run the gamut from an earnest reckoning with romantic upheaval ("Real Peach"), to a knee-jerk and distorted view of the same ("Through a Glass"), to storm-driven dreamscapes ("The Rains" and "Dallas Love Field"). Finally, in "No One Told Me," Henry stands metaphorically on his own "Galleons Lap" (the summit where Christopher Robin says Goodbye-for-Now to the Hundred Acre Wood in A.A. Milne's House at Pooh Corner) and looks out, with a newfound composure born of relationship, to the horizon of the Who-Knows-What that is the life of a musician.

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Venue Information:
Rickshaw Stop
155 Fell St
San Francisco, CA, 94102
http://rickshawstop.com