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Dawes

89.3 The Current & City Pages Presents:

Dawes

Lake Street Dive, The Lone Bellow

Tue, July 14, 2015

Doors: 5:00 pm / Show: 6:00 pm

$30 - $35

This event is 18 and over

Dawes
Dawes
"And may all your favorite bands stay together," sings Taylor Goldsmith on the title track to Dawes' fourth album, All Your Favorite Bands, on their own HUB Records, harking back to a time when that very
special rock group helped define who you were, expressing the joy and passion the foursome put into
the release.
"Your favorite band can identify you, express how you see yourself," explains Goldsmith, who co-wrote
the song with Jonny Fritz and is the sole author of the album's other eight tracks. "They enable you to
articulate your feelings through the way they play their instruments and the lyrics."
On All Your Favorite Bands, Dawes manage to transcend their well-documented Southern California influences to establish their own sound and themes, which range from the glass half full optimism of the
first single, "Things Happen" and the minor-chord tension of "I Can't Think About It Now" (featuring
background vocals from Gillian Welch and the McCrary Sisters) to the soulful gospel of "Waiting for Your Call," the rocking tongue-in-cheek lyrics of "Right On Time" and the epic, Dylan-esque set piece, "Now
That It's Too Late, Maria."
Produced by David Rawlings (Dave Rawlings Machine, Gillian Welch, Robyn Hitchcock, Old Crow
Medicine Show, Willie Watson) at Woodland Sound Studios in Nashville, Dawes recorded these new
songs after they had already been road-tested in front of live audiences in intimate venues from
Sonoma to Santa Barbara, with Rawlings in tow. The producer even played guitar solos on two of the
tracks (including that jangling noir Epiphone acoustic on "Somewhere Along the Way"), with Richard
Bennett on acoustic guitar and Paul Franklin on pedal steel, also contributing.
"We played and recorded the songs as a band, with very few overdubs," explains Taylor. "It was a real
joy to work with Dave, who is such an incredible musician with a deep understanding of what goes into a
song. We found ourselves immediately speaking a language we both understood."
Rawlings originally jammed with the band when they were Simon Dawes in their North Hills, CA, rehearsal space around seven years ago, then joined the group on one memorable occasion at the tiny
Crepe Place in Santa Cruz for a raucous encore after one of his own shows down the street. Dave threw his hat in the ring to produce them, mutually agreeing on the goal of making their recordings sound more like they do live.
"I was always a big supporter of the way they went about things, and how hard they worked," said
Rawlings. "I was also impressed with their growth as musicians."
The pairing of Dawes with Rawlings couldn't have been a more perfect match of band and producer.
"Playing these songs with them in a live setting in front of an audience before we ever set foot in the
studio was a lot of fun," enthused Rawlings. "I was really pleased to see the new material not just
holding its own with the older stuff, but in some cases sound even better and fresher."
Fresh from his game-changing experience working on the New Basement Tapes with producer T Bone
Burnett and bandmates Marcus Mumford, Elvis Costello, Jim James, Rhiannon Giddens, Taylor took the
spontaneity and organic interaction of those sessions – along with a newfound self-confidence – into recording the new album.
"We didn't get super-precious about it," he said. "The rest of the band were able to react and respond in the moment, so even during the guitar solos, you can hear everyone else expressing themselves as
well."
The first single, "Things Happen," is accompanied by a video that expresses Dawes' joie de vivre, a bittersweet tale of a Beatles busker (played by their actor friend Nate Michaux) who works Hollywood
Blvd., where he meets fellow street performers Charlie Chaplin (Taylor), Elvis Presley (Gelber) and Marilyn Monroe (Strathairn in drag).
"In a literal way, I'm singing to a friend, but I'm also giving myself a pep talk," said Taylor. "Things might
be bad, but the only thing you can do is shift your perspective to deal with it. Hoping it will go away by itself is a little unreasonable."
There are also glimpses of past relationships in "Somewhere Along the Way" and "Waiting for Your Call,"
while "I Can't Think About It Now" offers a disquieting view of how repressing your problems ends up
making things worse, and "Right on Time" describes the serendipity that makes up a long-lasting
romance, posing a dichotomy between the dramatic music and the blatantly over-the-top lyrics. The
sprawling, nine-minute-plus "Now That It's Too Late Maria" was the first song the band recorded in the
studio, and set the template for the album's loose-limbed, yet deliberate approach.
"Griffin played a relaxed, mid-tempo beat and I just started singing it that way," recalls Taylor. "Dave
just told us not to think about what we were doing, just do it, and that's what we did. It was a very
special moment for us as a band. It really set the mood and made us confident and comfortable in our
own skin, helped us embrace ourselves as a band. We realized nobody could do what the four of us do
together."
Making the new album helped Dawes realize just how special – and unique — they were as a unit. It's a
worthy addition – and a noticeable advance – on their three previous albums, 2009's debut North Hills,
2011's Nothing Is Wrong and 2013's Stories Don't End.
"They are a tremendously talented group of guys focused solely on the music as part of their lives," offered Rawlings. "I remember sitting in the control room with Taylor and Griff as they went through
their iPods and pulled out pieces of songs, swapping ideas back and forth over a great breadth of different styles from all different eras. There's a good level of passion and friction, and there was a
healthy give-and-take, of questioning things, then coming to an informed decision in the studio. I certainly learned a great deal working on this album."
Taylor suggested the energy of All Your Favorite Bands matches that of their very first album, though
this time the spontaneity was part of a concerted plan rather than the necessity of budgetary
limitations.
"There is so much joy in these songs, they make me smile when I hear them," he concluded. "We woke
up every day looking forward to the fact we would be playing together in the studio. That's all we ever
care about doing."
All Your Favorite Bands is the kind of album that could well make Dawes your favorite band.
Lake Street Dive
Lake Street Dive
After a jaw-dropping performance at a concert event in late 2013 that celebrated the music of Coen Brothers' film Inside Llewyn Davis, Lake Street Dive burst onto the music scene with the release of their critically-acclaimed album Bad Self Portraits (2014). An incredible year followed: Rolling Stone magazine called them "the year's best new band," and the group showed off their chops with stunning performances on multiple late night television shows including, Late Show With David Letterman, Ellen, and even The Colbert Report. In fact, Stephen Colbert counts himself as one of the band's biggest fans. The members of Lake Street Dive met as students at the New England Conservatory in Boston, and hail from across the country: trumpet/guitar player Mike Olson is from Minneapolis; vocalist Rachael Price from outside Nashville; stand-up bassist Bridget Kearney is an Iowa native, and drummer Mike Calabrese hails from Philadelphia.
The Lone Bellow
The Lone Bellow
Then Came the Morning, the second album by the Southern-born, Brooklyn-based indie-folk trio the Lone Bellow, opens with a crest of churchly piano, a patter of drums, and a fanfare of voices harmonizing like a sunrise. It's a powerful introduction, enormous and overwhelming, as Zach Williams, Brian Elmquist, and Kanene Pipkin testify mightily to life's great struggles and joys, heralding the morning that dispels the dark night: "Then came the morning! It was bright, like the light that you kept from your smile!" Working with producer Aaron Dessner of the National, the Lone Bellow has created a sound that mixes folk sincerity, gospel fervor, even heavy metal thunder, but the heart of the band is harmony: three voices united in a lone bellow.

"The feeling I get singing with Zach and Brian is completely natural and wholly electrifying," says Kanene. "Our voices feel like they were made to sing together."

Long before they combined their voices, the three members of the Lone Bellow were singing on their own. Brian had been writing and recording as a solo artist for more than a decade, with three albums under his own name. Kanene and her husband Jason were living in Beijing, China, hosting open mic nights, playing at local clubs and teaching music lessons. Zach began writing songs in the wake of a family tragedy: After his wife was thrown from a horse, he spent days in the hospital at her bedside, bracing for the worst news. The journal he kept during this period would eventually become his first batch of songs as a solo artist. Happily, his wife made a full recovery.

When Kanene's brother asked her and Zach to sing "O Happy Day" together at his wedding, they discovered their voices fit together beautifully, but starting a band together seemed impossible when they lived on opposite sides of the world. Brian soon relocated to New York and Kanene moved there to attend culinary school a couple years later. The three got together in their new hometown to work on a few songs of Zach's, he'd been chipping away at the scene as a solo artist for awhile by then. After hitting those first harmonies did they decide to abandon all other pursuits. Soon the trio was playing all over the city, although they considered Rockwood Music Hall on the Lower East Side to be their home. They opened for the Civil Wars, Dwight Yokam, Brandi Carlile and the Avett Brothers, and their self-titled debut, produced by Nashville's Charlie Peacock (the Civil Wars, Holly Williams) and released in January 2013, established them as one of the boldest new acts in the Americana movement.

After two hard years of constant touring, the band was exhausted but excited. By 2014, they had written nearly 40 songs on the road and were eager to get them down on tape. After putting together a list of dream producers, they reached out to their first choice, the National guitarist Aaron Dessner, who has helmed albums by the L.A. indie-rock group Local Natives and New York singer-songwriter Sharon Van Etten.

"It occurred to me that it would be fun to get together and make music with them," says Aaron. "My main interest in producing records is community and friendship more than making money. I already do a lot of traveling and working with the National, so when I have to time to work with other artists, it should be fun and meaningful."

"Aaron is just so kind," Zach says. "And he has surrounded himself with all these incredibly talented people, like Jonathan Low, the engineer. His brother Bryce [Dessner, also a guitarist for the National] wrote these amazing brass and string arrangements, and he got some of his friends to play with us."

Dessner and the Lone Bellow spent two weeks recording at Dreamland in upstate New York, a nineteenth-century church that had been converted into a homey studio. The singers found the space to inspire the emotional gravity necessary for the material and the acoustics they were looking for. (For Kanene, Dreamland had one other bonus: "I'm a big Muppets fan, and it looks exactly like the church where Dr. Teeth and the Electric Mayhem lived.")

Aaron set them up in a circle in what had once been the sanctuary, with microphones hanging in the rafters to capture the sound of their voices bleeding together. Most of the vocals were recorded in single takes, a tactic that adds urgency to songs like "Heaven Don't Call Me Home" and "If You Don't Love Me." "There were a couple of times when somebody sang the wrong word or hit a bad note, and we just had to keep going," says Zach, who says that recording "Marietta" in particular was daunting—especially the moment near the end when he hits an anguished high note, bends it even higher, and holds it for an impossibly long time. It's a startling display of vocal range, but it's also almost unbearably raw in its emotional honesty.

"'Marietta' is probably the darkest song on the whole record," Zach explains, "and it's based on something that happened between my wife and me. The band was getting ready to record that song when all of a sudden my wife showed up with our youngest baby. It was a great surprise, a beautiful moment. So I was able to go out and sing that song, knowing she was there to help me carry the moment."

"These are true stories," says Brian. "These aren't things we made up. We tried to write some songs that had nothing to do with our personal stories, but we just didn't respond to them. But we're best buds, so we know each others' personal stuff and trust each other to figure out what needs to be said and how to say it." Case in point: Brian wrote "Call to War" about his own struggles during his twenties, but gave the song to Kanene to sing. "The content is painful and brutal," she says, "but the imagery, the vocals, they build something delicate and ethereal. That kind of contrast illuminates the true beauty and power of a song."

Says Brian, "We do this one thing together, and we carry each other. Hopefully that makes the listener want to be a part of it. It becomes a communal thing, which means that there's never a sad song to sing. It's more a celebration of the light and the dark."
Venue Information:
Cabooze Plaza
917 Cedar Ave
Minneapolis, MN, 55404
http://www.cabooze.com