Hi Ho Silver Oh, Miles Seaton (of Akron/Family)
2220 Beverly Blvd
Los Angeles, CA, 90057
Doors 7:00PM / Show 7:30PM
This event is 21 and over
Trekky Records is proud to announce the release of Midtown Dickens' third album, Home, the band's most stunning and accomplished work to date. Midtown Dickens have never sounded more bold or graceful than they do across these 11 gorgeous meditations on the themes of home (both literal and abstract), family (blood and chosen) and space (within us and about us). Home is the sound of journey and motion; the pulling apart and coming together we experience as we search for our place in the world.
Home is also Midtown Dickens' most collaborative release, expanding the core duo of songwriters/vocalists Kym Register and Catherine Edgerton to include multi-instrumentalists Will Hackney and Jonathan Henderson. Recorded between tours in a near-constant year of traveling (including jaunts with kindred-spirits The Mountain Goats, Megafaun, and Lost in the Trees) the album reveals a band moving effortlessly as one. This unity brings focus and warmth to Edgerton and Register's dark folk compositions.
Home was recorded by long-time collaborator Scott Solter (Spoon, St. Vincent, The Mountain Goats) at his studio in Monroe, North Carolina. The remote location afforded Midtown Dickens the time and space to delve into the most adventurous, experimental, and focused sessions of the band's career. At first listen, it is clear that Home marks a dramatic shift in Midtown Dickens' sonic world. While still anchored by acoustic, folk instrumentation (banjo, mandolin, acoustic guitar, upright bass), the album also wields layers of overdriven bowed cymbals, musical saws drowning in reverb and walls-of-sound that push acoustic instruments to places they've never been before. Yet the band never allows the noise to obscure the soul of the song, and without a doubt these are the most realized and lucid songs Register and Edgerton have ever written, modern standards. Home evokes the stunning colors of Carolina tobacco fields and Appalachian mountain ranges, re-imagined and re-contextualized in a way that is undeniably Midtown Dickens.
Hi Ho Silver Oh
A short biographical essay about Hi Ho Silver Oh.
By William Randolph Brafford.
A week or two ago, I was watching my friend Casey play his songs for a small crowd at Chapel Hill’s Nightlight club. I hadn’t seen him play solo-acoustic at a show in I don’t know how long, and I was a little bit surprised to find that the things I love about Casey’s music now are basically the same things I loved back in high school when we played shows together in church rec-rooms. And now Casey has asked me to write a short biographical essay for his “one sheet,” whatever that is, and so I get to try to put some of what I observed in the Nightlight into prose. As I see it, the point of what I’m writing is (1) to explain to you something about who Casey Trela is and where he comes from, (2) to say something about what his band, Hi Ho Silver Oh, sounds like, and, if all goes well, (3) to give a glimpse of what I think Casey is about, deep down. I’m not sure that I can do it right, but here goes.
Casey spent the first part of his life in Rome, New York, which is somewhere in the upstate, but he moved to North Carolina and went to middle school, high school, and college there. While in high school, he wrote and home-recorded a couple of largely acoustic albums that sounded a little bit like unplugged Jimmy Eat World, but more expansive and autobiographical. It was during this time that he started developing his penchant for house shows, playing, for example, in my family’s living room for maybe fifteen people who all liked his songs. (He’d also play for bigger audiences churches and coffeehouses; we were too young to hang out in bars.)
In college, Casey started a band called Sweater Weather, and he kind of blossomed as an arranger, bandleader, and songwriter. They’d play everything from fantastically loud and intense songs about the eschaton to whisper-quiet songs about moving away from a childhood home. But college ended, and so did the band, and Casey moved to Los Angeles. On the West Coast, he started writing songs that he could play either by himself or with whoever else showed up, and he called the project Hi Ho Silver Oh.
But what does it sound like? There are some things that hold constant over Casey’s entire output: the introspective-with-bright-flashes-of-humor lyrics, the intuitive sensitivity to dynamics, the catchy-enough-to-sing-along choruses that beg you to participate, the home-recording ethic. But with this project Casey has started to do things I haven’t heard him do before: a few Roy Orbison-style love ballads, sunny California harmonies, and delicate instrumental lines and chord progressions. The guitar is the central instrument, so everything works for the solo shows, but the sound gets fleshed out in the recordings by keyboards and tambourines and the occasional violin, depending on what the song requires.
And I think I can shed some light on why Casey writes these songs. One time when we were driving south from Washington DC back to North Carolina, Casey explained to me why Roy Orbison’s version of “Love Hurts” is better than any other version he’s heard. There’s this one line — “love is like a stove / burns you when it’s hot” — that some covers omit. Even good covers, like the one by Gram Parsons and Emmylou Harris, tend to make love’s hurt sound like something that’s good in the long run, but not Roy. When Orbison sings about getting burned, he means that love actually hurts. Badly. It’s not a no-pain-no-gain kind of thing, it’s just hurt. Some of us know this from experience. Of course, Roy Orbison also sang “Running Scared,” so he knew that love is good even as love hurts, and these parts of love can be separate or they can be mixed, and that these are truths that can be hard to sing without being sentimental. These are the kinds of truths that Hi Ho Silver Oh wants to get across, and to get them across in a way that we can sing them together and maybe be somehow better for it. Or at least, that’s my take on it.
I hope that answers all of your questions.
Miles Seaton (of Akron/Family)
Miles Seaton was born in 1979 in Porterville, California. He fell in love with singing during Sundays spent at church, and this evolved into a love for noise of all kinds. After moving to Seattle at age fifteen, Miles began performing in punk and hardcore bands. In 2002, he started the experimental music collective Akron/Family with Seth Olinsky, Dana Janssen, and Ryan Vanderhoof. Miles sings, writes songs, and plays the bass, as well as a rotation of countless instruments and improvised sound-machines. Acting as the band’s hype-man, Miles will coax or demand the audience’s participation through call-and-response and performative acts that are often spontaneous and unruly.
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