Broadberry Entertainment Group Presents
Ian St. Pe (of Black Lips / Diamond Rugs fame), Pontiak
623 E Main Street
Richmond, VA, 23219
Doors 7:00 PM / Show 8:00 PM
American stoner rock band founded in 1998 in Washington D.C.
Jason Simon – vocals, guitar
Steve Kille – bass, sitar
Mark Laughlin – drums
Stephen McCarty – drums
Cory Shane – guitar
Ian St. Pe (of Black Lips / Diamond Rugs fame)
In 2014, after 10 years of touring the world (literally every continent but Antarctica!) in Atlanta’s legendary Black Lips as well as the critically-acclaimed Diamond Rugs, guitarist and vocalist Ian Saint Pé needed a change. As he put it, “The only thing you can’t change is time, So it was time that changed me. I loved the Black Lips, but I needed to enjoy new environments. So I got a brand new bag: Saint Pé.”
He packed up his gear and moved to Nashville, where he settled down in a log cabin formerly owned by country legend Roy Acuff. Before long, that home had also turned into a studio, and with the help of a number of Atlanta-based friends, the Album, Fixed Focus was born. It’s less a departure from the sounds of the Lips and Rugs as it is an informed continuation of them that maintains all the hooks and pop sensibilities of his previous acts, while refining them with a bit of Nashville class and a hint of the darkness that 10 years on the road imbues upon the soul.
From singalong stompers “Street Lights,” “Got The Look” and “Kiss It Goodbye” to Southern Gothic explorations like “Burning Bright” and “Carbon Maker,” Fixed Focus is a fully-formed solo debut that sounds more like an album from deep into an established career.
Recorded by Saint Pé himself, Fixed Focus was then mixed by Matt Boynton (Kurt Vile, MGMT) in New York City and mastered by Joel Hatstat in Athens, GA.
With his first record finally in that brand new bag and new songs already on the way, Saint Pé plans to spend the foreseeable future back on the road with this latest project, bringing his new sounds to plenty of familiar faces.
*Saint Pé - fixed focus* out 4/7/17 on Ernest Jenning Recording Co.
"Rock N Roll - the Original Electronic Music" - Saint Pé
Whereas Pontiak’s 2014 album Innocence tore through rowdy riffs and melancholic balladry in a neat half hour, it’s immediately clear from the reverb-heavy trip of opener ‘Easy Does It’ that Dialectic of Ignorance is altogether a different beast. Euphorically defying spatial constraint, brothers Jennings, Van and Lain Carney instead opt to guide each song along its own cosmic trajectory: confident in the outcome, but even more excited to enjoy the ride.
Bloody-knuckled basslines bring a snarling Desert Session groove to ‘Ignorance Makes Me High’ and ‘Herb Is My Next Door Neighbor’, whilst woozy Gilmour-esque vocal harmonies imbue ‘Hidden Prettiness’ and ‘Youth and Age’ with a psychoacoustic dose of cerebral inertia. Those who have seen the brothers perform live know of their ability to harmonize, but Dialectic of Ignorance is the first album in which this talent is showcased in every song. ‘We Fucked Up’ is a pedal to the metal stoner-psych opus, while ‘Tomorrow Is Forgotten’ burns hot and slow; potent from the first note whilst relentlessly cranking up the intensity.
Pontiak grew up and live on farms in rural Virginia. Dialectic of Ignorance’s expansive structures echo the rugged, hazy climbs of this Blue Ridge Mountain setting, but don’t be fooled; this is no mere collection of pastoral instrumental landscapes. Having opened their own brewery in August 2015, the Carney brothers have had the opportunity to reassess their creative process through brewing. The lessons learned from this experimentation have had a formative effect on the both the process underlying and subsequent sound of Dialectic of Ignorance.
“There’s a definite dovetail between brewing and music,” explains Pontiak guitarist and lead vocalist Van Carney. “Both are creative processes that are full of immediate possibility. In the studio you face logistical, technical and creative challenges that are constantly evolving; it’s on you as the creator to decide which path you want to take. Brewing is no different.”
An expanded awareness of process has emboldened Pontiak’s musical explorations on Dialectic of Ignorance. “There’s beauty and truth and goodness in all hardships, and it takes strength to see that,” Van adds. “We learned that there’s limitless opportunity ahead if you’re ready to pursue it.” Literary influence was also important, with particular inspiration drawn from Karl Ove Knausgård’s sprawling confessional style, and the expressive, highly visual approach mastered by writers such as Bohumil Hrabal and Leo Tolstoy.
With post-truth politics implementing lasting change through manufactured narratives, the creative ownership Pontiak display on Dialectic of Ignorance is both elevating and empowering. Still, “it’s not a political album,” Van asserts. “The message we want to get across is the importance of being present in the moment. Maybe everything is fucked. But you can do something about that.”
Dialectic of Ignorance was recorded between January and October 2016 in Pontiak’s own ‘Studio A’ in Virginia. “Running the brewery definitely stretched the process out, but that was a good thing,” says Van. “It gave us time to think, mull over things, and throw stuff away when necessary. We’d come in to the brewery early each morning, put on what we’d recorded the previous day, listen to it while we worked, and shoot ideas at each other. It was a meditative, flowing process.”
Tickets Available at the Door
All shows are standing room only unless otherwise notated.
No Smoking/Vaping permitted anywhere inside venue
Bags/purses will be checked at the door.
Must have ID for entry
All tickets are picked up via will call starting at the time of doors.
Children under 3 years old are Free.
Appropriate clothing required at all times (tops and bottoms covered).