The Men, Widowspeak, Lust For Youth, Waxahatchee, DJ Sacred Bones

The Men

The Men yes, “The,” are a four-piece post punk outfit from Brooklyn, NY. Their catalog, which began in 2008 with a hand-dubbed self-released demo cassette, has grown to include two LP’s — We Are the Men and Immaculada — two more tapes, and a 7-inch. They have toured three times, played over 75 shows and have grown a following of die hard fans crowding into living rooms and basements throughout the five boroughs, desperately trying to see them. The buzz in their hometown has grown so fervent that the Village Voice debuted this album’s first single, “Bataille,” a full six months before the record was scheduled to street. Named for the famed French pornographic writer, the track review expounds, “rides a pug-ugly joy-punk riff into almost krautrock oblivion — complete with gorgeous voice cracks and face-mooshing distortion.”

Nick Chiericozzi, Mark Perro and Chris Hansell recorded this album at Python Patrol in 2010. Rich Samis joined the band shortly after and is now their full time drummer. Having three songwriters in the band allows them to pull from innumerable post punk sources, referencing drone, metal, shoegaze, and even Suicide lyrics on Leave Home. Recording to tape for the first time here, using elements of distortion, feedback, pop hooks, and a couple of beautifully destructive instrumental passages, The Men have been described by Mishka as, “more composers than musicians.” They have breathed new life into the genre of hardcore and created a seminal album that is truly for punks of all ages. Look for them on tour this summer.

Widowspeak is an American band comprised of Molly Hamilton and Robert Earl Thomas, known for its dreamy, western-tinged take on rock and roll. The outfit formed in 2010 and released two singles in 2011 (Harsh Realm, Gun Shy) followed by a debut album (self-titled) in the summer of that year, all on Brooklyn label Captured Tracks. Widowspeak was praised for its reverential spaciousness, Hamilton's haunting voice, and Thomas's spindly, Morricone-esque guitar lines; both drawing on 1950's pop ballads and 1970's psych, creating languid call-and-response melodies. The band then toured extensively, wearing in their warm, nostalgic sound.

Widowspeak began to write what would become their second record, Almanac, at the start of 2012, as popular fears of the apocalypse became imminently close to realization. Though not totally convinced of catastrophic disaster coinciding with the year's conclusion, Hamilton nevertheless began writing lyrics seeped in doomsday imagery, darkness and dread, inspired by the idea of such a universal experience of the end. The two started making demos in their practice space. Thomas shaped the ideas into songs, experimenting with denser arrangements and grander gestures. Black and white became Kodachrome, subdued became saturated. Widowspeak explored Appalachian melodies and desert rhythms, Saharan to the Southwest, as well as incorporated acoustic instruments and slide guitar, stemming from a shared love of Neil Young.

As the compositions were brought to life, they became something new, something unlike the fatalistic seeds from whence they'd grown. These songs were no longer concerned with the end of the Earth, but with the life and death of seasons, youth, love, and the cyclical nature of all things. The band chose the name 'Almanac' in tribute to those annual tomes which have eternally provided predictions of weather patterns, lunar and solar movement, and astronomical phenomena. But the songs are also about the changing times we find ourselves in: "the good old days" at odds with the hyperactive present, and the sense of loss, but also adventure, which that provides.
The album was recorded by Kevin McMahon (Swans, Real Estate) in a hundred year old barn in the Hudson River Valley of New York State during the transition from summer to fall. Producing with McMahon, Thomas expanded on the band's demos, crafting layers of guitar, Rhodes piano, organ and harmonium.

Almanac will be released by Captured Tracks on January 22, 2013.

If Widowspeak's first record serves as a collection of postcards, sent from destinations traveled to in that first transformative year, then their second is the guidebook written after they'd found their sonic home and inhabited it fully.

Waxahatchee

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The Men, Widowspeak, Lust For Youth, Waxahatchee, DJ Sacred Bones

Friday, December 14 · 8:00 PM at Saint Vitus

Off Sale