Ad Hoc presents
Pure X, La Big Vic, Kirin J Callinan
Brooklyn, NY, 11211-4119
Doors 8:00 PM
This event is all ages
Crawling Up The Stairs is the second LP from Austin, Texas' Pure X. Made up of principal members Nate Grace, Jesse Jenkins and Austin Youngblood, they stay true to the dense sound they explored on their last album, Pleasure, but add twinkling atmospherics and a new clarity to their carefully cultivated, emotionally heavy songs.
Where Pleasure was built on syrup-slow hooks and a weighty, sexy haze, Crawling Up The Stairs is the sound of Pure X emerging from that humid
cocoon to stare all the screwed up parts of life directly in the face and embrace them. When Grace's voice, cracked and worn, breaks through a fog of downtempo drums and misty guitar on "Someone Else," the pain that used to be visible in his face when he was on stage is pushed to the forefront of their sound, his voice growling and moaning with barely contained anger and apocalyptic worry in anguished falsetto. Crawling isn't a record about escape, it's about
what you do after you've realized that escaping isn't an option and you just have to face the world you live in head on.
Crawling Up The Stairs is an album born from emotional turmoil. For much of 2012, Grace was laid up with a serious leg injury. During the recording period, he had no insurance, no money, and if he ever was going to walk again, he needed to have surgery. Grace had no idea if he'd get the money together, and was consumed with doubt, unable to sleep. After a cathartic but torturous night of insomnia, heavy with world-worry and intermittent nightmares, Grace emerged feeling exhausted and different. Not better or worse, but different. Ready to
heal. Crawling is the result of that. Track by track, Grace, Youngblood and Jenkins—who shares vocal and songwriting duties—drag themselves through a bad year.
As Grace was wrestling with his own demons, Jenkins' was figuring things out as well. On the gorgeous "Thousand Year Old Child," his falsetto hangs over unusually upbeat drum work from Youngblood and perfectly placed synth wines. It's a tricky song—relaxed and happy on the surface, but lyrically, Jenkins is wrestling with getting older and being uncertain about his future, singing, "there is no reason/ to think about time/ sometimes I feel/ I feel like a thousand year old child." A little later, the kicker comes: "up in the morning/ sleep at night/ there is a question/ what am I doing with my life?" It's a universal feeling rendered personal by Jenkins' heartbreakingly spare lyrics.
But Crawling isn't entirely dark. Album closer "All of the Future (All of the Past)" is the record's most optimistic song. As if Grace, Jenkins and Youngblood have
finally emerged from an endless parade of bummer moments with newly optimistic perspectives on life. Grace's guitar glistens and glides across Jenkins' thick bass work and Youngblood's expertly controlled drums, but it's Grace's lyrics that end up laying everything out, making clear that there's a redemptive narrative in this record worth coming back to: "I can see the light/just got to stay alive," Grace sings. It might read as desperate, but Grace, for the first time, sounds confident that they'll make it no matter what.
La Big Vic
Actually from Brooklyn's La Big Vic. LBV's lead guitarist, Toshio Masuda, performed in a major label J-Pop boy band in his youth in Japan. He produced hip hop songs, commercials, and soundtracks before coming to America to become an inspirational R&B musician. Peter Pearson, the group's synthesist, is an apprentice to Pink Floyd's live sound producer Jeff Blenkinsopp at Expert Audio Repairs & Servicing (EARS) Inc. One of Jeff's last interns was Gavin Russom. La Big Vic's lead singer and violinist is Emilie Friedland, founder of Visitation Rites. She inspired us to start chatting with people about music. La Big Vic is a kosmische, trip-hop, genre buster. Actually is hook rich, atmospheric, and full of lurking positivity.
Kirin J Callinan
KIRIN J CALLINAN has his own theory that the three great Australian bands, the Mt. Rushmore of Oz if you will, all have a criminal aspect to them: AC/DC = gang of outcasts raising hell, INXS = sexual deviancy, lasciviousness, and Nick Cave = murderous poet. Kirin has elements of all three, and in time, he will be the fourth face on that rock.
July 2, 2013 will mark the release of Kirin J Callinan’s debut solo LP EMBRACISM, via Siberia Records/Terrible Records in partnership with XL Recordings.
A guitarist, singer, songwriter & solo performer born in Australia, Callinan is a child of the 1980's, who excels at haunting compositions and wild guitar playing. He is known for his confrontational live performances, which are always shirtless, brilliant, and rich with some combination of guitar hero antics, musical theater, stand-up comedy, primal emotion, punk sensibility, awkward silences and ugly realism. He is a performer by nature, very charismatic, and very unafraid to bare his soul.
"The Australian Kirin J Callinan took Glasslands’ stage by himself, which is all he really needed to then take most of the room….Callinan’s voice is tuneful and halting — psychobilly-redolent stuff with an operatic air. Callinan’s persona frames a nervy, curdling yet endearing charisma you can’t take your eyes from and makes you laugh and yet you probably wouldn’t let your young ones near….The music was rarely conventional, mostly experimental, like Scott Walker with a thing for stomp boxes and Lux Interior and Nick Cave.” Read a review from STEREOGUM after they attended an early show of Kirin’s last October in New York during CMJ.
Embracism’s title track was released to the public in April of 2013, and served as an audacious mission statement. The album itself is an incredibly ambitious and varied work that traverses many styles, touching on such themes as masculinity, death, war, patriotism, infidelity and loss, at points jarring and dissonant, at others subdued and positively melodic, while remaining pensive and vulnerable throughout. Embracism was produced by Kim Moyes (The Presets) at his home studio in Sydney and mixed by Chris Taylor (CANT, Grizzly Bear).
KIRIN J CALLINAN previously cut his teeth as a guitarist, most notably playing in bands (Mercy Arms, Jack Ladder) amongst numerous collaborations. Embracism is his debut full-length release as a solo artist.
Terrible Records was started by Ethan Silverman and Chris Taylor. This release, in partnership with XL Recordings, follows previous releases from Twin Shadow, Kindness and Solange.
Siberia Records is Kirin's Australian and New Zealand home, originally started by the Midnight Juggernauts to release their own music worldwide, now releasing a new wave of Australian subversive groundswells and popular consciousness.
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