Jenny O., Idiot Glee
289 Kent Avenue
Brooklyn, NY, 11249
Doors 8:30 PM
This event is 21 and over
It's difficult to say where Night Beds begins, but it could be here: August 2006, a young Winston Yellen is invited to a longtime friend's apartment. They talk, they record a little aimlessly, and something exciting emerges. Maybe it's a little later, when one is studying engineering in Nashville, and the other remains behind, an unhappy captive of secondary education. It could be any number of moments, really, along a series of migrations, but probably here: the summer of 2008, back in Colorado Springs, when they write the first Night Beds song, "You Were Afraid."
God knows that we try to do the best we can
After that there is a lot of time spent in basements, a lot of alcohol, a lot of irreverent tuning, but not all that much need for talk. Most things are shared, understood: in thin mountain air, or in a waterlogged summer atmosphere, there can be a sense that breathing is effortful, that sleep is easy but not restful. The songs that come out of those first few years, collected on three EPs (Night Beds, Every fire; Every joy, and Hide From It), are an exercise in catharsis. They're deeply ringing things, washed in whiskey. The sound is like something emergent from a tunnel. It may be the red eye of a cigarette in the dark, or it may be the dawn peeking out.
Somewhere we might find softer light
"It was never thought. It just was always what felt good." So the songs come together over acoustic guitars, over the first skeletal melodies, and then they grow. Yellen's voice takes on a pure kind of thirst when wrapped in the sonic landscapes he devises. It's searching. It's taken several years to map everything out, but after a hiatus spent driving the deserts and prairies and coastal roads of the United States, sleeping in a hatchback or on friendly couches - after a long time spent alone - Night Beds has found a home in Nashville. Soon it will see the release of Country Sleep, a full-length album in the spirit of the vagabond, in the winding path to a place of good rest.
Jenny O. releases her debut EP on Manimal this March 2011 simply titled Home. The five track recording that was originally self-released, and eventually picked up by Los Angeles based indie, Manimal (Warpaint, Bat for Lashes, Sister Crayon and papercranes; whom Jenny has also played with), see the light.
Born in Long Island, New York to a scientist/wedding singer father whom introduced young Jenny to a wide a vintage record collection that consisted primarily of Beach Boys and Harry Nilsson. The influence went deep into Jenny’s musical upbringing where she picked up the piano and cello by age 9.
After playing in several bands around New York City and doing some time with the NY All-State Orchestra, Jenny settled in Los Angeles by the late 2000’s where she recorded a yet-to-be released LP with Jason Lader (Elvis Costello, Coldplay). After experiencing an artistic flurry of growing pains, she gathered herself and a special group of local musicians to make a stripped down recording of her newest material in late 2010. The fruits of these labors consist of what is being presented to the audience as Home.
After extensive national and international touring in support of his debut album, Paddywhack, Idiot Glee has returned with a brand-new EP of homemade pop called Life Without Jazz!
Borrowing his name from a Brian Eno quote about the ecstatic emotional surge one gets from creative accomplishment, Idiot Glee (Kentuckian James Friley) quickly struck a chord with fans around the globe who fell in love with his sound. While he employs mainly electronic instruments like synthesizers and samplers, his music is far from what you might call electronic. Preferring to play his songs live rather than just sing over sequences is a central reason why his songs are so organic and soulful. His classically-trained hands and sharp musical intuition are as much a part of his sound as his vocals or gear. The songs shine whether he goes his usual solo route, with a band, or on a grand piano, where the tunes are still just as stunning even when stripped down to their bare essences.
When he’s not touring and playing shows as Idiot Glee, James stays extremely busy in his hometown of Lexington. He co-owns a record label (Hop Hop), books shows in town as part of Lexington Lexington, plays bass in Street Gnar, DJs on the radio at WRFL and is also a member of the Resonant Hole collective. Throw in composing soundtracks and performing his solo piano improvisations and it’s difficult to imagine when he has time to write new material.
After a steady diet of Fleetwood Mac, Roxy Music, Scott Walker, and Harry Nilsson, Idiot Glee’s new songs have become more adventurous and stylistically varied (he’s currently working on a record replacing keyboards with guitars and piano) but still retain the heart-melting harmonies that seem to just spill out of his mouth effortlessly. These are songs for the lonely but still hopeful, for the homesick people yearning for the comforts of home, and for future lovers locking eyes across the club for the very first time.