308 N. 2nd Ave.
Phoenix, AZ, 85003
Doors 7:30 PM / Show 8:30 PM
This event is 16 and over
Youth Lagoon - A biography
Trevor Powers, the Idaho musician known as Youth Lagoon, has found what used to be destructive is now what gives him life. "I've never felt truly comfortable. It's this feeling of uneasiness that follows me everywhere I go because my thoughts never shut up," says Powers. "It used to exhaust me, but I've learned discomfort is invaluable. Safety makes us numb. It's when we find ourselves in territories we're unfamiliar with that we can really grow."
While on tour throughout Europe, Powers received a phone call from home informing him that one of his closest friends had drowned in the local river. After canceling the tour and flying home for the funeral, the following months marked a defining shift in Powers' approach to songwriting. "Just how entwined we are never truly hit me before that," claims Powers. "We are all connected. Even strangers. Our existence is one dazzling pattern that repeats itself endlessly. What makes us distinct is our flaws. In our defects lies something great."
Youth Lagoon's third album 'Savage Hills Ballroom' is rooted in discomfort, rather than avoiding it. Influenced by society's desire to exude a flawless existence, the album's musical direction and visual aspects were conceived on Powers' late-night walks through Idaho's suburbs. "There's these rows and rows of seemingly ideal houses, but there's this emptiness to it all. Usually the better someone's life seems from the outside, the more they're hiding," states Powers. "I've had a lot of barriers for a long time that I haven't let people past, and I've gotten really sick of playing pretend."
Shortly after meeting co-producer/engineer Ali Chant (PJ Harvey, Gravenhurst), Powers relocated to Bristol, UK for 2 months to record 'Savage Hills Ballroom' at Toybox Studios -- an underground recording space in a vaulted Georgian basement.
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.
$13.00 - $15.00
Tickets Available at the Door