777 Valencia Street
San Francisco, CA, 94110
Doors 8:00 PM / Show 9:00 PM
This event is all ages
Watch & Listen
“I heard somebody say that ‘the brightest lights cast the biggest shadows,’ so honey, I’ve got to let you go, I’ve got to let you go”.
…So croons the elegant folkstress Alela Diane on the title number from her forthcoming record, About Farewell. Over the last year, Alela has finished recording and mixing this new album, to be self-released in the summer via her own label, Rusted Blue Records. It serves as an eloquent goodbye to lovers from years past, coupled with some poignant last walks down memory lane. While the lyrics deal most directly with her recent divorce, the album explores her entire last decade of relationships with tremendous honesty and nuanced insight.
Hailing from Nevada City, CA, the homespun charms of her origin place have never left her. Alela’s first record, The Pirate’s Gospel, featured hand-drawn and hand-sewn sleeves. It is this handcrafted DIY aesthetic which is revisited anew, both in her decision to self-release the album, and in her self-possessed approach to recording.
Alela laid much of About Farewell to tape with John Askew at Flora Recording Studios in her current home of Portland, Ore, in late 2011 and early 2012. Over the course of 2012 she enlisted the help of some very talented friends to flesh out the sound: Heather Broderick (Horse Feathers, Efterklang, Loch Lomond) arranging and playing piano and flute, Holcombe Waller arranging strings, and Neal Morgan (Joanna Newsom, Bill Callahan touring bands) playing drums. In early 2013, she finished mixing the album with John Askew at Scenic Burrows and Mix Foundry.
We find these stripped-down folk songs to be a perfect vehicle for Alela’s impressive emotional range. She’s able to convey heartrending vulnerability at one moment, then bold wisdom and unflinching directness at the next. Nowhere is this palette so rich as in the live shows, an intimate treat for audiences lucky enough to catch her this year. In the season of spring, the heart has thawed and we turn to the promise of budding possibilities. A once-heartsick Alela has said her farewells, and now is the time to meet the new, more fully actualized woman.
Three years ago, Vikesh Kapoor performed at Howard Zinn's memorial service in Boston, in front of Zinn's family and colleagues (including Noam Chomsky). Inspired by Zinn's lifelong battle against class/race injustice, Kapoor spent the next two years in Portland working on a concept record based on a related newspaper article. His debut album, The Ballad Of Willy Robbins, out this Fall, chronicles the brutal but hopeful story of a working class man who slowly loses everything: ambitions, health, family, shelter. The album was co-produced by Adam Selzer (M. Ward) and features stellar participation from Nate Query (Decemberists, Black Prairie), Jeff Ratner (Langhorne Slim) and Birger Olsen (Denver).
$15 adv / $18 door