FYF + CFAER Present:
Sun Araw, Silent Land Time Machine
2225 Colorado Blvd
Los Angeles, CA, 90041
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.
Cameron Stallones began his musical career as a founding member of the experimental psychedelic rock collective Magic Lantern. Soon after, demos originally intended to light the Lantern became the first Sun Araw LP: The Phynx. Sun Araw blossomed as a solo project in attempted geosynchronous orbit with the Eternal Now: oblique six-dimensional transmissions from changeless environs. Structural and spiritual inspiration for Sun Araw comes primarily from Cameron's first artistic love: film and filmmakers, especially those invested in the long-take (Tarkovsky, Altman, Bela Tarr, Greenaway). Devoted to long-form mantric music, the ethos is similar: straight lampin' in deep focus, angle after angle on the melodic object, gaining strength from the subsequent breakdown of the illusion of fixed perspective.
Since 2007, 4 full-length LPs, 3 EPs, and 5 cassettes have walked the mind-planes from psychedelic drone to melted afrobeat, from warped dub to minimal composition. These releases have been praised in Wire Magazine (who selected Heavy Deeds as one of the top 50 records of 2008, and On Patrol in the top 50 of 2010), The New Yorker, The New York Times, the Los Angeles Times, Uncut Magazine, Mojo, Pitchfork, and beyond. Sun Araw has performed in the US, Europe, Australia, and New Zealand with hundreds of artists including luminaries like Christian Fennesz and Konono No. 1. In early 2011, Cameron and M. Geddes Gengras traveled to Jamaica where they produced and recorded a collaboration album with roots reggae legends The Congos, set for release in the fall. While in and around Kingston, they also began producing dancehall singles and tracking local toasters under the name Duppy Gun Productions, which will be seeing release this summer.
Silent Land Time Machine
Silent Land Time Machine is a solo experimental violist that utilizes walls of heavily-effected strings, live tape manipulation, found sound, broken keyboards and tuned radio static. He is the co-founder of HOLODECK Records in Austin, TX, and has released the I am no longer alone with myself and can only artificially recall the scary and beautiful feeling of solitude EP (HOLODECK) in 2012, and his debut&hope still in 2008. An upcoming collaborative 12", From Ashes Come the Day, with Hangedup's Eric Craven (Montréal) is slated for Fall 2013 release on HOLODECK.