Paint Branch

Paint Branch

If a friend is someone you love and trust and speak with at least once a week, then John Davis is my oldest friend. I first met John at the old 9:30 Club on F Street N.W. when I was 16-years-old, but we had already been in touch through letters, which was how the suburban D.C. punk scene stayed connected in 1995. Three years later, I asked John to play drums in a band that would become Q and Not U.
We were a post-punk group and we recorded three albums for Dischord Records, a label we revered. When the band broke up in 2005, I took it badly. I recorded a solo album as Ris Paul Ric with my friend Tim Hecker and then tried to start another group. Neither really worked out. John started a short-lived band called Georgie James, and then started his still-together band, Title Tracks. Along the way, he became an excellent songwriter.

That's why, in January 2011, I asked John to help me finish some songs that had gone nowhere during two lousy years I spent living in New York City. Maybe we could sound like CSNY or Harry Nilsson or other bands John had gotten me into. There could be guitar solos and vocal harmonies and lyrics about personal bummers – common things that felt too common for our old band, or maybe just too self-indulgent. (Funny how common things could feel thrilling now.) John had some songs that needed finishing, too.

We recorded them all in the summer of 2012 with the help of Chad Clark and Nick Anderson, two generous and gifted producers. Some of it was recorded in a Virginia shed. The rest of it was recorded in a Maryland apartment. We decided to call the band Paint Branch after a 14-mile stream that flows into the Anacostia River and past the Maryland rehearsal space where we wrote our songs, not far from the woods where John Fahey once consorted with cat people.

Listening to the album a few months later, it sounds different to me. I think it's an album about carrying the weight of dreams you never fulfilled and the strangeness of mourning the ones that you did. That wasn't what we set out to do, of course. We just wanted to see what would happen if we tried making music together again. This is what happened.

The Tablets

The Tablets are the songs of Brooklyn-based, mexican born musician Liz Godoy. For The Tablets self-titled debut LP, she composed and arranged, as well as co-produced the album alongside Brenden Beu (engineer: Male Bonding, Pissed Jeans and o'death)

The 11 tracks that make up the The Tablets, are more than the sum of their parts; upon listening, you can clearly hear Liz's wide range of influences from 60's garage and pop, to dark 80's and new wave and some of her favorite childhood mexican girl-pop dance tunes perfectly balanced with distorted Farfisa and Brenden Beu's gritty shoe-gaze guitars, giving counterpoint to her sweet understated vocals. But Godoy's songwriting is more than that. As you will hear in the slow-tempo, obscure and heart-breaking "Armistice" and the ominous "Pray a Fight", she's determined to keep writing without prejudice, to genre or style.

Liz studied piano and ballet In Tijuana and Culiacan, Mexico at a very young age, and her dance studies eventually took her to Cuba. Upon returning to Mexico, she retired from the dancing world and decided to pick-up where she left off with music.

While a resident of Southern California, Liz played keys and sang background vocals with the short-lived experimental noise band Tetsunori, who pressed an EP mixed by Jimmy LaValle (of The Album Leaf, Tristeza and The Locust) and shared the stage with acts like The Blackheart Procession.
Later she co-founded the fearsome sparrow with Brenden Beu, who shared the stage with The Locust and The Album Leaf before releasing their first full-length, Idiot Savants. the fearsome sparrow moved to Brooklyn in the summer of 2005 and enjoyed moderate success. Their second full length album, Shimmer was greatly received, and led them to be nominated by the Deli Magazine in their list of the best new bands of 2009, alongside acts like Talk Normal, Sleigh Bells and Dirty Projectors.

In early 2010, following the hiatus of the fearsome sparrow, Liz began writing a series of songs that are solely hers, these compositions became the foundation for The Tablets. They began playing music venues throughout New York city, as well as art openings, and performed for the last installment of NYC Fashion's Night Out (2012)

The Tablets's recently headlined Bikes Rock, a night of music designed to kick-off the Bicycle Film Festival-Mexico (November 2013) and also closed the festivities for the Greenpoint Pre-Apocalyptic Theatre Festival (August 2013)

Since the band's inception, multi-disciplinary artist Melissa Godoy Nieto has collaborated with The Tablets as art director. For their live performances, she creates live visuals, currently using vintage overhead projectors, as well as designing and collecting source material, and recently, hand-painting one of her designs on the dress Liz wore to The Tablets' presentation at the Bicycle Film Festival in Mexico City (November 2013). On September/2012, Gooby Herms joined The Tablets on bass.

The Tablets are currently working on an EP to be released mid-winter, as well as gearing up for US and European tours in 2014.

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Paint Branch with The Tablets, Old Fashions

Saturday, December 7 · 8:00 PM at Cameo Gallery