The Echo Presents
StaG, Turnbull Green
1822 W Sunset Blvd
Los Angeles, California, 90026
This event is all ages
Nightlands is the recording project of Philadelphia-based instrumentalist Dave Hartley. The music he creates in his bedroom is itself a bed of delicate, chiming strings and bubbling synths beneath a blanket of choral vocal arrangements. It’s dreamy in the literal sense — the seeds for the album were sown when Hartley began archiving musical ideas that occurred in his sleep with a simple bedside tape recorder. As a result his debut album Forget the Mantra is, in essence, a field recording of Hartley’s dreams — a travel journal through pop music and a collection of psych-hymns from the first human lunar colony. The songs sound both huge and intimate, breathy and cavernous like massive echoes of a faraway concert. It’s the big, shadow music from just across the lake. The album deals with themes of anxiety, fear and the limits of concentration. Therein, it mines Hartley’s personal history as often as it does influences The Beach Boys, The Traveling Wilburys and Hawkwind. Side A pulses with layers of tom tom drums on wide-open standout slow jam “300 Clouds” and nimbly-picked acoustic melodies on “Suzerain (A Letter to the Judge),” like Crosby, Stills & Nash gone comsic-kraut. The songs roll and gallop then stop to breathe, always exhaling with what sounds like a thousand voices. Through its experimental back half — reminiscent of Bowie’s Low or Kate Bush’s “The Ninth Wave” from Hounds of Love — full of vocal samples from Hartley’s real life, the more pop-leaning front end is given greater context, like a close study of a plant’s blossom before traveling down through its root architecture. Hartley, who for years has been a prolific sideman in many Philadelphia ensembles (most notably The War on Drugs), laid these songs to tape on a Tascam 388 insularly over several months, inviting friends along for feedback and ultimately, some additional tracking. Hartley is in the creative pocket at the moment, and more Nightlands releases and tours are in the works for 2011.
The creative brainchild of Matt McGuire and Will Walden, StaG combines pop hooks with danceable electronic beats and subtle atmospherics that culminate in their live shows as a non-stop set of catchy, rhythmic indie-pop and finely tuned musical interludes, all building to an epic emotional climax.
Matt and Will met in a tee-ball league when they were both 5 years old and have been best friends ever since. They went to high school and college together and both moved back to their native Los Angeles, California to pursue StaG full-time. StaG recorded its second full-length record, Difference, in the beginning of 2013, and with the addition of Matt Hampar on guitar and Casey Baird on drums, has taken the record out of the studio and onto the L.A. scene.
Difference takes life’s emotional complexities and turns them into a beautifully uplifting piece of art that you can also dance to. At its heart is the deep bond of friendship between Matt and Will – a couple of kids who couldn’t be more excited about turning the sounds in their heads into the songs of the future.
Behind the fuzz and distortion you'll discover a very clear, incisive message: Your freedom isn't a gift, it's a necessity. Follow your own path and the destination will find you. For Turnbull Green that definitive path began somewhere deep in the woods of Connecticut. It meandered its way along the rocky Long Island Shore coastline, before looping, lapping, & backtracking throughout the idyllic days of late 90's NYC. It eventually resurfaced from the Bay Area fog before a Hawaiian exile preceded a return to Brooklyn which led to his current Los Angeles encampment. The archived experiences & influences gathered along the way were later subconsciously curated into the album you hear today. The result is a distinct sound that defies the pigeonholed limitations of conventional gentrification. Throbbing baselines and deliberately degraded synths blend seamlessly with melodic hymns and frenzied outbursts. Filled with equal parts bliss to despair, peace to paranoia, it's as mechanical as it is organic and its a headfirst dive into the cavernous mind of Turnbull Green. With an approach all his own, this one-man-band has created an album that knows no rules yet bears no ego as a result. It's as if that recluse in the woods you wish would surface more often finally reemerged and had been hard at work all the while