Heyward Howkins (Record Release)

Heyward Howkins

Whether insisted upon or lovingly squelched, “candor” marks the
pervasive theme on Be Frank, Furness—the swift successor to last
year’s acclaimed The Hale & Hearty LP (produced by Chet Delcampo).
This go-round Heyward has captured an even more honest and relaxed
vibe with the help of co-producer Ben Riesman (Le Fits, Bart
Davenport) and mixing engineer Quentin Stoltzfus (Mazarin/Light Heat,
The Walkmen, Lilys, Clap Your Hands Say Yeah). Many of the tracks were
rendered to tape with a full band in a cavernous trolley repair depot
that was being transformed into a recording studio right under
Howkins’ feet—imparting palpable warmth, breadth and unpredictability
into the sessions that ultimately became Furness.

While most of the central thematic figures on The Hale & Hearty were
too far gone—beautiful but broken, these folks still have a chance and
in some cases get a free pass—if for one night only—like the couple in
“Sweet Tea Oleander.” It’s a slippery ballad where the “whole night’s
a pardon from guilt now departed” and a newly sprung couple sip from a
questionable brew just to have “anything to break up this candor.”
It's a sweet but toxic mixture of Nathaniel Hawthorne meets Cool Hand
Luke.

In the title track, Heyward cleverly casts the famed Philadelphia
architect Frank Furness into the role of his butler and demands verity
(and clarity) when he poses the question—“how could I get so mashed by
a neutral spirit’s glass and not come out straight bitters?” The song
portrays a familiar tension between the inner-city and the privileged
outskirts where Furness may hold both the keys to reconciliation and
your parent’s liquor cabinet—“I should have quit this Main Line mess.
They were first world problems, yes. Turned into first world debt.”

Speaking of family, Heyward takes his name from his five-times
grandfather Thomas Heyward (dubbed “The Singing Signer”), founding
father and signer of the Declaration of Independence. On “Brite
Kites,” Howkins takes his fascination with family history and familial
connections in a new direction, setting to music a poem written by his
mother. Layers of history combine to speak through one voice as
perspectives collide and push thoughts from long ago into the present.

Heyward first garnered attention in the early 2000s as the lead
guitarist for The Trouble With Sweeney, with releases that included
the widely praised I Know You Destroy and Fishtown Briefcase—both
records landed on Rollingstone.com's Editor's Top Picks of the Year.

Howkins is also a founding member of The Silver Ages, the critically
acclaimed choral group featuring singers from a wide array of
Philadelphia-based bands, including David Hartley (Nightlands, The War
on Drugs, BC Camplight), Charlie Hall (Jens Lekman, The War on Drugs,
The Lindsey Buckingham Appreciation Society), Brandon Beaver (Buried
Beds, Nightlands), Zach Miller (Dr. Dog) and Dan Matz (Windsor for the
Derby, Birdwatcher).

Though dark themes creep in as many of the songs' characters struggle
and face the hardships of life, ultimately the album is defined by
Heyward's embrace of the playful and celebratory. With melodies that
pull you in (such as the buoyant album opener, “Nogales”) and lyrics
that evoke feelings and situations both specific and universal ("Then
ran your first love Billy / All of ours really," Heyward sings in the
Stacker Lee-infused “Praline Country”).

Needle Points

An experiment in street level boogie. Their energy on both stage and
tape...will mystify your body, tickle your fancy, and breathe sweet
breath into your chakra. Hailing from Philadelphia, they are a far out
expression in stripped down magic. With jangly riffs, tribal beats,
and fuzzy tones. They are Needle Points.

Sad Actor (Cassette EP Release)

Philadelphia / South Jersey indie rock (Ex members of Trouble
Everyday and Nothing ) Debut EP cassette produced by Jeff Ziegler
available at this show!

VJ Davideotape

Playing all your favorite alternative videos on the big screen.

$10.00

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All shows are 21+ Proper I.D. required for admission

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Johnny Brenda's

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Heyward Howkins (Record Release) with Needle Points, Sad Actor (Cassette EP Release), VJ Davideotape

Thursday, December 12 · Doors 8:00 PM / Show 9:00 PM at Johnny Brenda's