Hellogoodbye: Performing Zombies! Aliens! Vampires! Dinosaurs!, Would It Kill You? & more
Chris Farren, Family Of Geniuses
3090 Polk Ave.
San Diego, CA, 92104
Doors 6:30 PM / Show 7:00 PM
This event is all ages
Indie pop/power pop band formed in Huntington Beach, CA, USA in 2001 by Forrest Kline.
Forrest Kline - vocals, guitar, ukulele, primary songwriter (2001–)
Augustine Rampolla - keyboard, guitar, bass, ukulele, percussion (2011–)
Andrew Richards - guitar, ukulele, mandolin (2008–)
Michael Garzon - drums, guitar, vocals, mandolin, ukulele, keyboard (2011–)
Chris Farren is one of those names that is always on the tip of your tongue. Though he’s been
heavily involved in music for years —and he’s become wellknown
for his inventive merch,
including his take on the classic The Smiths shirt — Farren is still working on breaking out in the
large world of singersongwriters.
After experimenting and honing his solo work on a few
memorable EPs and a Christmas album called L ike A Gift From God or Whatever , Farren is
ready to release his fulllength
C an’t Die . With it, he’s poised to become known on his own terms
and with his own unique sound.
“I definitely wanted to make something that wouldn’t just sound like another Fake Problems
record,” says Farren. “ I wanted to make something that was poppier and a little less aggressive
— but still energetic and entertaining. Lyrically, there’s some sadness involved but I didn’t want
it to be a bummer to listen to.” The result is a clever blend of pop and gloom, the sort of record
that will keep you dancing even when the lyrics cut deep. Farren, who cited Coconut Records,
Belle & Sebastian, and Magnetic Fields as his influences while recording Can’t Die , has crafted a
record that has a true indiepop
sensibility and remains musically upbeat throughout.
Yet there is an undeniable sadness to certain tracks as well as a heavy focus on death and
mortality. “Like any human, I reached an age where I realized I was going to die,” Farren says.
“Until I was 25 or something, I had like heard I was going to die but once I turned 25, something
just clicked in my head. I was like, ‘Oh, I’m definitely going to die’ and I had a crazy hard time
with it for some reason.” For Farren, who has always worked through dark times through songs,
it was only natural to channel these feelings into his solo album. Take a track like “Until I Can
See The Light,” which was partly inspired by the death of Parks and Recreation writer Harris
Wittels, as well other people in his life who have passed away. It’s about “how weird it is that
they’re gone. You don’t get to talk to them anymore.”
However, Can’t Die explores plenty of other topics, too. In “Say U Want Me,” Farren touches
upon insecurity in a relationship and how it doesn’t necessarily go away with time. “That song is
just about worrying about being a burden to somebody that cares for you because you’re so
childlike or weak … I just worry about being a drag on somebody else that I really care for.” The
song, like all of the songs on Can’t Die , is a refreshingly honest and relatable track: Farren is
open about the anxieties and insecurities that plague his daily life, whether it’s worrying about
being too much to a partner or just trying to act normal enough to fit in with your fellow human
beings. In fact, the aptly titled “Human Being” reflects that common feeling of being, well, just
different. “I can be very outgoing in certain situations but if I’m out of my comfort zone or of I’m
in a place with a bunch of people I don’t know — like any party that I’ve ever been to — I always
feel like a total weirdo freak,” Farren admits. It’s a fun, poppy track that accurately captures the
vicious anxiety circle of feeling like you should go out but then getting there and realizing it’s not
for you. And then doing it all again later on.