Live in the Atrium
Cherry Glazerr w/ Palehound
Palehound, Half Stack
1011 Pacific Avenue
Santa Cruz, CA, 95060
Doors 7:00 PM / Show 8:00 PM
This event is 16 and over
Cherry Glazerr released their explosive full-length album Apocalipstick on Inauguration Day in 2017. You might
think the two tumultuous years since would have driven the band toward even more explicitly topical
commentary. But as singer/guitarist/founder Clementine Creevy began writing the first of some thirty songs that
would make up the new Stuffed & Ready, she found unexpected inspiration by turning inward. That meant
leading her band somewhere new and writing songs that would reveal aspects of herself she realized she’d
Apocalipstick sizzled with Creevy’s confidence, vision and fiercely idiosyncratic personality. Stuffed & Ready
announces Creevy as a songwriter newly tempered and strengthened by coming to terms with her own
uncertainty confusion and anger. It’s her go-for-broke honesty that gives Stuffed & Ready its power and
gravity. “I am telling my story of how I feel and where I am in life,” she says. “I’m exploring my own self-doubt.
I’m confused about what happiness is and I’m searching for my place in the world. With Apocalipstick, I was an
over-confident teenager trying to solve the world’s problems. With Stuffed & Ready, I’m a much more weary
and perhaps cynical woman who believes you need to figure your own self out first.”
Now a three-piece with drummer Tabor Allen and bassist Devin O’Brien (synth player Sasami Ashworth has
moved on to her own solo work), the band made a first version of Stuffed early in 2018 with much-loved
engineer and musician John Vanderslice, who they “adore deeply as a human and friend.” Together they
concocted a “very live sounding, self-produced album, which was a very cool experience, but wasn’t exactly
what I wanted to put into the ether at this time,” says Creevy. “So I put that aside and called up Carlos (de la
Garza, who co-produced Apocalipstick).” I decided that I wanted a producer to push me, I wanted to be
questioned, to rip my songs apart and look at their guts and pour myself open again. And I wanted it to sound
For six full months, they’d be at the studio by 9:01am, ready to write and record all day and sometimes into the
night. Each song had to speak for itself, and if it didn’t, they’d scrap it or change it, says Creevy: “Sometimes
I’d lay on the floor for like an hour and then pop up like, ‘I got it! I GOT IT!’” She’d named the album on a solo
drive through the California desert, inspired once she was free from all distraction. She made the album the
same way, eliminating anything that couldn’t answer a single simple question: is this really me? It was
exhausting, but somehow joyful, too, and the result is Cherry Glazerr’s most daring and intimate music yet.
“It felt like I was being more vulnerable than I wanted to be at times,” she says. “I’ve been feeling the need to
explain my feelings … not just state them, but search for why I feel the way I do in the most honest way
possible. This is what separates this album from its predecessor. I’m trying to stop myself from obfuscation,
which I used to hide behind, but not anymore. I’m writing with intent.”
It's that clarity of intent that makes Stuffed such a raw and resonant listen where Creevy has never sounded
more powerful. In “Ohio,” she attacks feelings of isolation and despair with Trompe Le Monde Pixies guitar and
an arctic Laetitia Sadier deadpan: “I wish myself the best but I’m broken / the light inside my head went dead
and I turned off.” On the searing and satirical “Daddi,” she’s asking the straight cis men of the world for the
permission that they so adamantly demand in every aspect of her life, writing : “Where should I go Daddi / what
should I say / where should I go / is it okay with you ?” On the furious Sleater-Kinney-style “Wasted Nun,” she’s
erupting against the way society constantly pressures her to be perfect, showing that she’s too stubborn to
calmly cooperate. “People want girls to be strong, but I’m angry, and those are two very different things,” she
says. “I’m enraged because I feel like America’s mindset sees women as less capable beings, and that social
mainframe feels impenetrable and that enrages me. That’s why the song is so intense and loud.” And on the
seething grunge-pop track “Stupid Fish,” she sings about how it’s okay to not have all the answers, and how
some questions might not even have answers: “I used to think adults knew better, but now I think adults are
just better at pretending to know things,” she says. “There’s nothing wrong with ‘I don’t know.’”
The point has been the same, all the way back to those first guitar demos she taped in her bedroom years ago.
Clementine Creevy has always wanted to make music that connects with people, she says. On Apocalipstick,
she did that by telling them what she thought. On Stuffed & Ready, she’s showing them who she is: “I’m putting
out these songs and sharing them to make people happy and to make people feel less alone,” she says. “I
want this album to evoke a freedom, or you could even say a recklessness in people. I want to allow people to
let out all of the fear and anger and confusion that all of us carry around. I want to make people dance, and
really fucking mean it.”
The sophomore album from the Boston trio Palehound, A Place I'll Always Go, is a frank look at love and loss, cushioned by indelible hooks and gently propulsive, fuzzed-out rock.
Ellen Kempner, Palehound's vocalist, guitarist, and songwriter explains, "A lot of it is about loss and learning how to let yourself evolve past the pain and the weird guilt that comes along with grief."
Kempner's writing comes from upheavals she experienced in 2015 and 2016 that reframed her worldview. "I lost two people I was really close with," she recalls. "I lost my friend Lily. I lost my grandmother too, but you expect that at 22. When you lose a friend -- a young friend -- nothing can prepare you for that. A lot of the record is about going on with your life, while knowing that person is missing what's happening -- they loved music and they're missing these great records that come out, and they're missing these shows that they would've wanted to go to. It just threw me for a loop to know that life is so fragile."
Palehound's first release for Polyvinyl is also about the light that gradually dawns after tragedy, with songs like the bass-heavy "Room" and the gentle dreamy album closer "At Night I'm Alright With You" feeling their way through blossoming love. "The album is also about learning how to find love, honestly, after loss," says Kempner.
Since forming in 2014, Palehound -- Kempner, drummer Jesse Weiss (Spook The Herd), and new bassist Larz Brogan (a veteran of Boston DIY who, Kempner posits, "had 13 local bands last year") -- have taken their plainspoken, technique-heavy indie rock from the basements of Boston to festivals around the world. A Place I'll Always Go was recorded in late 2016 at the Brooklyn complex Thump Studios with the assistance of Gabe Wax, who recorded Dry Food. "I would put my life in his hands," Kempner asserts. "I trust him so much."
A Place I'll Always Go builds on the promise of Palehound's critically acclaimed 2015 album Dry Food with songs that are slightly more reserved, but no less powerful. "Flowing Over" rides a sweetly hooky guitar line, with Kempner using the fuzzed-out upper register of her voice as a sort of anxious counterpoint to the riff's infectious melody. "That song is about anxiety," says Kempner, "and when you're sad and you listen to sad music to feed it and feel yourself spinning all these 'what if's and 'I'm terrible's in your head."
"This record represents a period of time in my life way more than anything I've ever written before," says Kempner, who notes that the swirling "If You Met Her" and the piano-tinged "At Night I'm Alright With You" could represent the opposing poles of the record. "One of them is about love, and the other one is about death -- it was a really healthy experience for me to find my own dialogue within that," she says. "There's so much that you learn and read, and other people's experiences that you internalize, that you try to then base your own on. It was helpful to carve my own path for that."
Part of what makes A Place I'll Always Go so striking is the way it channels feelings of anxiety -- heart-racing moments both exhilarating and crushing -- into songs that feel well-worn and comforting. The hushed confessionalism of "Carnations" and the fugue state described in the stripped-down "Feeling Fruit" are snapshots of moments marked by big, confusing feelings, but they're taken with compassion and honesty -- two qualities that have defined Palehound's music from the beginning.