Amy LaVere

The stranger in popular culture has often been a signifier for isolation. Amy LaVere's life since the release of her last album has seen the breakup with a long-term love relationship and musical collaborator, as well as the death of a musical mentor, which resulted in a longer gestation period for this, her third album, Stranger Me (Archer). Under the circumstances, one could imagine the allure of emotional distance.

Or does she mean stranger, as in more idiosyncratic? By a purely musical definition, Stranger Me would certainly qualify. Always texturally rich and often employing dissonance and offkilter instrumentation, it is her most exploratory work to date. Producer Craig Silvey, fresh from engineering Arcade Fire's Grammy-winning The Suburbs album, proved a perfect choice in helping LaVere materialize the music that was in her head. The resulting soundscape, alternately haunting and exuberantly defiant, creates a perfect backdrop for this collection of songs about frustration and feeling emotionally disconnected.

LaVere brought together a group of musicians that provided the right aesthetic for the album. Her first call was to Rick Steff (Lucinda Williams, Cat Power, Lucero) whose love for all things left of center appealed to her. He brought to the recording process a fertile imagination and a repository of odd instruments, including toy pianos, organ, Buddha boxes and the Theremin. Guitar player David Cousar, whose style Silvey describes as "beautifully eccentric," was her next call. Other musicians include Anchors & Anvils violinist Bob Furgo (Leonard Cohen), floutist/saxophone Clint Maegden (Preservation Hall Jazz Band), cellist Jonathan Kirkscey and violist Beth Luscombe (Memphis Symphony), trumpeter Nahshon Benford, saxophonist Jim Spake and bassist John Stubblefield (Lucero).

Stranger Me is the next step in the exciting evolution of Amy LaVere. -- clearly more confident in her musical point of view, possessing more wisdom about what love is not and ready to embrace the ideal of the stranger, whatever its iteration.

Exquisite Corps

A tiny garage in a downtown alley. A cello, a guitar, and a voice.

From these minimal beginnings, Exquisite Corps sprang onto Sacramento's music scene in the spring of 2010. Taking a year to solidify a line-up, they have since become a marriage of both classical and modern sounds melding string trio and indie rock trio into a whole. They have shared the stage with such acts as Said the Whale, Sister Crayon, The Ganglians, Sea of Bees, and many more, playing at Launch Fest two years in a row, the 2011 Sammies and Concert 4 Charity's Ballet+Live Music at the Crest Theater. On the heels of their recent sold out performance at the Crocker Art Museum's new auditorium they will release their debut record in July of 2012.


Tickets Available at the Door

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Amy LaVere with Exquisite Corps

Sunday, June 23 · 9:00 PM at Hotel Utah

Tickets Available at the Door