RNDM is Jeff Ament of Pearl Jam, Joseph Arthur, & Richard Stuverud

RNDM is Jeff Ament of Pearl Jam, Joseph Arthur, & Richard Stuverud (10:15 PM)

Line & Circle (9:00 PM)

Wed, November 21, 2012

8:00 pm

This event is all ages

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RNDM is Jeff Ament of Pearl Jam, Joseph Arthur, & Richard Stuverud - (Set time: 10:15 PM)
RNDM is Jeff Ament of Pearl Jam, Joseph Arthur, & Richard Stuverud
The chance encounters of everyday life shape us in more ways than we can imagine. From them spring
unexpected opportunities, exciting new directions, burgeoning friendships and, quite often, great music.
Such as is the case with "Acts," the debut album from RNDM, featuring Pearl Jam bassist Jeff Ament,
songwriter Joseph Arthur and drummer Richard Stuverud. As the project's moniker alludes to, Ament and
Arthur met randomly on a June evening in 1999, when Arthur opened a show at the late, great New York
club Wetlands on a bill headlined by Ament and Stuverud's side project Three Fish. At the time, Arthur
was drawing acclaim for his solo performances, which employed a looping pedal that made the artist
sound as if he was being backed by a full band.
"I'd seen people mess with a looper a little bit, but I'd never seen anybody do what Joe was doing at that
time," Ament recalls. "He made it all so seamless." Says Arthur, "I remember meeting Jeff and being
nervous to talk to him. It's always nerve-wracking to meet someone in a band that big. But on the other
hand, I met a girl there that night that I ended going out with for five years."
The pair stayed in touch via email over the ensuing years, and reconnected in 2010 after Arthur played a
KEXP-sponsored lunchtime gig in Seattle. Ament extended Arthur an invitation to come to his Montana
home to jam, but before they could make plans, a song emerged unexpectedly.
"As I was finishing up my last little group of solo songs, there was one called 'When the Fire Comes' that
just wasn't working for me vocally," Ament says. "I kept hearing his voice instead of mine. I sent Joe an
email gauging his interest, and two days later, I got the track back from him. At that point, I knew there
was something there -- some sort of creative connection."
Ament and Arthur performed "When the Fire Comes" together at Pearl Jam's 20th anniversary blowout
concert last summer at Alpine Valley in Wisconsin. A studio version of the song was released as a CD
single to commemorate the special event, as well as on Ament's latest solo album, "While My Heart
Which brings us to "Acts," and the jam session that would eventually birth it. Says Ament, "After PJ 20,
Joe told me he'd never really been able to write up-tempo songs, and I said, 'I have a slew of them. Let's
get together and make an up-tempo record.'" Thus, in April of this year, Arthur finally joined Ament and
Stuverud in Montana thinking he'd just be singing over the top of instrumental tracks that had already
been completed.
Instead, "I'd told Richard, but not Joe, that I just wanted to be Joe's band for the first day or two, to see
how it went," Ament says. After some initial jamming on the first night in the studio, Arthur volunteered a
song of his called "What You Can't Control" that the trio bashed into shape within an hour, and RNDM
was off and running. Later, Ament delved into his work tapes to find riffs and instrumentals that would
form the basis for other new songs.
Things clicked so easily that the trio were half-jokingly discussing touring, designing t-shirts and making
costumes within hours of pressing the record button. "We had six tunes after that first night and day.
Everybody was just buzzed," Ament says. "Jeff and Richard have been playing together so long and they
have such a great chemistry," Arthur adds. "To hear the songs filtered through that rock and roll style was
really awesome."
After four days with longtime Pearl Jam engineer Brett Eliason behind the boards, the group had nearly
20 finished tracks, which have been whittled down to 12 for the album "Acts." Throughout, the songs
crackle with a plug-and-play spontaneity. Pearl Jam fans will surely note Ament's distinctive bass work on
concise blasts of rock'n'roll like "Letting Go Of Will," "Throw You To The Pack" and "Look Out!," while the
trio stretches its musical muscles on blissed-out jams like "Hollow Girl" and the soulful, wah-wah guitartinged
Elsewhere, the acoustic, harmonica-tinged "Cherries in the Snow" highlights Arthur's knack for simple,
effective songwriting, while the rumbling mid-tempo rocker "Darkness" and the hard-charging opener
"Modern Times," driven by a power-pop Stuverud beat, showcase how the hybrid styles of the three
musicians blend together so smoothly.
"Joe's instincts, just based on the way he plays by himself, are to layer things, especially his voice,"
Ament says. "And I kept saying, 'No, man! We're a power trio! It's OK if all you hear during a guitar solo is
bass and drums.' I've always been in bands with two guitars, so I've always wanted to be in a power trio
where you can hear that space behind the voice."
"All of the songs I contributed to the album existed in some recorded form, but they were stuck in the
'backlog,'" Arthur says. "To give them a fresh treatment and produce them in a way that almost veers into
underproduction was very uplifting."
With "Acts" now ready for release, RNDM is preparing to hit the road for its first tour, while still savoring
the rush of creativity that birthed the album. "It felt like those first bands you're in, where the first few
weeks you ate and slept and breathed the music that you were working on," Ament says. "All you did was
hum those songs until you got to the next practice. I was completely open to whatever was going to
happen, and I know Joseph was too."
Line & Circle - (Set time: 9:00 PM)
Line & Circle
Line & Circle was born of the collaboration between Brian J. Cohen & Brian Egan, friends and
bandmates who met at college in the Midwest. Cohen was from Akron, Ohio, pre-med and pennyloafered
and overtly Anglophilic. Egan was the quiet guy down the hall, the classically trained
pianist, born and raised in Dayton, with Guided by Voices playing through his ever-shut door.
So…two guys named Brian from the Midwest.
But also, lines and circles are the elements of, well, everything. The shapes that formed the essence of
the very first cave paintings. The forms that make up every letter of every alphabet in every language.
And now, the ones and zeros that make up binary code. An entire history of communication, stripped
back to its essence, leads to these two simple shapes.
Yes, everything. For as long as we’ve been here.
The two Brians moved to California. Their lives were binary now too, divided into before and
after. Before was the place they came from–––Ohio, with its blue-collar spirit, familiar apple-cheeked
faces, and long cold winters–––and after was the place they went to–––Los Angeles, with its jammed
freeways and long-haired girls and relentlessly good weather.
They had no choice but to buy sunglasses and write songs.
Their new material was leaner than their previous collaborations, and yet somehow bigger. Less trees,
more sky. Their early demos caught the ear of White Iris’ Lewis Pesacov, who previously produced
debut albums for Best Coast and Nikki Lane. They took to the studio, along with a newly formed
band, including guitarist Eric Neujahr, bassist Nathan Gammill and drummer Nick Cisik. There, with
nods to early 4AD dream pop and chiming I.R.S. Records-era guitar rock, the group pared the songs
to their essence–––there’s that word again–––simple melodic phrases and hooky ostinatos that
subvert the complications of the lyrics. The result is this first release, a 7” on White Iris Records.
Recorded live, Roman Ruins (side A) and Carelessness (side B) are soaring and dark and glittering
and nostalgic, like the soundtrack to an epic coming-of-age story.
So, two songs. Two guys named Brian. Two shapes. Ohio and California.
Cave paintings. Line & Circle. Everything, forever.
Debut 7” single Roman Ruins / Carelessness out 7/10/12 on White Iris.
Venue Information:
9081 Santa Monica Blvd
Los Angeles, CA, 90069

All lineups and times subject to change