"Write the Night 2"

"Write the Night 2"

Tift Merritt. (8:00 PM)

Damien Jurado & The Heavy Light (10:30 PM)

Joshua James (9:40 PM)

Curtis Peoples (8:50 PM)

Thu, January 17, 2013

7:30 pm


This event is all ages

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"Write the Night 2"
"Write the Night 2"
Feat: Soko; Jenny O.; Sarah Lee Guthrie & Johnny Irion; Vanish Valley; and Robbie Fulks

An eclecticline-up of singer-songwriters and artists who come together for one incredibly dynamic night of music. Curated by Last Call Music Producer Davis Powers, each performance will be filmed and air on an episode of Last Call With Carson Daly.
Tift Merritt. - (Set time: 8:00 PM)
Tift Merritt.
“I’ve always had a taste for traveling alone,” Tift Merritt sings in the title track of her fifth album. This time around, she got to prove it, “calling the shots myself and letting myself go wherever I needed to go” at a point in time when she was a free agent without label or manager. But the song does also conclude that “Everybody here is traveling alone,” a realization that places as much value on community as iconoclasm. And Merritt put together her “dream cast” of fellow travelers to play on Traveling Alone, which found its happy home at her new label, Yep Roc. The road less taken doesn’t preclude good company.

The New Yorker has called Merritt “the bearer of a proud tradition of distaff country soul that reaches back to artists like Dusty Springfield and Bobbie Gentry,” a standard upholding that got underway in earnest with Bramble Rose, the 2002 solo debut that put her on the Americana map forever. As her sophomore album, Tambourine, was followed by Another Country and See You on the Moon, Merritt found acclaim coming not just from critics and awards orgs but her own heroes, like Emmylou Harris, who marveled that Merritt “stood out like a diamond in a coal patch.” Now a leading lady in her own right, Merritt is hardly one to hog the spotlight. She engages in dialogue with fellow artists of all disciplines on her public radio broadcast and podcast “The Spark With Tift Merritt,” bringing in fellow sojourners ranging from Patty Griffin and Rosanne Cash to Rick Moody and Nick Hornby (who devoted a chapter to Merritt in his 31 Songs book).

For Traveling Alone, Merritt knew—and got—exactly the journeymen she wanted with her on this 11-track trip: legendary guitarist Marc Ribot, Calexico drummer John Convertino, steel player extraordinaire Eric Heywood, acclaimed jazz and rock multi-instrumentalist Rob Burger, and longtime cohort Jay Brown on bass. As captured by producer Tucker Martine (known for working with the Decemberists, and one of Paste magazine’s “10 Best Producers of the Decade”) and mixed by three-time Grammy-winning engineer Ryan Freeland, the sound is both spare and luxurious. “Maybe I was bored with bells and whistles and wanted to go without them. It might have been that I didn’t have enough money for bells and whistles,” she quips. “But once you get in that sweet spot where things feel real and right, you just want to burrow down in that feeling. Nothing to hide behind, no distractions, no sense trying to be everything to everybody. There’s a beautiful economy of motion in that place.” Who wouldn’t want to tag along?
Damien Jurado & The Heavy Light - (Set time: 10:30 PM)
Damien Jurado & The Heavy Light
Damien Jurado has been known for writing lovely, lonely acoustic guitar melodies strummed sparsely alongside his wistfully brooding croon. His latest release, Saint Bartlett, turns what you know about him on its ear. Saint Bartlett opens up with a grandiosity yet unheard on a Damien Jurado album. It strips away the many layers of paint from the house down the street where we know Jurado has occupied for the last decade. The new coat is exhilarating. It makes the whole neighborhood shine. It’s a modest grandiosity; still homegrown. The mellotron swells, heavenly handclaps ring in stereo and big drums create a sky for the songs to fly in. And the words. Words spring forth from within the volcano of Jurado, full of hope. There’s so much hope, in fact, that album opener “Cloudy Shoes” turns into a call-and-response with himself, as though it were a dialogue between two halves of himself.Secretly Canadian / Sub Pop Records.
Joshua James - (Set time: 9:40 PM)
Joshua James
Raised in hard-bitten Nebraska, Joshua James’ work reflects a distinctly American ache, a yearning for a big sky
and an open road. Beckoned westward out of his heartland home by the voices of Jim Morrison and Isaac Brock,
he made it as far as the mountains of Utah, where like the settlers before him, he was stopped in his tracks by the
arresting beauty. Here, where the mountains pierce the heavens, some believe a conduit is open between man
and the divine.
Strangely familiar, yet refreshingly innovative, James’ songs are devastating in their honesty, working with
themes that are intermittently elating, melancholic, and transcendent. He doesn’t so much perform these songs,
as he does let them possess him, allowing his voice to be throttled from a husky whisper to a full-bodied roar.
His first two albums, 2007’s The Sun Is Always Brighter and 2009’s Build Me This, topped the year-end ‘Best of
iTunes’ lists, while earning ecstatic praise from press (“Build Me This is convincing from its opening line…through
its solemn last words” – Paste; “Every line rings with desperation and a desire for salvation” – Esquire, about
“Mother Mary”, off Build Me This). After the commercial release of his first album in 2007, James spent the next
five years touring across the United States and to far-flung places such as Romania and Japan.
In early 2011, he headed back to Utah, taking a break from the road. During this extended stay at home, James
took to vegetable gardening, raising goats and chickens, and developed a heightened connection to the living
things around him. The concept of becoming self-sufficient and living off the land became increasingly appealing.
Ultimately, his home and burgeoning farm were deemed ‘Willamette Mountain,’ a namesake that came to James
in a dream. Both figuratively and literally, Willamette Mountain serves as a daily reminder of the simple beauties
that can so easily be overlooked. “We’ve got a few acres, goats and honeybees,” he says, "it’s a place for reconnecting
with nature, and for letting go of everything else." It was here that he bore the songs compiling his newest
album, appropriately titled From The Top Of Willamette Mountain.
When it came time to make the new record, James felt he needed to veer outside his comfort zone artistically,
and looked for a producer who could help facilitate this. His search, along with longtime friend and bandmate
Evan Coulombe, coincidentally led him to the Willamette Valley of Oregon, home base of producer Richard Swift
(Damien Jurado, Gardens and Villa, The Mynabrids). Holed up in Swift’s creative alcove National Freedom, the
three of them took James’s voice and songs in unexpected directions, interested much more in honesty than sheer flawlessness. Recorded predominantly live over the course of two weeks, Swift strived to capture the immediacy
of James’ live performances, without laboring over multiple takes or lengthy overdubs. After giving one
or two impassioned live performances of each new song, James stepped back to make way for Swift’s own artistic
As a result, James found his own voice while escaping the traditional confines of the folk genre. The elements of
the confessional remain, but the music here breathes and moves with a life all its own. Songs like “Wolves” begin
sparse and pretty before suddenly moving into the epically symphonic. “Ghost In The Town” is a poignant goodbye
to youth in the form of a guitar strum noir. “Surrender” is existential angst hidden between piano waltz and
doo-wop sway. The album’s lead off single, “Queen of the City”, came out of a late night, whisky-induced haze,
depicting the internal paradox of good and evil, the id and the ego, faith and doubt.
“The writing and recording of this record has been a time of transition and realization for me,” says James, “and
that set me free to explore other sounds and forms of expression. It’s been about finding a center and realizing
that not everyone needs to see the world like you do. We all have differences. I love the fact that we are not all
the same, nor should we be.”
Where Build Me This addressed the concept of rebirth, From The Top Of Willamette Mountain accomplishes a
rebirth artistically. Whatever he found up there at the top of his imaginary mountain or in the Oregon studio,
James now seems to be directing his questioning inward, rather than towards a hole in the sky, and the conversation
is getting much more interesting.
Curtis Peoples - (Set time: 8:50 PM)
Curtis Peoples
Curtis Peoples, songwriter with a defined understanding of creating a dynamic pop music—crafting songs that fans of rock, acoustic folk, and pop can enjoy equally. With a mix of free-spirited choruses and addictive rhythms, Curtis' style of "coffeeshop arena rock" is genuinely his own unique musical fingerprint.

Although brand new to the Los Angeles music scene at the time, it took merely a matter of months for Curtis Peoples to score his first big break via a national tour with friend and fellow singer-songwriter Tyler Hilton (Warner Brothers Records, One Tree Hill, Walk The Line). The road certainly agreed with this native of San Diego as tour dates with Josh Kelley, Hanson, Stephen Kellogg & The Sixers, Tim Reynolds (longtime Dave Matthews collaborator), Joe Firstman (Carson Daly Show), and others quickly followed. An appearance on Ryan Cabrera's on-air songwriting competition MTV's also served as a platform to perform his original material in front of a national audience.

While gaining a dedicated contingent of fans all around the country via these treks and media appearances the music industry had also been taking notice. Peoples' music has received commercial radio airplay at KMTT (Seattle), KPRI (San Diego), and a number of college stations. He was named by Music Connection as one of the "100 Unsigned Artists To Watch in 2008!" It didn't take long for the buzz to reach producer Marshall Altman (Matt Nathanson, Kate Voegele, Marc Broussard). After experiencing a live show and a brief initial meeting, Altman agreed to take the helm of Curtis Peoples' debut album. The resulting album was 10 well-crafted songs, from the hard rocking swagger of "Heart Will Fall" (co-written by OneRepublic's Ryan Tedder) and Tom Petty-esque "Back Where I Started" to the acoustic and contemplative "Wake Up" and funky power pop of the Tyler Hilton co-written "Tell Me I'm Wrong."

Curtis Peoples' self-titled debut album released in the summer of 2008 was followed by extensive national touring with the likes of Jason Reeves, Stephen Kellogg & The Sixers, Tyrone Wells, Tyler Hilton, Josh Hoge, Graham Colton, and a performance on The Rock Boat IX.

December 1, 2009 marked the release of Peoples' new digital EP, 'All I Want'. Featuring the new single, "All I Want", two previously unreleased tracks, and the "All I Want" music video.

In 2010, Curtis continued to tour and began to write for his next album. He worked with a number of great writers including Nathan Chapman (Taylor Swift), Josh Kelley, Kevin Griffin (Better Than Ezra, Howie Day), Mark Weinberg (Matt Nathanson) and Busbee (Lady Antebellum, Keith Urban). Busbee just produced Curtis' new album slated for release later in 2011.
Venue Information:
9081 Santa Monica Blvd
Los Angeles, CA, 90069

All lineups and times subject to change