WILD FLAG (10:30 PM)

Drew Grow and the Pastors' Wives (9:30 PM)

Wed, November 2, 2011

8:30 pm

$0.00 - $15.00

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This event is all ages

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WILD FLAG - (Set time: 10:30 PM)
Wild Flag is a Portland, Oregon- and Washington, DC-based quartet consisting of Carrie Brownstein, Rebecca Cole, Mary Timony, and Janet Weiss. The members of Wild Flag have played in numerous and notable bands including Sleater-Kinney, Helium, Quasi, The Minders, Stephen Malkmus and the Jicks, and others.

The four musicians who make up Wild Flag have known one another for well over a decade. Brownstein and Weiss were in Sleater-Kinney and toured with Timony’s band Helium on numerous occasions. Brownstein and Timony played in a side project called The Spells. Rebecca Cole’s Portland-based band The Minders was a frequent opener for Sleater-Kinney. Weiss and Cole play together in the 1960’s garage-rock cover band The Shadow Mortons. If someone drew a visual representation illustrating the ways in which all indie bands are interconnected, Brownstein, Cole, Timony, and Weiss would be in the same tiny sphere, so playing together felt almost inevitable. After collaborating on a score for a documentary, the ease with which they worked together proved infectious and promising. Future practices were scheduled, songs were written, Wild Flag was formed.

Yet even after the members of Wild Flag became intentional about playing together—and Mary was flying from DC to practice in Portland—the band was hesitant about naming this endeavor. Yes, they knew how to be in bands, but not in this band. Wild Flag wanted to figure out dynamics, hear how the songs breathed in a live context, build cohesion and unity, and emerge as a singular force prior to putting those sounds onto tape. Wild Flag always intended to grow organically, never wanting to take for granted that an audience existed based on previous endeavors. So, instead of recording an album and then playing shows, they went on various tours, playing tiny club shows in the US and building up a fervent audience of their own.

In April of 2011, they went to Sacramento, California, where they recorded their self-titled album with engineer Chris Woodhouse at the Hangar. All tracks were recorded live except for the vocals
Drew Grow and the Pastors' Wives - (Set time: 9:30 PM)
Drew Grow and the Pastors' Wives
Across the globe, there are hundreds of young men and women who have taken up acoustic guitars, inspired by the grand folk and country tradition, and set about put their sleeve-worn hearts into musical form. But the result is often feather light and wispy and all too easily forgotten amid the din of the modern age.

Not so with the music of Drew Grow and the Pastors Wives.

The music on the band's self-titled LP (released on their own Amigo/Amiga label) shares the influence of many current indie artists, but carries with much more meat and gristle to chew on. It feels like it was molded after a long life of ups and downs, all set a soundtrack of the curlicued songwriting of Bob Dylan, the drowsy despair of Bill Callahan/Smog, and a thick stack of dusty Motown and Stax 45s.

There's a spiritual side to Grow's work here as well, pulled from what sounds like a life bruised by growing up in a Christian household. Songs like "Hook" and "Bootstraps" carry with them the imagery of the religious life, but aren't weighed down by it. When Grow sings, "I'm born again!", the conviction he imbues that sentiment with is undeniable.

Grow is aided here by a crack backing band that features Jeremiah Hayden on drums, Kris Doty on bass and vocals, and Seth Schaper playing keyboards. Together, they bolster Grow's emotional anthems with a slow burning style reminiscent of Basement Tapes-era The Band or Bonnie "Prince" Billy's current chosen backing band, The Cairo Gang.

It's a surprisingly cohesive collection considering their scattered beginnings. Many of the songs were originally released on a series of singles over the course of 2009 and 2010 before being gathered together with some extra material for this vinyl/download-only LP. On their own, they were powerful enough, but in one lump sum like this, it is positively breathtaking.

Don't just take our word for it. Casey Jarman, music editor of Willamette Week, said of Grow's song "Company": "This is the kind of thing you want to pop on the stereo at your favorite dive, right after the whiskey hits you and you're feeling bold enough to actually talk to that girl." And the Huffington Post had this to say of Grow's music: "Their music melds together a scuzzy, squally blend of rebellious gospel/folk that at times possesses the radiant buoyancy of Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeroes, and in quieter moments the seeping warmth of M Ward or intelligent, lovely meanderings of Elvis Perkins. It's wild and sharp and smart."

Grow is itching to bring these songs and new material that he is written on the road this year, after spending much of the early part of 2011 sidelined with injuries he sustained in a car accident. Look for him this fall when he and the Pastors Wives take to the stage opening up for the amazing indie supergroup Wild Flag, featuring former members of Sleater-Kinney and Helium.
Venue Information:
9081 Santa Monica Blvd
Los Angeles, CA, 90069

All lineups and times subject to change