HONEYHONEY, Joshua James

HONEYHONEY (10:00 PM)

Joshua James (8:45 PM)

Leftover Cuties (8:00 PM)

Sun, November 13, 2011

7:30 pm

$0.00 - $12.00

Sold Out

This event is all ages

adv tix $10.00/dos tix $12.00

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HONEYHONEY - (Set time: 10:00 PM)
HONEYHONEY
The third full-length effort from L.A.-based duo HONEYHONEY, 3 is an album born from fascination with the sweet and the sleazy, light and dark, danger and magic. Working with Dave Cobb (the producer behind Jason Isbell’s Southeastern and Sturgill Simpson’s Metamodern Sounds in Country Music), lead singer/banjo player/violinist Suzanne Santo and vocalist/guitarist Ben Jaffe twist their gritty, harmony-driven brand of Southern-flavored rock & roll through tales of lost souls, broken boys, girls with gold in their spit. Equal parts inward-looking and endlessly curious, the two songwriters also take a mirror to their own experience in lust and heartache and never shy away from revealing the messy truth. And whether they rattle or soothe or joyfully inspire, HONEYHONEY instill each song with a straight-from-the-gut honesty and elegance of storytelling that make 3 both cathartic and electrifying.

The follow-up to 2011’s Billy Jack (named one of the top albums of the year by American Songwriter and hailed for finding “the common pop thread between alt. country, spaghetti western soundtracks and swampy blues” by Paste), 3 was recorded in HONEYHONEY’s one-time home of Nashville with a lineup of locals that includes musicians like Robbie Turner (a pedal steel guitarist who’s played with Johnny Cash and The Highwaymen). And while the album finds HONEYHONEY offering their most finely crafted melodies and richly textured sound to date, the band also embodies a loose and scrappy energy drawn out with some help from Cobb. “Dave never let me obsess over my vocals,” says Santo, whose sultry but tender voice intensifies the intimacy of each track. “He’d just be like, ‘Nope, that was raw, we got it, we’re good.’” Adds Jaffe: “He didn’t really allow us to overthink anything, which is great for what we do—the more barriers you can remove to get to the soul of it, the better.”

Throughout 3, that soul gets channeled into songs both gorgeously unhinged (such as “Mary Rich,” an epic R&B number that amps up the moody tension of its lyrics with some sublime and frenetic guitar work) and quietly piercing (a la “Burned Me Out,” a wistful ballad about “the loss of idealism, and how that can be really painful but also beautiful,” according to Santo). On the brash and bluesy “Bad People,” HONEYHONEY seesaw between scorn (“Tried your best to be your worst/You must like it that you’re cursed”) and empathy (“We all got some darkness up our sleeve”) in their meditation on the origins of ugly behavior in everyday life. Built on a lilting and lovely string-laced arrangement, “Father’s Daughter” devastates in just two lines at the song’s achingly delivered chorus (“You know I’m in hot water/If I’m my father’s daughter”). And in the one-two punch of the brooding “Numb It” and the steamy, groove-heavy “Sweet Thing,” 3 looks at the torment and bliss that can come from giving yourself over to pure desire.

For HONEYHONEY, the balance of sophistication and heart that the duo strikes on 3 has much to do with their closeness as songwriting collaborators. “Writing is about trust—trust in yourself and trust in your partner—and with us there’s a level of trust that you can only get from knowing someone for years and years,” says Jaffe. Forming the band in 2006, Santo and Jaffe first crossed paths at a costume party (she was a cheetah, he was Ralph Macchio in The Karate Kid), felt an instant creative connection, and soon started making music together. Although Jaffe learned to play violin and drums as a little kid in western Massachusetts and joined a local jazz band in high school, the Ohio-bred Santo initially pursued work in acting and didn’t think of music as a possible path until early adulthood. “I was new to L.A. and I’d just broken up with my first love,” she recalls. “I started writing these awful songs but I just kept going with it, and after a while it hit me that this was what I was supposed to do with my life.” Making their full-length debut with 2008’s First Rodeo, HONEYHONEY saw their sophomore album Billy Jack climb to #15 on Billboard’s Folk Albums chart and soon began earning praise from the likes of The Onion’s A.V. Club and LA Weekly.

Though Santo and Jaffe consider their continued growth as songwriters to be the lifeblood of the band, their live show also makes for a major element of the HONEYHONEY experience. “The reason we write songs is to express something real, and being able to engage with people directly the way we do onstage is a really important part of that,” Jaffe says. Fueled by their easy chemistry and between-song banter, the duo’s stage presence adds a whole new level of spirit and passion to their sound. “If there’s any kind of goal to what we’re doing, it’s to shake things up for the people listening,” says Santo. “Whether they need to dance or get happy or get angry or whatever, we can make that happen for them. We’ll make you cry and then make you laugh in under ten minutes.”
Joshua James - (Set time: 8:45 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
vision.
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.
Leftover Cuties - (Set time: 8:00 PM)
Leftover Cuties
As with any true troubadours, love makes Leftover Cuties’ world go ‘round. On the band’s shining second album the Spark & the Fire love makes the heart sing, soar and ache…usually in the same song.

Leftover Cuties – Shirli McAllen (lead vocals, ukulele), Austin Nicholsen (bass, vocals), Mike Bolger (brass, keys, accordion, vocals ) and Stuart Johnson (drums, percussion, vocals) – have sparked a fire with music lovers with a timeless jazz-tinged sound, combining sultry vocals, pop-perfect songwriting, and seasoned musicianship. Their spellbinding first album “Places to Go” won raves from critics. Their impeccable and atmospheric live performances draw ever-growing and increasingly passionate crowds in the clubs and cabarets of their hometown Los Angeles. A string of impressive licensing placements has won them fans the world over. Among those big spots: the theme for the Showtime series “The Big C” and an ad for Samsung that aired over and over (and over and over…) during the 2012 Olympics, generating more than 3 million YouTube views!

It all signals the start of something big for the Cuties.

“The title of the album stands for that yearning to hold on to the beginning of things,” says McAllen. “The part where everything feels new and pure, where there’s excitement and promise of great things to come.”

the Spark & the Fire fulfills that promise, and builds on that momentum with more delectable, intelligent pop concoctions delivered with honest and emotionally candid lyrics. Their supple and handcrafted sound has risen to a new level of (seemingly) effortless interplay. Co- produced by multiple Grammy-winner Dave Way (Fiona Apple, Sheryl Crow, Macy Gray), the collection is highlighted by the foot-stomping anthem “One Heart” (wherein McAllen ponders ““Another strike, another ache / How much hurt can one take? How many times can one heart break?”) and the tender ballad “Clarity.”

“I think we all wonder about that when we get a good beating,” she says. “The last couple of years have been quite emotional for me. As a result, I had a lot more to say in this record from a personal point of view.”

Like many second albums, the creation of the Spark & the Fire was a difficult process, McAllen says. “I think we all came into it with big expectations, and we put a lot of pressure on ourselves. Sometimes that can get in the way, but we managed to rise above and make something we’re really proud of.”

Now it’s time to get to know the band behind all of those songs you keep hearing in those ads on TV. This year, Leftover Cuties embark on a full-scale North American tour, taking their new songs to new cities and making new fans.

Onstage, on television and on laptops the world over, Leftover Cuties are heating up. From a spark to a fire….
Venue Information:
Troubadour
9081 Santa Monica Blvd
Los Angeles, CA, 90069
http://www.troubadour.com/

All lineups and times subject to change