Vetiver

Vetiver (9:30 PM)

The Donkeys (8:30 PM)

Fri, June 26, 2015

8:00 pm

$0.00 - $15.00

Tickets at the Door

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Vetiver - (Set time: 9:30 PM)
Vetiver
Vetiver is what I’ve been calling my songs and recordings since about 2003 or so. I live in San Francisco, have since 1998. My touring band and the musicians I’ve recorded with over the years are always changing, though many friends and players have stayed with me over albums and tours. The one constant has been Thom Monahan who has engineered and co-produced every Vetiver album. Thom lives in L.A., where most of Complete Strangers was recorded.
The album came together slowly over demos at my home in San Francisco and quick trips to L.A., continuing on with Thom at his studio. It moved in fits and starts for a couple years. Once we had the basic arrangements we jumped in the studio with Bart Davenport, Gabe Noel and Josh Adams for a few days to put down rhythm tracks. That’s when the album really took shape. Thom & I fleshed everything out with a few more musicians in San Francisco & L.A. and eventually Complete Strangers arrived.
The songs on Complete Strangers bear some resemblance to the album’s title. They share things in common but come from different places, different times. “Stranger Still” is an anthem for insomniacs, illuminating the hours when the world exceeds our grasp. “From Now On” rings out some emotional tinnitus, the moment a night runs away from you, when freedoms turn into responsibilities. The album builds around dualities, the way people pair at parties. “Current Carry” percolates with the confidence of love, while “Confiding” reveals how vulnerable we are chasing love. “Backwards Slowly” and “Edgar” are vignettes of transition, more ebb than flow. As with many of Vetiver’s better moments, sunshine is only a chord away from melancholy. An introspective lyric underlies an extroverted chorus. Subtlety tries to be outgoing, loneliness familiar, in an effort to connect the dots of life’s ellipsis.
I’m still figuring the album out. It feels like someone I’ve just met yet known for a long time.
The Donkeys - (Set time: 8:30 PM)
The Donkeys
We would love to be able to say that the Donkeys are simply four California beach bums who love to surf, drink cheap beer and jam as the sun sets over the Pacific. The long legacy of music hailing from California — from Bakersfield to the Beach Boys, Sweetheart of the Rodeo through Slanted and Enchanted — has shaped our sense that everything and everyone "out west" is laid back, comfortable and cool.

And to be fair, when it comes to the Donkeys, some of this mystique is true — two of the band's members are indeed surfers, and all four have been known to down a six pack or two. But like California, the real-life Donkeys (best friends from Southern California, Timothy DeNardo, Jessie Gulati, Anthony Lukens and Sam Sprague) are much more... real. If their backstory contains those top-down cars and suntanned utopian surf tableaus, it also contains the malaise and the escape fantasies familiar to all suburban kids of the 80s and 90s. Miraculously, the music manages to comfortably communicate both moods at once. Any expression of existential ennui — "is this all there is?" — is simultaneously soothed by an unrushed guitar lick and a harmonized twang that becomes almost, dare we say, meditative.

Part of this magic comes from the fact that there's no artifice to the Donkeys' songs, from the matter-of-fact breakup blues of "Boot on the Seat" to the playful recollections of a late, drunken night narrated on "Nice Train." These are everyday lives in the postmodern world expressed with a deep respect for classic songs from the 70s through the 90s -- for spacey grooves and soulful, jangly swagger -- that elevates the subject matter beyond the ordinary. Living on the Other Side, the band's second album, is not meant to hit you over the head with a flamboyant single — instead, imagine Ray Davies jamming with the Byrds, or a Gene Clark-fronted Buffalo Springfield -- and you'll get a sense of the tradition that informs this band.

Living on the Other Side is about rolling down the windows, cranking up the stereo, and hitting the open road. Maybe you're running away, and maybe you're not, but either way, everything's going to be alright.
Venue Information:
Troubadour
9081 Santa Monica Blvd
Los Angeles, CA, 90069
http://www.troubadour.com/

All lineups and times subject to change