The Pierces

The Pierces (10:00 PM)

He's My Brother She's My Sister (Album Release Show) (9:15 PM)

Stephen Wrabel (8:30 PM)

Thu, April 5, 2012

8:00 pm

adv tix $12.50 / day of show tix $15.00

TICKETS AVAILABLE AT THE DOOR

This event is all ages

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The Pierces - (Set time: 10:00 PM)
The Pierces
How much can happen in the first minute of a pop song? Sometimes, barely anything; sometimes more than a conscious mind can fully compute. To ears that have yet to hear the music of Allison and Catherine Pierce, the first minute of You & I is a journey in itself. A minor-key strum and faintly ominous keyboards subtly draw in the listener, until a lone voice urges escape. "We could bring a blanket for the grass," goes the first line. Are you coming or not? Then, at 39 seconds, comes a harmony of such irresistible magnetism that, whatever your previous plans might have been, you're in for the duration. The song is You'll Be Mine. A song about a divine seduction turns into the very thing it describes. Welcome to the extraordinary new album by The Pierces.

For all of that, perhaps the most remarkable thing about You & I is that it almost didn't happen at all. In 2009, Allison and Catherine – two sisters raised in Alabama, before decamping to New York – had already made three albums together. Critical acclaim had never been hard to come by, but after their 2007 album Thirteen Tales of Love And Revenge struggled to find a wider audience, Allison and Catherine decided that perhaps their future in music lay separately. "There was definitely a conversation," recalls Catherine, "where it just seemed to us that maybe we had taken it as far as we could. We'd had some good times along the way, but at that moment in time, it felt like it wasn't to be."

What a difference a day can make. Less than 24 hours after deciding to draw a line under The Pierces, fate stepped forward – in the unlikely guise of Guy Berryman, bassist with Coldplay and longtime admirer of the group. "If you've been to New York enough times, you quickly realise that the musical scene there is quite tight," says Berryman. "You get to know everyone. I knew Albert Hammond Jr [of The Strokes] who, at that time was engaged with Catherine. I had always loved The Pierces' songs, so when she told me they had just split the group, I felt I had to do something."

An offer to support Coldplay in South America convinced The Pierces to ponder their options a little longer. Catherine and Allison played some new demos to Guy, who was in the process of starting a production company. Straight away, it became apparent that the sisters' newest songs were plumbing hitherto untapped depths of inspiration. Flying to London to work with Guy and producer Rik Simpson, Allison remembers "a new energy" attaching itself to the very first song they all worked on together.

With swirling harmonic currents reminiscent of The Mamas & Papas, Kissing You Goodbye established a mood that dramatically yielded a rapid succession of magical performances: the insistent folk-pop majesty of Drag You Down; the otherworldly yearning of We Are Stars; and, in I Put Your Records On, a spare acoustic meditation on the fallout of a relationship between two musicians. Singling out It Will Not Be Forgotten for special attention, Allison speaks about the "huge leap" represented by the recording of that song. And you can see why. The best songs don't sound like they were written so much as lovingly retrieved from your own subconscious. To hear it once is to feel like you've known it your whole life.

For Catherine, the adversities of previous liaisons had fossilized into a rich source of creative fuel. A case in point was Love You More. "It's about a tortured relationship," she explains, "I was in the midst of something that was incredibly frustrating. At the time, I felt like if you think you love someone enough, everything will resolve itself. But I learned the hard way that it wasn't necessarily true." That feeling of watching the wheels come off and being powerless to do anything about it is perfectly captured in the song's storm warning chorus and driving guitar hook.

The sense that you can't see the bridleway of true love for what the horses have left on it weaves its way through the whole of You & I. Fleetwood Mac – who have also known their share of romantic ups and downs – were a touchstone reference when making the album. "We write a lot of songs that sound like ballads if you play them acoustically," explains Allison, "And one thing I noticed with the songs that Stevie Nicks wrote for Fleetwood Mac was that they worked in that way too, but when you put a groove behind them, they really move."

At the heart of You & I, though, are the core components of a musical bond that has lasted a lifetime. Home-schooled by "free-thinking" parents, Allison and Catherine – the latter being the younger by two years – grew up in an environment where "Simon & Garfunkel mattered way more than getting the hang of long division." If it's a source of amusement that, at the end of 2010, one newspaper singled them out as one of the most promising new bands of 2011, it also retrenches a feeling that this is a new start.

As Guy Berryman puts it, "You begin with an idea that something could turn out as great as this. But the truth is that none of us knew if this would result in anything. You just believe in the feeling that you had when you first heard the songs – and, if at the end of it all, that feeling remains intact, then maybe you're onto something." Catherine Pierce concurs: "It felt like we'd been searching for a sound our entire careers. Finally it happened when we least expected it."
He's My Brother She's My Sister (Album Release Show) - (Set time: 9:15 PM)
He's My Brother She's My Sister (Album Release Show)
He’s My Brother She’s My Sister seem to invite a broad range of colorful words to describe their music and performances: “flamboyant folk,” “psych-acoustic,” “estranged and glamorous” and “vaudeville-y.” No doubt this is due to their mélange of musical styles, both modern and antique; their eccentric attire and sense of expression, both sincere and theatrical; and, their unique instrumentation, which includes a rhythm section bolstered by a tap dancer.

Brother and sister Robert Kolar and Rachel Kolar split vocal duties, with Robert on guitar and kick drum and Rachel on tambourine. Their voices range from boisterous to introspective, from breezy to emotive. Lauren Brown adds full-body percussion with her fluid tap-dancing and drumming. Oliver Newell adds stand up bass with joyous flair. Aaron Robinson plays lead guitar on a lap slide, veering from nuanced psychedelica to American roots riffs.

He's My Brother She's My Sister played 150+ shows in 2011 and the band will hit that mark again in 2012. These have included capacity and sold out shows in NYC, Brooklyn, Austin, Miami, Nashville, DC, Atlanta, Los Angeles, Santa Barbara and San Francisco. The band has performed at the Sundance, High Sierra, Lowdown Hudson River Blues and SXSW festivals plus they will appear at this year's famed Austin City Limits festival. He's My Brother She's My Sister has shared the stage with Edward Sharpe & The Magnetic Zeros, Neko Case, The Knitters, The Growlers, Alexander & Friends, Devil Makes Three, Fitz & The Tantrums, Local Natives and Charles Bradley.
Stephen Wrabel - (Set time: 8:30 PM)
Stephen Wrabel
Having spent just over three years in Los Angeles, Stephen Wrabel has quickly made a name for himself as a talented songwriter and performer. He has collaborated with some of the most respected names in the industry and continues to write with and for other artists. In January, Stephen signed to Island/Def Jam and will have an album out near the end of this year.
Venue Information:
Troubadour
9081 Santa Monica Blvd
Los Angeles, CA, 90069
http://www.troubadour.com/

All lineups and times subject to change