Girls First: A Night of Female Fronted Pop Music ft. London Plane / Elk City / Green and Glass / Maitri

Girls First: A Night of Female Fronted Pop Music ft. London Plane / Elk City / Green and Glass / Maitri

Wed, March 15, 2017

Doors: 7:30 pm

Mercury Lounge

New York, NY

$10.00

This event is 21 and over

London Plane
London Plane
By juxtaposing the melodic blitz of the Ronnettes with dark-wave, melancholic pathos of predecessors such as Echo and the Bunnymen, and with splashes of Morricone’s cinematic modern operas, London Plane (named from the tough, resilient yet ghostly, pale New York City street tree) are helping to define the landscape of New York's underground indie-rock music scene. Firmly rooted in the moment, this band gives no inward looks; the songs are quick, dancey, and tear through arrangements (they "get on with it" as described in RockNerd UK) from low to loud, quiet to quick.
Elk City
Elk City
ELK CITY re-invent the seductive sophistication of 1970's FM radio pop - but never shy away from their formidable rock power.

The striking blend of rock, folk, soul and jazz on their newest release, House of Tongues, separates Elk City from their peers in terms of ambition and expertise. Not since the brilliant American Music Club has a popular band so fully metabolized this range of influences to such masterful effect.

Singer Renée LoBue's muscular pipes are ripped and ready to carry the torch. Her melodic songwriting filled with a bracing, confessional vulnerability. LoBue possesses one of her generations most versatile and distinctive voices, alongside the likes of Regina Spektor and The National's Matt Berninger. Her songs are a veritable transit rail from the intoxications of 1960's Bay Area psychedelia to the smoky Parisian outposts which might once have hosted Nina Simone.

LoBue is well-matched with guitarist Sean Eden, who joined Elk City soon after the break-up of the legendary Luna. Eden's performance on House of Tongues may well constitute his finest on record. Certainly his identity as a player has never been cast in bolder relief. Eden expresses and withholds his playing in a manner perfectly reflecting the hope and anxiety of LoBue's lyrics. His playing is conversationally forthcoming yet willfully oblique. Eden extracts reservoirs of emotion from tracks like "Jerks On Ice" and he tears the cover off the closing moments of "Wire Goats" - a galvanic piece recalling mid-period David Bowie, with a vocal turn from LoBue evoking the effervescent readings of Brian Ferry.

Producer/drummer Ray Ketchem's agile focus crops in on LoBue and Eden but is perfectly vignetted by new keyboardist, Carl Baggaley. Baggaley's facile transition from barnstorming barrelhouse rhythm playing to sophisticated, jazz informed digressions expands Elk City's already impressive range. In addition, Ketchem's propulsive drumming provides the drive for tracks like "Real Low Riders", which evolves from a minor key verse ala Sonic Youth into a major rave up befitting the best of Blondie.

The international-timeline song "Nine O'Clock In France" finds LoBue dreaming of a night out in Paris from a very New York perspective. "Revelry won't wait!", exclaims LoBue on the track, and you'll want to join her for cocktails as the chorus unfolds.

The conspicuous cover art for House of Tongues was created by American contemporary artist Brain Dettmer. Using a Harper's Dictionary of Classical Literature and Antiquities from 1937, Dettmer sculpted his unique interpretation of the splendorous architecture of Elk City's music.

House of Tongues is indeed an act of architecture, each song building on the next with a runaway momentum culminating, finally, in one of music's great catharses. If there is a central moment, it would be "The Onion", a song which finds LoBue reading along with the famous lampoon as she simultaneously strips away the layers of artifice from her being. "I finally have the courage to look into the mirror and stand up for my life. . ."

And here, over the course of five minutes and 37 seconds, a seminal artist reveals her essence and her brilliance, abetted by great band at the peak of their power.
Green and Glass
Green and Glass
Green and Glass spins melodic on top of mountain grooves, using sonar to navigate the case of the missing crescendo. Green and Glass is a mysterious vessel. Band members are Sam Decker, Dave Flaherty, Andrew McGovern, Lucia Stavros, and Ryan Dugre.
Maitri
Maitri
Translated from Sanskrit, Maitri ("my tree") is an unconditional friendship and acceptance towards oneself that in turn extends to the greater outside world and its people. This group was formed by Caroline Davis to embrace both the hardship and ecstasy of life through song, and it is now a collective songwriting outlet for both herself and Ben Hoffmann.

Incorporating a heavy dose of Soul and R&B, Maitri also draws upon indie, funk, and jazz influences to create a unique sound in the Brooklyn musical landscape.
Venue Information:
Mercury Lounge
217 E Houston St.
New York, NY, 10002
http://mercuryloungenyc.com