Record Release Show


Murals, Prince Rupert Drops, Alex Laliberte of Vensaire

Tue, January 22, 2013

Doors: 7:30 pm

Mercury Lounge

New York, NY


Sold Out

This event is 21 and over

Widowspeak is an American band comprised of Molly Hamilton and Robert Earl Thomas, known for its dreamy, western-tinged take on rock and roll. The outfit formed in 2010 and released two singles in 2011 (Harsh Realm,
Gun Shy) followed by a debut album (self-titled) in the summer of that year, all on Brooklyn label Captured Tracks. Widowspeak was praised for its reverential spaciousness, Hamilton's haunting voice, and Thomas's spindly, Morricone-esque guitar lines; both drawing on 1950's pop ballads and 1970's psych, creating languid call-and response melodies. The band then toured extensively, wearing in their warm, nostalgic sound.

Widowspeak began to write what would become their second record, Almanac, at the start of 2012, as popular fears of the apocalypse became imminently close to realization. Though not totally convinced of catastrophic disaster coinciding with the year's conclusion, Hamilton nevertheless began writing lyrics seeped in doomsday imagery, darkness and dread, inspired by the idea of such a universal experience of the end. The two started making demos in their practice space. Thomas shaped the ideas into songs, experimenting with denser arrangements and grander gestures. Black and white became Kodachrome, subdued became saturated. Widowspeak explored Appalachian melodies and desert rhythms, Saharan to the Southwest, as well as incorporated acoustic instruments and slide guitar, stemming from a shared love of Neil Young.

As the compositions were brought to life, they became something new, something unlike the fatalistic seeds from whence they'd grown. These songs were no longer concerned with the end of the Earth, but with the life and death of seasons, youth, love, and the cyclical nature of all
things. The band chose the name 'Almanac' in tribute to those annual tomes which have eternally provided predictions of weather patterns, lunar and solar movement, and astronomical phenomena. But the songs are also about the changing times we find ourselves in: "the good old days" at odds with the hyperactive present, and the sense of loss, but also adventure, which that provides.

The album was recorded by Kevin McMahon (Swans, Real Estate) in a hundred year old barn in the Hudson River Valley of New York State during the transition from summer to fall. Producing with McMahon, Thomas expanded on the band's demos, crafting layers of guitar, Rhodes piano, organ and harmonium.

Almanac will be released by Captured Tracks on January 22, 2013.

If Widowspeak's first record serves as a collection of postcards, sent from destinations traveled to in that first transformative year, then their second is the guidebook written after they'd found their sonic home and inhabited
it fully.
Following high school graduation in 2006, the band Murals dug their act out of the basement and planted it onto stages and into minds across Louisville, KY. Founding members Evan Blum (bass), Rob Monsma (drums) and Jacob Weaver (vocals/guitar) dreamed up a musical fruit jam, blending art-rock and psychedelic proto-punk. The addition of Hunter Presnell on guitar in 2009 completed the bands line-up.

On July 1, 2012, Murals are releasing their self-produced album "On a Passing Cloud", which was recorded off and on over the past two years. The project started in late 2009 with the band sifting through an unconscionable amount of cassette demos and session recordings. Curious about constructing a latticework of familiar and disparate sounds, Murals relocated to a warehouse space in downtown Louisville.

The band taught itself to record, and songs “Thief” and “Lunar Love” were selected respectively for the ninth and tenth installments of the Louisville is for Lovers compilation album series. As a result, Murals grew more serious about a release of their own.

Eight songs were chosen, finalized and mastered for the On a Passing Cloud album, which is to be released on the July 6th. With the bulk of a second LP already committed to tape, plans for a summer tour, and a current musical residency at the Monkey Wrench in Louisville, Murals is a band with eyes facing forward.
Prince Rupert Drops
Prince Rupert Drops
At the inspired urging of original bassist Brad Truax (Home, Dan Melchior's Broke Revue, Interpol, to name a few) the somewhat secretive Prince Rupert's Drops formed in Brooklyn, NY in 2005, comprised of acclaimed comics-artist Leslie Stein (guitar, vox), fellow former Broke Revue-er Bruno Meyrick-Jones (guitar, vox), and former Osprey Steve McGuirl (drums, percussion). The band soon drew comparisons to the likes of The Groundhogs & Captain Beefheart - a sound that quickly developed and broadened to accommodate the emerging songwriting styles of each member. Following Brad's departure in 2008, the band were joined by longtime friend and multi-talented bassist Chad Laird (Land of Tomorrow, Jantar), thus adding another powerful cylinder to the songwriting engine.

Their increasingly versatile and engaging approach has won them occupying support slots for acts broad in scope as psychedelic noiseniks Black Dice to country rockers Oakley Hall (to whom Steve has lent his talents on occasion). In 2012 PRD has been joined on stage and in the studio by another longtime-friend and former guest-musician, synthesizer-sorceress Kirsten Nordine (Jantar), turning the musical feast into a rich sonic banquet set to wow the ears of one and all.
Alex Laliberte of Vensaire
Alex Laliberte of Vensaire
Vensaire are five musicians based out of Brooklyn New York. The band explores thematic ideas through traditional world folk melodies and modern musical elements such as sampling and synthesizing. Relying heavily on the compositional tool of allusion and metaphor, Vensaire express the familiar and archetypal, as well as the strange and mysterious.

Through the spectacle of live performance, Vensaire bridge the gap between intellectual pursuit and the unthinking pull of the visceral. Exotic costume, instruments, and staging are destined to cloak whatever enclosure you find them playing in.
Venue Information:
Mercury Lounge
217 E Houston St.
New York, NY, 10002