Birds of Chicago

Early Show

Birds of Chicago

Levon Henry

Wed, February 8, 2017

Doors: 6:30 pm

Mercury Lounge

New York, NY

$10.00 - $12.00

This event is 21 and over

Birds of Chicago - (Set time: 7:30 PM)
Birds of Chicago
In so many ways, we are a word weary culture, ever searching for ways to communicate in fewer and fewer words, letters, syllables...Our online, blogged out, you-­tubed attention spans
are truncated and fragmented like never before. Birds of Chicago, the collective centered around Allison Russell and JT Nero, reassert the simple notion -­ radical in these times -­ that
beautiful words and music can still tap deep veins of emotion.

real midnight's gonna come / real midnight's gonna come
real wolves at your door / with blood on their tongues
now what you gonna do / with your days left in the sun?
ha da la ha

Stark, elemental imagery that feels like scripture, or a lost folk song recovered;; the Birds draw heavily on the gospel tradition and the music feels like a new, secular gospel of sorts. For Birds
of Chicago, every word counts. Every note counts. No gold-­dusting, no filler. Music is the good news and Real Midnight, the band’s poignant new Joe Henry produced album, throbs with an
urgency that feels quietly seismic.

Birds of Chicago was born in 2012 when Nero began writing for his vocal star-­muse, Russell. Both were accomplished singer/songwriters with projects of their own, Nero with JT and the Clouds, and Russell with the acclaimed Canadian roots outfit Po’ Girl, but together there was an unmistakable chemistry. Nero had found the perfect voice for his rock and roll psalms. Russell
moved from being a primary songwriter to an interpreter, and her simmering restraint is deeply refreshing to a landscape scorched by post Voice/American Idol vocal gymnastics and over-­emoting.

On Real Midnight, Birds of Chicago alternate moody rock swagger with the ghostliest of soundscapes. Produced by Joe Henry, a man whose expert blending of light and shadow is well
known, the album is a melancholy -­ but never shoe gazing -­ suite, full of wayward, joyful, lonesome voices raised up against the night.

Since its February release, Real Midnight has received press from NPR (First Listen, Weekend Edition and World Café), Wall Street Journal, Paste, No Depression, Afropunk and more.

Throughout these 11 tracks, their performances often feel playful, from the hearty rapport of their harmonizing to Russell's capricious sculpting of enunciation, phrasing and tone. Nero and
Russell like to describe the music they make as "secular gospel." As it turns out, that descriptor is well-­earned: They show us a way to fully live with the awareness that nothing's forever and
everything's at stake. -­ Jewly Hight, NPR’s First Listen

Music this raw and soul-­rich demands to be experienced live; Birds of Chicago have developed a fervent following, touring 200 nights a year since their formation in late 2012, and 2016 has already found the band in constant motion -­ from sea to sea and beyond.
Levon Henry - (Set time: 6:30 PM)
“ Levon Henry is a multi-instrumentalist, composer, and singer-songwriter from Los Angeles who currently lives in New York City. His debut album Sinker was released in April 2016 on the record label co-operative Tiny Montgomery. In addition to recording and performing his own music, Levon is a saxophonist/clarinetist/arranger for many other musicians, curator of the Floodlight Revue concert series in Brooklyn, and a sometimes-documentarian for Rock Fish Stew. “
Venue Information:
Mercury Lounge
217 E Houston St.
New York, NY, 10002