David Wax Museum: Electric Artifacts Tour

Early Show

David Wax Museum: Electric Artifacts Tour

Ciaran Lavery

Wed, September 20, 2017

Doors: 6:30 pm

Mercury Lounge

New York, NY


This event is 21 and over

David Wax Museum - (Set time: 7:30 PM)
David Wax Museum


This fall, with their two young children in tow, Mexo-Americana pioneers David Wax
Museum will embark on the “Electric Artifacts” tour – celebrating their 10th anniversary as a band, and featuring their 1000th show.

The Electric Artifacts tour spans ten cities and explores the roots of David Wax Museum. Beginning with a series of house shows in Washington, DC that feature duo performances from David Wax & Suz Slezak, the tour explores many of the markets that helped propel the band to the national stage over the past decade. With full band shows, featuring a horn section, the tour winds its way from current hometown Charlottesville, to their previous hometowns of Northampton and Boston, with stops along the way in Baltimore, Thomas WV, Philadelphia, Saratoga Springs, and New York City. The 1000th show of their career will be a secret show on September 22, at a location to be announced.

The roots of David Wax Museum stretch back nearly a decade, and all the way from New England to Mexico. As a student at Harvard, Wax began traveling south of the border to study and immerse himself in the country's traditional music and culture. Back in Boston, he met fiddler/singer Suz Slezak, whose love of traditional American and Irish folk music fused with Wax's Mexo-Americana into a singular, energetic blend that captivated audiences and critics alike. Their 2010 breakout performance at the Newport Folk Festival made them the most talked-about band of the weekend, with NPR hailing them as "pure, irresistible joy." They released a trio of albums that earned escalating raves everywhere from SPIN and Entertainment Weekly (who described them as sounding "like Andrew Bird with a Mexican folk bent") to the New York Times and The Guardian (which dubbed the music "global crossover at its best"). They earned an invitation to return to Newport, this time on the main stage, as well as dates supporting The Avett Brothers, The Carolina Chocolate Drops, Buena Vista Social Club, and more.

It was on the road over these past few years as the band and audiences grew, though, that Wax could feel their exuberant live show evolving beyond its formative roots.

"I felt empowered to start the band because of my time in Mexico studying folk music," Wax explains. "In Boston, the term 'Americana' or 'folk' was just this catchall to describe what everyone was doing. It was helpful to use that to talk about our music at first, but we've found that our hearts feel most shaken, and the band fires on all cylinders, when we're putting on a rock show. What we've tried to retain about our folk origins is the warm sound of people playing acoustic instruments together in a
Ciaran Lavery - (Set time: 6:30 PM)
Ciaran Lavery
He may wield an acoustic guitar and write achingly beautiful universal truths, but Ciaran Lavery doesn't conform to the sensitive singer-songwriter archetype. The County Antrim native's second album, LET BAD IN, blends Americana and hip-hop influences in a grainy voice with a deep soul impulse over processed beats and sumptuous strings.

"Nobody wants to be pigeonholed," says Lavery. "It's therapeutic to move into some weird, in-between genres. I'd rather not be pinned down. I always use Tom Waits as an example. The same with Beck. Nobody says, 'Oh, Beck moves around too much. I don't get it.' It's a different sound all the time. He goes from one extreme to the other and it works."

The same goes for Lavery on LET BAD IN whether he's emoting intensely on the plaintive piano ballad 'Sonoma,' incorporating found sounds on 'Wilder,' or throwing rap shapes on 'Blood Red Fist.'

LET BAD IN is essentially an album based on the naivety of childhood & the loss of that innocence with age. It all started as his uncle handed him an old VHS tape with home video footage of a family trip when he was 7, and that's how the album started taking shape.

"I was watching myself being so carefree, just doing things because I felt like it. I didn't react to anything, I just did", says Lavery. "It made me think about how much I can't relate to that person anymore, as an older version of myself -- I'm scarred by experience & previous life choices that have altered all my decisions for better or worse. No matter how much I try, I will never be that 7-year-old version of myself, I will never have that wide eyed innocence."

In the first single off the album, RETURN TO FORM, he brings it all back home. It is indeed a very reflective song, a look at his early years with a twinge of nostalgia. "There are elements of both my past & present in there. I think everyone envies the child they were, for the fearlessness that they once had & can never really recapture".

"I have written 10 songs based all around that nostalgic innocence of youth & now, older, how I look at things, what things I face in the future. It's a very personal album" he tells us. "How I felt about certain things at a certain age or point in my life, others reflective as an older version of myself looking back then forward. I felt it important to lace audio from the family trip throughout the album: it represents the who that I was. You can hear different members of my family, myself and even a scene of my brother and cousin showing off their tattoos for the camera. It's all 100 % genuine."

Now, in 2016, he might not be the innocent 7-year-old that he once was. But that's not necessarily a bad thing. Lavery is not stuck in the past.

In 2014, Lavery's 'Kosher' EP and 'Not Nearly Dark' album went global, with the tracks, 'Shame' and 'Left For America' leading the charge racking up more than 30 million listens on the Spotify streaming service and inspiring a raft of renditions from other countries.

In its perceptive and passionate mapping of the human heart, his first album, 'Not Nearly Dark,' was acclaimed by Snow Patrol's Gary Lightbody as a "stunning" and "magical" collection.

The plaudits kept coming in 2015, with the release of 'Sea Legs,' a mini-album on which Lavery collaborated with electronica artist Ryan Vail, winning them a nomination for best album at the Northern Irish Music Prize. And then, later in the year, he won the Big Break, a search for the brightest of Ireland's bright young things hosted by Hot Press magazine.

It's all about momentum. And there is a real sense that this time belongs to Lavery, that his star will continue to soar in the ascendant just as the instinctive approach to his craft nudges him in other directions.

"I have a ridiculous fear of what might happen if I stop moving," he says.

LET BAD IN, released May 27th, 2016.
Venue Information:
Mercury Lounge
217 E Houston St.
New York, NY, 10002