JEFF ROSENSTOCK

Psyko Steve Presents:

JEFF ROSENSTOCK

LEMURIA, ROAR

Thu, February 15, 2018

Doors: 7:00 pm / Show: 8:00 pm

The Rebel Lounge

Phoenix, AZ

$15.00

This event is all ages

JEFF ROSENSTOCK
JEFF ROSENSTOCK
Jeff Rosenstock is trying to edit this bio in the bathroom of a pinball museum on the Jersey shoreline. He’s touring one of five records he was a part of in 2014, a year that opened with a series of farewell shows for Bomb the Music Industry!, his acclaimed band of the last decade, took him to Australia, Japan, and Korea, and ended here, about to release his first proper solo album.

We Cool? is expertly-crafted, as perfect and unexpectedly uplifting a collection of songs about debilitating depression could be. From the deceptively subtle introduction of opener “Get Old Forever” to the reinvention of the album’s musical and lyrical themes that elevate finale “Darkness Records,” We Cool? succeeds in building on Rosenstock’s existing body of work while branching out to become his most ambitious and vital release to date. Which, if you’ve been paying attention, is no mean feat.

For the past ten years, Rosenstock stood at the helm of Brooklyn-based DIY stalwarts Bomb the Music Industry! - a collective that pioneered pay-what-you-can self-recorded albums, offered hand-created merch for donations and still managed to tour the world. Their final shows were beer-soaked Irish wakes for an international collection of misfits and passionate weirdos. They were huge – like a 1982 cult movie come to consume the drive-in – and then, they were over. After a decade of not only traveling in the same weathered van, but also spent attempting to passionately record densely-layered punk anthems in noisy practice spaces and crowded New York City apartments, Rosenstock was due for a change of scenery. So he went to California.

Recorded by Jack Shirley (Joyce Manor, Deafheaven), whose Bay area Atomic Garden studio played host to Rosenstock’s new band, We Cool? is sonically ambitious, overdriven, and immediate. Along with a band featuring Hard Girls guitarist Mike Huguenor, Bruce Lee Band drummer Kevin Higuchi, and former Bomb bassist John DeDomenici, the foundation of each song was recorded live to tape inside of a day. We Cool? layers its harmonies, organs, and clarinets on top of this energetic, barebones base, recalling earlier melodic motifs or creating massive climaxes that carry the listener through its twelve songs. With additional elements added in the customary New York apartments and parents’ homes that Rosenstock is known for, every song here possesses its own unique character, from the ‘90s post-punk dirge of “I’m Serious, I’m Sorry” to the vintage power-pop of “Hey Allison!.”

There’s another, more subtle element that makes We Cool? the clearest distillation of Rosenstock’s songwriting talents - a stark, unadorned lyrical approach that doesn’t mask much of the tumult of the last few years of his life. For him, this is something of a breakup album – a marker of the end of a fulfilling decade-long relationship with the close friends who comprised Bomb the Music Industry! over the years. It’s a lament for not only the band itself, but the community that was built around it. These songs were written with no audience in mind, and that uncertainty left Rosenstock free to be as dark and direct as he needed.

Like so many great albums, it can be easy to miss that darkness when you’re caught arm-in-arm with your friends singing yourself hoarse. But like the best albums, nothing is ever that simple, and the soundtrack of last night’s euphoria becomes suddenly introspective in the cold light of the morning. And We Cool? is one of those albums. 
LEMURIA
LEMURIA
“The Distance Is So Big” continues in the band’s tradition of songs that unfold like mini-suites, hopscotching from one melodic figure or time signature to the next with a playwright’s sense of structure.” - NPR

Without a distinguishable understanding of the pop and intensity, a silent video of a Lemuria show would appear to be that of a blistering hardcore trio. To the viewers surprise, turning the audio on they’d find an intricate indie-pop trio.
Lemuria might not sound like they are from Buffalo, NY, but the band was proudly birthed there, following the legacy of an oddly eclectic, if not eccentric, music scene. When you loosen your ears to the sugary indie-pop, you’ll discover discordant notes, odd time signatures, and brutal riffs creating menacing yet catchy music. After putting out records on many celebrated labels like Bridge 9, Asian Man, No Idea and Suburban Home, they recently released a comic book 7” collaboration with Mitch Clem and Silver Sprocket documenting their tour of Russia.
ROAR
ROAR
The Phoenix, Arizona, band ROAR is what we can imagine to be a child of Cuomo's wide-spread power-pop influence, but just as much the offspring of Brian Wilson playing his piano in the middle of a sandbox filled with dog turds and Van Dyke Parks thinking about dreamy, ginger-scented girls, whose wholesomeness is unparalleled and boys who have the purest (sometimes with devils inside them) intentions toward them that we could possibly expect out of boys of any era. Owen Evans writes songs that are the new versions of romantic odes. They aren't the baby, baby, lovey dovey, romantic odes of the Phil Spector or Ronnie Spector times (the pair's black and white illustrations make up the front and back sleeves of ROAR's "I Can't Handle Change" vinyl album), but instead, they are the romantic odes of two young people in love with each other, who happen to casually and without incident cuss in conversation, who maybe talk about Michael Pollan books, who maybe don't have any problems with pornography and who aren't afraid to admit that they love the movies "Waitress" and "Kill Bill" equally and for similar reasons, oddly enough. The above description doesn't really matter at all. It's just an exercise in showing that classic love stories have changed, but here they are on "I Can't Handle Change." You hear the muggy, distorted guitar in "Just A Fan" that could have come right from "In The Garage," Cuomo's take on Wilson's "In My Room," and you hear within the doo-wop-y swings of these songs, a young man who just wants to spend his time holed up with the girl who comes as close to his dreams as he can ever hope to get and if that happens - if their hands fit snugly together - then he knows he could wish for nothing else. It's just about fitting together with another person who's uncannily like you in the important ways and it's about eating soup and sharing ice cream together, not worrying if your feet stink and enjoying the mundane and the thrilling all with the same kind of enthusiasm, then writing a love song about it all. Yes, that's what it's all about.
Venue Information:
The Rebel Lounge
2303 E. Indian School Road
Phoenix, AZ, 85016
http://www.therebellounge.com/