The Bowery Ballroom
Very Special Guests Drowners

Very Special Guests Drowners

Ski Lodge, Honduras

Fri, January 31, 2014

Doors: 8:00 pm / Show: 9:00 pm

The Bowery Ballroom

New York, NY

$13

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This event is 16 and over

Very Special Guests Drowners
Very Special Guests Drowners
In the late summer of 2011, Drowners frontman Matthew Hitt found himself in New York City. He’s from a small town in rural Wales but New York is where Hitt feels most at home. “I just like the way things look here. I like the way things are done here. I like how late everything happens,” he says. New York’s signature up-all-night energy courses through Drowners’ self-titled debut, but there’s a sweet melancholy to the album as well.

In his down time, Hitt began writing songs that reflected this renewed interest in angular, compressed rock and roll. “The early songs came out really short – I thought, well, I’ve already sung the chorus twice I don’t need to do it again, that’s what makes it a chorus! I think that being in New York influenced what I was trying to do with economy in song structure and instrumentation. It’s like, here’s what I’m trying to say. Okay, I said it. Now it’s over. Onto the next one.” Gallivanting around downtown, Hitt also met likeminded souls, including future bandmates, Jack Ridley III (guitar, vocals,) Erik Lee Snyder (bass,) and Lakis E. Pavlou (drums).

It would take the better part of the next six months to secure the right record deal, but during that time the band gigged like crazy, ratcheting up their live prowess. They also released a well-received EP, Between Us Girls. By the time Drowners were in a recording studio to record their full-length debut, with producers Gus Oberg and Johnny T., they were ready. The first single off Drowners’ eponymous debut, “Luv, Hold Me Down,” is a propulsive slice of perfect garage pop. “It brings across this sort of jovial misery,” says Hitt, “It’s kind of pop, like a lot of the rest of the record, but lyrically, it’s not as shiny as seems.”

The other side of coin, according to Hitt, comes courtesy of the melodic and melancholy track “A Button on Your Blouse” which changes up the pace of Drowners’ self-professed brand of romantic aggression. “I always think of this one as our ballad even though it’s not even that slow,” says Hitt with a laugh. But it’s the cheeky grime of “Long Hair” that really showcases the easy, dirty thrill of Drowners.

While Hitt is responsible for the elegantly understated lyrics throughout the album – the kind that adhere to his Salinger-esque economy of words – he professes that everything changed as soon as recording began. When Hitt, Ridley, Snyder, and Pavlou began to play, Hitt’s initial blueprint and the band’s extensive punk music background melded, giving the album its true form. The group wanted to present something slightly different, says Hitt. “Our live shows are a lot more aggressive,” he adds, “With the album, we wanted to create like a sort of layered, fleshed out live show.”

The result is an album that’s equal parts playfulness and disquietude, toeing the line between music that sweeps the listener up, and lyrics that beg for their deep sensitivity and understanding. “Whether you think something is good or not is if you respond to it,” says Hitt. “I wanted to illicit a response, but I want them to get whatever they want from it.”
Ski Lodge
Ski Lodge
Twenty-plus years of stories, twenty-plus years of perfecting music's craft, Ski Lodge's Big Heart is exactly what a debut record should be: the culmination of a creative force's life on this planet. Andrew Marr, the multi-instrumentalist, singer and songwriter behind Ski Lodge, has created a deeply personal record that overflows with lush melodies and insatiably catchy choruses. His songs occasionally deal with dark matters—infidelity, painful break-ups, loneliness, disjointed father-son dynamics—but Marr bathes them in a blissful light ripe for sing-alongs.

"I try to write songs honestly, and a lot of the things going on in my head that I struggle with might be deemed 'dark,' but I don't think that means I can't sing about them in a way that is musically upbeat or poppy," Marr says, from his home in New York City. It's a dichotomy that also translates to Marr's choice for musical moniker. He explains the name Ski Lodge "evoked an image of being warm by a fire, alone or with friends, while outside exists the cold and cruel winter."

Big Heart, Ski Lodge's debut full-length, out this summer on Dovecote Records, is Marr's fullest realization of this hot and cold split. Marr wrote all of the lyrics and music, and played nearly every sound that ended up on the record. However, this was the first time the 26-year-old worked in a professional studio with a producer, the indelible Lewis Pesacov (Best Coast, Fool's Gold), over several weeks in Los Angeles. The combination of Marr's intrinsic songwriting and Pesacov's LA-defining production skills resulted in music with fuller breadth and scope than Ski Lodge's previous release without losing any of the wry innocence that made 2011's self-titled debut EP so much fun.

The one exception is the lead single "Just To Be Like You," which was recorded with the full band in Upstate New York using producer Kevin McMahon (Walkmen, Real Estate). Prefix Mag called the track "sugary sweet pop," while Pitchfork warned its readers not to "be deceived by the energetic, hopscotching riff" before lauding the single's dark depths. The song and its accompanying video of cult imagery are an exploration of contrast that fits in perfectly with both the album and Ski Lodge as a whole: deeply affecting and unmistakably danceable.
Honduras
Honduras
The story of Honduras isn't necessarily a new one, but if the internet age has taught us anything, new isn't always better. What was once the product of two kids from Columbia, MO simply trying to re-imagine themselves in New York City has grown to become one of the most promising acts coming out of Brooklyn's forever-fertile indie scene. Friends since childhood, Patrick Phillips (vocals/guitar) and Tyson Moore (guitar/vocals) found each other again in a Bushwick basement where they began writing much of what would become Honduras' early material, 2012's self-released Cahokia EP. That debut set Honduras in motion playing tirelessly around Brooklyn's busy DIY scene. After bringing in Josh Wehle to play drums, the band added a new bass player in Paul Lizarraga (the Denzels) to support the recent release of their breakout EP Morality Cuts via Black Bell Records.

The EP concisely exhibits the group's millennial take on early punk sensibilities (think Sex Pistols, Buzzcocks) with elements of noise and pop (a la Deerhunter, No Age) and has garnered them the attention of Noisey who declared their sound "tight, bristling" and Rolling Stone who nostalgically said it "recalls the gleeful nihilism of the Dead Boys." While picking up additional attention from serious tastemakers like Brooklyn Vegan, BULLETT, and NYLON, along the way, the group has shared stages like Bowery Ballroom and Music Hall of Williamsburg with notable acts like Drowners and the Kaiser Chiefs over the past year. On stage the formula continues, where four good friends exhibit a savvy devil-may-care tightness and engaging stage presence that is both apropos to their evident influences and forever exciting to witness in a young and surging project. Honduras are certainly a product of their generation, but it's a timeless fact that you don't have to break the mold to break the stage.
Venue Information:
The Bowery Ballroom
6 Delancey St
New York, NY, 10002
http://www.boweryballroom.com/