Eleanor Friedberger

Eleanor Friedberger

Pill, Sara Marie Barron

Sat. October 6

Doors: 8:00 pm / Show: 8:00 pm (event ends at 12:00 am)

$15.00

This event is all ages

Patio & Outside Bar open @ 7pm

Eleanor Friedberger
Eleanor Friedberger
On Rebound, Eleanor Friedberger has created a subtle world that is a little fizzier, a little synthier- more cinematic, more meditative- than her previous three albums. In the wake of 2016’s jarring political shift, Friedberger felt a need to be even more self-reliant, right down to the album artwork, in which she painted a backdrop and styled herself as an attempt to look like an amped up Lizzy Mercier Descloux.

In contrast to the sonic serenity of 2016’s New View, which she arranged and recorded with her touring band, Rebound was recorded mostly on her own and with the producer Clemens Knieper. Programmed drums, a Juno synthesizer, and muted rhythm guitars dominate the landscape where influences range from Stereolab and Suicide to Lena Platonos and Yellow Magic Orchestra.

From Eleanor:

I spent most of 2016 on the road, and I needed to keep that momentum going. I had always wanted to spend more time in Greece; take Greek lessons and get to know Athens better while hopefully writing some music. After November 8, 2016 I set that loose plan into motion. While friends back home were suddenly becoming politically activated for the first time, it was exciting to be living in a city where protest marches occur on a weekly, or sometimes daily basis. I assembled a band of Greek musicians, played a few shows, learned a few more Greek words, but didn’t get much writing done. It turned out to be more of a reconnaissance mission.

After a month in Athens I asked my friend, the Greek musician Σtella, “What’s one thing I have to do before I leave?” After some long and careful consideration she smiled and said, “you have to go to Rebound. It’s a time warp; kind of an 80s goth disco where everyone does the chicken dance; you’ll love it… but it’s only open on Saturdays after 3:00 AM.” Rebound proved to be a revelation in terms of finding the sound and energy for my fourth album. The club was very dark and despite the no smoking signs, like everywhere in Athens, it was very smoky. The “chicken dance” Stella mentioned was a solitary one. I copied the slouchy strut, moving back and forth in line, swinging my arms in time to the music that at first sounded like Joy Division or maybe The Cure, but never revealed itself– one could only assume it to be knock-off by an unknown Baltic band. It was alienating and exhilarating. “In Between Stars” is an attempt at a song you could hear at Rebound. It’s a dark and disorienting; my warped version of 80s goth disco.

Eleanor Friedberger’s Rebound comes out on Frenchkiss Records on May 4th, 2018.
Pill
Pill
Soft Hell, Pill’s second full-length album, is a raucous, splintering dispatch from New York City, animated by the madcap ingenuity of a foursome finding a palpable sense of joy and play in expressions of caustic, black humor. Like the contradiction of the album title, which references our acceptance of everyday miseries, it’s a slew of dichotomies, a frenzied cutup. It’s bleeding saxophone and lustrous feedback sounding somehow pastoral, and winking hooks subtly infused with venom.
Pill’s lyrics are severe and funny, cryptic and straightforward, but never didactic. They reliably interrogate power. Vocalist and bassist Veronica Torres, a poet and visual artist, has cited as influences J .P. 'The Big Bopper' Richardson and Ian Svenonius, apt references for her wildly expressive range. Atop the clattering rush of opener “A.I.Y.M.” she uses an ambiguous narrator to complicate gendered stereotypes, while “Fruit,” a coolly pulsing vamp, explores the paralysis of political anxiety. “What am I allowed to create or destroy?” she asks in “Power Abuser,” highlighting the inanity of needing to ask for permission.
Sara Marie Barron
Sara Marie Barron
Sara Marie Barron can bring your guard down. We can tend to block our emotions from bubbling to the surface, but the compositions and powerful performances of this Detroit-based singer/songwriter are an invitation, an assurance, that allowing even just for 4-5 minutes of vulnerability can be revitalizing. With formative influences like Carole King, Etta James and Billie Holiday, this young vocalist and songwriter is distinctly able to channel the evocative poignancy and poetry of a certain kind of soul music.

While her Detroit-area upbringing would inevitably include Motown's iconic canon as a key influence, she was also in love with both the sweetly somber troubadours of classic folk and the strong and stylish personalities of R&B. In the middle of that mixture, Barron is creating soul music that might diverge from the classic 60's Stax or Motown, but instead infuses all of the earnest, tender, swooning sensibilities of "So Far Away" to "Sunday Kinda Love." Or imagine a post millennial blue-eyed soul that blends in her 10+ years of classical vocal training, thespian talents from her time in theater and the control, range, and richness of her voice from her time singing Opera.

Barron naturally finds and enlivens such warm and cinematic tones on her piano and sweetly threads her dazzling voice from a faint grey sky flicker to a full, fiery sun-ray. And then there are the melodies... While Barron's musical DNA draws from so many esteemed luminaries of soul and folk mentioned above, she's keen to create a composite of pop-inclined charms with the melodies she weaves with her voice.

"Does She" sounds regal enough to be performed on a stage framed with crimson curtains and boomlights, but there's a playfulness to the refrain of an already catchy chorus that allows this to feel at home anywhere, be it your earbuds on a quiet morning's walk or your car stereo on a neon-light-splashed drive downtown. "Wanna Know" similarly fuses a swaying rhythm akin to a pop ballad, while her voice is a flutter of intonations effusing earnest and aching sentiments in succinct couplets.

These are honest and unafraid lyrics. This is music that can heal you. You just have to be able to let those emotions out... If not in the midst of a powerful song, where else? Barron's music lets you in and lets you let go... It's music to heal to....
Venue Information:
El Club
4114 Vernor Hwy
Detroit, MI, 48209