Thao & the Get Down Stay Down w/ Avers

WNRN Welcomes

Thao & the Get Down Stay Down w/ Avers

Avers, Little Scream

Sun, April 17, 2016

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

The Broadberry

Richmond, VA

$12 ADV, $15 DOS

Tickets at the Door

Thao & the Get Down Stay Down
Thao & the Get Down Stay Down
Growing up in Falls Church, VA, Thao Nguyen first picked up a guitar at the age of 12 and began performing in a pop country duo in high school. She spent most of her 20s touring, supporting one critically acclaimed album after another. She's worked with a laundry list of vaunted artists including Andrew Bird, Mirah, Laura Viers, and producer Tucker Martine. She even toured the US with the nationally syndicated NPR radio program Radiolab. Thao's most recent album, We The Common, was described by The New Yorker as "music that makes you move from your bones out...[it's] keenly intelligent and original" and in November 2014, she performed on the world famous television show "Austin City Limits". She is currently working on a new album which will be released in early 2016.
Avers
Avers
With four songwriters, four singers, and 11 tracks of guitar-saturated rock & roll, Avers' second album, Omega/Whatever, is proof that there's strength in numbers.

The record shines new light on a band that made its first splash with 2014's Empty Light. Avers supported that debut release by leaving their hometown of Richmond, VA, and crisscrossing the country on tour, opening for bands like Foo Fighters and J. Roddy Walston along the way. They made a national splash during the 2015 SXSW Festival, too, with everyone from Esquire Maga-zine to The Daily Beast listing them as one of the week's breakout bands.

Two years after Empty Light's release, Omega/Whatever finds them returning to their unofficial headquarters — Montrose Recording, a modern studio located on a historic Richmond plantation and operated by bandmate Adrian Olsen — and creating another self-produced album of rumbling rock, shot through with pop hooks, layers of percussion, and coed melodies from four different vocalists. It's a mix of old and new, much like the studio that birthed it.

It's an album about balance, too, centered around the struggles of living in the modern world. There are songs about divorce, technology, late nights, corrupt politicians, and societal norms, all delivered by a group of songwriters who share their creative duties equally. Olsen, Alexandra Spalding, James Mason, and JL Hodges trade off vocal duties, too, with multi-instrumentalist Charlie Glenn pitching in on keyboards, harmonies, and swells of electric guitar. There's no consistent frontman, no singular leader, no main guitarist. Those roles are fluid, which makes Omega/Whatever very much the product of a band, not just one bandmate's vanity project.

Like the album that came before it, Avers' second release came together during a series of in-spired sessions at Montrose, with each song beginning as a fledgling idea brought to the table by one of the band's four writers. The entire group would then pitch in, turning that idea into something nuanced and layered. Avers would ultimately finish each song as a collective unit, recording the track the same day it was written. The result is an "infectious" and "ebullient" (The AV Club) sound that not only reintroduces the band, but not also offers an insider's look at their creative process.

Mixed by Peter Kadis (The National, Kurt Vile) and mastered with Greg Calbi, Omega/Whatever is a battle cry from a band that's fighting the good fight.
Little Scream
Little Scream
Or, The Willy Wonka World of Little Scream's Cult Following
Little Scream says she began conceiving of Cult Following while visiting a friend in a small intentional community in northern Brazil that was on the verge of becoming a cult. "People were running around reading auras, interpreting each other's dreams, and 'living on light' instead of eating—which was as compelling as it was absurd. I became very aware of the entropy of belief. You could feel the magnetism of ideas take shape and pull people into their center like a black hole… a thing so filled with light that its own gravity means that none of it can escape."
That experience laid the groundwork for Cult Following, a lush, expansive, retro-leaning gem that straddles intimate fragility with bombastic dancefloor-ready songs. Listening to it is like reading an epic novella—part fairy tale, part ecstasy, and part human folly. Right from the start, you know you've entered a universe with its own rules—dazzling, dark, and whimsical, not unlike Willy Wonka's gated factory. From the candy-filled ballroom of "Love as a Weapon" (which is as accessible as it is emotionally complex), you are invited onto the comforting ship of the warm ballad "Evan," only to find that "the waves are falling/they're falling in faster, and the ship has no master… here comes disaster!" When the shipwreck subsides, you find yourself in the dark depths of the song "Wishing Well," where Mary Margaret O'Hara makes a stunning, subtle vocal appearance. Mary Margaret is one of several guests to appear on this record, along with Sufjan Stevens, Sharon Van Etten, and Kyp Malone. Encountering them is not unlike having cameo stars within a film, but the world they inhabit is entirely Little Scream's, and her voice acts as a tour guide through lush and sometimes terrifying sonic landscapes carefully constructed with her creative partner, Arcade Fire's Richard Reed Parry.

Cult Following is a record that deserves to be listened to from start to finish, with each song having been constructed to meld seamlessly into the next. There may be those who listen only to the record's obvious catchy hit, but they would be missing out on the depth of stunners like "Wishing Well" and "Someone Will Notice." Like a classic novella, you must pass through all of the record's stages to fully experience a triumphant hero's journey.
Venue Information:
The Broadberry
2729 W. Broad Street
Richmond, VA, 23220
http://www.thebroadberry.com