mewithoutYou - Life 15 Year Tour

mewithoutYou - Life 15 Year Tour

Pianos Become the Teeth, Strawberry Girls

Sun · October 29, 2017

Doors: 8:00 pm / Show: 8:30 pm

The Southgate House Revival-Sanctuary

$18.00 - $20.00

This event is all ages

mewithoutYou
mewithoutYou
Those who have followed mewithoutYou's music in recent years will likely see their new, self-released Ten Stories as a return to old form. Their previous record, It's All Crazy!, etc. had been a drastic and intentional departure. Aaron Weiss' manic, unorthodox hollering was nowhere to be found, deliberately giving way to a more conventional melodic vocal approach. The explosive, schizophrenic drumming and swarthy, tempestuous low end (Rickie Mazzotta and Greg Jehanian, respectively) were accordingly subdued, relegated largely to keeping basic time. Chris Kleinberg had jumped ship for med school, leaving Mike Weiss reluctantly alone on electric guitar, feeling like a session player embellishing his little brother's folk songs, no longer part of a coherent unit.

In short, due largely to their singer's creative wanderlust, the band had entirely forsaken whatever they'd become; in an effort to spurn the familiar, they had grown unrecognizable, alienating no shortage of fans in the process. Those fans, and whoever has come to miss what was most distinct about mewithoutYou, will welcome Ten Stories as the rightful follow-up to their 2006 release, Brother/Sister, and 2004's Catch for Us the Foxes. To be sure, the band hasn't altogether renounced the psychedelic-rustic-pop elements of It's All Crazy!; rather, they have renounced the scrupulous control inherent to its renunciation. Simply put, they seem to have let go of the steering wheel, and are back to writing music, well, 'naturally.'

"They're not quite children's songs," vocalist Aaron Weiss explains, "with not quite coherent storylines, but there is an overarching and kind of child-like narrative: a circus train crashes in 19th century Montana. Some animals escape, others stay in their cages. The traveling menagerie re-rails, stays its course, and struggles to fill in the missing attractions. Meanwhile, freed from institutionalized life, the rice-cake rabbit takes to a peripatetic fortune teller, the monastic walrus is tempted by a hedonistic owl, a fish falls for an eggplant. Other songs describe a contemplative Fox's prophetic dream, a starving Bear's vision of a martyred saint, and an indecisive Peacock & gnostic Tiger learning the virtues of megalomania from an ego-annihilated Potter Wasp."

This bizarre, character-heavy lyrical approach let the band revisit their perennial leitmotifs of romantic disaster & quasi-mystical speculation, without the self-pity/indulgence of direct autobiography. Reflecting recent, devastating personal losses, practically every song addresses our inevitable dying, apparently easier to face when projected onto anthropomorphic animals. This zoological ventriloquist act allows them to explore abstract philosophical themes and draw on finespun literary sources with a profound goofiness that deflates whatever danger of pretentiousness. The story-teller elements are obscure enough to avoid the short-lived rock opera aesthetic, leaving most plot details and potential moralizing to the imagination; and this without succumbing to insincerity/irony, overt relativism, or outright nonsense.

The ever-odd Daniel Smith's production and veteran Brad Wood's mixing combine to improve upon the best sonic elements of the band's past releases. Musically, Ten Stories is a mix of the brazen noisiness, hypnotic soundscapes, and derelict shouting of their old songs, the dead-level melody and extravagant orchestration of recent years, and a newfound reliance on ethereal harmonies, courtesy en masse of female guest vocalists (most notably, Paramore's Hayley Williams). Whimsically morbid as an Edward Gorey alphabet, simultaneously self-abnegating and -aggrandizing, defying simplistic musical or intellectual categorization, mewithoutYou's new collection of songs is the fabulously vivid outgrowth of an ongoing religious and irreverent eclecticism, a 'decade-plus narcissistic scramble for artistic affirmation' (their words), and the even longer-running and peculiar friendship of four not-so-younggentlemen from nowhere in particular, apparently at the height of their mutual affection.

Epilogue:
mewithoutYou's 17-ton grease-powered bus — the ornately-chipped, floral-painted, "mental hospital on wheels" — will once again, according to the band, "hem and haw its way across the country this summer, punctuated no doubt by near-daily breakdowns, makeshift repairs, newborn babies, manic depressive episodes, and desperate attempts by all parties involved to separate [them]selves from separation itself."
Pianos Become the Teeth
Pianos Become the Teeth
Pianos Become The Teeth has a melodic yet uncompromising sound that brings to mind such diverse and influential bands as Thursday, Envy and City of Caterpillar. Brimming with sincerity and brandishing an experimental ambiance, the band is pushing beyond the boundaries of a stale genre. Mixing elements of screamo, hardcore as well as post rock, Old Pride breathes new life into a once decaying scene.



Pianos Become The Teeth are many things but they aren't the type of band that are simple to describe. Correspondingly if the Baltimore, Maryland, based act exploded on the scene with their 2009 debut Old Pride and gained national attention with 2011’s The Lack Long After, their third album Keep You sees them taking a brave step forward to craft a musical statement that truly transcends genres. "There's still the same amount of passion and energy inherent in this record, it's just presented in a different way," frontman Kyle Durfey explains—and that undying desire to push, challenge and redefine the band's musical limits is what makes Keep You the type of record that grows more revealing to the listener with each listen.

Obviously the biggest difference between Keep You and Pianos Become The Teeth’s previous albums is Durfey's approach, which sees him trading the throat-gutting screams of the band's early releases with cleaner, more intelligible vocals. However anyone who has followed the band's trajectory—specifically the song "Hiding" from their 2013 split with Touché Amoré—can trace the way the band's sound has evolved from a melodic hardcore act to a group who create heaviness and weight via raw emotion instead of distortion "I took a less unbridled approach to the songs this time around,” Durfey explains. “That’s what I felt the songs called for and in my heart it matched the tone of the record.”

Pianos Become The Teeth—which also features guitarists Mike York and Chad McDonald, bassist Zac Sewell and drummer David Haik— began writing Keep You in 2012 while during a tour with Title Fight. When they got home the group took a writing expedition to a cabin owned by Sewell's family in Taylors Island, Maryland, where they came up with the songs "Say Nothing" and "Lesions." "We knew Kyle was planning on singing on this album so we wanted to be able to create something musically that would be beneficial for him to do that," York says. "We paid attention to detail a lot with these songs but not in the same way that we had done in the past in the sense that instead of putting a bunch of cool parts together, we really tried to focus on the songs as a whole,” he adds.

In order to capture the band's creative vision this time around they decided to work with producer Will Yip (Circa Survive, Braid) during a month long recording session in Conshohocken, Pennsylvania. "Will was just such a positive force to be around and he really helped us embrace what we were trying to do," Durfey explains. "I definitely learned a lot about my own voice and gained a ton of confidence in the process." York concurs adding, "Will knew what we were going for atmosphere wise; I realized we were making something that we loved but Will took that vision and made it more than we ever could have expected."

Musically Keep You is an expansive statement that is defined almost as much by what the listener hears as it is the dramatic space that hangs between each note. For example, when Durfey sings “you can’t be everything you want to be before your time” on the cathartic, slow build “Late Lives” the same can be said of the fact that the band had to spend eight years playing together in order to get to the point where they could write music this layered and deliberate. "I love a song like 'Late Lives' because instead of a lead riff there's intertwined riffs and David doesn't even hit a snare drum until two-and-a-half minutes in," York explains. "Alternately 'April' and 'Old Jaw' are more straightforward that anything we've ever done structure-wise but if you let yourself fall into the groove of the song you'll appreciate it in ways that I don't think have ever been possible with this band.”

That's not to say that these songs don't feature the virtuosic musicianship the band have built their name on, it’s just recontextualized into more moody and haunting compositions such as “Repine” which features atmospheric strings, an instantly contagious chorus and a tribal rhythm that solidly roots it. Lyrically Keep You deals with familiar concepts like mortality and communication in an intensely personal way that's also remarkably relatable in its honesty. "If I had to boil down the overall theme of the album it's about things you want to say to people but you can't for some reason whether it's because they're not in your life anymore or they've passed away," Durfey explains. "It still ties into our other records but it's where I'm at now, which is still morose but not being completely destroyed by anything anymore.”

That inkling of hope is expressed when Durfey sings, "your wick won't burn away" (“Repine”) or muses, "I say it all when I say nothing at all” (“Say Nothing”), conveying that memories live on after the physical bodies that embodied them have faded away. "I think it's a musical growth not a departure," Durfey summarizes when asked how he views the album. “We’re more proud of this album than anything we’ve ever done in the past,” adds York. “I’m just so excited to be able to share it with the people who have supported us for so long because I think it’s a really exciting next step for the band in every possible way.”
Strawberry Girls
Strawberry Girls
In early 2010, Zachary Garren parted ways with his previous band, Dance Gavin Dance. While pursuing his solo project, Good Health, he crossed paths with drummer, Ben Rosett, who was playing with a local band called The Trees at the time, and had played with past hardcore bands such as Brutally Honest and Sarah Larsen. Ben, interested in starting up a new project, randomly asked Zac if he wanted to jam one day, just to see if anything cool would happen... Fortunately for us, everything went perfectly and "Strawberry Girls" was formed in April of 2011. We can't even remember how many times we've been asked "where'd the band name come from?" so we might as well get that out of the way. Go look up the hit song "Christine" by Siouxie and the Banshees. There you go.

Anyway, we jammed every single day for a week and wrote like 5 whole songs. Then we quickly recorded said songs because we were so stoked on them. There's a Live Demo 2011 on bandcamp, go find it.

After seeing the first live performance of Strawberry Girls as a duo with just Ben and Zac... Ben's previous bandmate, Ian Jennings, from local band The Trees (featuring Justin Stie), excitedly wanted to be a part of the new project. Ben and Zac, wanting to take the project to the next level, brought Ian onboard to play bass for Strawberry Girls.

After that, we sat down to try to record a good batch of songs, which ended up turning into Italian Ghosts. We printed 100 original copies in Digipacks. Needing more to sell, we printed another 100 copies, but before we printed more, we remixed and remastered the songs, inverted the album artwork, and added more text on the backside. If you have a physical copy of either of those versions of our original EP...consider yourself lucky. List them for $100 on Ebay and you'll see what i mean.

We played a ton of shows, good and bad. Started writing new songs. "Do Peace."...the last song on French Ghetto, but the first song that was written for the album. It's a good closer. We wrote and recorded French Ghetto at the now Spirit Vision Studios. Previous records were recorded in Ben Rosett's parents' house, in the garage.

During the writing process for their first album, a few demo tracks were released on Bandcamp titled, "Demo 2011", containing 5 live studio tracks. Months later, Ben, Zac, and Ian brought these tracks to life, producing the album at Ben's home studio. "Italian Ghosts" was released in August 2011 as their first official EP.

Soon after that, another demo was released titled, "Do Peace (EP)", comprised of two tracks "Do Peace" and "Fight Club". Those two tracks were recorded live in Ben's home studio as well, and were intended to hold fans over until their upcoming full-length album French Ghetto.

The long awaited full-length album, French Ghetto, was released on April 20th, 2013. The album was self-recorded and produced by Ben Rosett, who, along with being a drummer and multi-instrumentalist, has been a recording engineer/producer for about 10 years. Having recently moved into a professional recording facility, Ben Rosett finally moved away from the "home studio" thing. With drummer Ben Rosett and bassist Ian Jennings, both of Strawberry Girls, becoming the owners of Spirit Vision Studios, this allowed for the new Strawberry Girls album to be recorded way better than it would have if it were recorded in a home studio.

With the release of French Ghetto, Strawberry Girls was able to attract the attention of Tommy LaCombe, owner of Tragic Hero Records (A Skylit Drive, Alesana, He Is Legend). After a month of dealing with contracts and promotion content, we have officially signed with Tragic Hero Records. We are very happy to be a part of the Tragic Hero family and we all feel it is the perfect home for us.

Then we recorded American Graffiti at Spirit Vision Studios.
Then in 2016 we re-recorded the songs from our original EP Italian Ghosts.
Venue Information:
The Southgate House Revival-Sanctuary
111 East 6th Street
Newport, KY, 41071
http://www.southgatehouse.com/