Howlin Rain
Johnny Brenda's Presents

Howlin Rain

Performers:
Howlin Rain
Garcia Peoples
Sparrow Steeple
$15.00
Ages 21+
Howlin Rain with Garcia Peoples & Sparrow Steeple at Johnny Brenda's
  • 7PM - Doors
  • 8PM - Sparrow Steeple
  • 9PM - Garcia Peoples
  • 10PM - Howlin Rain

HOWLIN RAIN

Oakland, California’s Howlin Rain are touring in support of ‘The Alligator Bride,’ their

fifth LP of swampy, ragged, unapologetic rock ’n roll. Led by Ethan Miller (co-founder of

psych rockers Comets On Fire and Heron Oblivion), the band recorded the album at

the Mansion in San Francisco, direct to tape, in one or two takes. MOJO Magazine

called the collection “an album of sublime crescendos and melodies like warm embraces,

so joyful, so tender, so warmly anthemic, its vintage moves are timeless, and irresistible.”

‘The Alligator Bride’ is Howlin Rain’s first release on Silver Current Records, the artistrun

label owned by Miller, and gleefully indebted to classic rock formations like the

Grateful Dead’s ‘Europe ’72' and Free’s 1969 masterpiece of atmospheric, minimalist

blues, ‘Fire and Water.’ “The guiding principle for ‘The Alligator Bride’ was to create

‘Neal Cassady Rock,’” says Miller. “Which is to say, high energy, good-times adventure

music, driving the hippie bus, shirtless and stoned, up for four days straight, and extremely fuzzy around the edges.” It’s a fitting vision for the band: torn between eras,

fuzzed out but full of soul, an epic perspective on what’s come before and what lies

ahead, woven into a cosmic tapestry of riffs, rhymes, and resonant frequencies.

Look for Howlin Rain to also release the first in a series of live albums dubbed ‘Under

The Wheel’ in the coming months to document their ecstatic, freewheeling live performances.

GARCIA PEOPLES

Consider Natural Facts by Garcia Peoples to be your heady, friendly reminder that it’s alright to let the sunshine in. The second album in less than a year from those lovable New Jersey moptops with the sweet twin guitars, Natural Facts provides a portal to the carefree place that both indie rock and jam bands forgot, and a handy alternative to whatever you may need an alternative from. Bolstering the summer glow of 2018’s Cosmic Cash with flashes of fuzz, teeth, and power, Natural Facts is a natural progression for Garcia Peoples.

The more driving counterpart to its rural predecessor, Danny Arakaki and Tom Malach’s guitars remain at centerstage on machine gun shreds like the album-opening “Feel So Great” and the rolling grooves like “High Noon Violence” (which would fit right in with one of David Crosby’s early ‘70s studio supergroups). Playing cleanly articulated lines that perhaps recall any number of other guitar tandems–Allman/Betts, Verlaine/Lloyd, Jansch/Renbourn–Garcia Peoples’ guitars are most influenced by the sound of two guys hanging out, figuring out how to play guitar together.

With Derek Spaldo (bass) and Cesar Arakaki (drums), the quartet is joined on roughly half the tracks by keyboardist Pat Gubler (PG6, Wet Tuna, Tower Recordings), who–since contributing to Natural Facts–has become a frequent auxiliary Garcia. On the quieter passages of “Patient World,” Gubler’s zones set Tom and Danny’s entwinements into an atmosphere that suggests what the briefly-lived never-recorded Barrett/Gilmour Pink Floyd lineup might have done, given another few years.

Discovering the secret and perhaps even endangered language of riffs, Danny and Tom formed Garcia Peoples in Rutherford, New Jersey in 2011 or 2012, depending when you ask). And over the past year and change, Garcia Peoples have hit launching speed, writing albums’ worth of material too fast to release. While Natural Facts is the perfect introduction to the band’s light-footed cosmic Americana, it’s only one piece of an emerging picture that perhaps Garcia Peoples don’t even quite see yet. The tapers have started showing up for Garcia Peoples, too, keeping track of the evolving song suites. Despite only having one official full-length under their belt, the band barely repeated a song over their four shows during their weekly residency at Brooklyn’s Wonders of Nature. Depending on when you’re reading this, the next Garcia Peoples show will almost certainly contain pieces of album #3 and quite probably #4, too.

It’s been a small, happy wonder to watch Garcia Peoples transmit themselves to the outside world. From up close, they’re almost too omnipresent to keep track of, playing frequently, and out watching shows around Brooklyn on nearly any other given night. Honing their chops first at their respective parents’ places, playing until they had to unplug for the night, Arakaki and Malach would inevitably retire to the 7-11 parking lot. There, they pieced together the emerging jams, fragments, verses, and other stray ideas they had yet to write, until–at least in the Garciaverse–they coalesced into distinct albums. Then they just had to record them. As of this writing, they’re only one album behind. Like a road map with constantly changing coordinates, the Garcias’ master plan is only barely that, but they plunge into the next territory with an infectious enthusiasm.

Tracked in Philadelphia with Jeff Zeigler (Kurt Vile, War on Drugs, Mary Lattimore), Natural Facts isn’t a throwback, as much as Garcia Peoples sometimes accidentally sound like a band one might stumble into at New York’s late Wetlands Preserve in the mid-‘90s. Rather, it’s a newly emerging conversation, songs and structures and solos and duos drawing from the latest and most right-on musicians to cross Garcia Peeps’ collective transom.

The classic rock guitarists of yore might be obvious subsequent touchstones, but bend your ear and newer colors emerge, generated from hours and years of talk and music. Listen close. Nothing inorganic here, just pure Natural Facts.

– Jesse Jarnow

SPARROW STEEPLE

Sparrow Steeple's music exists in its own universe. An imagined utopia (or is it a dystopia?) of wolfmen, murderous wizards, whispering woods & leprechauns. Their second album "Tin Top Sorcerer" arrives near the front end of 2019, just in time for spring to blossom.

Comprised of four members of inscrutable indie legends Strapping Fieldhands (who blazed many musical trails in the Nineties via records for Siltbreeze, Shangri-La & their own Omphalos Records), Sparrow Steeple specialize in mini-opuses that drift & careen haphazardly like Grimm's Fairy Tales sung by Syd Barrett - psychedelic tales of rapturous joy & sinister machinations by creatures real & imagined, all wrapped around dreamlike tunes of avant folk, psychedelia, and outsider music. "Roll Baby"s drunken-tavern sing-a-long is peppered by blistering guitar leads & wobbly harmonica (courtesy of Philly-legend "Harmonica" Dan Balcer) while "Stabbing Wizards" backwards guitar lends a foggy aura of disquiet to the tale of treachery & betrayal. Despite the fantastic yarns spun (see the tragic tale of the "Wolfman of Mayberry", or "Girl of the Whispering Woods"), "Tin Top Sorcerer" has an air of realism - or perhaps "magical realism", that place these songs in a place simultaneously out-of-time and from a possible future, permeated by a sense that these things could actually have happened (or will happen) at some point in our shared existence.

Venue Information:
Johnny Brenda's
1201 N. Frankford Ave
Philadelphia, PA, 19125