Dominic & Norwegian Arms Record Release

Johnny Brenda's Presents

Dominic & Norwegian Arms Record Release

No Thank You

Fri, February 3, 2017

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

$10.00

This event is 21 and over

All shows are 21+ Proper I.D. required for admission

Dominic - (Set time: 11:00 PM)
Dominic
At the core of all long human relationships there are dark corners. In his solo debut, Goodnight Doggies, Dominic Angelella uncovers such painful discoveries with masterful and subtle execution. More importantly, he does this with an expertly alternative hand at pop songwriting, cherry picking from a vast array of influences not limited to visionaries such as Prince, Harry Nilsson, and Andre 3000.

A longtime resident of Philadelphia, Dominic hails from an invaluable background of attending and playing punk shows in the basements and DIY spaces of the east coast since around middle school-age. Over the years he's been a member of projects such as Hop Along, Cold Fronts, MewithoutYou, and is currently the co-songwriter of the band Lithuania. He's also contributed his skills as a session musician to records from Kendrick Lamar, Tinashe, Juicy J, Mac Miller, and Lil B. In the meantime his solo endeavors have taken on several forms and titles, until a decision was made that it was time to perform under his now seasoned given name. It couldn't have come sooner, as this is by far his greatest work to date.

Perhaps it is from that original DIY sense of necessity that makes the production and arrangement of Doggies' manner of delivery so shrewdly economic. Only that which needs to be heard is there. Emotions are therefore allowed to be the unabashed lead character of these songs. While they are indeed often sad, they are colorful and fascinating. There is a permeating sense of complicated loss and mundane struggle, which is what makes it a very honest record. Singular notes of a piano play with a sweetness that cannot help but stick with you, overtop a humble and steady beat, with vocals that may remind one of the friendly rasp of Jeff Tweedy. The choice of instrumentation follows the instinct of the narrative, and those instincts confidently lead the album through melodic projections of disappointing familial and disastrous romantic experiences. The most sugary of jams may be the second track, "Savior." The singular chords of a thick guitar riff satisfies the feeling of a humid, frustrated suburb weekend.

Throughout the album, thoughtful lyrics come through clearly, with a light decaying edge. The singer is young but aware that this time is coming to an end. The attitude of the vocal is simultaneously relaxed and feral. He is an almost kindly observer, who is aware of bitterness but somehow devoid of it. As with any album, there are no answers here, only honest examinations of failure on both sides. Like all of us, Angelella has no idea what the outcome will be, but he can share his coordinates and leave you exhilarated. - Frances Quinlan
Norwegian Arms - (Set time: 10:00 PM)
Norwegian Arms
The term ‘Norwegian Arms’, according to front-person and sole founding member Keith Birthday, describes the act of “grabbing slivers of fleeting moments across the globe, but in a self deprecating way.” Throughout the band’s existence, Birthday has done just that. The band’s debut record Wolf Like a Stray Dog captured a year of frozen solitude spent in the Siberian Taiga. Snapshots of intimate personal experiences mixed with stories of secret cities and musings on language and culture. Where Wolf focused on a specific feeling attached to a singular place, Norwegian Arms’ new album Girard Freeloader (out 1/20 on Mutual Crush) applies this concept to the entire world, with songs taking inspiration from the jungles of Peru, the forests of Washington state, and Keith Birthday’s native Philadelphia.

Keith (also known in more professional circles as Brendan M) uses these places as jumping off points to ruminate about the complications of living in this modern world through the eyes of a “Freeloader”, the listless narrator who is searching simultaneously for a cup of coffee and his own deepest feelings. “West Queens Street West” turns a weekend trip to Toronto into thoughts about traveling as a break from the monotony of everyday Internet-centric life. “East Hollywood” finds Birthday considering how distance and growth changes relationships over time while visiting friends in California. But the place that seemingly influences Girard Freeloader the most is the city of Philadelphia, where Keith found himself suddenly still after his long Russian sojourn, and where the record takes its name.

Whether he’s talking about modern American colonialism as a traveling ESL teacher through an the lens of sucking up the last limited natural resources from a dying planet on “Resource Sucker”, feeling himself atrophy on “Visons of my Father,” or fantasizing about finding a better life in the Pyrenees mountains on “How We Move”, the feeling of returning to a familiar place after a long and affecting journey looms large over Girard Freeloader.

The record was chiefly recorded by José Díaz Rohena at The Unknown, Phil Elverum’s studio in Anacortes, Washington and completed in Philadelphia and Birthday’s new home of New York. The music communicates a growth from the last album as well, a more cinematic and extended scope, with more room for contemplation than the previous record’s two minute punk-influenced blasts. Girard Freeloader feels like D’Angelo-influenced digital soul with the synthesizer drive of The Silver Apples and the groovy poly-rhythms of Tuareg guitarists, all culled from Birthday’s mind and the childhood mandolin on which he writes songs with a signature unorthodox finger-driven playing style.

While Birthday was recording, he took a break to visit Bowman’s Bay, a secluded beach on the outskirts of Anacortes. There he found inspiration for the lyrics for “Make The Rules”, the closing track to the album: “I can almost taste it, feet behind in the nectar line. Is it the only thing that binds? String of eternity? And isn’t it amazing, the breadth of the sea, the lines in the leaves? Just over the bay I can see it.” Girard Freeloader is an album about contemplation and striving for self-betterment in the terrifying world in which we live. Maybe, if we all connect deeper with the places we hold dear, we can attain it. As Birthday expresses, “I’ve come a long way, but it’s everything that I know.”
No Thank You - (Set time: 9:00 PM)
No Thank You
No Thank You began as a therapeutic endeavor for Kaytee Della Monica who would write
down her thoughts and go on to record them to music in her South Philly bedroom. Soon enough
she teamed up with friends Evan Bernard (The Superweaks) and Nick Holdorf (In the Pines) to
turn her coming of age story into a full length album, Jump Ship. Covering everything from
friendship and betrayal to family relationships and addiction, the band pairs dreamlike music
with romantic and often dark lyrics to create a truly captivating sound. The band is excited to
release their first album in early 2017 with Lame-O records and to follow it up with their first
tour, joined by friends The Superweaks. There’s plenty more to come from No Thank You, who
are already working on new tunes. You can expect to hear influence from Rainer Maria, Des
Ark, Alanis Morissette , and Pinback.
Venue Information:
Johnny Brenda's
1201 N. Frankford Ave
Philadelphia, PA, 19125
http://www.johnnybrendas.com/