Erin McKeown

WXPN Welcomes:

Erin McKeown

Jenn Grant

Sun, January 20, 2013

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


This event is 21 and over

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

Erin McKeown - (Set time: 9:15 PM)
Erin McKeown
“A couple of years ago, I found myself at a cross-roads. I knew it was no
longer sustainable for me to participate in a traditional label relationship.
And I knew it was no longer possible to keep my political and musical
selves separate. Everything had to change.”

And thus was born MANIFESTRA, singer-songwriter and producer Erin
McKeown’s seventh studio album and the first to originate on her own
TVP Records label.

Work on the record began with the arrival of the title track. In the early
dawn hours after a late-nite gig, McKeown was awakened by the first line
of the song, “Humble, like the child of god she wants to be.” The rest of
the over 6 minute composition came tumbling out, complete, just as the
sun was rising.

“The word ‘manifestra’ just came to me. It describes a statement of
purpose and unity, a clear action from a female perspective, a bright
hope. I was trying to describe the process of internal change becoming
external. It never occured to me that I had made up a word,” she laughs.
“The concept just made sense to me.”

Next came the challenge of finding a new sound to reflect this new
worldview. The answer came in two parts. First, producer McKeown and
her touring band recorded the basic tracks live to tape over 3 days.
Later, she sent the files to musical friends, asking them to focus on
simplicity and unison in their parts.

And so, Matt Douglas’s saxophones double McKeown’s signature electric
guitar playing. Erik Deutsch’s vintage synths merge with Joe Brent’s
string arrangements, which in turn mirror Erin’s vocal lines. Marc Dalio’s
live drums unite with electronic loops and Jeff Hill’s bass to push songs
forward. The resulting interplay drives the lushly orchestrated "Proof,"
the thump and snarl of “The Politician”, and the deep groove of"The
Jailer," a song inspired by McKeown’s trip with a group of artist/activists
to visit the border fence that divides Arizona and Mexico.

Singing with McKeown are UK songster Polly Paulusma on “Proof” and
rising troubadour Ryan Montbleau, who co-wrote and sings on the playful
duet "Instant Classic.” Fellow indie singer-songwriters Anais Mitchell,
Sean Hayes, and David Wax Museum lend their voices to the stirring
album-closer "Baghdad to the Bayou." The latter song addresses
injustice from the Persian Gulf to the Gulf of Mexico. Backed by a slowcooking
New Orleans simmer and topped with bright horn lines, “Baghdad”
was co-written via text message by McKeown and longtime friend and
fellow Western Massachusetts resident Rachel Maddow, while Maddow
was reporting in Iraq.

“I’ve never been a fan of songs that sacrifice music for the sake of a
message, but it became clear to me that as a citizen I had to bring what I
believe more clearly into my music. It began to feel urgent, and I knew I
had to try,” Erin says.
In the last several years, McKeown has channeled her passion for social
justice and her interest in public policy into extensive work with activism/
advocacy groups. She recently joined the board of the Future of Music
Coalition and was a 2012 fellow at Harvard University's Berkman Center
for Internet and Society.

Given McKeown’s well known activism around musician compensation and
technology, the choice of how to fund MANIFESTRA was obvious. Using
the PledgeMusic platform, McKeown’s fans funded her project in a mere 6
days. In addition to covering recording and promotional costs, the
fundraising campaign allowed Erin to make the first music video of her

McKeown concludes, “At this point in my career, I am most concerned
with cultivating relationships that are mutually fufilling. I want to give my
fans the best possible music and experience. I have loved getting to know
them better and better. I want to work with musicians who inspire me,
and I want to provide opportunities for artists to collaborate in new ways.
I want to learn how to be a better activist, and I want to be a part of my
community. It is no longer enough for me to just make records and tour.
I’ve got to do more.”
Jenn Grant - (Set time: 8:30 PM)
Jenn Grant
The honeymoon continues for East Coast nightingale Jenn Grant, who is set to release her third album on Six Shooter Records on September 25, 2012. With The Beautiful Wild, Jenn follows love’s twisted, tangled path deep into the heart’s jungle. The new record is about finding the courage to lose oneself in the wilderness, in all of its savage and sublime experiences.
The dense, exotic sounds of The Beautiful Wild depart from the giddy blush of Honeymoon Punch, Jenn Grant’s Juno Nominated and Polaris Long Listed previous album. There is a mature solemnity to be found that creates a new intimacy and immediacy with the listener. Jenn Grant’s intuitive ability to express emotion has helped to define her as one of Canada’s premiere vocalists; even in the darkest corners of the wilderness, her prismatic, iridescent voice continues to sparkle, dancing over adventurous new layers that include harp, flute and sitar.
Jenn Grant is a lively member of a thriving East Coast artist community. The Beautiful Wild features many notable locals, including Old Man Luedecke, Rose Cousins, Erin Costello, Kinley Dowling, David Christiansen and the Halifax Boys’ Honour Choir.
“She’s one of the best singers in the world right now.” – Buck 65 (Rich Terfry, CBC Radio 2 Drive), The Coast
Venue Information:
Johnny Brenda's
1201 N. Frankford Ave
Philadelphia, PA, 19125