Snowden

Johnny Brenda's Presents

Snowden

Busses, Belgrade

Wed, February 20, 2013

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

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Snowden - (Set time: 11:00 PM)
Snowden
Southern by birth and rearing, northern by political disposition and weather preference, Jordan Jeffares is no stranger to oscillation. In the six years that passed since the release of his band Snowden’s first full-length, Anti-Anti (Jade Tree), Jeffares has shifted his base of operation from Atlanta to Chicago, then back, up to Brooklyn, and then down to Austin. When you throw in touring the U.S. and Europe, the scenery changed a lot around Jeffares in recent years.Through all the tumult of relocating, Jeffares has been crafting (and re-crafting) Anti-Anti’s follow-up, ironically titled, given its auteur’s dedication and perseverance, No One in Control. The album will be released by Serpents and Snakes, the Nashville label formed in 2009 by the Kings of Leon, who tapped Snowden to support them on a 2007 tour. The label’s mission is to support hard-working bands it believes in. With Jeffares, the imprint has found a kindred spirit who exemplifies its ideals. Jeffares tracked most of the record on his own in Atlanta and New York, before trekking to western Michigan to join forces with producer Bill Skibbe (The Kills) and build out the sound in the studio. Skibbe mixed the record, and Alan Douches (Kurt Vile, The Twilight Sad) handled the mastering.
Perhaps due to its extended incubation period, No One in Control diverges from the Lower East Side Britpop dance party motif of its predecessor. It also moves away from the wryly observant, barfly narrator, opting for a guide occupying a more mature, plaintive, and, at times, existentialist headspace. It’s a bit of a taking stock record. Anti-Anti’s tracks begged to be remixed, emphasizing pulsating rhythms that undergirded Jeffares strident assertions about the pointlessness of hipster ideals or the evocative nightlife scenes. In contrast, No One in Control stays truer to the genesis of all Snowden’s output—the seemingly hermetically sealed cocoon that Jeffares escapes to when doggedly transforming an abstract concept into a piece of music. It’s headphone music for the creative class.

To call the contents of No One in Control “bedroom songs” is to be reductive. Like Bon Iver, Jeffares is a master of creating the singular mood of a man alone with his thoughts. While both evoke the snowy cold that Jeffares prefers as the ambience to his writing sessions, the landscape that Snowden’s music scores is decidedly boots-on-ground urban compared to Justin Vernon’s ear-muffed pastoralism. Snowden’s latest arrangements are a swirl of textures that waft and then envelope the percussion and rhythms at their core, as exemplified best by the ethereal “Anemone Arms.” The epic title track acclimates the listener to the gauzy chamber pop featured in much of the rest of the record before exploding into a synth-encrusted rock gem that Snowden’s fans will recognize as the band’s calling card. At the heart of the doubled vocals and studio accouterments that add depth to “Don’t Want to Know Me” is a song that seems to have had its start as a jangly ballad reminiscent of The Clientele’s oeuvre.

While roots have been pulled and replanted over the past six years, band lineups have gone through several iterations, and labels have come and gone, Jeffares has managed to keep his focus. He credits his stalwart supporter and earliest patron, his brother Preston, for keeping him focused in moments of frustration. With his older sibling’s sage stewardship, Jeffares has put together, while not the most club-friendly set, the most sonically sophisticated collection of tracks he’s penned and constructed to date—effectively moving beyond influences such as Interpol, The Zombies, and The Clientele to carve a niche of his own in the post punk landscape.
Busses - (Set time: 10:00 PM)
Busses
“Take it down and tear it apart.” Busses frontman Dave Brett delivers
the words like a mission statement on “Metal,” a new song announcing
a step forward for a band that's made its name around its native
Philadelphia for stretching the parameters of indie rock. Both that
song and “Shangrila” capture the trio at ease, leisurely adrift,
stretching out grooves and suspending melodies in between. Bright
chords drift out of Brett’s guitar amp bathed in warm colors as his
elastic voice reaches into higher registers while Jason Bachman’s
pillowy synthesizer and bass set a pulse reinforced by Nick Apice’s
shuffling, syncopated drumming. It’s a bold step away from the punk
and progressive rock influences worn proudly and unpredictably on its
eponymous debut, but that’s not to say the band has lost its taste for
the bombastic. It's just that now, the music swells into overdrive
where it may have once sprinted, inviting us to savor the ride.
Belgrade - (Set time: 9:00 PM)
Belgrade
With liquid-like intros and outros, Belgrade's fleshy songs are sure to spur a variety of emotions. Daring themselves a slap in the face with the glove of simplicity, Belgrade keep things subversively straightforward. While embracing more than healthy doses of echo, the air between meaty ideas is apparent and fluid. Belgrade offers layers of cycling guitar, nimble bass lines, snappy dynamic drums and floating vocals as they teeter from an understated warm twang to a groaning twisted reverb-fest.

Urging you into a heap of head-tossing joy while never letting things fully explode in your face. The name of this game is restraint, boys and girls. Everybody can, and has, played loud and bombastic - but lets see who can best vibrate the wavy line between blissful, breezy melodies with purposeful energetic sharpness. Internal rebellion never sounded so endearing. Let's cloak those catchy pop smarts under blankets of reverberated echoes bounced off last night's full moon - still ringing in the squinty-eyed hangover morning. Let the sound shimmer and swoon forward and back like a chorus for the night time, to be consumed during the day. Anthems to prep for that cloudy nocturnal courage.
Venue Information:
Johnny Brenda's
1201 N. Frankford Ave
Philadelphia, PA, 19125
http://www.johnnybrendas.com/