Bishop Allen

Johnny Brenda's Presents

Bishop Allen

Jesse Marchant (JBM), Tinmouth (Solo)

Fri, August 22, 2014

Doors: 8:00 pm / Show: 9:15 pm


This event is 21 and over

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

Bishop Allen - (Set time: 11:15 PM)
Bishop Allen
The new Bishop Allen record, Lights Out, is here at last. Here's what went into it: ten years, three full-lengths, twelve EPs, thousands of shows, a move out of Brooklyn, a new home in the wooly wilds of Kingston, NY, time off to score the films Bully and Mutual Friends, as well as an Anderson Cooper 360 special, months of demos, drum tracking in a sweat-lodge attic studio during a July heat wave, a wet Fall arranging guitars, bass, and synths in a now-chilly attic studio, the coldest December on record spent mixing, a close call with a frozen pipe and flooded hard drives, and a photo found on a friend's refrigerator.
Here's what you do with it: Check the weather. If you live in the Northern Hemisphere, you've still got some summer left--the bittersweet tail end of it. Get yourself invited to some cookouts, or throw one, and if you still have it in you to get a little drunk or otherwise shut off any sense of responsibility, go for that. Play this record at that event. You don't have to listen too closely--it sounds great & you're going to have fun with it and feel good. Hey! you'll say, I wish we had this record at the beginning of the summer!
Couple weeks later, summer's over. Responsibility is creeping back in. Driving home from the last party of the season, you keep the record rolling in the car, like you're huffing the last fumes of this night...and now you quiet down & some of the haze in your mind clears...Listen to what this guy's singing. And realize that this record is not what you thought it was at all. Goddamnit! Bait-and-switch! These songs are downright melancholic!
"It is a narrowing, it is a shrinking..." "I was so cold..." "How long until the next defeat?..." "Go on, black hole, and tear the sky to pieces..." Jesus, that's just how a few of these songs begin. Was he really singing that all along?
Stick with me, this is the crucial part. We've experienced our thesis (party) and our antithesis (the abyss). Go home, drink plenty of fluids, survive tomorrow's hangover...and when you're ready, start to wrap your head around the synthesis. It's not just a stunt--it's not like they're putting Rammstein lyrics to the tune of "Love Shack" & having a sophomoric chuckle over it. Nah. Listen again, think back, and realize...through every one of those cookouts...deep into every laughter-filled late night...surrounded by the best friends you'll ever have...well, damn if that sadness and weariness he's talking about weren't right there with you all that whole time. Damn if he wasn't transcribing the thoughts you didn't even realize you were having.
Turns out the good and the bad, your youth and your aging--what's left of them both--were inseparable. So the record is still fun too! Put it on and dance around your kitchen. Grow 43 minutes older once again and be grateful you spent them how you did.
Here's who worked on Lights Out: Justin Rice (vocals, guitar, synths), Michael Tapper (drums, backing vocals, synths), Darbie Nowatka (vocals), Dave Lerner (bass, additional guitar, backing vocals), Christian Rudder (additional guitar), Matthew Cullen (additional guitar), Eli Walker (additional bass), Ken Cook (backing vocals), Anne Cunningham (backing vocals), and Jon Natchez (horns). It was produced and mixed by Matthew Cullen in Bishop Allen's hometown of Kingston, NY.
Jesse Marchant (JBM) - (Set time: 10:15 PM)
Jesse Marchant (JBM)
It could almost be inferred that Jesse Marchant wrote the songs for his new album over a

period of months in New York City during which a lot of his world had come out from

under him, in what he has described as "a general period of falling outs, absence and

abuse, both of self and of what should or could have been surrounding". But in the process

of finding an end to that Marchant feels to have grown. One is not left to wonder why he

chose to drop the moniker of his former releases (his initials JBM) for the use of his

proper full name, nor why his voice and lyrics, recorded with a mouth-to-ear intimacy,

emphasizing his deepening and wearying baritone, sit loud and naked atop the

widescreen backdrop of the deep synthesizer and orchestral pads and arrangements, often

reminiscent of “I’m on Fire” era Springsteen. There is a sense of wanting to take

responsibility and a desire to have things seen and said clearly for what they are, directly.

The production of the record reflects that same growth, balancing a new, vivid sound with

matured control and rootedness. The lyrics were written later in that same year, when

Marchant toured the country twice alone, on early mornings in motel rooms and for a

period that he spent following, in a rented house far into the desert around 29 Palms, CA.

The tone and image of this is carried throughout the record - drenched in a blinding white

sunlight, in the heat, in a dream.

The songs that make up this eponymous album are menacing, dreamy worlds of their

own, each one unique for each listener, instantly relatable and surprisingly therapeutic:

Marchant’s revelations are infectious. He is processing internal and external problems

that aren’t just personal but feel like signs of our times, and in doing so has created an

album that feels particularly important, relevant, and powerful.

Starting with the ambitious 6-minute, lyrically dense album opener “Words Underlined,”

Marchant quickly establishes this tone. “Where were you,” he asks, “when all of this was

fucked and on it’s side?”

“I am on your side,” he sings in the very next song “All Your Promise”, with a feeling like

the dilemma has been resolved. But this is not an album of resolution; it’s an album of

disillusion. Even the album’s poppiest song, “The Whip”, contains a biting social

commentary: “everybody likes to feel they’re holding the whip.”

But for all its philosophical, world-weary tendencies, the album is really based in themes

of lost love and failed relationships. Not in a conventional sense, but in the decidedly 21st

century conundrum of looking for love in the age of disconnection. Marchant’s

disillusionment is rooted in this disconnection, and ironically, it exists in opposition to his

uncanny ability to articulate himself through music and, in turn, connect with listeners.

But when focused on an individual, these theoretical ideas become painful realities.

Later in “The Whip” he sings, “I felt the sun...then I lost you...and I never got it back.” In

“Every Eye Open,” he continues, “I’ve been living in lies too... and the secret sin that I’ve

loved you for more than a little while.” And in “Stay On Your Knees,” “love was real, but

the meaning was wrong.”

Whether at odds with the outside world or the world within him, the battles Marchant

fights on this record are such that any intuitive, conscientious listener will relate. Perhaps

the entire notion is contained in a single couplet from “Snow Chicago,” that feels at once

exhausted and revelatory: “I just wanna feel at ease / And that for once I do belong.”
Tinmouth (Solo) - (Set time: 9:15 PM)
Tinmouth (Solo)
Somewhere beyond Missed Connections and Casual Encounters, unreformed romantics still pine for an origin myth. Born in the wake of bygone bands and bedroom tapes, tinmouth constructs a sound both sophisticated and playful, which feels inviting at its roots of genre-bending weirdo worship. Neither abandoning nor wallowing in the past, the Philadelphia trio "both distills and pays tribute to classic rock tropes, creating something exciting and warmly familiar." (WXPN's The Key) While the melodies will stick in your brain, the playing is all heart, as evinced in their thrilling live performances. Outgrowing without forsaking their lo-fi beginnings, tinmouth recorded their debut album sayswith notable producer Jeff Zeigler (Kurt Vile, The War on Drugs, A Sunny Day in Glasgow).
Venue Information:
Johnny Brenda's
1201 N. Frankford Ave
Philadelphia, PA, 19125