Laetitia Sadier Source Ensemble

Johnny Brenda's Presents

Laetitia Sadier Source Ensemble

Art Feynman, Eric Slick

Sat, August 5, 2017

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

$13.00 - $15.00

This event is 21 and over

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

Laetitia Sadier Source Ensemble - (Set time: 11:00 PM)
Laetitia Sadier Source Ensemble
Another New Year, and new shapes are forming — if only we are fortunate enough to notice them! As we spin through this world, we are witness to all manner of combinations unfolding before us — familiar arcs and breaking waves alike, upon all of which it is our choice, our chance and our challenge, to possibly ride. Find Me Finding You, the new album from the new organization called the Laetitia Sadier Source Ensemble, manages to strike new chords while touching familiar keys in the song of life.
From its percolating opening beat, Find Me Finding Youlocates new systems within the sound-universe of Laetitia Sadier. This in itself isn’t a surprise — Laetitia has relentlessly followed her music through different dynamics and into a variety of dimensions over the course of four solo albums since 2010 (not to forget her three albums with Monade and the long era of Stereolab) — but the nature of the construction here stands distinctly apart from her recent albums. Laetitia was inspired by a mind’s-eye envisaging of geometric forms and their possible permutations. As she sought to replicate the shapes in music, this guided the process of assembly for the album.
Part of the freshness of Find Me Finding You comes from working and playing within the Source Ensemble and exploring new sound combinations via a set of youthful and evolving musical relationships. Laetitia recognized the energy of the tracks in their initial form, and sought to preserve their vitality by not retaking too many performances — instead, the rawness in the tracks was retained and refined at the mixing stage, maintaining an edge throughout. When we hear synth lines diving, lifting and drifting, unusual guitar textures, the plucked sound of flat wound bass strings or the bottomless pulsing of bass pedals stepping out of the mix with an exquisite vibrancy, this is the sound of the Source Ensemble.
A key to Laetitia’s music is her use of vocal arrangements. Throughout Finding Me Finding You, the shifting accompaniment creates space to bring this element gloriously forward. Arranged by Laetitia with Joe Watson and Jeff Parker making string charts that were subsequently transposed to vocal parts for several songs, richly arranged choirs of voices provide depth along with the thrilling presence of extra breath in the sound. Laetitia’s community-politic is well-served by the groups of voices lending support to the machining of the song craft, providing additional uplift to her quintessentially for-ward-facing viewpoint — as well as massed voices from three different countries sharing space in harmony!
Working in collaboration is Laetita’s traditions, and a key to this album’s view on being free together (it is necessary, prefer-able and right!). The designation of Source Collective implies a new togetherness phase; alongside long-time collaborators Emmanuel Mario and Xavi Munoz, keyboard and flutes parts played by David Thayer (Little Tornados) were essential contributions, as well as further keys, synths and electronics from Phil M FU and several intense guitar sequences from Mason le Long. Chris A Cummings (aka Marker Starling, Laetitia’s favorite composer) graciously wrote “Deep Background” for her. The duet with Hot Chip’s Alexis Taylor on “Love Captive” (not to mention Rob Mazurek’s distinctive coronet playing!) gives voice to an ideological cornerstone of Find Me Finding You — that, should we be responsible enough to endeavor into a world of basic incomes and open relationships, we would make astonishing strides as a society. These sorts of things can only be done in agreement with others.
Expressing great compassion and expectation with startling immediacy, as well as an abiding belief in an underlying unity that permeates and intimately binds all things and beings, Find Me Finding You combines a rigorous process for music-making with a deeply invested mindset, making captivating music that promises many stimulating spins to come!
Art Feynman - (Set time: 10:00 PM)
Art Feynman
Animism, considered the world’s oldest religion, asserts that all things living and inert are endowed with spiritual qualities; from rocks, to tools, to plants. Enter California musician Art Feynman, who seems for whatever reason to have this philosophy driving at his subconscious. His debut album Blast Off Through the Wicker-- itself gifted with unmistakable spirit-- documents its creator looking for life in the lifeless, questioning what it means to be living.
The opening track “Eternity in Pictures” was born from Feynman’s observation that a statue appears to be crying when doused in rain. On “Can’t Stand It” he continues to lyrically tug at the thought that every inanimate thing around him might be awake and watching: “do my synthesizers know when I’m asleep? Does the floor creep beneath my feet?”
Blast Off’s magic lies in its ability to conduct these existential, almost anxiety-inducing thought-experiments around playfully excursive sounds that display musicianship and music appreciation in equal measure. It’s full of paranoid humor, earnest reflection, and articulate musical ideas. Moments enter and exit with thoughtful punctuality; some are impressive because of their brevity, some are striking in their repetitive insistence, but all of them dart in and out of influences and references with fully-digested confidence. Whatever Feynman borrows from his forbears are a part of him, not sewn-on badges.
There is a calm, disciplined pocket to be felt in everything Feynman does; krautrock slink, staccato bounce, and pentatonic bursts of Nigerian Highlife fuzz pour on the temporal canvas with unquestionable ease, never falling in the wrong place. Even more admirable is that his “canvas” is a four-track tape recorder, and that Blast Off features no loops or drum machines despite its aesthetically faithful motorik and afrobeat underpinnings.
Nowhere is this fact more surprising than on album standout “Slow Down” which pulses along infectiously with a crunchy backbeat, and deftly arpeggiating bass lines that are so locked-in that it would be hard to fault an unknowing ear for assuming the whole thing was tediously programmed. The same is true of the frenetic banger “Hot Night Jeremiah” with its metallic guitar, neurotic vocal delivery, and rigidly ticking drums that bounce off the imaginary walls. It’s easy to glean the same focused frustration that led Feynman to create the non-album rollout track, “The Shape You’re In”, about how our disconnection from ourselves can lead to the election of a leader who in Feynman's words “can be a spiteful fool in broad daylight and it doesn't seem to matter.”
There are gentler sides to Blast Off Through the Wicker that are made all the more special and refreshing by contrast to their surroundings. Slow punctuators “Win Win” and “Party Line” conjure the spacey tenderness of Arthur Russell inventively and respectfully, without adopting their muse’s palette wholesale. In this regard Blast Off Through the Wicker is an endearing collection of songs that capture the ear with warm-yet-clear cassette aesthetics and spot-on musicianship, both of which form an angle that points lovingly to Feynman’s deep and varied influences. Make no mistake-- this one truly is alive.
Eric Slick - (Set time: 9:00 PM)
Eric Slick
Eric Slick is probably best known as the drummer for Pennsylvania rock band, Dr. Dog (since 2010) His solo debut “Palisades" however, sees the musician stepping out from behind the kit. The record was penned over the course of 2014, when Slick decided to leave his native Philadelphia for the first time and move to Asheville, North Carolina. He practiced meditation and Jungian dream therapy as a form of reinvention — and to write his own songs, which all sprung from these intense periods of meditation. Slick specifically found inspiration in the works of writer/actor Spalding Gray, especially his 1992 book Impossible Vacation, which details, well, the impossibility of searching for Zen. “I know it’s the funny trope: indie rock dude goes to the woods and makes an outsider record,” Slick says. “But it was a time of deep introspection and a fruitful period of my life. I wrote somewhere around 50 songs in 2014.”
Venue Information:
Johnny Brenda's
1201 N. Frankford Ave
Philadelphia, PA, 19125