Lucy Dacus (Early Show)

Johnny Brenda's Presents

Lucy Dacus (Early Show)

And The Kids, Adult Mom

Fri, April 13, 2018

Doors: 6:00 pm / Show: 6:30 pm

$13.00 - $15.00

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This event is 21 and over

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

Lucy Dacus - (Set time: 7:30 PM)
Lucy Dacus
You said, “Don't go changing.

I'll rearrange to let you in

and I'll be your historian

and you'll be mine.

And I'll fill pages of scribbled ink,

hoping the words carry meaning.”

Then one day, the motorcade,

covered in flower wreaths,

first in a big parade,

will come to take one of us away

leaving the other with plenty to read.

Lucy Dacus is done thinking small. Two years after her 2016 debut, No Burden, won her unanimous acclaim as one of rock's most promising new voices, Dacus returns on March 2 with Historian, a remarkably assured 10-track statement of intent. It finds her unafraid to take on the big questions — the life-or-death reckonings, and the ones that just feel that way. It's a record full of bracing realizations, tearful declarations and moments of hard-won peace, expressed in lyrics that feel destined for countless yearbook quotes and first tattoos.

"This is the album I needed to make," says Dacus, who views Historian as her definitive statement as a songwriter and musician. "Everything after this is a bonus."

She emphasizes that she does not take her newfound platform as a touring musician for granted. "I have this job where I get to talk to people I don't know every night," she remembers thinking on the long van rides across America to support No Burden. Realizing that she would have a dramatically expanded audience for her second album, she felt an urgent call to make something worthwhile: "The next record should be the thing that's most important to say."

The past year, with its electoral disasters and other assorted heartbreaks, has been a rough one for many of us, Dacus included. She found solace in crafting a thoughtful narrative arc for Historian, writing a concept album about cautious optimism in the face of adversity, with thematic links between songs that reveal themselves on repeat listens. "It starts out dark and ends hopeful, but it gets darker in between; it goes to the deepest, darkest, place and then breaks," she explains. "What I'm trying to say throughout the album is that hope survives, even in the face of the worst stuff."

Dacus and her band recorded the album in Nashville last March, re-teaming with No Burden producer Collin Pastore, and mixed it a few months later with A-list studio wizard John Congleton. The sound they created, with substantial input from multi-instrumentalist and live guitarist Jacob Blizard, is far richer and fuller than the debut — an outward flowering of dynamic, living, breathing rock and roll. Dacus' remarkable sense of melody and composition are the driving force throughout, giving Historian the immersive feel of an album made by an artist in full command of her powers.

The album opens with a striking three-track run. First comes "Night Shift," the only breakup song Dacus has ever written: "In five years I hope the songs feel like covers, dedicated to new lovers," she memorably declares. Next is the catchy, upbeat first single "Addictions," inspired in part by the dislocated feeling of life on the road and the lure of familiarity ("I’m just calling cause I’m used to it/And you’ll pick up cause you’re not a quitter…"), followed by "The Shell," a reflection on (and embrace of) creative burnout. There's nothing tentative about this opening sequence. Right away, it's clear that Dacus is on a new level of truth-telling and melodic grace.

Another key highlight is track five, "Yours & Mine" — "the centerpiece where the whole album hinges in on itself," Dacus says. Using a call-and-response format, she wrestles with the question of how best to participate in a community broken by injustice and fear while staying true to what one believes is right. "It's about realizing your power as a person, and deciding to do the less safe but ultimately more powerful move, which is to move physically forward — show up and march — and move forward politically," says Dacus, who began writing the song during the 2015 Baltimore Uprising against systemic racism.

Historian closes with two stunning songs: "Pillar of Truth," a heartfelt tribute to Dacus' late grandmother, and "Historians," which sums up the album's complex lessons about loss. "From the first song to 'Pillar of Truth,' the message is: You can't avoid these things, so accept them. There's ways to go about it with grace and gratefulness," she says. "Then 'Historians' says that even if you can say that, there's still fear, and loss is terrifying. You still love things, so it's going to hurt. But dark isn't bad. It's good to know that.”- Maura Johnston (Rolling Stone)
And The Kids - (Set time: 7:00 PM)
And The Kids
Since their earliest days as a band, And The Kids have embodied the wayward freedom that
inspired their name. “When Rebecca and I were teenagers we just lived on the streets and
played music, and people in town would always call us kids—not as in children, but as in
punks,” says Mohan. On their third full-length When This Life Is Over, the Northampton,
Massachusetts-based four-piece embrace that untamable spirit more fully than ever before,
dreaming up their most sublimely defiant album yet.
The self-produced follow-up to Friends Share Lovers—a 2016 release acclaimed by NPR, who
noted that “Mohan’s striking vocals rival the vibrato and boldness of Siouxsie Sioux…[And
The Kids] make music that’s both fearless and entertaining”—When This Life Is Over unfolds in
buzzing guitar tones and brightly crashing rhythms, howled melodies and oceanic harmonies.
Although And The Kids recorded much of When This Life Is Over at Breakglass Studios in
Montreal (mainly to accommodate the fact that Miller was deported to her homeland of
Canada in 2014), a number of tracks come directly from bedroom demos created by
Lasaponaro and Mohan. “The sound quality on those songs is so shittily good; it’s just us
being so raw and so alone in the bedroom, writing without really even thinking we were going
to use it,” says Mohan. “We recorded them right away, and there was a really strong feeling of
‘Don’t touch them again.’”
Even in its more heavily produced moments, When This Life Is Over proves entirely untethered
to any uptight and airless pop-song structure. Songs often wander into new moods and
tempos, shining with a stormy energy that merges perfectly with the band’s musings on
depression and friendship and mortality and love. On opening track “No Way Sit Back,” And
The Kids bring that dynamic to a sharp-eyed look at the lack of representation of marginalized
people in the media. “If you’re not seeing yourself portrayed on TV, whether you’re a person of
color or trans or queer, that can be really damaging to your mental health—it can even be
fatal,” says Mohan. With its transcendent intensity, “No Way Sit Back” takes one of its key
lyrical refrains (“The world was never made for us”) and spins it into something like a glorious
mantra. That willful vitality also infuses tracks like “Champagne Ladies,” on which And The
Kids match a bouncy melody to their matter-of-fact chorus (“Life is a bastard/Life wants to kill
you/Don’t get old”), driving home what Mohan identifies as the main message of the song:
“Don’t die before you’re dead.”
The origins of And The Kids trace back to when Mohan and Lasaponaro first met in seventh
grade. After playing in a series of bands throughout junior high and high school (sometimes
with Averill on bass), the duo crossed paths with Miller in 2012 when the three interned at the
Institute for the Musical Arts in the nearby town of Goshen. Once they’d brought Miller into
the fold, And The Kids made their debut with 2015’s Turn to Each Other and soon headed out
on their first tour. “At one of the shows on that tour, a burlesque act opened for us at a place in
Arkansas,” Mohan recalls. “And then another time on tour, we crashed at a friend of a friend’s
house, and there was a pot-bellied pig sleeping on the couch. That’s what nice about staying at
people’s houses on the road: you never know what you’re gonna see.”
In creating the cover art for When Life Is Over, And The Kids chose to include a picture of
their mascot: a black chihuahua named Little Dog, an ideal symbol for the scrappy ingenuity
at the heart of the band. “Some of the most memorable moments we’ve been through with the
band are like, ‘Hey, remember that tour when Megan had just gotten deported and we didn’t
have any money, and we had to drive all these hours to play for like two people?’” says Mohan.
“That was a real bonding experience for us. And even when it’s hard, there’s always something
good that comes out of it. There’s always a meaning for everything.”
Adult Mom - (Set time: 6:30 PM)
Adult Mom
queer-indie-bittersweet-romantic-pop-music
Venue Information:
Johnny Brenda's
1201 N. Frankford Ave
Philadelphia, PA, 19125
http://www.johnnybrendas.com/