Frog Eyes

PopGun Presents

Frog Eyes

Zachary Cale, Hello Blue Roses

Jul 07

Doors: 7:00 pm / Show: 7:00 pm (event ends at 10:30 pm)

Elsewhere - Zone One

Brooklyn, NY

$12 / $14

This event is 16 and over

Frog Eyes
Frog Eyes
Frog Eyes have made their last album. 17 years after their teetering debut, the Vancouver band unveils Violet Psalms—a giddy lament; a gnashing jubilee; a rain-drenched allocution on hope vs. horror, paradise vs. pride, Marx and Brexit and bad acid trips.
It's an ending like a beginning. "We were trying to pretend it was our first record," Carey Mercer says. This is their final record, Frog Eyes' last gasp—but the art-rockers wanted to capture the energy of a debut, the freedom you feel "when there's no expectation that anyone will actually listen." They made it at home, burrowing under the house where Mercer lives with drummer Melanie Campbell. The goal was to blot out the world, focusing on what they could grow down there, four musicians in a basement. Could they squeeze out ten songs? Was there enough paste in the tube to squeeze out 10? "In the end there was. Which is rad."
No guests, no engineers. A self-invention. Violet Psalms began with its frantic, reverb-drenched guitar, squiggling over a modulation pedal. Next Mercer and Campbell concocted the drum parts—imagining them as onomatopoeia then recording them in fragments, kickdrum by kickdrum, tom by tom, with tailored effects. "The goal was to disorientate," Mercer explains, but also to work by instinct, gut—a cut-up of music and image, songs that coil back and kiss. The band pruned as they went, adding Terri Upton's bass parts, taking other parts away. Whereas past LPs used piano, Shyla Seller worked with shimmering synths—chords like bleeding watercolour, shadows casting on a wall.

Frog Eyes' music is indebted as ever to Bowie and Byrne, to glam and sheer cacophony. But there's some Cluster and Jon Hassell here too, and a little of Destroyer's Ken—which was being made close-by. The lyrics came last, "wedged in the spaces" after the rest had been recorded; Mercer's like a slapstick Scott Walker, a choleric Nick Cave. "All I want is a sign / all I need is a sign / that I'm sound of mind," he sings on "Don't Sleep Under the Stars". While that track is a meditation on rock'n'roll ("how tired I am of its corpse," Mercer explained, "and that I still love its little finger"), the album often tilts at even taller windmills: barbarism, socialism, late capitalism's death wish. "On A Finely Sown Sleeve" considers the thinking that led to Brexit, or to Trump—working people's hatred for each other, the oozing pathos of our pomposity. "Little Daughters" reflects on what will succeed these events—and whether our kids could save us, if they're taught the right lessons. (Mercer spends most days as a schoolteacher.) On "Itch of Summer Knees," the singer returns to his own childhood, remembering an episode when he was 13 years old, "almost homeless," an interloper at some acidheads' monstrous lakeside party. Here and everywhere, flashes of violence graze moments of reverie—wait for "Pay For Fire", the album's magnificent closer, rhyming hardship into beauty.
Even so, don't come looking for bromides. This band never made—and will never make—a music of big choruses, primary colours. These are torn portraits, unruly canvases—feverish, ludicrous, resplendent songs—each still somehow full of kindness. Violet Psalms is as much about Frog Eyes' friendship as anything else: their time as an adventuring party, chaotic good; the kind that bawls when gigs go wrong; the kind that's made so happy, so daftly happy, by making music. "It feels so cool to create something," Mercer says—a song, an album, 17 years of din. After burrowing in the basement, singing their violent psalms, the band's journey is nearly over. This band was a ring—a ring in eight parts. (This is its final gleam.)
Zachary Cale
Zachary Cale
Zachary Cale is a songwriter originally hailing from the small town of Enon, Louisiana. His music ranges from lyrical folk balladry and American primitive inspired guitar instrumentals to experiments in popular song forms.

Over the span of 6 years he has released four full length albums, Outlander Sessions (2005), Walking Papers (2008), a full band rock record See-Saw (2008) under the name Illuminations, and most recently the critically acclaimed Noise of Welcome (2011). He has toured extensively throughout the U.S. and in Europe, often performing alone with only an acoustic guitar, but has been known to perform with a revolving cast of musicians whom he calls The Rain Band.

Upon the release of his sophomore album Walking Papers Cale was described by New Jersey's, WFMU as a "songwriter's songwriter" with a writing style comparable to the greats like Bob Dylan, Townes Van Zandt, and Leonard Cohen. In concert his melodically complex guitar playing has been compared to Neil Young and Bert Jansch with nods to pre-war Piedmont and Ragtime players such as Blind Willie McTell and Mississippi John Hurt. In a full band setting Cale has been known to strap on an electric, adopting a style and delivery that flies closer to country-tinged rock songwriters such as Alex Chilton, Ray Davies and Tom Petty.

Since the release of Noise of Welcome Cale has toured the U.S., completed his first European tour including performances at the No Mean City Festival (Glasgow), the Incubate Festival (Netherlands), Festival de Pilar (Spain) and Reeperbahn Festival (Germany), released a new 7″ single on Dull Knife Records, performed at the End of the Road Festival in the UK sharing stages with artists like Robyn Hitchcock, Justin Townes Earle and Deer Tick, and completed another successful European tour sharing dates with The Black Swans and Six Organs of Admittance.
Hello Blue Roses
Hello Blue Roses
Canadian musical collaboration involving Dan Bejar (of Destroyer (4) and New Pornographers) and his girlfriend, Sydney Vermont, a visual artist from Vancouver.
Venue Information:
Elsewhere - Zone One
599 Johnson Ave.
Brooklyn, NY, 11237
http://www.elsewherebrooklyn.com/