Widowspeak, Ian Cooke


Ian Cooke

SISU, Post Paradise

Thu, Mar 21

Doors: 8:30 pm / Show: 9:00 pm

South Moe's - Englewood

$8.00 - $10.00

This event is 16 and over

Widowspeak is an American band comprised of Molly Hamilton and Robert Earl Thomas, known for its dreamy, western-tinged take on rock and roll. The outfit formed in 2010 and released two singles in 2011 (Harsh Realm, Gun Shy) followed by a debut album (self-titled) in the summer of that year, all on Brooklyn label Captured Tracks. Widowspeak was praised for its reverential spaciousness, Hamilton's haunting voice, and Thomas's spindly, Morricone-esque guitar lines; both drawing on 1950's pop ballads and 1970's psych, creating languid call-and-response melodies. The band then toured extensively, wearing in their warm, nostalgic sound.

Widowspeak began to write what would become their second record, Almanac, at the start of 2012, as popular fears of the apocalypse became imminently close to realization. Though not totally convinced of catastrophic disaster coinciding with the year's conclusion, Hamilton nevertheless began writing lyrics seeped in doomsday imagery, darkness and dread, inspired by the idea of such a universal experience of the end. The two started making demos in their practice space. Thomas shaped the ideas into songs, experimenting with denser arrangements and grander gestures. Black and white became Kodachrome, subdued became saturated. Widowspeak explored Appalachian melodies and desert rhythms, Saharan to the Southwest, as well as incorporated acoustic instruments and slide guitar, stemming from a shared love of Neil Young.

As the compositions were brought to life, they became something new, something unlike the fatalistic seeds from whence they'd grown. These songs were no longer concerned with the end of the Earth, but with the life and death of seasons, youth, love, and the cyclical nature of all things. The band chose the name 'Almanac' in tribute to those annual tomes which have eternally provided predictions of weather patterns, lunar and solar movement, and astronomical phenomena. But the songs are also about the changing times we find ourselves in: "the good old days" at odds with the hyperactive present, and the sense of loss, but also adventure, which that provides.
The album was recorded by Kevin McMahon (Swans, Real Estate) in a hundred year old barn in the Hudson River Valley of New York State during the transition from summer to fall. Producing with McMahon, Thomas expanded on the band's demos, crafting layers of guitar, Rhodes piano, organ and harmonium.

Almanac will be released by Captured Tracks on January 22, 2013.

If Widowspeak's first record serves as a collection of postcards, sent from destinations traveled to in that first transformative year, then their second is the guidebook written after they'd found their sonic home and inhabited it fully.
Ian Cooke
Ian Cooke
Ian Cooke makes art for your ears using his cello and voice as core instruments for songwriting. Components of his style are pulled from classical music, pop, folk, avant-garde, world music, and jazz. Cooke’s recordings also employ piano and percussion. The piano was his first instrument, which he began playing at age 5, and picked up the cello at age 11. Paying special attention to innovative meter, chord progression, and melody, the Denver-based musician breeds a truly original and moving type of music.

Cooke was voted the top musician in the 2009 Denver Post Underground Music Poll. Westword Magazine named him Best Avant Pop, as well as Best Album for 2007 for ”The Fall I Fell.”

He has appeared in SPIN magazine, appeared on a Joanna Newsom covers-abum alongside Billy Bragg, M Ward, and Owen Pallett, played the Toronto Pride Festival, played Red Rocks, and has toured Australia and the US playing with The Dresden Dolls, Rasputina, Crooked Fingers, The Decemberists, Flaming Lips, and many more.
SISU (pronounced "see-soo") is from Los Angeles, California. Led by Sandra Vu, who also plays drums in Dum Dum Girls, the group is completed by Ryan Wood, Nathanael Keefer, Chris Stevens, and Jules Medeiros.

SISU began as a means of therapy for Vu after the previous band she played drums in, Midnight Movies, ended. The endeavor was a way for her to work through and overcome disappointment and disillusionment.

Listeners may be surprised that SISU offers a strikingly different sound and mood from Dum Dum Girls: spare electro beats, sinewy basslines, undulating synths, shimmering guitar, gossamer flute. Floating above it all is Vu's voice, vulnerable and breathy. This is exquisite, devastating music.

Vu records much of the music herself at home. Wood and Keefer helped her complete it in-studio, with Lars Stalfors (The Mars Volta, Marnie Stern) mixing.

Discovering a spectacular new band is an incomparable thrill. The first few listens; the goosebumps from elation. It's rare these days to hear music that's not affected by hype and expectation. Here is such an opportunity.

SISU is:

Sandra Vu (vocals, guitar)
Ryan Wood (guitar, synth)
Nathanael Keefer (drums)
Jules Medeiros (synth, backing vocals)
Chris Stevens (bass)
Post Paradise
Post Paradise
2009 has been a big year for Post Paradise, playing both the Fort Collins Music Experiment and the Bohemian Nights @NewWestFest, Fort Collins' largest festivals, not to mention numerous showings at local venues in town and Denver. Building their presence in the amazing Fort Collins music scene has always been the first priority and now they will release their first EP entitled "From Here to Anywhere," on September 25th to further enhance their visibility.

When Nick Duarte moved to Fort Collins, he found a thriving music scene. Hence, in the summer of 2008 the search began for musicians to start some kind of a rock project in town. He found Craig Babineau through an online ad and the two began working out some songs that Nick had prepared. Rather than adding another guitar player, they searched for other stringed instruments to flesh out the sound. Upon finding their cellist, Amy Morgan, they knew they were onto something developing a signature sound. The band still needed a bassist however, and auditioned many until choosing Josh Freed as the perfect fit.
Venue Information:
South Moe's - Englewood
3295 S Broadway
Englewood, CO, 80113