Preoccupations – Tickets – The Casbah – San Diego – San Diego, CA – April 13th, 2017

Preoccupations

Casbah presents

Preoccupations

Porcelain Raft

Thu, April 13, 2017

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

The Casbah - San Diego

San Diego, CA

$15.00 - $17.00

This event is 21 and over

Preoccupations
Preoccupations
When the four members of Preoccupations wrote and recorded their new record, they were in a state of near total instability. Years-long relationships ended; they left homes behind. Frontman Matt Flegel, guitarist Danny Christiansen, multi-instrumentalist Scott Munro and drummer Mike Wallace all moved to different cities. They resolved to change their band name, but hadn' t settled on a new one. And their road-tested, honed approach to songwriting was basically thrown out the window. This time, they walked into the studio with the gas gauge near empty, buoyed by one another while the rest of their lives were virtually unrecognizable and rootless. There was no central theme or idea to guide the band' s collective cliff jump. As a result, ' Preoccupations' bears the visceral, personal sound of holding onto some steadiness in the midst of changing everything. Flegel is quick to point out how little mystery is in the titles of these songs: Anxiety, Monotony, Degraded, Stimulation, Fever. " Monotony is a dead end job; Anxiety is changing as a band," he says. " Memory is watching someone lose their mind; Fever is comforting someone. It' s all drawing from very specific things." These things — bigger ones like breakups, smaller ones like simply trying to calm someone down — are ultimately the things that explode our brains, that keep us up at night. And so where their previous album ' Viet Cong' was built in some ways on the abstract cycles of creation and destruction, ' Preoccupations' explores how that sometimes-suffocating, sometimes-revelatory trap affects our lives. " We discarded a lot, reworking songs pretty ruthlessly," Munro explains. " We ripped songs down to the studs, taking one piece we liked and building something new around it. It was pretty cannibalistic, I guess. Existing songs were killed and used to make new ones." Sonically, it' s still blistering. But it' s a different kind of blister, less the the scorched earth of the band' s previous LP, more like a blood blister on a fingertip: something immediate and physical that you push and stare at. It' s yours. Opener " Anxiety" articulates that tension: clattering sounds drift into focus, bouncing and echoing off one another until one bone-shattering moment when the full band strikes at once, moving from something untouchable to get to something deeply felt." Monotony" moves at a narcoleptic pace by Preoccupations' standards, but snaps to attention to make its point, that " this repetition' s killing you // it' s killing everyone." " Stimulation" opens with a snarl and hurls itself forward at what feels like a million bpm, pausing for one mortal moment of relief before barreling onward. " Degraded" surprises, with something like a traditional structure and an almost pop-leaning melody to its chorus, twisting the bigness of Preoccupations'
music to sideswipe the clear, finite smallness of its subjects and events. And the 11-minute-long " Memory" is the album' s keystone, with an intimate narrative and a truly timeless post-punk center. There' s love piercing through the iciness here, fighting its way forward in each of the song' s distinct sections. As always, there is something crystalline to what they' ve made, a blast of cold air in a burning hot place. All this adds up to Preoccupations: a singular, bracing collection that proves what' s punishing can also be soothing, everything can change without disrupting your compass. Your best year can be your worst year at the same time. Whatever sends you flying can also help you land.
Porcelain Raft
Porcelain Raft
Permanent Signal: according to Wikipedia, "a condition in which a phone line is off-hook without connection for an extended period of time."
It's a term that Mauro Remiddi returned to repeatedly when reflecting on the time between last year's release of Strange Weekend, the multi-instrumentalist's debut full-length as Porcelain Raft, and this, its proper follow-up. "In a way, growing up in Italy, then living for 12 years in London, and now two and a half years in New York, made me realize that I have some dear friends I rarely see," explains Remiddi. "I was touring almost non-stop for eight months and I started having these imaginary conversations in my head with people I wanted to communicate with, but for one reason or another it couldn't happen. This is where the album title came from: the idea of a signal that says the line is off."
Remiddi began working on Permanent Signal at the end of 2012, two months after returning from tour. It became a period of readjustment in which he was beginning to enjoy everyday comforts and reconnecting with friends, yet the thoughts of those unrealized conversations during his recent travels were still fresh in his mind. Inspired by this surreal moment of transition, where the reality of finally being home was still overshadowed by lingering feelings of detachment, he sold almost all of the instruments used for Strange Weekend in order to "start with a new color palette."
This is immediately apparent in Permanent Signal's opener, "Think Of The Ocean". The dense, basement-recorded haze of his last full-length has been traded for a spacious melancholy, where cello, piano and drums gently spiral atop the faint pulsing tone, mirroring the album's title. While layers of synths and electronics still play a role, the new record is far more organic than Porcelain Raft's previous releases. According to Remiddi, this was an intentional move: "I wanted to record in the studio just to capture the guitars and drums properly, and to have some real input from musicians I respected and loved to hang with." Remiddi enlisted support from Yuck's Jonny Rogoff on drums, Antlers' bassist Darby Cicci (who also contributed double vocals and trumpet, and engineered the sessions in his Brooklyn studio), and cellist Gaspar Claus (frequent collaborator with Sufjan Stevens and Bryce Dessner of The National).
Porcelain Raft's once gauzy pop has now turned as vivid as a waking dream. During "Minor Pleasure,"Remiddi finds catharsis amidst the processed drone of organ and piano, echoing the gospel-dosed psychedelia of Spiritualized, and concedes in his otherworldly tenor that "there's nothing hidden in what we see, sometimes you just have to let it in". Meanwhile, the radiant lull of "Night Birds" reaches cosmic bliss, with a poignant sense of nostalgia brought about by the song's crystalline guitars and synthesizers. There are tracks like "Cluster" and the haunting, Lennon-esque "I Lost Connection", which deal directly with lives either on hold or in transition -- all universal themes of the human condition that allow the listener to fill in their own personal experiences with a permanent signal.
Venue Information:
The Casbah - San Diego
2501 Kettner Blvd.
San Diego, CA, 92101
http://www.casbahmusic.com