The Helio Sequence – Tickets – The Casbah – San Diego – San Diego, CA – November 17th, 2018

The Helio Sequence

Casbah presents

The Helio Sequence

Strawberry Mountain

Sat, November 17, 2018

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

The Casbah - San Diego

San Diego, CA

$16.00 - $18.00

This event is 21 and over

The Helio Sequence
The Helio Sequence
The self-titled sixth album by The Helio Sequence began with a friendly competition. Several of the duo's friends within the Portland, Oregon music scene had been playing "The 20-Song Game." The rules were simple, playful and ambitious: Songwriters would arrive in their studios at prearranged times and spend all day recording 20 complete songs. When they were finished, they'd have a party, listen to the results and talk about the process—of taking the good with the bad, of letting creativity push past constraint, of simply making music in the moment. Brandon Summers and Benjamin Weikel took the spirit of the "The 20-Song Game" to heart, and forged ahead writing a new record.

"Negotiations was a very long, introspective process," remembers Summers of the band's 2012 Sub Pop LP. "We shut ourselves off from the world and disappeared down the rabbit hole. That's how we tend to work, but we wanted to try something new, open and immediate."

In a sense, The Helio Sequence had spent their whole career preparing for this record. They'd sunk entire recording advances into studio purchases, collaborating with local engineers to build custom gear and a space where they could blend high fidelity with kaleidoscopic sound. In 2013, the pair took on their first full-scale production project, the Brazilian rock band Quarto Negro, after the group inquired about their space and availability through Facebook. As producers, they'd remixed Shabazz Palaces, picked up mixing sessions with Portland acts and earned representation from Global Positioning Services. Summers and Weikel discovered just how adaptable and powerful their studio could be.

In May of 2014, inspired by the "20-Song Game", they began arriving each morning in their Portland space—housed in the cafeteria and break room of an old warehouse— with the mission of making as much music as possible in one month. They began exploring and capturing, recording guitar riffs and keyboard loops, drum patterns and bass lines. One piece documented, they quickly advanced to the next idea. Summers and Weikel didn't discuss what they were making or the reference points that informed it, though such discussions had once been central to The Helio Sequence's more self-conscious process. They just played. Created. In time, they returned to each fragment, broadcasting it over the studio PA, jamming and recording the results. Mistakes didn't matter, and second chances didn't exist. After two weeks, Summers and Weikel began cutting those loose takes into rough shapes, steadily building songs from their cavalier sketches.

Although making records can be a laborious and tedious process, Summers delights in the memory of making this one.

"We were coming to the studio on these sunny mornings everyday with an open mind," Summers shares. "We said, 'I'm just going to do what feels good in the moment."

"We worked so quickly that there was a running optimism," he continues. "There's this sense of striving for perfection where you can actually take momentum away. But we wanted this record to be momentum in and of itself."

When June arrived, the duo gathered their 26 finished songs and sent them to 31 friends, fans and family members. They asked each person to rank their 10 favorite tracks. By summer's end, they had arrived at the brisk 10 tracks that shape the breathless and magnetic The Helio Sequence—a record so named because it's a kind of clean restart for the longtime pair, a revamp of their process and a revitalization of their results.

The Helio Sequence is a renewed push forward for the band: From the cool wallop of "Deuces," where guitars snarl and harmonies soar, to the stuttering anxiety of "Upward Mobility", where pianos pound and drums race, this collection depends upon an effortless kinetic energy. Lyrically, "Stoic Resemblance" is a study of existential anxiety, but musically, it's a beguiling burst of pop, Summers' vocals rising over and sliding off of Weikel's big, irrepressible beat. The bittersweet "Leave or Be Yours" evokes the easy twinkle of romance and the smoldering sadness of losing it. Crisscrossing vocals and cross-talking guitars and drums map a broad swirl of emotions.

With its easy acoustic jangle, "Inconsequential Ties" might be one of the most surprising, light moments within the bombastic Helio Sequence catalog. But considered within the band's history, it points to the pop that's bound Summers and Weikel for so long. Indeed, there's a delightful candor to The Helio Sequence, an openness that is a rare and special feat for a band about to enter its third decade.

"It's less about curating yourself or trying to put yourself across how you want to be perceived," says Summers. "It's about having a conversation with people and giving them something that's who you are."
Strawberry Mountain
Strawberry Mountain
Strawberry Mountain’s sound can be described as avantpop or psychedelia with their latest music taking a lot of influence from electronica. They draw from the experimental pop tendencies of bands like the Beach Boys, Of Montreal, Animal Collective, MGMT and Dan Deacon but express it in a sound that's entirely their own. 2018 has been an incredibly busy and important year for Strawberry Mountain. After making it to the finals of Seattle’s Sound Off! competition, the young band was invited to play a coveted KEXP in-studio performance, open for Dent May, and play Seattle’s Upstream Music Fest alongside the Flaming Lips, Jawbreaker, Zola Jesus, Tacocat, and many more. Strawberry Mountain recently returned from a very successful West Coast tour which saw them grow and tighten as a band and are embarking on their first East Coast tour this fall. SM is led by Carter Prince, who started the band when moving back to Seattle and reconnecting musically with his brother Mikey. The two began enlisting newly formed friends to turn his longtime musical solo project into a collaborative revolving group where different members write songs and hop in between different instrument roles. In this way, Mikey and Carter turned their project outward to become more than just a band and made it into a creative collective. An inviting, accepting and inclusive environment for all who need one.
Venue Information:
The Casbah - San Diego
2501 Kettner Blvd.
San Diego, CA, 92101
http://www.casbahmusic.com