Steve Gunn, Kevin Morby

Aquarium Drunkard Presents:

Steve Gunn

Kevin Morby

Prince Rupert Drops

Fri, April 25, 2014

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

Rough Trade NYC

Brooklyn, NY

This event is 21 and over

Steve Gunn
Steve Gunn
Steve Gunn is a New York-based guitarist and songwriter. With a career spanning nearly fifteen years, Steve has produced volumes of critically acclaimed solo, duo, and ensemble recordings. His albums with GHQ and longtime collaborating drummer John Truscinski represent milestones of contemporary guitar-driven, forward music. A voracious schedule of international performances has cultivated a fervent fanbase for Gunn’s music throughout the world.

Mining the catalogs of Basho, Bull, Chapman, and Sharrock, among other titans of stringed-things and record-session royalty, Steve has steadily processed these inspirations into a singular, virtuosic stream. Friendships and collaborations with Jack Rose, Tom Carter, Meg Baird, and Michael Chapman colored the disciplined evolution of the discursive, deconstructed blues sound, at once transcendent and methodical, that is now Gunn’s signature. Close listening reveals the influence of Delta and Piedmont country blues, ecstatic free jazz, and psych, as well as Gnawa and Carnatic music, on the continually unfolding compositions.

Gunn’s 2009 solo masterpiece, Boerum Palace, demonstrated a fully realized power for songcraft. Steve started to sing more and developed a commanding vocal style equal to his guitar practice. His acclaimed instrumental duo recordings with Truscinski, Sand City (2010) and Ocean Parkway (2012), cemented his place among the top of his peers, both present and past. These documents display Gunn’s compositional penchant for charting musical travelogues that ramble through city and wilderness alike. Dispatches home are not merely descriptive but corporeal; the evocative, rhythmic power of his writing and phrasing carries the listener along bodily. Steve builds songs as exploratory vessels, opens them up for mechanical tinkering, and lives in them through ceaseless improvisatory permutations.

Paradise of Bachelors is thrilled to release Time Off (2013), his first album as leader of a trio including longtime friends John Truscinski on drums and Justin Tripp on bass, and a record on which Steve’s compelling singing features more prominently than ever before. The album features his oblique character sketches and story-songs about friends, acquaintances, and denizens of his Brooklyn neighborhood, using the trio band format to launch his compositions into new, luminous strata. This is Gunn at the top of his game, writing his most memorable tunes and lyrics, utterly unique but steeped in traditions both vernacular and avant-garde.
Kevin Morby
Kevin Morby
Still Life is the second solo album from Kevin Morby. The namesake of the record is an art piece by Maynard Monrow entitled “Still Life with the Rejects from the Land of Misfit Toys.”

The album’s title has several meanings. On the surface, it refers to Morby’s change in lifestyle from moving to Los Angeles from New York in August of 2013.

But he also admits that the title is ironic. The songs from “Still Life” were written during yet another period of tour and travel for Morby, as he spent most all of 2013 on the road with Woods (whom Morby parted ways with amicably last year), The Babies, who are currently on hiatus and as a solo artist.

The album reflects both this time in transit and the quiet confines of his new home in Montecito Heights. Scenes of performers, audience expectations and the paradoxical confines of a roving individual perpetually caught in a crowd percolate the songs, notably in “The Jester, The Tramp, The Acrobat,” and “Parade.” (Morby calls the latter an elegy of sorts for one of his major influences, Lou Reed). Violent fates, wrestling with destiny and the nature of death creep into songs like “The Ballad of Arlo Jones,” “Bloodsucker” and “Amen”. Even Morby’s more obvious love songs like “All of My Life,” “Drowning” and “Our Moon” are highly bittersweet; the characters in these songs seem to never quite find each other, but perhaps they find themselves.

As with “Harlem River”, “Still Life” is once again produced by Rob Barbato (Cass McCombs, Darker My Love) who adds his signature guitar and bass playing to the album. The album was engineered and mixed by Drew Fischer, who also worked on “Harlem River” and the Babies second full length album “Our House on the Hill” and recorded between March and June of 2014 at Barbato and Fischers new Burbank Recording Studio, Comp’ny.

Morby is also once again joined by Justin Sullivan (The Babies) on drums and percussion. Sullivan is a fixture in Morby’s live band, which completed a full U.S. tour in January of 2014, supporting Cate Le Bon.

Solo artist (and Le Bon guitarist), H. Hawkline handled bass duties for Morby on the tour and contributes bass to three songs on the record that were a live staple. Multi Instrumentalist Will Canzoneri (Cate Le Bon, Cass McCombs, Jessica Pratt), who also performed live with Morby on the Le Bon tour and who was a contributer on “Harlem River”, contributes piano and organ to the album. The album also features a prominent horn section on “Parade” and “Amen”.

Morby plans to spend much of the rest of 2014 and 2015 on the road. Initial plans include East and West Coast runs in August 2014 and Europe in September 2014.

While Morby called his solo debut “Harlem River” a love letter to New York City, the city hasn’t faded as a muse. (readliy evident in the eerie twisting journey of “Dancer”).

This makes sense. Morby says he always interpreted the “land of misfit toys” in the album’s namesake piece to be that of New York.
Prince Rupert Drops
Prince Rupert Drops
At the inspired urging of original bassist Brad Truax (Home, Dan Melchior's Broke Revue, Interpol, to name a few) the somewhat secretive Prince Rupert's Drops formed in Brooklyn, NY in 2005, comprised of acclaimed comics-artist Leslie Stein (guitar, vox), fellow former Broke Revue-er Bruno Meyrick-Jones (guitar, vox), and former Osprey Steve McGuirl (drums, percussion). The band soon drew comparisons to the likes of The Groundhogs & Captain Beefheart - a sound that quickly developed and broadened to accommodate the emerging songwriting styles of each member. Following Brad's departure in 2008, the band were joined by longtime friend and multi-talented bassist Chad Laird (Land of Tomorrow, Jantar), thus adding another powerful cylinder to the songwriting engine.

Their increasingly versatile and engaging approach has won them occupying support slots for acts broad in scope as psychedelic noiseniks Black Dice to country rockers Oakley Hall (to whom Steve has lent his talents on occasion). In 2012 PRD has been joined on stage and in the studio by another longtime-friend and former guest-musician, synthesizer-sorceress Kirsten Nordine (Jantar), turning the musical feast into a rich sonic banquet set to wow the ears of one and all.
Venue Information:
Rough Trade NYC
64 N 9th St
Brooklyn, NY, 11249