The Bowery Presents: Kevin Devine w/ Into. It. Over It., Laura Stevenson Wednesday February 11 Vinyl 7pm Doors // $14 ADV Tix: http://bit.ly/KevinDevineATL Twitter: @kevindevinetwit @intoitoverit @lauraandthecans Kevin Devine - http://www.kevindevine.net/ Kevin Devine is an American songwriter and musician from Brooklyn, New York, who is known for alternately introspective and political lyrics and melodic acoustic guitar tunes. He cites his influences as Bob Dylan, Elliott Smith, Guns N' Roses, Brother Paramo and Nirvana, among others. He grew up in Brooklyn and Staten Island, and has spent significant time in Manhattan and Queens as well. Devine graduated Fordham University at Lincoln Center in 2001, majoring in journalism. He also played in an indie/punk/emo band called Miracle of 86 after the (Miracle) New York Mets. Even before that, he played with a popular band in the local Staten Island scene called Delusion. At Fordham he was able to hone his acoustic solo skills by playing at various open-mic and college events which made him very popular among the student body. During this time he also appeared in regular stints at the Wetlands Preserve. Although still relatively unknown, Devine gained some popularity with his 2003 album, Make the Clocks Move. Newer songs reflect Devine's political views and the recent death of his father to a stroke. He has recorded records for Immigrant Sun Records and Triple Crown Records and has worked with Brooklyn based producer Mike Skinner, who is also credited as the drummer on his solo records as well as the drummer for Miracle of 86. He signed with Capitol Records, who released his fourth album, Put Your Ghost to Rest, on October 17, 2006. Only four months after his major label debut, Devine was dropped from Capitol Records due to EMI merging Virgin and Capitol Records. Devine was able to gather a strong fan base as a result of his exposure through touring with Brand New. First appearing as their opening act in their 2004 spring tour, Devine made a small splash among their fan base. However, opening for them again in April 2006, and joining their 2007 Spring tour with Manchester Orchestra, Kevin's following was multiplying by the day. (Kevin also opened for Brand New as a surprise act at the Triple Crown Records 10th Anniversary Concert.) Devine's late 2007 touring schedule included a tour with close friend Jesse Lacey (of Brand New) and Grace Read at the end of July through early August, followed by a short trip to London, a spot on the Austin City Limits Festival, and a tour with Chin Up Chin Up throughout Germany. In October 2007 he toured with Andy Hull from Manchester Orchestra and Owen. Kevin posted numerous demos via his MySpace profile in late 2007/early 2008 and after negotiations with Capitol records, "Put Your Ghost To Rest" was re-released on April 20, 2008 by Procrastinate! Music Traitors. Kevin toured Europe with Jenny Owen Youngs and Tournaments in May and other tours followed throughout 2008 with Jesse Lacey, Rachael Yamagata and Matt Pryor in August and September 2008. In late 2008, Kevin announced his new album Brother's Blood would be released in early 2009 on Favorite Gentlemen records, as well as a tour with Manchester Orchestra and the I Could Be With Anyone EP in support of both. Into It. Over It. - http://intoitoverit.com/ If there’s a common thread spanning Evan Weiss’ career it’s his innate ability to take chances and push the limits of what people perceive Into It. Over It. to be and that forward trajectory continues with his fourth full-length Intersections. The album is the culmination of the long trail of LPs, EPs, cassettes and splits with acclaimed artists like Daniel Johnston and Koji that serve as sonic mile-markers spanning the seemingly endless highway of Weiss’ musical journey. Fans undoubtedly realize that Weiss has always been an incredibly ambitious artist as evidenced by 2007’s 52 Weeks project which saw him writing, recording and releasing a new song every week or his Twelve Towns series which saw him teaming up with six different artists to release six separate split 7-inches that each highlighted a different city a few years back. Oh and when Over It. aren’t on the road Weiss also plays bass with Polyvinyl Recording artists Their/They’re/There (featuring American Football and Owen’s Mike Kinsella) as well as the pop-punk act Pet Symmetry who are currently signed to Asian Man Records. Weiss began working on Intersections with drummer Nick Wakim after Weiss returned from Into It. Over It.’s first U.S. band tour last year and from the start they laid down a series of ground rules to ensure that the album would showcase another new side of one of the underground’s most celebrated songwriters. “With this record we wanted to try new things and make something that didn’t sound like any other Into It. Over It. album because for us it’s fun to try something new each time,” Weiss explains from his home in the Windy City. In order to accomplish this, Weiss decided he would write the entire album without using a guitar pick while Wakim—who laid down his tracks in between 12-hour shifts as an Emergency Medical Physician—strategically eliminated certain cymbals and drums in order to enhance his creativity. The result is an album that’s expansive as Weiss’ musical vision and has no limits when it comes to the direction of the songs. “A lot of this album is uncharted territory and I think you can hear the nervous excitement on this recording,” he continues. That excitement was captured at the legendary Soma Electronic Music Studios in Chicago by producer Brian Deck (Modest Mouse, Iron & Wine) who helped bring things out of Weiss that he hadn’t surfaced in the past. “Brian’s idea of texture and sound is unlike anyone I’ve ever worked with before,” Weiss explains. “Brian just has a different way of looking at things than I do and I think that’s what drew both of us into doing the project; he seemed like the person to help me step outside my comfort zone.” Admittedly it didn’t hurt that Weiss also had free reign of the studio’s impressive array of gear and the instrumentation on Intersections acted as another conduit that allowed Weiss to express himself in new ways. That spirit of embracing the unknown instead of running from it is evident on every note of Intersections from sweetly syncopated groove of “Obsessive Compulsive Distraction” to the idiosyncratic beauty of “Spinning Thread.” While Weiss’ sound is rooted in the type of brutally honest underground rock pioneered by acts like Saves The Day and Texas Is The Reason (both of whom have handpicked Into It. Over It. to open for them on the road), Weiss still manages to keep Intersections from sounding like a throwback—and if anything the music becomes more relevant with each subsequent listen in large part because these songs weren’t carefully calculated. “There were a lot of happy accidents on this album,” Weiss explains, citing the fact that the crystal glasses that he used to record the introduction for “A Curse Word For Leaving” just happened to be in the same key as the guitar part. “On previous records we were making sure everything was perfect and on this one I wanted it to sound a little more raw and natural,” he elaborates. “For a lot of Intersections we were tracking it as we wrote it and if there were mistakes sometimes we left them in to give the song character and to help it feel like a band playing in a room even though it was just me by myself. We just let the songs be themselves and exist in the moment and I think that really helped the end result.” One thing that’s always resonated with Into It. Over It.’s fans is how honest the lyrics have been and that’s no different on Intersections. “All of our records are almost hyper-personal to a fault and I’ve been trying to keep it that way since the beginning,” Weiss explains. While the concept of the album started out centering around different intersections in Chicago, as the writing progressed the concept itself became another happy accident as it shifted toward intersections in Weiss’ life, making each song a glimpse into where things were in the past and how that impacts today. “It kind of just fell into place, it wasn’t the plan but it worked out,” he adds. Simply put, Intersections is Into It. Over It. is the most unfiltered glimpse into his musical psyche. “It’s not fun to do the same thing, what’s fun is to evolve and try stuff you haven’t done before,” he summarizes when asked about the indefinable nature of his music as well as Intersections as a whole. “The goal is to transcend boundaries and I’d get bored doing the same thing over and over. Right now I feel like the square peg in the round hole and it’s awesome. I wouldn’t have it any other way.” Some day in the not too distant future, America will dip its corners deeper into the ocean, the waves ever grinding at its shores as tectonic plates shift and sink. The effect of melting icecaps on the beaches of her native Long Island is one of the triggers for Laura Stevenson's worrying mind, as she struggles with the overwhelming notions of an infinite universe and the imminence of her own death. Obsessive musings on these subjects has led her to describe herself as an "unfunny Woody Allen," though friends and fans might disagree, finding plenty of humor in her introspective and self-deprecating nature. The repetition of these existential questions is the driving force behind Wheel, an album brimming with life and death in the desperate search for what keeps us turning in the face of doubt, an exercise in coming to terms with the overwhelming beauty that can be found in the lack of an answer. Laura Stevenson - http://laurastevenson.tumblr.com/ Laura Stevenson was born and raised on Long Island into a family of mariners and music makers. She spent many of her younger days on the sugar barges of NY harbor with her father and uncles, who all made their living on the water, at one time running one of the largest fleets on the Hudson. Meanwhile, her mother's parents were successful musicians; Harry Simeone, the composer and choral arranger responsible for such works as "The Little Drummer Boy" and "Do You Hear What I Hear?" and Margaret McCravy (stage name McCrae), a singer from South Carolina who got her start accompanying her elder siblings "The McCravy Brothers," a harmonious gospel folk duo, before continuing on her own to record and tour with bandleader Benny Goodman. Armed with her grandfather's love for modernist dissonance, a genetic predisposition for harmony, and with her sea legs firmly planted in the traditions of American folk singing, Stevenson began creating melodies at a very young age. "My mom would find me in my room, looking out the window, out at the street, singing by myself, sometimes crying," she laughs, "I was a weird kid." At around five Stevenson began playing piano by ear, and at that point her mother decided lessons were a sound investment for the young musician. In High School between going to punk shows every weekend, she spent her afternoons singing in four different choral groups, exploring a growing love for acapella. "Big time nerd stuff," as she recalls, lamenting that there wasn't a show like Glee around to validate her when she was in the thick of it. Hundreds of hours of extra-curricular singing combined with a natural talent has no doubt paid dividends when it comes to Stevenson's powerful vocals. The confidence and precision with which she unabashedly sings out on record and on stage stands in sharp contrast with the reflective uncertainty and isolation that comes through in her lyrics. Though Stevenson began writing classically on piano early on, it wasn't until her late teens that she taught herself how to fingerpick the guitar, aspiring to have the quickness and intricacy of her "guitar god," Dolly Parton. The new instrument opened up a window of creativity and Stevenson soon began writing songs heavily influenced by the writers her father had raised her on, such as Neil Young, Gram Parsons, and Carole King, while also drawing inspiration from music that she discovered on her own like Leonard Cohen, and Jeff Mangum. Meanwhile, leaving her comfort zone, Stevenson started playing in friends' bands in and around Long Island, a time that she says, "taught me how to be on tour, how to give and take with other musicians, and not be afraid of my own ideas." With a new found confidence and a solid and supportive community of creative people behind her, Stevenson moved to Brooklyn in her early 20s and soon started performing her own material, loosely assembling a backing band of friends from other projects. In 2010, she released her bare-bones full-length debut simply entitled, A Record, which she quickly followed the year after with Sit Resist, the first solid document of her work playing with a full band. Those two albums and a healthy amount of touring brought Stevenson a dedicated fan base, drawn to her voice, her words, and her relatable down-to-earth persona. While writing the 13 songs that make-up her newest record, Wheel, Stevenson sought to understand her place within the frame of time, nature, and among those that she loves. With her words, a careful twine of prose and humor, Stevenson manages to expose the nagging contradictions that make life so terrifying but also so worth living, how it is possible to simultaneously feel both fear and joy, the bitter aftertaste of something so beautiful it makes you sick. Themes of passage, the cycle of the moon, the seasons, and love's ever-shifting states of dependence, are all interwoven throughout Wheel as songs ebb and flow from her band's crashing walls of distortion and pounding drums, to sweet string-led overtures, to moments where it is just Stevenson and a guitar. In recording Wheel, Stevenson decided to up the production value, steering away from the lo-fi approach of her previous two albums. Forcing herself to fully give-in to the recording process, and relinquish some of creative control she enlisted producer, Kevin McMahon, someone whose work she respected immensely and who would, as she put it, "be the perfect set of ears for these songs." She also brought in Rob Moose on violin and Kelly Pratt to play brass, adding their own layers of depth to the band's full arrangements. Despite the move to sleeker production, Wheel retains its organic nature, relying primarily on the resonance of acoustic instruments and the electricity of simply over-driven amplifiers, with its most synthetic moment coming from a Roland organ, an unconscious decision that Stevenson explains as her and her band's way of "being real, relying on each other's energy to keep time and just playing the songs like human beings, flaws and all."
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