Balto / Vacilando / St. Even / Swansea

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Balto / Vacilando / St. Even / Swansea
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Vacilando says
Vacilando and friends take over the Doug Fir!

Tickets $5 in advance / $10 day of show

Vacilando is a vehicle for the songs of John Shepski, accompanied and transformed by Chad Lanning and Juniana Lanning. Their debut record, While They Were Dancing is slow and atmospheric, breathing deeply with vast empty spaces underneath heart-in-hand lyrics and a humble delivery. The band is fond of describing their record alternately as Bummercore or Bleak Midwestern Soundscapes, but just when the listener is drawn in and seemingly transported to another time and place, the band brings them crashing back to earth in a sonic explosion of screaming guitars and feedback. The music feels at once nostalgic and timeless, all while remaining grounded in the present.

Balto is mercurial American roots music - song-driven rock’n’roll – a hair-raising live band from the Northwest – electric guitars and Hammond organs, swirling psychedelia, an occasional Bonzo drum flourish, held down on bass by a former fighter with a deep admiration for James Jamerson

St. Even is currently singer-songwriter Steve Hefter and multi-instrumentalist/ producer John Kelley's musical melting pot. Hefter elicits comparisons to Leonard Cohen, early Randy Newman, and Bill Callahan, among others. Their latest self-titled lp is packed with compositions that are alternately haunting, heartbreaking, and funny, but all of them reject the false promises of radio pop. Instead of swearing his undying affection, Hefter cops to the untrustworthy nature of his own emotions on the sparse "Been a Little Better." Instead of assuring us that everything will be alright, he asks his listeners to prepare for death and disaster on the punchy and staccato "Tested By Fire." Even his best attempt at reassurance, "Worth the Wading," is filled with apocalyptic imagery right up until its bittersweet end.
The truth, Hefter's songs seem to insist, is messy but worth finding. The same can be said of great songwriters.

Swansea formed in 2011 when Portland, Oregon music mainstays, keyboardist/singer Rebecca Sanborn and drummer Ji Tanzer recruited Kansas City multi-instrumentalist/singer Kyleen King to expand the sound of their long standing duo project. Stylistically, Swansea combine artful narrative and atmospheric sweep with a touch of dancey, off-the-cuff toughness–often drawing comparison to LCD Soundsystem, Feist and My Brightest Diamond.
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By: Vacilando

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