Stateside Presents

LADYLIKE, RAMONA FALLS

LADYLIKE

RAMONA FALLS

SOCIAL STUDIES, SPIRIT CAVE

Sat, February 23, 2013

Doors: 7:30 pm / Show: 8:30 pm

Crescent Ballroom

Phoenix, AZ

$8.00 - $10.00

Tickets Available at the Door

This event is 21 and over

LADYLIKE
LADYLIKE
The quirky pomp and camp that is Ladylike began when former bandmates Rob Kroehler (vocals, guitar, piano) and Ryan Casey (guitar, banjo) went underway looking for new musicians to join their creative escapades. That same year, Alex Tighe (keyboards, etc.) and Ethan Hillis (drums) moved home to Phoenix looking for the same thing. Through a culmination of studio sessions and live rehearsals, Ladylike was formed and a three-song EP (Ladylike, Vol. 1) was released. One year later, Ladylike locked down their final permanent member, Austin Owen (bass) and began working on their distinguished sound.

By April 2011, Ladylike hit the road to record their self-titled debut album in Eudora, Kansas at Blacklodge Recording with engineer-producer Nick Day. The album calls-to- mind a wide array of influences–from 50s pop to 90s Brit rock. Its first single, Cinema Kiss, was released in November 2011. Ladylike has taken the stage with national acts such as Fun., Squeeze, Kopecky Family Band, and Young the Giant. With pop-oriented, harmony-laden tunes, Ladylike brings a sense of unbridled charisma that sticks with their audiences.

Ladylike’s LP hit the shelves (and the web) in early April 2012.
RAMONA FALLS
RAMONA FALLS
Like most of us, Brent Knopf watches a lot of YouTube videos, only he's not watching kittens playing piano. Rather, his tastes err on the more experimental side of things – like people who attempt perpetual motion machines using magnets. "I love that they're trying to harness an endless supply of energy," says the Ramona Falls frontman, "and that they go against conventional wisdom in the hopes of true discovery."

Which is exactly what Knopf did last year, when he decided to quit the acclaimed art rock trio Menomena and devote his time to one epic, personal vision. "False freedom is the ratification of pre-rigged choices," the musician paraphrases the philosopher Noam Chomsky, "while true freedom is the agency to shape the choices themselves."
But as Knopf is learning now with a full-time focus on a former side project, freedom comes with greater risk. Prophet, the second Ramona Falls album, is sonically, lyrically and thematically brighter. It's also more organic and personal than anything he ever contributed to Menomena, or as the singer/multi-instrumentalist explains, "it's more of a rapid transit line between my sleeve and my heart."

"With Ramona Falls I am exploring what I stand for which makes it more personal to me," Knopf admits. "I'm less worried now about being made fun of, than I was before. I can now say things I believe in, and some people may think it's stupid or cheesy…but that's kind of fun. I would much rather speak from the heart than hide behind impenetrable obfuscation."

That emotional honesty and creative fearlessness is certainly paying off. Prophet is an album that recalls the experimental beauty of Laughing Stock by Talk Talk, and the unabashed earnestness of his old labelmates Death Cab For Cutie. Knopf appreciates those highly regarded comparisons but when pressed for the true inspirations that fed into his overall vision, he cites Martin Gore of Depeche Mode's dark chordal elements, a production style halfway between Tears for Fears and the Homosexuals, and lyrical themes that channel a dyslexic Jorge Luis Borges if he starred in Flowers for Algernon.

Recorded with bandmates Paul Alcott (drums, and also, ironically, Knopf's replacement in Menomena), Matt Sheehy (guitar), and Dave Lowensohn (bass) and featuring guest appearances by four other friends, the stunning album begins with "Bodies of Water," an emotive and rousing anthem about how intimacy bundles together both nourishment and peril. "Spore," a heartfelt highlight of Prophet bears a substantive core: "I like the idea of someone refusing to feel lonely, despite how utterly alone they might actually be," Knopf explains. "It's a form of rebellion." But the 11 tracks are not all exercises in introspective fragility; "Brevony" is Knopf's most unleashed moment with gnarling guitars ambushing the listener at the chorus on all sides.

Prophet, the album's title, is an homage to Knopf's religious upbringing, a titular reference to a worldview that reveres exalted seers who assert meaning despite the chaos. But as the newly empowered songwriter has discovered with Ramona Falls, it's a better strategy to embrace the chaos. And then refashion it into a beautiful noise.
SOCIAL STUDIES
SOCIAL STUDIES
Naming their sophomore album Developer is a bold move for the still-young band Social Studies. But it is as apt a descriptor as you're likely to find for how the sound of this San Francisco-based five-piece has flourished, matured, and, yes, developed over the past two years.

The band - led by Natalia Rogovin (vocals, keys) and Michael Jirkovsky (drums), who were joined in 2009 by bassist Jesse Hudson and guitarist Tom Smith and this year by second guitarist Ben McClintock - has already won a loyal fan base thanks to their arch take on modernist pop as heard on 2010 release Wind Up Wooden Heart. Social Studies has become a force to be reckoned with in concert as well, transfixing audiences at the CMJ Music Festival, SXSW, and Noise Pop, and bringing their unique energy and spirit to stages shared with TuneYards, Wye Oak, Lotus Plaza, Thee Oh Sees, Dodos, Ramona Falls and many more.

Now, on their new album, the goal was to strip things down to the basics, straighten out some of the more jagged lines of their previous work, and put the focus more on texture and mood. "Before, we were rebellious. We fucked with things just because we wanted to push limits and boundaries," says Rogovin. "Developer is a more adult record. We tried to explore sounds and draw out parts to write more moving and focused songs."

They enlisted the able ears and hands of engineer and co-producer Eli Crews (Tune-Yards, Deerhoof, Thao & Mirah) who helped hone this new barebones attack as well as reflecting the excitement of their stage show. On Developer, all the pieces have come together perfectly. The clear-eyed production helps bring out the dark, sexy heart of these ruminations on life, love, pain, and pleasure. The themes of the album are as complex as the songs are streamlined. "The album is about art, but it's also a cinematic exploration of those turning points in life that you didn't see coming and didn't realize were important until much later," says Rogovin.

Lead single "Terracur" calls the bluff of a headstrong friend threatening to leave, while "Away For the Weekend" turns the tables to justify a departure: "Ever discover another that makes you feel good, you always feel right/ the notion of fleeing the corporeal being/Just run to your other life."

In Developer, Social Studies has succeeded in evoking a set of feelings and emotions that will linger with listeners long after the last notes have faded away. Warm, cold, or downright chilling, there is a connection between the personal and universal that the band taps into through a set of fearless and gripping songs.
SPIRIT CAVE
SPIRIT CAVE
The desert at dusk on a long open road is the best setting for Spirit Cave's dream rock. Back Ted N-Ted lends Ryan Breen's luscious aesthetic to the organic roots revival. Lymbyc Systym lends Michael Bell's soulful rhythm to create a unique collage of old and new. A dreamy combination of Fleetwood Mac, Wild Nothing, and Beck will leave you yearning for more.
Venue Information:
Crescent Ballroom
308 N. 2nd Ave.
Phoenix, AZ, 85003
http://www.crescentphx.com/