Cat's Cradle

Haw River Ballroom


Oct
28 Mon
Image for Angel Olsen, with Lean Year

Angel Olsen, with Lean Year

Saxapahaw, NC
United States
Doors at 7:00 PM, Show at 8:00 PM
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PERFORMANCE DESCRIPTION
Anyone reckless enough to have typecast Angel Olsen according to 2013's Burn Your Fire For No Witness is in for a sizeable surprise with her third album, MY WOMAN. The crunchier, blown-out production of the former is gone, but that fire is now burning wilder. Her disarming, timeless voice is even more front-and-centre than before, and the overall production is lighter. Yet the strange, raw power and slowly unspooling incantations of her previous efforts remain, so anyone who might attempt to pigeonhole Olsen as either an elliptical outsider or a pop personality is going to be wrong whichever way they choose - Olsen continues to reign over the land between the two with a haunting obliqueness and sophisticated grace.

Given its title, and track names like 'Sister' and 'Woman', it would be easy to read a gender-specific message into MY WOMAN, but Olsen has never played her lyrical content straight. She explains: "I'm definitely using scenes that I've replayed in my head, in the same way that I might write a script and manipulate a memory to get it to fit. But I think it's important that people can interpret things the way that they want to."

That said, Olsen concedes that if she could locate any theme, whether in the funny, synth-laden 'Intern' or the sadder songs which are collected on the record's latter half, "then it's maybe the complicated mess of being a woman and wanting to stand up for yourself, while also knowing that there are things you are expected to ignore, almost, for the sake of loving a man. I'm not trying to make a feminist statement with every single record, just because I'm a woman. But I do feel like there are some themes that relate to that, without it being the complete picture."

Over her two previous albums, she's given us reverb-shrouded poetic swoons, shadowy folk, grunge-pop band workouts and haunting, finger-picked epics. MY WOMAN is an exhilarating complement to her past work, and one for which Olsen recalibrated her writing/recording approach and methods to enter a new music-making phase. She wrote some songs on the piano she'd bought at the end of the previous album tour, but she later switched it out for synth and/or Mellotron on a few of them, such as the aforementioned 'Intern'.

MY WOMAN is put together as a proper A-side and a B-side, featuring the punchier, more pop/rock-oriented songs up front, and the longer, more reflective tracks towards the end. The rollicking 'Shut Up Kiss Me', for example, appears early on - its nervy grunge quality belying a subtle desperation, as befits any song about the exhaustion point of an impassioned argument. Another crowning moment comes in the form of the melancholic and Velvets-esque 'Heart-shaped Face', while the compelling 'Sister' and 'Woman' are the only songs not sung live. They also both run well over the seven-minute mark: the first being a triumph of reverb-splashed, '70s country rock, cast along Fleetwood Mac lines with a Neil Young caged-tiger guitar solo to cap it off. The latter is a wonderful essay in vintage electronic pop and languid, psychedelic soul.

Because her new songs demanded a plurality of voices, Olsen sings in a much broader range of styles on the album, and she brought in guest guitarist Seth Kauffman to augment her regular band of bass player Emily Elhaj, drummer Joshua Jaeger and guitarist Stewart Bronaugh. As for a producer, Olsen took to Justin Raisen, who's known for his work with Charli XCX, Sky Ferreira and Santigold, as well as opting to record live to tape at LA's historic Vox Studios.

Links: Website | Facebook | Twitter
 Public Onsale:
12:00 AM
Oct 28, 2019
Nov
8 Fri
Image for Big Thief, with Palehound

Big Thief, with Palehound

Saxapahaw, NC
United States
Doors at 7:00 PM, Show at 8:00 PM
 More Information

PERFORMANCE DESCRIPTION
U.F.O.F., F standing for ‘Friend’, is the name of the highly anticipated third record by Big Thief, set to be released by 4AD later this year. The New York-based band, featuring Adrianne Lenker (guitar, vocals), Buck Meek (guitar), Max Oleartchik (bass), and James Krivchenia (drums), has spent the last 4 years on an incessant world tour, winning the devotion of an enthusiastic and rapidly expanding audience.  Their songs represent an emotional bravery and realness that weaves intimate relationships with the listener, a phenomenon that has made them one of the most widely-respected bands of the current era. Their first two back-to-back releases, Masterpiece (2016) and Capacity (2017), have been analysed, wept to, danced to, critically applauded, imitated, hummed idly, and shouted out loud. They have soundtracked crowded restaurants, difficult conversations, cowboy bars, yoga classes, night drives, and lonely bedrooms.

In 2019, the members of Big Thief are more deeply bonded than ever before. Their lives have become completely intertwined. Perpetual motion, nightly performance and struggles of the road have led them to develop their own connective language. They wake up and run together each morning; they intuit songs only sung for each other. Perhaps the best Big Thief tune you will never hear is the backstage classic, “I know what you mean. It’s a beautiful thing.” The spirit has never been stronger and U.F.O.F. feels, to Big Thief, like their first record as a fully realized band.
 
U.F.O.F. lifts the listener, slowly, into a delicate, celestial mystery, each member of the band adding their own visceral mastery to its skyscape. Adrianne Lenker’s voice finds new resting places, layered like a cloud above itself on album opener ‘Contact’ or crooning low through thick grass on ‘Betsy’. Her finger-picked guitar chords evolve and extend into warming harmony. Her leads beam passion and pain. Buck Meek’s exploratory notes and avant-garde textures slither to the song’s subconscious narrative, while James Krivchenia’s relaxed tempo and snare drum ghost notes possess your head into a steady bob. Max Oleartchik’s bass guitar playing is elusive and rhythmic, either crouching undetected or ripping a quick one for the people.  When his bass goes missing from the song ‘Cattails,’ imagine him levitating above the tune in quiet meditation, waiting for that perfect moment to slide back into the mix. The moment doesn’t come till halfway through the next song. 

Lyrically, U.F.O.F. is a dream in the dark. Characters and scenery interact outside of time. Names of mystery women appear, then disappear. Cruelties flash. Pronouns meld. There is a darkness here, but it’s not one to be feared. “Making friends with the unknown… All my songs are about this,” says Lenker; “If the nature of life is change and impermanence, I’d rather be uncomfortably awake in that truth than lost in denial.” Every song here casts a shadow, and the direction of this shadow reflects its light source. On ‘Orange,’ we see a woman lost in despair, but it is in recognition of this despair that she is truly loved. In ‘Terminal Paradise,’ death is imminent. Death is a flower; death is beautiful. On ‘Century,’ all of the confusion of a moment leads to a simple truth that “We have the same power”. If song writers are spelunkers of the unrevealed, then Lenker is one of the bravest working today. This is courageous music.
 Public Onsale:
12:00 AM
Nov 8, 2019
Nov
10 Sun
Image for The New Pornographers, with Lady Lamb

The New Pornographers, with Lady Lamb

Saxapahaw, NC
United States
Doors at 7:00 PM, Show at 8:00 PM
 More Information
TICKET PRICES CURRENTLY AVAILABLE
ADVANCED: $32.00
DAY OF: $35.00

TICKET SALE DATES
ADVANCED Public Onsale: June 28, 2019 10:00 AM to November 10, 2019 12:00 AM
DAY OF Public Onsale: November 10, 2019 12:00 AM to November 10, 2019 11:59 PM

PERFORMANCE DESCRIPTION
For the last two decades, The New Pornographers have been delivering infectious hooks, sweet harmonies, and a pile of power-pop riffs every time they take the stage. The critically acclaimed supergroup - A.C. Newman, Neko Case, Kathryn Calder, Todd Fancey, Blaine Thurier, John Collins, Joe Seiders and Simi Stone - embarks on a new tour in support of their brand new record In The Morse Code Of Brake Lights. The album is more of what The New Pornographers do best: "pure, blissfully irresistible power-pop" (NPR Music).

Links: Website | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram
Jan
31 Fri
Image for G. Love & Special Sauce Pre-Show Pop Off Event

G. Love & Special Sauce Pre-Show Pop Off Event

Saxapahaw, NC
United States
Doors at 5:00 PM, Show at 8:30 PM
 More Information
TICKET PRICES CURRENTLY AVAILABLE
VIP: $99.00

TICKET SALE DATES
VIP Public Onsale: October 11, 2019 12:00 PM to January 31, 2020 5:30 PM

PERFORMANCE DESCRIPTION
Doors for GA Ticket Holders open at 7:30PM. G. Love's Pre-Show Pop Off includes a general admission ticket with early entry, access to a pre-show performance and Q&A with G. Love at sound check, group photo on stage with G. Love and a limited edition poster autographed by G. Love. You will receive instructions via email 4-7 days before each show with event information. Please note that this event will take place before doors are open so it will be just you and a few others for a very intimate and interactive performance with G!!

"I've been in the game a long time, but I've always considered myself a student," says G. Love. "Finishing this album with Keb Mo' felt like graduation."

Recorded in Nashville with a slew of special guests including Robert Randolph, Marcus King, and Roosevelt Collier, 'The Juice' is indeed diploma-worthy. Co-produced and co-written with GRAMMY-winning icon Keb Mo', it's an electrifying collection, one that tips its cap to more than a century of blues greats even as it offers its own distinctly modern pop spin on the genre, mixing programmed beats and hip-hop grooves with blistering guitar and sacred steel. G. Love's lyrics are both personal and political here, artfully balancing his appreciation for the simple joys in life with his obligation to speak out for justice and equality, and his performances are suitably riotous and rousing to match, with infectious call-and-response hooks and funky sing-along choruses at every turn. Easy as it is to succumb to cynicism these days, the songs on 'The Juice' refuse, insisting instead on hope and determination in the face of doubt and despair.

"I've always tried to make music that's a force for positivity," G. Love explains. "It was important to me that this album be something that could empower the folks who are out there fighting the good fight every day. I wanted to make a rallying cry for empathy and unity."

Born Garrett Dutton in Philadelphia, PA, G. Love grew up equally enthralled with folk, blues, and rap, devouring everything from Lead Belly and Run D.M.C. to John Hammond and the Beastie Boys. After migrating to Boston, he and his band, Special Sauce, broke out in 1994 with their Gold-selling self-titled debut, which earned widespread critical acclaim for its bold vision and adventurous production. Over the next twenty-five years, G. Love would go on to release seven more similarly lauded studio studios albums with Special Sauce (plus four solo albums on his own), solidifying his place in music history as a genre-bending pioneer with a sound The New York Times described as "a new and urgent hybrid" and NPR called a "musical melting pot." G. Love's magnetic stage presence, meanwhile, made him a fixture on festival lineups from Bonnaroo to Lollapalooza, and his relentless appetite for tour and collaboration landed him on the road and in the studio with artists as diverse as Lucinda Williams, Dave Matthews, The Avett Brothers, Jack Johnson, and DJ Logic.

While G. Love has covered considerable sonic ground during his prolific career, he's always found himself drawn back to the blues, and to one bluesman in particular.

Links: Website | Facebook | Instagram | Twitter | Soundcloud | YouTube
Jan
31 Fri
Image for G. Love & Special Sauce, with Jontavious Willis

G. Love & Special Sauce, with Jontavious Willis

Saxapahaw, NC
United States
Doors at 7:30 PM, Show at 8:30 PM
 More Information
TICKET PRICES CURRENTLY AVAILABLE
ADVANCED: $25.00
DAY OF: $30.00

TICKET SALE DATES
DAY OF Public Onsale: January 31, 2020 12:00 AM to January 31, 2020 6:30 PM
ADVANCED Public Onsale: October 11, 2019 12:00 PM to January 31, 2020 12:00 AM

PERFORMANCE DESCRIPTION
"I've been in the game a long time, but I've always considered myself a student," says G. Love. "Finishing this album with Keb Mo' felt like graduation."

Recorded in Nashville with a slew of special guests including Robert Randolph, Marcus King, and Roosevelt Collier, 'The Juice' is indeed diploma-worthy. Co-produced and co-written with GRAMMY-winning icon Keb Mo', it's an electrifying collection, one that tips its cap to more than a century of blues greats even as it offers its own distinctly modern pop spin on the genre, mixing programmed beats and hip-hop grooves with blistering guitar and sacred steel. G. Love's lyrics are both personal and political here, artfully balancing his appreciation for the simple joys in life with his obligation to speak out for justice and equality, and his performances are suitably riotous and rousing to match, with infectious call-and-response hooks and funky sing-along choruses at every turn. Easy as it is to succumb to cynicism these days, the songs on 'The Juice' refuse, insisting instead on hope and determination in the face of doubt and despair.

"I've always tried to make music that's a force for positivity," G. Love explains. "It was important to me that this album be something that could empower the folks who are out there fighting the good fight every day. I wanted to make a rallying cry for empathy and unity."

Born Garrett Dutton in Philadelphia, PA, G. Love grew up equally enthralled with folk, blues, and rap, devouring everything from Lead Belly and Run D.M.C. to John Hammond and the Beastie Boys. After migrating to Boston, he and his band, Special Sauce, broke out in 1994 with their Gold-selling self-titled debut, which earned widespread critical acclaim for its bold vision and adventurous production. Over the next twenty-five years, G. Love would go on to release seven more similarly lauded studio studios albums with Special Sauce (plus four solo albums on his own), solidifying his place in music history as a genre-bending pioneer with a sound The New York Times described as "a new and urgent hybrid" and NPR called a "musical melting pot." G. Love's magnetic stage presence, meanwhile, made him a fixture on festival lineups from Bonnaroo to Lollapalooza, and his relentless appetite for tour and collaboration landed him on the road and in the studio with artists as diverse as Lucinda Williams, Dave Matthews, The Avett Brothers, Jack Johnson, and DJ Logic.

While G. Love has covered considerable sonic ground during his prolific career, he's always found himself drawn back to the blues, and to one bluesman in particular.

"Keb Mo' and I got signed to the same label at the same time back when I first started out, and we toured together early on in my career," G. Love remembers. "He used to introduce me onstage as 'a true American original,' and I could tell that he got a kick out of what I did. We didn't see each other for a while after that, but a few years ago we reconnected and did a co-headline tour, which was really special for me."

Click here to purchase VIP tickets to the Pre-Show Pop Off Event, which includes admission to this show.

Links: Website | Facebook | Instagram | Twitter | Soundcloud | YouTube

Haw River Ballroom

1711 Saxapahaw-bethlehem Church Rd
Saxapahaw, NC
United States