Cat's Cradle

Haw River Ballroom


Sep
8 Wed
Image for Julien Baker, with Thao, Katie Malco

Julien Baker, with Thao, Katie Malco

Saxapahaw, NC
United States
Doors at 6:00 PM, Show at 7:00 PM
 More Information
TICKET PRICES CURRENTLY AVAILABLE
ADVANCED: $23.00
DAY OF: $25.00

TICKET SALE DATES
DAY OF Public Onsale: September 8, 2021 12:00 AM to September 8, 2021 5:00 PM
ADVANCED Public Onsale: April 9, 2021 10:00 AM to September 8, 2021 12:00 AM

PERFORMANCE DESCRIPTION
'Little Oblivions' is Julien Baker’s third album and follow-up to 2017’s 'Turn Out The Lights’, both on Matador Records. The New York Times said the ‘Turn Out The Lights’ is “the work of a songwriter who has resonated with an international audience (…), the rare second album that, despite new self-consciousness, stretches beyond an unspoiled debut to reach for even bigger things, with all its passion intact”. The Sunday Times said “the mix of detached vocals, lush arrangements and laid-bare post-mortems on love, loss, dysfunction and acceptance is devastating."
 
In 2018, Baker formed boygenius with Phoebe Bridgers and Lucy Dacus. The resulting eponymous EP and joint North American tour made for one of the most celebrated and talked about musical communions of that year, highlighting Baker at the forefront of a burgeoning generation of era-defining artists.
 
Baker shot to worldwide attention in 2015 with show-stopping debut, Sprained Ankle. Recorded in only a few days, it was a bleak yet hopeful meditation on identity, addiction, faith, resilience and redemption. An intense and immersive performer, her live shows were described by The New Yorker as “…. hushed, reverential. The only sounds you hear between songs are her fingers as she tweaks the tuning on her electric guitar, scattered whispers between friends, and the rustling as the crowd waits patiently for Baker to start strumming again”.
 
Baker has collaborated on studio recordings with Frightened Rabbit, Matt Berninger, Hayley Williams, Becca Mancari, Mary Lambert, and on stage with Justin Vernon, The National, Sharon Van Etten, Ben Gibbard, and others.
 
"With [‘Little Oblivions’] she scales her music up to larger spaces, backed by a full rock band with ringing guitars and forceful drums. But she doesn’t hide behind them; she’s still ruthless and unsparing, particularly about herself." NEW YORK TIMES
 
"Julien Baker is back with a stunning new solo album. Little Oblivions chronicles the missteps in life that can fill you with regret but also (hopefully) help you grow and be better." NPR MUSIC
 
"Unruly, complex, and gorgeous." THE NEW YORKER
 
"She’s rendering the details of her life with new clarity, crafting songs that anyone who struggles will recognize. And with “Little Oblivions,” she’s found a newly vivid musical setting that should help these stories reach more people who need them." WALL STREET JOURNAL
 
"Julien Baker's songwriting -- her showcasing of the minuscule details comprising her life and informing her sense of introspection -- will make any project she works on a must-listen; simply put, there are few artists working today with her stinging force. " BILLBOARD
 
"On her third album, Julien Baker’s self-lacerating storytelling gets a more expansive canvas to work with. The big, full-band sound makes all the small moments of pain surreptitiously devastating. “ PITCHFORK

Links: Website | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram | Apple Music | Spotify
Sep
13 Mon
Image for Lucy Dacus

Lucy Dacus

Saxapahaw, NC
United States
Doors at 7:00 PM, Show at 8:00 PM
 More Information
TICKET PRICES CURRENTLY AVAILABLE
ADVANCED: $20.00
DAY OF: $23.00

TICKET SALE DATES
DAY OF Public Onsale: September 13, 2021 12:00 AM to September 13, 2021 6:00 PM
ADVANCED Public Onsale: April 16, 2021 10:00 AM to September 13, 2021 12:00 AM

PERFORMANCE DESCRIPTION

Home Video: a Foreword


There are a thousand truisms about home and childhood, none of them true but all of them honest. It’s natural to want to tidy those earliest memories into a story so palatable and simple that you never have to read again. A home video promises to give your memories back with a certificate of fact— but the footage isn’t the feeling. Who is just out of frame? What does the soft focus obscure? How did the recording itself change the scene?


Some scrutinize the past and some never look back and Lucy Dacus, a lifelong writer and close reader, has long been the former sort. “The past doesn’t change,” Dacus said on a video call during that interminable winter of video calls. “Even if a memory is of a time I didn’t feel safe, there’s safety in looking at it, in its stability.”


This new gift from Dacus, Home Video, her third album, was built on an interrogation of her coming-of-age years in Richmond, Virginia. Many songs start the way a memoir might—“In the summer of ’07 I was sure I’d go to heaven, but I was hedging my bets at VBS”—and all of them have the compassion, humor, and honesty of the best autobiographical writing. Most importantly and mysteriously, this album displays Dacus’s ability to use the personal as portal into the universal. I cant hide behind generalizations or fiction anymore,” Dacus says, though talking about these songs, she admits, makes her ache.


While there’s a nostalgic tint to much of Dacus’s work, the obliquely told stories in past songs are depicted here with greater specificity. Triple Dog Dare recounts young, queer love complicated and forbidden by religion. The toxic relationship depicted in Partner in Crime is filled with pining, deceit, and meeting curfew. (“My heart’s on my sleeve/ it’s embarrassing/ the pulpy thing, beating.”) Christine is an elegiac ballad about a close friend vanishing into an inhibiting relationship.


—Catherine Lacey, February 2021, Chicago, IL

Links: Website | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram | YouTube | Spotify | Apple Music


Oct
7 Thu
Image for Waxahatchee, with Katy Kirby

Waxahatchee, with Katy Kirby

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

PERFORMANCE DESCRIPTION
What do we hold on to from our past? What must we let go of to truly move forward?

Waxahatchee’s Katie Crutchfield, a lyricist who has always let her listeners know exactly where she is at a given moment, spent much of 2018 reckoning with these questions and revisiting her roots to look for answers. The result is Saint Cloud, an intimate journey through the places she’s been, filled with the people she’s loved.

Written immediately in the period following her decision to get sober, the album is an unflinching self-examination. From a moment of reckoning in Barcelona to a tourist trap in Tennessee to a painful confrontation on Arkadelphia Road, from a nostalgic jaunt down 7th Street in New York City to the Mississippi Gulf, Crutchfield creates a sense of place for her soul-baring tales, a longtime staple of her storytelling.

This raw, exposed narrative terrain is aided by a shift in sonic arrangements as well. While her last two records featured the kind of big guitars, well-honed noise, and battering sounds that characterized her Philadelphia scene and strongly influenced a burgeoning new class of singer-songwriters, Saint Cloud strips back those layers to create space for Crutchfield’s voice and lyrics. The result is a classic Americana sound with modern touches befitting an artist who has emerged as one of the signature storytellers of her time.

From the origins of her band name—the beloved creek behind her childhood home—to scene-setting classics like “Noccalula” and “Sparks Fly,” listening to Waxahatchee has always felt like being invited along on a journey with a steely-eyed navigator. On Saint Cloud, Crutchfield adds a new sense of perspective to her travels. Reflecting on this, she says, “I think all of my records are turbulent and emotional, but this one feels like it has a little dose of enlightenment. It feels a little more calm and less reckless.”

Many of the narratives on Saint Cloud concern addiction and the havoc it wreaks on ourselves and our loved ones, as Crutchfield comes to a deeper understanding of love not only for those around her but for herself. This coalesces most clearly on “Fire,” which she says was literally written in transit, during a drive over the Mississippi River into West Memphis, and serves as a love song to herself, a paean to moving past shame into a place of unconditional self-acceptance. Coming from a songwriter long accustomed to looking in other directions for love, it’s a stirring moment when Crutchfield sings, “I take it for granted/If I could love you unconditionally/I could iron out the edges of the darkest sky.”

Which is not to say that Saint Cloud lacks Crutchfield’s signature poetry on matters of romantic love. Still, her personal evolution in this area is evident too, as this time around, Crutchfield examines what it really means to be with someone and how it feels to see our own patterns more clearly. On “Hell,” she sings: “I hover above like a deity/But you don’t worship me, you don’t worship me/You strip the illusion, you did it well/I’ll put you through hell.”

Crutchfield also looks at what it’s like to be romantically involved with another artist, someone in search of their own truth, on “The Eye”: “Our feet don’t ever touch the ground/Run ourselves ragged town to town/Chasing uncertainty around, a siren sound” and “We leave love behind without a tear or a long goodbye/as we wait for lightning to strike/We are enthralled by the calling of the eye.”

Links: Website | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram
 Public Onsale:
12:00 AM
Oct 7, 2021
Oct
29 Fri
Image for Tennis, with Molly Burch

Tennis, with Molly Burch

Saxapahaw, NC
United States
Doors at 8:00 PM, Show at 9:00 PM
 More Information
TICKET PRICES CURRENTLY AVAILABLE
ADVANCED: $18.00
DAY OF: $20.00

TICKET SALE DATES
ADVANCED Public Onsale: March 5, 2021 12:00 PM to October 29, 2021 12:00 AM
DAY OF Public Onsale: October 29, 2021 12:00 AM to October 29, 2021 7:00 PM

PERFORMANCE DESCRIPTION
I never learned how to swim.

​In years of sailing, I never let the water touch me. The ocean was an abstract dread, an obliterating void as untenable as outer space.

​In January 2018 we went on tour. After years of scraping by, we found our footing with our fourth record Yours Conditionally. It was a commercial success that set us up to to play the biggest rooms of our career. But three shows in, I developed a raging case of influenza. Each night I dragged myself onstage and croaked out the set in a delirium. After a particularly bad soundcheck, Patrick asked me if we should cancel the show. I couldn't imagine giving up the thing we'd work so hard to achieve. "I'll be on stage even if you have to mic my coffin," I joked.

​​The next morning I fainted and had a seizure while grocery shopping for breakfast. Patrick carried me through the check-out lanes screaming for a doctor. I woke later in a hospital bed. Patrick leaned over me, crying. "That's it," he said. "I'm canceling the tour. I thought you were dead. We're quitting the band. I'm going to be an accountant." But I was on the mend. We missed two shows and pressed on.

​​During sound check at the 930 club, Patrick stepped out to take a phone call. His father had been in the hospital all week, but he had cancer and brief hospitalizations were routine. Back at the hotel that night, Patrick poured two shots of whiskey and handed me one. "I'd like to toast my dad." He said. "The doctors offered to put him on life-support to give me a chance to fly out there, but I didn't want him to suffer. Instead I said goodbye."

​​Patrick went home to grieve with his family and rejoined us on the road two days later. I couldn't believe how quickly our lives had unraveled in the midst of what was supposed to be a milestone in our career. As the tour continued, we found refuge in playing music together. Songwriting had always been an extension of our inner-world. Now we retreated to that world every time we stepped onstage.

​After the final show of our tour in Austin, we received another phone call. Patrick's mother Karen was in the hospital on the brink of a stroke. We got on a plane and went straight to her bedside. Her recovery took weeks. In the hospital waiting room, I wrote the opening line of "Matrimony II": I only have certainty when you hold my hand.

​On a hot July day, after Karen's return to good health, we sailed as a family into the Pacific and scattered Edward's ashes at sea. I marked our position on the chart with a small x. The album was already well under way. In that moment, I realized what I wanted to call it.

​Swimmer is a tour of the darkest time in our lives. But it is not a dark record. Named for the feeling of suspension and upendedness that characterized this period, it is the story of deep-rooted companionship strengthened by pain and loss. These songs carried us through our grief. It is us at our most vulnerable, so we kept a small footprint, recording everything ourselves in our home studio. I set out to describe the love I have come to know after ten years of marriage, when you can no longer remember your life before that person, when the spark of early attraction has been replaced by a gravitational pull.

Swimmer is available everywhere February 14, 2020.

Links: Website | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram | YouTube | Spotify | SoundCloud

Haw River Ballroom

1711 Saxapahaw-bethlehem Church Rd
Saxapahaw, NC
United States