The Bowery Presents
Cat Power

Cat Power

Willis Earl Beal, Xray Eyeballs

Tue, October 23, 2012

Doors: 7:00 pm / Show: 8:00 pm

Manhattan Center's Hammerstein Ballroom

New York, NY

$39.50 advance / $45 day of show

This event is all ages

Cat Power
Cat Power
SUN is the new studio album from Cat Power. Six years after her last album of original material, Chan Marshall has moved on from her collaborative forays into Memphis soul and Delta blues. She wrote, played, recorded and produced the entirety of SUN by herself, a statement of complete control that is echoed in the songs’ themes.

Marshall calls SUN “a rebirth,” which is exactly what this confident, ambitious, charismatic record feels like. “Moon Pix was about extreme isolation and survival in the crazy struggle,” she says. “SUN is don’t look back, pick up, and go confidently into your own future, to personal power and fulfillment.”

The music on SUN employs a sweeping stylistic palette: There’s the classic Cat Power haunting guitar and provocative vocal hook in “Cherokee” (“marry me to the sky…bury me upside down”); the irresistible Latinsounding nine-piano loop of “Ruin”; upbeat, almost dancey electronic anthems like “Real Life” and “3,6,9”; and the stirring, 8-minute epic “Nothin But Time,” featuring a vocal cameo by Iggy Pop. The swagger of “Silent Machine” brings to mind mid-70s Jagger, contrasted with the unusual, sparse production of “Always on My Own.” The narrative arc of the record is deeply American in its spaciousness and optimism; the music is defiantly modern and global.

Though devoid of grave bedroom confessionals, SUN is possibly Cat Power’s most personal album to date. For all its layered expansiveness, it is as handcrafted as her debut, and never has a Cat Power album so paralleled her personality and state of mind – channeling her humor, anger, deep empathy, musical inspirations, technical skill, and spiritual inquiry into an album that’s both surprising and comforting.

Those versed in the Cat Power discography will detect elements of 2003’s landmark album You Are Free, which experimented with vocal forms and beats borrowed from urban music, and the spellbinding authority of songs like “American Flag.” Sonically, however, with credit to mixer Philippe Zdar (Phoenix, Chromeo, Beasties), SUN is incredibly fresh, reflecting its forward-looking mindset.

Lyrically, Marshall has transcended the angst and self-absorption of her young self, but is still inspired by youth; much of the album is a plea for overcoming societal expectation and individual oppression. “Human Being” puts faint minor-chord fingerpicking over spooky, repetitive bass, with lyrics that could read as feminist – “you got a right to scream when they don’t want you to speak” – but are for anyone who feels they don’t have a voice. “Peace And Love” opens with a Nina Simone line – “peace and love is a famous generation” – then cites Black Flag, flips off people who dismissed her teenage idealism, and proudly concludes, “I’m a lover but I’m in it to win.” Similarly, “Nothin But Time” implores kids to look past today: “You’re just trying to get by, but your world is just beginning…it’s up to you to be a superhero, it’s up to
you to be like nobody”.

SUN was recorded over the past three years in Malibu (in a studio she built herself), Silver Lake (in the Dust Brothers’ studio The Boat), Miami (South Beach Studios), and Paris (Motorbass), where she mixed with Zdar in spring 2012.
Cat Power is touring the world with a new band beginning in Fall 2012.
Willis Earl Beal
Willis Earl Beal
Willis Earl Beal’s debut album Acousmatic Sorcery was released by Hot Charity / XL Recordings on April 2nd 2012. The album’s 11 songs are taken from a series of recordings Beal made while living in Albuquerque, New Mexico. He arrived there without a plan or enough money to live off and began singing warm, visceral and moving tunes to help him cope while sleeping rough. He spent the days drawing and printing up flyers, distributing them all over his new city. Eventually Beal found work as a night porter at a motel. It was during the late-night shifts that the 27-year-old musician from the south side of Chicago taught himself to make music.
Xray Eyeballs
Xray Eyeballs
Xray Eyeballs began as the brainchild of guitarist O.J. San Felipe and bassist Carly Rabalais, who, after founding Brooklyn garage-rock juggernaut Golden Triangle (Hardly Art), sought a release that would sate both their sweet-toothed desires and their darker impulses, like a candy-coated Vicodin. Like their musical antecedents The Jesus and Mary Chain and The Velvet Underground, Xray Eyeballs creates a world of their own. Low-lifes, night-walkers, pill-riders, and other sordid characters stalk the band’s New York City streets and their songs compel you to follow them until you find the peace of a night redeemed in the morning light.
On “Splendor Squalor,” Xray Eyeballs’ second full-length on Kanine Records, refracted rays of that redemptive light shine through the band's eerie musical haze. The band evolves to more sophisticated songwriting and adventurous arrangement, while retaining the spark and energy of their raw early material, a progression that recalls Wire's "154" and The Cure's "Pornography." The addition of Sarah Baldwin (The Girls at Dawn, Fergus & Geronimo) on drums and Liz Lohse (Heaven, Runaway Suns) on guitar and synths expands the band's sonic possibilities with lush vocal harmonies, unique musical counterpoints and inspired songwriting contributions. Xray Eyeballs' new lineup deftly maneuvers from unctuous drones to punk rave-ups and new-wave bangers with a confidence and melodic sensibility that illuminates the splendor in the squalor.
The needle drops on “Four” and you find yourself enthused with the will to cross the dance floor and talk to that crush your friends warned you about. “I’m feeling alright,” San Felipe sings. You believe him and feel alright, too. The bass throbs with Factory-style control as “X” sends you oscillating wildly in a lovers’ power struggle: "I control you/ You control me." It’s 6 AM and you’re sitting on a couch between two guys who either wish they were Lou Reed and Alan Vega or actually are Lou Reed and Alan Vega. You shouldn’t have taken that last anything of anything. “Syrup,” featuring Christiana Key (Cult of Youth, Zola Jesus) on violin, wafts into the room and suddenly that time between last call and pancakes make sense.
Xray Eyeballs fully realizes their vision of "Splendor Squalor" live: skater kids donning the band’s signature “Ghost Girl” t-shirt bounce off the walls; the oldest punks in the world reluctantly acknowledge the validity of something new; hands typically stuffed in the pockets of skin-tight jeans wave in the air like they just don’t care; record nerds dance as if nobody’s blogging; goths smile. The band's undeniable energy brings the shadows in the darkness to life. These creatures bear witness to San Felipe’s blatant disregard for his physical well-being as the enraptured frontman, refusing to acknowledge the limitations of both stage and gravity, bounds recklessly around the crowd and dangles perilously from the ceiling, a provocation for the audience to match the band’s enthusiasm. Driven to seduce as many as possible into their world, Xray Eyeballs have toured across the country numerous times on their own, consistently delivering the show everyone will be talking about the next day.
Venue Information:
Manhattan Center's Hammerstein Ballroom
311 W 34th St
New York, NY, 10001