The Bowery Presents


Nightlands, Young Man

Tue, March 6, 2012

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

Webster Hall

New York, NY

$20.00 advance, $25.00 day of show

This event is 18 and over

“What if we realised we were all descended from a tiny seed that hitched a ride here from space? Or if evolution took us in a drastic new direction, like making us all into conjoined twins, no longer born to be landlocked in a geography of loneliness. Would we still qualify?

Perhaps it's time to think about what our ideas of ‘us’ boil down to. To consider afresh where one thing ends and the next begins. Because the harder you try to zoom in on you, the more ‘you’ becomes a riotous congregation of cells, a whole galaxy of cooperating matter, together performing the mass rituals of walking and talking.

Each of us compelled to spend our blink-of-an-eye existence with these strangely incomplete mirror images, broadcast and projected inside one another's minds. You and me: a heartbreaking 24-hour live reality show. It's a pretty good show, mind you.”

Fanfarlo's third album, Let's Go Extinct, could be seen as a concept album about human evolution and possible futures, but it's also a big beautiful pop record, and somehow manages to juggle both simultaneously. Yes, it does grapple with the big questions, but always with a glint in its eye, a sense that nothing could ever be weirder than the truth, and with a stirring chorus just about to break.

“All the songs we'd written seemed to deal in direct or roundabout ways with the things that the theory of evolution tries to answer: where the hell are we, and where are we going next?,” says singer and main songwriter Simon Balthazar. “The weirdness of being this thing we call a person and the double weirdness of other people. So we set about dealing with the subject matter with all the flippant playfulness and childish seriousness it deserves.”

In its way, Let's Go Extinct is a return to the warmth and liveliness of the band’s much-feted debut, Reservoir. After their forays into the more austere landscapes of their second record (Rooms Filled With Light), Let's Go Extinct is the sound of the band cutting loose from all expectation, and just letting whatever's going to come, come.

It was recorded partly with David Wrench at the band's old haunt, the eccentric Bryn Derwen studio in North Wales, (“the surroundings there eerily remind me of the village where I grew up in Sweden. It’s a place that makes you helplessly happy but at the same time instills a sort of spiritual sadness.” –Simon). The band then took away the ‘tapes’ and set up studio in an isolated Welsh house that had previously stood empty for 20 years. This process gave them the freedom and time to let the record take its own musical shape.

Channeling the 50s electronic experimentations of Raymond Scott, Shadow Morton rockabilly filtered through Suicide, West Coast sacred cows Brian Wilson and Fleetwood Mac, a little prog rock here, a spaghetti western flourish there, a blast of ‘Young Americans’ soul all the way over there, the band take freely from their favourite music and the pantheon of cult artists, and use them to create something utterly modern and entirely their own.

Balthazar, meanwhile, has accelerated from a talented contender into a commanding and intriguing presence, both as lyricist and singer. Even his more elliptical musings on the human condition – such as ‘Myth of Myself’ – rendered in his warm tones, enter your brain as completely acceptable things to say in song, no matter how wacko they may appear in black and white.

“In a way we went a bit metaphysical with this one,” admits Balthazar. “We took inspiration from the theory of Panspermia and visions of post-apocalyptic London, as well as Kurt Vonnegut, Alan Watts and Miroslav Holub, neuroscience and love, because at the end of the day, you can listen to these songs as simple stories of love, hunger and loss.”

Fanfarlo have never been ones to dwell on the stock-in-trade of the rhyming dictionary journeymen. Instead of romantic leads there have always been UFO obsessives, outsider philosophers and lone visionaries in their central casting. But the songs on this record are expressed in such an irresistible palette of colour and form that you could thrill to them without ever unpicking its various Gordian knots and discovering the hidden joys within.

In the wake of recording of Let's Go Extinct Fanfarlo has undergone another lineup change: they are joined this year by Valentina Magaletti on drums. The band are completed by Cathy Lucas (violin, keys), Leon Beckenham (trumpet, keys) and Justin Finch (bass).

Let's Go Extinct will be released in January 2014 on the band's own label New World.
Nightlands is the recording project of Philadelphia-based multi-instrumentalist Dave Hartley. The music he creates in his bedroom is itself a bed of delicate, chiming strings and bubbling synths beneath a blanket of choral vocal arrangements. It's dreamy in the literal sense -- the seeds for the album were sown when Hartley began archiving musical ideas that occurred in his sleep with a simple bedside tape recorder. As a result his debut album Forget the Mantra is, in essence, a field recording of Hartley's dreams -- a travel journal through pop music and a collection of psych-hymns from the first human lunar colony. The songs sound both huge and intimate, breathy and cavernous like massive echoes of a faraway concert. It's the big, shadow music from just across the lake.
Young Man
Young Man
Young Man’s Colin Caulfield On…Young Man
> It materialized during my sophomore year of college. I wasn't very interested in playing coffee shops or smaller venues. Instead, I spent my time recording. > I was a bedroom musician from the very start, I guess. > Boy used the perspective of a kid to get out some of my immature/naive ideas. There's an element of hindsight in there, but it was just meant as an introduction.
> When I got to college and couldn’t bring my drums, I picked up piano and got a guitar. I always liked playing drums, but it became apparent that I'd be primarily interested in writing songs. > I drummed in some half-baked blues bands, some woefully overambitious prog-rock projects, and a surf-punk band. Once college started, I wrote Americana tunes with one of my oldest friends. Those songs will definitely see the light of day, but nothing else was ever released.

> The idea of being “self-taught” is increasingly vague with the Internet. I can get in-depth vocal lessons for free on YouTube, so to say I learned everything on my own is kind of inauthentic. > A lot of people get surprised when I mention Rufus Wainwright as a huge influence. Also: Wolfgang Voigt, the Fiery Furnaces, the Cinematic Orchestra, Destroyer, Nobuo Uematsu, Philip Glass, Steve Reich and Owen Pallett. > Being an English major had a big impact on Young Man. I make records as though they're papers, a collection of cohesive parts that presents an argument.

> I’m not too interested in forcing my problems on people; making them sit through 40 minutes of whining. > Everyone falls in love and deals with distance in their own way, whether it's literal or figurative. The goal was to create something people could draw their own interpretations from—some death of the modern author shit.
> Because the mixing process was so in depth and drawn out, the songs changed a ton over time. Most people would laugh if they heard the unmixed versions.
> There are moments when the album is much more effective on a nice set of speakers—when you can really feel the song change—but the subtleties and samples were definitely intended for headphones. > I decided to take on music full-time over a year ago now, so finishing school was more or less an obstacle, rather than an impetus, for a career path. > I was planning on moving to New York, but realized there wasn't really a feasible way of doing so with all the projects I had going on. I had this vision of being really depressed in a completely new city; not having any free time to explore and meet people. Luckily, I moved into an awesome house in a very different neighborhood. I realize now that I hadn't really experienced Chicago while I was in school. > All the songs lead up to “Felt,” a 10-minute piece that reprises and elaborates upon everything that has come before it. I think that's the best song on the record, but a lot of that has to do with having an understanding of what precedes it. > I'm actually in the studio with a full band working on the first of those two studio records and we're hoping to record the next in a couple months. If I have it my way, the two additional records will come out within a year of Ideas of Distance. > I didn’t always nail my papers, but I feel like I tried something different every time. The same applies to my music.
Venue Information:
Webster Hall
125 East 11th Street
New York, NY, 10003