The Bowery Presents
Blind Pilot

Blind Pilot

Dan Mangan + Blacksmith

Tue, June 5, 2012

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

Webster Hall

New York, NY

This event is 18 and over

Blind Pilot
Blind Pilot
The past isn't finished with us yet. Love can be like that, too. A couple of years ago I found love in different forms leaving my life at once. In a single month I lost my closest group of friends, my 13 year relationship ended, and my dad was diagnosed with cancer. I had just stopped touring to write the next Blind Pilot album, but instead I was watching each of my plans unthread as a new season pulled forward relentlessly.

Avoiding suffering, is avoiding real happiness too. My reason to tell this story isn’t because it broke me and pinned me breathless. There was suffering, but those two years, as I moved to my hometown to help my parents through my dad’s sickness and eventually his death, also brought me true closeness, a deeper will to care and hope, and many moments of beauty I can barely describe.

This album came from love for my family, my town, my friends, my community. We don’t have to be so afraid of loss. We can speak and share its name, knowing we are together in it. If these songs are invitations to talk about loss and death, the invitation is to talk closely of the courage we find when we face loss honestly, cracked open and unsure of what we will become.
-Blind Pilot’s Israel Nebeker

Blind Pilot’s ‘And Then Like Lions’ on ATO Records is the third LP from the Portland, Oregon-based sextet consisting of frontman Israel Nebeker, fellow founding member Ryan Dobrowski, Luke Ydstie, Kati Claborn, Ian Krist and Dave Jorgensen. The album was produced by Israel Nebeker and Tucker Martine (The Decemberists, Neko Case, My Morning Jacket), and was written and composed by Nebeker. It comes five years after the band’s well-received ‘We Are the Tide’ and three years after Nebeker thought he’d be starting the songs that would become the band’s third album.

‘And Then Like Lions’ opens with “Umpqua Rushing,” the first single from the album and the track that most directly deals with the end of his relationship. It’s inspired by memories of visiting the Umpqua River with his then girlfriend. The song connects images of a forest fire to the destruction and new beginning found in love’s wake.

“Umpqua Rushing” has a strong, mid-tempo flow built on major chords and rich instrumentation that matches the river the song’s named for. Nebeker’s voice soars on strings to an uplifting ending, and it’s as vulnerable and open as he’s ever been.

Packed Powder is an upbeat, solidly-driven song filled with elevated textures of guitar hooks and trumpets. It comes from an idea Nebeker had as a teenager, when he and his friends found they could repack fireworks to different outcomes: “We’re all made of the same stuff, but who knows how we’re packed and what we’ll show as we burn across the black sky of our own time?” The song speaks lightheartedly of ironic outcomes when trying to better a life through different career paths, and then sings a chorus that surrenders and desires life to reveal what we are made of.

‘And Then Like Lions’ ends triumphantly on “Like Lions,” a song inspired by various stories of courage Nebeker has whitenessed in his recent years, including watching his father fight for life and, before the end, find strength enough to give himself and be at peace with his own mortality.

Blind Pilot has performed on Ellen and The Late Show with David Letterman, at the Newport Folk Festival, Bonnaroo, and Lollapalooza. The group has shared stages with The Shins, Local Natives, Andrew Bird, and more. The project began in 2007 when Israel and co-founding member Ryan Dobrowski went on a West Coast tour via bicycle. Blind Pilot's six members recorded for this new album and will tour through 2016.
Dan Mangan + Blacksmith
Dan Mangan + Blacksmith
Heralded as a favorite among Canada’s new breed of independent musicians, Dan Mangan’s travels initially took him everywhere but home. Spending most of the last six years toting guitar and merch-sack, Dan experienced Vancouver as more of a resting place than roost. He toured nearly non-stop in support of his debut album Postcards And Daydreaming, testing his words, honing his craft, and building a dedicated following. Graciously, if un-strategically, Mangan pretty much accepted every gig that came his way. He train’d and plane’d on his own throughout North America, Europe and Australia because he couldn’t afford to bring a band along. When he cobbled together funds to get a second album made, he enlisted Toronto based producer John Critchley and spent weeks at Green Door Studios, bringing in musical collaborators from around the country. By the time that sophomore album, Nice, Nice, Very Nice (named in reference to a Kurt Vonnegut calypso) hit the airwaves across his homeland, Dan had already cut his teeth on the road.

Recently signed to Arts & Crafts, the trail-blazing indie label that brought us Broken Social Scene, Feist, and Stars, Dan Mangan is the first on their roster from the Pacific Northwest. Though Vancouverites once envied the thriving music scenes of Montreal and Toronto, Mangan’s rain-soaked hometown has since developed a potent scene of its own – in recent years, its eclectic and supportive musical community has produced the likes of The New Pornographers, Ladyhawk, You Say Party! We Say Die!, Black Mountain, and Japandroids. Mangan is yet another native son of this emergence.

The American release of Nice, Nice, Very Nice comes in the wake of its release in Canada, which saw the good natured and unassuming songwriter skyrocket to critical and fan acclaim. A tidal wave of accolades landed Dan on the covers of publications from coast to coast, and his career went into serious over-drive.

First, fan word-of-mouth and an enthusiastic blogosphere got the infectious single “Robots” onto listener- request playlists and into heavy play rotation on Canadian radio. Next, XM Satellite’s The Verge named Mangan Artist of the Year, beating out better-known acts for a $25,000 prize. Then Canada’s public broadcaster (CBC) championed “Robots” as Best Song and Best Vocals of 2009. There were showcase appearances at SXSW, more gigs across Europe and throughout the UK, a record deal in Australia, and even a performance in Dubai. Meanwhile, Nice, Nice, Very Nice sat at #1 on the iTunes Canada Singer/Songwriter chart for nearly six months straight. And to top it all off, Mangan was invited to play at England’s legendary Glastonbury Festival – on the prestigious John Peel Stage, to boot..

Coffee shops and small bars transitioned to much larger sold-out theatres. Nice, Nice, Very Nice was becoming a Canadian hit. Nobody seemed more surprised or appreciative than Mangan himself – “I set my expectations low and my hopes very high, “ he says, “and with the help of so many people, somehow, it always works out in between.”

Dan’s songs brim with subtle images and irreverent wit. He has a knack for making what is quaint seem universal and what is universal quaint, so that even his most layered lyrics feel strangely familiar. His uniquely gravelled voice conveys a rare type of honesty, a gift that seems to transcend demographics. On stage, his presence is easy and open. It could work against him, but there’s no façade; here’s a talented, hard-working and unpretentious musician with a poet’s way of seeing through absurdity.

With Nice, Nice, Very Nice, Mangan seems to be unwilling to pitch his musical flag in any single section of the record store. He dabbles and teases genre all the way from the indie-rock roar of “Road Regrets” to the string-soaked, orchestral pop of “Fair Verona”. Along the way, he visits everything from the alt-country flavour of “Et Les Mots Croisés” to the 3 a.m.-come-down chamber-folk of “Set the Sails” and the clapboard-shack bluegrass we can hear in “Some People” and “Sold”.

The diversity of Dan’s collaborators has no doubt influenced the versatility of his writing. He has shared stages with everyone from Holy F*ck, Broken Social Scene and Julian Casablancas to Sarah Harmer, Horse Feathers and The Broken Family Band. “There’s something to be said for running from pigeonholes,” says Mangan of creative process. “I love the fact that innovators like Radiohead and Wilco have never made the same album twice. Or that Bon Iver and Grizzly Bear can play a sarong-wrapped folk-fest in Northern California, or just as easily to hip kids in French bars.”

With Nice, Nice, Very Nice about to be released in America by Arts & Crafts, Dan Mangan is eager to hit the road Stateside again. This time around, he’ll have a full band with him to help refold the road maps and bring out the gritty richness of the album. This release marks Mangan’s official launch in the USA, and success at home hasn’t made him any less hungry – the guy’s got an appetite.

Dan’s band is: Gord Grdina, Kenton Loewen, John Walsh
Venue Information:
Webster Hall
125 East 11th Street
New York, NY, 10003