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Shakey Graves: Movie Of The Week Tour 2023

Mon., November 6, 7:30 pm-11:30 pm


Shakey Graves Americana The prehistory of Shakey Graves exists in two overstuffed folders. Inside them, artifacts document an immense era of anonymous DIY creativity, from 2007 through 2010 – the three years before Roll The Bones came out and changed his life. There are stencils, lyrics, drawings, prototypes for concert posters, and even a zine. The latter, which Graves – aka Alejandro Rose-Garcia – wrote and illustrated, tells the tale of a once-courageous, now-retired mouse who must journey to the moon to save his sweetheart. At the time, he envisioned the photocopied storybook as a potential vessel for releasing his music. “There was a lot of conceptualizing going on – trying to figure out what I wanted stuff to look like, sound like, and be like,” Rose-Garcia recalls, shuffling through the physical files on his second-story deck in South Austin. “And, honestly, a lot of trying to keep myself from going crazy.” In this lode of unreleased ephemera, CD-Rs are the most bountiful element. There are dozens of burned discs with widely varying track lists, loosely resembling what would become the Austin native’s 2011 breakout debut Roll the Bones. For Rose-Garcia, who’s long loved the incongruous art form of sequencing strange mixtapes for friends, his own record was subject to change every time he burned a disc for somebody. Consistency didn’t matter, he asserts, because there was no demand or expectations. Thus Roll the Bones was by no means a Big Bang creation story, but rather a years-long process of metamorphosis where literally hundreds of tracks were winnowed down into ten. As the album took shape, he began manufacturing one-off editions of the CD, stapled to self-destruct in brown paper, with black and white photographs glued upon them, and an ink pen marking of the artist’s enduring logo: a skull struck by an arrow. “I liked that if they were opened, you couldn’t close them again,” he smiles. “Sometimes I’d spray paint the CD so they looked good and people would stick them in their car stereo and it would fuse in and never come out. They’d tell me, ‘You’re lucky I like this record because it’s the last one I’ll ever be able to listen to in my car.’” In the shadows of self-doubt that surrounds any artist’s first record, Rose-Garcia had a fantasy: he releases Roll the Bones, only ten people hear it, it’s rediscovered a decade later by Numero Group, hailed as before its time, and finds an audience as a lost treasure. He still plays that scenario through his mind like an alternative reality. Of course, that’s far from what actually materialized. Roll the Bones was released on the first day of 2011 without a lick of promotion advancing it. It was simply thrust into the world as a decapod of perplexingly memorable, narrative-wrapped songs with a mysterious cover and no information about the artist… only available on the relatively new platform of Bandcamp. That year, an editor at Bandcamp made it a featured album for a month and from there it stayed in the website’s top-selling folk albums evermore. The record has since seen well over 100,000 units sold – even while being available for free download. In the “Supported By” section of the Roll the Bones Bandcamp page, you can endlessly click “more” and squares of avatars will keep showing up until you grow tired and stop. “If you discover something for yourself, it will always hold more water because it’s tied to memory and coincidence,” Rose-Garcia reasons as to why he never pushed Roll the Bones onto a wider marketplace. “It gives you a sense of ownership as a listener.” Now fans can obtain Roll the Bones as their own physical artifact. Through Dualtone Records, Shakey Graves will release a Ten Year Special Edition double LP with a black and gold foil re-arting of the taxidermied cow head cover. Separate iterations, hitting record collections on April 2, offer the 180g vinyl in a black and gold combination or two marbled “galaxy gold” discs. The lovingly assembled packaging includes handwritten deep explanations of every song, offset with original photography. Along with its deluxe vinyl emergence, Roll the Bones today becomes available through all digital service providers- Spotify, Apple Music, YouTube, et all. For the last decade, the songs have lived exclusively on Bandcamp. This full-spectrum digital release arrives concurrent with Shakey Graves Day, which was minted on February 9, 2012, by Austin Mayor Steve Adler. In year one, Rose-Garcia spent what he calls his “alter ego’s birthday,” as an excuse to go play laser tag. Ever since, he’s used it as an occasion to stage intimate pop-up shows and open up the attics of his discography – making all of his albums, plus hundreds of unheard songs temporarily available for free.“I’ve used Shakey Graves Day as a challenge to myself,” he assesses. “I make so many random songs throughout the year that I either forget about or I’m too nervous to put on an album and it becomes a clearinghouse for that. It surprises me when people tell me that something released that day is their favorite of my stuff. In a larger sense, it builds off what I initially did with Roll the Bones – which is give it away for free.” Accompanying Roll the Bones anniversary pressing are 15 additional tracks comprising an Odds + Ends LP, which stands as an essential document of Grave’s early era. Highlights include the mandolin imbued “Chinatown,” which sounds like it could be dubbed off a 1930’s silver screen soundtrack, and “Saving Face” – a seminal version of what would become Roll the Bones title cut. The crown jewel, however, may be the first ever proper recording of the trifling love song “Late July,” a version that’s drastically different than the live rendition that’s racked up 14 million views on YouTube. Prepping Roll the Bones thoughtful 2021 edition gave Rose-Garcia an opportunity to take a new look at the person. “I hear someone who felt really trapped,” he reveals. “In a lot of ways it was a breakup record. My first serious relationship had fallen apart and I was wanting to break up with my life – run away, be transient, and figure out who I was in the world. I can hear myself blaming the girl and trying to support myself, like maybe it’s okay to be dirty and crazy and have blinders on. Then, at the end, everything’s zooming back in and I’m saying ‘I guess I just got hurt and I’m in a bit of pain and, you know, it’s going to be okay.’” Claiming he’s “further confused” listeners with each release, Rose-Garcia believes this purge of early output will provide some needed framing for his discography. It’s his Genesis story, before he had the studio time to make the shiny And the War Came or the full-band cohesion to make the painstakingly dense Can’t Wake Up. To him, it’s a scrappy effort, but the most intentional work he’s ever produced – and, a decade later, he wouldn’t change a thing. “It’s a record that sounds like my years of exploration and influence, funneled through my abilities at the time – and it all became something bigger,” he muses. “If you would’ve offered to me: ‘Let’s do exactly what you want, right now” Roll the Bones wouldn’t have come out like this… and I’m happy that’s the case. Total control is an unhealthy myth, it leaves out the emotional side of how all the accidents come together. This record’s a period of
time smashed into a single product and, in my own heart, it’s a moral compass: to always get back to feeling like this about the songs I make.”
SadurnAlternative FolkThere’s a palpable feeling of intimacy throughout every moment of Radiator, the debut album from Philadelphia’s Sadurn. The band’s spare-yet-satisfying instrumentation, diary-like lyrics, and graceful vocal harmonies bring you in extraordinarily close, breaking down any walls between artist and listener to offer fleeting glimpses of life’s most internal moments—as well as one of the most compelling debut records in some time.  Sadurn started as the solo project of Genevieve DeGroot, who picked up the guitar in 2015 in an effort to delve deeper into songwriting. “I came to the game really late relative to most people,” DeGroot explains, “I didn’t start playing guitar and really writing songs until after college. I’d always been a singer but I just felt like I needed an instrument to really write songs on.” It wasn’t long until DeGroot was creating the music that would eventually become Sadurn. “When you reach into a new creative outlet, it’s really exciting because there’s just so much there. I didn’t have this idea that I was going to go and become a musician, but I was learning new chord progressions and writing, and I’d moved to Philly and was surrounded by other songwriters.” One of these fellow musicians was guitarist Jon Cox, who joined up with DeGroot to form an early incarnation of Sadurn. The two started playing DIY shows in the city and released several homemade, charmingly lo-fi EPs, then in early 2020, a chance experience kicked off the next phase of Sadurn. “My friend Amelia [Swain] was just learning to play drums, we started playing some of my songs together and it just made sense, we both had this feeling that we had to do this.” The group was soon joined by Tabitha Ahnert who had recently taken up bass, and Sadurn’s new lineup was complete.  With new members and an evolving sound, the beginning of 2020 was meant to be the four-piece’s debut, but the world had other plans. “I’d already been scheming about making a record before the pandemic because I was excited about the full-band songs,” says DeGroot. “We played one gig together and then everything got put on hold for a while.” After months of isolation and waiting, Sadurn figured out a way to push forward. “The only way we thought it could work was if we isolated together for a couple of weeks, so we found a cheap Airbnb in the Poconos and our friend Heather Jones brought out all this recording gear.” The band moved the furniture and created a makeshift recording studio, tucking themselves away in close quarters, with only passing animals around to witness the making of what would become their first full-length. “We didn’t even know if we were going to do enough songs for an album at first, it was kind of a mystery of what was going to work,” DeGroot explains. “The whole project up to that point had been so lo-fi, so close to the source and unproduced. I wanted the band and the new recordings to still have that to some extent. We’re all so close and we were living in this cabin for two weeks making this thing, I think it was sort of the special circumstances that lent themselves to the way the album turned out.”  That warmth and familiarity permeate Radiator, with its roomy recording and lean instrumentation nimbly serving the songs, bolstering DeGroot’s stunning vocals and conversational lyrics. Sadurn’s affecting indie folk draws on a range of influences from Jason Molina, to Gillian Welch, to Alex G and Elliott Smith, working in the tradition of songwriters whose melodies are as captivating as the words within them. Radiator explores the struggles and eventual beauty of grappling with multiple emotional realities, particularly when it comes to relationships. “I definitely write as a way of processing what’s going on,” says DeGroot. “I’m usually making space for a feeling or a thought that, for some reason, I can’t talk to other people about because it’s too destructive.”  Indecision, doubt, heartbreak, the idea of being forced to choose–these internal conflicts are wrestled with throughout Radiator. Tracks like “snake,” the album’s instantly powerful opener, and “golden arm,” an unhurried ballad that shows its truest colors with time, are full of memorable moments and emotional detail. Elsewhere “moses kill” tries to make sense of unresolved feelings around identity and family overtop acoustic guitars recorded so closely that you can hear fingers moving from fret to fret, while mid-album highlight “special power” is an unabashed breakup song with a soaring chorus that belies its aching lyrics. “If you’re having doubts about a relationship, there aren’t many places you can air them,” DeGroot says. “Writing about that kind of thing is a way to wrap your mind around them.”  Radiator culminates in the penultimate song, “icepick”–a mix of gentle guitars, a hazy drum loop, and DeGroot’s revealing lyrics that slowly tumbles into album closer “<—.” This final track is a cascading reversed version of “icepick” that plays almost like an instrumental plea to go back in time, armed with the perspective and knowledge gained from a challenging experience. A sense of daring-but-necessary honesty emerges as “<—” abruptly ends, and you start the album over. True closeness isn’t always easy to achieve, but with Radiator, Sadurn prove that it’s worth the risk.


Mon., November 6
7:30 pm-11:30 pm
Event Category:


The Signal




The Signal – Concert Hall
21 Choo Choo Avenue
Chattanooga, 37402 United States
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