Cat's Cradle
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Cory Branan, with Jon Snodgrass

  October 26, 2022 8:00 PM

Doors Open: 7:00 PM
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ADVANCED: $15.00
DAY OF: $18.00

ADVANCED Public Onsale: July 15, 2022 11:00 AM to October 26, 2022 12:00 AM
DAY OF Public Onsale: October 26, 2022 12:00 AM to October 26, 2022 8:00 PM
“I pulled these songs from a batch of fifty that mostly predate the pandemic, and all of these felt kin. They’re about doubt, loss, depression, general stir-craziness.

“But I knew I didn’t want to make a record that pondered itself, I wanted it to have motion, so I gave this record an overarching rule: The sadder the song, the more it had to move and groove. That’s how the country weeper ‘That Look I Lost’ got the Motown treatment. I wanted you to nod along, then after listening ask, Wait, what am I shaking my ass to?”

When I Go I Ghost is Cory Branan’s sixth full length release. His first was 20 years ago: He ain’t  banging out pulp here.  A writer’s writer, Cory’s lines grip like a page-turner, giddy with interior rhyming and wordplay:

I took a shower but the shower didn’t take
– “O’ Charlene”

the kinda wreck I recognize
– “C’Mon If You Wanna Come”

You post a picture, notice the mixture
The camera captures
That ‘before and after’ look in your eye
– “C’Mon If You Wanna Come”

When she’s staring down the bad end of the barrel
Of yet another long and loaded night
– “That Look I Lost”

One propulsive song that jangles with hope is “Come On If You Wanna Come,” with lyrics about being too depressed – maybe too hungover – to venture out, accompanied by music that catches the buoyancy one feels after recovering. “’Come On’ is about as optimistic as I can get. We did all the fun Simmons 1980’s drum samples on there, and added concert toms, putting reverse gated reverb on the drums – an old ‘80s Cars-era trick. There’s Rickenbacker and a 12 string guitar. It’s a respite in the record. It evokes the Traveling Wilbury’s, though maybe a meth-y Wilburys.”

Cory’s stories don’t resolve neatly. “I embrace my fluctuating doubt. The way I write, I feel my way through these dark halls and then realize, Oh, this is how the house is shaped.”

Like a novelist, he inhabits the minds and hearts of his creations, much as they inhabit him. “I’m interested in characters at a crossroads, getting in the flux and staying there. In ‘Of Two Minds,’ I got this feel for the lead character and I asked myself, Who else is in the room with her? Then I realized – she’s the other character too! And by the end, I found myself so wholly identifying that I realized she’s also me.” First she says, “I’m gonna quit while I’m behind,” but in a later verse it’s: “I double down when I’m behind.” Flux indeed, just like real life. That song also features this stinger: “Set the pistol on the dresser and the bed on fire.”

On “Pocket of God,” he’s created a noir movie. “I tried to get as much of a story as I could in there, with someone in the hot seat. You don’t know who he’s singing to until the end, and it’s a s story of what happened to someone he cared deeply about. That song began as a sweet line about somebody thinking he picked the pocket of God to have met someone, and I thought, That’s too Hallmark, so I tried to balance it with a Raymond Carver sensibility, where definitions aren’t the same for everyone, where the narrator is untrustworthy. I’m a big fan of Randy Newman, the songwriter king of untrustworthy narrators.

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