Cat's Cradle

Haw River Ballroom


Mar
24 Tue
Image for John Moreland, with S.G. Goodman

John Moreland, with S.G. Goodman

Saxapahaw, NC
United States
Doors at 7:00 PM, Show at 8:00 PM
 More Information
TICKET PRICES CURRENTLY AVAILABLE
ADVANCED: $15.00

TICKET SALE DATES
ADVANCED Public Onsale: October 25, 2019 10:00 AM to March 24, 2020 12:00 AM

PERFORMANCE DESCRIPTION
This is a seated show.

Over the last half a dozen years or so, John Moreland's honesty has stunned us--and stung. As he put hurts we didn't even realize we had or shared into his songs, we sang along. And we felt better. But there has always been far more to Moreland than sad songs. Today, his earthbound poetry remains potent, but in addition to his world-weary candor, Moreland's music smolders with gentle wisdom, flashes of wit and joy, and compassion. And once again, as we listen, we feel better.

"I can't dress myself up and be some folk singer character that I'm not really," Moreland says. "I figured, I can't dress up these songs and try to sell them that way. All I can do is be me."

Out February 2020, his latest album LP5 proves John Moreland has gotten really good at being John Moreland--thank God. A masterful display of songwriting by one of today's best young practitioners of the art form, LP5 is Moreland's finest record to date. The album's experimentations with instrumentation and sounds capture an artist whose confidence has grown, all without abandoning the hardy roots rock bed and the lyrics-first approach Moreland's work demands. "I feel like just this year, in the past few months, I've reached a point where I feel like I know what I'm doing here now," he says. "And I feel comfortable with it."

There was a time when Moreland thought LP5 may not happen. Wary of expectations and his cemented status as a writer's writer and critical darling, the Tulsa, Oklahoma-based Moreland found writing difficult at best--and completely undesirable at worst. "I'm hesitant to talk about it because I know people don't want to hear some dude complaining that his dream of being a successful musician came true, but there are things about it that you don't expect that can mess you up," Moreland says. "One of the results of that was I really didn't want to write songs for a couple of years." He pauses and sighs. "One of the ways I got back into liking music again was to let go of the idea that every time I'd go mess around with an instrument, I'd have to be writing a really good song. I just gave myself the freedom to go into my little music room every day and mess around with different instruments and different sounds. It doesn't have to be anything. It doesn't have to result in anything."

Moreland points to that liberating rediscovery as a major influence on the sonic choices that shape LP5. There is no grand or alarming stylistic departure here--just different textures and background layers that add muscly new dimensions to Moreland's heretofore instrumentally sparse recordings. The record also marks Moreland's first time working with a producer. He chose Matt Pence. "I wouldn't say that he pushed me into trying anything that I didn't already want to do, but I think I came in with a lot of ideas that I found interesting but didn't know how to execute. Matt was great at expanding on those things," Moreland says.

For Moreland, falling back in love with music also coincided with an even more personal change. "This past year, I've been getting into mindfulness and being kinder to myself," he says. "I was really on that wave when I started writing these songs. I guess it shows."

Links: Website | Facebook | Twitter
Apr
20 Mon
Image for Sharon Van Etten, with Jay Som

Sharon Van Etten, with Jay Som

Saxapahaw, NC
United States
Doors at 7:00 PM, Show at 8:00 PM
 More Information

PERFORMANCE DESCRIPTION
Sharon Van Etten's Remind Me Tomorrow comes four years after Are We There, and reckons with the life that gets lived when you put off the small and inevitable maintenance in favor of something more present. Throughout Remind Me Tomorrow, Sharon Van Etten veers towards the driving, dark glimmer moods that have illuminated the edges of her music and pursues them full force. With curling low vocals and brave intimacy, Remind Me Tomorrow is an ambitious album that provokes our most sensitive impulses: reckless affections, spirited nurturing, and tender courage.

"I wrote this record while going to school, pregnant, after taking the OA audition," says Van Etten. "I met Katherine Dieckmann while I was in school and writing for her film. She's a true New Yorker who has lived in her rent controlled west village apartment for over 30 years. Her husband lives across the hall. They raised two kids this way. When I expressed concern about raising a child as an artist in New York City, she said 'you're going to be
fine. Your kids are going to be fucking fine. If you have the right partner, you'll figure it out together.'" Van Etten goes on, "I want to be a mom, a singer, an actress, go to school, but yeah, I have a stain on my shirt, oatmeal in my hair and I feel like a mess, but I'm here. Doing it. This record is about pursuing your passions." The reality is Remind Me Tomorrow was written in stolen time: in scraps of hours wedged between myriad
endeavors - Van Etten guest-starred in The OA, and brought her music onstage in David Lynch's revival of Twin Peaks. Off-screen, she wrote her first score for Katherine Dieckmann's movie Strange Weather and the closing title song for Tig Notaro's show Tig. She goes on, "The album title makes me giggle. It occurred to me one night when I, on auto- pilot, clicked 'remind me tomorrow' on the update window that pops up all the time on my computer. I hadn't updated in months! And it's the simplest of tasks!"

The songs on Remind Me Tomorrow have been transported from Van Etten's original demos through John Congleton's arrangement. Congleton helped flip the signature Sharon Van Etten ratio, making the album more energetic-upbeat than minimal-meditative. "I was feeling overwhelmed. I couldn't let go of my recordings - I needed to step back and work with a producer." She continues, "I tracked two songs as a trial run with John [Jupiter 4 and Memorial Day]. I gave him Suicide, Portishead, and Nick Cave's Skeleton Tree as references and he got excited. I knew we had to work together. It gave me the perspective I needed. It's going to be challenging for people in a good way." The songs are as resonating as ever, the themes are still an honest and subtle approach to love and longing, but Congleton has plucked out new idiosyncrasies from Van Etten's sound.

For Remind Me Tomorrow, Van Etten put down the guitar. When she was writing the score for Strange Weather her reference was Ry Cooder, so she was playing her guitar constantly and getting either bored or getting writer's block. At the time, she was sharing a studio space with someone who had a synthesizer and an organ, and she wrote on piano at home, so she naturally gravitated to keys when not working on the score - to clear her mind. Remind Me Tomorrow shows this magnetism towards new instruments: piano keys that churn, deep drones, distinctive sharp drums. It was "reverb universe" she says of the writing. There are intense synths, a propulsive organ, a distorted harmonium.

Links: Website | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram | Spotify | Apple Music

Off Sale Online
Apr
24 Fri
Image for Waxahatchee, with Ohmme

Waxahatchee, with Ohmme

Saxapahaw, NC
United States
Doors at 7:00 PM, Show at 8:00 PM
 More Information
TICKET PRICES CURRENTLY AVAILABLE
ADVANCED: $18.00
DAY OF: $20.00

TICKET SALE DATES
ADVANCED Public Onsale: January 24, 2020 10:00 AM to April 24, 2020 12:00 AM
DAY OF Public Onsale: April 24, 2020 12:00 AM to April 24, 2020 6:00 PM

PERFORMANCE DESCRIPTION
On September 7, Katie Crutchfield's ever-shifting musical project Waxahatchee returns with the Great Thunder EP. Featuring a collection of songs written with now-dormant experimental recording group Great Thunder while Crutchfield was also writing the Waxahatchee albums Cerulean Salt and Ivy Tripp, the original recordings have mostly faded into obscurity. Unearthing and reimagining them with producer Brad Cook at Justin Vernon's April Base studio in Wisconsin was a cathartic experience, she says.

On the heels of last year's critically acclaimed Out in the Storm, Crutchfield found herself looking to take a sharp turn away from the more rock-oriented influences of her recent records towards her more folk and country roots. "I would say that it is a complete 180 from the last record: super stripped-down, quiet, and with me performing solo, it's a throwback to how I started," writes Crutchfield. "Overall, the EP is a warm, kind of vibey recording."

Some of the songs on Great Thunder, like "Chapel of Pines" and "Singer's No Star," stayed the same and will be recognizable to those intensely familiar with Crutchfield's catalog to date, while closer "Takes So Much" was built back up on piano from the bones of the original version, surprising even the songwriter: "Until then, I didn't realize how beautiful this song was." As Crutchfield entered April Base to record, she became ill but opted to forge on, beautifully stretching her voice to its emotional limits.

Links: Website | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram
May
1 Fri
Image for Tennis, with Molly Burch

Tennis, with Molly Burch

Saxapahaw, NC
United States
Doors at 8:00 PM, Show at 9:00 PM
 More Information
TICKET PRICES CURRENTLY AVAILABLE
ADVANCED: $18.00
DAY OF: $20.00

TICKET SALE DATES
ADVANCED Public Onsale: November 15, 2019 10:00 AM to May 1, 2020 12:00 AM
DAY OF Public Onsale: May 1, 2020 12:00 AM to May 1, 2020 11:59 PM

PERFORMANCE DESCRIPTION
Links: Website | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram | < a href="https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCVOdVSbZ_U2YblectplZgyw">YouTube | Spotify | SoundCloud
May
3 Sun
Image for Snail Mail, with Hotline TNT

Snail Mail, with Hotline TNT

Saxapahaw, NC
United States
Doors at 7:00 PM, Show at 8:00 PM
 More Information
TICKET PRICES CURRENTLY AVAILABLE
ADVANCED: $20.00
DAY OF: $22.00

TICKET SALE DATES
DAY OF Public Onsale: May 3, 2020 12:00 AM to May 3, 2020 6:00 PM
ADVANCED Public Onsale: January 16, 2020 10:00 AM to May 3, 2020 12:00 AM

PERFORMANCE DESCRIPTION
Lindsey Jordan is on the brink of something huge, and she's only just graduated high school. Her voice rises and falls with electricity throughout Lush, her debut album as Snail Mail, spinning with bold excitement and new beginnings at every turn.

"Is there any better feeling than coming clean?" sings the eighteen-year-old guitarist and songwriter halfway through the sprawling anthem that is "Pristine," the album's first single. You can't help but agree with her. It's a hook that immediately sticks in your head-and a question she seems to be grappling with throughout the record's 10-songs of crystalline guitar pop.

Throughout Lush, Jordan's clear and powerful voice, acute sense of pacing, and razor-sharp writing cut through the chaos and messiness of growing up: the passing trends, the awkward house parties, the sick-to-your-stomach crushes and the heart wrenching breakups. Jordan's most masterful skill is in crafting tension, working with muted melodrama that builds and never quite breaks, stretching out over moody rockers and soft-burning hooks, making for visceral slow-releases that stick under the skin.

Lush feels at times like an emotional rollercoaster, only fitting for Jordan's explosive, dynamic personality. Growing up in Baltimore suburb Ellicot City, Jordan began her classical guitar training at age five, and a decade later wrote her first audacious songs as Snail Mail. Around that time, Jordan started frequenting local shows in Baltimore, where she formed close friendships within the local scene, the impetus for her to form a band. By the time she was sixteen, she had already released her debut EP, Habit, on local punk label Sister Polygon Records.

In the time that's elapsed since Habit, Jordan has graduated high school, toured the country, opened for the likes of Girlpool and Waxahatchee as well as selling out her own headline shows, and participated in a round-table discussion for the New York Times about women in punk-giving her time to reflect and refine her songwriting process by using tempered pacings and alternate tunings to create a jawdropping debut both thoughtful and cathartic. Recorded with producer Jake Aron and engineer Johnny Schenke, with contributions from touring bandmates drummer Ray Brown and bassist Alex Bass as well, Lush sounds cinematic, yet still perfectly homemade.

The songs on Lush often come close to the five-minute mark, making them long enough to get lost in. The album's more gauzy and meditative songs play out like ideal end-of-the-night soundtracks, the kind that might score a 3am conversation or a long drive home, from the finger-picking of "Speaking Terms" to the subtle, sweeping harmonies and French horn on "Deep Sea." It only makes sense that Jordan wrote these songs late at night during a time when she was obsessively reading Eileen Myles and listening to a lot of slowcore and folk songwriters.

"Heat Wave" is one of the album's most devastating moments, a song that wallows in a crumbling mid-summer relationship. "I broke it off, called out of my shift, and just cried in my bathtub and wrote this song," Jordan recalls. "I was just so desperate to just get the way I was feeling out onto paper so that I could just have it and be done with it. It was almost kind of painful. It was like puking onto paper, and crying, 'This girl hurt my feelings!' Towards the end of writing the record, I became better at dealing with my emotions."

Links: Website | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram | Bandcamp
Jun
21 Sun
Image for Gregory Alan Isakov, with Che Apalache

Gregory Alan Isakov, with Che Apalache

Saxapahaw, NC
United States
Doors at 7:00 PM, Show at 8:00 PM
 More Information
TICKET PRICES CURRENTLY AVAILABLE
ADVANCED: $36.00

TICKET SALE DATES
ADVANCED Public Onsale: February 14, 2020 10:00 AM to June 21, 2020 6:00 PM

PERFORMANCE DESCRIPTION
Born in Johannesburg, South Africa, raised in Philadelphia, Gregory Alan Isakov now calls Colorado home. Isakov has released four full-length studio albums (That Sea, The Gambler; This Empty Northern Hemisphere; The Weatherman; and Gregory Alan Isakov with the Colorado Symphony) on his independent record label, Suitcase Town Music. His fifth and most recent album, Evening Machines was released by Suitcase Town Music in collaboration with Dualtone Records. When Isakov isn't touring, he spends much of his time on his farm in Boulder County, which provides produce to local restaurants within the community.

Many musicians have day jobs to make ends meet. However, few artists maintain the lifestyle kept by Gregory Alan Isakov. The Colorado-based indie-folk artist is a full-time farmer who sells vegetable seeds and grows various market crops on his three-acre farm, while also tending to a thriving musical career.

"I switch gears a lot," he says. "I wake up really early in the growing season, and then in the winters, I'm up all night. I'm constantly moving back and forth."

Isakov had an easier time balancing his two passions while making his fourth full-length studio album, Evening Machines. In between farm duties, the multi-instrumentalist wrote and recorded in a studio housed in a barn on his property. Like the farm, this studio has a communal atmosphere, filled with instruments and gear stored there by musician friends-gear Isakov always leaves on, just in case inspiration strikes.

"Sometimes I couldn't sleep, so I'd walk into the studio and work really hard into the night," he says. "A lot of times I would find myself in the light of all these VU meters and the tape machine glow, so that's where the title came from. I recorded mostly at night, when I wasn't working in the gardens. It doesn't matter if it's summer or winter, morning or afternoon, this music always feels like evening to me."

As its name implies, the dark indie rock and folk populating Evening Machines possesses a dusky hue. Hushed acoustic guitar and sparse piano combine for a moody foundation that's amplified by ornate and heavy embellishments: distant electric guitars, keyboards, pedal steel, saw, percussion, strings, banjo, and some electronic drums. Lilting background vocals intertwine with Isakov's watercolor-streaked murmur on "Powder," while "Where You Gonna Go" applies haunting, echoing vocal effects to his voice.

However, in a nod to the musician's desire to strike a "balance of space and instrumentation," these lush flourishes-loping banjo on "Dark, Dark, Dark," ghostly pedal steel on "Was I Just Another One" and strings twirling through the waltzing "Southern Star"-enhance his precise, thoughtful arrangements. It's an intimate album that encourages close listening and contemplation.

$1 from every ticket will go to The Land Institute. The Land Institute is a non-profit whose vision is to develop an agricultural system that can produce ample food, reduce or eliminate impacts from the disruptions and dependencies of industrial agriculture, and inform cultural change through education.

Links: The Land Institute | Website | Facebook | Twitter | YouTube
Jun
22 Mon
Image for Gregory Alan Isakov, with Che Apalache

Gregory Alan Isakov, with Che Apalache

Saxapahaw, NC
United States
Doors at 7:00 PM, Show at 8:00 PM
 More Information
TICKET PRICES CURRENTLY AVAILABLE
ADVANCED: $36.00

TICKET SALE DATES
ADVANCED Public Onsale: February 14, 2020 10:00 AM to June 22, 2020 6:00 PM

PERFORMANCE DESCRIPTION
Born in Johannesburg, South Africa, raised in Philadelphia, Gregory Alan Isakov now calls Colorado home. Isakov has released four full-length studio albums (That Sea, The Gambler; This Empty Northern Hemisphere; The Weatherman; and Gregory Alan Isakov with the Colorado Symphony) on his independent record label, Suitcase Town Music. His fifth and most recent album, Evening Machines was released by Suitcase Town Music in collaboration with Dualtone Records. When Isakov isn't touring, he spends much of his time on his farm in Boulder County, which provides produce to local restaurants within the community.

Many musicians have day jobs to make ends meet. However, few artists maintain the lifestyle kept by Gregory Alan Isakov. The Colorado-based indie-folk artist is a full-time farmer who sells vegetable seeds and grows various market crops on his three-acre farm, while also tending to a thriving musical career.

"I switch gears a lot," he says. "I wake up really early in the growing season, and then in the winters, I'm up all night. I'm constantly moving back and forth."

Isakov had an easier time balancing his two passions while making his fourth full-length studio album, Evening Machines. In between farm duties, the multi-instrumentalist wrote and recorded in a studio housed in a barn on his property. Like the farm, this studio has a communal atmosphere, filled with instruments and gear stored there by musician friends-gear Isakov always leaves on, just in case inspiration strikes.

"Sometimes I couldn't sleep, so I'd walk into the studio and work really hard into the night," he says. "A lot of times I would find myself in the light of all these VU meters and the tape machine glow, so that's where the title came from. I recorded mostly at night, when I wasn't working in the gardens. It doesn't matter if it's summer or winter, morning or afternoon, this music always feels like evening to me."

As its name implies, the dark indie rock and folk populating Evening Machines possesses a dusky hue. Hushed acoustic guitar and sparse piano combine for a moody foundation that's amplified by ornate and heavy embellishments: distant electric guitars, keyboards, pedal steel, saw, percussion, strings, banjo, and some electronic drums. Lilting background vocals intertwine with Isakov's watercolor-streaked murmur on "Powder," while "Where You Gonna Go" applies haunting, echoing vocal effects to his voice.

However, in a nod to the musician's desire to strike a "balance of space and instrumentation," these lush flourishes-loping banjo on "Dark, Dark, Dark," ghostly pedal steel on "Was I Just Another One" and strings twirling through the waltzing "Southern Star"-enhance his precise, thoughtful arrangements. It's an intimate album that encourages close listening and contemplation.

$1 from every ticket will go to The Land Institute. The Land Institute is a non-profit whose vision is to develop an agricultural system that can produce ample food, reduce or eliminate impacts from the disruptions and dependencies of industrial agriculture, and inform cultural change through education.

Links: The Land Institute | Website | Facebook | Twitter | YouTube

Haw River Ballroom

1711 Saxapahaw-bethlehem Church Rd
Saxapahaw, NC
United States