NP 2018: Racquet Club at Brick & Mortar Music Hall @ Brick & Mortar Music Hall, San Francisco [24 February]

NP 2018: Racquet Club at Brick & Mortar Music Hall


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Brick & Mortar Music Hall
1710 Mission St, San Francisco, California 94103
Noise Pop 2018 Festival Presents:
Racquet Club at Brick & Mortar Music Hall
with Fake Your Own Death, Sun Valley Gun Club, Awakebutstillinbed
Saturday, February 24, 2018
8pm Doors / 9pm Show / 18+

Join us for the 26th annual Noise Pop Festival! The final lineup is here:

Tune-Yards • Built To Spill performs Keep It Like A Secret • Ty Dolla $ign • Real Estate • Black Rebel Motorcycle Club • Madlib (DJ Set) • Jay Electronica • Parquet Courts • San Fermin with The Magik*Magik Orchestra • WHY? • Superchunk • Toro Y Moi (DJ Set) • Doug Martsch (Solo Acoustic) • Waxahatchee (Solo) • Thao & The Get Down Stay Down • Bahamas • Rostam • Shabazz Palaces • Japanese Breakfast • Geographer • The Album Leaf • Langhorne Slim • Jay Som • Tei Shi • Bully • Alex Cameron • Girlpool • Sevdaliza • Dengue Fever • Jessy Lanza (DJ Set) • Amy Shark • No Age • Shamir • Bruno Major • Mount Eerie • Cuco • The Coathangers • Jeff Rosenstock • Caleborate • Ben UFO • Enter Shikari • The Hotelier • Carla Dal Forno • The Fresh & Onlys • G Perico • Tiny Moving Parts • Bedouine • William Tyler • Racquet Club • Gerd Janson • Sean Rowe • Grails • Crooked Colours • Mister Heavenly • Inara George (of The Bird and The Bee) • Shallou • Palehound • Weaves • Night Beats • Miya Folick • Sudan Archives • Florist • 24hrs • Slim Cessna's Auto Club • Ha Ha Tonka • Wildling • Lo-Fang • Dick Stusso • NILBOG • Covet • Meg Baird • MILCK • Mom Jeans. • Spiral Stairs • The Weather Station • Molly Burch • Ian Sweet (Solo) • Mary Lattimore • Summer Twins • Alex Edelman • Death Valley Girls • Single Mothers • Sam Coomes • Lemuria • Running Touch • Milk Teeth • Chulita Vinyl Club • Lia Ices • Gilligan Moss (DJ Set) • Twain • Andrew St. James • Emily Afton • Melkbelly • Oso Oso • Hand Habits • Joy Again • Chasms • Angelo De Augustine • The World • Field Medic • Pardoner • Flesh World • August Eve & Jasper Bones • Iman Europe • Special Explosion • Club Night • The Y Axes • Still Woozy • SOAR • Bat Fangs • The Peacers • George Cessna • Boy Scouts • The Total Bettys • DJ Aaron Axelsen • DJ Omar Perez • Mozhgan • Yeek • Rose Droll • Mall Walk • Sweet Chariot • High Sunn • Cocktails • Long Knives • ROAR • Winter • The Flytraps • Dagmar • Cash Campain • Josiah Johnson • Fake Your Own Death • Feels • Hazey Eyes • Patsy's Rats • GDJYB • Soundtube • Sun Valley Gun Club • Ghost & the City • The Band Ice Cream • Tino Drima • Vákoum • Indy Nyles • Grace Sings Sludge • Derek Ted • Evan Myall • Preening • Chuck Johnson • The Genie • Azuah • awakebutstillinbed • HUMID • Magic Magic Roses • Gray Tolhurst • False Priest • Blue Oaks • Screaming • Lapel • Aish • Remember Karen • Zelma Stone • Love Jerks • Half Stack • Well • Outer Embassy • BLXCK • Lisa Azzolino • Topographies • Host Bodies • Banzai Cliff • Chaki • Agouti • Touchless • Moon Daze • Bear Call • Friendless Summer • COKE • Bruh From Last Night • Same Girls • DJs Layne and Justin Anastasi

Since the Noise Pop debut in 1993, the Festival has featured many emerging performers who have gone on to wide acclaim, including The White Stripes, Modest Mouse, Death Cab for Cutie, The Flaming Lips, The Shins, Fleet Foxes, and Bright Eyes.

A few years ago, Blair Shehan was burnt out. His highly respected rock band The Jealous Sound released 'A Gentle Reminder' on Rise Records in 2011 but although the album was well-received and the band toured with acts like Death Cab For Cutie and Sunny Day Real Estate, they never really hit their stride. Then something unexpected happened: Shehan's previous act Knapsack starting playing shows again and he immediately rekindled a musical and creative partnership with the band's guitarist Sergie Loobkoff, who was also a founding member of Samiam. “The Knapsack reunion was a real gift for me because there was no pressure and it was just for the fun of it,” Shehan recounts. “Sergie and I started talking about writing new music together but as soon as we began we knew that this was going to be a different beast altogether.”

Racquet Club’s lineup also features The Jealous Sound drummer Bob Penn—whose sweetly syncopated drumming never sacrifices raw power—and new bassist Ian Smith, who was previously a touring member of the Bravery and happened to be a neighbor of Shehan when he was looking for a bassist for the project. However another big player in the existence of Racquet Club was Rise Records' owner Craig Ericson who immediately saw the potential in these songs even in their earliest form. “Craig knew what we were doing and sent me an email saying that he wanted to put out the record and that instantly gave us a tangible goal to work toward,” Shehan recounts. “I had to think about it because in order to do this well I would have to really show up to the artistic process. It had to be my priority. I knew it was going to shake my life up.”

“My hope was that the sound of this band would be familiar but show significant growth as well," he continues. «Everyone in this band contributes ideas and for this record we really tried to break some of our habitual writing patterns and let the best ideas win.» With that in mind, the perfect person to eventually record these songs was another collaborator from their collective past, Alex Newport (Bloc Party, Frank Turner), who recorded Knapsack's final album This Conversation Is Ending, Starting Right Now back in 1998 and went on to produce albums for their peers such as At The Drive-In. “Alex had moved back to Los Angeles and was the obvious choice,” Loobkoff recalls. “With weeks of rehearsal and pre-production and two years of writing behind us, we were probably more prepared for this album than any album any of us had done in the past,” he continues. “We really concentrated on the songwriting; a lot of that spark has to come from Blair and then we all added our parts and eventually it turned into what you hear now.”

Simply put, Racquet Club is a breathtaking rock record that will appeal to fans of the members' previous projects but also stands on its own as something singularly impressive. From the driving pop perfection of “Let Beauty Find You” to the stripped-down power of “Blood On The Moon” and melodic moodiness of “Boundaries,” these ten songs are like different shades of the same color--and together they paint a picture that's more hopeful than anything Shehan has penned in the past. “The records that I've done in the past have really been reactions to chaos in my life and the guilt or hurt that came along with them,” Shehan explains. “I'm still dealing with those tendencies but now rather than focusing on the chaos I’m focusing on solutions and those small victories.”

In other words when Shehan sings, “Get out of your own way, get out of your head” it’s a reminder to not get caught up in the self-doubt that plagues so many of us. However while the songs mainly come from Shehan, they wouldn't be nearly as dynamic without the other members' contributions and correspondingly Racquet Club showcases some of Loobkoff's most inventive playing to date. “Sergie has an incredibly deep sonic palette and a fluid almost '70s rock sensibility so it was really fun to work together and build something where I'd be like, “Wow, what were you doing there?” Shehan says. From the chiming harmonics on “Blood On The Moon” to the descending melodic lines on “New Granada” the songs on this album see all of the members stepping outside of their comfort zones to create something that grows more compelling with each listen.

That's not serendipitous, it's because every note on Racquet Club was carefully constructed and labored over. “Making this record together was a struggle at times and there was a lot of self-doubt on Blair's part but we pulled it off,” Loobkoff summarizes. Shehan echoes this sentiment adding, “For me making this record was a challenge in a lot of ways and just completing it makes me feel so good. In life you get these moments where you realize your goal is worth taking a chance on because once you accomplish it you can walk upright in the world knowing that you did your best.” In the end, the very act of creation is what makes Racquet Club a success--and the songs speak for themselves in a way that will stay with the listener long after the album has ended.

You don’t have to actually die to start over, but you might have to
pretend to. Fake Your Own Death was born out of studio apartment located above a bar in Berlin where Terry Ashkinos (formerly of indie band Elephone) was studying the fall of communism for the American government. A handful of songs became a collaboration between Terry and drummer Scott Eberhardt and soon after became a band with the addition of Izzy Chavarin on bass and Jimmy Chen on guitar. Fake Your Own Death songs are a combination of loathing and reverb. Tight beats and sharp guitars compliment a bass heavy vibe that is postpunk at its finest. Alluring stories about misfits, escape and the collapse of meaning create a patchwork of uneasiness and romantic nostalgia. FYOD has been compared to bands like Echo and the Bunnymen, Love and Rockets, Elvis Costello, Sonic Youth, The National and Jesus and Mary Chain by both local and national press. Two of the band members in FYOD are English teachers, one is a shoe model and the other one is named Jimmy. The band has played with the likes of The Warlocks, Blood Red Shoes, You Say Party We Say Die, Film School, White Denim, Bob Mould, Trail of the Dead, The Devotionals and Gang of Four. Fake Your Own Death’s debut album is called Invisible and Bulletproof (Monolathe Recordings 2014) followed by El Terrible (Breakup Records 2016). This year will see the release of 2 EP’s The Wake and Smile Campaign in 2018.
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