Foxing, Greet Death, Home Is Where

Tue Jul 26 2022

7:30 PM (Doors 6:30 PM)

Bottom Lounge

1375 W. Lake St Chicago, IL 60607

$20.00

Ages 17+

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Kickstand Productions Presents
Foxing, Greet Death, Home Is Where

  • Foxing

    Foxing

    Alternative Rock

    Foxing has garnered a reputation as a band that goes big with their albums. With each release, the St. Louis-based group has appeared downright determined to top the expansiveness of their previous works. But with three sprawling and well-received records now under their belt, the band has seemingly left themselves little ground to uncover. So, on their new album, Draw Down the Moon, they set their sights on the largest subject possible: The universe.

    “It’s about the idea of your cosmic significance,” explains frontman Conor Murphy. “The way you feel like a tiny speck in the grand scheme of the universe, that’s a feeling everybody has. You can get lost thinking about how small you are. But [Draw Down the Moon] subverts that a bit to explore how your connection to people and places and ideas is what binds you to the universe and reality.”

    To tackle this literally limitless topic on Draw Down the Moon, a joint release between Hopeless Records and the band’s own Grand Paradise, Murphy took a song-by-song approach. With each of the album’s ten lush tracks, he expanded upon a different worldly theme, as viewed through the greater lens of the cosmic fabric to which we’re all bound. Age, financial ruin, sexuality, commitment, success, homes, luck, vulnerability, trust, and death are all mined for insights that together paint a galactic picture. “With each of them, the intention is to recognize that you are one small speck of the universe, but also that you’re surrounded by these other small specks, and your connectivity to them is what gives you purpose and meaning.”

    On “737,” the album’s ethereal opener, Murphy delves deep into the universal experience of aging, or “your number on the linear timeline of your finite life,” as he puts it. It’s a fitting topic for a band that fans have watched grow and evolve drastically over the last decade. While Foxing often got labeled as a post-everything band with their 2013 debut, The Albatross, they’ve since matured into an eclectic identity that critics had a hard time pinning down on their most recent work, 2018’s widely acclaimed Nearer My God. “Generally, I think everyone grows with us,” Murphy says. “We have such a dedicated fanbase that they’re aging with us and following us as our taste changes. I was 18 when we were writing The Albatross, straight out of high school. My priorities were very different than they are ten years later, as I’m 27 going on 28. Out of high school, you feel it’s important to write about relationships and unrequited love and studying abroad. Then, as you grow, your perspective changes. Now, I’m at the point where I’m consistently having existential crises. But I think people have scaled with us.”

    “It feels like a natural evolution of what we initially set out to do,” adds guitarist Eric Hudson. “We always tried to be very ambitious, musically, but the music is always the backdrop for what’s being said lyrically.”

    After the crescendoing “737,” Murphy explores themes of debt on the danceable “Go Down Together” and success on the entrancing “Where the Lightning Strikes Twice.” On the album’s titular track, he waxes about the significance of romantic commitment, even in the face of the vast universe, with lines like “I will always be your home / I wanna show you I can keep it all together.” Draw Down the Moon ultimately culminates with an assist from avant-garde artist WHY? on the cathartic closer, “Speak with the Dead,” on which the band tackles the big one: death.

    To help them pin down this overly ambitious project, Foxing brought in some additional help. After working for more than a year on their tracks at their studio in St. Louis, with Hudson at the helm as producer, the band took them to Georgia, where they holed up for a couple weeks with members of Manchester Orchestra. Combining the efforts of two bands who are each known for composing overly grandiose works might have been a recipe for disaster, but the collaborative process widened the scope of an already bold project. “It sounds chaotic but it was actually really good,” Murphy says. “They completely changed some of the songs and it was not what we were planning to do. It reworked a lot of the structures, and monumentally changed my feelings on those songs.”

    Draw Down the Moon wields an other worldly power that at times feels spiritual, and its creation took as much inspiration from religion as it did from magic and role-playing games like Dungeons & Dragons. The album title itself is derived from Margot Adler’s ritual book, Drawing Down the Moon. “I’ve been in a place in my life for a long time of deep resentment for religion, specifically Catholicism,” Murphy says, “but I felt like on this one we explored that idea of magic and ritual on a deeper level than just fiction. I value that so much now.”

    While Draw Down the Moon’s celestial nature often leads it to sound like a record as large as the galaxy itself, it is, at its heart, about all of us on the ground level—the tiny specks floating around together. “There are no life lessons in the record,” says Murphy. “It’s just saying: It’s OK to feel like this. We are all insignificant, but everyone around us is so insignificant, and together, we actually make up all of reality in the universe.”

    Foxing is Conor Murphy, Eric Hudson & Jon Hellwig

  • Greet Death

    Greet Death

    Alternative

    Mixing heavily distorted shoegaze textures with downcast slowcore and post-rock, Flint, Michigan's Greet Death earned accolades for their 2017 debut, later signing with the Deathwish label for their mighty follow-up, New Hell.

    Formed in 2016 by Logan Gaval (guitar, vocals), Sam Boyhtari (bass, vocals), and Jimmy Versluis (drums), the trio quickly found a home on Chicago-based Flesh and Bone Records, issuing their first 7", "In Heaven"/"Your Lull," in May of that year. Their lush and melancholic sound recalled the sad grandeur of '90s slowcore blended with smart post-rock tones and a particularly sludgy low-end. A year later, their full-length debut, Dixieland (named for a flea market in their hometown), helped put Greet Death on the national map and earn them a contract with heavy music specialists Deathwish, which released the band's critically lauded follow-up, New Hell, in late 2019.
  • Home Is Where

    Home Is Where

    Alternative

    “I feel all our songs, consciously or not, are about alienation.” These are the words of Brandon MacDonald, vocalist and lyricist for Home Is Where. And they ring true-- despite the amiable, palpable chemistry between the musicians, and the folksy, organic warmth at the center of their songs, the Palm Coast, Florida act perform a dizzying tightrope act, dancing between intimate melodies and gently progressive songwriting flourishes with a dexterity that belies their sonic base of aggressive, throat-shredding emotive hardcore. The end result is the sound of a band beleaguered by chronic anxiety and acutely aware of their atomization under late capitalism; a glum cloud hangs over even the least subdued moments of vibrancy throughout their milieu. And yet, despite the disaffection, something about Home Is Where demands communality, demands engagement, demands acknowledgment.
    Originally forming in 2017, Home Is Where at first consisted of MacDonald-- a multi-instrumentalist who also contributes saw and harmonica-- as well as guitarist Trace George and drummer Joe Gardella. It was this lineup of the band that initially played their first show without any music actually written; an audience member who was spontaneously chosen to play bass, Connor O’Brien, gelled so perfectly with the rest of the group that he was immediately asked to join permanently, an offer he enthusiastically accepted.
    Home Is Where’s earliest releases show them wearing their adolescent influences on their sleeves; the oldest release on their Bandcamp page, a demo recording, shows George enamoured with the stereotypically mathy guitar noodlings that much of the last decade of Midwest emo trafficks in. And yet, beneath the granular recording quality, a nuance and atmosphere evolves around that guitar work, in a similarly evocative and almost surrealistic way as the work of Victor Villarreal. Even at this very early stage, Home Is Where has another spark in the form of MacDonald’s vocals-- half-jokingly credited as “tantrum,” MacDonald cruises in a freeform fashion through multiple altitudes, the quaint-yet-passionate vibrato of their singing voice easily tipping over into screams that are downright kinetic in their forcefulness, bringing to mind comparisons to the stomach-turning passion of the band’s 90s Floridian emo inspirations such as I Hate Myself and Don Martin Three.
    That same Florida emo lineage takes root in Home Is Where’s rhythm section, which is reminiscent of Hot Water Music in its churning relentlessness and claustrophobic energy. Gardella’s sticksmanship is as manic as it is charismatic, just as likely to stuff any available sonic space with fills as it is to hang back and stay in the pocket with syncopated grooves. And O’Brien’s bass work is revelatory; while much of the compositional heft rests on the shoulders of George’s guitar histrionics, O’Brien accents it with melodies that lie somewhere between discordance and beauty, often cranking up mid-song tensions to fever pitch and applying a discomfiting restlessness to the song structures that brings to mind equal measures of Fugazi and Shellac.
    2019’s Our Mouths to Smile EP showed the band stepping up their ambitions and bringing in occasional horn interludes from friend Gabby Le, while MacDonald embraces their Bob Dylan-esque qualities, infusing every track with a poetic neuroticism and using the lyrics as a medium for impressionistic sketches. There is an artfulness to MacDonald’s lyricism that is sorely lacking in the majority of most modern emo bands, and it is ironically this refreshing vulnerability that foregrounds Home Is Where’s most unique and idiosyncratic qualities.
    Home Is Where’s newest material sees the band stretching their legs even further, with tracks that ambitiously vacillate between acoustic balladry and out-and-out excoriations and purgings of the soul, such as on the sardonically-titled “L. Ron Hubbard Was Way Cool.” While there are many bands nowadays that seek to emulate the genre-bending expressionism of early-10s scene touchstones the Brave Little Abacus, Home Is Where is one of the very few that captures the seamless blend of playfulness and existential dread that made that band so special, and correlatively makes Home Is Where far more than the sum of their parts and influences. (The secret may be, in part, the band’s collective adoration of Pink Floyd, though, as MacDonald drily notes, “We all like different eras”; that simmering friction is part of what makes the group’s chemistry so visceral and vital.)
    With the release of their newest material on the horizon, Home Is Where’s ultimate message still feels vital and hungry. The band’s ethos, in spite of the alienation that has come to define their work, is rooted in the DIY ethic and community-oriented spirit that the best punk-inspired acts embody. Home Is Where are both clever and humble enough to draw a straight line between themselves and their conceptual forefathers the Minutemen, emphasizing that in punk, all roads lead back to the same fork in the path: “Our band could be your neighborhood.”
    - Ellie Kovach of You Don’t Need Maps & The E Word Podcast
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Kickstand Productions Presents

Foxing, Greet Death, Home Is Where

Tue Jul 26 2022 7:30 PM

(Doors 6:30 PM)

Bottom Lounge Chicago IL
Foxing, Greet Death, Home Is Where

$20.00 Ages 17+

Please correct the information below.

Select ticket quantity.

Complete the security check.

Select Tickets

Ages 17+
limit 6 per person
GA
$20.00

Delivery Method

ticketFast
Will Call

Terms & Conditions

This event is 17 and over. Any Ticket holder unable to present valid identification indicating that they are at least 17 years of age will not be admitted to this event, and will not be eligible for a refund.