Thu May 3 2018

8:30 PM (Doors 8:00 PM)

Zydeco

2001 15th Ave. South Birmingham, AL 35205

Ages 18+

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Fruition w/ Voodoo Visionary

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  • Fruition

    Fruition

    Jam Bands

    Jay Cobb Anderson (vocals, lead guitar, harmonica) / Kellen Asebroek (vocals, rhythm guitar, piano) / Mimi Naja (vocals, mandolin, electric & acoustic guitar) / Jeff Leonard (bass) / Tyler Thompson (drums, banjo)

     

    On their fifth full-length, Watching It All Fall Apart, Fruition transform pain and heartache into something truly glorious. With their songwriting sharper and more nuanced than ever before—and their sonic palette more daringly expansive—the Portland, Oregon-based band’s full-hearted intensity ultimately gives the album a transcendent power.

     

    “The songs are mostly breakup songs,” says Asebroek. “There was love and now it’s gone—we fucked it up, or some outside circumstance brought it to an end. It’s about dealing with all that but still having hope in your heart, even if you’re feeling a little lost and jaded.”

     

    In a departure from their usual DIY approach, Fruition teamed up with producer/mixer Tucker Martine (My Morning Jacket, The Decemberists, First Aid Kit, case/lang/veirs) to adorn their folk-rooted sound with delicately crafted elements of psychedelia and soul. Showcasing the sublime harmonies the band first discovered during an impromptu busking session in 2008, Watching It All Fall Apart also finds Fruition more fully embracing their rock-and-roll sensibilities and bringing a gritty vitality to each track. “We’ve been a band almost ten years now, and we’re at the point of being comfortable in our skin and unafraid to be whatever we want as time goes on,” Anderson notes.

     

    Recorded in ten days at Flora Recording & Playback in Portland, Watching It All Fall Apart came to life with the same kinetic urgency found in Fruition’s live sound. “It’s kind of an impossible task, this idea of transmuting the live energy into something you can play on your stereo, but I feel like this record comes close to that,” says Asebroek. At the same time, the band pursued a purposeful inventiveness that resulted in their most intricately textured work to date. “Tucker helped us push ourselves to create something that glistens in subtle little ways that you might not even pick up on at first,” says Asebroek. “We got to play around with all this analog gear and these weird old keyboards we wouldn’t ordinarily use, like a bunch of kids in a toy store where everything is free.”

     

    On lead single “I’ll Never Sing Your Name,” that unrestrained creativity manifests in a fuzzed-out, gracefully chaotic track complete with sing-along-ready chorus. Built on brilliantly piercing lyrics (“And all those kisses that you were blowing/Somehow they all got blown right out”), the song echoes the album’s emotional arc by painfully charting the journey from heartache to acceptance. “It’s about going through a breakup, moping around, and then finally getting to the point where it’s like, ‘Okay—I’m done with feeling this way now,’” says Anderson.

     

    Throughout Watching It All Fall Apart, the band’s let-the-bad-times-roll mentality reveals itself in ever-shifting tones and moods. On the stark and sleepy “Northern Town,” Naja’s smoldering vocals channel the ache of longing, the track’s twangy guitar lines blending beautifully with its swirling string arrangement. One of the few album cuts to have already appeared in Fruition’s setlist, “There She Was” sheds the heavy funk influence of its live version and gets reimagined as a shimmering, soulful number documenting Asebroek’s real-life run-in with an ex at a local bar. Meanwhile, “Turn to Dust” emerges as a weary but giddy piece of psych-pop chronicling the end of a failed romance. The song’s opening lyric also lends the album its title, which partly serves as “a commentary on the general state of the world today,” according to Asebroek. “Even if you’re mostly an optimistic person, it’s hard not to feel down when you look at all the insanity happening right now,” he says.

     

    While those unflinchingly intimate breakup songs form the core of Watching It All Fall Apart, Fruition infuse an element of social commentary into songs like “FOMO” as well. Written on the Fourth of July, with its references to wasted white girls and cocaine cowboys, the mournful yet strangely reassuring track unfolds as what Anderson calls “an anti-party party song.”“It’s about one of those situations where you said you’d go to party but you really don’t want to go, because you know it’s going to be the same old bullshit,” he says. “The song is a call to defuse that guilt in your brain.” And on the sweetly uplifting “Let’s Take It Too Far,” the band offers one of the album’s most purely romantic moments by paying loving tribute to music as solace and salvation (“But don’t you worry ’bout dyin’/’Cause there’s no better way to go/We’ll sing until we’re out of honey/Then pour the gravel down our throats”).

     

    From song to song, Fruition display the dynamic musicality they’ve shown since making their debut with 2008’s Hawthorne Hoedown LP. Through the years, the band has evolved from a rootsy, string-centric outfit to a full-fledged rock act, eventually taking the stage at such major festivals as Bonnaroo and Telluride Bluegrass (a set that inspired Rolling Stone to praise their “raucous originals filled with heartfelt lyrics and stadium-worthy energy”). Following the release of 2016’s Labor of Love, Fruition again made the rounds at festivals across the U.S., prompting Rolling Stone to feature the band on its “8 Best Things We Saw” at DelFest 2016.

     

    In choosing a closing track for Watching It All Fall Apart, Fruition landed on “Eraser”—a slow-building, gently determined epic delivering a quiet message of hope in its final line: “Let it help you heal.”“Because there’s so much heartbreak on this album, we wanted to end on Kellen singing that last line very sweetly,” explains Anderson. “The whole point of having all these sad songs is helping people to let those emotions out—and then hopefully when they get to the end, they feel a little better about everything they’ve gone through along the way.”

  • Voodoo Visionary

    Voodoo Visionary

    Jam Bands

    Voodoo Visionary hails from the dirty south musical mecca of Atlanta. Their improvisational funk dance music delicately balances a tight, grooving rhythm section with diverse and dexterous keys and masterful guitar licks to create a sound the group calls psychofunk. Influenced by a wide array of artists such as Parliament Funkadelic, the Meters, the Grateful Dead, and Talking Heads, Voodoo Visionary has a uniquely blended sound that’s guaranteed to put the 'oogie in yo boogie.

    The band is made up of Dennis Dowd (keys), Jimmy Lynch (bass), Scott MacDonald (vocals), Mac Schmitz (drums), and Mike Wilson (guitar). Wilson, Schmitz and Lynch have been playing together for over 8 years, during which time they built a unique chemistry that allows for exceptional improvisation during live shows. MacDonald joined the group in July 2013 as the lead vocalist and Voodoo Visionary began writing new music and playing shows immediately. Dowd was added to the band in March 2014 providing a missing link that enhanced the band’s distinctive sound, and the group has since taken off in the Atlanta music scene. Jose Rivera (percussion), Martin Anderson (saxophone), and Ben Otieno (trumpet) are regular additions to the live show and are featured on Voodoo Visionary's sophomore album.

    Voodoo Visionary released their debut album, Spirit of the Groove in March 2015. Over the past two years, while playing across the southeast, the band has shared the stage with acts such as Karl Denson’s Tiny Universe with Jimmy Herring, TAUK, Col. Bruce Hampton, Zach Deputy, Earphunk, Roosevelt Collier, Jerry Joseph, The Main Squeeze, and Futurebirds. The band has been performing at venues like Variety Playhouse, Terminal West, the Georgia Theatre, Barrelhouse South, Ringside Cafe, and Crowbar, as well as major festivals such as Counterpoint Music and Arts Festival and Sweetwater 420 Fest. The band has made live radio appearances on WUGA's It's Friday program, WMNF's In the Groove, and WPRK's Green Eggs and Jams. In 2016, they have excelled further into the regional and national music scene with festival performances at Sweetwater 420 Fest, Purple Hatters Ball, Great Outdoors Jam, Imagine Festival, Hookahville, and Backwoods Music Festival. They are scheduled to release their second studio album, "Off The Ground," in February 2017.

    Voodoo Visionary’s first album, Spirit of the Groove, draws from the various musical influences found among the band members. Elements of funk, jazz, disco and rock n’ roll combine to create an inimitable sound. Tracks such as “All Week,” “Salt” and “Parasite” have compositional elements reminiscent of Frank Zappa and Return to Forever, while “Take the Wheel” evokes a style similar to Phish. The driving grooves of “The Heathen,” “Testify” and “Dancin’ Feet” make it nearly impossible to sit still while listening, and the “Kang Gang Anthem” hints at elements of Pink Floyd while paying homage to the festival scene the band holds so close to their hearts. Spirit of the Groove was recorded live in the studio to capture the raw energy and showcase the improvisational expertise that the band brings to their live show.

Fruition w/ Voodoo Visionary

Thu May 3 2018 8:30 PM

(Doors 8:00 PM)

Zydeco Birmingham AL
Fruition w/ Voodoo Visionary
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Ages 18+