John Davis & The Cicadas, Wiscon, Robert Millis

Wed Apr 4 2018

8:00 PM (Doors 7:30 PM)

Sunset Tavern

5433 Ballard Avenue NW Seattle, WA 98107

Ages 21+

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John Davis & The Cicadas, Wiscon, Robert Millis

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  • John Davis & The Cicadas

    John Davis & The Cicadas


    John Davis is a recording artist and multi-instrumentalist originally from Cambridge, Massachusetts, where he started The Folk Implosion with partner Lou Barlow in the summer of 1993 (he left the band in 2000.) He relocated to Durham, NC in 2013 to begin working with producer Scott Solter on a muckraking cycle of songs about corporate corruption in the food industry and related issues like (im)migration, mass incarceration, public health, and the stock market. The result is, El Pulpo, due out in October 2017 via Shrimper/Revolver in the US and Arbouse Recordings in France.


    The songs on El Pulpo were originally written in Watertown, MA between 2010 and 2012, after John read the book Stuffed and Starved by Raj Patel and many other similar texts (such as Empire’s Workshop by Greg Grandin.) But they were recorded entirely in North Carolina, where a synergistic relationship evolved between the recording studio and the local community because of John’s work as a public school teacher and activist with the Durham Association of Educators. Living in the same town as producer Solter allowed him to record on evenings and weekends while teaching in a school that serves many children of immigrants from some of the countries referenced in the lyrics of this record. A summer recording trip to Mitch Easter’s Fidelitorium Studios in Kernersville, NC saw John and his backing band drive by Syngenta’s Headquarters for North and South America in Greensboro NC. The presence of a nearby feedstore in downtown Kernersville served as a reminder of the agricultural power of NC’s economy, where 90% of the state’s 100K farmworkers are undocumented, mostly from Latin America.


    The album title translates as “The Octopus,” after the derisive nickname union organizers in Central America gave to the United Fruit Company because of the tentacle-like grip it used to turn countries like Honduras and Guatemala into the prototypical “Banana Republic.” But the songs chart the machinations of other Octopi, from Coca-Cola to Monsanto, Blue Cross/Blue Shield and Drexel Burnham Lambert, while referencing pop-culture figures ranging from Mean Joe Green and Juan Valdez to Frank Sinatra and the infamous Earl Rusty Butz, Richard Nixon’s erstwhile Secretary of Agriculture.


    This dense and experimental (yet catchy) album was executed with the help of over a dozen backing musicians, including Peter Hughes of The Mountain Goats on bass, Andrew Levi-Hiller of Yairms/Alhhla on drums, Wendy Allen of Balustrade Ensemble on backing vocals, Jonathan Henderson of Kaira Ba on stand up bass, and improv trombone player Jeb Bishop. The resulting backing band was named The Cicadas in homage to the noisy insects that are common in the south. It’s a shifting ensemble that has varied from three to nine members onstage. The lineup on a given night depends on the availability of a rotating cast of characters, all of whom are involved with multiple musical projects and sources of gainful employment (they review sports cars, make metal sculptures, test children ad nauseum, teach yoga, serve southern cuisine, agitate for social justice, translate foreign languages, teach drums and bass, and purvey handmade scarves, hats, and mittens.)


    In addition to a hometown record release show in October and a couple of solo performances on the West Coast this winter, John will be playing a short set at Durham, NC’s Pinhook on October 11th, to coincide with the Durham premiere of a new film called All The Rage (Saved By Sarno) in which he appears (along with Larry David, Howard Stern, Bernie Sanders, Jonathan Ames & more.)

  • Wiscon



    Wiscon is the best band for the beach at and end of the world party. Their bomp sounds like a siren from 60s AM radio fronting a rawking house band revving up the score for a screening of the best sci-fi and horror B-movies. Mash up The Myserians, The Screamers, and The Ronnettes and you got this street level power pop soul fire!

  • Robert Millis

    Robert Millis

    Alternative Rock

John Davis & The Cicadas, Wiscon, Robert Millis

Wed Apr 4 2018 8:00 PM

(Doors 7:30 PM)

Sunset Tavern Seattle WA
John Davis & The Cicadas, Wiscon, Robert Millis
  • Sorry, you missed this event.
  • Check out other similar events on TicketWeb.

Ages 21+