KEXP Presents: Mercury Rev celebrate the 20th Anniversary of Deserter's Songs w/ Marissa Nadler

Fri Oct 19 2018

9:00 PM (Doors 8:00 PM)

Tractor

5213 Ballard Avenue NW Seattle, WA 98107

Ages 21+

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MERCURY REV was formed in Buffalo, New York in the late 1980's. Consistently driven by Jonathan Donahue (vocalist/acoustic guitar), Grasshopper (moth-light guitars, clarinet, tettix wave accumulator), Jeff Mercel (drums, piano, keyboards) with Dave Fridmann (bass explore, telescope, knob twiddler), Mercury Rev have continued to surprise and enlighten listeners for over a decade and a half with their maverick musical explorations. In the beginning, MERCURY REV's first recordings emerged simply as a means for creating soundtracks to experimental films that they and their friends were creating. David Baker (sometimes vocals), Suzanne Thorpe (flutes), and Jimy Chambers (percussion) joined this loosely connected ensemble, and eventually recorded a demo during off-hours at the SUNY Fredonia studio. This demo somehow made its way to the British offices of the Jungle/Mint label, who contacted Donahue about signing the group. MERCURY REV reconvened to record their debut, YERSELF IS STEAM. Highlighted by distorted art-pop epics like "Chasing a Bee", "Coney Island Cyclone", and "Frittering", YERSELF IS STEAM was released to widespread acclaim in 1991. Later that year, the CAR WASH HAIR E.P. further convinced pundits of MERCURY REV's volatile genius.

The group's second show (playing to over 10,000 people) at the Reading Festival in the UK, showed the dynamics of their live show, and during the next year and a half they found themselves performing at such diverse venues as the Royal Albert Hall in London and in an opening slot for Bob Dylan at Yale University. The release of BOCES in 1993 was a continuation of their marriage of searing noise with crystalline pop. Although this became their first record to hit the UK Top 50, by the next year, musical differences led to the departure of David Baker. Dave Fridmann, on the other hand, decided to focus on sound engineering and production, and ceased touring with the band (continuing to work with them in the studio). By the time the beautiful SEE YOU ON THE OTHER SIDE appeared in 1995, the first chapter in MERCURY REV's maverick career had drawn to a close. 

Switching record labels and nearly broke, Donahue and Hopper relocated to the Catskill Mountains in New York State with newcomers Adam Snyder (keyboards) and Jeff Mercel to begin writing new material. Chambers and Thorpe, unable to deal with the band's continuous chaos, decided to move on. The band began recording what was to become DESERTER'S SONGS during 1997 at Dave Fridmann's Tarbox Recording Studio. DESERTER'S SONGS was released in 1998 to world-wide acclaim. On this influential album, MERCURY REV reinvented itself with sweeping orchestrations and poetically heartfelt lyrics. It would herald a rebirth for the band, allowing for further experimentation and thrill-seeking. MERCURY REV toured extensively for DESERTER'S SONGS, which was chosen as album of the year by the NME, MOJO, and many other international music publications. 

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KEXP Presents: Mercury Rev celebrate the 20th Anniversary of Deserter's Songs w/ Marissa Nadler

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  • Mercury Rev

    Mercury Rev

    Alternative Rock

    Join Jonathan and Grasshopper as they celebrate the 20th anniversary of 'Deserter's Songs'.

    An intimate, acoustic evening featuring many of the stories and songs surrounding the Mercury Rev’s heartbreaking 1998 classic ‘Deserter’s Songs’.

    Performed in the fragile ‘whisper and strum’ way they were originally written, this promises to be an extraordinary glimpse into the forces that nearly destroyed a band and the strange events leading toward a most unexpected return.

    Personal statement from Jonathan Donahue:

    “By the time we began to surface following the destruction of the mid 90’s there was no longer anyone of the band ‘in the band’. It felt as though Grasshopper and I were just these two see-through phantoms banging around at night in my attic, bumping into a melody here and there, strumming on the last of my guitars not in hock, pressing pray and record on the old 8 Track reel to reel. 

    We had no management, no label, no money and to be completely honest, no one clamoring for a new Rev album anywhere in the world. In fact, on the 2″ tapes during the late recordings Dave Fridmann didn’t write Mercury Rev and instead he used the name Harmony Rockets, a recent experimental side project of ours. The way we saw it, Deserter’s wasn’t going to be our next album… it was going to be our last. And likely only released on cassette to our friends… In fact, the only copy i’ve kept of Deserter’s Songs from that time is on cassette.

    If anything, these upcoming live shows are by far the closest in spirit and nature to the original writing of that time. Near silent, apprehensive, fragile to the point of ‘touch it and it turns to dust’. So full of self-doubt. The melancholy many hear on the album went in to album from the start, maybe long before it. Like from a mother to her unborn child, sadness and bewilderment just poured out us and into the album like an open cup.”

  • Marissa Nadler

    Marissa Nadler

    Music

Follow us on Twitter @tractortavern

KEXP Presents: Mercury Rev celebrate the 20th Anniversary of Deserter's Songs w/ Marissa Nadler

Fri Oct 19 2018 9:00 PM

(Doors 8:00 PM)

Tractor Seattle WA
KEXP Presents: Mercury Rev celebrate the 20th Anniversary of Deserter's Songs w/ Marissa Nadler
  • Sorry, you missed this event.
  • Check out other similar events on TicketWeb.

Ages 21+

MERCURY REV was formed in Buffalo, New York in the late 1980's. Consistently driven by Jonathan Donahue (vocalist/acoustic guitar), Grasshopper (moth-light guitars, clarinet, tettix wave accumulator), Jeff Mercel (drums, piano, keyboards) with Dave Fridmann (bass explore, telescope, knob twiddler), Mercury Rev have continued to surprise and enlighten listeners for over a decade and a half with their maverick musical explorations. In the beginning, MERCURY REV's first recordings emerged simply as a means for creating soundtracks to experimental films that they and their friends were creating. David Baker (sometimes vocals), Suzanne Thorpe (flutes), and Jimy Chambers (percussion) joined this loosely connected ensemble, and eventually recorded a demo during off-hours at the SUNY Fredonia studio. This demo somehow made its way to the British offices of the Jungle/Mint label, who contacted Donahue about signing the group. MERCURY REV reconvened to record their debut, YERSELF IS STEAM. Highlighted by distorted art-pop epics like "Chasing a Bee", "Coney Island Cyclone", and "Frittering", YERSELF IS STEAM was released to widespread acclaim in 1991. Later that year, the CAR WASH HAIR E.P. further convinced pundits of MERCURY REV's volatile genius.

The group's second show (playing to over 10,000 people) at the Reading Festival in the UK, showed the dynamics of their live show, and during the next year and a half they found themselves performing at such diverse venues as the Royal Albert Hall in London and in an opening slot for Bob Dylan at Yale University. The release of BOCES in 1993 was a continuation of their marriage of searing noise with crystalline pop. Although this became their first record to hit the UK Top 50, by the next year, musical differences led to the departure of David Baker. Dave Fridmann, on the other hand, decided to focus on sound engineering and production, and ceased touring with the band (continuing to work with them in the studio). By the time the beautiful SEE YOU ON THE OTHER SIDE appeared in 1995, the first chapter in MERCURY REV's maverick career had drawn to a close. 

Switching record labels and nearly broke, Donahue and Hopper relocated to the Catskill Mountains in New York State with newcomers Adam Snyder (keyboards) and Jeff Mercel to begin writing new material. Chambers and Thorpe, unable to deal with the band's continuous chaos, decided to move on. The band began recording what was to become DESERTER'S SONGS during 1997 at Dave Fridmann's Tarbox Recording Studio. DESERTER'S SONGS was released in 1998 to world-wide acclaim. On this influential album, MERCURY REV reinvented itself with sweeping orchestrations and poetically heartfelt lyrics. It would herald a rebirth for the band, allowing for further experimentation and thrill-seeking. MERCURY REV toured extensively for DESERTER'S SONGS, which was chosen as album of the year by the NME, MOJO, and many other international music publications.