Shovels & Rope, Al Olender

Thu Dec 5 2024

8:00 PM (Doors 7:00 PM)

Belly Up

143 S. Cedros Ave Solana Beach, CA 92075

$35.00

Ages 21+

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ARTIST PRESALE 6/5/2024 @ 10:00AM PT
PUBLIC ON SALE 6/7/2024 @ 10:00AM PT
-----------------------------

Ticket Price: $35 advanced / $35 day of show / $62 reserved loft seating (available over the phone 858-481-8140 or in person at our box office) (seating chart / virtual venue tour)

Not on the e-mail list for venue presales? Sign up to be a Belly Up VIP and you will never miss a chance to grab tickets before they go on sale to the general public again!

There are no refunds or exchanges on tickets once purchased.
All times and supporting acts are subject to change.

Belly Up Presents
Shovels & Rope, Al Olender

  • Shovels & Rope

    Shovels & Rope

    Americana

    One night in the middle of the night there were a series of noises coming from above which lead to a series of thoughts. It sounded like something was working. Building something… A nest for its family? A trap for its prey? This led to more thoughts about unseen things at work. A God? A voice in your head? It all feels kind of made up until someone responds to it.  

     

    Less means more. That’s kind of always how it’s been with us. This time the rules were simple: we can only use what we work with live and whatever we put down on tape must be accomplishable on a stage in a live setting. That’s always seemed to be when we’re at our best. Or most twitchy. Many times we’ve made records that we loved and then, after figuring out how we’d perform it live, we end up falling in love with the live arrangement because being a 2 piece band, it took some real risk and struggle which led to innovation, which gave it a whole new life. (Consider the tortured grape.) So with this one we just started there and worked backwards. The result encapsulates, more than anything we’ve done before, the sound of our live performance. Resulting in what one might consider by definition, a definitive album.  

     

    The summer and fall leading up to recording we spent writing songs, hanging out with family in Colorado, and playing shows opening for The Wood Brothers and Gregory Alan Isakov, both of whom have large audiences. So each night we were playing in front of a lot of people, many of whom had never heard of us.  We decided to take those opportunities to rattle our comfort zone cage and try out a bunch of brand new, just written songs and basically learn how to play them in front a few thousand people. The songs would grow and change show to show, sometimes for the better and sometimes for the worse. Maybe we go down in flames? Maybe something beautiful happens while it’s burning? We happily embraced the chaos. That’s kind of always how it’s been with us.  

     

    We had a new song that initially neither of us thought that much of called ‘Love Song From A Dog.” During one of the first nights of the Isakov run, we decided on stage, mid set, to try it out because the show was going well and the audience was warm. And it kind of killed. People honestly wouldn’t shut up about it. Not a brag more like a phenomenon or a weird dream. It became a fan favorite moment of our set each night and honestly in all the years of doing this we’ve never had so many people send us messages or reach out about any one specific song as they did this one. It just goes to show us that we don’t know anything. When it came time to record it we thought it’d be fitting and a nice touch to have Greg sing on it since it was his audience who basically fostered it into being by giving us the confidence and encouragement we needed to see it the way they did.  He generously obliged and the song was instantly elevated by the sincerity and richness of mood that colors his voice.  

     

    The two of us can’t help but be obsessed with duality. The song ‘Two Wolves’ is a meditation about two conflicting energies competing for power. The first time we ever played it was on New Years Eve in an arena opening for Tyler Childers in front of 15k or so country music fans who surely were like “what the hell is this,” but to us it seemed 100 percent appropriate because it just feels like an arena type song. A fuzzy, thick riffed stomper with a meditative head bob refrain. So we opened with it because, well.. it felt like we had to.  

     

    For those who are new here we’ve spent the last decade or so bouncing around in the ‘Americana’ realm quite a bit. Getting branded into that world was admittedly a bit of a head scratcher for us as we’ve always identified as more of a rock band (though we do think of ourselves as folk songwriters and yarn spinners, and we do harmonize well together) but the people were paying attention and we were building a fan base so we kind of felt like “who were we to tell them who we weren’t?”  But when you go all the way to Europe and are standing on a stage in front of a few hundred Scandinavians who are dressed in head to toe denim and cowboy hats, we can’t help but feel like we’re about to confuse some people. We will often find ourselves playing an outdoor, ‘free in the park’ type of concert series where a Male and Female with 2 guitars and beautiful harmonies will be booked as the opener, and then we’ll take the stage and proceed to be a little louder and maybe a little more brash than was anticipated. It’s always kind of been this way with us. The joke in our camp when this happens goes something like: And for tonight’s entertainment, we have for you “The What We Thought They Were’s” followed by the “Louder Than We Thoughts”!  Recently we did a gig where the spokesperson said to us just before we went on, ‘so maybe don’t come out with your heaviest guitar stuff and your 808 bass bullshit right off the rip…there are kids and old people here and they’ll leave” (he was trying to be helpful).  We politely told him “Don’t worry, we have a plan”.. .and then again opened with ‘Two Wolves,’ with it’s loud guitar stuff and it’s 808 bullshit, followed by a dynamic set where we touched on all the different things we do and everyone proceeded to have a great time. That’s kind of always how it’s been with us.   

     

    “Something Is Working Up Above My Head” is a catalog of vulnerable characters with sweet and sordid narratives.

     

    ‘Colorado River’ is a song about a boy and his Dad disposing of bodies in various ways as the water level recedes and dark surprises surface. The hot dog bun line was initially supposed to be a place holder because it sounded funny and it rhymed, but then we sang it so many times over the summer that it built a little hot dog shack and moved in forever. I still think it’s kind of dumb but it’s also kind of great. For those who pay attention, it's a pretty obvious John Prine nod. I’d like to think he handed us the hot dog bun like a relay baton on his way to the great mystery. Macabre pairs well with a side of humor.  

     

    ‘Piranhanana’ is about a boy growing up in a house of sex workers and being fine with it with a little meditation, while his sister struggles to find her zen.  ‘I’d Be Lying’ is about navigating a crisis with a long time friend. ‘Double Lines’ follows the journey of a young woman thru pregnancy tests, covid tests, and various other forms of duality and two-ness.  

     

    ‘Something is Working’ and ‘Dass Hymn’ (referring to Ram Dass) were the last 2 songs written and added to the collection of songs. They book end the record with questions about what, if anything, is pulling the strings? In the closing moments of the last song, 3 generations of our family all sing together about how nobody knows what happens at the end. And in all the not knowing, it’s comforting to sing with your family.   

  • Al Olender

    Al Olender

    Folk

    There’s nothing scarier than being honest with yourself. For singer/songwriter Al Olender, facing her fear of the truth has been a cleansing, often cathartic process that’s led to the kind of revelations she had previously thought unobtainable. On her debut full-length album Easy Crier, the Upstate New York based artist asks: what happens if we vow to never tell a lie, ever again? Charting the daunting territories of staring your demons right in the face and prodding at the ugly parts of your reflection, Olender pieces together her most vulnerable moments to produce a celebratory and beautiful rumination on grief, and reminds us of the power that comes in really getting to know yourself.

    The catalyst for this renewed outlook stems from the sudden loss of her older brother. As a huge supporter of Olender’s musical talents from the very beginning, he would often invite his friends over and encourage a then-teenage Olender to play her “angsty love songs” for them. “Everything that I do musically revolves around my brother,” she says. “It's like every single thing I do in my life – my brother is so much in the front of my mind.” 

    The introduction for Easy Crier comes with “All I Do Is Watch TV,” a darkly humorous comment on the unmoored early stages of losing a loved one, way too soon. “I read a book on grief, it told me to lay in bed,” she laments over a chromatic, repetitive melody – the kind that perfectly mimics an untethered, sped-up montage-like existence, as she watches true crime and buys a Big Gulp just to spill it on her bedroom floor. Here, she jabs at the numbness protecting her heart. “Nothing fixes grief,” she explains. “It transforms. Sometimes it's like a giant glooming thunder cloud and sometimes it's like a tiny little raindrop.”

    On the folky, pop-infused banger “Keith,” Olender confronts her sorrow, as fond memories are abruptly interrupted by a crashing cymbal and animated percussion: an ever-increasing heart rate capturing Olender’s inner-chaos as she witnesses a well-meaning funeral guest showing off a new tattoo. Later, on the devastatingly gorgeous closer “Mean,” a sparse, acoustic arrangement offers a platform for a rousing vocal performance, each note a grief-stricken consolation. “I’m older than my older brother, but I’m not old enough,” she shares softly, searching for someone to keep her safe. Olender strives to use her voice for connection and healing, for herself and for anyone else who’s listening. 

    Olender recorded at The Church in Harlemville, NY, entrusting the skills of producer and engineer James Felice (Felice Brothers). Felice also lent his skills on keyboard, accordion and piano, with Jesske Hume (bass/synths), William Lawrence (drums/guitar), Ian Felice (guitar), and Alejandro Leon (bass) also contributing. The album’s sonic universe sees delicate keys dance alongside acoustic plucks, later welcoming brooding strings and lush, expansive harmonies. It’s these kinds of arrangements that perfectly capture the sonic personality of Easy Crier: it’s both tender and invigorating, soothing yet anthemic. Describing the arrangements as a “conversation with friends,” it’s a testament to what can happen when you surround yourself with those who totally, and willingly, understand your artistic vision. 

    Easy Crier isn’t an album about death. It’s an album about unending love. It wipes away the mask we put on for others and instead, embraces the exhale that comes from spilling your guts. It’s the moment in your favorite rom-com when they finally admit their feelings for one another, and kiss in a way that only seems to happen in movies; on Easy Crier, Olender plays both parts. There are moments of ease, and exploring the often fine line between funny and sad that makes Easy Crier a portal for relief, whether that’s through tears of joy or pain. It’s an album that takes each shattered, heartbroken piece and puts them back together to form a strangely beautiful mosaic. “It’s a love letter to everything I’ve lost,” she says. “And forms a real insight into how telling the truth has truly changed my life.” Here, Olender is finally letting herself feel everything all at once, no matter how uncomfortable or scary it can be.

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limit 4 per person
General Admission

General admission is standing room. All seating within general admission is first come, first serve.

$35.00

Delivery Method

ticketFast
Will Call

Terms & Conditions

This event is 21 and over. Any ticket holder unable to present valid identification indicating that they are at least 21 years of age will not be admitted to this event, and will not be eligible for a refund.

Belly Up Presents

Shovels & Rope, Al Olender

Thu Dec 5 2024 8:00 PM

(Doors 7:00 PM)

Belly Up Solana Beach CA
Shovels & Rope, Al Olender

$35.00 Ages 21+

ARTIST PRESALE 6/5/2024 @ 10:00AM PT
PUBLIC ON SALE 6/7/2024 @ 10:00AM PT
-----------------------------

Ticket Price: $35 advanced / $35 day of show / $62 reserved loft seating (available over the phone 858-481-8140 or in person at our box office) (seating chart / virtual venue tour)

Not on the e-mail list for venue presales? Sign up to be a Belly Up VIP and you will never miss a chance to grab tickets before they go on sale to the general public again!

There are no refunds or exchanges on tickets once purchased.
All times and supporting acts are subject to change.

Please correct the information below.

Select ticket quantity.

Complete the security check.

Select Tickets

Ages 21+
limit 4 per person
General Admission
General admission is standing room. All seating within general admission is first come, first serve.
$35.00

Delivery Method

ticketFast
Will Call

Terms & Conditions

This event is 21 and over. Any ticket holder unable to present valid identification indicating that they are at least 21 years of age will not be admitted to this event, and will not be eligible for a refund.