The Crocodile Presents: Saintseneca, Trace Mountains, Dogbreth

Fri Oct 19 2018

9:00 PM (Doors 8:30 PM)

Sunset Tavern

5433 Ballard Avenue NW Seattle, WA 98107

Ages 21+

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The Crocodile Presents
The Crocodile Presents: Saintseneca, Trace Mountains, Dogbreth

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  • Saintseneca



    Saintseneca’s Zac Little has been thinking a lot about memory. Not necessarily his memories, though
    they creep in often, too. Rather, he mulls over the idea of memory itself: its resilience, its haziness, how it
    slips away as we try to hang on, the way it resurfaces despite our best efforts to forget.
    Memory is the common thread running throughout the Columbus folk-punk band’s fourth album, Pillar of
    Na, arriving in late summer via ANTI- Records. Following 2015's critically lauded Such Things, the new
    album’s name is rooted in remembrance, referencing the Genesis story of Lot’s wife who looks back at a
    burning Sodom after God instructs her not to. She looks back, and God turns her into a pillar of salt. “Na,”
    meanwhile, is the chemical symbol for sodium. "Nah" is a passive refusal and the universal song word. It
    means nothing and stands for nothing. It is "as it is."
    “I wanted to interrogate memory," Little says. "The collective and personal, to find what is true. How
    closely does the ghost conjured resemble the person who once lived?"
    But back to the story for a moment: Didn’t Lot's wife have ample warning not to look back? Little, who
    specializes in moody, complex songwriting that consistently experiments with obscure instruments like the
    bouzouki and the Bulbul Tarang, feels sympathy for the Salt Woman. “The story has a certain kind of
    foreboding nature to it,” Little says. “It’s trying to look back at where you come from and make sense of it.
    I think I would have looked back.”
    Like Lot's wife, Little cannot help but revisit where—and how—he grew up. Raised in church in
    southeastern Appalachian Ohio, he took up preaching when he was still a teenager, sometimes in small
    country settings and other times to congregations of thousands. But these days he's more interested in
    listening. And questioning.
    "I'm on a mystical journey, struggling to figure out what the point is," he says. "Dogma is like naming a
    mountain—you can stab all the flags you want into the dirt, but it doesn't make it any more yours. Truth
    belongs to no one, and I'd rather climb."
    Truth is precisely what he attempts to explore on Pillar of Na. Produced by Mike Mogis (Bright Eyes, Rilo
    Kiley), Pillar of Na took much longer to finish than Little initially envisioned. After completing what he
    thought would be the finished album, Little instead pushed himself further. “I wrote three records worth of
    material," he says. "Initially, I think I was a little afraid to finish some of these songs. They felt close and
    important to me. I really wanted to get it right, and finally it felt like it was time—the baby had to get born.”
    Songs like the epic, flute-accented title track have been in the works for 11 years.
    And then, in the sometimes-frustrating heat of trying to find the songs, other tracks poured out of him, like
    the springy “Ladder To The Sun,” which Little says he didn’t see coming at all. “That was catharsis,” he
    says. "I was feeling frustrated, lost, and burnt out by the whole process, wondering where I was in my life
    at that moment. Writing 'Ladder To The Sun' felt like a productive cry.”
    The words "Who says you’re right?" present a challenge to authority. “No one remembers the day they
    are born, you gotta take someone else’s word for it," Little says. "Everyone trusts someone."
    With the orchestral “Beast in the Garden,” lyrical imagery referencing the Garden of Eden (“In the valley of
    milk and honey / I want a cup overrunning…”) is used as metaphor. What interests Little is, “The idea that
    Adam and Eve, after they’ve sinned, get kicked out of the garden, and somebody was set on guard at the
    gate to prevent their return.”

    This also ties to the concept of remembrance for Little. "Thinking about the past, it brings you to the
    moment you inhabit. But at the same time you’re very much estranged from it. You feel nostalgic, or
    idealize the past, but are cut off from it.”
    Little continues: "I married a historian while I was writing Pillar of Na. I got to help her with a little archival
    research. The archivist dredged up boxes upon boxes packed with all kinds of documents—letters,
    receipts, manifestos. More than I could have ever sifted through. I realized the past can look very different
    depending on which boxes you open.
    "Memory is subjective. History is political. Some stories are suppressed and others survive. Yet, the bits
    of the past we transmit into the present inform how we move forward. We end the way we envision."
    The album’s cover also utilizes symbols of antiquity and rebirth, with a bright, heart-shaped strawberry
    framed within an elegant arch. “It’s this thing that’s sweet and bright red, it wants you to eat it, it’s
    seductive,” describes Little. “It’s calling to you and asking you to bite it, eat it, and help the plant
    procreate. You eat the fruit and the plant eats you.”
    The arch, meanwhile, once marked the entrance to Columbus Ohio’s Union Station, which was built in
    1897 but has since been demolished. Today, the arch alone remains in Columbus’ Arena District, thanks
    to the efforts of a few determined individuals. “It sits there, holding nothing, other than the memory of a
    former place. Seeing the arch just got me thinking,” says Little, “I’ve lived in this city for 10 years—the
    amount of time I’ve been playing in this band. You have this weird feeling that the town is constantly
    erasing itself, and at some point you wonder, when does it become something different all together?”
    Nostalgia resurfaces again on the mid-tempo “Frostbiter,” which opens with Little reflecting on the loss of
    his grandfather (“When Grandad died I got his knife / I cleaned the kitchen and I didn’t know why… Such
    is life”) before moving on to ruminate over how people lives change as they age. He remembers the story
    of a long-lost friend, “It felt like a former life, like a dream just remembered. Where are those kids we
    were? The reconciliation of past and present is a very surreal place.”
    Musically, Pillar of Na is Saintseneca’s most ambitious album to date, with Little aiming to incorporate
    genre elements he’d rarely heard in folk. “I wanted to use the idiom of folk-rock, or whatever you want to
    call it, and to try to do something that had never been done before," Little explains. "To reach way back,
    echoing ancient folk melodies, tie that into punk rock, and then push it into the future. I told Mike Mogis I
    wanted Violent Femmes meets the new Blade Runner soundtrack. I'm looking for the intersection
    between Kendrick Lamar and The Fairport Convention.”
    “You're always going to be situated in the folk legacy,” Little continues, acknowledging his past
    recordings, which include three albums (the aforementioned Such Things, 2014's Dark Arc, 2011's Last)
    and three EPs (2016's The Mallwalker, 2010's Grey Flag, and 2009's self-titled). “But let’s move forward.
    I'm not trying to make the lost Velvet Underground B-side. I want to find something that has never been
    heard before, or at least go down trying."

  • Trace Mountains

    Trace Mountains

    Indie Pop

    My name is Dave Benton and I write the songs for the band Trace Mountains. I was born in 1991, I’m from Ridgewood, New Jersey, and I currently reside in in New York City. Since 2009, I’ve released records in various groups, including some projects that are ongoing (LVL UPYours Are The Only Ears). Repeating the process of writing and recording music has become an emotionally stabilizing ritual in my life, and I have been very lucky to share that process over and over again with some of my best friends; many of whom I met at SUNY Purchase, a liberal arts college in NY state that I graduated from in 2013. The scene there was vibrant and welcoming to me, both facilitating and inspiring the collaborative work I made in that period and beyond.

    Near the end of my college education, I began acting on a latent desire to make something wholly my own. I had been collaborating for so long that I felt it could be invigorating to explore the world of sounds on my own again, as I had done growing up. This endeavor led to a batch of songs that can now be found on the compilation record Buttery Sprouts & Other Songs (2016), which also includes some newer demos and field recordings that prelude my first proper record, A Partner to Lean On (2018). Scrappy and lighthearted, the songs on Buttery Sprouts & Other Songs were first and foremost an exercise in learning to be pragmatically self-sufficient, while exploring new poetic styles and even finding a place for humor in the words. While my songs are usually attempts at candid & vulnerable story-telling, I’ve often tried to make room for a joke, or at the very least, playfulness in the lyricism. 

    A Partner to Lean On, the first proper full length from Trace Mountains, is both an extension of my initial excursion to explore the world of sounds in solitude, and a continuation of my lifelong relationship with music-making as a social process. The songs featured on A Partner to Lean On came about over the course of many years, featuring some ideas that pre-date even the earliest Trace Mountains release in 2013. There are also more current songs, written right up into the summer of 2017 when the record was recorded and completed, a time of extraordinary confusion & anger, when the refuge of listening to & creating music was needed more than ever. The way the work spans time periods is intended to be reflected in the record itself, perhaps not strictly linearly, but flowing from place to place, idea to idea, connecting memories, thoughts and things in a way that feels purposeful. It starts in the present, and branches out into different directions to hopefully arrive at a meaningful assessment of where I stand.

    Unlike my older work, A Partner to Lean On relies on the talents of a group rather than just myself. In addition to co-producing a portion the record at Gravesend Recordings, Jim Hill played electric guitar and synthesizer. Rhythm section performances were provided by Kyle Seely (drums) and Nick Corbo (bass), and additional vocals were contributed by Susannah Cutler and Ben Smith. I played guitar, synthesizer, and recorded a bunch of other things, overdubbing at my home studio, and when the record was complete, it was mixed by the inimitable Mike Ditrio. It was then mastered by Paul Gold in October of 2017. I’m grateful that I had the opportunity to make this record and I look forward to releasing it on March 30th, 2018 via Figure 2 RC.

  • Dogbreth



    Since 2010, Dogbreth’s Tristan Jemsek has been charming his devoted following with guitar-driven power pop songs that poetically and tenderly capture specific emotional moments in full-blown rock songs. Formed and grown in Phoenix, Arizona, with Jemsek as the only steady member, the band has evolved over the years through three full-length albums, dozens of tours—some self-booked and some in support of bands like Waxahatchee, Joyce Manor, and AJJ—before landing in Seattle with it's current lineup of Bill Palmer (guitar), Greg Hughes (bass), and Malia Seavey (drums). 2016’s Second Home was released on Asian Man records to acclaim from publications like NPR, who called Jemsek’s songwriting “the work of punks who write youthful, larger-than-life songs that still wrinkle at the edges.”

The Crocodile Presents

The Crocodile Presents: Saintseneca, Trace Mountains, Dogbreth

Fri Oct 19 2018 9:00 PM

(Doors 8:30 PM)

Sunset Tavern Seattle WA
The Crocodile Presents: Saintseneca, Trace Mountains, Dogbreth
  • Sorry, you missed this event.
  • Check out other similar events on TicketWeb.

Ages 21+