Wed Dec 31 2014

9:00 PM (Doors 8:00 PM)

The Abbey

3420 West Grace (at Elston) Chicago, IL 60618

Ages 21+

Share With Friends

NYE Celebration 2015!!
The Good Life // Big Harp // Hartford/Focht // The Wild Family

  • Sorry, you missed this event.
  • Check out other similar events on TicketWeb.
  • The Good Life

    The Good Life

    Rock & Roll

    In June of 2010 The Good Life played a handful of shows, their first since supporting 2007’s Help Wanted Nights, and quietly walked away from the band that had been part of their lives for over a decade. The seven years since Help Wanted Nights has pulled the band (named after Nebraska’s state motto) all over the map, both physically and musically.

    Frontman Tim Kasher moved cross country a few times, eventually landing in Chicago. He spent his time releasing two Cursive records, two solo records, and doing an almost endless amount of touring. Bassist Stefanie Drootin-Senseney moved to Los Angeles and formed the band Big Harp with her husband Chris. Drummer Roger L. Lewis was the lone Good Lifer who stayed in Omaha, playing and touring with his other bands Conduits and Oquoa. Guitarist Ryan Fox packed up for Portland and has spent his time working on solo material, recording and touring with label-mate Jake Bellows, and starting a tape label, Majestic Litter.

    Despite everything that moved them in different directions, they were never really ready to call The Good Life over. Now, this August (almost exactly four years since the last time they played together) the Good Life will again take the stage for a handful of shows in California. They’ll be pulling from their full catalogue and bringing along Big Harp to open, making these shows more continuation than reunion.

  • Big Harp

    Big Harp

    Music

    Big Harp released their sophomore album Chain Letterson January 22 via Saddle Creek. The album was recorded at Omaha's ARC studios with engineer Ben Brodin and partly at the band's Los Angeles home. Chain Letters was mixed by Mike Mogis (Bright Eyes, M Ward, First Aid Kit). On Chain Letters, the duo of Chris Senseney and Stefanie Drootin-Senseney is joined by their friend John Voris on drums. The album moves away from the rustic, pastoral sound of their debut and towards a truer union of their backgrounds (Chris grew up in Valentine, NE, an isolated cow town of 2,800; Stefanie is a native Angeleno). Built on a foundation of crackling fuzz bass and angular electric guitars and keyboards, the songs on Chain Letters play like a series of character sketches centered around escape and surrender, and the blurred borders where the two become indistinguishable.

    Chris and Stefanie (The Good Life, Bright Eyes, She & Him) formed Big Harp in December 2010, after a three-year whirlwind that saw the two meet, have a baby, move halfway across the country, get married, move halfway across the country again, and have another baby. As Chris tells it, "I was playing in a band opening for The Good Life. Stef and I started hanging out, binge-smoking and chain-drinking, and we never stopped. Never stopped hanging out I mean. Within a few months Stef had a gut full of baby, and the bender came to a quick and bloody end." When the dust settled, they holed up in Stefanie's parents' spare bedroom, practiced for a week, and recorded their debut album White Hat, a collection of intimate, low-key folk-rock laced with subtle irony and dark humor that earned them comparisons to songwriters like Nick Cave, Tom Waits and Townes Van Zandt.

    Understandably for a band that had only existed for a week before recording their first album, and had never played a show, their sound began to change almost immediately. They packed up the kids and hit the road, earning high praise for their energetic live shows, where the intimate acoustic-based arrangements they'd recorded gave way to something increasingly complex, ragged and dirty. Guitar World highlighted Stefanie's bass playing in their Best of SXSW 2012 feature. That March, they began recording Chain Letters. 

    Stefanie says, "The writing process wasn't that different. We still worked out the songs after the kids went to bed on the same dirty old couch, and we still practiced in my parents' guest bedroom. The only difference was this time we went in feeling a lot freer. I run Omaha Girls Rock in the summers, and we were just coming off our first year. Seeing those girls, I was reminded of when I first started playing, and how free and fun it can be. I think we were both inspired to try to get some of that back." 

    From the pained apathy of "You Can't Save 'Em All" to the cracked parade march of "Call Out the Cavalry, Strike Up the Band," Chain Letters finds the band enveloping and exploding their literate songs with fuzzed-out, needle-sharp textures. "We really built the songs around Stef's fuzz bass. It was kind of funny -- we were sitting around in a bedroom playing really loud with no drums, just kind of trusting that it was going to make sense once we put it all together. Hopefully we landed closer to mid-'70's Iggy Pop than Leonard Cohen this time. Really I'd like it to sound like Leonard Cohen fronting The Pixies. It doesn't though. Maybe a little. You tell us."

  • Hartford/Focht

    Hartford/Focht

    Music

    Music!

  • The Wild Family

    The Wild Family

    Music

    The Wild Family is a rockin' indie folk group from Chicago. Melding sweet soulful harmonies with dangerously smooth guitar pluckin' that will make you look in the mirror and question what your life really means.

NYE Celebration 2015!!

The Good Life // Big Harp // Hartford/Focht // The Wild Family

Wed Dec 31 2014 9:00 PM

(Doors 8:00 PM)

The Abbey Chicago IL
The Good Life // Big Harp // Hartford/Focht // The Wild Family
  • Sorry, you missed this event.
  • Check out other similar events on TicketWeb.

Ages 21+