Thu Nov 12 2015

7:00 PM (Doors 6:00 PM)

The Cannery Ballroom

1 Cannery Row Nashville, TN 37203

$27 Advance / $30 Day of Show

Ages 18+

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AEG Live-TMG Presents

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  • Andrew McMahon in the Wilderness

    Andrew McMahon in the Wilderness


    “I wrote a pop record and then she showed up." Andrew McMahon laughs, cradling his 6-month-old daughter, Cecilia, as his wife Kelly lounges nearby with their dog, Doris. The young family is backstage at the Stone Pony in Asbury Park relaxing before McMahon performs a sold out headlining show. McMahon is referring to his new release, the self-titled LP, Andrew McMahon in the Wilderness.

    McMahon has had a winding road to this artfully balanced life. This is a man who was diagnosed with cancer at 22 years old, on the cusp of releasing his debut album (as Jack's Mannequin). Who wed Kelly the following year and then took on an arduous schedule of touring and album releases. Who was nominated for an Emmy Award for his song “I Heard Your Voice in a Dream” on NBC’s Smash. Who sold nearly 2 million albums in a little more than a decade. Who, for much of that time, was struggling underneath the weight of it all.

    Despite these outward signs of success - beating cancer, getting married and an Emmy nom - McMahon says the road to recovery was “a rollercoaster ride” that took the better part of a decade. “My body healed faster than my mind and my heart. It took me years to realize that and do the work. I had to figure out how to acclimate to the world post-illness. I decided to take time away from the business of making music so I could pay attention to everything else. I left my label, my management and the name I had been making music under for the better part of my 20s. I moved out of Los Angeles. It was a metaphorical hard reset.”

    The time allowed McMahon to process what had happened and to renew his passion for songwriting and record making, to refill the well of his creativity. McMahon also changed his mode of operation, taking the critical step of physically distancing his work and home lives by retreating to a cabin - “a shack, really. It had no running water,” - in Topanga Canyon (CA) to hatch the album. He would spend the weekdays in the canyon immersed in music and on the weekends travel the hour and a half back south to be with his then-newly-pregnant wife. “It was important to me to be completely present when I was home. Separating out the work actually created more space to live a life worth writing about.”

    In Topanga, Andrew was able to focus intensely on song craft. He poured his feelings into his work: the anticipation and anxiety about becoming a father, excitement for meeting his new daughter, ambivalence about entering his 30s. Soon after the Canyon sessions, McMahon began working with producer Mike Viola, who McMahon calls “the album’s spirit guide.” In Viola’s Echo Park garage studio, the two of them meditated on a range of classic rock and modern artists.

    At the same time, McMahon began to consider the might-have-beens of his life. “I found myself asking, ‘What would have come next if I hadn’t encountered that bizarre chapter of my disrupted 20s?’ As I was writing the new songs, I was able to revisit relationships that had evolved or been dismantled in the vacuum of that disruption.” He adds, “It’s not that I wanted to erase my past. I wanted to explore it, to go back to the point where I had lost myself, where my personal narrative was overtaken, and move forward from there.”

    “High Dive” emerged from the sessions with Viola and is the most representative of this sort of Sliding Doors exploration. “‘High Dive’ asks the question ‘If I had never gotten sick, where would I be?’” says McMahon. “My illness put a lot into perspective for my wife (then girlfriend) and I. With ‘High Dive’ I imagined what it would have been like if we’d split up and she’d moved on. In a universal sense, it's about letting someone go and realizing you were wrong, but it's too late.” The song buoys McMahon’s gentle tenor, slowly building from a spare composition with a snapping, driving beat, ‘High Dive’ swells into the

    bridge (“Flashbacks get me close”) and resolves into a viscerally satisfying chorus flush with other voices, McMahon’s piano wrapping around the melody.

    Intimate details populate the album, with McMahon writing sometimes obliquely, sometimes frankly about his struggles. “See Her on the Weekend,” a literal recounting of his time in Topanga, drops the aside “I drink more than the doctors say I should.” “Halls” outlines self-sabotaging tendencies in service of his career, “Cut my hair, and I found me a new girlfriend / Thought a broken heart could write a perfect song.” “All Our Lives” is particularly unguarded but even when he’s singing about someone else, an old friend with “a heart so gold, and words so blue / in a body home from hell,” you wonder if he’s not singing about himself in some roundabout way.

    The first single, “Cecilia and the Satellite” was actually one of the last songs written for the album. “A few weeks before Cecilia was born, I was introduced to James Flannigan, a British songwriter and producer. I knew I wanted to write a song for her, to show her who I was before she was born and my commitment to protect her.” While “Cecilia” details McMahon’s love in high contrast with what he calls “the impermanence of living,” - its soaring chorus anchored by a kick drum like the steady thump of a heartbeat.

    After seeing the impressive results of their session, McMahon asked Flannigan to join him and Viola to help finish production of the album. The three of them bounced around LA in various production spaces and studios until all the details had been tweaked and McMahon was satisfied that it reflected the journey as a whole. “I had been dreaming about an album that sounded like this for years, but I didn’t know it until I heard it. It took all three of us. I realize now how important every piece of the process was - every step on the path and every voice in the room.”

    If, as McMahon says, "music is a mirror to the adventure of living," then it follows that each new chapter of life deserves its own title. As such, he decided his music would go forward under the name Andrew McMahon in the Wilderness. “My wilderness is mostly abstract,” he posits, “I forced myself into strange new places on the hunt for these songs, and I met some amazing people in the process. The new name carries the spirit of our collaboration.”

    There is a balancing act that permeates not only McMahon’s life but his new album as well, mixing the electronic and the acoustic, the modern and the classic. But even though McMahon may have created two mini-masterpieces: an epic pop album stocked to the gills with anthemic songs and a healthy, bright, baby girl with Kelly, there’s no question which one he’s more proud of. 

  • New Politics

    New Politics


    Ask any artist about the creative process, and they’ll all agree on one thing—you can’t force it.

    When inspiration gathers, you simply ride the wave and hold on for dear life.  While writing Vikings, their third full-length album and first for DCD2 Records/Warner Bros. Records, the members of New Politics—David Boyd [lead vocals, guitar], Søren Hansen [bass, guitar, keys, programming] who came to the states from Denmark, and NY Native Louis Vecchio [drums]—embraced that spirit wholeheartedly. Without any deadlines or plan to speak of, the trio began writing songs for fun during 2014’s Monumentour with Paramore and Fall Out Boy.

    “It wasn’t like anyone was expecting anything from us,” recalls David. “We would just go into the back of the bus and create songs. It came so naturally and fast that it was a blast. It took us back to when we were originally writing as kids. Back before we had no label or management or anything. It was simple.”

    “We were together all the time, and everything was composed as a unit,” remarks Louis. “The vibe and the creative juices were flowing effortlessly on a daily basis.”

    As soon as they got off the road, the trio chose to record a good chunk of the material in David and Søren’s Brooklyn apartment. That proved apropos in and of itself as the two Denmark natives had completely adopted a “New York State of Mind” after four years stateside and a myriad of crazy experiences.

    “There’s so much energy in New York, and Brooklyn specifically” says David. “There’s so much to write about and relate to. There’s so much color. You meet people. You meet girls. You find romance in the oddest of places.  There’s all kinds of culture from a dance scene to a hip-hop scene to a rock scene. It always gives you something to ponder. We finally became a part of the environment and are reflecting that musically.”

    As a result, the new music threads together a patchwork of femme fatales who, as David admits, might be “crashing on my couch and barely wearing anything” like the vixen in “50 Feet Tall” or “choosing a girl instead of me” as happens during “Girl Crush.” The stories unfold in tandem with a soundtrack of danceable alternative that’s unafraid to pop or to rock for that matter.

    Following the Brooklyn sessions, the boys hopped a plane to L.A. Under the palm trees and SoCal sun, they committed the other half of the album to analog tape in Butch Walker’s studio with longtime collaborator and Grammy Award-nominated producer Jake Sinclair [Weezer, Taylor Swift].

    “Recording to tape gave it this authentic feel,” says David. “There’s a certain honesty and rawness you get from doing it like that. It was an amazing experience.”

    The opening track and first single “Everywhere I Go (Kings & Queens)” juggles a handclap-propelled guitar riff with a stadium-size beat and robust refrain. “It’s a pat on the shoulder to our fans and our team,” the frontman continues. “We’ve stuck with the dream, and they’ve stuck with all of our nonsense! We’re in this together.”

    “It’s a nice way of being like, ‘We did it! I told you so,’” smiles Louis. “It’s dedicated to everybody who stood by us in our corner and the fans who didn’t let go. We wanted to say thanks!”

    Meanwhile, the follow-up single “West End Kids” tempers shimmering keys with a heavenly and hypnotic chant of, “We’re just some kids from the West End.”

    David admits, “It’s the first chance we’ve had to reflect on this roller coaster. Soren and I started this project back in Denmark, moved to America, went through culture shock, spent every dollar we had, ended up with nothing, started from scratch once more, and built it all up again. Now, we wrote this summer party song that celebrates how far we’ve come and the part of Copenhagen (West End) that started it all.”

    New Politics have certainly come a long way from Copenhagen. Developing his live persona and charisma as a young teen, David immersed himself in music by breakdancing as part of an internationally recognized touring dance crew. He naturally evolved into a singer, but never lost that kinetic spark while founding New Politics with Søren. If anything, he’s more likely to bust a move on stage now than ever. “I can’t help it,” he grins. “Music just makes me move.”

    Relocating to New York, the group’s self-titled major label debut dropped in 2010 and featured the single “Yeah Yeah Yeah.”  Its 2013 follow-up A Bad Girl in Harlem boasted the hit “Harlem,” which landed on multiple Frozen trailers as well as garnering placements for America’s Got Talent, Microsoft, and Taco Bell. Along the way, the group has toured with everybody from 30 Seconds To Mars and Neon Trees to P!nk and The Pretty Reckless in addition to selling out countless headline shows and hitting the stage on The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon and Jimmy Kimmel LIVE!

    Ultimately, the album title speaks to New Politics’ vision. “Soren and I always pick on Louis since he’s the only American, it’s two against one, and Louis started calling us Vikings,” chuckles David. “We keep reminding him. Now, we’re invading America, but not raiding it. We’re going to take over by love and sharing our music. We’re never going to force it though!”


  • The Griswolds

    The Griswolds


    As far as debut album mantras go, “Be Impressive” is a fantastically simple statement of intent.

    For Sydney party-starters The Griswolds it proved the driving ideal that would shake off the daiquiri- flavoured tropical tones of their Heart of a Lion EP and unite the four-piece’s more refined musical goals. Be Impressive? These 11 shimmering, anthemic tracks are that and more. Be Impressive isn’t just an indie- rock record you can dance to; it’s a record that’ll break and mend your heart, have you dancing with joy. It’s the hedonistic island paradise that’s an escape from all of your worries... before it becomes obvious it’s better to confront them than to run away.

    It’s a long way from the Sydney houseparty where Christopher Whitehall (vocals/guitar) challenged “sometime drinking buddy” Daniel Duque-Perez (guitar/synth), to write a riff on the spot. “That was how the band started,” laughs Dan. “Chris thought that riff was really fun and interesting, and it turned into our first single, ’Mississippi’. The two of us realised that perhaps we could do something really cool, that the way we wrote songs together was something neither of us wanted to waste.”

    ‘Mississippi’ and second single ‘Heart of a Lion’ from their debut EP launched the band to a worldwide audience and having finally settled on a name (thanks to a passing comment about National Lampoon’s Family Vacation), the band were suddenly playing shows with San Cisco, Last Dinosaurs and touring Australia to ever-increasing crowds. “It was great; a whirlwind,” reflects Dan. “That’s what we want to do; write fun songs, and have fun playing them to people who want to party with us.”

    After forays to the UK and US, the band — Chris, Dan, bassist Tim John and drummer Lachlan West — were itching to record their debut album, signing with American super-indie Wind-Up Records. The only hitch, as it turns out, was writing all the new songs needed for the record. “Yeah,” laughs Chris, “that was a problem. We needed 30 songs, and we had about six.”

    A writing retreat at a “hippie meditation cabin in the middle of nowhere” outside of Sydney, Australia, ended in frustration and only a couple of workable songs. “It was really tough,” remembers Chris. “With the touring and being away from loved ones and family, we were going through some personal stuff. The songs weren’t flowing and we started to worry about our abilities as songwriters. Then we went to New York.”

    With deadlines looming, NYC provided songwriting panacea. There Chris and Dan hit their stride; in the studio where Tupac Shakur was shot, no less. “It was great,” remembers Dan of Quad Studios, “we finally found our groove. It helped that it was during a polar vortex, meaning we could barely ever go outside in sub-zero temperatures. We just never left the studio; we ended up having fun making these songs because we had to.”

    By January 2014, the band were flying to LA, getting in a cab to their hotel, dropping off their bags and then heading directly to meet producer Tony Hoffer (Beck, Foster the People, M83). They instantly hit it off; a planned week of pre-production needed only three days before heading into Hobby Shop Studios to record.

    In Hoffer the band found a willing collaborator, “like a member of the band almost immediately”, enthuses Dan. But most importantly, adds Chris, “He was an amazing presence, always challenging whether a lyric or melody or drum line was good enough. He pushed us so far as a band and it meant we could really achieve what we wanted from the songs.”

    “Adopted in everything we did”, was the ‘Be Impressive’ ideal says Chris. “We’d spend entire days in the studio only to be up until 4am at our hotel working on and re-writing parts; one chorus we re-wrote 16 times,” he laughs. “It was so much fun though.”

    “Yeah; you only get to make one debut album,” says Dan, “and we wanted to make ours as impressive as we possibly could. Working hard and late nights mean nothing when you’re working on something you love. So ‘Be Impressive’ became something we thought about all the time.”

    “We got to make a record that’s wild and a bit weird; that’s us in a nutshell,” laughs Chris. “And, y’know, being in the studio with Tony and challenging ourselves every day was the coolest creative experience of our lives.”

    “If you wanna stay / I will never miss you while I’m away”

    ‘If You Wanna Stay’, ‘16 Years’ and ‘Right on Track’ harness the striking growth in The Griswolds songwriting, with synths and keys playing a prominent role. “We started using synths to add more depth to our sound, and really to capture that dance floor energy,” explains Chris. “But the party flavours are definitely still there, like on (first single) ’Beware the Dog’.”

    That sonic evolution is clear, and nowhere more apparent than on ‘Not Ready Anymore’ or ballad ‘Thread the Needle’ — with strings by composer David Campbell (Paul McCartney, The Rolling Stones). Infused with the carefree spirit of youth — helped by Chris’ nieces and nephews on the title-track and hedonistic song ‘Down and Out’ — the album also adds more depth, more honesty, more heartbreak.

    “What we found is the songs started to take on our personality,” says Dan. “As we were writing these songs we were growing up, and then as we were recording them our musical tastes were developing into something deeper, and often a bit darker.”

    Says Chris, “We wanted to make a fun record that touches on deeper feelings we all have from time to time; that idea of balancing out maturing and wanting to have fun and live life the way you want to. Knowing that growing up can be painful, but those experiences add up to something fun. It’s about that cusp of being a carefree kid and an adult.”

    “We are young / And we are free”

    Be Impressive is about growing up, finding your own path and dealing with the challenges that presents. It’s about love and loss; spontaneous happiness and devastating sadness. It covers a wide emotional spectrum; able to soundtrack a crazy road trip with your best friends... or your next ‘we all lost our shirts’ house party... or your next breakup.

    The band’s intentions, though, remain as simple as the album’s title. “We’re pretty chilled, relaxed guys, but we take making music seriously. Because the more people we get to play to around the world,” says Chris, “the more we want to keep touring... and keep partying with people who like our music.”

    After all, the Be Impressive ethos was a challenge to be true to themselves and make the best record they could. As a result, it’s easy to revel in The Griswolds uncomplicated worldview. “We’re all about melodies, big hooks, choruses you want to singalong to and having lots of fun,” grins Chris.. “That’s what this band, and this album, is all about.”

    That’s impressive, alright. 

  • LOLO



    From Jackson, TN, LOLO is a show-stopping singer who has "so much music flowing through [her] that it fills two people" (Associated Press). She has proven herself a venerable songwriter, from penning hits for Panic! At The Disco’s recent #1 blockbuster album to writing a New York Times raved about off-Broadway musical, “Songbird” —  a perfect segue from LOLO's past role as the originator of Ilse in the critically-acclaimed smash musical “Spring Awakening.”  Her forthcoming album, In Loving Memory of When I Gave a Shit, is a come-to-Jesus moment for the songstress who moved back to Tennessee after exploring her path on the stages of New York and time in London - a literal reflection of LOLO's journey on the road back home, which paints the picture of a woman who is finally able to shine and be her true self. With a daring and emotionally charged voice, her music evokes a hot southern night – rough around the edges but with a velvety quality that soothes the soul.

AEG Live-TMG Presents


Thu Nov 12 2015 7:00 PM

(Doors 6:00 PM)

The Cannery Ballroom Nashville TN
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$27 Advance / $30 Day of Show Ages 18+