Typhoon, CARM

Sat Jun 4 2022

8:30 PM (Doors 7:30 PM)

August Hall

420 Mason St San Francisco, CA 94102

$25.00

All Ages

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August Hall Presents
Typhoon, CARM

  • Typhoon

    Typhoon

    Indie Rock

    The first time I saw Typhoon, around 2006, they looked like the kids from Lord of the Flies after a few weeks on the island. Unkempt, new to the big city, exploding with excitement to play for anyone, anywhere. In basements and back-room all-ages clubs that might as well have been basements, they already knew how to rattle bones, jerk tears and turn stomachs--that all came Naturally. I don’t know how self-aware they were then. I don’t know if they really knew the power of the sheer spectacle of ten kids flooding a space like an uprising of feral choir students. I know they didn’t seem too self-assured. During the quiet parts they would sway against each other, some biting their lips and some staring at their shoes while frontman Kyle Morton strummed a guitar half his size. Nervous jokes were often cracked amongst the horn section. And then the chorus would hit and they would intuitively become this single, heart-rending noise that didn’t sound like.anything else. More metal than all but the gnarliest metal; still sweet and unflinchingly honest. They weren’t kids in those moments, they were pure weaponized humanity.

    For a long time I thought the secret ingredient was youth--that the urgency of being 19 and having something to say just permeated Typhoon’s songs and made them feel vital. They were, after all, the kids who couldn’t get enough. They were the kids you’d see cross-legged in the front row of the Mount Eerie show, wide-eyed. But Typhoon has grown up without letting go of their earnesty or their urgency. The band has gotten smarter, sharper, less reliant on spectacle. Typhoon has pared down a bit (eight members at last count), though old members still make appearances onstage and are often strewn about the green room after hometown shows, when shows aren’t so hard to come by. As time has gone by, Kyle Morton has slowly become one of his generation’s most profound and nuanced songwriters. He has also learned how to run a band that once seemed unmanageable. Typhoon’s secret instrument of hearts and hollers bubbling up in loose unison, though, that still works just the same way. Maybe it works because this band is still interrogating the same complicated hallways of the human heart that it started with.

    Typhoon songs are, overwhelmingly, about the human tendency to confuse the things that possess us for the things we possess. They are about the impossibility of home, even as physical houses feature so prominently in Morton’s songs: dying on the kitchen floor, an idyllic cabin where small monsters lay in wait, the long hallways of the devil’s mansion (I told you this band was metal). In ever more ambitious fashion, Typhoon asks why it’s so hard to find our place, why our lot is never large enough. Honestly, the answer keeps getting darker. Lucky for us, Typhoon keeps a light on.

    In 2018, ahead of the curve as usual, Typhoon released an apocalypse album. The ambitious double-LP Offerings found Morton writing about senility, the most terrifying thing he could imagine. It was the darkest and most difficult Typhoon record, if ultimately the most rewarding for longtime listeners. It was also much bigger than personal narrative: Offerings was as much about a world and a country forgetting their virtues as it was about our narrator losing his mind.

    Now in the midst of an actual apocalypse, Typhoon finds themselves ahead of the times once more. Sympathetic Magic, first tracked in the basement home studio Morton built while isolating with his wife and dog, then fleshed-out piecemeal with socially distanced bandmates, is both a meditation on grief and a road map to healing. It’s inspired by the dark delusion of the Trump years and the loneliness and uncertainty of the pandemic, yes, but also colored by the hope and connection Morton felt while marching in massive racial justice protests in his native Portland. “The songs are about people,” Morton writes. “The space between them and the ordinary, miraculous things that happen there, as we come into contact, imitate each other, leave our marks, lose touch. Being self and other somehow amounting to the same thing.”

    For those of us keeping count, three houses feature prominently on this record. All of them are approached with trepidation and all of them contain revelations: A trivial memory with immeasurable weight; an old friend who needs a lifeline; a piano that begs to be played. It’s not always clear if these spaces are real or imagined. It’s also not clear if any of the deliverance found in them will be permanent. It’s on a train ride through the midwest where Morton feels most bullish. “I’ll find the sacred buried in me,” he promises on “Empire Builder.” “And I will cut it out while everyone is watching.”

    Then, like a sneaker wave rolling quietly back out to sea, he tempers the melodrama. “It will not be enough.”

    That’s how Typhoon walks the fine line between giving up and starting over: Morton has never promised a happy ending, but on Sympathetic Magic he reminds us that when there’s even a slight chance of redemption, it’s a chance worth taking. That’s the central gift of a post-apocalypse record that finds Typhoon stacking gallows humor next to a legitimately aching love for humanity, and it’s what this band has always done so well: stitched the smallest personal tragedies, unforgotten and honored, into a universe-sized quilt. I can’t think of a more useful skill in this relentless moment, where we so often want to forget ourselves--or worse yet, give up on ourselves--because the world is just too goddamn much.

    “Welcome to the Endgame” finishes the record, and a silver lining it is not--more of a fight song for the spiritually exhausted. But it does end with a promise of solidarity that, for me, is sweeter than any bullshit happy ending.

     “Here we go into the cauldron,” Morton says. “I’ll see you on the other side.”

    -Casey Jarman

     

  • CARM

    CARM

    Indie Pop

    CARM is the debut self-titled album of multi-instrumentalist, producer, and arranger CJ Camerieri. Whether it’s playing the iconic piccolo trumpet solo on Paul Simon’s “The Boxer” anthemic horn parts on songs like The National’s “Fake Empire,” Sufjan Stevens’ “Chicago,” or Bon Iver’s “For Emma, Forever Ago;” performing with his contemporary classical ensemble yMusic; or recording lush beds of french horns for artists from John Legend to The Tallest Man on Earth, you have very likely heard Camerieri play. He is the musician that musicians want to play with, and that is further evidenced by the cast on his debut.

    The music of CARM features the trumpet and french horn in roles typically reserved for drums, guitars, and voices, while also seeking to escape the genre categorizations normally reserved for music featuring an instrumentalist as bandleader. It is not jazz or classical music, nor is it a soundtrack to a larger narrative. This is contemporary popular music that features a sound normally used as a background color and texture as the unabashed lead voice.

    According to Camerieri, “CARM started with the question: ‘What kind of record would my trumpet-playing heroes from the past make today?’ I believe they would want to work with the best producers, beat makers, song-writers, and singers to create new, truly culturally relevant music, and that’s what I sought to do with this project.” The record was produced in Minneapolis by Ryan Olson (Gayngs, Polica, Lizzo) and features collaborations with Sufjan Stevens, Justin Vernon (Bon Iver), Yo La Tengo, Shara Nova (My Brightest Diamond), Mouse on Mars, Jake Luppen (Hippo Campus), and many others. It is a completely unique sound that additionally serves as a survey of the collaborations that have come to define the artist’s career thus far.

    Diverse interests have characterized Camerieri’s musical life. He initially aspired to become a jazz player, then attended Julliard, a classical institution, and studied arranging after graduation. Yet there was one underlying element that connected these pursuits: “Looking back, I was continually seeking a musical outlet that could combine all these disparate things in a way that also featured a level of virtuosity on the instrument. My first job with Sufjan was what set me on that path. He encouraged me to play with pedals, to learn french horn. I played a lot of keyboard, I helped him craft horn arrangements, and it opened up a whole new world for me to experiment and explore.”

    The album was conceived by surveying the contemporary music scene and identifying a type of disconnect. Turning inward, he found answers to his musical restlessness in an unlikely source: horns. “I found the shortage of popular music for my instrument surprising when there’s so much music being made.” Eventually Camerieri had enough material to take the next steps. “I spent months experimenting with writing songs centered on the horn as the lead voice, and then traveled to Minneapolis to work with Ryan [Olson], who has always struck me as the nexus of great creative music made in the Midwest. I arrived a few days early and had numerous musical chats with Justin [Vernon] and Trever [Hagen] about what the record could look like. They encouraged me to ignore the music I had written and embrace Ryan’s process. After one night of writing together, both Ryan and I understood exactly what this record would be.”

    The album begins with an orchestral brass choir of french horns, which quickly gives way to a piano sample of Francis and the Lights, as Stevens and Luppen combine voices over a lush bed of horns to sing “Song of Trouble.” The album bookends with the same piano sample used as a springboard to a beautiful and iconic lyric by Vernon in the album closer “Land.” Between these two generation-defining artists we have the upward sweeping melodies in “Soft Night,” fanfares reminiscent of Ennio Morricone in “Nowhere,” and the uncompromisingly original sound of Georgia Hubley and Ira Kaplan of Yo La Tengo in “Already Gone.” Two dark and mysterious journeys in “After Hours” and “Invisible Walls” give way to the virtuoso sound of Nova’s voice, who the artist stood side-by-side with in his first Sufjan Stevens tour over a decade ago. “Slantwise” and “Scarcely Out” take us back down a more experimental path before the strings from yMusic members Rob Moose and Gabriel Cabezas bring us back to the piano sample that started the record. Given the oversaturated contemporary music market that often recycles well- trodden sounds, CARM offers a respite for those seeking an original voice

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August Hall Presents

Typhoon, CARM

Sat Jun 4 2022 8:30 PM

(Doors 7:30 PM)

August Hall San Francisco CA
Typhoon, CARM

$25.00 All Ages

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All Ages
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$25.00

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