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Pyramid Scheme

Erin McKeown
featuring Jenn Grant

Tuesday, Feb 12, 2013 8:00 PM EST (7:00 PM Doors)
The Pyramid Scheme, Grand Rapids, MI
18 years and over

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Doors at 7:00pm 18+  $12

“A couple of years ago, I found myself at a cross-roads. I knew it was no longer 
sustainable for me to participate in a traditional label relationship. And I knew it
was no longer possible to keep my political and musical selves separate.
Everything had to change.”
And thus was born MANIFESTRA, singer-songwriter and producer Erin
McKeown’s seventh studio album and the first to originate on her own TVP
Records label.
Work on the record began with the arrival of the title track. In the early dawn
hours after a late-nite gig, McKeown was awakened by the first line of the song,
“Humble, like the child of god she wants to be.” The rest of the over 6 minute
composition came tumbling out, complete, just as the sun was rising.
“The word ‘manifestra’ just came to me. It describes a statement of purpose
and unity, a clear action from a female perspective, a bright hope. I was trying
to describe the process of internal change becoming external. It never occured
to me that I had made up a word,” she laughs. “The concept just made sense to

Singing with McKeown are UK songster Polly Paulusma on “Proof” and rising
troubadour Ryan Montbleau, who co-wrote and sings on the playful duet
"Instant Classic.” Fellow indie singer-songwriters Anais Mitchell, Sean Hayes, nd David Wax Museum lend their voices to the stirring album-closer "Baghdad
to the Bayou." The latter song addresses injustice from the Persian Gulf to the
Gulf of Mexico. Backed by a slow-cooking New Orleans simmer and topped with
bright horn lines, “Baghdad” was co-written via text message by McKeown and
longtime friend and fellow Western Massachusetts resident Rachel Maddow,
while Maddow was reporting in Iraq.
“I’ve never been a fan of songs that sacrifice music for the sake of a message,
but it became clear to me that as a citizen I had to bring what I believe more
clearly into my music. It began to feel urgent, and I knew I had to try,” Erin

McKeown concludes, “At this point in my career, I am most concerned with
cultivating relationships that are mutually fufilling. I want to give my fans the
best possible music and experience. I have loved getting to know them better
and better. I want to work with musicians who inspire me, and I want to provide
opportunities for artists to collaborate in new ways. I want to learn how to be a
better activist, and I want to be a part of my community. It is no longer enough
for me to just make records and tour. I’ve got to do more.”



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