Ken Stringfellow w/ Laura K Balke
Monday, February 11, 2013 from 7:30 PM to 11:00 PM (PST)
San Francisco, California
London, United Kingdom
Doors 7:30, Show 8:30 // $12 Advance, $14 Day of Show // 21+
Ken Stringfellow's latest LP Danzig in the Moonlight was recently hailed by the Huffington Post as, "One of the most impressive, opulent records of the year." IndyRockLive.com ranked it the #1 album of the year. Having been a part of the indie landscape since The Posies formed in 1988, his presence has been heard in numerous projects that have influenced the rock landscape over the years.
The new album was recorded at the legendary ICP Studios in Brussels, and mixed by up and coming production team TheLAB in Los Angeles. It has moments of fearsome menace, balanced with some intensely intimate fragility. Like Stringfellow's lifestyle, the new record is multi-national, genre-defying, challenging and deeply musical.
His shows are legendary, pushing minimalism to its core definition, often performing without using the house PA, Ken’s voice soars, cries, leaps from barely audible to room-filling anguish, joy, sorrow and humor. Ken’s live show has been raved about in packed audiences from Lithuania to Lima, from Taipei to Tasmania, from Johannesburg to Trinidad.
In addition to his groundbreaking work with the Posies, Ken - musician, songwriter, producer, arranger -- was part of rock legends Big Star, one of the most acclaimed and legendary groups of all time, from 1993 until the death of Alex Chilton in 2010. He also spent ten years on the road and in studio with R.E.M., appearing on two albums (2001’s Reveal and 2004’s Around the Sun), and propelling the band on keyboards, bass, guitar and accordion during headlining slots at Glastonbury, Rock In Rio, Rock Am Ring, etc as well as on TV shows such as Top of the Pops, Saturday Night Live, and countless others. For his solo work, Ken's released three albums over the last two decades (1997’s This Sounds Like Goodbye, 2001’s Touched, and 2004’s Soft Commands), all garnering high praise in Pitchfork, Mojo, NME and elsewhere, mixing Ken’s deeply expressed, emotional singing with delicate elements of acoustic, electric, electronic, and chamber.
Hailing from the musical hotbed of Seattle at the time when that music scene exploded into national prominence, The Posies went on to sign with Geffen Records and released brilliant, successful albums such as 1993’s legendary "Frosting on the Beater". The band is still active today, having released their seventh album, "Blood/Candy" in 2010...an album heaped with critical praise in the UK press...The Word magazine devoted two pages to a review which called it "a finely calibrated....dazzling tapestry...just stupidly good".
For Big Star, Ken played bass, sang and helped create the band’s 2005 album "In Space", their first since 1978’s timeless "Third/Sister Lovers". He’s still frequently called upon to perform, speak about, and celebrate the music of one of the cornerstones of indie rock. The list of collaborations goes on: producer/engineer on albums for Damien Jurado, the Long Winters, China’s Hanggai, and dozens more; onstage and on-album appearances with Snow Patrol (keyboards on their Eyes Open album), Neil Young, Patti Smith, Mudhoney, Death Cab For Cutie...to list all his work over the years would add up to hundreds of albums and thousands of live appearances.
Superwise - https://soundcloud.com/lojinx/ken-stringfellow-superwise/s-Yoss5
Doesn't It Remind You of Something (featuring Charity Rose Thielen) - https://soundcloud.com/lojinx/ken-stringfellow-doesnt-it-remind-you-of-something
Laura K Balke
In August 2011, Indiana native Laura K. Balke had just embarked on a series of changes that are still setting her apart from the Midwestern singer/songwriter pack over a year later. Having learned guitar at age 13 and after extensive stints in the coffee-house circuit for years shortly thereafter, Balke quit her day job as a hairstylist last summer and symbolically had her long, beach blonde hair shaved to give a physical manifestation to being a full-time musician, with the whole process filmed and used for her "Not For This" video. This epic sea change has taken Balke's touring schedule to 25 different states since then, spending nearly one-third of the last year just playing shows.
Much like the above choices speak to her character, Balke prides herself on the D.I.Y. nature of her albums, making sure they're packaged in anything but plastic. 2007's Leaving Home, 2009's Souvenirs and last year's Rumors And Legends were all packaged by hand: a handsewn, fabric envelope here or a screenprinted, gatefold jacket there. Rumors specifically stands out as well, as Balke's friends and family pitched in to package each copy inside of a hardbound book. "This was my first foray into visual art," says Balke, "with each song having a corresponding drawing that is made of the lyrics, creating an image that is illustrative of their content."
The songs themselves, packed with nods to classic country, alt-pop and folk, have garnered wide attention in their own right. RecordGeeks.com calls Balke's repertoire "very pretty, dynamic music with a strong female voice as the focal point. Balke's knack for simplicity and emotional climaxes are reminiscent of some of the best Will Oldham records." Slowcoustic.com also says Rumors "might just have the most beautiful packaging of any record I’ve ever seen... There just really aren’t many artists out there who put the care and sweat into the overall craft like Laura does. Her songs are well arranged and beautifully orchestrated and she doesn’t get caught up in trying to be the hip new thing. She just writes really solid songs and finds creative ways to deliver it to her ever-growing audience... I am inspired by how she is always trying something new and refusing to take the easy road. Her passion and determination to be a meaningful artist or die trying is one of my favorite things about her."