David Wax Museum

Actions Panel

David Wax Museum

David Wax Museum comes to The Linda WAMCs Performing Arts Studio this summer.

By The Linda WAMC's Performing Arts Studio

When and where

Date and time

Starts on Friday, August 4 · 8pm EDT


The Linda WAMC's Performing Arts Studio 339 Central Avenue Albany, NY 12206

Refund Policy

Contact the organizer to request a refund.

About this event

  • 3 hours
  • Mobile eTicket

“Human Nature is a Stranger to the Notion of a Pause”

Pioneering folk musicians David Wax and Suz Slezak are the plucky husband-wife duo

behind the eclectic, exuberant “Mexo-Americana” band David Wax Museum. After 14 relentless

years touring the country and world, half of them with their two young children in tow, COVID’s

abrupt disruption in March 2020 created a first jarring, then welcome creative pause for the

Charlottesville, VA-based band. Not wasting a moment, Suz--who grew up homeschooled,

playing the fiddle, singing rounds, and drinking raw milk fresh from her family’s homestead

farm--immediately dug up their small downtown front yard to plant the first real garden of the

indie rocker couple’s nomadic adult lives.

Before the pandemic, the ascendant band was enjoying newfound success with their

2019 first label release Line of Light (on Austin’s award-winning Nine Mile Records), subsequent

national TV debut on CBS This Morning: Saturday, and three distinct features on NPR’s World

Cafe. They built bridges performing at the wedding of Democratic presidential hopeful (now

Transportation Secretary) Pete Buttigieg and his husband Chasten--and then in 2021 their

plaintive ballad “Big Sur” debuted during the marriage scene on Netflix #1 show, Firefly Lane.

David Wax Museum even had a big new bombastic studio album with their boisterous six-piece

band in the can, but then the sudden shutdown temporarily shelved it, forcing David and Suz to

unpack their toiletries bag, park their tired tour van in the driveway, and finally tuck their children

into their own beds, for months on end, for the young family’s first time.

“Our children (ages 4 and 7) have toured in 43 states, seven countries and fallen asleep

on countless disgusting green room floors,” says Suz, who was pregnant with or nursing one of

them all those years on the road. “Now that we’ve been home a year, I’m not sure they even

remember what tour is!”

As Suz trellised cucumbers and butternut squash, and quilted with their kids, David

quickly converted their cramped, dormered attic room into an intimate performance space. The

hard-working pair immediately took to touring the live-stream stages of

Facebook/Instagram/YouTube Live and Zoom when all their beloved, well-trod venues, from

D.C.’s esteemed 9:30 Club to Philadelphia’s Johnny Brenda’s, shuttered overnight. Such

creative constraints laid the groundwork for the band’s most fruitful period ever.

On April 16, David Wax Museum self-released Euphoric Ouroboric, one of four records

the band made during quarantine and the band’s first foray into the experimental world of D.I.Y.

home recording. Producer and longtime collaborator Alec Spiegelman (Okkervil River, Kevin

Morby, Pokey LaFarge) blended drum machine loops with human performances, blurring the

lines to chart new sonic territory for the band.

The album’s title, Euphoric Ouroboric, captures the emotion and experience of diving

headfirst into the digital tools of remote recording, spending hour upon hour “in a jubilant

dialogue with the self,” as David puts it. He elaborates, “‘Ouroboric’ comes from the mythological

ouroboros snake that eats its own tail. I often felt like there was something self-referential and

all-consuming about learning to record and edit myself. But, at the same time, I was having such

a blast rediscovering my love for being ‘in the studio.’”

The album’s joyful lead single “Juniper Jones,” is an upbeat, whimsical song shimmering

with the band’s signature handmade Mexican instruments--though this time around--

dramatically altered, distorted and processed. They sit nestled alongside the pleasantly warped

sounds of flute and accordion, a surprising farfisa, David’s voice burbling through pedals, tasty

electric guitar hooks, and a triumphant bridge for trumpet and saxophone. It’s the band at its

light-hearted best, singing to Juniper, the seeker, who’s not satisfied with the world as it is and

dreams of greatness.

But what does it mean to make folk music in the midst of a pandemic when no one can

be in the same place, let alone the same room? This question animates Euphoric Ouroboric. If

technology was going to be so deeply enmeshed in the making of the music, why not embrace

the sonic interplay between human and machine, and leave behind traces of this process? Why

not create a world where the drum machine sounds coexist with human performances, with a

purposeful blurring of the lines? And so performed drums are made to sometimes sound and

feel digital, and the digital drums flex here and there, as if alive, away from any grid. The

resulting collection of ten homespun postmodern songs includes gems such as “Every Bit of

Love,” with its programmed hi-hats softened by pitch-shifted harp and the low hum of a pump


“Pattern of Mind,” a tropicália channeling of the Talking Heads, is a meditation on the

nature of thought during quarantine, as the band grappled with the loss of the usual crutch of a

busy tour schedule. The vocoder delay on the vocals mirrors the grooves of the mind, while the

splash of merengue horns gives the song a quintessential David Wax Museum feel. “Keep Your

Light Steady,” was a lyric that had been kicking around for a while but poignantly took on new

resonance amidst a life led in isolation, with fans reaching out, describing the band’s

thrice-weekly live streams as a lifeline during such difficult times. “Ghost of Summer” is a

reimagining of the traditional Mexican folk song “El Coconito.” In Wax’s retelling, it becomes a

cautionary tale about navigating a summer in quarantine with small children.

“We did our best to impart the joys of the season despite the circumstances, but

I sometimes felt like we were living in a poor carbon copy version of summer,” explains Wax.

Just like that

The year went flat

Now can’t tell any day apart

We go to places

See no faces

Someone’s dream got left ajar

About the organizer

All ticket sales are final. Refunds can be issued in the event of a postponement or cancellation.  Credit can be issued upon request in extenuating circumstances.

The Linda cannot issue ticket refunds for shows that occur during adverse weather unless that event is postponed or cancelled. In that occurrence, ticket holders will be notified via email.

The Linda hosts a diverse slate of performances and voices. It is the responsibly of the patron to research and understand what they are choosing to attend, and the nature of its content.  The views and content presented at The Linda do not necessarily reflect the voice and views of The Linda, WAMC, its Board of Trustees or its management.