TABAH / Mooses / Mom Barley / Watching For Foxes

Wed, Aug 16, 2017 @ 8:00 pm to 2:00am

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Wednesday, August 16 / 8pm doors, 9pm music / $5
TABAH (Rock)
Mooses (Indie rock)
Mom Barley (Rock/Indie)
Watching For Foxes (Cinematic folk/Flannel rock)

The four-piece Minneapolis-based band Tabah is often called out in the local press about its vocalist, Cecelia Erholtz. The word “Earthy” gets used a lot, and while not inaccurate, it leans into a place that is smaller than what is actually required to describe her. As a matter of fact, Erholtz’s “Earthy” vocals communicate something more universal than what could be attributed to any one planet. They could be “Jupitery,” or “Saturny,” and even Heavenly on Tabah’s debut album Symmetry Somewhere, scheduled for release on March 17th, 2017.

Erholtz’s powerful voice – she also contributes on guitar – needs a powerful band to support it. Grounded, if you will. Earthy? Tribal. It comes in the form of the adept playing of her classically-trained bandmates, Jeff Ley (guitar/vocals), Charlie Bruber (bass/vocals), Andrew Seitz (keyboards, vocals), and Murphy Janssen (drums/percussion.)

Together – and Tabah’s musicians really do sound like they are playing together – the band takes this music to a unique place where psych-heaviness and ethereal-wisp combine in a way that hasn’t necessarily been heard like this before. Consider this: Symmetry Somewhere is a head-bobbing, mind-bender of an album that was recorded in Nashville, and could pass for folk in its quieter moments, but is still loud enough to piss off neighbors by blowing off their doors.

Recorded live to tape, with minimal overdubs, the band worked tirelessly during the day at Welcome To 1979 Studios, and then retired to a cattle ranch just outside of Nashville where they would meet at a gazebo near a frog pond. That place soon became a temple where the five would find themselves reflecting, releasing, and crafting closely amongst relaxed moonlight, soft mornings and Southern thunderstorms.

“We became so close on that trip that it sometimes feels like we’re still there,” Bruber recalls. Perhaps Symmetry Somewhere is the sound of trust and distrust combined then, a document of the band’s evolution from five into one. “A balancing act of destruction and perseverance,” as Bruber terms it.

At the end of the day, however, Tabah is pragmatic when it comes to this, encouraging listener interpretations rather than trying to define them. Describing Tabah as a “blank and meaningless canvas,” Bruber continues, saying, “We are eternally grateful for the ways people have perceived us so far, and we believe that this album will finally allow listeners to get a sense of what we are really going for in our music.”

So far, it’s made a lot of sense for the Minneapolis NPR-affiliate, 89.3 The Current, which has consistently supported Tabah since the band’s first EP release in 2015, giving the single heavy rotation and naming it one of the best local tracks of the year. The resultant sell-out crowds at Tabah’s hometown venue, the famed 7th Street Entry, have only further cemented the group as a must-see live act in the city; a mystifying, haunting, soulful experience that will now go national with the release of the new album, and tour to follow.

The first single from Symmetry Somewhere is “Curtain Call,” an ironic choice for a beginning, but one that has actually been a part of the band’s set since the start. An earlier version of the song appeared on Tabah’s debut EP, but owing to the five-headed monster (or many-armed Buddha?) that is Tabah, the song has become something else over time.

Indeed, Janssen explains that “‘Curtain Call’ grew along with us. Shorter, meatier, yet still lush, it now evokes a beginning that can only come from something else’s end.”

Bruber concurs, giving the song the credit for helping the band become what it is today.

“The reaction we received for that song in our early days of playing Minneapolis gave us the confidence to grow,” he says. “In some ways, ‘Curtain Call’ was the boost we needed for us to feel like we were doing something special.”

Now that Symmetry Somewhere is completed, the members of Tabah continue to seek – personally and also professionally – through their visceral ability to connect in meaningful ways with their rapidly expanding audience. Now they have the tangible result of this pursuit. The new album is already in their hands and ears, and soon, in yours. As for what can’t yet be physically grasped, it’s still waiting for us to discover. It might be Earthy. It’s definitely out there.

The debut album Symmetry Somewhere by Tabah is scheduled for release on March 17th, 2017, preceded by the single “Curtain Call,” streaming now. See Tabah on tour this spring.

Mooses: Alex Brown and Andy Scott introduced a series of experimental rock compositions to Dan Tiura, Rob Jozefiak, and Vince Monte in the summer of 2015.

Arrangements demonstrate traditional pop structures that start in one genre and emotionally convulse into others.
Generally morose ambiance still playful enough that you can dance or sway depressingly to it.

Mom Barley: We just want to rock your ears and make you feel something inside with good music and great vibes. A blend of rock, alternative, blues and folk with dual lead guitars and vocal harmonies standing out and a rhythm section that will keep your head bobbing and your feet tapping. come check out a show and see for yourself!

Watching for Foxes is an indie/folk rock band from Grand Rapids, MI. Forged through raw emotion and incessant gigging, supporting the likes of Langhorne Slim, Larry and His Flask, Joseph, The Trews, Saintseneca, Roadkill Ghost Choir, Penny & Sparrow, The Soil and The Sun, Mike Mains, Jaymay and Joe Hertler & the Rainbow Seekers, Watching for Foxes creates a passionate and striking sound that you won’t forget.

John Sinkevics, Local Spins: “Few bands can replicate the lugubrious beauty of folk-rock’s Watching for Foxes. The mournful -yet-somehow-sanguine tracks constructed by frontman Joey Frendo and his Grand Rapids ensemble build to dynamic, emotion-infused crescendos marked by moody sound effects, gorgeous harmonies and rich, diverse instrumentation. As a result, there’s almost a cinematic quality to significant portions of ‘Undone Bird,’ with the single-worthy, catchy crowd favorite ‘Two Lovers’ balanced against epic-sounding gems such as ‘The Watchmen’ and ‘The Hunt/The Kill.'”

Eric Mitts, Revue Magazine: “Sad, flannel-clad indie-rock, accompanied by cello, banjo and piano has never sounded so bewitching and beguiling. This six-piece folk-rock ensemble out of Grand Rapids has crafted a cinematic showcase of emotion packed with as many memorable hooks as it has moving, existential passages. The collision of roots music’s rich tradition and modern rock’s unquenchable angst allows the band to move stealthily in whichever direction it chooses. Be on the lookout for where this group is heading next.”

Jeff Milo, Paste Magazine/ Detroit Free Press: “Watching for Foxes make every song feel like it’s that half-triumphant, half-weary, all-around cathartic march up the hilly knoll towards the unknowable-yet-still-hope-splashed horizon, as if every song were the build up to the closing credits of the indie-arthouse film of the story to your life. And Undone Bird is very much an aural anthology of soundtracks to a life, a life dented and sweetened by moments of soul-searching, of sacrifice and loss, of refreshed perspectives and outlook-altering questions…of, above all, resoluteness. The music, like the motives and moxie of the band, churns on, onward… I also enjoy the ambient wooziness, the half-in-a-dream stagger, of some of the more atmospheric sounds captured on this production. I love how succinct and profound the percussive elements can be, providing just the right amount of propulsion. I love how the lead vocals and the guitars can be so uniquely expressive, and yet sound as though they were both comparable lost souls propping each other up in arms in this undeterred forging forth. Blues and rootsy country vibes meet space-orbiting avant-garde shreds; heart-on-the-sleeve folk with the American Underground, nostalgic troubador ballads for the quiet twilight wanders and cinematic glides into the mind-blowing wide open empyrean. Be ready to have it pared back for some minimal banjo odes, or some slower-building tempos under some star lyrical fair. Be ready for, above all, emotion, the heavy evocations, the kinds of moments in your life that can’t be put into words yet can be excellently encapsulated by a song, by its notes, by its tones, by its tempo. Watching for Foxes really forged something here; one can feel the fire.”

Nate Dorough, Fusion Shows: “One of the hardest working and most ambitious bunch of dudes writing sad music in the state of Michigan.”