Early Show at Amnesia Music Hall 853 Valencia Street – Doors at 5:30 pm show starts at 6 pm
Sliding Scale $8 – $10
“Akron/Family drummer seeks inner Brian Wilson via breathy, dreamy odes to well-oiled, sunbaked sensuality” – SPIN
“This is your soundtrack for summer.” – CMJ
“the songs seem bathed in sunlight, with a summery warmth fueling their exuberance.” – David Garland, WNYC
“the genuinely happy work of a charmed life” – The Fader
Dana Buoy‘s regular gig is playing percussion for Akron/Family, the indie rock band steeped in rootsy Americana and folk, injected with a heavy dose of electronic psychedelia. On his debut solo release Summer Bodies, Buoy aims for a more tropical musical climate. There are touches of vaguely Caribbean rhythms working their way throughout much of the album, with thick synthesized beats mimicking bass-heavy reggaeton grooves, as on the opening track, “Anatomy of Now”.
Buoy (née Dana Janssen) clearly brought over a handful of Akron/Family tricks. His vocals are often heavily drowned in effects, noise and electronics slither around acoustic instruments, and the focus is always on songcraft, not soundscapes or self-consciously composed music. “Delicate Suitor” is a study in gradually building a track, one note, one instrument at a time, all behind a repetitive vocal melody. With synthesizer chords droning in the background, the song climaxes with a frenzy of crystalline keyboard patterns and, eventually, a house beat.
Despite all this, Buoy never seems to fully achieve what makes his music with Akron/Family so enthralling. These songs lack the homely honesty of “I’ll Be on the Water” from their self-titled 2005 album, or the wild freakouts of “Ed Is a Portal” or “I’ve Got Some Friends” from 2007′s Love is Simple. Instead, he opts for a poppy, feel-good sound that he dubs “Tropicore.” He nails it on a few tracks, like the countrified guitar licks of “Hand Over Hand”. It’s jammy rock, full of good vibes from a steady and smooth bass and tambourine beat. Equally enjoyable is the slow jam “Futures Past”, where Buoy’s normally thin vocals shine over live drums and unexpected harmonic progressions.
Summer Bodies was composed, in large part, using synthesizers, laptops, and iPad apps; yet the best songs, the ones where Buoy’s musicianship really stands out, are those that rely less on electronics, and lean instead on guitars, drums (real ones), and analog synths. It’s that simple grounding in classic song structures and well-played instruments that’s kept his music so fascinating through all his past endeavors.
Essential Tracks: “Delicate Suitor”, “Hand Over Hand”, and “Futures Past
Pitchfork “Call To Be” Premiere:
Fader “So Lucky” Premiere:
WNYC Spinning on Air Session:
Songwriter Joseph Childress started writing and playing music in the mountains of Teller County, Colorado when he was 14 years old. Five years later – inspired by Woody Guthrie’s autobiography Bound For Glory – he strapped his guitar, “Mama”, to his back and hopped a freight train to see the country. Dubbed a “perennial vagabond” by the San Francisco Bay Guardian, Joseph traveled and toured for two years, hopping trains and living out of a car. His wanderings were punctuated only so he could play music, work ranch on the plains of Niobrara County, Wyoming, and rest his head in San Francisco, where he eventually settled down. All the while, his heavily circulated self-released CDr, known to fans as “the Rebirths”, was inspiring devoted listeners in all corners of the country.Joseph’s music draws inspiration from the mountains in which he was raised, the ranch on which he worked, his friends, family, and loves. Compared to songwriters Jason Molina, Jackson C. Frank, Devendra Banhart, and Bob Dylan (his biggest influence), his emotionally charged voice carries stories of love & travels over guitar playing that ranges from delicate finger-style to furious strumming. He has played shows across the United States with numerous acts including Joanna Newsom, Devendra Banhart, Richard Buckner, Vetiver, Lavender Diamond, The Cairo Gang, Entrance, David Dondero, Kind Of Like Spitting, and many more… and has toured with lovely acts Bad Weather California, Elisa Randazzo & Aaron Robinson, Mariee Sioux, and Messes.”There’s something to be said about a solo folk performer who can command more attention with his voice and acoustic guitar than a full band. Watching Joseph Childress solo folk performance the other night was the single most captivating folk performance I have witnessed since I first saw Devendra Banhart live 4 years ago. The comparison is only in emotion and sincerity, something Childress is far from short on. Joseph Childress fleshes out his music and meaning in his songs with his vocals better than any myriad of instruments or backing musicians ever could. The type of voice that rattles your bones when you’re sitting two rows back, where you can’t wipe that smile off your face as you think how long you’ve waited to hear an artist that truly inspires you to pay attention to nothing else but their performance.”- Naturalismo / Knowphase”Thumps, creaks, giggles, clicks — these are the first sounds you hear when listening to a recording by Joseph Childress. The California-born, Colorado-bred songwriter doesn’t make CDs, per se, but rather lo-fi snapshots taken during his many travels across the continent. Perpetually on the move, Childress packs his lush acoustic lullabies with the wizardry of Devendra Banhart and the earthy innocence of Vashti Bunyan, as heard on his widely circulated demo, dubbed The Rebirths by his fans – if “fans” is an accurate word. Intimate, otherworldly and hypnotically engaging, Childress makes friends, not followers, with his music.”- Westword Magazine