Scout Niblett (Drag City), Picastro, Jean-Marie
Scout Niblett (Drag City), Picastro, and Jean-Marie live at Hemlock Tavern on Thursday, Dec. 8th. 9:00pm, $10.00 adv.
"Scout Niblett is a woman who takes astrology and alchemy very seriously, and over the course of her career, these themes have become central to her songwriting. I realize that may sound kinda crackpot and off-putting, but it's important to note that you really don't need to be as invested as she is in those ideas to get something out of this music. This isn't dense, overly mystical nonsense. Niblett draws on these archetypes and iconography for their metaphorical value, and she consistently places the emphasis in the songs on anticipation and catharsis. Her compositions typically alternate between a heavily distorted thud and brittle, minimal passages that serve as lulls. Percussion comes and goes, and some of the loudest moments are without the clatter of drums, resulting in an eerie, hollow noise.
On a surface level, this music can resemble PJ Harvey on Rid of Me or Nirvana on In Utero, both of which were also engineered by Niblett's collaborator Steve Albini. The substance is closer to Cat Power's Moon Pix and the early albums by the reclusive songwriter Jandek. Like them, Niblett has a way of making you hang on her every note, and making her guitar strings sound like some kind of fragile tether to sanity. Her voice is expressive and raw, shifting between wounded soulfulness and unhinged fury. Her songs are not uninviting, and tracks like "I.B.D." and "Duke of Anxiety" have strong, memorable melodic hooks, but the starkness and intensity of it all makes for a very difficult and challenging record. However, on the occasions when the music connects, it is mesmerizing and uncanny whether you are directly relating to her or having a more voyeuristic experience." - Pitchfork
Commanding influences as varied as gypsy field recordings, Greek rembetika, Russian folksongs, Faces, and Black Sabbath, Toronto's PICASTRO craft starkly discordant soundscapes where murmured vocals cascade alongside a rich panorama of dissonance and string-laden dynamics.
"JEAN MARIE's songs are warm and cozy; they kinda feel like curling up fireside and dreamily gazing out a glowing window." - Amoeblog
Hemlock Tavern (View)
1131 Polk St.
San Francisco, CA 94109
|Minimum Age: 21|
|Kid Friendly: No|