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Camp Daze Music Presents: Jeff Rosenstock & Laura Stevenson
Zootown Arts Community Center
Missoula, MT
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Camp Daze Music Presents: Jeff Rosenstock & Laura Stevenson
Jeff Rosenstock

7/23/2016
11:37PM
Its almost midnight on a Saturday in the summer, and I live in New York City. Im still in my 30s
and I dont have to get up early tomorrow. By anyones standards, I should be heading out for the
night; dancing, drinking, meeting up with old friends, making new friends, making mistakes, and
feeling young in a city that allows you to remain young despite your age growing higher. I should
beoutthereliving.
Instead, I just put a load of laundry in the machine in my buildings basement. Im wearing a pair
of green shorts and I feel like an asshole in them. I have knobby knees and shorts dont look good
on me. I am wearing a light green tshirt and the whole outfit makes me vaguely feel like a
middleaged man dressed up for his first day of kindergarten. I am going nowhere tonight, and I
suspectthismayapplyinthelongtermaswell.
ThisseemsliketheperfecttimetowriteaboutJeffRosenstock.
Because no one Ive ever met creates art that encapsulates this state of mind more than Jeff. Its
music thats catchier than any other music, music you can scream along to in a joyous frenzy. But
simultaneously, if you really listen to the lyrics youre shouting, they can speak to a loneliness and
desperation so profound its soul crushing. Ive lost myself in joy to Jeffs songs and Ive sat alone
depressed to Jeffs songs, and Ive felt both those things to the same song, sometimes on back to
backlistens.
Nobody can take the exhilaration and possibilities of life and balance them with the depression of
a laundry room on a Saturday night like Jeff Rosenstock. His music can be like a funeral taking
place inside a bouncy house, or like a kids birthday party taking place inside a morgue. I say that
withtheutmostsincerityandtheintenttoofferonlythehighestofpraise.
If youre reading this, you probably know the legend of Jeff Rosenstock by now. The Arrogant
Sons of Bitches had Long Islands attention, and then mutated into Bomb the Music Industry, a
collection of musicians that were among the first to just give their music away, that spray painted
tshirts for fans, that did everything in a way that was financially illadvised and built a cult unlike
any other in the process. Sometimes their shows had a dozen musicians on stage, sometimes it
was Jeff and an ipod. No matter what, there was always one thing that remained the same  this
band had as much integrity as Fugazi with none of the pretension but with all the emotion but
with a lot more fun and also I have to reiterate none of the pretension. To me it seems like Bomb
was like Fugazi if the members of Fugazi had been willing to let down their guards and laugh at
fart jokes. Again, this is meant as high praise. I really like Fugazi and am not trying to talk shit, its
justanaptmetaphor.
When Bomb ended, Jeff was left standing in a lonely spotlight and we all wondered if hed be ok.
Instead of even giving us time to find out, he put out We Cool? and showed us all what growing up
looks like. Growing up fucking sucks, but its not for melodramatic reasons. It sucks because your
joints start hurting and you know you probably arent gonna get some of the things done that
youve always promised yourself youre gonna get done and you still have a lot of guilt about
dumb shit you pulled when you were like 19. We Cool? showed us that Jeff Rosenstocks version
of growing up wasnt going to betray Bomb or its fans or the things people loved about them, it
was going to put a magnifying glass on his own impulses and insecurities as an individual in a
waythatwasbothshockinglyfrankandimpossiblycatchy.
Jeffs music, if you ask me, is for people who really and truly feel like they could change the world,
if only they could muster up the strength to leave the fucking house. Its for people who get into
group situations and have every instinct inside their heads scream that the world is a fucked up
and terrifying place and they should crumble up into a corner and wait to die, but who instead
dance like idiots because what the fuck else is there to do? Its music that makes me feel like
maybe, just maybe, if I do things the right way I can help make the world a better place, while
coexisting with the knowledge that I dont fucking matter and theres no reason not to give up,
except maybe I shouldnt because what if deep down people are actually beautiful, giving, and
kind?
Its music that makes me lose myself like I used to when I was 13 and first discovered the joy of
punk rock, but its also music that makes me think way too fucking hard about why the world is
how it is and if I might be someone with enough heart to throw a few punches in the effort to
makeshitjustatinybitbetterforothersforonefuckingsecondofonefuckingday.
Itssimplepunkrock.Itsalsocomplicatedandbeautifulandworkingclassandperfect.
Is the above a little cheesy? Sure. But I think its true and I think its all worth saying. Because
having become friends with Jeff over the past few years, I can say the following with great
certainty  he actually is what he says he is. And because of that, all the above applies. His
integrity is untouchable. We all need to take a second and appreciate how much time this guy has
wasted finding all ages venues. How much money he has passed on to retain his credibility as an
artist. If other artists  myself chief among them  conducted themselves with an ounce of the
integrityJeffapproachesallareasofartandlifewith,theworldwouldbeabetterplace.
I know this might sound silly to people who dont get it  they might say Its just punk rock, calm
down.  but fuck those people, we all know Jeff is a musical genius. If he wanted to go ghost write
songs for Taylor Mars and Bruno Swift, I bet he could make millions of dollars doing so. Music is
easy for him. He could write empty songs and hand them off to hollow artists and we all know
hed kill it and he wouldnt have to deal with shaking down shady promoters for a few hundred
bucks or driving overnight to get to the next venue or stressing about paying bills or any of it. He
continues to not do any of that easy shit and thats because hes not bullshitting about doing
things not just the right way, but in a way thats more idealistic than reality actually allows for. He
doesthatforus.
The guy is a genius poet while simultaneously being the definition of a fucking goon from Long
Island. There is nothing not to love. The album you are about to listen to, WORRY., only furthers
and exceeds the myth of Jeff Rosenstock, he who is mythical for being the most normal dude from
a boring place any of us have ever met; mythical for sticking to his guns when all logic points in
the other direction; mythical for writing melodies that stick in our brains and lyrics that rip our
guts out; mythical most of all for being not mythical at all. Hes just Jeff. Its not that complicated.
But in a world where everything is driven by branding and image and hidden agendas, being not
thatcomplicatedmakeshimperhapsthemostcomplicatedartistIknow.
Enjoy this album. Enjoy it as a whole. The second half is going to blow your mind with its
ambitiousness  in my opinion the second half of this album will be viewed over time as a
triumph and high water mark of a cool ass career. And the singles  Wave Goodnight to Me is
untouchable. Blast Damage Days will make you feel ok about the fact that the world seems to
bebuiltonafoundationofquicksand.
And when youre done listening, dont forget  you probably cant change the world, but youre
kind of a dick if you dont at least try. Jeffs been falling on the sword for the rest of us for years
anditsonallofustoatleastgodownswinging.
Sincerely,
ChrisGethard
PSJohnDeDomeniciaintbadeither.

Laura Stevenson

Laura Stevenson is finally learning not to worry. After more than a year of national and worldwide touring following the release of her critically acclaimed album Wheel, both headlining, and alongside such varied acts as Against Me!, The Go-Gos, Kevin Devine, Tim Kasher of Cursive, and The Gaslight Anthem, the songwriter made the move from her between-tour home base of Brooklyn, to upstate New Yorks Hudson River Valley. There, she rented a nineteenth- century Victorian, a former brothel in a cement-mining town-turned hippie-enclave, and converted the attic into a makeshift studio. It was in this space that she and her band went to work arranging and demoing the eleven songs she had written that would make up Cocksure, Stevensons fourth album. The record features musicians Mike Campbell, Alex Billig and Peter Naddeo, who in various incarnations have performed with her for over seven years, as well as newcomer Samantha Niss, a long-time Hudson Valley resident and the veritable go-to drummer of the region.

Where 2013s Wheel was full of lingering uncertainty, harkening to Stevensons folk and country leanings, Cocksure is a straightforward, to the point, emboldened rock and roll album. Although some existential dread still peaks through the cracks, Stevenson treats themes as heavy-hearted as sudden and tragic death, self-imposed exile in small windowless rooms, and that back-of-your- mind anxiety that the road youre on may not be the right one, as their own signs of life; a life that is brightly colored by those realities.

With influences ranging from The Lemonheads, Liz Phair, and The Replacements, to early Weezer and the Smoking Popes, Cocksure maintains Stevensons unique vulnerability, and steadfast devotion to a solid and honest melody. In the writing process, she challenged herself to be true to whatever was going to come out of her, with many of the tracks featuring melodies that were purely stream of consciousness. I felt like over-working it would suck some of the spirit out of the songs this record needed that spontaneity. Spending so much time editing and second guessing yourself takes all the life out of it.

This sense of spontaneity was maintained in the way Cocksure was recorded. In May of 2015, Stevenson and her band traveled city-bound to Room 17, a studio located in her old neighborhood of Bushwick, Brooklyn. Its this very positive and amazing space, and Joe Rogers, the engineer, was so enthusiastic about what we were doing. Everyone was comfortable enough to just really play and not get caught up in anything else. All the main instrumentation on Cocksure was performed live, no clicks/no punches, under the watchful eyes of Rogers and producer Jeff Rosenstock, Stevensons long-time friend and collaborator. Jeff was the perfect person for the job. All of his Bomb The Music Industry! and solo recordings have this energy to them, theyre like living things. I wanted to capture some of the magic he has. The album was later mixed and mastered by Jack Shirley (Joyce Manor, Deafheaven, Tony Molina) at Atomic Garden Studios in Palo Alto, CA.

Self-assurance is a new hat for Stevenson, and on Cocksure she confronts her usual tendencies toward self-deprecation head-on. Its freeing to stop being so hard on yourself, and to quiet down all of the outside noise, she says. Once youre able to do that, you can actually write what you should be writing.

Location

Zootown Arts Community Center (View)
235 N. 1st St. W.
Missoula, MT 59802
United States

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Categories

Music > All Ages
Music > Punk
Music > Rock

Kid Friendly: Yes!
Dog Friendly: No
Non-Smoking: No

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