Wand

Wand

Dead Rider, Bill MacKay & Ryley Walker

Tue, June 19, 2018

9:00 pm

The Hideout

Chicago, IL

$15.00

Sold Out

Wand
Wand
Plum is Wand’s fourth LP since the band formed in late 2013 but their first new album in two years. After a whirlwind initial phase of writing, recording, and touring at a frenetic clip, their newest document marks a period of relative patience; a refocusing and a push toward a new democratization of both process and musical surface.

In late winter of 2016, the band expanded their core membership of Evan Burrows, Cory Hanson, and Lee Landey to include two new members—Robbie Cody on guitar and Sofia Arreguin on keys and vocals. From the outset, the new ensemble moved naturally toward a changed working method, as they learned how to listen to each other and trust in this new format. The songwriting process was consciously relocated to the practice space, where for several months, the band spent hours a day freely improvising, while recording as much of the activity as they could manage. Previously, Wand songs had generally been brought to the group setting substantially formed by singer and guitarist Cory Hanson; now seedling songs were harvested from a growing cloudbank of archived material, then fleshed out and negotiated collectively as the band shifted rhythmically between the permissive space of jamming and the obsessive space of critique.

This new process demanded more honest communication, more vulnerability, better boundaries, more mercy and persistence during a year that meanwhile delivered a heaping serving of romantic, familial and political heartbreak for everyone involved. They learned more about their instruments and their perceived limitations. Much else fell apart in their personal lives, in their bodies, and the bodies of those near to them. In this way, Plum lengthened like a shadow underneath a dusking Orange; or rather “Weird Orange,” an affectionate name given to the color of a roulette-chosen, tour-rushed batch of Golem vinyl…an idiom, an inside joke, a talisman, a bookmark, a mood ring. And meanwhile all the shifting weather, the wireless signals, the helicopters overhead. Weird orange softened, darkened delicately, and rouged itself to a Plum.

The music of Plum focuses teeming, dense, at times wildly multichromatic sounds into Wand’s most deliberate statement to date, with a long evening’s shadow of loss and longing hovering above the proceedings. Plum delicately locates the band’s tangent of escape from the warm and comfortable shallows of genre anachronism, an eyes-closed, mouth-open leap toward a more free-associative and contemporary pastiche logic of that more honestly reflects the ravenous musical omnivorousness of the five people who wrote and played it.
Dead Rider
Dead Rider
It is with much angst that I inform you I'd like to punt on the bio request. I am in the midst of several projects that are unusually stressful and interfering with my abilities to function as a normal human. The idea of starting from scratch on a bio is literally causing me to lose sleep. Nobody wants to update our press materials more than I, and normally it is a project that I like to take my time on and have a concept for (the above photo notwithstanding). I assure you that when the time comes to rollout a new and more awesome DEAD RIDER experience (very soon!), we will have a jaw dropping photo accompanied with a bio that will someday be studied as literature at future Ivy League universities. For now, I'd like to continue with the idea that the Hideout show be a laid back affair, a delightful and low pressure space, we and the audience create to reveal hidden manifestations of confidence and self actualization.

-Todd, Espy, White Christmas
Bill MacKay & Ryley Walker
Bill MacKay & Ryley Walker
Chicago-based guitarists Bill MacKay and Ryley Walker first met in January 2014 at a friend’s birthday party where they discovered a mutual admiration for Albert King, Laura Nyro, Nick Drake, Bert Jansch, Ali Akbar Khan and Jimi Hendrix. They soon began meeting at Bill’s southwest Chicago home to write and improvise together on their lived-in dreadnought 6-string guitars, with Ryley's 12-string and Bill's requinto making frequent appearances as the year wore on. The duo quickly developed their own musical vocabulary and the resulting sounds drew on traditional folk music from Appalachia to Northern India, as well as jazz and blues. Over the course of the year, an impressive repertoire of new songs and ideas coalesced.

In January 2015, Bill and Ryley took up a month-long, Friday night residency at The Whistler, a live music venue/gallery/record label in Chicago’s Logan Square neighborhood. The overall spirit of the residency was that of a creative workshop producing music that ran in directions as wide as the duo’s interests. Each week, songs took on new shapes, while others were written and added to the always-evolving set list. Alex Inglizian of Experimental Sound Studios recorded the final two shows of the residency and Erik Hall (In Tall Buildings, Wild Belle) mixed the seven tracks that comprise Land of Plenty.

Land of Plenty is completely instrumental and falls somewhere between Ryley Walker’s acclaimed new album, Primrose Green (Dead Oceans), and Bill MacKay’s highly melodic work in Darts & Arrows. Songs run the gamut from fingerstyle ballads to psychedelic waltzes and raga-inspired blues. Guitar tone was a key element when selecting the tracks that made the cut. Like their live set up, Bill’s guitar can be heard on the left of the stereo picture and Ryley’s on the right. Although recorded in a bar in front of a capacity crowd, it’s not until the album’s final seconds that the fourth wall is dropped and the listener can hear the crowd’s raucous applause.

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Venue Information:
The Hideout
1354 W. Wabansia Ave
Chicago, IL, 60642
http://www.hideoutchicago.com