Bent Knee

Bootleg Theater Presents

Bent Knee

The Alexander Noice Sextet, Bearstronaut

Sat. August 5, 2017

8:30 pm

Bootleg Theater - Bar Stage

Los Angeles, CA

$10.00

This event is 21 and over

Bent Knee
Bent Knee
Bent Knee is unlike any band you’ve ever heard. Its borderless sound combines myriad influences from across the rock, pop, minimalist, and avant-garde spectrums into a seamless, thrilling whole. Its new album Land Animal—Bent Knee’s first for InsideOutMusic/Sony—takes its sound to a new level. It offers a suite of songs full of addictive hooks, lush melodies and enthralling twists and turns that capture the reality of life in the 21st Century—a reality of people and nations in the midst of tumultuous change. It also communicates a ray of hope and desire for listeners to embrace the fact that they’re not alone in their struggles.

“The silo-smashing Bent Knee’s unique mix is equal parts ingenuity and deliciousness,” said Jim Fusilli of the Wall Street Journal in 2016 when he first heard the group. “Bent Knee breaks new stylistic and temperamental ground,” declared Steve Smith of The Boston Globe. Other media outlets worldwide have reacted with similar enthusiasm, including NPR and the BBC, which have playlisted the band.

Bent Knee formed in 2009 as a democratic collective determined to push the boundaries of pop and rock. Lead singer and keyboardist Courtney Swain’s soaring vocals are instantly arresting. Guitarist Ben Levin is one of the most dynamic and versatile guitarists around, shifting between the raging and raucous to the sublime and meditative. Bassist Jessica Kion and drummer Gavin Wallace-Ailsworth combine into an enthralling rhythm section that’s equal parts powerhouse and nuance. Violinist Chris Baum’s kinetic violin work provides drama, grace and intrigue. World-class producer and live sound designer Vince Welch weaves it all together with a captivating, expert touch.

The band has gone from strength to strength in recent years. Its last two albums, 2016’s Say So and 2014’s Shiny Eyed Babies, were hailed as significant art-rock achievements. The group has performed hundreds of shows across the world to date. During the fall of 2016, the band played for ecstatic audiences as an opener for the U.S. leg of The Dillinger Escape Plan's farewell tour.

With Land Animal, Bent Knee has elevated its storytelling ambitions to create narratives that reflect and refract the currents we’re exposed to in the news every day.

“We’re at this bizarre point in history when our species can almost actively play God,” explained Baum, when discussing the themes running through the album. “We’re getting closer and closer through communication and technology. On the flip side, we still have many primal urges that have yet to evolve. There’s a strange balance between our technology and our biology that’s tremendously difficult to find. Land Animal explores where those animalistic urges come from and how we can harness and transform them to create a better reality.”

“The album has all kinds of songs about struggle,” added Levin. “We look at global warming, family strife, technology-mediated relationships, racism, and societal polarization. Each song is imbued with a dichotomy between who we are now as a species and where we’re going.”

As the band hits the road in support of the album, it intends to explore the diversity of thought amongst its ever-growing audience in a world where it's increasingly easy to live inside one's echo chamber of ideologies.

“I think our music is powerful and capable of uniting people with different perspectives,” said Kion. “They may think about things differently, but they’re there together, part of the concert. The fact that music and art can bring people together in that way is a really significant force that’s needed right now.”

“We haven’t made a political album with Land Animal,” said Wallace-Ailsworth. “However, it’s definitely motivated by the difficult state of the world at the moment. If people are able to take some comfort in our music or create dialog through it, those are great things for us.”

Like the band’s previous work, Land Animal is full of fresh, sophisticated arrangements and beautiful vocal harmonies, but it’s also its most direct statement to date.

“It’s a really juicy and immediate album,” said Swain. “With our previous album Say So, I think it took people a few listens to absorb its themes. That’s not the case with Land Animal, which delivers more instant gratification.”

“We tried to balance that with an appealing narrative arc,” said Welch. “The album starts with ‘Terror Bird,’ a song about individuals and communication issues and ends with ‘Boxes,’ a song that explores the fact that we’re all marching towards our own demise, so we better make the most of the time we have. Land Animal is an epic journey.”

At the end of the day, the band believes strongly in music as a force for positive change and delivering ideas no other medium is capable of.

“We believe music is the most efficient way to get a point across,” said Baum. “The only way to cut through the noise of a confused, globalized world is to create something that speaks directly to the soul, and that’s what we hope we’ve done with Land Animal.”
The Alexander Noice Sextet
The Alexander Noice Sextet
Known for his highly personalized style of composition, which organically draws from rock, jazz, classical, and electronic music; composer and guitarist Alexander Noice has been singular musical force in the Los Angeles creative music scene for the past decade. Having performed extensively in Europe, Japan, Australia, and South America with a myriad of ensembles, Noice's eclectic musical output has made him a distinguishable artist locally and abroad.
His latest project, The Alexander Noice Sextet, an inimitable modern ensemble melding the worlds of classical minimalism and contemporary opera with rock and jazz; has made a notable impact on the Los Angeles music scene with their stunning live performances. With an affinity towards Reich-like minimalism, Stravinskyan episodic shifts, and lyrical melodic sensibilities derived from the pop worlds of the Talking Heads and David Bowie; Noice creates a sound with his ensemble that defies any pre conceived genre. The Alexander Noice Sextet is set to record in the summer of 2016 for their debut release in 2017.

"uncategorizable guitar phenom" -LA Weekly

"known for its sudden shifts from Balkan melodies to abstract modern music to full-on punk rock, all within seconds of one another. The music sounds like a DJ’s crazy, psychedelic remix, only the sextet is doing everything live" -LA Weekly
Bearstronaut
Bearstronaut
Dance is a loose term, but it’s also an inevitable directive. Whether on stage or on record, Boston electronic-pop quartet, Bearstronaut, has made a name in their hometown for sparking instant dance parties. Despite their rather frigid-weather Northeast origins, Bearstronaut has been dubbed "tank-top pop" due to their warm, tropical synth-pop sound.

Their growing reputation has been staked on two distinct entities: their energetic, engaging live performances, and their uber-polished, glossy home recordings. After self releasing an EP in 2009, Bearstronaut inspired the creation of one of Boston’s most in-demand record labels, Vanya Records. Vanya founder Michael Marotta (the pill, WFNX) stated that he launched Vanya “just to hear Bearstronaut’s ‘Moniker’ on vinyl" - the way the band’s signature, post-disco epic was meant to be heard. After releasing the “Moniker” 7-inch in September 2011, Bearstronaut teamed up with Vanya again in November of 2012 for their home recorded EP titled, Paradice.

Bearstronaut has garnered several nominations from media and other music organizations (“Best Electronic Act,” 2012 Boston Music Awards; “Best Electronic Act” and “Song of the Year,” 2011 Boston Phoenix Best Music Poll; 2011 CMJ “Top Bands To See”; “Best New Act,” 2010 Boston Phoenix BMP). They have also shared the stage with such acts as Passion Pit, fun., A-Trak, Bad Rabbits, St. Lucia, Surfer Blood, Araab Muzik, Body Language, Japandroids, Dragonette, Holy Fuck, and Divine Fits.
Venue Information:
Bootleg Theater - Bar Stage
2220 Beverly Blvd
Los Angeles, CA, 90057
http://www.bootlegtheater.org/