Eric McEntee / Avi Buffalo

Bootleg Theater Presents

Eric McEntee / Avi Buffalo

Hey, King!

Tue. February 27, 2018

8:30 pm

Bootleg Theater - Bar Stage

Los Angeles, CA

$7.00 - $10.00

This event is 21 and over

Eric McEntee
Eric McEntee
"The work of L.A. songwriter Eric J. McEntee stokes the fires kindled by ’70s folk and pop song artists whose lush, clarion songs are easy on the ears, if hard on the heart."
- Buzzbands.la

Born in California, schooled in New York City; Eric McEntee began writing songs almost as soon as he picked up a guitar and has written and performed regularly since. Busking in Paris, New York and California... His songwriting grew out of a devout interest in Folk Music: the glorious passage of songs nameless and ancient into whatever they might become…

The songs McEntee himself writes often carry the echo of another era but actually make subtle reference to a past that may have been lost, lost songwriters and songs alike, which informs his approach. Through his voice and guitar playing, McEntee is in numerous ways, a link to what he listens to most: The 1960's Greenwich Village Songwriter Milieu and countless other songwriters he discovered along the way that seemed forgotten by history: Bread, Love and Dreams, Rodriguez, Val Stoecklein, John Stewart to name a few…

With an ear toward writing something almost forgotten of his own, he previously self-released two EP’s; those who heard them were often stunned by the clarity of production and the songwriting form which seemed to be held some 50 years away... Time changes everything, but McEntee still holds to a simple practice where the only thing that matters is the song. The craft of songwriting seems perfectly analogous to discuss the mysteries, discoveries and nature at work in both life and music for him; one reflects the other. He's currently based in California.
Avi Buffalo
Avi Buffalo
Embarking upon a sophomore effort can be a daunting task for any young upstart, and there’s no denying Avi Buffalo’s own bar was set quite high with 2010’s celebrated eponymous debut. Fear not, dear fans/family/friends/friends of friends/newcomers, there’s nothing in this tale about The Second Album—a.k.a. At Best Cuckold, due September 8th in Europe and September 9th in North America on Sub Pop—that even remotely resembles a slump; in fact, it would be entirely appropriate to say that this Long Beach, California, enterprise is getting better with age.

Ah, yes, age—much was made of it when Avi Buffalo’s first album hit the ground running, and for good reason: While their Millikan High School classmates were preoccupied with quaint and youthful pursuits, the musicians behind Avi Buffalo were busy making an off-kilter pop gem that eventually bowled over NME, The AV Club, Pitchfork, the BBC, and numerous other outlets on both sides of the Atlantic whose tastes are respected by the general public. Like a lot of kids their age, the Buffaloes celebrated the end of high school in Europe, but instead of visiting the Louvre and Buckingham Palace, their overseas journeys took them to the festival stages of Reading, Leeds, Glastonbury, the Pavement-curated All Tomorrow’s Parties in Minehead, and beyond.

So is Avi Buffalo a he or a them? The answer is a definitive yes, as leader Avigdor Zahner-Isenberg has lent his musical nickname—bestowed in childhood by a pal who’d picked up on his friend’s inclination toward spicy chicken wings—to this full-fledged outfit that works something like a solo project in the studio and then builds into a band onstage. Not that he goes it alone when recording—to the contrary, many able-bodied compatriots, including longtime collaborator Sheridan Riley, have assisted with committing his songs to tape—but everything begins and ends with Avi, and after ending a year on the road in support of the first record, he decided to take his time beginning work on the second.

The creation of At Best Cuckold turned out to be a three-year journey; a stretch of time that resembles its predecessor. While transitioning from teenager to twentysomething and traversing the interpersonal wilds which accompany that age, Avi kept playing music (even picking up a new instrument every now and again), collaborated with and produced several friends (including Kevin Litrow’s N.O.W. project and Douglas James Sweeney’s Arjuna Genome), and even started DJing. He also wrote new songs, and by the time 2013 rolled around, it was time to begin capturing his latest sparks—with that, the band headed into the studio on New Year’s Day.

Two weeks later, the basic tracks for At Best Cuckold were recorded, having been captured at Tiny Telephone, the analog-friendly San Francisco studio run by John Vanderslice of John Vanderslice fame. The engineering was actually handled by Jay Pellicci (The Dodos, Deerhoof, Sleater-Kinney), though during his stay, Avi had a chance to play with the head honcho when he was asked to contribute to JV’s tribute to Bowie’s Diamond Dogs. Needless to say, Avi has nice things to say about the place.

The “clean and tight” recordings from Tiny Telephone served as perfect skeletons for Avi to flesh out with his analog and digital overdubs, which were completed over the next year or so at various locations around Southern California. (“I’ve always had a lot of fun with overdubs,” says Avi. “Maybe my favorite instrument is overdubs.”) The result—which was completed and mixed with Nicolas Vernhes at his Rare Book Room studio in Brooklyn—is a quirky yet comforting set of songs driven by refined pop songcraft and sneaky moments of grandeur that stick in the brain. Classic-sounding melodies are delivered with a modern sensibility, creating an album that’s equal parts timely and timeless. Well-placed piano, sax, clarinet, French horn, and cornet further enhance the proceedings with a glorious orch-pop sheen.

“So What” gets things started with its understated charm and sing-songy goodness, however, it isn’t until the rollicking “Memories of You” that Avi lets his trademark falsetto fly. There are great pop moments all over At Best Cuckold, but Avi also excels at moodiness, exemplified in subdued beauties like “Two Cherished Understandings” and “Oxygen Tank.”

“I really like some of the ballad aspects of this record—it’s kind of my tribute to the ballad,” says Avi. “I predicted in an interview during the time of my first record what I was going to use in my next record, and I said a lot of major seventh chords, which, to me, sounded like laying down. And that ended up in the record, too.”

Lyrically, there are a lot of unsettled emotions on the album; a product of Avi observing the world around him and writing “about life, dealing with relationships and yourself, and trying to keep your head up and keep learning amidst whatever it is you’re going through.” Disappointment (“Thought we understood each other well / I was wrong as usual”) and anxiety (“Someone told me if I messed around / then my head would fill up with guilty clouds”) abound, though there’s also a feeling that everything is eventually going to turn out okay, even when everything seems to be falling apart during closer “Won’t Be Around No More.” If anything, Avi’s passionate delivery is the ultimate source of optimism.

At the ripe old age of 23, Avi Buffalo is ready to take on the world (again), armed with all of the experience he’s compiled over the past few years. And he’s made sure the second time around will be just as memorable as the first.
Hey, King!
Hey, King!
Hey, King! is a triumphant and raucous indie rock band led with childlike wonder by couple Natalie London (writer, vox, multi-instrumentalist) and Taylor Plecity (vox, percussion).

In the midst of an exciting music career, a critical illness left London bedridden for over three years. She lost ability to walk, talk, read and write, spending her early twenties fighting for years to regain even the most basic skills. Her debut memoir “Lyme Light” was narrated by Natasha Lyonne (Orange is the New Black) and received critical acclaim from such icons as Roseanne Barr and Tori Spelling. Finally physically capable of playing music again, London created Hey, King! grounded in her rare chance at a brand new life.

When actor Taylor Plecity (Pale Horse) and London met and fell in love, Hey, King transformed into a duo powerhouse.

London and Plecity spent 2017 recording with Ben Harper and opening for Ben Harper and the Innocent Criminals on their national tour. Harper produced and performed on Hey, King!’s forthcoming E.P. due in 2018.
Venue Information:
Bootleg Theater - Bar Stage
2220 Beverly Blvd
Los Angeles, CA, 90057
http://www.bootlegtheater.org/