777 Valencia Street San Francisco, CA 94110 - Map
Mark Eitzel / Tarnation - Record Release Show

(((folkYEAH!))) Presents: Co-Headlining Show with

Mark Eitzel / Tarnation - Record Release Show

Sarah Bethe Nelson

Wed, June 14, 2017

Doors: 8:00 pm / Show: 9:00 pm

The Chapel

San Francisco, CA

$15 adv / $18 door

This event is all ages

Mark Eitzel
Mark Eitzel
Mark Eitzel’s tenth solo album and his first in three years, Hey Mr Ferryman, will be released on January 27, 2017, by Merge Records.

Hey Mr Ferryman is Eitzel’s first full studio album recorded entirely in London. It was made at 355 Studios with Mercury Prize winner Bernard Butler (ex-Suede, McAlmont & Butler), who has produced and/or recorded albums with Tricky, Ben Watt, Bert Jansch, Edwyn Collins, and more. Butler produced Hey Mr Ferryman and played all of the electric guitar, bass, and keyboard parts on the album.

Butler wrote of the process: “I spent a fortnight on my own in the studio seeing where I could go, how to expand every mood, make the dark songs darker, the drama bigger, the joy more celebratory. I was elated when I sent initial mixes off and Mark was happy. The greatest gift for a producer is the trust of the artist with their work. I knew from the off with this record that the songwriting was in a different league. It was for me to find beautiful frames for each story.”

Hey Mr Ferryman features the vivid melodies long associated with Eitzel’s former band American Music Club (a.k.a. AMC), which remains a cult favorite to this day, as well as Butler’s distinctive guitar that serves to complement Eitzel’s expressive vocals. Of that voice, Pitchfork once wrote: “If Leonard Cohen’s voice is a story about the passage of time and Levon Helm’s is a story about losing what is most precious to you, Eitzel’s is about the circuitous roads we take in search of ourselves.”

As both a solo artist and the frontman for AMC, Mark Eitzel is a celebrated lyricist and champion of the downtrodden. A hauntingly evocative singer, he has earned even greater notoriety for his brilliance as a composer, combining the intensity of Ian Curtis, the pastoral beauty of Nick Drake, and the melodrama of Scott Walker and Jacques Brel to build one of the most impressive and darkly poetic bodies of song in the modern pop canon.

“The songs on this record are about celebrating musicians and music, about misogyny, the long shadow of history, getting one’s head out of one’s ass,” quips Eitzel on the themes of Ferryman. “Also oceans, blood, skies, hearts, gay pioneers, carpenters, weeping women, and how death waits for you even in the happiest place on earth: Las Vegas.”

The album opens with “The Last Ten Years” which includes the lyric “Spent the last ten years / Trying to waste half an hour” which, like the best verses, will leave you pensive and wanting more. The album continues with a sensuous love song (“An Answer”), an ode to the plight of the working musician (“The Road”), the growing political divide in America (“In My Role as Professional Singer and Ham”), the frustration of ripped trousers (“Let Me Go”), and “Sleep From My Eyes,” which Mark describes as “an experiment to write a love song from the point of view of someone in a coma. As you do.”

“As I wrote these songs, I moved from San Francisco to Los Angeles; painted two houses; spent all my money; threw away everything I owned; traveled to and from London, New York, and Austin; performed various shows; learned ‘I’m Your Man’ by Leonard Cohen for a friend’s wedding (it was so hard); replaced the battery and the hard drive in my perpetually dying computer; gained and lost and gained 20 pounds; went to the doctor a lot; moved to the mountains; moved to New York; and ran my car into the ground,” continues Eitzel. “I just finished writing my next album and have started recording the demos to send to my 50 friends.”

Mark Eitzel has released over 15 albums of original material with American Music Club and as a solo artist. The Guardian has called him “America’s greatest living lyricist,” and Rolling Stone once gave him their Songwriter of the Year award. Originally formed in 1983, AMC released seven albums before breaking up in 1995. The band reunited in 2004 and subsequently signed to Merge for two full-lengths, Love Songs for Patriots and The Golden Age. In April of 2012 while working on a solo record, Eitzel suffered a heart attack which forced him to slow down and delayed the album’s release. That fall, Merge put out Don’t Be a Stranger to much critical acclaim, and in 2013, a newly healthy Eitzel embarked on what proved to be the most successful tour of his career to date. In 2015, he wrote music for Simon Stephens’ Song from Far Away, his second collaboration with the English playwright, and began work on the forthcoming Hey Mr Ferryman.
Paula Frazer and Tarnation will be releasing their 8th record on New High Recordings and Brooklyn Bridge Records called ‘What Is And Was’ on June 30th, 2017.

Paula Frazer is an American ‘classic’ singer-songwriter. She grew up in Georgia and Arkansas playing piano and guitar, and singing in the church choir where her father was the minister. Her music is frequently described as melancholic alternative country, but with an eclectic mix of folk, blues and pop, among other genres.

She moved to San Francisco in the 80’s and first came to notice by fronting her band Tarnation in the 1990’s (4AD/Warner-Reprise). Since then she has appeared on recordings and on stage with many acts including Cornershop, Sean Lennon, Frightwig, Tindersticks, The Czars, Nick Cave and Handsome Boy Modeling School, to name just a few.

It was in San Francisco she began playing with the bands Trial and Frightwig. But it was not until Tarnation in the early 90’s that Paula found the format that would bring her voice and songs to world outside San Francisco. With her first recording in this context, ‘I’ll Give You Something To Cry About’ — 4AD released ‘Gentle Creatures’ with some songs re-recorded and other songs added — Paula’s Tarnation became a cornerstone block in the nascent edifice of Americana music (it was touted by Rolling Stone one of the 25 best Americana records ever). ‘Mirador,’ the follow-up, found Paula enriching her oeuvre with Ennio Morricone’s darkness and Scott Walker’s plushness. ‘Mirador’ was her first endeavor with co-producer David Katznelson of Birdman Recordings.

Her first release under her own name was ‘Indoor Universe’ in 2001 (Birdman) which garnered overwhelming critical acclaim. With ‘Indoor Universe’ Frazer’s popularity expanded and solidified in Europe, especially in France where she’s already established a cult following through touring with Nick Cave and The Tindersticks. ‘Indoor Universe’ saw Paula’s songwriting maturing while she tinkered with the blend of musical influences she drew from to further perfect her unique musical identity. Spin Magazine said: “Frazer’s voice has the grande-dame grandeur of Oum Kalthoum, the Southern-belle chime of Patsy Cline, and the rococo phrasing of Joan Baez.” This was followed by ‘A Place Where I Know’ (Birdman), a compilation of the best of ten years of home demos released while she was busy writing ‘Leave The Sad Things Behind ’ (Birdman). Her fans had been clamoring for just this sort of raw and intimate look at Paula’s creative process, which has always begun at home on her trusty four-track recorder. Her 7th record "Now It's Time" was released on Birdman Records in 2007.
Sarah Bethe Nelson
Sarah Bethe Nelson
Lost in the chorus of those lamenting the death of San Francisco’s music scene is the small detail that, really, SF is doing just fine. Singer-songwriters like Sarah Bethe Nelson help to ensure the Bay Area’s continued vibrancy, and her songs are an intriguing condensation of the city’s contradictions. Though tethered to the simple, sun-kissed melodies more commonly associated with Southern California, Nelson’s sound is undeniably the product of countless evenings tending bar in the Mission District. It’s a bit weary from all those late nights, but there’s a finicky energy to it, as well — a sense of adventure buried beneath all those drawn-out minor chords.

Nowhere is this more apparent than on Nelson’s new single “Hazy”, which succeeds on its own terms without trying too hard. “I think of ‘Hazy’ as elements of doo-wop and adult contemporary hanging around together,” Nelson tells Consequence of SOund. “But mostly, it’s a simple little love song.” If Nelson doesn’t seem much like the self-aggrandizing type in person, she’s even more modest on record, preferring to let the listener search for the jewel of a melody at the center of each song.

With “Hazy”, that search is a pleasure. Listen to the song below; it will appear on Nelson’s forthcoming album Oh, Evolution, which drops February 24th on Burger Records.
Venue Information:
The Chapel
777 Valencia Street
San Francisco, CA, 94110