• 149 WESTCHESTER AVENUE, PORT CHESTER, NY 10573-4549 · (914) 937-4126

  • Kevin Devine

    Presented by thisisasides.com

    Kevin Devine

    Charly Bliss, American Pinup

    Fri, June 23, 2017

    Doors: 6:30 pm / Show: 8:00 pm

    Garcia’s at The Capitol Theatre

    Port Chester, NY

    $12.00 (ADVANCE) // $15.00 (DAY OF SHOW)

    This event is 21 and over

    Kevin Devine
    Kevin Devine
    KEVIN DEVINE is used to living life in the gray. For the past 14 years, the Brooklyn-based singer/songwriter has oscillated between As and Bs: intimate acoustic moments and bombastic rock songs; deeply introspective lyrics and sociopolitical charges; the storm cloud and its silver lining.

    Produced by John Agnello (Sonic Youth, Dinosaur Jr.) and released via Brand New’s Procrastinate! Music Traitors label, INSTIGATOR is Devine’s ninth full-length album and comes on the heels of a busy few years: In addition to recording two albums with Bad Books (the indie-rock supergroup he formed with members of Manchester Orchestra), he released the Kickstarter-funded double-album collection BUBBLEGUM and BULLDOZER in 2013 along with the wildly ambitious 2015 DEVINYL SPLITS 7” series with the likes of Brand New's Jesse Lacey, Perfect Pussy's Meredith Graves and Nada Surf's Matthew Caws.

    Devine is a master storyteller, and he imbues Instigator - from the biting power-pop of "Both Ways" and “No Why” to the angular, Nirvana-esque "Guard Your Gates" & gorgeously finger-picked “No One Says You Have To” - with intricate details and often-uncomfortable truths. Their meanings are personal, but their themes are universal. It’s a skill that makes both his albums and his live show so alluring: Even when Devine’s writing about the world at large, he’s pointing a mirror back at himself.

    That sensibility is present on “Freddie Gray Blues,” a harrowing portrait of the events surrounding the 2015 death of Freddie Gray at the hands of Baltimore police officers. Over haunting acoustic-based talking blues, Devine pays tribute to Gray before digging deep into his own past to reconcile both his privilege and social status as the son, grandson and nephew of NYPD officers. “I don’t think there’s a way for a person in my position to sing that song credibly without talking about why I’m in the room," he says.

    And it’s there on “No History,” a string of personal vignettes centered on the September 11, 2001 attacks. It’s a song made much more meaningful by both the din of the 2016 presidential election and current global climate—a cautionary tale that one moment in time has wildly lasting repercussions.

    When Devine’s past lives meet his present-day self on the career-defining “I Was Alive Back Then,” the beautiful duality of his art takes center stage: Life is never all peril or perfection, a country ripped apart by war and social injustice or the joy of holding your child for the first time. The extremes might be easier to define, but it’s in the middle where life really happens.

    “That’s how I write records,” he continues. “You want to write about real shit. It’s really trying to communicate what I think it’s like to be me—even though I don’t know that all the time—and in the process help people touch a little closer what it’s like to be them, too.” XX
    Charly Bliss
    Charly Bliss
    If it’s true that listening to just the right record at just the right moment can psychically transport you to
    some other time and place, then Charly Bliss—an NYC band responsible for having crafted some of the
    finest guitar-crunched power pop this side of an old Weezer record with a blue cover—can pretty much
    turn any space into an adult-friendly version of your old teenage bedroom, a candy-scented safe space for
    extreme fits of happiness and angsty teen-level explosions of romantic ennui.
    Though Charly Bliss has been a band for over half a decade, the path that led to their first full-length
    record, Guppy, has been anything but straightforward. As the story goes, the band officially started when
    frontwoman Eva Hendricks and guitarist Spencer Fox, both just 15, crossed paths at a Tokyo Police Club
    show in New York City, but the ties within the band go much deeper than that. “It’s kind of insane and
    hilarious,” says Eva, “Sam is my older brother, so obviously we’ve known each other our whole lives, but all
    of us have been connected to each other since we were little kids. Dan Shure and I dated when we were in
    our early teens and he and Spencer went to summer camp together. Dan and I broke up years ago, but
    eventually he’d become our bass player. The reason we all get along so well has to do with the fact we
    share this ridiculous history. We are all deeply embedded in each other’s lives.”
    After spending years playing shows in and around New York City, the band eventually released an EP
    (2014’s Soft Serve) and scored opening gigs for the likes of Glass Animals, Darwin Deez, Tokyo Police Club,
    Sleater-Kinney, as well as a touring spot for their own musical forebears, Veruca Salt. Even though the band
    had amassed a sizable fanbase and a reputation as a truly formidable live act, the goal of making a fulllength
    record proved to be a fraught series of false-starts. Given their propensity for making hooky,
    ebullient pop songs, the band often felt out of step with what was happening around them in Brooklyn.
    (“We weren’t weird in the right ways,” says Sam). They eventually set about recording an album on their
    own—and then recording it twice—before figuring out what had been staring them in the face the entire
    time. “We basically had to come to terms with the fact that we are, at heart, a pop band,” recalls Spencer.
    “Before, it was always trying to decide which of the songs would be more ‘rock’ and which would be more
    poppy, but we eventually realized we needed to meet in the middle, we had to create an ecosystem where
    our loud, messy rock sounds could co-exist with these super catchy melodies and pop hooks. It was really
    about realizing what we’re best at as a band.”
    The ten tracks that make up Guppy, Charly Bliss’ sparkling full-length debut, show the band embracing all of
    their strengths—a combination of ripping guitars and irrepressible pop hooks, all delivered with the hyperenthusiasm
    of a middle school cafeteria food fight. That every track is loaded front-to-back with
    sing/shout-worthy lyrics and earworm melodies is a testament to the band’s commitment to the art form
    of pop songwriting. Opening track “Percolator” sets the tone—all power riffs and yo-yo-ing melodies
    playing against Hendricks’ acrobatic vocals, which veer from gentle coo to an emphatic squeal:
    I’m gonna die in the getaway car! I would try but it sounds too hard! It’s a vibe that carries throughout
    Guppy, a record that shares an undeniable kinship with 90’s alt-rockers like Letters to Cleo and That Dog—
    bands that balanced melodicism, sugary vocals, and overdriven guitar turned up to 11. It’s an aesthetic that
    Charly Bliss both embraces and improves upon in tracks like “Ruby” (“We actually wrote the guitar solo by
    sitting in a circle and passing the guitar around, each of us adding our own notes,” says Fox) and “Glitter”,
    the record’s first single. “I wanted to make a song about being romantically involved with someone who
    makes you kind of hate yourself because they are so much like you,” says Hendricks, “A fun song about
    complicated self-loathing that you could also dance around your bedroom to—that kind of sums us up as a
    band, actually.”
    “Pop music can actually be very subversive,” she continues. “The lyrics that I'm most proud of on the
    record are me existing both in and out of this overgrown teenybopper feeling—feeling like everything I was
    going through was the most extreme thing that had ever happened to anyone ever. The songs are often
    about being totally in the throes of this stuff, but also being able to step out of it and make fun of myself.
    It’s possible to write songs that really get at all of these dark feelings while also just being really fun to sing
    and dance to. You can be serious and also sing about peeing while jumping on a trampoline.”
    Guppy is a record that doesn’t so much seek to reinvent the pop wheel so much as gleefully refine it.
    “People forget sometimes that expressing joy is just as important as examining despair,” says Shure.
    “People need joy, especially right now. We’re all about writing tight pop songs, but also giving people this
    super enthusiastic release. These songs are kind of the sound of expressing something that you can’t really
    contain. These are songs you play really loudly when you need to freak out.”
    American Pinup
    American Pinup
    American Pinup emerged from the suburban sprawl of Westchester County, New York in 2010 to offer a rousing blend of punk rock and powerpop with seasoned songwriting at its core. Thoughtfully arranged compositions and lyrical depth bolster the band’s radio-ready, exuberant indie rock sound. Fronted by Lauren West, who unites sultry, melodic crooning with a raspy, rock and roll growl, the band draws on influences from across the spectrum of alternative music, creating an explosive mixture of pop-savvy melody and punk rock attitude. The result is the perfect marriage of hook and edge.
    Following two full-length albums and a split released on the indie hero label Altercation Records, American Pinup offered their first self-release in 2015, "The Radio EP," a "short yet sweet offering that showcases just how diverse and matured American Pinup is" (24Our Music).

    Through their extensive touring of North America, including countless appearances at festivals such as Vans Warped Tour, The Fest, and SXSW, and has carved out their own niche in the world of independent music. A tireless, DIY work ethic paired with undeniably infectious tracks and electrifying live shows has propelled the quartet from obscurity to earning a coveted place on the Alternative Press list of “100 Bands You Need To Know” in 2014.

    On the band's future, West says, "2016 has been all about writing new songs and moving forward artistically. It's hard to conceal my pride in what we've been working on. The reaction from fans as we debut this new material on the road has never been quite this enthusiastic. I've never been more excited about what's next for us.
    Venue Information:
    Garcia’s at The Capitol Theatre
    145 Westchester Avenue
    Port Chester, NY, 10573