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Whitney

Monday, May 8, 2017, 8:00 PM


with Alex Cameron
Whitney make casually melancholic music that combines the wounded drawl of Townes Van Zandt, the rambunctious energy of Jim Ford, the stoned affability of Bobby Charles, the American otherworldliness of The Band, and the slack groove of early Pavement. Their debut, Light Upon the Lake, is due in June on Secretly Canadian, and it marks the culmination of a short, but incredibly intense, creative period for the band. To say that Whitney is more than the sum of its parts would be a criminal understatement. Formed from the core of guitarist Max Kakacek and singing drummer Julien Ehrlich, the band itself is something bigger, something visionary, something neither of them could have accomplished alone. The band itself is something bigger, something visionary, something neither of them could have accomplished alone.Ehrlich had been a member of Unknown Mortal Orchestra, but left to play drums for the Smith Westerns, where he met guitarist Kakacek. That group burned brightly but briefly, disbanding in 2014 and leaving its members adrift. Brief solo careers and side-projects abounded, but nothing clicked. Making everything seem all the more fraught: both of them were going through especially painful breakups almost simultaneously, the kind that inspire a million songs, and they emerged emotionally bruised and lonelier than ever.Whitney was born from a series of laidback early-morning songwriting sessions during one of the harshest winters in Chicago history, after Ehrlich and Kakacek reconnected - first as roommates splitting rent in a small Chicago apartment and later as musical collaborators passing the guitar and the lyrics sheet back and forth. We approached it as just a fun thing to do. We never wanted to force ourselves to write a song. It just happened very organically. And we were smiling the whole time, even though some of the songs are pretty sad. The duo wrote frankly about the break-ups they were enduring and the breakdowns they were trying to avoid. Each served as the others most brutal critic and most sympathetic confessor, a sounding board for the hard truths that were finding their way into new songs like No Woman and Follow, a eulogy for Ehrlichs grandfather.In exorcising their demons they conjured something else, something much more benigna third presence, another personality in the music, which they gave the name Whitney. They left it singular to emphasize its isolation and loneliness. Says Kakacek, We were both writing as this one character, and whenever we were stuck, wed ask, What would Whitney do in this situation? We personified the band name into this person, and that helped a lot. We wrote the record as though one person were playing everything. We purposefully didnt add a lot of parts and didnt bother making everything perfect, because the character we had in mind wouldnt do that.In those imperfections lies the musics humanity. Whilst they demoed and toured the new songs, they became more aware of the perfect imperfections of the songs, and needing to strike the right balance, they eventually made the trek out to California, where they recorded with Foxygen frontman and longtime friend, Jonathan Rado. They slept in tents in Rados backyard, ate the same breakfast every morning at the same diner in the remote, desolate and completely un-rock n roll San Fernando Valley, whilst they dreamt of Laurel Canyon, or maybe The Bands hideout in Malibu, or Neil Youngs ranch in Topanga Canyon.The analog recording methods, the same as used by their forebearers, allowed them to concentrate on the songs themselves and create moments that would be powerful and unrepeatable. Tape forces you to get a take down, says Kakacek. We didnt have enough tracks to record ten takes of a guitar part and choose the best one later. Whatever we put down is all we had. That really makes you as a musician focus on the performance. The sessions were loose, with room for improvisation and new ideas, as the band expanded

Cost: $20.00 - $21.00
Tickets: http://www.viagogo.com/ww/Concert-Tickets/Rock-and-Pop/Whitney-Tickets/E-2039121?affiliateID=624&PCID=AFFIAFFUKEvent14FF953148

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216 N Walnut
Bloomington, IN 47401

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