Sun, July 17, 2011
Doors: 9:00 PM / Show: 9:30 PM
This show is 21+, proper I.D. is required for admission
With the release of the decade encompassing retrospective Heavy Years: 2000-2010 long time fans have a new opportunity to trace Mills' evolution from Chicago alt-country refugee to an astute purveyor of orchestral pop and true American song-craft, while the uninitiated may quite possibly be on the verge of discovering their favorite new songwriting voice. By combining recent material with tracks from his four most recent albums, this collection gives testament to Mills' consistent ability to wrap savvy commentary and emotional realism into mini-studio masterpieces. At turns slyly romantic and heartbreakingly cleareyed, Mills' songs are packed with enough winks and asides to let the listener know that even though things seem tragic, at least they're not alone.
In late 90's Chicago, Mills rose to local prominence through collaborations with Mekons Jon Langford and Sally Timms, and on bills with acts like Steve Earle, Wilco, Neko Case, My Morning Jacket et. al. But while many would find comfort solely mining the rich soil of Americana music en vogue at the time, Mills was never completely at home within the genres somewhat narrow confines - perhaps first evidenced on tracks like "Signal/Noise", the closing number on 2000's Kiss It Goodbye, a post-modern homage to Phil Spector's wall of sound masterminded by producer Brian Deck (Modest Mouse, Josh Ritter, Iron and Wine).
Over the next decade Mills would travel constantly throughout the United States and Europe, developing a loyal following and touring with artists including Ben Folds, Andrew Bird, Califone, Bishop Allen, The Handsome Family, and Lucero. Heavy Years: 2000-2010 draws from the four albums he created during this period, and documents how Mills' evolving production and musical ideas kept pace with his constantly developing song writing acumen. Currently living in Brooklyn, NY, Mills is working on songs for his next project, tentatively titled, The Soldier Is The Castle.
Since 2006, Seattle-based and Kenosha, WI-born singer/songwriter Sam Russell has been in and out of the recording studio since August 2005 working on a mammoth and ambitious project known as The Blue Moon Bible. Designed to be a series of 8 albums of 8 songs apiece, the project is a melting pot of musical styles primarily based in American roots-music with the lyrics containing recurring instances to specific people, times and locations as an experimental attempt to tell a story through song in a new way.. Sam has completed the first three chapters of the project, all available separately as The Katie Sermon, The Youngest Sister, and The Salted Caramel Sinner, and is now as work on recording the 4th and 5th collections for release sometime late-summer. He'll be playing selections from the upcoming release throughout the summer in and around Seattle with his band The Harborrats, which includes Seattle all-stars Michael Spaly on fiddle, mandolin and guitar, Allison Noel on vocals and flute, Dave Forrestor on drums, Isaac Chirino on percussion, James Apollo on keys, guitar and vocal and Carey Rayburn on trumpet.
Seattle-native Kate Noson will bowl you over with her powerful voice one minute and then lull you into a sweet nostalgia the next. Her music ranges from the depths of emotional intensity to the playful and wry and spans not only genres but languages as well. Currently based out of both the San Francisco area and Bologna, Italy, Kate brings the art of translation to her songs: “I see songwriting as an act of translation… as part of the ongoing project we all undertake to unearth the unexpressed parts of ourselves and make them heard and felt by other people. It’s a process that not only helps you discover yourself but it also changes you as you go. To me that’s what life and music are all about.” That and a little sexy humor