Thursday, April 20, 2023

The Silent Comedy

Evan Way and the Phasers

8 pm

$20 in advance, $20 day of show
Limited Seating, first come first serve.
Expect standing room.

21 and over

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The Silent Comedy

Rock infused Americana

The Silent Comedy

Rough-hewn, expansive American rock & roll, the music of The Silent Comedy channels the blues, Honky- Tonk, and punk into a euphoric declaration that, when trouble arises, we lift our voices high. The brothers Zimmerman spent their formative years traveling the world with missionary parents. The family returned to the U.S. and wandered before settling in San Diego, California, in a house bare to the bones apart from an upright piano. In search of catharsis, the teens found solace in songwriting.

Soon enough that songwriting became a pile of songs, and the call of the stage became too much to ignore. The young band proved capable of throwing wild, raucous shows and word began to spread. This led to years of touring, performing with the likes of Dave Matthews Band, Queens of the Stone Age, Mumford and Sons, Arctic Monkeys, and Vampire Weekend, as well as gracing stages at festivals such as Bonnaroo, Wakarusa, Kaaboo, Summer Meltdown and more.

The band recorded and self-released a series of albums for their growing fan base: Sunset Stables (2007), The Silent Comedy EP (2008), Common Faults (2010), and the Cruelty & Clemency EP (2011). Their reputation continued to grow, and soon the brothers' music had sold hundreds of thousands of copies and been streamed in the millions, despite no label support. Studio collaborations with Kris Kristofferson and members of Dave Matthews Band followed.

Still, the brothers weren't fully satisfied. They had yet to capture the elusive, incorporeal magic of their live show on tape. They found the answer in Grammy-nominated producer Chris "Frenchie" Smith (...And You Will Know Us by the Trail of Dead, Jet, The Darkness). The resulting studio sessions led to a body of work that includes the EP Friends Divide and LP Enemies Multiply.

While their lyrics are often focused on the darker side of humanity, they also bring catharsis and comfort to people who find themselves in difficult times. After a hiatus, The Silent Comedy is ready once again to bring their medicine to the masses. Writing and recording, cracking knuckles and shining up the live show. the music of The Silent Comedy has always served their fans - and the band themselves - as a source of comfort in the face of uncertainty, chaos, and despair. "If our music continues to have that effect on people, then we will be here, making more of it." says Joshua. "Dark songs for dark days." 



Evan Way and the Phasers

Evan Way and the Phasers

Evan Thomas Way's career as the frontman for the Parson Red Heads has made the warmth of his voice synonymous with the band's hope-filled songs. This is why his new solo record is a surprise. While maintaining the layered guitar harmonies and the gentleness of his voice, the songs on "Long Distance" are darker and more deeply personal. The songs were written throughout Evan's life and recorded secretly as a gift for his wife. Evan is joined by The Phasers-Raymond Richards (who co-produced the record along with Evan and plays electric guitar and pedal steel), Adam Beam (drums), and Alex Chapman (bass), with support from Michael Blake (keys), Eric Earley (organ) and Ben Latimer (saxophone). The result is an album of astonishing intimacy.

The lyrics walk the line between dogged hope and the weariness of daily life. They are the stories of those who are torn between giving up and pressing on. The album resists providing a definitive answer. "Don't fall away," Evan encourages his listeners-"there's a number on your life," but later on the album he resigns himself to the realization that "all that was nonsense the moment I woke." This honesty makes for an album of fragile transparency, giving space to the doubts that haunt us all.

The weight of these lyrics is buoyed by the album's splendid music. The melodies are immediately approachable, some sounding like long-forgotten lullabies. Their simplicity is supported by the tight textures of the band. The guitar hooks are bright and layered with harmony. The organ and keys are rich in reverb. The organic textures of phasers provide a touch of psychedelic. Especially satisfying is when Ben Latimer's saxophone winds its away around Evan's falsetto in the songs "Gone" and "Change Your Mind." The band's self-described goal was "Neil Young by way of shoegaze." It is a sound they have mastered effortlessly.

Through both the honest emotions of an ordinary life and the comfort of melody and harmony, Evan has given his listeners an album with which to make sense of their own lives. His lyrics provide a voice for those who are hurting while his music is a comfort for those who are healing. Immediately accessible, yet unfolding the true strength of its songwriting and musicianship over subsequent listens, "Long Distance" is a small jewel.



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