Lost Lake Presents
Shannon & The Clams
Slow Caves, SPELLS
Doors: 8:30 pm / Show: 9:30 pmLost Lake
$15 - $18
This event is 16 and over
All sales are final. Review your order carefully, there are no refunds for any reason. Tickets are non-transferable. No tickets are mailed to you, your name will be on the will call list night of show. Night of show (1) bring a valid government issued ID and (2) print your confirmation e-mail and bring with you night of show.https://www.lost-lake.com/event/1673282/
During a bout of depression, Shannon took up a neglected bass guitar that had been a gift from an ex-boyfriend years earlier and played it for the first time, writing in a raw and untrained way. The urge to perform these songs soon took her to open mic nights around the East Bay.
“It was the perfect outlet,” Shannon says. “I never thought I’d be someone who played music, but one day I picked up this bass and started writing songs. I became addicted to it. It became my focus.”
Word got around that she was performing and the instigators of art school parties, always hungry for new talent, convinced Shannon to throw a band together and play. It worked, and it pushed her to aim higher, but the band was only meant to be temporary. Now, ten years later, her path has revealed itself and Shannon and the Clams are releasing their fifth album, Onion, this time collaborating with producer Dan Auerbach and his label Easy Eye Sound.
Over the last decade, Shannon and her chief collaborator, guitarist Cody Blanchard, have released four albums of 60s-inspired pop on indie labels, toured tirelessly and have gradually solidified a lineup of devoted Bay Area musicians, Nate Mahan on drums and Will Sprott on keyboards. Nate has played keyboard, guitar and drums in various Bay Area bands for a decade, and Will has served as front man and songwriter for his band the Mumlers and more recently his solo project, Will Sprott, releasing records on his own Hairdo Records. In this current iteration, Shannon and the Clams have developed notoriety for lively and genuine stage performances and a zealous following that craves their particular authenticity and innovation on classic sounds. Their last record, Gone by the Dawn, arrived in fall 2015 and took them to Coachella and Hardly Strictly Bluegrass in the year following. On the album you can hear the band progressing from straight 60s-inspired rock and exploring their taste for psychedelic, dramatic throwback pop.
Shannon and the Clams had already begun writing for the Onion sessions in fall 2016, when their world was rattled by the Oakland Ghost Ship warehouse fire in early December. A total perspective shift followed and the writing changed direction. In the wake of the fire, the band looked backward at their origins in the Oakland underground and the importance of that world to their genesis. From where they now stood, they could recognize the community as a delicate incubator for fringe art, an unstable but nurturing place for performers to practice and cross- pollinate where there otherwise is no platform.
In January 2017, the band flew together to Nashville and over the course of ten days, fleshed out their songs with Auerbach at his Easy Eye Studio, where he helped refine and embellish the songs and steer the album. “He works in this very layered style,” Cody says. “He has all these instruments in the studio mic’d up at all times, ready to go. You can go back and add all these layers of instruments really fast and then cut stuff away in the mix.”
With Shannon and Cody focused on pinning down the meat of the songs and tracking vocals, multi-instrumentalists Nate and Will were free to compose arrangement and accompaniment ideas and background vocals. They explored the studio’s wealth of instruments and tapped into their own years of songwriting experience to ornament and color the tracks and lend a refined ear in the control room.
The song “Backstreets” is Cody’s response to the Ghost Ship fire, and particularly the issues of artist housing and being forced to make your own way in a society that is not arranged to accommodate artists. Album closer “Don’t Close Your Eyes” is Shannon’s response, an inspirational ballad urging those suffering through loss to not give up in the midst of tragedy. The theme of origin and introspection had already been at play on the album before the shift of focus to the warehouse fire in December, and other songs on the record deal heavily with self- searching and looking backward, but on a more personal level; discovering our own individual origins and the path that has led us sometimes haphazardly to where we find ourselves, from childhood to now.
“I had this epiphany that was likening an onion to being human and how you’re nothing without layers of experience,” Shannon says. “Each time you have an experience it creates another layer in the onion. And that layer sticks with you forever and other layers grow on top of it, sometimes unevenly. When you get introspective and try to unravel yourself, you’re digging through the layers. Every time you think you’ve figured something out there’s just another layer beneath it. And I wondered, what happens when you get to the bottom, the center, the beginning of everything when there are no layers? Is there anything left at all? It’s a bottomless endless chase of getting to know yourself. Each song on this album is about problem solving and having realizations about yourself.”
“People say that artists are blessed with talent and live enchanted lives,” says Cody. “In truth, being an artist is excruciating and there is no clear path for you. It is a struggle to find your purpose and support yourself while scratching that endless itch inside your head. A lot of people don’t make it, lose their minds, more or less, to depression, anxiety, resentment, drugs, as a side effect of that struggle.”
“It’s Gonna Go Away,” is the album’s biggest stylistic departure, mixing elements of soul, disco, R&B, psychedelia, the Zombies, chanting and baroque. It was written by Shannon and muses on the notion that all in life is temporary, the good and the bad, and finding comfort in that. Album opener “The Boy” is quintessential Clams. Written by Cody, it is a heavily 60s rock inspired track with a mournful hook that speaks about the way childhood experiences stick with and shape you, for better or worse, and hang around forever like baggage until you choose to lose them.
“I hope my lyrics can be an entry point for people into introspection and self-analysis,” says Cody. “There’s a stigma around it and there’s so much distraction available, but you’ve got to sort through the chaos of your personality. I hope people hear what I’m singing and give themselves permission to look around inside their own heads.”
“It’s okay for people to interpret the songs,” Shannon says. “You can put your own story into it if that helps you heal. I just want people to feel something, whatever it is. When I’m performing I make a point to always go back to the place emotionally of when I wrote the song and tap back into it. I try to stay really connected to the original feeling and I hope people can see that. I feel like people appreciate our genuineness. That’s the thread we’ve been able to keep this whole time and we’ll always stay true to that.
There’s adrenaline, sonic vibration, blistering guitars and throbbing bass lines. It blends and molds together to create something visceral, yet refined.
It’s badass. And like any crash, you just can’t turn away.
Originally from Northern Colorado, SLOW CAVES came together as kindred spirits seeking to create quality music that makes the hair on the back of your neck stand on end. Experimenting with synthesizers and backed by the “who gives a damn” ethos of punk rock, the delivery is fast, loud and in your face. Jakob Mueller’s dulcet tones lure you in to a false sense of security, only to be spat out the other end in a high-powered and fuzz-laden declamation. Jackson Lamperes sets the beat from the back, smashing the skins, combined with David Dugan and Oliver Mueller’s energetic guitars and driving bass, carry you deliriously along a perilous line.
It's a line that leads you through the night towards its hedonistic possibilities, leaving you wondering whether you should be dancing on tables or speeding down Santa Monica freeway in reverse.
So heed this advice and don’t be fooled by the name: SLOW CAVES will keep you moving - and have you exiting their dark crevice exhausted, confused, yet totally satisfied.
Make sure you get in on the mayhem.
SPELLS is a five-piece rock juggernaut from Denver, CO. They are vacation rock to be exact. They produce short blasts of intense melody and driving rhythms that are custom made to entertain the band members themselves and serve as an excuse to go play shows in cities that have beaches nearby. If your city’s best offers include said beach and a good breakfast joint, count them in. If the best your city can do is a punk house that smells like cat shit and a Subway restaurant inside a gas station, they will pass.
SPELLS works for Snappy Little Numbers Quality Audio Recordings, which is now on the cusp of being a household name the world over. Focused on excellence in music and packaging, SLN is dedicated to the fine art of the analog format, especially vinyl (but maybe a cassette on occasion). “Take Time/Slice Away”, SPELLS’ debut 7”, was a runaway hit in 2013. “Double Cassingle” was the band’s follow up effort that same year and contains four sure-fire gems that are guaranteed* to distract you from the worst 10 minutes of your day and probably turn them into the best 10 minutes of your day.
2014 saw SPELLS leave the confines of the Rocky Mountains to spread their sound to other exotic locations, such as that one dive bar around the corner from that one coffee shop. The band then dropped two releases back to back to satiate their rabid fan base to close out that year. Issued by SLN, “At Sea/Land Locked” is a four song 7” EP that eases the listener in before detonating. One side features more garage/surf inspired numbers while the other has the straight ahead punk stompers. Of course issued by SLN, “Jet Set b/w iA Huevo!” is a cassingle that pays tribute to the band’s genre, vacation rock. Jet Set is about avoiding the van in favor of airplanes and cushy decision-making. iA Heuvo! Is an ode to Tijuana, Mexico that the band took by storm earlier that year.
In 2015, SPELLS was officially invited to play the South By South West Music Festival. They didn’t have anything better to do, so they went and killed it. 2015 would see the band doing a lot of writing that lead into a busy 2016.
What did they do in 2016? Aside from some vacation shows, they recorded A LOT of songs. They quickly issued a split cassingle with Denver pals Hooper through SLN before unloading their debut LP, “Staying In > Going Out”. Of course on Snappy Little Numbers, “SI>GO” was met with cheers and bombast by fans and critics alike. The album has all the signature elements of SPELLS- garage-rockers, punk-stompers and even some “college rock”. It shows a band on the way up.
So, naturally 2017 would see the band expanding their fan base by leaving home more often to spread the gospel of vacation rock. They did Midwest dates with label mates Low Forms and capped the year with a West Coast swing opening for Iron Chic, Off With Their Heads and Toys That Kill. Oh, and did I mention they did more recording?
Those aforementioned 2017 sessions yielded their first release of 2018, the “Big Boring Meeting” EP 7”. The EP is a concept of sorts. Side A contains 2 tracks of blasting energy while side B has 4, that’s right, 4 rippers that average a minute apiece. In a nutshell, the concept is “can you, the listener, keep up with SPELLS?!” This writer sure hopes so.
Speaking of keeping up, the SPELLS train is blasting full steam ahead into the summer of 2018. While still maintaining their allegiance to Snappy Little Numbers, they’ve inked a deal with Chicago indie label Anxious & Angry for two projects. SLN and A&A are teaming up on a repress of the “SI>GO” LP. The first pressing sold out in just over a year and there are still more potential fans that need to hear the record. Concurrently, both labels are coordinating the release of SPELLS’ first collection LP, “Loose Change, Vol. 1”. “LCV1” contains early SPELLS material that has gone out of print or was only released digitally. The collection marks the first time most of the selected songs have been on vinyl and each track has been expertly remastered for optimum raditude.
Both of these LP’s are slated to drop in July and SPELLS will be hitting the road out east with Off With Their Heads at the end of that month to increase the awareness of the necessity of vacation rock. They’ve also been invited to play Fest 17 in Gainesville, FL this October. We’re only halfway through 2018 and SPELLS is on fire, figuratively of course. Chances are they’re cooling off at the pool while you try to read this on your cell phone. SPELLS rules!
*The band makes no guarantees but thinks this scenario is realistic considering their immense artistic vision and talent.
Wind Bender Management
3602 E. Colfax Ave
Denver, CO, 80206