El Ten Eleven

El Ten Eleven

Mylets, Fontenelle

Sat 3/11/17

Doors: 7:00 pm / Show: 8:00 pm (event ends at 12:00 am)

$12.00 - $15.00

This event is all ages

El Ten Eleven
El Ten Eleven
“It’s surprising this record even got made,” bass player and songwriter Kristian Dunn reflects. “[Drummer] Tim’s dad died just before the recording was to begin. Obviously he needed to go back to Pittsburgh to be with his family. He returned to California relatively quickly, ready to work, and then I was struck with serious food poisoning.”

As soon as one band member in the duo was ready to work, it seemed the other had something come up. Even their engineer, Chris Cheney, had to leave in the middle of recording to go DJ for the Arizona Diamondbacks baseball team. Deadlines were rapidly approaching and the record wasn’t finished. “It was stressful, but it seemed to all work out,” Tim Fogarty adds.

Appropriately, the record is all about family and the connection between parent and child. Opening with “Point Breeze” (an area in Pittsburgh in which Tim’s dad used to hang out when young) and moving right into “Scott Township” (an area of Pittsburgh where Fogarty did the same), the record is alive with sounds both futuristic and anachronistic.

The album is full of parental nods. “’Fast Forward’ is a band name my dad would always suggest when I was starting new bands in high school. I thought it was stupid and would blow him off! Now I actually think it’s cool. It really represents something that is old, but also forward looking and inventive.” Dunn explains. “Peter and Jack” is a thank you to father and son team Peter Hook (of New Order and Joy Division) and Jack Bates who, after playing some shows with El Ten Eleven, suggested to Dunn that he employ one of the six string basses they were using.

“Not to exaggerate, but the effect those two had on El Ten Eleven is sort of incalculable. I wouldn’t have even considered the Bass VI if it weren’t for them. And the direction of the band definitely changed because of it,” Dunn says.

The record was written at their homes and practice studio in Atwater Village, and recorded with Cheney at Costa Mesa Recording Studio in Costa Mesa, CA. Dunn and Fogarty are the only musicians that appear on Fast Forward; everything you hear was done by the two of them using two basses, electronic drums, acoustic drums, and myriad looping pedals and effects.

While most artists use looping technology improvisationally, Dunn and Fogarty see the loopers themselves as another instrument. Over a decade plus together they’ve attained hard-won virtuosity with the devices, and can now concentrate on songwriting itself rather than logistics. “Nothing we do is improvised” explains Dunn. “When we first started playing shows we’d sometimes run into troubles with the loops and have to stop and retry songs!”

“It’s almost like our rig itself is an instrument we’ve had to master,” he continues. “I’ll loop Tim’s electronic drums with one of my pedals while looping my own bassline, then switch to my six string bass midsong while he moves to playing acoustic drums, layering up the sonics and shaping the song as it all grows.” By refusing to use anything pre-recorded live they’ve pushed themselves into new territory, now able to deftly recreate their complex compositions nightly.

In the end, of course, it all comes back to family; from Dunn and Fogarty’s own parents to Hook and Bates, to their own growing families. Dunn discloses, “I didn’t come up with the artwork just because I thought it looked cool. The triangle on the front represents the connection between my wife, daughter and me, but if you look closely, it isn’t actually there. Your mind creates that triangle. And that is symbolic of the family connection, always there, even if not physically.”

More dedications round out the record: “JD” (Tim’s dad), “We Lost A Giant” (a phrase used by a Pittsburgh Steelers radio announcer to describe Tim’s dad) and “Be Kind, Rewind” (a plea for respect for one’s ancestors).

“I’m so relieved this record is finished. It was a lot of work… like family!” laughs Dunn.
Mylets
Under the moniker Mylets, Henry Kohen takes on the roles of several musicians at once. The wunderkind guitarist who, at 17, became the youngest artist signed to Sargent House has since established his reputation as an awe-inspiring and agile performer, playing across North America and Europe multiple times over the past couple of years.

Dancing across multiple guitar pedals that line the stage, Kohen also sings and lays down guitar loops while simultaneously tapping out beats on a drum machine. Nothing is pre-programmed. Every note played is as organic and fallible as its performer. Kohen's physicality and presence is captivating on stage, but what's even more impressive is that his songwriting talent is equally as vast and varied as his multitasking skills.

Arizona is the defining work of a masterful tunesmith. Despite their complexity, the songs are never disrupted by the intricacies running beneath their hyper-infectious pop structures. Kohen operates his equipment like the conductor of a small orchestra, summoning fully realized melodies from his devices. "I put in a lot of effort to make every single word and note of each song as deliberate and concise as I could," Kohen explains, "rather than throw out an unintelligible overflow of information."

Album opener "Trembling Hands" is a massive, hook-heavy anthem driven by layers of churning guitars and distortion that stirs somewhere between the throaty verses of Broken-era Nine Inch Nails to the hymnal anxiety of a Cloud Nothings record. The title track follows with a cascade of syncopated guitar arpeggios setting the stage for a reverse-reverb soaked vocal harmony that chimes like something off of U2's Unforgettable Fire. And, that's the beauty here: Mylets appeals to every listener, not just other musicians. Kohen understates his unparalleled and highly specific skills and instead forces the emotion informing his music to the forefront. This ability is what makes the songs on Arizona command repeat listens.

Mylets first came to Sargent House's attention with a series of self-released solo EPs, much of which were remastered and compiled on the label's 2013 release Retcon. Around that time, Kohen relocated from Columbus, Indiana to Los Angeles, residing at the artist-friendly Sargent House all the while working intensively on prepping Arizona material for the studio. In the interim, Mylets also toured extensively on different continents with And So I Watch You From Afar, TTNG and Emma Ruth Rundle. "Because of the range of time spent writing, it was very important for me to capture the concepts of creative and personal growth within the songs on the record," Kohen says. "I recorded the album twice under very different circumstances in 2014 and on the second round of studio time, I left with a product that I felt was as true of a representation of what was initially in my head as I could have created."

Arizona will be available everywhere on LP, CD and download via Sargent House on April 21st, 2015.
Fontenelle
Omaha, Nebraska's FONTENELLE combine elements of post-rock, metal, and electronic music into beautiful and hypnotic instrumental compositions. The band's debut full length album "Live & Maintain" is a driving and dynamic journey through lush cinematic soundscapes that range from soft haunting melodies to total distorted chaos. They plan to take their captivating and energetic live show on the road to as many places as possible in 2016.
Venue Information:
Slowdown - Main Room
729 North 14th Street
Omaha, NE, 68102-4702
http://www.theslowdown.com/