Leopold and his Fiction

Leopold and his Fiction

High Up, La Guerre

Sat 2/11/17

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

$10.00 - $12.00

This event is all ages

Leopold and his Fiction
Leopold and his Fiction
From the very first stages of creating Darling Destroyer, Leopold and His Fiction frontman Daniel Leopold found himself at the mercy of inspiration in a way he'd never experienced. "This is our first album that happened out of necessity," says Daniel, singer/guitarist for the newly Austin-based band. "With the other records, making music was always a luxury. I could move at any speed, along any meandering path, and I did. This time the songs came to me with such an impact I was forced to commit myself to getting them out before I had a chance at losing them forever. There wasn't any time to ponder over anything."

The fourth full-length from Leopold and His Fiction, Darling Destroyer echoes that urgency with a savage yet soulful sound testifying to Daniel's Detroit heritage. "I hear my upbringing in this album more than anything I've ever done in my life," Daniel says. "The songs were telling me, 'This is what you're made of, so trust it.'" Equally rooted in dingy garage punk and Motown's pop-minded R&B, Darling Destroyer burns with a frenzied intensity true to its emotional origins. "Looking back, these songs came from a place of fear and vulnerability," says Daniel, who wrote much of the album while awaiting the birth of his now-five-year-old daughter. "It was my first time ever dealing face-to-face with the severity of that type of emotion and translating it into words. Harnessing its power in the studio pushed me in a way I've never been pushed before."

Throughout Darling Destroyer, Leopold and His Fiction reveal their gritty ingenuity by merging delicately crafted lyrics with blistering guitar work. Co-produced by Daniel and Chris "Frenchie" Smith (...And You Will Know Us By The Trail of Dead, Ringo Deathstarr, Jet), the album gracefully veers from the self-mythologizing swagger of "Cowboy" and sinister reverie of "Boy" to the dreamy doo-wop of "I'm Better Off Alone" and lilting folk of "Who Am I." On "Free," agitated rhythms and fuzzed-out basslines make for a blissfully frantic lone-wolf anthem, while "Flowers" matches its confessional complexity with the slow burn of the song's horn-powered arrangement. "That one came while on the road driving through a mountain town way high up in Colorado," says Daniel of the latter. "I was completely lost and more vulnerable than I've ever been in my life, living within a dualism of tension and love, each pulling me toward vastly different arenas of existence. Attempting to apply anything I knew to the responsibility on the way seemed inconceivable, and 'Flowers' expresses the feeling of facing up to that."

From track to track, Darling Destroyer proves Daniel's easy prowess as a frontman, his vocals endlessly shifting from brutal wail to tender serenade. That unhinged yet nuanced performance reaches a glorious peak on "I'm Caving In," which Daniel initially penned as a country song but eventually twisted into a heart-stopping blues number. "I'm in no way a country artist, but to me, classic country and classic R&B songs are synonymous in terms of what message they're trying to deliver," he notes. And with its scorching guitar riffs and thrillingly raw vocal performance, "I'm Caving In" emerges as a down-on-your-luck epic that turns desperation into transcendence.

For Leopold and His Fiction, creating an album as sublimely chaotic as Darling Destroyer took a lifetime of cultivating a kaleidoscopic musicality. Born and raised in Detroit, Daniel first began making music after finding a forgotten about guitar in his grandmother's basement as a child. "It had only two strings, but I took it home and started studying immediately," he recalls. He also played drums in a band at school and learned to play horns and bass, but his focus remained on the guitar. "I'm an only child and was always alone, but I was lucky enough to have an instrument I could bury myself in," he says. "It was a kind of gold mine, having such an outlet growing up."

Moving to California to study writing in San Francisco, Daniel put those years of practice to use when he started crafting songs for the first time. (The band's name nods to the main character in a novel he attempted to write — his only try.) He then channeled his literary inclinations into the lyrical element of the band. "Especially in the early days of Leopold, the songs were entirely character-driven," he says. "I'd write a mini-novel for every song."

Releasing their self-titled debut in 2006, Leopold and His Fiction built up a reputation as a powerful live act and landed gigs supporting ZZ Top, Gary Clark Jr., and Dr. Dog. (The band's current lineup features Alexander "Z" Lynch on bass and vocals, Jeremy Holmsley on keyboards and vocals, and Mark Henne on drums.) Between their 2009 sophomore release Ain't No Surprise and 2012's 3, Daniel co-founded the folk outfit Cowboy and Indian, and spent several years touring and recording with the Austin-based band. "Cowboy and Indian picked up momentum really fast; it was something I had to do," Daniel says. "It wasn't that Leopold ever stopped, but it was clearly imperative that this other project, and these other people, needed me as much as I needed them."

With his return to Leopold and His Fiction, Daniel revisited his approach to songwriting and strayed from his novelistic tendencies. "You can say any one thing a million different ways," he says. "For these songs, the more direct I could be, the better it was for their message." And in that newfound directness, Leopold and His Fiction brought a more deliberate sensibility to the making of Darling Destroyer — ultimately creating the band's most dynamic work yet. "It drained every ounce of energy, every bit of inspiration, every dollar — everything I had went into this album," Daniel says. "And it all made me realize that if you don't give yourself up to art that way, it is obvious. It was a really challenging place to be, but it helped me raise the bar to a level that I didn't even know could exist."
High Up
High Up
High Up singer Christine Fink moved to Omaha to be closer to her sister, notable singer songwriter Orenda Fink (Azure Ray, etc.) back in 2012. Down South in Muscle Shoals, Alabama, Christine had been known to exercise her theatrical roots at the the local karaoke bars - and to great effect. The first time Orenda saw Christine sing at Sheffield’s Old Town Tavern her jaw dropped as she watched her sister bring the house down. After a few years in Omaha, Orenda noticed that Christine brought the house down no matter where she was singing- with people of all ages and walks of life lining up to buy her drinks and even give her requests to sing their favorite soul songs. But Christine was depressed, feeling aimless, shuffling between minimum wage jobs, and the thrill of the weekend performances wore off quickly. One night, the two began to talk about the future, and Orenda insisted that Christine should try and do what makes her happiest- perform for people. After much discussion, they decided to start High Up, a collaboration mixing elements of indie, punk and soul that showcased Christine’s powerful vocals and Orenda’s seasoned songwriting. The band, which includes Josh Soto, Todd Fink (The Faint) and Matt Focht (Head of Femur, Bright Eyes) draws from a wide variety of influences- from Janis Joplin, (who Christine is frequently compared to at live shows by misty-eyed ex-hippies), Sam Cooke, and Screaming Jay Hawkins to Dead Kennedys and The Birthday Party. Their debut record, “You Are Here” was produced by Mike Mogis (Bright Eyes, First Aid Kit, Monsters of Folk) at ARC Studios in Omaha, Nebraska.
La Guerre
The truth about honesty is it can be uncomfortable. But when this uncomfortable feeling is embraced, when it is exposed and a spotlight is shown upon it, it can turn into something else entirely; something, perhaps,considered beautiful. That's what Katlyn Conroy has set as her mission throughout her years writing and playing music, dating back to when she was 11. Music, and all of art for that matter, is no stranger to sad tales of loss and regret, but Conroy manages to bring a childlike gaze to it, backing her honest words with light-hearted music of keyboards, percussion and other sounds. Can a kazoo accompany the notion of being pulled down with no chance of release? Can kitchen pans beat upon with drumsticks work as a backdrop for a song about feeling foolish? Conroy thinks so, and that's what she plans to continue to do under her new name, La Guerre. After years leading bands or in supporting roles, such as Cowboy Indian Bear, Another Holiday, Katlyn Conroy & The Wild &Wooly, One More Cheerful Action and The Ultraviolets, Conroy felt ready for anew identity. Named after a vocal piece she sang in high school, La Guerre — French for "the war"— embodies the themes she's always brought to her music, but with a fresh sense of longing and desire behind it. La Guerre, which draws upon varied influences, such as Miranda July, Conor Obsert and Jason Lytle, utilizes a rotating cast of musicians, but one thing is always front and center: as long as the truth is uncomfortable, Conroy will show it can also be beautiful.
Venue Information:
Slowdown - Front Room
729 North 14th Street
Omaha, NE, 68102
http://www.theslowdown.com