Diane Coffee

Diane Coffee

Disq

Sun 6/2/19

Doors: 7:00 pm / Show: 8:00 pm (event ends at 11:00 pm)

$12 ADV/$15 DOS

This event is all ages

Diane Coffee
Diane Coffee
The ever-evolving spectacle that is Diane Coffee -- the gender and genre-bending alter ego of Shaun Fleming -- returns with ​Internet Arms, a​ swan dive into a lush, digital glam wonderland.
Fleming’s path to stardom can be traced all the way back to his childhood days as a Disney voice actor, but for the past six years he’s explored the depths of his identity and channeled it outward in the form of the enigmatic and exuberant Diane Coffee.
In 2018, after performing as King Herod in the Lyric Opera’s critically-acclaimed run of ​Jesus Christ Superstar​, Fleming emerged from the recording studio with ​Internet Arms. ​Born from the fear and uncertainty of a future in which humankind is both dependent on and poisoned by technology, the album finds Diane Coffee trapped in a digital world, enslaved by AI.
“Did you know the technology exists to take a photo of anyone you know and use it to create... well, let’s call it, ‘adult entertainment’?” Fleming asks. “And did you know that an estimated 70% of all online activity isn’t human? Where does that leave us? We don’t interact with each other anymore because we’re always online. Not to mention we can manifest any version of ourselves at the push of a button when we’re logged in, so when we encounter humans they’re not even real.”
Facing this existential crisis, Fleming’s anxieties became his muse as his writing explored the scenarios of this dystopian future: “It’s a personal study on how I feel about living with constant blurred lines of the self and the projected self.” This notion shaped the sound of ​Internet Arms as well, compelling Fleming to gravitate toward synths, electronic drums, and other futuristic sounds from the past and present to create his version of a digital landscape, as well as a digital version of himself.
“The songs are what have always dictated the sound. Working in the realm of clean, modern pop production has been an exhilarating change of pace. Diane Coffee now sounds like a digitization of its former self because I also feel trapped in this digital world,” Fleming explains.
This newly cybernated Diane Coffee is masterfully unveiled on album standouts “Not Ready to Go” and “Like a Child Does,” with both songs serving as vulnerable reflections on power and abuse. But whereas the former positions its chorus to soar high above a cityscape constructed of conduits and transistors, the driving pulse of the latter propels forward like a high-speed race through the surface streets of said city. Elsewhere, Diane Coffee’s sonic boundaries are pushed the furthest on “Lights On,” a massive contemporary pop song that impressively showcases Fleming’s extraordinary vocal range.
As a whole, ​Internet Arms​ marks a significant new phase for Fleming, a testimony to the idea that Diane Coffee will endure as a fluid form of expression that continues to defy expectations of sound and genre.
Disq
Disq
Isaac deBroux-Slone and Raina Bock aren’t related but you’d probably be left with that impression after spending any considerable amount of time around them. In a fateful joining of family friends—Isaac from Madison, Wisconsin and Raina from the tiny town of Viroqua (pop. 4,500)—they were introduced as infants and their relationship has not only persevered but transformed into its entirely own entity as Disq.

The milieu of the midwest is often a character itself in the development of an artists’ story. Its vastness can isolate just as well as it can incubate a similar openness and humility in those who surrender to it. A general sense of moderation cradles the region, often giving birth to art though raw sentiment and a philosophy of “only the essentials.” However, defining Disq by their regional stereotype would be simply reductive as the songs they write suggest a more wandering palette. They count Todd Rundgren, Weezer, Big Star and The Beatles among the musicians whose records helped inform their own creative process, a realization that begin to flourish in their early teens.

Raised by artistically-inclined parents, Raina came up through the Waldorf school and learned to play several instruments at a very young age, while Isaac spent countless hours teaching himself how to produce and record music in his mom’s basement. After honing his sensibilities by recording his and Raina’s early work, he went on to record Disq’s first full effort, 2016’s mini-LP Disq I. Isaac then began recording his friends’ bands in that same basement and in under two decades’ time, Disq had released their first project, helped usher in other new talent through Isaac’s engineering work and been asked to open up for the likes of Whitney, Twin Peaks, Jay Som and Quilt as those bands toured through Madison.

Now, after hitting the road, the band will release a 7” titled Communication b/w Parallel as part of Saddle Creek’s Document Series, dedicated to highlighting artistic communities around the world that haven’t quite gotten the spotlight they deserve. And as much as Madison has been a breeding ground for the band’s creativity—a place to find inspiration—what also provides crucial context for both “Communication” and “Parallel” is this moment in time when the band is coming of age. Young people have unprecedented tools and technology for maintaining nonstop contact with far-flung family and friends, yet ironically both songs reflect a growing frustration with how ever-more difficult it is to truly find connection, understanding and intimacy in our lives despite devices and social media.

“Communication” is a big, crunchy power pop anthem, the type of song most bands work for years to produce. Both the song and its video—entirely conceived and produced by a group of friends, all iGen—speak to the ways we so desperately want to feel seen and understood yet so frequently misconstrue each others’ words and intent. Side B “Parallel” is immediately driven by Isaac’s stoically laconic vocal delivery that drones on until it blends seamlessly into a kaleidoscope of psychedelic sounds that evoke more contemporary galvanizers Tame Impala with production flourishes that recall Rundgren. It addresses the dissolution of a deep and meaningful relationship, and this universal experience of grief and loss is recounted by a voice attempting to ruminate on what it means to forge connections in a time when young people are completely redefining community in new and evolving ways.

Together, these songs encapsulate a dynamic band, grounded but ready for change.
Venue Information:
Slowdown - Front Room
729 North 14th Street
Omaha, NE, 68102
http://www.theslowdown.com