Murder By Death

Murder By Death

Little Brazil

Wed 7/31/19

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

$20 ADV/$25 DOS

This event is all ages

Pitside and Balcony are first come, first pick within the section. See the seating map here.


Murder By Death
Murder By Death
On the surface, Murder By Death is a Bloomington, IN quintet with a wry, ominous name. But behind the geography and moniker is a band of meticulous and literary songwriters matched by a specific brand of brooding, anthem-riding balladry and orchestral indie rock.
Murder By Death’s path began in the early 2000s as most Midwestern college-town groups do, by playing to small crowds at ratty venues and frenzied house parties. While many of their formative-year scene-mates failed to make it much further than campustown’s borders, Murder By Death translated their anonymous beginnings into a 10+ year career founded on a bedrock of five full-length albums, tireless D.I.Y. touring and performing ethics, and, most importantly, a dedicated, cult-like fanbase.

Since the band began in 2001, their audience has blossomed due in part to extended tours alongside similarly hardworking musical kin such as Against Me!, Gaslight Anthem, Lucero, William Elliott Whitmore, Ha Ha Tonka, and others. Through more than 1,000 performances across the United States, Canada and Europe, Murder By Death has gained word-of-mouth devotees and support from the likes of media outlets like SPIN Magazine, who said of the band, “They brawl like Johnny Cash’s cellmates or dreamily swoon like Nick [Cave], stomping saloon floorboards in 4/4 time as grand strings fade into high noon.”

What resonates most with supporters is the band’s energetic, unique, and altogether consistent sound and conceptualized vision. The personnel and ingredients of the group consist of Sarah Balliet’s throaty cello melodies, singer/guitarist Adam Turla’s booming baritone vocals and brawny guitar strumming, drummer Dagan Thogerson and bassist Matt Armstrong’s locked-down, post-punk rhythm section interplay, and Scott Brackett’s (formerly of Okkervil River and Shearwater) multi-instrumentalist bag of tricks (including piano, trumpet, accordion, mandolin, vocals, percussion). The overriding sound is an amalgamation of textures ranging from dark and desolate to upbeat and brightly melodic, all of it landing somewhere under the orchestrated indie rock umbrella.

The other mainstay signature element of Murder By Death’s identity has been built by the overriding concepts behind each individual album. Every successive effort conjures up fresh imaginative and tactile worlds – whether it’s the battle between the Devil and a small Western town (Who Will Survive and What Will Be Left of Them?, 2003), an arid land of death and redemption (In Bocca al Lupo, 2006), or just songs inspired by a retreat into the Tennessee mountains (Good Morning, Magpie, 2010).
On September 25, the band releases their newest full-length and Bloodshot Record’s debut Bitter Drink, Bitter Moon. The album was written throughout 2011 in a basement in southern Indiana, and recorded in winter 2011 in Dallas, TX with producer-in-demand John Congleton (Explosions in the Sky, St Vincent, Black Mountain).
Little Brazil
Little Brazil
The two consistent members of Little Brazil, Landon Hedges and Dan Maxwell, have been chasing the same thrill since they were five years old, back when Dan’s older brothers started a punk band, with practice space in the Maxwell basement. Hook, line, and sinker. Landon and Dan had no choice but to spend the rest of their pre-pubescent years crouched on the basement steps, not wearing earplugs. It didn’t matter if the music was good or bad or too loud to tell. J. Mascis and D. Boon and Paul Westerberg were alive in that basement, cranked through budget amplifiers and out of tune.

Fast forward three decades and Landon and Dan are still making music together. Little Brazil is their most accomplished and longest running project - fifteen years. Over that time the band has built an impressive resume. They’ve released four full lengths and done the national tours, both headlining and as support.

Those credentials don’t matter now though. What’s important is the new record, Send the Wolves. It is the product of thirty years spent on basement steps, idolizing guitars; a reflection of what life is like when the initial thrill never goes away. When it’s carried through adulthood. Through having children and marriage and bartending into bartending into bartending. That persistence of spirit lends a sincerity to Send the Wolves. It captures the feeling of going paycheck to paycheck, scrounging tips for the early tours, leaving with nothing and coming back with less. Those tours when the van breaks down on the side of the highway but it doesn’t matter because you’re out there doing it. Send the Wolves captures the triumphs, too. The packed shows. The reviews, features, interviews. The things that prove you’re playing to something other than corn and soy and prairie. Throughout all the ups and downs, Landon and Dan have remained the same wide-eyed kids on the basement steps, just wishing they were big enough to pick up the instruments.

Send the Wolves has been nine years in the making, with several members coming and going. The result is cohesive yet nuanced. There is a singular sound that is unique to Little Brazil, but Omaha’s fingerprints are all over the album, with a handful of the city’s finest adding guest contributions to the final cut. Those who helped shape Little Brazil over the years come from different musical backgrounds, age, and experience but they all have one thing in common: at a certain point when they were too young to know any better, they all fell in love with loud guitars in shitty basements. If you at all know the experience, Send the Wolves will punch you in the gut. And it’s not a sucker punch. It’s a good sincere uppercut, straight from the basement. I hope that spirit never dies.
Venue Information:
Slowdown - Main Room
729 North 14th Street
Omaha, NE, 68102-4702