STG Presents Annuals & The Most Serene Republic, 5/11
Seattle Theatre Group (STG) presents Annuals & The Most Serene Republic on Tuesday, May 11, 2010 at 9:00pm at the Crocodile.
Annuals, the North Carolina based 6 piece, have had an incredible ride since their acclaimed debut album, Be He Me, came out over 3 years ago. Released when the band members - Adam Baker (songwriter/vocals), Kenny Florence (lead guitar/backing vocals), Mike Robinson (bass/backing vocals), Anna Spence (keyboard/piano/backing vocals), Zack Oden (drums/guitar) and Donzel Radford (drums/percussion) -- were all around the age of nineteen, the album spread like a wildfire around the globe. Critics (everyone from Rolling Stone to the New York Times to the NME) and fans alike fell instantly for the young band's expansive, energetic sound, igniting a frenzy amongst bloggers that has shown no signs of slowing down.
Annuals then delved into their sophomore creation, Such Fun. Adam Baker, songwriter and leader of this talented collective, worked with the band and wrote and demoed in short pockets of downtime between touring the world for almost 2 years straight. In early 2008, Adam teamed up to co-produced Such Fun with the acclaimed producer Jacquire King which was released on Columbia subsidiary Canvasback Records in October 2008.
Annuals sound comes from many different places. The band's musical influences range from such greats as Johnny Cash, Hayden, The Beach Boys, Paul Simon & Mike Patton. Adam Baker creatively shapes these musical influences with the dynamic sounds of nature, mountain streams, woodland wildlife, even sneaking in elements of Africian and Latin folk music. All melded together with Adam's sharply-honed melodic sensibilities, depicting themes of loneliness, loss, love and the organic world.
2010 turns yet another page in the story of Annuals. First chapter, the release of Be He Me that marked Annuals as one of the first "blog darlings". Next, they were quickly propelled into the delicate (and crumbling) world of major labels with the release of Such Fun. Now, at an age where most bands are just starting out, Annuals, all in their early twenties, have some serious experience under their belts. The Sweet Sister EP marks the most dynamic and independently creative Annuals music to date. A collection of new songs written, recorded and produced entirely by Adam in his hometown of Raleigh, North Carolina in Annuals' owned Terpsikhore Recording Studio. It is Annuals music at it's purest. No A&R folks, no big time producers, just Adam and his five extremely talented childhood friends...making music the way they want to.
The Most Serene Republic:
At the rate they're going, whether they mean to or not, The Most Serene Republic will alter the way in which people appreciate rock music. It might sound like a lofty achievement for an unlikely band of 20-somethings bred in the Toronto suburb of Milton, Ontario but if you pay close attention to their discography-particularly 2007's Population-you'll hear something entirely unique. Don't disregard their dense art-pop breakthrough Underwater Cinematographer (2005) or the transitional tour EP, Phages (2006) completely; these are the keys to understanding how The Most Serene Republic came to form the masterful achievement that is Population, which might seem superficially sugary if it weren't for the poison lurking under its remarkable layers of sound.
When Lenssen and vocalist Adrian Jewett started The Most Serene Republic in 2003, the band served as an escape from the rigidity of the arts degrees they were pursuing at university. Frustrated with stifling curriculums, the two put all of their expression into making music together. Though more fulfilled, with their passions running high these days, there's a lingering sense of bitterness and rage in the songs on Population.
Indeed, it's difficult not to be swept up in the musical fray produced by The Most Serene Republic, which has undergone recent changes. In 2006, a brand new rhythm section comprised of bassist Simon Lukasewich and drummer Tony Nesbitt-Larking joined Jewett, Lenssen, vocalist/guitarist Emma Ditchburn, and guitarists Nick Greaves and Sean Woolven. Fans of the band will note that Population boasts a familiar bubbling sonic landscape with raucous, arty, pop structures and walls of ambient noise but the band are even heavier and mightier rhythmically than in the past. "I think we sound far more professional and the ideas started to meld," Lenssen says. "The level of musicianship and the desire to be the best we can possibly be at any given moment started to happen in the last year."
In challenging themselves to make music that is wholly unique yet spirited and engaging, The Most Serene Republic are far away from award shows and prizes. Population isn't easy, it's art-a musical call to arms for people to choose whether they're passive patrons or sincerely down with having their minds blown. As such, like all great albums, Population isn't going to come to you, you're going to have to go to it.
Tickets: $12.00 in advance, $14.00 day of show, not including applicable fees. Tickets are on sale Friday, March 12th @ 10am online at www.TheCrocodile.com. More info can be found at STGPresents.org.
Seattle Theatre Group is the 501 (c)(3) non-profit arts organization that operates the historic Paramount and Moore Theatres in Seattle, Washington. Our mission is to make diverse performing arts and education an integral part of our region's cultural identity while keeping these two landmark venues alive and vibrant. STG presents a range of performances from Broadway, off-Broadway, dance and jazz to comedy, concerts of all genres, speakers and family shows - at both historic theatres in Seattle and venues throughout the Puget Sound and Portland, Oregon.