Headliner :: Shakey Graves
Opener :: Bendigo Fletcher
NOTE: This show is NOT included with the Season Pass.
The prehistory of Shakey Graves exists in two overstuffed folders. Inside them, artifacts document an immense era of anonymous DIY creativity, from 2007 through 2010 – the three years before Roll the Bones came out and changed his life.
There are stencils, lyrics, drawings, prototypes for concert posters, and even a zine. The latter, which Graves – aka Alejandro Rose-Garcia – wrote and illustrated, tells the tale of a once-courageous, now retired mouse who must journey to the moon to save his sweetheart. At the time, he envisioned the photocopied storybook as a potential vessel for releasing his music.
“There was a lot of conceptualizing going on – trying to figure out what I wanted stuff to look like, sound like, and be like,” Rose-Garcia recalls, shuffling through the physical files on his second-story deck in South Austin. “And, honestly, a lot of trying to keep myself from going crazy.”
In the shadows of self-doubt that surrounds any artist’s first record, Rose-Garcia had a fantasy: he releases Roll the Bones, only 10 people hear it, it’s rediscovered a decade later by Numero Group, hailed as before-its-time, and finds an audience as a lost treasure. He still plays that scenario through his mind like an alternative reality.
The full-length debut from Bendigo Fletcher, Fits of Laughter is a collection of moments both enchanted and mundane, sorrowful and ecstatic: basking in the beauty of a glorious lightning storm, waking with a strand of your beloved’s hair happily caught in your mouth, drinking malt liquor while bingeing “The X-Files” on a lonesome Saturday night. As lead songwriter for the Louisville, KY-based band, frontman Ryan Anderson crafts the patchwork poetry of his lyrics by serenely observing the world around him, often while working his grocery-store day job or walking aimlessly in nature (a practice partly borrowed from the late poet Mary Oliver). When matched with Bendigo Fletcher’s gorgeously jangly collision of country and folk-rock and dreamy psychedelia, the result is a batch of story-songs graced with so much raw humanity, wildly offbeat humor, and a transcendent sense of wonder.