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Wednesday (Album Release) + Chaos Control + Secret Shame + Charli Jasper
August 28 @ 9:00 pm
- 8PM DOORS / 9PM SHOW
- ALL AGES
- STANDING ROOM ONLY
- DANCE PARTY HOSTED BY CHAOS CONTROL AFTER THE BANDS!
WEDNESDAY (ALBUM RELEASE SHOW)
In a long and emotionally exhausting year of being inside (alone, in my case,) I have found myself thinking about mirrors. How to avoid spending too much time in them, most days. Taking inventory of the real, physical self is difficult work, work that I’m not entirely opposed to but work that became immediately more treacherous for me when I had to witness the very real toll that time, modern anxieties, isolation, and boredom were taking on me. It was easier, it seemed, to spiral into a not-so-distant glorious past, to use memory as a tool of both excitement and healing.
But, speaking of excitement, I like to stumble towards a band with no agenda, no purpose, uncovering sound almost on accident. This is how I first heard Wednesday. The band came to me and I don’t remember how, or why. They simply arrived, as if we’d been traveling toward each other our whole lives. I Was Trying To Describe You To Someone soaked into my summer of 2020, and in sound, in spirit, in central concerns and the execution of them, it took me back to an era before the current era, which I’d needed at the time. The past can feel less hellish than the present if we are, sometimes, not fully honest with ourselves.
There is the trick of nostalgia that I spend a lot of time playing with in my own writing, and somewhat tormented by in my own living. The very real idea that nostalgia is both a useful tool and also a weapon if it isn’t paired with something that approaches a type of rigorous honesty. Which is hard to do, sometimes. My memories flare and fire with only the finest aesthetics of a past that I was certainly in, but I often deem myself as only a secondary character, if even that. Which, of course, lets me off the hook in the name of fluorescence and flourish, in the name of sound and sight.
I love Twin Plagues first for its songs, plainly. If you, listening to Wednesday for the first time around or even the second time around, stumble onto this album, I promise you the songs will be what grab you first, beyond any of my foolish high-level emotional theorizing or projections. Every band that loves the pursuit of their craft the way this band does is one to follow, because getting to sit on the sidelines and watch them level up is a real generosity. Twin Plagues is overflowing with hooks, but what most delighted me about the band from the start has taken a leap: they have managed, somehow, to get even better at structuring their noise from one movement of a song to the next. The idea of the “song” itself is flexible in their hands, so much so that each song holds two, or three songs within. This, again, generosity. “Cody’s Only” is a ballad until it begins to threaten a storm of volume, and then, in its final act, it becomes something else altogether. “One More Last One” is a shoegaze-y trip that swells and swells until it overflows, but it doesn’t stop. It keeps offering and offering and offering. I say “noise,” and never in a dismissive sense. Everything has a place, and so much of its place is to serve the true heart of this album, and the true heart of Wednesday’s music, which is allowing cracks through which tenderness can enter and exit as needed. Tenderness that, it seems to me, is always wrestling underneath whatever else might be happening on a song’s surface.
But if I may go back to all of these ideas of nostalgia and our old, tricky, past selves that are, indeed, a part of the house of bricks that make up our present self, what I also hope you, listener, might adore about this album is the exact moment at the start of “The Burned Down Dairy Queen” when Karly sings I was hiding in a room in my mind / and I made me take a look at myself. Because if you, like me, have been avoiding mirrors – both metaphorical and real – this is where the album becomes a lighthouse, echoing bright across the darkness of my otherwise dark and empty chambers. So much of these songs meditate on the past in far less romantic ways than I have found myself meditating on the past, and I was desperate for the recalibration that this album provided. I was desperate for making myself less blurry in my own memories and reckoning with my full, multitudinous self. The self that was once unkind, or less gentle, or less curious than I am now. I needed this album to remind me to embrace the fullness of my unfinished nature, the years I have lived and – with any luck – the years I have to go.
So, yes, the songs are good. You will maybe roll down your windows on a comfortable day on the right stretch of road in a warm season and turn the volume up when “Birthday Song” gets good and loud and sing-along-able. You might sit atop a rooftop at night, closer to the moon than you were on the ground, and let “Ghost Of A Dog” churn and rattle you to some nighttime realization that you couldn’t have had in silence. But, even on top of all of this, on top of all the pleasures and the mercies that the sounds on this album might afford. I hope and think, too, that it will remind anyone who listens that we are a collection of many reflections. All of them deserving patience. — Hanif Abdurraqib
Darion Bradley is Chaos Control, an independent electronic musician based in Greensboro, North Carolina. With over 20 self-released albums, singles and EPs under his belt, he has proven to be as prolific as he is dynamic. On stage he is a charismatic and energetic presence with a preference for performing original material.
Secret Shame’s collective writing process establishes that they’re not willing to be pigeonholed into a single sub genre of post-punk.
With their 2020 singles, Dissolve and Pure, they’ve grabbed hold of new sounds while still evoking similar feelings to previous releases. Lena Machina’s (she/they) vocals continue to expand from manic to soothing, and underneath the pretty facade of these songs lies self destructive lyrical content and hard emotions.
Secret Shame has never held back from addressing difficult topics and this is just as relevant on Dissolve / Pure as it is on their debut album, Dark Synthetics.
Aster (she/they) creates sparkling guitar melodies that ebb and flow, sometimes lying beneath Matthew’s (he/him) eccentric basslines and at other times breaking through the fog of reverb. The rhythm between the bass and drums is driving, often in unison, but at times more of a conversation as Nathan Landolt’s (he/him) drumming lays the foundation and establishes layers of its own. Lauren Malandra’s (she/her) striking guitar melodies shine throughout.
Secret Shame may nod to 80s post-punk and new wave, but the sound they’ve created is their own.
Hardware synth-pop and noise artist