Calendar

Tilly & The Wall

KCOU Presents

Tilly & The Wall

Nicky Da B, Violet & the Undercurrents, Violet & the Undercurrents

Sat, October 20, 2012

Doors: 8:30 pm / Show: 9:30 pm

$12.00

This event is all ages

MINORS: Please be prepared to pay a $2 surcharge at the door in addition to the purchase price of the ticket.

Tilly & The Wall
Tilly & The Wall
It's been four years since Tilly and the Wall has released an album, and it couldn't have come at a better — or more crucial — time. With the one-year anniversary of the Occupy movement almost upon us and a divisive presidential election right around the corner, the quintet has re-emerged decidedly wiser and more mature, but with all its child-like exuberance intact, to offer musical and moral encouragement to these heavy times. At this juncture, Tilly and The Wall represents not one party or ideology, but its own radical movement, apolitical but fervently pro-people, reasserting its belief in the power of love, friendship and brash anthemic choruses that we all can chant, clap and stomp along to together.

Since the group's inception in Omaha, Nebraska more than a decade ago – recording its first sides with Conor Oberst of Bright Eyes in his basement – Tilly and the Wall has managed to ingeniously combine folk-rock strumming, schoolyard sing-along rhymes, unison male-female vocals and rapid-fire beats via the amplified tap-dancing of Jamie Williams Pressnall, who fulfills the role of a traditional percussionist in a joyfully unorthodox manner. Their lyrics are as quirkily imaginative as the arrangements, embracing a kind of fearlessness and freedom in matters of the heart, the body and the soul. On stage and on record, singers Kianna Alarid Cameron and Neely Jenkins, keyboardist Nick White, and singer-guitarist Derek Pressnall evince a clear-eyed positivity, meant to keep darker forces at bay, to ameliorate the everyday struggles and setbacks we all face. The most life-affirming song of their early years was pointedly called "Night Of the Living Dead" and audiences everywhere would join them in the live-set closing pledge of "I want to fuck it up!" — boisterously declaimed en masse each night.

'Heavy Mood,' TATW's fourth full-length album for Team Love, opens just as boldly with the war whoops that announce "Love Riot," propelled by Jamie's tap-dancing percussion, slightly ominous fuzz-toned guitar from Derek, and lead vocalist Kianna's impassioned back-and-forth with a multi-tracked choir of punk-defiant voices. ("I can't hold it in!" is the call; "No!" is the response.) The title track, featuring its pumping dance beat, is just as exhortative, a street protest recast as a block party, with Derek delivering the core message of the set: "I got the power because I live like I want!" The BPM's may turn gentler in several of the songs that follow, but the atmosphere is no less compelling. The lyrics become more narrative and, especially on the eighties-flavored "Let Go" and the slow electronic rhythms of "I Believe In You," take on a wistful, openhearted tone. "Static Expression," with its bell-ringing chorus, feels like a contemporary indie-rock version of a Phil Spector extravaganza, courtesy of the band's longtime producer and studio cohort Mike Mogis. By album's end, with "Youth" and "Defenders," this new version of Tilly and the Wall is once again defining its status as free-form musical activists while urging a younger generation to let its own freak flag fly.

TATW hadn't planned on an extended hiatus back in 2008, but Jamie became pregnant and that necessitated time off from a grueling tour schedule that had kept the group on the road for about eight months a year. The unexpected time away from Tilly allowed each of the band mates the opportunity to stretch as musicians and as individuals. Derek recently completed an album as part of Omaha-based trio Icky Blossoms for Saddle Creek Records and Nick toured with the Young Veins, an offshoot of Panic at the Disco. Jamie and Derek had a second child, while Neely moved to Los Angeles in pursuit of love and a side career as a yoga instructor. Kianna honed her yoga-teaching skills too and, more recently, became a first-time parent herself. Looking back, she now says, "I feel like I've been a thousand people since the last record came out," a sentiment that surely rings true for all the band members. "It was crazy the amount of things I learned in the past three years. "

The band members are no longer all living in Omaha, with Nick also having moved to Los Angeles and Kianna resettling Kansas City. So when the ideas for new Tilly songs started to develop, they had to do some long-distance brainstorming. As Kianna recounts, "In 2010, I emailed Derek and said, I think I have a bunch of Tilly songs and he said, yeah, it's time, I was thinking that too. We started that conversation and began sharing things with everyone, finally met with everyone and talked it all out. Last year we went into the studio in Omaha with Mike, and we knew exactly what to expect. He's a proper genius. He's not one of those producers or engineers who is just sitting in front of a button. He can play anything. Oftentimes we would record something then we would leave for lunch and when we'd come back he'd say, "I hope you don't mind but I threw this melody down here…" and whatever he did was phenomenal. We knew that was how it would be again this time, so we deliberately didn't fully arrange the songs, to allow Mike to do all that stuff. And he did."

Each member brings his or her own songs to the studio, but, explains Kianna, "we know that they will all be Tilly-fied by the end of the process." And all of them will ultimately be credited to the band as a whole. Thematically, there are no rules: "We never predetermine any topics or feelings in our band. It's a lot about who we are as people and how we look at the world. I have people ask me everyday, how are you so positive? I don't know, man, it's been a long journey to get here. But it's definitely a part of all five of us."

Trying to encapsulate the spirit of the new disc in a title, Kianna says, "We had a couple names going. 'Defenders' was the first, but it was way too serious a word, and it was too literal. But 'Heavy Mood' —you can figure out for yourself what that means. When we finally decided on that, I thought – of course, obviously, that's amazing. It's really honest and it's where we're at as a planet. The whole point of that song is it's a heavy fucking mood and we've got to lift it up. That's the chorus: We've got to lift up that weight, that's our job – literally. As artists, that's our mission. We're ambassadors of this planet, it's a responsibility we have as artists because we are sharing something others can feel. That's always been a big part of what we've done but maybe we didn't always know we were doing it. But we've realized we have a job here, we have something to say, and we think it's important: don't let this shit get you down."

Tilly and the Wall is the party to join to get through these troubled times. As Kianna puts it, "Look to us if you need any help. Listen to the songs – -there's a message here specifically for you."
Nicky Da B
Nicky Da B
Nicky Da B is a new generation New Orleans Bounce artist who is coming into national prominence in the footsteps of Big Freedia. At 21 years old, Nicky has already shared the stage with all the legends of the Bounce community and has traveled with Rusty Lazer to New York for a run of amazing shows in January and March of this year, performing at Santos Party House, Brooklyn Bowl, Public Assembly and with luminaries such as Roxy Cottontail and many more. Nicky performed at over 10 events at SXSW 2012 many of them on stage with Diplo (Mad Decent) to perform their single "Express Yourself" which has catapulted him into public awareness. Nicky is obsessed with helping Bounce take root at an international level and will be touring the U.S. through most of 2012 while continuing to write and collaborate in genres including Bounce and much more. His musical style is less chop and cut than many of his contemporaries, preferring instead to adopt a percussive attack that relies on verbal gymnastics as much as the outlandish lyrics he writes…which sounds something like the unique vocalizations of Jamaican Dancehall combined with the tried and true, call and response, party-style of NoLa Bounce. Nicky is currently touring with Rusty Lazer and 3 amazing dancers.
Violet & the Undercurrents
Violet & the Undercurrents
Four-piece, all-female band Violet and the Undercurrents have been described as “..Sophisticated folk-rockers ..” (Columbia Daily Tribune) The Columbia, Mo.-based power house of inventive and creative energy pulls influences from several genres of music and artists, such as The Local Natives, Thao and the Get Down Stay Down, Ani Difranco, Bob Dylan, Billie Holiday, and St. Vincent. With such varied inspirations, it’s hard to peg their sound to one genre. From classically trained vocalist, Violet Vonder Haar, Phylshawn Johnson’s and Linda Bott’s years of jazz and indie rock involvement, to Suzuki cellist Caitlin Lukin, the girls bring a lot to the musical table.

Violet and the Undercurrents released their first full-length album, “Hour After Hour” on the Nation of Love record label in July of 2013. The Undercurrents have played to audiences in over 10 US States and countless cities across the country. Most recently, the Undercurrents successfully funded a Kickstarter campaign for a month-long tour through the Western U.S. in April and released their newest full length album, “WAVES”.

Who’s who?

Violet Vonder Haar: song manufacturer/manager/booking agent/graphic designer/band fashion consultant/guitarist/VOCALIST started her music career as a solo singer/songwriter with a collection of introspective folk songs, many inspired by failed relationships. After college, she formed The Undercurrents as a musical backdrop for those songs. The band evolved into it’s own entity and took on a life of it’s own. You can hear the evolution of her songwriting when listening to her early songs released on her solo album “The Way Home”compared to such songs as “Hour After Hour”, the title track from the Undercurrents’ first album.

Phylshawn Johnson: master van packer/recording engineer/sound woman/label manager/secretary/background vocalist/DRUMMER extraordinaire is the only original member of the band, which means she gets extra points for putting up with Violet the longest. Johnson grew up listening to Tina Turner, The Police, Max Roach, Elvin Jones, and Curtis Mayfield, and their influences show in her music’s funky beats and rhythms. Phylshawn brings years of experience playing with bands of all different genres and styles, which has been a great influence on the formation and evolution of The Undercurrents. You can also see Phylshawn in other musical projects picking on the mandolin, guitar and bass and, if you’re lucky, singing her soulful heart out.

Caitlin Lukin: band skeptic/maker of jokes/band mom/reader of books/copy editor/public relations/CELLIST joined the Undercurrents after recording with Violet Vonder Haar on an EP of love songs, “Good Morning I Love You.” Her addition to the band has created beautiful melody lines and amplified low-end sounds that compliment both the acoustic and bass guitars. She draws influence from cello-driven bands like Pearl and the Beard, the Lumineers, and the Decemberists, but adds a twinge of Appalachian folk styling to the sound. It’s safe to say her decision to be a full-time Undercurrent was the right one.

Linda Bott: TBA
Violet & the Undercurrents
Violet & the Undercurrents
Four-piece, all-female band Violet and the Undercurrents have been described as “..Sophisticated folk-rockers ..” (Columbia Daily Tribune) The Columbia, Mo.-based power house of inventive and creative energy pulls influences from several genres of music and artists, such as The Local Natives, Thao and the Get Down Stay Down, Ani Difranco, Bob Dylan, Billie Holiday, and St. Vincent. With such varied inspirations, it’s hard to peg their sound to one genre. From classically trained vocalist, Violet Vonder Haar, Phylshawn Johnson’s and Linda Bott’s years of jazz and indie rock involvement, to Suzuki cellist Caitlin Lukin, the girls bring a lot to the musical table.

Violet and the Undercurrents released their first full-length album, “Hour After Hour” on the Nation of Love record label in July of 2013. The Undercurrents have played to audiences in over 10 US States and countless cities across the country. Most recently, the Undercurrents successfully funded a Kickstarter campaign for a month-long tour through the Western U.S. in April and released their newest full length album, “WAVES”.

Who’s who?

Violet Vonder Haar: song manufacturer/manager/booking agent/graphic designer/band fashion consultant/guitarist/VOCALIST started her music career as a solo singer/songwriter with a collection of introspective folk songs, many inspired by failed relationships. After college, she formed The Undercurrents as a musical backdrop for those songs. The band evolved into it’s own entity and took on a life of it’s own. You can hear the evolution of her songwriting when listening to her early songs released on her solo album “The Way Home”compared to such songs as “Hour After Hour”, the title track from the Undercurrents’ first album.

Phylshawn Johnson: master van packer/recording engineer/sound woman/label manager/secretary/background vocalist/DRUMMER extraordinaire is the only original member of the band, which means she gets extra points for putting up with Violet the longest. Johnson grew up listening to Tina Turner, The Police, Max Roach, Elvin Jones, and Curtis Mayfield, and their influences show in her music’s funky beats and rhythms. Phylshawn brings years of experience playing with bands of all different genres and styles, which has been a great influence on the formation and evolution of The Undercurrents. You can also see Phylshawn in other musical projects picking on the mandolin, guitar and bass and, if you’re lucky, singing her soulful heart out.

Caitlin Lukin: band skeptic/maker of jokes/band mom/reader of books/copy editor/public relations/CELLIST joined the Undercurrents after recording with Violet Vonder Haar on an EP of love songs, “Good Morning I Love You.” Her addition to the band has created beautiful melody lines and amplified low-end sounds that compliment both the acoustic and bass guitars. She draws influence from cello-driven bands like Pearl and the Beard, the Lumineers, and the Decemberists, but adds a twinge of Appalachian folk styling to the sound. It’s safe to say her decision to be a full-time Undercurrent was the right one.

Linda Bott: TBA
Venue Information:
Mojo's
1013 Park Ave.
Columbia, MO, 65201