Doors 7pm, Show 8pm – $15 Advance, $18 Day of Show – All Ages
Tickets and Info
A Wednesday song is a quilt. A short story collection, a half-memory, a patchwork of portraits of the American south, disparate moments that somehow make sense as a whole. Karly Hartzman, the songwriter/vocalist/guitarist at the helm of the project, is a story collector as much as she is a storyteller: a scholar of people and one-liners. Rat Saw God, the Asheville quintet’s new and best record, is ekphrastic but autobiographical and above all, deeply empathetic. Across the album’s ten tracks Hartzman, guitarist MJ Lenderman, bassist Margo Shultz, drummer Alan Miller, and lap/pedal steel player Xandy Chelmis build a shrine to minutiae. Half-funny, half-tragic dispatches from North Carolina unfurling somewhere between the wailing skuzz of Nineties shoegaze and classic country twang, that distorted lap steel and Hartzman’s voice slicing through the din. Rat Saw God is an album about riding a bike down a suburban stretch in Greensboro while listening to My Bloody Valentine for the first time on an iPod Nano, past a creek that runs through the neighborhood riddled with broken glass bottles and condoms, a front yard filled with broken and rusted car parts, a lonely and dilapidated house reclaimed by kudzu. Four Lokos and rodeo clowns and a kid who burns down a corn field. Roadside monuments, church marquees, poppers and vodka in a plastic water bottle, the shit you get away with at Jewish summer camp, strange sentimental family heirlooms at the thrift stores. The way the South hums alive all night in the summers and into fall, the sound of high school football games, the halo effect from the lights polluting the darkness. It’s not really bright enough to see in front of you, but in that stretch of inky void – somehow – you see everything.
Wednesday owes so much to our musical influences. The music we love is a big part of what brought us together. My bandmates Margo and Xandy both had infamous Asheville house show venues, Jake was in like a billion different bands which often played in their muggy basements and Alan was usually the one who brought the PA. Our immersion in music predated us trying to make songs together ourselves.
Our common interests in noisy ‘90s guitars, good lyrics, and country music was quickly what permeated into our voice as a band. Most decisions in our songs are made by an amalgamation of all five of our inputs, which happens pretty naturally because of this thread of influences that ties us together.
So when we got an opportunity for some recording time with Alli Rogers at Betty’s studio in Durham, NC we decided to record covers, and hopefully repay in part the huge debt we are in to the artists who contributed so much to the music we write ourselves.
When I was thinking if there was anything that these songs have in common, the main thing I found recurring was the combination of sadness and humor. It’s effective as hell to combine the two emotions, making each other more intense by the contrast. Some of the masters of this included on this album of course are: Roger Miller, Vic Chesnutt, Gary Stewart and Drive-By Truckers.