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      Strand Of Oaks in Durham

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      April 12, 2019

      Friday   9:00 PM

      723 Rigsbee Ave
      Durham, North Carolina 27701

      Strand Of Oaks

      with Tyler Ramsey
      *Strand of Oaks has partnered with Plus 1 so that $1 from every ticket sold will go to support Planned Parenthood and their work delivering vital reproductive health care, sex education, and information to millions of women, men, and young people in the US and worldwide.*-----Hard Love, Tim Showalters latest release as Strand of Oaks, is a record that explores the balancing act between overindulgence and accountability. Recounting Showalters decadent tour experiences, his struggling marriage, and the near death of his younger brother, Hard Love emanates an unabashed, raw, and manic energy that embodies both the songs and the songwriter behind them. For me, there are always two forces at work: the side thats constantly on the hunt for the perfect song, and the side thats naked in the desert screaming at the moon. Its about finding a place where neither side is compromised, only elevated.During some much-needed downtime following the release of his previous album, HEAL, Showalter began writing Hard Love and found himself in a now familiar pattern of tour exhaustion, chemically-induced flashbacks, and ongoing domestic turmoil. Drawing from his love of Creation Records, Trojan dub compilations, and Janes Addiction, and informed by a particularly wild time at Australias Boogie Festival, he sought to create a record that would merge all of these influences while evoking something new and visceral. Showalters first attempt at recording the album led to an unsatisfying resulta fully recorded version of Hard Love that didnt fully achieve the ambitious sounds he heard in his head. He realized that his vision for the album demanded collaboration, and enlisted producer Nicolas Vernhes, who helped push him into making the most fearless album of his career.Throughout the recording process, both Showalter and Vernhes maintained an environment that paired musical experimentation with a mindset that defied Showalters previous studio endeavors: the atmosphere had to be loose, a celebration of the creative process and a reinforcement of the records core themes. In a time of calculation and overthinking, I wanted to bring back the raw, impulsive nature that is the DNA of so many records I love. And in keeping with that loose, hedonistic vibe that encompasses so much of Hard Love, Showalter looked to his best friend, Jason Anderson, whose musical prowess and expert shredding augmented the unrelenting energy that would become the records backbone.This uninhibited and collaborative studio experience led to the most dynamic album in Strand of Oaks discography, moving beyond Showalters original concept for a singularly feel-good record to something more complex and real. For as much as Showalter wants this record to seem like a party, its more than that. It feels like living. You went awayyou went searchingcame back tired of looking is how Showalter begins the title track, a sentiment that epitomizes Showalters own mentality in beginning Hard Love. And as the record progresses, so do the themes of dissatisfaction and frustration with love, and family, and success, and aging, both in personal experience and songwriting.Radio Kids, Showalters infectious, synth-driven ode to youth and a time when music represented something pure and uncomplicated, perfectly encapsulates his desire for escapism from both his adult responsibilities and a world he no longer recognizes. But if theres a sun in the Hard Love solar system, its On the Hill, a psychedelic, celebratory homage to three days in the excesses of that mind-altering Boogie Festival. On the Hill captures the true zeitgeist of how Showalter wants this record to feel. Its like I had to fly across the world to find out who I wasit was all about getting loose, and connecting with people on a primordial levelletting go of all the bad things, losing your inhibitions, and figuring out what it means to be alive. The accumulating intensity that Showalter crafts throughout this flagship track seems to effortlessly achieve an almost hallucinogenic ambiance, with images of lighters being lifted, concert-goers embracing, and the magnitude of the moment eliciting nothing less than mass euphoria.And then, theres Cry.Eventually theres this crushing reality of what it means to hurt someone, what you did to hurt someoneyoure not the victim anymore, its not romantic, its not a narrativeyou just realize youre the cause of problems. This noticeable shift in the tone of Hard Lovea heartbreaking, piano-laden ballad with the chorus Heyyoure making me cryis a sobering reality check in Showalters universe. And as Showalter struggles to reconcile his youthful desires with the realities of adulthood, were eventually led into the final death rattle of his pervasive partying, Rest of It. With its loud, raucous arrangement of sing-along vocals and searing guitars solos, Rest of It emerges as Hard Loves flawless manifestation of an exceedingly fun, belligerently drunk night where you try to forego lifes responsibilities and have one more good time.Much of Hard Love was either written or conceptualized during Showalters post-tour break, as he reveled in the memory of what he considered to be life-changing experiences. But it was during this period that he received devastating news: his younger brother, Jon, had suffered massive cardiac failure. He was 27 years old at the timeit happened out of nowhere. I flew out [to Indiana] and stayed in the hospital for almost two weeks. They said he had a 10% chance of surviving and they had to induce a coma to prevent brain damage. Sometimes he would start to wake up and look me in the eyesit was the worst thing that ever happened to me. But he got better. Thats all that matters. In so many ways, it only seems fitting that Showalters psychedelic journey, his awakening to drug-fueled excess, the loss of inhibitions, the inevitable reality check, and his subsequent last hurrah be capped with his darkest, most life-affirming experience yet. The title of the records final track, Taking Acid and Talking With my Brother, represents Showalters last-ditch attempt at reconciling his personal life and his impulsions, crafting a clear connection between what were previously considered trippy experiences and the now extraordinary surrealism of witnessing his younger brothers medical emergency.And as Hard Love comes to its conclusion, it becomes that much more obvious that the singer/songwriter has grown to something larger and more momentous, crafting a passionate, brazen, and fully realized rock and roll record that captures the escapism of sex and drugs while offering an equally sincere perspective on the responsibilities, complications, and traumas that punctuate our lives and force us to evolve. Some records are built like monuments, set in stoneI want this record to be burned in effigy, I want it to be burned in celebration of the limited time we have on this Earth.

      Cost: 20.00

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