Speedy Ortiz and Anand Wilder (of Yeasayer) with Snake Lips
doors at 7:30pm
$18 day of show
$2 off for SPACE members
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“Necessary brattiness” is the motto for Speedy Ortiz’s dauntless new collection of songs, Twerp Verse. The follow-up to 2015’s Foil Deer, the band’s latest indie rock missive is prompted by a tidal wave of voices, no longer silent on the hurt they’ve endured from society’s margins. But like many of these truth-tellers, songwriter, guitarist and singer Sadie Dupuis scales the careful line between what she calls being “outrageous and practical” in order to be heard at all.
“You need to employ a self-preservational sense of humor to speak truth in an increasingly baffling world,” says Dupuis. “I call it a ‘twerp verse’ when a musician guests on a track and says something totally outlandish – like a Lil Wayne verse – but it becomes the most crucial part. This record is our own twerp verse, for those instances when you desperately need to stand up and show your teeth.”
Twerp Verse was tracked in Brooklyn DIY space Silent Barn, mixed by Omaha legend Mike Mogis (Bright Eyes, Rilo Kiley) and mastered by Grammy-nominated engineer Emily Lazar (Sia, Haim, Beck). The record pulls from the most elastic pop moments in Squeeze’s Argybargy and the seesawing synth-rock of Deerhoof and the Rentals. With Dupuis on guitars, vocals, and synths, supporting guitarist Andy Molholt (of psych pop outfit Laser Background) now joins Speedy veterans Darl Ferm on bass and Mike Falcone on drums – and together they accelerate the band’s idiosyncrasy through the wilderness of Dupuis’ heady reflections on sex, lies and audiotape.
Dupuis, who both earned an MFA in poetry and taught at UMass Amherst, propels the band’s brain-teasing melodies with her serpentine wit. Inspired by the cutting observations of Eve Babitz, Aline Crumb’s biting memoirs, and the acute humor of AstroPoet Dorothea Lasky, Dupuis craftily navigates the danger zone that is building intimacy and political allyship in 2018. Now as public pushback against the old guards reaches a fever pitch – in the White House, Hollywood and beyond – the band fires shots in disillusioned Gen Y theme “Lucky 88,” and casts a side-eye towards suitors-turned-monsters in the cold-blooded single “Villain.” Closing track “You Hate The Title” is a slinky traipse through the banality of this current moment in patriarchy – in which survivors are given the mic, but nitpicked over the timbre of their testimonies. “You hate the title, but you’re digging the song,” Dupuis sings wryly, “You like it in theory, but it’s rubbing you wrong.” Tuned smartly to the political opacity of the present, Twerp Verse rings clear as a bell.
Anand Wilder, founding member, co-songwriter and frontman of Yeasayer, makes his solo debut on Last Gang Records with I Don’t Know My Words. Wilder’s reputation as a talented multi-instrumentalist, singer and songwriter emerged in the Brooklyn indie rock scene of the late 2000s, where he joined his bandmates in painting on the eclectic palette of synths, strings, and harmonies that defined Yeasayer’s acclaimed psychedelic worldbeat and swerving electro-pop experiments. He was at home writing and fronting big hits like Yeasayer’s “O.N.E.,” and “Wait for the Summer,” but the spirit of community always pervaded his surprising collaborations, from the guest-star-studded recordings of the peculiar rock musical album Break Line (2014) that Wilder composed with college friend Maxwell Kardon, to his occasional production credits for fellow travelers like Suckers and Das Racist.
With I Don’t Know My Words, Wilder torques his multi-instrumentality away from electronica and global genre-hopping and makes it a lonely lockdown challenge. Aside from ambient documentary noise of family life and New York’s mysteriously pervasive rash of fireworks, he played every sound on the album, from a plucked cello on “Get More Than My Share” to the bowed acoustic guitars heard in “Sick Hotel,” which simulate a string section.
In oscillating textures of dulcimers, twelve-strings, and tumbling, song-serving drums, he arpeggiates, beats, and blasts out moments of elevated feeling from tedium and routine.“After some initial attempts at collaborating with outside musicians, I realized that I needed to have my hands on every aspect of recording my first solo effort. So much of the pleasure of making this album was reigniting my childhood passion for challenging myself to pick up any instrument.”
Snake Lips is an indie punk band out of Portland, Maine. Created by vocalist and guitarist Cody Mitchell, Snake Lips features a rotating line up backing musicians, including Pete Caradonna on drums, Tom Cook on bass, and Sam Ellis on guitar. Albums include the DIY album Evergreen (2020), Melt the Sun (2021), a collaborative EP release by Maine label Repeating Cloud and the New York-based Totally Real Records, and Happy Anxious (2022), also from Repeating Cloud and Totally Real Records.