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Mon Aug 29 |
VAN EPS
with BEERFINGER, THE LOLLYGAGS, BOX
Wed Aug 31 |
ALBEEZ 4 SHEEZ
with BEHIND THE MIC, BRUDASTYLEZ, O.T.I.S., KOLORAWDO AKE, BEENROUGUE, YUNGIN ENT, SMITTY & FUTURE, SEXI LEXI, AND MORE!!!
Wed Aug 31 |
HAPPY HOUR BINGO
with Win Tix To:The Mowgli's, Local Natives, Saint Motel, Spill Canvas, Warpaint, The Temper Trap, Ben Sollee, Band of Skulls, Junior Boys
Thu Sep 1 |
OUT TO LUNCH
with FELIX FAST4WARD + MARK EMMONS, LEIGH WEST, AMY KRESS
Fri Sep 2 |
STAR DESTROYER: TURNER JACKSON + BIG J BEATS
with HR PEOPLE, MAJIKHAUS, CHOCOLATE DIAMOND
Sat Sep 3 |
WHISKEY AUTUMN
with COPYLEFT, VARIOUS BLONDE, PTERRORFRACTYL
Sun Sep 4 |
BAYONNE
with MAN MANTIS
Tue Sep 6 |
MONOLORD
with BEASTMAKER, SWEAT LODGE
Wed Sep 7 |
MYSTIC BRAVES
with THE DREAM RIDE
Thu Sep 8 |
GRINGO STAR
with QUANTUM CREEPS, THE LOLLYGAGS
Fri Sep 9 |
POLYPHIA
with ALTAS, INNERSPACE
Sat Sep 10 |
THE MINDERS
with ALRIGHT ALRIGHT
Sun Sep 11 |
KOLARS
with THE GURKHAS
Mon Sep 12 |
SAVAGE MASTER
with SCEPTER OF ELIGOS, PLAGUEHAMMER
Tue Sep 13 |
LIZZY ROSE (ALBUM RELEASE)
with SHADY ELDERS, ANNA SMITH
Wed Sep 14 |
ISRAEL NASH
with REVEREND DEADEYE, BISON BONE
Thu Sep 15 |
EMILY JANE WHITE
Fri Sep 16 |
ECHOES IN REVERIE (ALBUM RELEASE)
with THE SOUND AND COLOR
Sun Sep 18 |
FRED & TOODY
Tue Sep 20 |
MEGAFAUNA
Thu Sep 22 |
WITH OUR ARMS TO THE SUN
Fri Sep 23 |
SGT. REMO
with SPELLBINDER
Wed Sep 28 |
GREENBEARD
with LORDS OF FUZZ, PLASTIC DAGGERS, BROTHER SISTER HEX
Fri Sep 30 |
WIREDOGS
with CITRA, THE HOLLOW
Sat Oct 1 |
STILL CORNERS
Sun Oct 2 |
BOGAN VIA
with TOMMY METZ
Tue Oct 4 |
AVI BUFFALO
Thu Oct 6 |
C.W. STONEKING
with REVEREND DEADEYE
Fri Oct 7 |
NATURAL CHILD
Sat Oct 8 |
NATURAL CHILD
Thu Oct 13 |
MISS TESS & THE TALKBACKS
with LEE AVENUE
Fri Oct 14 |
LEROY SANCHEZ
Sat Oct 15 |
JON SNODGRASS (DRAG THE RIVER)
with ANDY THOMAS' DUST HEART
Sun Oct 16 |
GARRETT KLAHN (of TEXAS IS THE REASON)
with ERIC RICHTER (solo set - Christie Front Drive, Highness)
Tue Oct 18 |
CHICANO BATMAN
with SAD GIRL
Fri Oct 21 |
CAROLINE SMITH
Sat Oct 22 |
ERIKA WENNERSTROM (OF HEARTLESS BASTARDS)
Sat Oct 22 |
FRONT COUNTRY
Sun Oct 30 |
PWR BTTM
with BELLOWS, LISA PRANK
Tue Nov 1 |
LA SERA
Fri Nov 4 |
SWEATER BEATS
Thu Nov 10 |
MANGCHI
Fri Nov 18 |
MAX FROST
with SINCLAIR
Sat Nov 19 |
THE PACK A.D.
Fri Dec 2 |
TALLGRASS
with POET'S ROW

Wed Jun 25 | Lost Lake Presents | 21+

EMA  

MAS YSA

Doors open at 8 PM   |   Show starts at 9 PM   |   $12 ADV | $15 DAY OF SHOW





Having teased us with a new track ‘Satellites’ last month, released to rave reviews and scored Pitchfork’s Best New Music who said “The most bracing thing yet from an artist already more bracing than most”, EMA returns with her highly anticipated second album The Future’s Void, released on 7 April via City Slang.

Erika M. Anderson first graced the limelight under the guise of EMA in May 2011, when the brilliantly scuffed debut album Past Life Martyred Saints was released to a multitude of acclaim. After having spent time in the California underground fronting the genre-defying cult duo Gowns with Ezra Buchla, Past Life Martyred Saints offered a deeper glimpse into the world of EMA. An absorbing and ambitious masterpiece that revealed a unique and feed-backed noisy guitar style, a skill for visceral songwriting and a DIY recording ethos, it showcased a distinctive sonic signature that sounded like nothing else around.

If Past Life Martyred Saints was an inward exploration of human relationships and their toll, The Future’s Void catapults them out into space, both thematically and musically. The album meditates on universal themes of how we interact with the wider world and how that interaction is increasingly modified by technology. Through collaboration with Leif Shackelford on production duties, the sound of this record reflects these themes and instead of using electronics to create a polished, airless environment, Anderson’s techno-future thrashes strongly between harsh tones and paranoia, to beautiful colour bursts and mellow guitar strums.

Lyrically, Anderson tries to answer the question so often put to her during the last round of press and interviews: “How does it feel?” to be pushed through a media vortex and back. The answer is of course, complicated. On ‘3Jane’ she seems plaintive and introspective, with lyrics about visuals and consent that are even more poignant in the age of posted YouTube assaults, bullied teen suicides and revenge porn. On ‘Neuromancer’, an electronic punk rant with analog synths and machine drums, she rages, and explores the implications of building an online database of all your pictures and information. “It’s basically an AI (artificial intelligence)” she says. And it’s not just those in the media spotlight who have them, it’s all of us.

This is where Anderson has always excelled, in taking the chaos and angst of the modern age and making it relatable. While sonically The Future’s Void is a big step up and out, lyrically it’s in a similar vein to Past Life Martyred Saints, with EMA herself laying bare, cracking sly jokes, and making the nuances of her story seem like ours as well.

“I realised that we were all kind of building these AIs, whether intentionally or not, and how the data we post online is parsed by programs that see patterns in our behaviour that we fail to see ourselves; how and where and what we eat, status reports that reveal our moods, our shopping habits, who we date and who we stalk, where and how we spend our money. Literally, they know more than you do about the things that you do. And that’s just the data we give up willingly, to say nothing of what is taken surreptitiously.”

The opening track “Satellites” was written before the current NSA scandal and hints at a more nostalgic paranoia, in drawing current parallels to the dream of the former Soviet “satellite” countries, where “everyone has equal access but is also under constant surveillance”. Musically the track hints at a further emboldened EMA, without forgoing the industrial-noise and glorious fuzz of her solo debut and previous work with Gowns. Opening with a wall of hiss, scree and galloping piano motif, ‘Satellites’ bursts into a flame of feedback and bass to provide one her best tracks to date, as well as introducing analog modular synths into the mix.

As well as EMA pulls off these topical and outspoken tracks, she’s still got a knack for a classic pop tune as heard on the likes of ‘So Blonde’, with its hooky grunge riff and playful lyrics about “generic and specific cool blonde kids, maybe you knew one in high school or college or at a party at 5am in your 20s”. Similarly, the catchy ‘When She Comes’, a nostalgic paean about a teenage Riot Grrl friendship. Along with ‘Dead Celebrity’, these tracks are at odds with the more abrasive and electronic likes of ‘Solace’ and ‘Cthulu’, the latter climaxing with a Gary Numan ‘Are Friends Electric’ style breakdown that sounds like nothing Erika has produced before. Despite moving towards electronic sounds, the machines are mostly played live and they often possess aDIY ‘first take best take’ aesthetic that rails against the carefully constructed and glistening sheen of the digital age. This punk spirit maintains a spontaneity that is all too often lost.

“This record is the sound of resistance to digital commodification” Erika explains. “I naturally gravitate towards hooks and melodies and in some ways, the structure of these songs is the poppiest yet. The harshness and production strikes a balance with that so they don’t sound like they could be on adverts.”

So, The Future’s Void means the future IS void? Or the void that belongs to the future? According to Anderson, both work.

Either way, The Future’s Void is a record that seeks to deal with the fact that certain ideas that once seemed futuristic are now the norm, while also trying to sidestep a lot of the musical tropes that come along with exploring technology. It straddles the ugly and animalistic, the pretty and civilised, the digital and the analog and the past and the present, resulting in a timeless and yet timely piece of work. And like any great punk record, it questions social convention and rebels against the status quo.

EMA continues to evoke a unique and ambitious sound that saw her rightfully recognised as one of the most singular artists to emerge in 2011, and is likely to send her back into the public consciousness once again in 2014.

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