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(Early Show) An Evening With Hayes Carll (Solo) - Presented by Opus One & 91.3 WYEP

What It Is

The chorus to the title track on the new Hayes Carll album, What It Is, is a manifesto.

What it was is gone forever / What it could be God only knows.
What it is is right here in front of me / and I’m not letting go.

He’s embracing the moment. Leaving the past where it belongs, accepting there’s no way to know what’s ahead, and challenging himself to be present in both love and life. It’s heady stuff. It also rocks.

With a career full of critical acclaim and popular success, Carll could’ve played it safe on this, his sixth record, but he didn’t. The result is a musically ambitious and lyrically deep statement of an artist in his creative prime.

Hayes Carll’s list of accomplishments is long. His third album, 2008’s Trouble In Mind, earned him an Americana Music Association Award for Song of the Year (for “She Left Me for Jesus”). The follow-up, KMAG YOYO was the most played album on the Americana Chart in 2011 and spawned covers by artists as varied as Hard Working Americans and Lee Ann Womack, whose version of “Chances Are” garnered Carll a Grammy nomination for Best Country Song. 2016’s Lovers and Leavers swept the Austin Music Awards, and was his fourth record in a row to reach #1 on the Americana Airplay chart. Kelly Willis and Kenny Chesney have chosen to record his songs and his television appearances include The Tonight Show, Austin City Limits, and Later w/Jools Holland. Carll is the rare artist who can rock a packed dancehall one night and hold a listening room at rapt attention the next.

“Repeating myself creatively would ultimately leave me empty. Covering new ground, exploring, and taking chances gives me juice and keeps me interested.”

He knew he wanted to find the next level. On What It Is, he clearly has.

It wasn’t necessarily easy to get there. Carll’s last release, 2016’s Lovers and Leavers was an artistic and commercial risk — a bold move which eschewed the tempo and humor of much of his previous work. The record revealed a more serious singer-songwriter dealing with more serious subjects — divorce, new love in the middle of life, parenting, the worth of work. What It Is finds him now on the other side, revived and happy, but resolute — no longer under the impression that any of it comes for free.

“I want to dig in so this life doesn’t just pass me by. The more engaged I am the more meaning it all has. I want that to be reflected in the work.”

And meaning there is. Carll sings “but I try because I want to,” on the album’s opening track, “None’Ya.” He’s not looking back lamenting love lost, rather, finding joy and purpose in the one he’s got and hanging on to the woman who sometimes leaves him delightedly scratching his head. “If I May Be So Bold,” finds him standing on similar ground — lyrically taking on the challenge of participating fully in life rather than discontentedly letting life happen.

Bold enough to not surrender bold enough to give a damn
Bold enough to keep on going or to stay right where I am
There’s a whole world out there waiting full of stories to be told
I’ll heed the call and tell’em all if I may be so bold

There’s no wishy washy here and he’s not on the sidelines. In fact, he’s neck-deep in life. On the rambunctious, fiddle-punctuated, “Times Like These,” he laments political division in America while delivering a rapid-fire plea to “do my labor, love my girl, and help my neighbor, while keeping all my joie de vivre.” Carll’s signature cleverness and aptitude for so-personal-you-might-miss-it political commentary is as strong as ever. The stark, “Fragile Men,” co-written with singer-songwriter Lolo, uses humor and dripping sarcasm to examine his gender’s resistance to change in less than three minutes of string-laden, almost Jacques Brel invoking drama. It’s new musical territory for Carll, and the result is powerful. His voice is strong and resonant on these songs, and it’s thrilling to hear him use it with a new authority. He is alternately commanding and tender, yet always soulful.

Carll returned to trusted producer Brad Jones (producer of 2008’s Trouble in Mind and 2011’s KMAG YOYO) and Alex the Great Studio in Nashville, Tennessee, to record What It Is, and recruited singer-songwriter, author, and fiancee Allison Moorer as co-producer. The production is adventurous while keeping the focus on the singer and his songs and providing a path for him to go where he wants to go. Where that is, is forward.

That’s evident in the songwriting. Carll continues to hone his singular voice, but is also a flexible co-writer. Matraca Berg, Charlie Mars, Adam Landry, and Moorer have co-writing credits here, but it was Moorer’s inspiration that provided the largest impact.

“On the songwriting front she’s just a pro. She helps me cut through the noise and she does it with wit and style.”

Carll’s own wit and style has never been more evident. Whether it’s with the put-you-in-picture detail of, “Beautiful Thing,” the not quite sheepish enough, dude-esque defense of dishonesty in, “Things You Don’t Wanna Know,” or the strong as a tree trunk declaration of love on, “I Will Stay,” he displays an increasing command of his poetic lexicon.

Writers most often wrestle with experience and expectations, either romanticizing the past or telling us how good it’s going to be when they get where they’re going. What It Is is a record that is rooted solidly in the present, revealing an artist in the emotional and intellectual here and now.

What It Is

The chorus to the title track on the new Hayes Carll album, What It Is, is a manifesto.

What it was is gone forever / What it could be God only knows.
What it is is right here in front of me / and I’m not letting go.

He’s embracing the moment. Leaving the past where it belongs, accepting there’s no way to know what’s ahead, and challenging himself to be present in both love and life. It’s heady stuff. It also rocks.

With a career full of critical acclaim and popular success, Carll could’ve played it safe on this, his sixth record, but he didn’t. The result is a musically ambitious and lyrically deep statement of an artist in his creative prime.

Hayes Carll’s list of accomplishments is long. His third album, 2008’s Trouble In Mind, earned him an Americana Music Association Award for Song of the Year (for “She Left Me for Jesus”). The follow-up, KMAG YOYO was the most played album on the Americana Chart in 2011 and spawned covers by artists as varied as Hard Working Americans and Lee Ann Womack, whose version of “Chances Are” garnered Carll a Grammy nomination for Best Country Song. 2016’s Lovers and Leavers swept the Austin Music Awards, and was his fourth record in a row to reach #1 on the Americana Airplay chart. Kelly Willis and Kenny Chesney have chosen to record his songs and his television appearances include The Tonight Show, Austin City Limits, and Later w/Jools Holland. Carll is the rare artist who can rock a packed dancehall one night and hold a listening room at rapt attention the next.

“Repeating myself creatively would ultimately leave me empty. Covering new ground, exploring, and taking chances gives me juice and keeps me interested.”

He knew he wanted to find the next level. On What It Is, he clearly has.

It wasn’t necessarily easy to get there. Carll’s last release, 2016’s Lovers and Leavers was an artistic and commercial risk — a bold move which eschewed the tempo and humor of much of his previous work. The record revealed a more serious singer-songwriter dealing with more serious subjects — divorce, new love in the middle of life, parenting, the worth of work. What It Is finds him now on the other side, revived and happy, but resolute — no longer under the impression that any of it comes for free.

“I want to dig in so this life doesn’t just pass me by. The more engaged I am the more meaning it all has. I want that to be reflected in the work.”

And meaning there is. Carll sings “but I try because I want to,” on the album’s opening track, “None’Ya.” He’s not looking back lamenting love lost, rather, finding joy and purpose in the one he’s got and hanging on to the woman who sometimes leaves him delightedly scratching his head. “If I May Be So Bold,” finds him standing on similar ground — lyrically taking on the challenge of participating fully in life rather than discontentedly letting life happen.

Bold enough to not surrender bold enough to give a damn
Bold enough to keep on going or to stay right where I am
There’s a whole world out there waiting full of stories to be told
I’ll heed the call and tell’em all if I may be so bold

There’s no wishy washy here and he’s not on the sidelines. In fact, he’s neck-deep in life. On the rambunctious, fiddle-punctuated, “Times Like These,” he laments political division in America while delivering a rapid-fire plea to “do my labor, love my girl, and help my neighbor, while keeping all my joie de vivre.” Carll’s signature cleverness and aptitude for so-personal-you-might-miss-it political commentary is as strong as ever. The stark, “Fragile Men,” co-written with singer-songwriter Lolo, uses humor and dripping sarcasm to examine his gender’s resistance to change in less than three minutes of string-laden, almost Jacques Brel invoking drama. It’s new musical territory for Carll, and the result is powerful. His voice is strong and resonant on these songs, and it’s thrilling to hear him use it with a new authority. He is alternately commanding and tender, yet always soulful.

Carll returned to trusted producer Brad Jones (producer of 2008’s Trouble in Mind and 2011’s KMAG YOYO) and Alex the Great Studio in Nashville, Tennessee, to record What It Is, and recruited singer-songwriter, author, and fiancee Allison Moorer as co-producer. The production is adventurous while keeping the focus on the singer and his songs and providing a path for him to go where he wants to go. Where that is, is forward.

That’s evident in the songwriting. Carll continues to hone his singular voice, but is also a flexible co-writer. Matraca Berg, Charlie Mars, Adam Landry, and Moorer have co-writing credits here, but it was Moorer’s inspiration that provided the largest impact.

“On the songwriting front she’s just a pro. She helps me cut through the noise and she does it with wit and style.”

Carll’s own wit and style has never been more evident. Whether it’s with the put-you-in-picture detail of, “Beautiful Thing,” the not quite sheepish enough, dude-esque defense of dishonesty in, “Things You Don’t Wanna Know,” or the strong as a tree trunk declaration of love on, “I Will Stay,” he displays an increasing command of his poetic lexicon.

Writers most often wrestle with experience and expectations, either romanticizing the past or telling us how good it’s going to be when they get where they’re going. What It Is is a record that is rooted solidly in the present, revealing an artist in the emotional and intellectual here and now.

(Late Show) An Evening With Hayes Carll (Solo) - Presented by Opus One & 91.3 WYEP

What It Is

The chorus to the title track on the new Hayes Carll album, What It Is, is a manifesto.

What it was is gone forever / What it could be God only knows.
What it is is right here in front of me / and I’m not letting go.

He’s embracing the moment. Leaving the past where it belongs, accepting there’s no way to know what’s ahead, and challenging himself to be present in both love and life. It’s heady stuff. It also rocks.

With a career full of critical acclaim and popular success, Carll could’ve played it safe on this, his sixth record, but he didn’t. The result is a musically ambitious and lyrically deep statement of an artist in his creative prime.

Hayes Carll’s list of accomplishments is long. His third album, 2008’s Trouble In Mind, earned him an Americana Music Association Award for Song of the Year (for “She Left Me for Jesus”). The follow-up, KMAG YOYO was the most played album on the Americana Chart in 2011 and spawned covers by artists as varied as Hard Working Americans and Lee Ann Womack, whose version of “Chances Are” garnered Carll a Grammy nomination for Best Country Song. 2016’s Lovers and Leavers swept the Austin Music Awards, and was his fourth record in a row to reach #1 on the Americana Airplay chart. Kelly Willis and Kenny Chesney have chosen to record his songs and his television appearances include The Tonight Show, Austin City Limits, and Later w/Jools Holland. Carll is the rare artist who can rock a packed dancehall one night and hold a listening room at rapt attention the next.

“Repeating myself creatively would ultimately leave me empty. Covering new ground, exploring, and taking chances gives me juice and keeps me interested.”

He knew he wanted to find the next level. On What It Is, he clearly has.

It wasn’t necessarily easy to get there. Carll’s last release, 2016’s Lovers and Leavers was an artistic and commercial risk — a bold move which eschewed the tempo and humor of much of his previous work. The record revealed a more serious singer-songwriter dealing with more serious subjects — divorce, new love in the middle of life, parenting, the worth of work. What It Is finds him now on the other side, revived and happy, but resolute — no longer under the impression that any of it comes for free.

“I want to dig in so this life doesn’t just pass me by. The more engaged I am the more meaning it all has. I want that to be reflected in the work.”

And meaning there is. Carll sings “but I try because I want to,” on the album’s opening track, “None’Ya.” He’s not looking back lamenting love lost, rather, finding joy and purpose in the one he’s got and hanging on to the woman who sometimes leaves him delightedly scratching his head. “If I May Be So Bold,” finds him standing on similar ground — lyrically taking on the challenge of participating fully in life rather than discontentedly letting life happen.

Bold enough to not surrender bold enough to give a damn
Bold enough to keep on going or to stay right where I am
There’s a whole world out there waiting full of stories to be told
I’ll heed the call and tell’em all if I may be so bold

There’s no wishy washy here and he’s not on the sidelines. In fact, he’s neck-deep in life. On the rambunctious, fiddle-punctuated, “Times Like These,” he laments political division in America while delivering a rapid-fire plea to “do my labor, love my girl, and help my neighbor, while keeping all my joie de vivre.” Carll’s signature cleverness and aptitude for so-personal-you-might-miss-it political commentary is as strong as ever. The stark, “Fragile Men,” co-written with singer-songwriter Lolo, uses humor and dripping sarcasm to examine his gender’s resistance to change in less than three minutes of string-laden, almost Jacques Brel invoking drama. It’s new musical territory for Carll, and the result is powerful. His voice is strong and resonant on these songs, and it’s thrilling to hear him use it with a new authority. He is alternately commanding and tender, yet always soulful.

Carll returned to trusted producer Brad Jones (producer of 2008’s Trouble in Mind and 2011’s KMAG YOYO) and Alex the Great Studio in Nashville, Tennessee, to record What It Is, and recruited singer-songwriter, author, and fiancee Allison Moorer as co-producer. The production is adventurous while keeping the focus on the singer and his songs and providing a path for him to go where he wants to go. Where that is, is forward.

That’s evident in the songwriting. Carll continues to hone his singular voice, but is also a flexible co-writer. Matraca Berg, Charlie Mars, Adam Landry, and Moorer have co-writing credits here, but it was Moorer’s inspiration that provided the largest impact.

“On the songwriting front she’s just a pro. She helps me cut through the noise and she does it with wit and style.”

Carll’s own wit and style has never been more evident. Whether it’s with the put-you-in-picture detail of, “Beautiful Thing,” the not quite sheepish enough, dude-esque defense of dishonesty in, “Things You Don’t Wanna Know,” or the strong as a tree trunk declaration of love on, “I Will Stay,” he displays an increasing command of his poetic lexicon.

Writers most often wrestle with experience and expectations, either romanticizing the past or telling us how good it’s going to be when they get where they’re going. What It Is is a record that is rooted solidly in the present, revealing an artist in the emotional and intellectual here and now.

What It Is

The chorus to the title track on the new Hayes Carll album, What It Is, is a manifesto.

What it was is gone forever / What it could be God only knows.
What it is is right here in front of me / and I’m not letting go.

He’s embracing the moment. Leaving the past where it belongs, accepting there’s no way to know what’s ahead, and challenging himself to be present in both love and life. It’s heady stuff. It also rocks.

With a career full of critical acclaim and popular success, Carll could’ve played it safe on this, his sixth record, but he didn’t. The result is a musically ambitious and lyrically deep statement of an artist in his creative prime.

Hayes Carll’s list of accomplishments is long. His third album, 2008’s Trouble In Mind, earned him an Americana Music Association Award for Song of the Year (for “She Left Me for Jesus”). The follow-up, KMAG YOYO was the most played album on the Americana Chart in 2011 and spawned covers by artists as varied as Hard Working Americans and Lee Ann Womack, whose version of “Chances Are” garnered Carll a Grammy nomination for Best Country Song. 2016’s Lovers and Leavers swept the Austin Music Awards, and was his fourth record in a row to reach #1 on the Americana Airplay chart. Kelly Willis and Kenny Chesney have chosen to record his songs and his television appearances include The Tonight Show, Austin City Limits, and Later w/Jools Holland. Carll is the rare artist who can rock a packed dancehall one night and hold a listening room at rapt attention the next.

“Repeating myself creatively would ultimately leave me empty. Covering new ground, exploring, and taking chances gives me juice and keeps me interested.”

He knew he wanted to find the next level. On What It Is, he clearly has.

It wasn’t necessarily easy to get there. Carll’s last release, 2016’s Lovers and Leavers was an artistic and commercial risk — a bold move which eschewed the tempo and humor of much of his previous work. The record revealed a more serious singer-songwriter dealing with more serious subjects — divorce, new love in the middle of life, parenting, the worth of work. What It Is finds him now on the other side, revived and happy, but resolute — no longer under the impression that any of it comes for free.

“I want to dig in so this life doesn’t just pass me by. The more engaged I am the more meaning it all has. I want that to be reflected in the work.”

And meaning there is. Carll sings “but I try because I want to,” on the album’s opening track, “None’Ya.” He’s not looking back lamenting love lost, rather, finding joy and purpose in the one he’s got and hanging on to the woman who sometimes leaves him delightedly scratching his head. “If I May Be So Bold,” finds him standing on similar ground — lyrically taking on the challenge of participating fully in life rather than discontentedly letting life happen.

Bold enough to not surrender bold enough to give a damn
Bold enough to keep on going or to stay right where I am
There’s a whole world out there waiting full of stories to be told
I’ll heed the call and tell’em all if I may be so bold

There’s no wishy washy here and he’s not on the sidelines. In fact, he’s neck-deep in life. On the rambunctious, fiddle-punctuated, “Times Like These,” he laments political division in America while delivering a rapid-fire plea to “do my labor, love my girl, and help my neighbor, while keeping all my joie de vivre.” Carll’s signature cleverness and aptitude for so-personal-you-might-miss-it political commentary is as strong as ever. The stark, “Fragile Men,” co-written with singer-songwriter Lolo, uses humor and dripping sarcasm to examine his gender’s resistance to change in less than three minutes of string-laden, almost Jacques Brel invoking drama. It’s new musical territory for Carll, and the result is powerful. His voice is strong and resonant on these songs, and it’s thrilling to hear him use it with a new authority. He is alternately commanding and tender, yet always soulful.

Carll returned to trusted producer Brad Jones (producer of 2008’s Trouble in Mind and 2011’s KMAG YOYO) and Alex the Great Studio in Nashville, Tennessee, to record What It Is, and recruited singer-songwriter, author, and fiancee Allison Moorer as co-producer. The production is adventurous while keeping the focus on the singer and his songs and providing a path for him to go where he wants to go. Where that is, is forward.

That’s evident in the songwriting. Carll continues to hone his singular voice, but is also a flexible co-writer. Matraca Berg, Charlie Mars, Adam Landry, and Moorer have co-writing credits here, but it was Moorer’s inspiration that provided the largest impact.

“On the songwriting front she’s just a pro. She helps me cut through the noise and she does it with wit and style.”

Carll’s own wit and style has never been more evident. Whether it’s with the put-you-in-picture detail of, “Beautiful Thing,” the not quite sheepish enough, dude-esque defense of dishonesty in, “Things You Don’t Wanna Know,” or the strong as a tree trunk declaration of love on, “I Will Stay,” he displays an increasing command of his poetic lexicon.

Writers most often wrestle with experience and expectations, either romanticizing the past or telling us how good it’s going to be when they get where they’re going. What It Is is a record that is rooted solidly in the present, revealing an artist in the emotional and intellectual here and now.

Standard Broadcast / LoFi Delphi / Erika June and the Tunes

Join Club Cafe for an evening of live and local music featuring Standard Broadcast, LoFi Delphi and Erika June & the Tunes.

Join Club Cafe for an evening of live and local music featuring Standard Broadcast, LoFi Delphi and Erika June & the Tunes.

Opus One Comedy Presents Joe Kwaczala with Special Guest Kayleigh Dumas

Joe is a stand-up from Pittsburgh, who started doing comedy in Chicago and now lives in Los Angeles. In 2017, he was chosen to be one of Comedy Central's "Up Next" Comics to Watch and his Comedy Central Stand-Up Presents half-hour special will air November 8, 2019. Joe has performed on the nationally-syndicated public radio show Live Wire and has written for The Onion News Network, ClickHole, and MAD Magazine. On November 14, 2018, he released 31 videos in one day, a feat that garnered praise from Vulture and The A.V. Club. A select number of these sketches were compiled into a pilot called Kwaczala, which won “Best Late Night Series” at Seriesfest 2019 and was declared Funniest Show at Seriesfest by Paste Magazine. Years before, his independently-produced pilot Cowards won "Best Comedy Pilot" at the New York Television Festival and his subsequent web series for IFC Does Dave Know We're
Here? was chosen as one of Paste Magazine’s Best Internet Comedy Videos
of 2015. Much to his embarrassment, Joe knows everything about the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and has a podcast about it called Who Cares About The Rock Hall?

Joe is a stand-up from Pittsburgh, who started doing comedy in Chicago and now lives in Los Angeles. In 2017, he was chosen to be one of Comedy Central's "Up Next" Comics to Watch and his Comedy Central Stand-Up Presents half-hour special will air November 8, 2019. Joe has performed on the nationally-syndicated public radio show Live Wire and has written for The Onion News Network, ClickHole, and MAD Magazine. On November 14, 2018, he released 31 videos in one day, a feat that garnered praise from Vulture and The A.V. Club. A select number of these sketches were compiled into a pilot called Kwaczala, which won “Best Late Night Series” at Seriesfest 2019 and was declared Funniest Show at Seriesfest by Paste Magazine. Years before, his independently-produced pilot Cowards won "Best Comedy Pilot" at the New York Television Festival and his subsequent web series for IFC Does Dave Know We're
Here? was chosen as one of Paste Magazine’s Best Internet Comedy Videos
of 2015. Much to his embarrassment, Joe knows everything about the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and has a podcast about it called Who Cares About The Rock Hall?

Neverweres with Special Guests Gutter Rich, Hepcat Dilemma

Join Club Cafe for a special show featuring local acts Neverweres, Gutter Rich and Hepcat Dilemma.

Join Club Cafe for a special show featuring local acts Neverweres, Gutter Rich and Hepcat Dilemma.

Fea with Special Guest Murder for Girls

Fea is the continued ferocity of Girl In A Coma’s Phanie Diaz and Jenn Alva, joined by lead vocalist Letty Martinez and guitarist Sofi. Their melodic brand of Riot Grrrl Chicana Punk immediately caught the attention of Joan Jett who signed them to her label Blackheart, and Iggy Pop who sang their praises to Rolling Stone which has since been echoed by many! Producers on their debut LP (self-titled) include Lori Barbero (Babes In Toyland), Laura Jane Grace (Against Me!), and Alice Bag (The Bags), all of whom perfectly compliment the band’s fierce exploration of societal, cultural and gender-related issues. Mixing humor with agency, English with Spanish, Fea empowers listeners and inspires dissidence. Resistance has never sounded so infectious!

Fea is the continued ferocity of Girl In A Coma’s Phanie Diaz and Jenn Alva, joined by lead vocalist Letty Martinez and guitarist Sofi. Their melodic brand of Riot Grrrl Chicana Punk immediately caught the attention of Joan Jett who signed them to her label Blackheart, and Iggy Pop who sang their praises to Rolling Stone which has since been echoed by many! Producers on their debut LP (self-titled) include Lori Barbero (Babes In Toyland), Laura Jane Grace (Against Me!), and Alice Bag (The Bags), all of whom perfectly compliment the band’s fierce exploration of societal, cultural and gender-related issues. Mixing humor with agency, English with Spanish, Fea empowers listeners and inspires dissidence. Resistance has never sounded so infectious!

Combo Chimbita

Through her folkloric mystique, otherworldly psychedelia, and a dash of enigmatic punk, Ahomale by Combo Chimbita catapults the sacred knowledge of our forebears into the future. Their second studio album and Anti- Records debut sees the visionary quartet drawing from ancestral mythologies and musical enlightenment to unearth the awareness of Ahomale, the album’s cosmic muse. Comprised of Carolina Oliveros’ mesmeric contralto, illuminating storytelling and fierce guacharaca rhythms, Prince of Queens’ hypnotic synth stabs and grooving bass lines, Niño Lento’s imaginative guitar licks, and Dilemastronauta’s powerful drumming, the lure and lore of Combo Chimbita comes into existence.

The legend begins with their first EP, 2016’s El Corredor del Jaguar, and followed up with the occult psychedelia of Abya Yala. In 2019’s Ahomale, the New York-by-way-of-Colombia troupe fuse the perennial rhythms of the Afro-Latinx diaspora with a modern-day consciousness, while tracing the prophetic traditions of our ancestry. “The more we’ve played music together, the more we began to discover things within ourselves that we were previously unaware of, almost like an energy. And that’s being communicated through our music,” explains Prince of Queens in the making of Ahomale.

Inspired by a Yoruba term, Ahomale, meaning adorer of ancestors, Oliveros reveals her quest to connect with ancestral cosmology, which the Combo pays homage to. “Ahomale resurges from the visions that we’ve been having via our music and life, and the lyrics reflect a manifestation passed on through our ancestors and the gods,” she explains. “I wanted the album to convey the search for spiritual awareness, which ultimately serves as a revelation.” In a similar spirit, Niño Lento conveys: “The protagonist of this album whose name is Ahomale possesses the ability to communicate ancestral wisdom through the music.”

With the help of producer Daniel Schlett (The War on Drugs, Modest Mouse), the group’s rootsy experimental alchemy and metal strangeness take centerfold. Oliveros howls, yowls and chirps with gut-wrenching emotion, like on the languid mirage of “El Camino,” or plaintive frenzy of the title track. Whether rock raw and soulful or bewitching like a shaman in a spiritual ceremony, her voice is always a multifaceted wonder. “Brillo Más Que El Oro (La Bala Apuntándome)” boasts alluring vintage synths that seem to time travel through the lush tropics of yore; then, the mood intensifies when its bridge brilliantly crosses into a spellbinding chant sung in unison: “Y si digo que / Que ahora ya lo se” (“And if I say that I now know”). “Testigo” is pure melodic witchcraft in action that strips away wordly façades into something bare and beautiful: “Desde principio a fin, yo siempre di mi verdad” (“from beginning to end, I always gave my truth), the singer vulnerably croons against a whirling guitar and galloping percussions.

Ultimately, Ahomale is a catharsis of divine feminine force helmed by their powerhouse vocalist, laden with the teachings from a bygone era, in tune with the spiritual realm. “Our spirit and energy have passed through multiple generations,” says Prince of Queens. “We might not be open or allowed to explore it because of Western society’s conditions. But the idea is that we are receiving messages from the past, and from our ancestors that each one of us carry.” In nearly 40 minutes of eye-opening thrills and chills, the listener experiences the pedagogy of Ahomale, journeying through her epiphanies and enlightenment. “Ahomale is a warrior, not the sword and shield type, but a woman who is ready to listen to her heart, follow her intuition and connect with her ancestors,” Oliveros avows.—Isabela Raygoza

Through her folkloric mystique, otherworldly psychedelia, and a dash of enigmatic punk, Ahomale by Combo Chimbita catapults the sacred knowledge of our forebears into the future. Their second studio album and Anti- Records debut sees the visionary quartet drawing from ancestral mythologies and musical enlightenment to unearth the awareness of Ahomale, the album’s cosmic muse. Comprised of Carolina Oliveros’ mesmeric contralto, illuminating storytelling and fierce guacharaca rhythms, Prince of Queens’ hypnotic synth stabs and grooving bass lines, Niño Lento’s imaginative guitar licks, and Dilemastronauta’s powerful drumming, the lure and lore of Combo Chimbita comes into existence.

The legend begins with their first EP, 2016’s El Corredor del Jaguar, and followed up with the occult psychedelia of Abya Yala. In 2019’s Ahomale, the New York-by-way-of-Colombia troupe fuse the perennial rhythms of the Afro-Latinx diaspora with a modern-day consciousness, while tracing the prophetic traditions of our ancestry. “The more we’ve played music together, the more we began to discover things within ourselves that we were previously unaware of, almost like an energy. And that’s being communicated through our music,” explains Prince of Queens in the making of Ahomale.

Inspired by a Yoruba term, Ahomale, meaning adorer of ancestors, Oliveros reveals her quest to connect with ancestral cosmology, which the Combo pays homage to. “Ahomale resurges from the visions that we’ve been having via our music and life, and the lyrics reflect a manifestation passed on through our ancestors and the gods,” she explains. “I wanted the album to convey the search for spiritual awareness, which ultimately serves as a revelation.” In a similar spirit, Niño Lento conveys: “The protagonist of this album whose name is Ahomale possesses the ability to communicate ancestral wisdom through the music.”

With the help of producer Daniel Schlett (The War on Drugs, Modest Mouse), the group’s rootsy experimental alchemy and metal strangeness take centerfold. Oliveros howls, yowls and chirps with gut-wrenching emotion, like on the languid mirage of “El Camino,” or plaintive frenzy of the title track. Whether rock raw and soulful or bewitching like a shaman in a spiritual ceremony, her voice is always a multifaceted wonder. “Brillo Más Que El Oro (La Bala Apuntándome)” boasts alluring vintage synths that seem to time travel through the lush tropics of yore; then, the mood intensifies when its bridge brilliantly crosses into a spellbinding chant sung in unison: “Y si digo que / Que ahora ya lo se” (“And if I say that I now know”). “Testigo” is pure melodic witchcraft in action that strips away wordly façades into something bare and beautiful: “Desde principio a fin, yo siempre di mi verdad” (“from beginning to end, I always gave my truth), the singer vulnerably croons against a whirling guitar and galloping percussions.

Ultimately, Ahomale is a catharsis of divine feminine force helmed by their powerhouse vocalist, laden with the teachings from a bygone era, in tune with the spiritual realm. “Our spirit and energy have passed through multiple generations,” says Prince of Queens. “We might not be open or allowed to explore it because of Western society’s conditions. But the idea is that we are receiving messages from the past, and from our ancestors that each one of us carry.” In nearly 40 minutes of eye-opening thrills and chills, the listener experiences the pedagogy of Ahomale, journeying through her epiphanies and enlightenment. “Ahomale is a warrior, not the sword and shield type, but a woman who is ready to listen to her heart, follow her intuition and connect with her ancestors,” Oliveros avows.—Isabela Raygoza

(Night 1) Caroline Rose with Special Guest Good Baby - Presented by Opus One & 91.3 WYEP

Superstar is an underdog story, and one not far off from Caroline Rose’s real life. After a years-long struggle to release what would ultimately become 2018’s LONER, deemed “a singular artistic statement from it’s unforgettable album art all the way down” (Pitchfork), Rose found herself in the midst of a new widespread audience, one both delightfully intrigued and perplexed about how and where to place her. That, combined with a developed set of studio skills and a challenge to “make something from nothing,” marked the beginning of Superstar. Gone are the polished Hollywood hunks and starlets of olde. Here is a shamelessly odd hero, or rather anti-hero, on a quest to become a someone.

Inspired by cult classics such as The Bitter Tears of Petra Von Kant, Mulholland Drive and the mockumentary Drop Dead Gorgeous, Superstar plays out like a film with a beginning, middle, and an open ending. In album opener “Nothing’s Impossible,” the protagonist receives a mistaken phone call from the glamorous Chateau Marmont hotel. Taking the call as a sign toward a star-studded future, they (gender neutral pronoun) leave behind everything in pursuit of a newly established destiny.

What ensues is a cinematic paradox that in one moment finds them strutting down a neon strip in full Saturday Night Fever hip-swing donned in their finest threads, and the next sipping a dirty martini at the rundown apartment complex pool, dwelling on life’s unfortunate turns. It’s a narrative Rose pulled directly from the somewhat shameless desires of her own growing ambition, as well as the public breakdowns of several notable celebrities. “To me, the satire is in what we’ll do and put up with in order to be successful. I wanted to make a story out of those parts of myself that are for the most part undesirable, then inject them with steroids.”

Rose worked on the album in order of the story’s timeline, ensuring each track represented a chapter of the narrative in her head. Songs bursting with self-aggrandizement often reveal moments of vulnerability. “Feel The Way I Want” leads us with boisterous confidence through heartache by refusing to let pain get the best of us. Disguised as a Prince-infused bop, “Do You Think We’ll Last Forever?” expresses the uncertainty and anxiety that come with seeing a new partner, ending in a full blown freakout of bottled up nervous energy. The S&M-fueled love song “Freak Like Me” and the darkly comedic “Command Z” ultimately expose a fragile person coming to terms with their own humanity. Rose sings, “I looked around at all the people there / as I thought everyone we know will know will someday be dead / God, I just don’t want it to end / Undo, I’m gonna do it again”.

Rose began formulating the songs and ideas for a sequel-esque follow-up to LONER in between the band’s near-incessant touring schedule, from playing sold out headline shows across the country and beyond, to becoming fan favorites at some of the world’s biggest festivals. “Two years ago I started touring with nothing, not knowing if I’d even have a career. Then all of a sudden we were playing to hundreds of people in a town I’d never heard of. The whole thing was fascinating. It got me thinking, just how much can you build from nothing?” As a result, Superstar was written, recorded and produced by Rose in her 10’x12’ home studio, as well as on a portable rig she’d set up in green rooms while on tour.

Superstar is a bigger, badder, glitter-filled cinematic pop record for weirdos. “I realized at some point that I’m not going to fit into any one box, and maybe that’s a good thing. This new record is me embracing feeling like an outsider making my own path,” Rose says. One part satire, one part self-reflection, Rose’s anti-hero personifies much of what we as casual on-lookers are wont to poke fun at, dismiss or denigrate, yet deep down likely aspire to be. Someone who, whether warranted or not, refuses to let anyone dictate their own life’s narrative.

Superstar is an underdog story, and one not far off from Caroline Rose’s real life. After a years-long struggle to release what would ultimately become 2018’s LONER, deemed “a singular artistic statement from it’s unforgettable album art all the way down” (Pitchfork), Rose found herself in the midst of a new widespread audience, one both delightfully intrigued and perplexed about how and where to place her. That, combined with a developed set of studio skills and a challenge to “make something from nothing,” marked the beginning of Superstar. Gone are the polished Hollywood hunks and starlets of olde. Here is a shamelessly odd hero, or rather anti-hero, on a quest to become a someone.

Inspired by cult classics such as The Bitter Tears of Petra Von Kant, Mulholland Drive and the mockumentary Drop Dead Gorgeous, Superstar plays out like a film with a beginning, middle, and an open ending. In album opener “Nothing’s Impossible,” the protagonist receives a mistaken phone call from the glamorous Chateau Marmont hotel. Taking the call as a sign toward a star-studded future, they (gender neutral pronoun) leave behind everything in pursuit of a newly established destiny.

What ensues is a cinematic paradox that in one moment finds them strutting down a neon strip in full Saturday Night Fever hip-swing donned in their finest threads, and the next sipping a dirty martini at the rundown apartment complex pool, dwelling on life’s unfortunate turns. It’s a narrative Rose pulled directly from the somewhat shameless desires of her own growing ambition, as well as the public breakdowns of several notable celebrities. “To me, the satire is in what we’ll do and put up with in order to be successful. I wanted to make a story out of those parts of myself that are for the most part undesirable, then inject them with steroids.”

Rose worked on the album in order of the story’s timeline, ensuring each track represented a chapter of the narrative in her head. Songs bursting with self-aggrandizement often reveal moments of vulnerability. “Feel The Way I Want” leads us with boisterous confidence through heartache by refusing to let pain get the best of us. Disguised as a Prince-infused bop, “Do You Think We’ll Last Forever?” expresses the uncertainty and anxiety that come with seeing a new partner, ending in a full blown freakout of bottled up nervous energy. The S&M-fueled love song “Freak Like Me” and the darkly comedic “Command Z” ultimately expose a fragile person coming to terms with their own humanity. Rose sings, “I looked around at all the people there / as I thought everyone we know will know will someday be dead / God, I just don’t want it to end / Undo, I’m gonna do it again”.

Rose began formulating the songs and ideas for a sequel-esque follow-up to LONER in between the band’s near-incessant touring schedule, from playing sold out headline shows across the country and beyond, to becoming fan favorites at some of the world’s biggest festivals. “Two years ago I started touring with nothing, not knowing if I’d even have a career. Then all of a sudden we were playing to hundreds of people in a town I’d never heard of. The whole thing was fascinating. It got me thinking, just how much can you build from nothing?” As a result, Superstar was written, recorded and produced by Rose in her 10’x12’ home studio, as well as on a portable rig she’d set up in green rooms while on tour.

Superstar is a bigger, badder, glitter-filled cinematic pop record for weirdos. “I realized at some point that I’m not going to fit into any one box, and maybe that’s a good thing. This new record is me embracing feeling like an outsider making my own path,” Rose says. One part satire, one part self-reflection, Rose’s anti-hero personifies much of what we as casual on-lookers are wont to poke fun at, dismiss or denigrate, yet deep down likely aspire to be. Someone who, whether warranted or not, refuses to let anyone dictate their own life’s narrative.

(Night 2) Caroline Rose with Special Guest Good Baby - Presented by Opus One & 91.3 WYEP

Superstar is an underdog story, and one not far off from Caroline Rose’s real life. After a years-long struggle to release what would ultimately become 2018’s LONER, deemed “a singular artistic statement from it’s unforgettable album art all the way down” (Pitchfork), Rose found herself in the midst of a new widespread audience, one both delightfully intrigued and perplexed about how and where to place her. That, combined with a developed set of studio skills and a challenge to “make something from nothing,” marked the beginning of Superstar. Gone are the polished Hollywood hunks and starlets of olde. Here is a shamelessly odd hero, or rather anti-hero, on a quest to become a someone.

Inspired by cult classics such as The Bitter Tears of Petra Von Kant, Mulholland Drive and the mockumentary Drop Dead Gorgeous, Superstar plays out like a film with a beginning, middle, and an open ending. In album opener “Nothing’s Impossible,” the protagonist receives a mistaken phone call from the glamorous Chateau Marmont hotel. Taking the call as a sign toward a star-studded future, they (gender neutral pronoun) leave behind everything in pursuit of a newly established destiny.

What ensues is a cinematic paradox that in one moment finds them strutting down a neon strip in full Saturday Night Fever hip-swing donned in their finest threads, and the next sipping a dirty martini at the rundown apartment complex pool, dwelling on life’s unfortunate turns. It’s a narrative Rose pulled directly from the somewhat shameless desires of her own growing ambition, as well as the public breakdowns of several notable celebrities. “To me, the satire is in what we’ll do and put up with in order to be successful. I wanted to make a story out of those parts of myself that are for the most part undesirable, then inject them with steroids.”

Rose worked on the album in order of the story’s timeline, ensuring each track represented a chapter of the narrative in her head. Songs bursting with self-aggrandizement often reveal moments of vulnerability. “Feel The Way I Want” leads us with boisterous confidence through heartache by refusing to let pain get the best of us. Disguised as a Prince-infused bop, “Do You Think We’ll Last Forever?” expresses the uncertainty and anxiety that come with seeing a new partner, ending in a full blown freakout of bottled up nervous energy. The S&M-fueled love song “Freak Like Me” and the darkly comedic “Command Z” ultimately expose a fragile person coming to terms with their own humanity. Rose sings, “I looked around at all the people there / as I thought everyone we know will know will someday be dead / God, I just don’t want it to end / Undo, I’m gonna do it again”.

Rose began formulating the songs and ideas for a sequel-esque follow-up to LONER in between the band’s near-incessant touring schedule, from playing sold out headline shows across the country and beyond, to becoming fan favorites at some of the world’s biggest festivals. “Two years ago I started touring with nothing, not knowing if I’d even have a career. Then all of a sudden we were playing to hundreds of people in a town I’d never heard of. The whole thing was fascinating. It got me thinking, just how much can you build from nothing?” As a result, Superstar was written, recorded and produced by Rose in her 10’x12’ home studio, as well as on a portable rig she’d set up in green rooms while on tour.

Superstar is a bigger, badder, glitter-filled cinematic pop record for weirdos. “I realized at some point that I’m not going to fit into any one box, and maybe that’s a good thing. This new record is me embracing feeling like an outsider making my own path,” Rose says. One part satire, one part self-reflection, Rose’s anti-hero personifies much of what we as casual on-lookers are wont to poke fun at, dismiss or denigrate, yet deep down likely aspire to be. Someone who, whether warranted or not, refuses to let anyone dictate their own life’s narrative.

Superstar is an underdog story, and one not far off from Caroline Rose’s real life. After a years-long struggle to release what would ultimately become 2018’s LONER, deemed “a singular artistic statement from it’s unforgettable album art all the way down” (Pitchfork), Rose found herself in the midst of a new widespread audience, one both delightfully intrigued and perplexed about how and where to place her. That, combined with a developed set of studio skills and a challenge to “make something from nothing,” marked the beginning of Superstar. Gone are the polished Hollywood hunks and starlets of olde. Here is a shamelessly odd hero, or rather anti-hero, on a quest to become a someone.

Inspired by cult classics such as The Bitter Tears of Petra Von Kant, Mulholland Drive and the mockumentary Drop Dead Gorgeous, Superstar plays out like a film with a beginning, middle, and an open ending. In album opener “Nothing’s Impossible,” the protagonist receives a mistaken phone call from the glamorous Chateau Marmont hotel. Taking the call as a sign toward a star-studded future, they (gender neutral pronoun) leave behind everything in pursuit of a newly established destiny.

What ensues is a cinematic paradox that in one moment finds them strutting down a neon strip in full Saturday Night Fever hip-swing donned in their finest threads, and the next sipping a dirty martini at the rundown apartment complex pool, dwelling on life’s unfortunate turns. It’s a narrative Rose pulled directly from the somewhat shameless desires of her own growing ambition, as well as the public breakdowns of several notable celebrities. “To me, the satire is in what we’ll do and put up with in order to be successful. I wanted to make a story out of those parts of myself that are for the most part undesirable, then inject them with steroids.”

Rose worked on the album in order of the story’s timeline, ensuring each track represented a chapter of the narrative in her head. Songs bursting with self-aggrandizement often reveal moments of vulnerability. “Feel The Way I Want” leads us with boisterous confidence through heartache by refusing to let pain get the best of us. Disguised as a Prince-infused bop, “Do You Think We’ll Last Forever?” expresses the uncertainty and anxiety that come with seeing a new partner, ending in a full blown freakout of bottled up nervous energy. The S&M-fueled love song “Freak Like Me” and the darkly comedic “Command Z” ultimately expose a fragile person coming to terms with their own humanity. Rose sings, “I looked around at all the people there / as I thought everyone we know will know will someday be dead / God, I just don’t want it to end / Undo, I’m gonna do it again”.

Rose began formulating the songs and ideas for a sequel-esque follow-up to LONER in between the band’s near-incessant touring schedule, from playing sold out headline shows across the country and beyond, to becoming fan favorites at some of the world’s biggest festivals. “Two years ago I started touring with nothing, not knowing if I’d even have a career. Then all of a sudden we were playing to hundreds of people in a town I’d never heard of. The whole thing was fascinating. It got me thinking, just how much can you build from nothing?” As a result, Superstar was written, recorded and produced by Rose in her 10’x12’ home studio, as well as on a portable rig she’d set up in green rooms while on tour.

Superstar is a bigger, badder, glitter-filled cinematic pop record for weirdos. “I realized at some point that I’m not going to fit into any one box, and maybe that’s a good thing. This new record is me embracing feeling like an outsider making my own path,” Rose says. One part satire, one part self-reflection, Rose’s anti-hero personifies much of what we as casual on-lookers are wont to poke fun at, dismiss or denigrate, yet deep down likely aspire to be. Someone who, whether warranted or not, refuses to let anyone dictate their own life’s narrative.

The Calm Before The Storm - A Night of Irish Traditional Music and Song with Mark Dignam & Friends

Born in Ireland, Mark Dignam grew up in the adventurous North Side Dublin suburb of Finglas, His father was a truck driver, his Mother was a typical Irish housewife of the time, except she sang around the house – a lot.

A noticeable vocal talent led him to dream big and to leave the neighborhood as soon as he possibly could, finding a very cheap (read - no heat!) apartment in an old Georgian tenement in the city center, at the age of 18.

First, busking on city streets for pocket change and exposure, along with his friends, Glen Hansard (The Frames, The Swell Season, Oscar winner for best song for the indie movie - Once), Mic Christopher (The Mary Janes), KIla (Irish Traditional supergroup) among others; they quickly became the darlings of Grafton Street, a well-known center, of Dublin busking,; counting among their audience such luminaries as The Waterboys, Van Morrison, and Sinead O'Connor.

Mark struck out on his own in the nineties, releasing the acclaimed Poetry and Songs From the Wheel in 1995. The album, named a top ten best debut of 1995 by Ireland's Hot Press Magazine, cementing Mark's reputation as a powerful voice on the singer/songwriter circuit.

He's continued to release records, from 1997's In a Time of Overstatement, a stark collection of spiritual and political musings, to 2005's Box Heart Man, chosen as one of WYEP Pittsburgh's top picks for 2005. Mark has been invited to open for, or tour with: The Swell Season, David Gray, Billy Bragg, Joan Armatrading, Richard Thompson, Mike Nichols (of The Alarm) among others...

Born in Ireland, Mark Dignam grew up in the adventurous North Side Dublin suburb of Finglas, His father was a truck driver, his Mother was a typical Irish housewife of the time, except she sang around the house – a lot.

A noticeable vocal talent led him to dream big and to leave the neighborhood as soon as he possibly could, finding a very cheap (read - no heat!) apartment in an old Georgian tenement in the city center, at the age of 18.

First, busking on city streets for pocket change and exposure, along with his friends, Glen Hansard (The Frames, The Swell Season, Oscar winner for best song for the indie movie - Once), Mic Christopher (The Mary Janes), KIla (Irish Traditional supergroup) among others; they quickly became the darlings of Grafton Street, a well-known center, of Dublin busking,; counting among their audience such luminaries as The Waterboys, Van Morrison, and Sinead O'Connor.

Mark struck out on his own in the nineties, releasing the acclaimed Poetry and Songs From the Wheel in 1995. The album, named a top ten best debut of 1995 by Ireland's Hot Press Magazine, cementing Mark's reputation as a powerful voice on the singer/songwriter circuit.

He's continued to release records, from 1997's In a Time of Overstatement, a stark collection of spiritual and political musings, to 2005's Box Heart Man, chosen as one of WYEP Pittsburgh's top picks for 2005. Mark has been invited to open for, or tour with: The Swell Season, David Gray, Billy Bragg, Joan Armatrading, Richard Thompson, Mike Nichols (of The Alarm) among others...

@clubcafelive

56-58 South 12th Street, Pittsburgh PA 15203 (In Pittsburgh’s Historic South Side)