Weyes Blood, Fatal Jamz, Plush

located at The Crepe Place happens on Mon Feb 20 at 9:00 pm Please note – This event has already happened
$10advance, $12door

9pm showtime

Advance tickets available at:
or at The Crepe Place

Weyes Blood:
Natalie Mering’s voice is at once comforting and unique, dramatic but never overbearing. There is an elegant lilt to her delivery, evocative of a different era of popular music altogether. As Weyes Blood, she crafts emotional epics that masquerade as psych-folk ballads, subtly symphonic songs that are informed by yesterday but live and breathe right now.

The cover of her forthcoming album, Front Row Seat to Earth, finds her surrounded by a vast landscape straight out of Star Trek, wearing a polished aquamarine suit. And yet, if you look closely, you’ll notice that her luxurious outfit is accented by lovingly worn sneakers—a touch of coziness in an alien atmosphere.

The shoes might double as something of a visual gag. “I am a ham, I like to joke around,” Mering says with a laugh over Skype, “which is a little bit of the opposite of the implications of my music—it’s so heavy, I guess.”

The cover of Weyes Blood’s upcoming album, Front Row Seat to Earth.

Front Row Seat to Earth offers exactly what it says on the box. The album’s love songs feel directed to the planet as a whole as opposed to any singular person. It’s protest music that punches at elements of the human condition with lines like “Let the world carve at your heart/Don’t need a home if you come apart.” There’s more specific conceptual commentary too. On the brilliant anti-anthem “Generation Why,” Mering sings of an impending apocalypse playing out beyond our screens: “Goin’ to see the end of days/I’ve been hanging on my phone all day/And the fear goes away.”

Talking about those lines, she explains how she initially rejected the social media ubiquity that feels necessary for artists in the modern age. But when she finally did get a smartphone, she found herself instantly succumbing to its narcotic appeal. “I started taking mad pics and texting with people all day long every day,” she says. “We are emotionally predisposed to our connectivity—we’re just acting out this opiate for the masses.” She goes on to draw parallels between onetime millennial mantra YOLO, which is co-opted for the chorus of “Generation Why,” and the impending consequences of environmental destruction. “The reason the ‘you only live once’ philosophy exists is because our situation is pretty desperate,” she says. “The cataclysm of climate change and all that is very physical and it affects our ability to survive on the planet. It’s like learning how to accept the apocalypse without fear.”

Mering entered this planet by way of Santa Monica, California, to parents who both wrote and performed music. Her father Sumer once fronted a strutting new wave band (also called Sumner) that issued one album (also called Sumner) in 1980 that was produced by famed Rolling Stones collaborator Jack Nitzsche. But by the time Natalie was born, her mom and dad had left the secular life behind and converted to born-again Christians. “But they retained some of their hipness and still played Stevie Wonder and Joni Mitchell in the house,” she remembers. Mering honed her singing abilities through performing in church and school choir, and eventually went through an underwhelming stint at Lewis & Clark College in the Pacific Northwest before dropping out and immersing herself in the Philadelphia noise scene.

From there, she performed alongside Portland experimentalists Jackie-O Motherfucker and Baltimore weirdos Nautical Almanac when she wasn’t spending isolated days in Kentucky and New Mexico. I ask her where she considers home. “I’m from nowhere,” she replies, before breaking into laughter. She eventually moved to Rockaway Beach, Queens, where she recorded her last release, Cardamom Times. Today, the nomadic singer claims residence closer to her birthplace in Southern California, where she created Front Row.

By some metrics of the music industry, Mering is a seasoned pro—she’s been active in underground music for a decade and issued her first self-released album in 2007. But now, on the cusp of a national tour, she says she’s uninterested in finding recognition for her music. More than ever before, she’s absorbed with perfecting her technique, learning from the greats, and singing the soul from her body.

Fatal Jamz:

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