Scottapalooza: A 40th Birthday Concert featuring The Pains of Being Pure at Heart + Super Special Secret Guests

AdHoc Presents

Scottapalooza: A 40th Birthday Concert featuring The Pains of Being Pure at Heart + Super Special Secret Guests

Slonk Donkerson, DJ Katie Garcia (Bayonet Records)

Thu · April 26, 2018

8:00 pm


Tickets at the Door

This event is 21 and over

The Pains of Being Pure at Heart
The Pains of Being Pure at Heart
Days of Abandon, the long-awaited third record from New York's The Pains of Being Pure at Heart finds the band focusing on what's always set them apart from their peers – songwriting. After two critically-acclaimed records (The New York Times, Pitchfork, The Guardian, Rolling Stone, Spin) that demonstrated the group's ability to shift musical registers from bedroom pop daydreams to Alternative Nation anthems, the band is poised to share a new vision of gilded pop idealism. Gliding along on bright, sleek guitars and light, skipping percussion. Abandon is big-hearted and tonic. From the crystalline confessional of "Art Smock" to the prom-in-heaven ready "Beautiful You," this rich and ever-striving sound serves as the perfect backdrop to showcase the renewed emotional depth and candor of Kip Berman's lyricism.

Produced by Andy Savours (My Bloody Valentine, Patrick Wolf, Cloud Boat) and mixed by Charlie Hugall (Swim Deep, Florence And the Machine). Abandon is a bright and refreshing about-face from the roar and clamor that defined the group's last record, the Flood-and-Alan Moulder helmed Belong. "I didn't want to make Belonger," Berman says. "This album was a chance to push beyond that album's universal style of songwriting to something that was far more personal, more in keeping with my original ideals. I wanted the music to be joyful and full of light, even if the subjects were often dark.

Where their debut stuck to a monochrome playbook of indiepop classics and their follow up was a wide-eyed paean to the 90s titans of American rock, Abandon is the Pains at their most sonically and emotionally complete. "Eurydice" hurtles forward like something out of the early House of Love catalog, guitar arpeggios glinting like dew on morning grass. The song sounds as triumphant as it is tragic, detailing an unresolvable loss. "Massokissed" strolls with the ease and assurance of vintage Aztec Camera, though its twisted desire and mordant wit ("a constant aversion to forgo perversion / beat up covertly in places they can't see") tempers any sense that this love is not wrong. "Kelly" is one dizzy pirouette, matching both the grace and sugary melodies of prime Saint Etienne with hopes for a love that likes "filthy films and swill" and rejects "quotes as jokes and coke." Like "Life After Life," it's sung by Jen Goma from A Sunny Day in Glasgow, and her bright, lively voice proves the perfect conduit for Berman's pop savvy.

The record's title — a nod toward Elena Ferrante's celebrated 2002 novel – hints at both the freedom and the fear that comes with solitude. While The Pains of Being Pure at Heart has always been centered on Berman's songwriting, the amicable departure of three bandmates since the release of Belong allowed for new opportunities for growth and collaborations. The soaring vocals of Jen Goma are featured prominently throughout and help deliver on the pop promise the band has long aspired to. Likewise, multi-instrumentalist Kelly Pratt's (Beirut, David Byrne) horn arrangements on "Kelly," "Simple and Sure," "Life After Life" and "The Asp at My Chest" bring a newfound sophistication. No longer content to simply be "loud" or "soft," Abandon is a record that revels in nuance and grace,

"I wanted the album to be powerful without being loud. Simply stepping on a fuzz pedal every 14 seconds felt like a crutch, though a pretty cool sounding crutch. I didn't want to hide these songs behind walls of distortion or elaborate studio wizardry." The result is a record that is as confident as it is cathartic.

"Music always says the things we can't say in conversation. So it feels hopeless to say why these songs feel more honest and vivid to me. But for the first time in a while, I feel the same sense of possibility I felt when I started the band."
Slonk Donkerson
Slonk Donkerson
Slonk Donkerson is a band consisting of Parker Silzer '12, Dylan VanDenHoeck and Zack O'Brien. They grew up together in a pristine slice of suburbia in NY called Pound Ridge, but Dylan warmly refers to it as "The Shire" because of its "lush and calm" nature. The band recorded a short EP Wyoma last year and just released their first full-length, self-titled LP this summer, both of which you can pick up now free on their website. In addition, they've recently played a few shows at local all-purpose-artsy-space AS220 as well as at similar venues in New York City.
While Slonk Donkerson officially formed about a year ago, its roots run much deeper. Parker, the guitarist, and Dylan, the bassist and lead singer, have been jamming together "for forever," according to Parker. Their previous musical projects leaned more toward the "folky, bearded, acoustic-guitar-strumming" side of the rock spectrum before they shaved off the facial hair and plugged in their axes. They recruited Zack, an old friend, to drum with them, and so Slonk Donkerson was born.
Parker and Dylan came up with the silly yet harmonious moniker "Slonk Donkerson" by "just sitting around giggling and making up weird titles," according to Parker. Little did they know that "slonk" according to Urban can mean either: 1) "A very annoying person"; 2) "A sudden onset of tiredness"; or 3) "An enormous tird[sic] that clogs up the toilet," changing the band name into anything from a nonsensical surname to an ironic pun to a crass, vulgar statement. Nevertheless, the band prefers to consider the name holistically. Parker believes it fits them well. "That's us," he says. "We're earnest but we don't take ourselves too seriously."

Inspired by '80's alternative/punk bands like The Replacements, Hüsker Dü and Wipers, Slonk Donkerson's sound is strongly reminiscent of that era of coffee-stained wife beaters, shredded denim, and shoulder-length, unkempt hair—much like the mane Dylan sports now. On their self-titled LP, fuzzed out guitar, dark bass lines, and Dylan's at times melancholy, at times aggressive vocals mesh into an unfamiliar, off-kilter experience. "In It 4 the Chase" evokes a dark, chaotic ambiance while "Dumb" features an uptempo beat and punchy shouts that can easily pump up a crowd. In an increasingly cluttered music scene, Slonk Donkerson hopes to distinguish itself with solid songwriting and a "strong conceptual backing" that wields this dark punk aesthetic.
-Brown Daily Herald
Venue Information:
Baby's All Right
146 Broadway
Brooklyn, NY, 11211