Double Door Welcomes
Anthony and the Tramps
Ben Ripani Music Co., The Western, The Ewing Theory, Paper Thick Walls
Saturday, January 26, 2013
Doors: 7:30 pm / Show: 8:00 pmDouble Door
$7.00 - $10.00
This event is 21 and overhttp://www.doubledoor.com/event/200337/
“There’s a twang, an emotion, a polarizing sense of attraction between you and Ben Ripani that is almost indescribable. It’s not quite blues. Or rock. Or folk. Rather, it pulls a piece from each of them and creates a patchwork musical canvas that has a little bit of Dylan, a smattering of Blues Traveler, a dash of Dave Matthews and some Wilco for good measure. Each and every member of the Ben Ripani Music Company plays with a passion and focus that I haven’t seen live in quite some time.”(CBB Fest: Congress Theater 12/4/2010 by Ben Dahl | Lost in Concert)
Ben Ripani released his first solo record “Hope Street” in 2009, an honest album “with rich instrumentation and soulful vocals. Some songs stripped to only the acoustic guitar to showcase Ripani’s poetics, which certainly hold up” (Max Herman: Illinois Entertainer). Ben Ripani Music Co. released their debut 7-song EP titled “Maladies” on June 11, 2011. Recorded at WBEZ Studios on Navy Pier in Chicago, Paul Von Mertens joined the project as the producer (Brian Wilson, Wilco, Poi Dog Pondering), with Adam Yoffe engineering.
Following the release of Maladies, BRMCo has been busy playing shows around the United States. This run has included appearances at the Chicago Bluegrass & Blues Festival, South By Southwest, House of Blues Chicago, Hard Rock Chicago & multiple East Coast tours. The band just recently returned from an East Coast tour and will be gearing up to do it again in the Fall. Be on the lookout for Ben Ripani Music Co. in a city near you.
The Western's story begins in Ohio, with members Karl Blomberg (keyboards), Ben Larson (guitars/vocals) and guitarist/songwriter Tim Butler meeting and forming the band Saint T on Miami University's campus. The trio relocated to Chicago and added Jennings on vocals and Andy Bryant on bass, playing their first show as The Western in March of 2010. Current drummer Doug Gallow joined the band earlier this year, and Larson looks to that as a catalyst for the group's new direction. "Since Doug joined the band, we have seen significant changes in our style," he notes.
Setting The Western apart from many area bands is the fact that Butler, and not lead vocalist Jennings, is the main songwriter. "The lyrical content is a very personal, narrative style," explains Larson. "Basically, Tim is putting his life on paper. He normally brings the outline of a song to the band, with lyrics, and we fill out all the music. It is a very collaborative process once he presents the song."
The Western's overall sound is a stellar, multi-layered mix of echo-heavy guitars and vocals that set a mood of enchanting detachment. "Reminders" sashays around your headphones on a delicately-restrained surf beat, laying low one minute and expanding canyon-wide the next. "Captain" opens with a cavalcade of effects, eventually presenting a brilliantly simple chorus, and addressing the protagonist's issues balancing emotions with communication ("I know I ask a lot / But still, here you are / If I'm miserable / Why are you still hanging on?"). These are a pair of world-weary, but powerful singles in the vein of Interpol, The National or Sharon Van Etten that need no additional production or mixing to become huge via popular music blogs.
"We are extremely focused on our sound and where it is moving, how the songs fit together, and how each song contributes to our overall sound," says Larson. "Our writing process is very meticulous, and everything we present in a live setting or recording has been dissected (and) reworked multiple times until we find what we want. After almost three years of playing, I think we are just now embodying our sound."
Their songs quickly caught the attention of sound engineer Mike Hagler (Neko Case, Wilco) who engineered Paper Thick Walls’ debut record entitled “A Thousand Novels” which was released on May 3, 2011 and promptly followed by a sold out record release show at “Hideout” in Chicago. Here is what Rock NYC had to say about the bands debut album:
"My verdict, then, is that Paper Thick Walls’ “A Thousand Novels” is quite good. Not only are their compositions very nicely crafted, with the band displaying a penchant for a number of musical styles, their storytelling will keep you entertained and often contains elements of that darkness that lends a haunting quality to a song. Take a look."
"A Thousand Novels" received over 150 positive reviews, and was featured on dozens of blogs. This past year, Paper Thick Walls has performed throughout the Midwest and East Coast, as well as several taste maker music festivals including NXNE, SXSW, Summer Fest, and CMJ Music Festival.
1572 N Milwaukee Ave
Chicago, IL, 60622