The Raincoats (UK)

The AV Club Chicago Presents

The Raincoats (UK)

Grass Widow, Brain Idea

Monday, September 19, 2011

Doors: 8:30 pm / Show: 9:00 pm


This event is 21 and over

Facebook comments:

The Raincoats (UK)
The Raincoats (UK)
"I don't know anything about The Raincoats except that they recorded some music that has affected me so much that whenever I hear it I'm reminded of a particular time when I was (shall we say) extremely unhappy, lonely and bored. If it weren't for the luxury of putting on that scratchy copy of The Raincoats' first record, I would have had very few moments of peace. I suppose I could have researched a bit of history about the band but I feel it's more important to delineate the way I feel and how they sound. .. .. When I listen to The Raincoats I feel as if I'm a stowaway in an attic, violating and in the dark. Rather than listening to them I feel like I'm listening in on them. We're together in the same old house and I have to be completely still or they will hear me spying from above and, if I get caught - everything will be ruined because it's their thing. They're playing their music for themselves. It's not as sacred as wire-tapping a buddhist monk's telephone or something because if The Raincoats did catch me, they would probably just ask me if I wanted some tea. I would comply, then they would finish playing their songs and I would say thank you very much for making me feel good." .. .. ..Kurt Cobain, June 1993.
Grass Widow
Grass Widow
From the beginning, the members of Grass Widow have maintained an objective of playing financially accessible, age-inclusive and gender-inclusive shows. As the band has continued to grow and share their post-punk influenced, intricately woven songs to larger communities through their latest release with Kill Rock Stars, their aim has been to challenge old paradigms of the music industry and confront the tired methods of categorizing music by paving a new path. “We believe in the value of music itself and promote a community in which musicians are treated with respect regardless of their pitchfork rating, their label or representation. The value assigned to a band by these forces is a manufactured concept supported by a music industry that thrives on advertising, objectification and reducing bands to “trends” and “fads” via the Internet. We want to bring the sense of integrity and accountability that is fostered in the D.I.Y. community we come from to this arena and inspire others to do the same.”

Bassist/vocalist, Hannah Lew, drummer/vocalist, Lillian Maring and guitarist/vocalist, Raven Mahon chose the name Grass Widow for their San Francisco-based three-piece as a way to represent the approach they take to writing music. The phrase is rooted in 17th century literature; commonly referring to a woman whose husband is away at sea, but the visual associations of each word also provides an opportunity to interpret meaning on multiple levels. “For me,” says Maring, “it's about a state of solitude when you realize parts of you may be missing.” Lew adds: “The name Grass Widow refers to elements of the unknown or the subconscious, things not in plain sight.”

Grass Widow approaches lyrical content in much the same way, using metaphor to express complicated, intimate themes. Inspired by the personal, they use myth and allegory to synthesize ideas and create new landscapes wherein listeners can draw their own meaning.

“We write lyrics about very personal and often dark subjects, but present the ideas in a way that disguises the content within metaphor and upbeat instrumentation,” says Mahon. “Although we chose the name early on, it has evolved with us as our process has become refined.”

Grass Widow formed in 2007 and quickly received attention within the Bay Area as well as national underground press via publications like Yeti. Influenced by similarly all-female punk and post-punk acts like The Neo Boys and Kleenex, they also note Roy Wood's The Move and The Kinks as a major source of inspiration, which can be heard in their three-part harmonies, complex arrangements and odd chord progressions.

In addition to these musical influences, Grass Widow is inspired by a legacy of women who have paved the way through their music and politics. Their collaborative songwriting process, the fact that they don't have a front person and that they all equally contribute to the work of the band speaks to this philosophy. In addition, they take the opportunity as an all female band to bring attention to the roles of spectacle and spectator in their scene and make a conscious effort to play shows where women are involved.
Brain Idea
Brain Idea
Fresh off an East Coast tour, Chicago's Brain Idea is back and better than ever.
Venue Information:
Double Door
1572 N Milwaukee Ave
Chicago, IL, 60622