Ava Luna

Ava Luna

Birthing Hips, The Craters, Palehound

Sat, July 1, 2017

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

Great Scott

Allston, MA

$10

This event is 21 and over

Tickets available at AXS.COM, or by phone at 888-929-7849. No service charge on tickets purchased in person at the Great Scott box office seven days a week 12PM-1AM, or at The Sinclair Box Office (Cambridge, MA) Wednesdays-Saturdays 12-7PM. Please note: box offices are cash only.

Ava Luna
Ava Luna
There were other Ava Lunas before this, and there was Ava before that.
But our Ava Luna began with a promise that I made to Nathan in the summer of 2006, in Takamatsu, Japan.
Nathan and I agreed that we would devote our twenties to a rock and roll band and compromise for nobody and be as weird and sad and joyous as we wanted.
And when our band toured the world, we’d return to Japan and play a show right there, where we sat, on the roof of Takamatsu Station.

Our Ava Luna fulfilled most of that promise, and now that my twenties are over here is my birthday present for everybody.
Recordings of me and some of the best people I’ve known in my life, fooling around, piecing things together.
Some of these things are old, some are newer, some are unfinished. This isn’t an album, there’s no story here, at least not the type that we’d calculate.
Rather, it’s the story of a bunch of friends making songs for lots of years, holed up some place or another, optimistic, quixotic.

Up til now Ava Luna has been a beautiful promise, and after now it can be something different.
With these songs, everything we’ve ever recorded is on the internet now. That’s our gift to you. happy birthday everybody

- Carlos
Birthing Hips
Birthing Hips
Wendy/Andres/Owen/Carrie
The Craters
The Craters
Jamaica Plain, United States
Palehound
Palehound
Ellen Kempner, the 21-year-old guitarist and songwriter behind Boston based project, Palehound, is even more prodigious than her age suggests; influenced by her musician father, she struck out on the songwriting path while she was still in elementary school. “I was kind of a shy kid,” says Kempner. “Music was a good way for me to express myself – I had a hard time socially, and it was a way for me to feel like I could contribute something and impress people in some way.”

“I envy 10-year-old me,” she laughs. “I would sit in my room for an hour, write a song, and be done. Now, it takes more time.” The eight songs that make up Dry Food, which Kempner wrote from 2013 to 2014 and recorded with Gabe Wax (Wye Oak, Speedy Ortiz) last summer, are wry and confessional, full of unexpected twists and turns. Kempner’s whispery alto gives the album a raw, confessional feel, even on louder tracks like the crashing, reverb-augmented “Cushioned Caging.” That’s partially because Dry Food is a snapshot of a time in Kempner’s life defined by instability and shifting, leaving Sarah Lawrence before her eventual move to Boston.

“I was coming off a transitional time in my life,” says Kempner of the period when Dry Food was written. “I was struggling in college, and with mental health issues. The album is a snapshot of a weird time for me, where I was transitioning from being in college to getting a job.

“The year between 19 and 20 is this weirdly insignificant time – you’re kind of an adult, but not a real adult. That was kind of hard for me, to think, ‘I’m not a kid, and there are things in my life making that very, very obvious to me, but I also can’t really fathom being an adult yet.’”

Despite the underlying factors, though, Dry Food is confident and cohesive, full of sophisticated songwriting and guitar playing. Kempner cites Elliott Smith and Kim Deal, as well as Angel Olsen and her childhood musical hero Avril Lavigne, as songwriting influences. (“I was obsessed with Let Go, and I still love that album,” she declares. “I was in third grade and would wear ties to school.”)

The glistening, complex guitar work on the dreamy “Cinnamon” and the fuzzed-out textures on album opener “Molly” makes plain that Kempner’s musical roots grow deep. “Wes Montgomery is one of my biggest guitar influences,” she notes. “I studied his music in college, and I still will pull up a chart of his and try to figure it out.”

Kempner played everything but the drum parts on Dry Food, but live, Palehound is rounded out by drummer Jesse Weiss, of the gnarly Boston act Grass Is Green, and bassist David Khostinat, who had previously worked with Weiss in the band Supervolcano.

Teaming up with Weiss and his crisp, steady drumming was, for Kempner, serendipitous. “I heard [Grass Is Green] when I was 16 or 17, and I thought they were the best thing I’d ever heard in my life,” she says. “Particularly the drummer. I saw them live for the first time right after I’d turned 18, and I watched Jesse the whole time. I worshiped him.

“He has this innate sense of how to work his kit. I can just get onstage and know that he’s going to play perfectly, and I can rely on him.”

While Dry Food chronicles a particularly rough patch in Kempner’s life, it does so with verve and grit, not to mention sterling musicianship and wry lyrics. Dry Food is a flag-plant by a young woman with a lot on her mind and talent to burn.
Venue Information:
Great Scott
1222 Commonwealth Avenue
Allston, MA, 02134
http://www.greatscottboston.com/