$49.50 – General Admission
*plus applicable service fees
Tickets are also available service charge free at the following locations:
Fox Theater Box Office – 1807 Telegraph Ave, Oakland CA
located on the 19th Street side of the theater
HOURS: Open during shows & Fridays, noon – 7:00pm
Zellerbach Hall – 101 Zellerbach Hall #4800, Berkeley, CA
located on the UC Berkeley campus
HOURS: Tuesday – Friday, noon – 5:30pm & Saturday – Sunday, 1pm – 5pm
All doors & show times subject to change.
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Over their almost decade-and-a-half career, multi-faceted rock minimalists The Kills have released only four records, each one a restless, reckless enigmatic art statement that bristled with tension, anxiety, sex, unstudied cool and winking ennui. Yet not one of them sounded like the previous one. “In an effort to not repeat ourselves, the path of least resistance has never been ours. Change is uneasy. Art should be uneasy,” says Alison Mosshart, sitting at a long wooden table in her rented house above Los Angeles’ Griffith Park, where she’s been residing for a month, right next door to her musical partner Jamie Hince.
This is where the two friends-cum-soulmates finished their long-awaited fifth album, ‘Ash & Ice,’ due for release June 3, 2016 (Domino). Unlike earlier albums, which have largely been written and recorded at Key Club Studio in Benton Harbor, Michigan, this one had a rather vagabond, as well as protracted, existence with the main bulk of recording taking place in a rented house in LA (using both Key Club’s and Jamie’s own mobile units) and at the world famous Electric Lady Studios in NYC. Begun three years ago, the project was derailed when Hince broke a finger. The first doctor he saw gave him a shot of cortisone, which caused a painful reaction giving the guitarist sleepless nights, undue misery and the loss of a tendon in his hand. “He couldn’t play guitar,” Mosshart says, “He began buying all these funny instruments that you would only need one hand to play.” But the idea that he would never play again was unendurable, and Hince consulted another doctor. Five operations later, with time out for rehabilitation, Hince was ready to get back to work, but only after learning how to play guitar in a way that didn’t include the previously important finger. It was during the guitarist’s 18 month long recuperation that he first starting sketching out what would become the songs for the album, including the song that gave the album its title.
Mosshart for her part didn’t languish during her partner’s recovery from surgery. She made a record with The Dead Weather, her side band with Jack White, as well as doing some serious painting. She’d always been painting backstage while The Kills were on tour — the prerequisite was it had to fit into her suitcase. But after moving to Nashville a few years ago, she moved into a formal studio space, which allowed her to work on bigger canvases, leading to her first solo show at New York’s Joseph Gross Gallery last summer. Titled “Fire Power,” it featured 127 paintings, drawings, mixed media, and tapestries. That was not to say she ignored the band. During the past few years she admits to having penned somewhere around 120 songs. But writing has never been a problem for Mosshart, who composes quickly and fearlessly, rarely overthinking, just letting the songs move through her, inspired by an overheard conversation, a mood, a person, or just the sound her turn indicator makes while she is guiding her muscle car through traffic. What takes the most time is writing separately and turning it into a cohesive whole. Mosshart expounds, “If ‘Ash & Ice’ were a painting, it would be incredibly complex. It would be one that looked like it had been painted over and over and over and over. It would be so thick off the wall, it would be coming through the frame.”
Sunflower Bean find magic within friction. The New York trio’s full-length debut album, Human Ceremony [Fat Possum Records], emerges at the intersection of dreamy modern psychedelica and urgent fuzzed-out bliss. That push-and-pull colors the aural tapestry of these three musicians—Jacob Faber [drums], Julia Cumming [vocals/bass], and Nick Kivlen [vocals/guitars].
“Everything comes from a conflicting interest,” affirms Nick. “We love dream pop, but we also really love rock ‘n’ roll. It’s those two spectrums.”
“You’re allowed to obsess over Black Sabbath as well as The Cure,” adds Julia. “It’d be boring if everything was just one way or the other.”
That diversity defined the group’s approach since Nick and Jacob started jamming back in high school. They would hole up in Jacob’s Long Island basement for hours on end, channeling this vast cadre of influences. Julia’s addition would only expand that creative palette further in 2013.
Through constant gigging around New York, Sunflower Bean sprouted into a sonic enigma, boasting a fiery musical call-and-response that serves as a centerpiece, giving the music what Jacob refers to as a “lyrical aspect” between the guitars, drums, and bass.
They transferred this multi-headed energy into their 2015 Independent EP, Show Me Your Seven Secrets. At the same time, this distinct alchemy enchanted ever-growing audiences live. By the time, they entered the studio for Human Ceremony, Sunflower Bean had a lively aural cauldron from which to draw.
They took the summer of 2015 off and retreated to Jacob’s basement to write together. Taking the ideas out of the basement, they hit a Brooklyn studio with producer Matt Molnar [Friends] and tracked eleven tunes in just seven days. Whereas the EP was recorded after Sunflower Bean played 100 shows in one year, Human Ceremony showed the band’s studio side with richer soundscapes, overdubs, and music that had yet to be debuted live.
On the lead track “Easier Said,” Julia’s delicate vocals glide over a lilting clean guitar that spirals off into a vibrant hum.
Sunflower Bean’s spell is cast on Human Ceremony.
“When you’re in a band, you always dream about the first record,” Julia concludes. “It’s that moment where you explore everything that’s been inspiring you.”