Kevin Devine w/ Charly Bliss and American Pinup

Presented by

Kevin Devine

Charly Bliss, American Pinup

Fri, June 23, 2017

Doors: 6:30 pm / Show: 6:30 pm

Garcia’s at The Capitol Theatre

Port Chester, NY

$12.00 (ADVANCE) // $15.00 (DAY OF SHOW)

This event is 21 and over

Kevin Devine

KEVIN DEVINE is used to living life in the gray. For the past 14 years, the Brooklyn-based singer/songwriter has oscillated between As and Bs: intimate acoustic moments and bombastic rock songs; deeply introspective lyrics and sociopolitical charges; the storm cloud and its silver lining.

Produced by John Agnello (Sonic Youth, Dinosaur Jr.) and released via Brand New’s Procrastinate! Music Traitors label, INSTIGATOR is Devine’s ninth full-length album and comes on the heels of a busy few years: In addition to recording two albums with Bad Books (the indie-rock supergroup he formed with members of Manchester Orchestra), he released the Kickstarter-funded double-album collection BUBBLEGUM and BULLDOZER in 2013 along with the wildly ambitious 2015 DEVINYL SPLITS 7” series with the likes of Brand New’s Jesse Lacey, Perfect Pussy’s Meredith Graves and Nada Surf’s Matthew Caws.

Devine is a master storyteller, and he imbues Instigator – from the biting power-pop of “Both Ways” and “No Why” to the angular, Nirvana-esque “Guard Your Gates” & gorgeously finger-picked “No One Says You Have To” – with intricate details and often-uncomfortable truths. Their meanings are personal, but their themes are universal. It’s a skill that makes both his albums and his live show so alluring: Even when Devine’s writing about the world at large, he’s pointing a mirror back at himself.

That sensibility is present on “Freddie Gray Blues,” a harrowing portrait of the events surrounding the 2015 death of Freddie Gray at the hands of Baltimore police officers. Over haunting acoustic-based talking blues, Devine pays tribute to Gray before digging deep into his own past to reconcile both his privilege and social status as the son, grandson and nephew of NYPD officers. “I don’t think there’s a way for a person in my position to sing that song credibly without talking about why I’m in the room,” he says.

And it’s there on “No History,” a string of personal vignettes centered on the September 11, 2001 attacks. It’s a song made much more meaningful by both the din of the 2016 presidential election and current global climate—a cautionary tale that one moment in time has wildly lasting repercussions.

When Devine’s past lives meet his present-day self on the career-defining “I Was Alive Back Then,” the beautiful duality of his art takes center stage: Life is never all peril or perfection, a country ripped apart by war and social injustice or the joy of holding your child for the first time. The extremes might be easier to define, but it’s in the middle where life really happens.

“That’s how I write records,” he continues. “You want to write about real shit. It’s really trying to communicate what I think it’s like to be me—even though I don’t know that all the time—and in the process help people touch a little closer what it’s like to be them, too.” XX

Charly Bliss
If it’s true that listening to just the right record at just the right moment can psychically transport you to
some other time and place, then Charly Bliss—an NYC band responsible for having crafted some of the
finest guitar-crunched power pop this side of an old Weezer record with a blue cover—can pretty much
turn any space into an adult-friendly version of your old teenage bedroom, a candy-scented safe space for
extreme fits of happiness and angsty teen-level explosions of romantic ennui.
Though Charly Bliss has been a band for over half a decade, the path that led to their first full-length
record, Guppy, has been anything but straightforward. As the story goes, the band officially started when
frontwoman Eva Hendricks and guitarist Spencer Fox, both just 15, crossed paths at a Tokyo Police Club
show in New York City, but the ties within the band go much deeper than that. “It’s kind of insane and
hilarious,” says Eva, “Sam is my older brother, so obviously we’ve known each other our whole lives, but all
of us have been connected to each other since we were little kids. Dan Shure and I dated when we were in
our early teens and he and Spencer went to summer camp together. Dan and I broke up years ago, but
eventually he’d become our bass player. The reason we all get along so well has to do with the fact we
share this ridiculous history. We are all deeply embedded in each other’s lives.”
After spending years playing shows in and around New York City, the band eventually released an EP
(2014’s Soft Serve) and scored opening gigs for the likes of Glass Animals, Darwin Deez, Tokyo Police Club,
Sleater-Kinney, as well as a touring spot for their own musical forebears, Veruca Salt. Even though the band
had amassed a sizable fanbase and a reputation as a truly formidable live act, the goal of making a fulllength
record proved to be a fraught series of false-starts. Given their propensity for making hooky,
ebullient pop songs, the band often felt out of step with what was happening around them in Brooklyn.
(“We weren’t weird in the right ways,” says Sam). They eventually set about recording an album on their
own—and then recording it twice—before figuring out what had been staring them in the face the entire
time. “We basically had to come to terms with the fact that we are, at heart, a pop band,” recalls Spencer.
“Before, it was always trying to decide which of the songs would be more ‘rock’ and which would be more
poppy, but we eventually realized we needed to meet in the middle, we had to create an ecosystem where
our loud, messy rock sounds could co-exist with these super catchy melodies and pop hooks. It was really
about realizing what we’re best at as a band.”
The ten tracks that make up Guppy, Charly Bliss’ sparkling full-length debut, show the band embracing all of
their strengths—a combination of ripping guitars and irrepressible pop hooks, all delivered with the hyperenthusiasm
of a middle school cafeteria food fight. That every track is loaded front-to-back with
sing/shout-worthy lyrics and earworm melodies is a testament to the band’s commitment to the art form
of pop songwriting. Opening track “Percolator” sets the tone—all power riffs and yo-yo-ing melodies
playing against Hendricks’ acrobatic vocals, which veer from gentle coo to an emphatic squeal:
I’m gonna die in the getaway car! I would try but it sounds too hard! It’s a vibe that carries throughout
Guppy, a record that shares an undeniable kinship with 90’s alt-rockers like Letters to Cleo and That Dog—
bands that balanced melodicism, sugary vocals, and overdriven guitar turned up to 11. It’s an aesthetic that
Charly Bliss both embraces and improves upon in tracks like “Ruby” (“We actually wrote the guitar solo by
sitting in a circle and passing the guitar around, each of us adding our own notes,” says Fox) and “Glitter”,
the record’s first single. “I wanted to make a song about being romantically involved with someone who
makes you kind of hate yourself because they are so much like you,” says Hendricks, “A fun song about
complicated self-loathing that you could also dance around your bedroom to—that kind of sums us up as a
band, actually.”
“Pop music can actually be very subversive,” she continues. “The lyrics that I’m most proud of on the
record are me existing both in and out of this overgrown teenybopper feeling—feeling like everything I was
going through was the most extreme thing that had ever happened to anyone ever. The songs are often
about being totally in the throes of this stuff, but also being able to step out of it and make fun of myself.
It’s possible to write songs that really get at all of these dark feelings while also just being really fun to sing
and dance to. You can be serious and also sing about peeing while jumping on a trampoline.”
Guppy is a record that doesn’t so much seek to reinvent the pop wheel so much as gleefully refine it.
“People forget sometimes that expressing joy is just as important as examining despair,” says Shure.
“People need joy, especially right now. We’re all about writing tight pop songs, but also giving people this
super enthusiastic release. These songs are kind of the sound of expressing something that you can’t really
contain. These are songs you play really loudly when you need to freak out.”
American Pinup

American Pinup emerged from the suburban sprawl and unsung underground music scene of Westchester County, New York and brought along an original brand of fierce, exuberant performance that is just as wild as it is charming. The indie/punk four-piece was pegged by AMP magazine as the “voice of the new decade” and combines elements of rockabilly, surf rock, punk, pop, folk, and ska to create a fresh alternative sound. Blending the DIY ethos of the punk scene with a reverence for the melody and simplicity intrinsic to pop music, American Pinup has carved out their own niche in the world of independent music.

Frontwoman Lauren West combines soulful, melodic crooning with raspy, punk rock vocals, adding dimension to their hooky compositions and high-energy live performances. In 2010, the band took to their drummer’s basement recording studio where they self-produced their debut album, Strange Creatures. It quickly caught the attention of Altercation Records, who signed the band and released the record in February 2011. The debut album was followed by a split with New Jersey punk band Lost In Society, which both bands promoted on a co-headlining national tour.

American Pinup has appeared at festivals such as Vans Warped Tour, The Fest, SXSW, Move Music Festival, Red Gorilla, Valley of the Vapors, Tinderbox Music Festival, Philly FM Fest, Upstart Fest, and many more since coming on to the scene. They have also been featured on compilation records such as Blood, Sweat, and Punk, Vol. 1 & 2 released by Altercation Records and the Punk for Progress compilation to raise money for, a global movement to end violence again women and girls, which features artists such as The Bouncing Souls. Most recently, they were featured on the international compilation Punkabilly Shakes the World, Vol. 2 released by Japanese label Rude Runner Records.

In September 2013, the band released their sophomore full-length, Change Machine, which has received outstanding reviews from critics, enthusiasts, and fans on a global scale, hailing it as a more mature and polished evolution of the band’s signature sound. One reviewer for UK blog Popculturez writes about the LP, “Accomplished in their delivery, American Pinup bring a fantastic blend of pop-savvy melody with punk-rock attitude to create an album that offers a real musical edge without compromising on the alternative edge.” American Pinup is currently touring in support of this release while continuing to write new material.

Event Location and Ticket Information

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Garcia’s at The Capitol Theatre
145 Westchester Ave
Port Chester, NY 10573
Handicap Accessible? Yes

Date: Friday, June 23, 2017
Times: 6:30 pm - 11:30 pm

Ticket pricing:

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$12 - General Admission

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