High Up

Neck of the Woods Presents:

High Up

Whispertown, Jake Bellows

Sunday, March 25, 2018

8:00 pm

$10.00 - $15.00

This event is 21 and over

High Up
High Up singer Christine Fink moved to Omaha to be closer to her sister, notable singer songwriter Orenda Fink (Azure Ray, etc.) back in 2012. Down South in Muscle Shoals, Alabama, Christine had been known to exercise her theatrical roots at the the local karaoke bars - and to great effect. The first time Orenda saw Christine sing at Sheffield’s Old Town Tavern her jaw dropped as she watched her sister bring the house down. After a few years in Omaha, Orenda noticed that Christine brought the house down no matter where she was singing- with people of all ages and walks of life lining up to buy her drinks and even give her requests to sing their favorite soul songs. But Christine was depressed, feeling aimless, shuffling between minimum wage jobs, and the thrill of the weekend performances wore off quickly. One night, the two began to talk about the future, and Orenda insisted that Christine should try and do what makes her happiest- perform for people. After much discussion, they decided to start High Up, a collaboration mixing elements of indie, punk and soul that showcased Christine’s powerful vocals and Orenda’s seasoned songwriting. The band, which includes Josh Soto, Todd Fink (The Faint) and Matt Focht (Head of Femur, Bright Eyes) draws from a wide variety of influences- from Janis Joplin, (who Christine is frequently compared to at live shows by misty-eyed ex-hippies), Sam Cooke, and Screaming Jay Hawkins to Dead Kennedys and The Birthday Party. Their debut record, “You Are Here” was produced by Mike Mogis (Bright Eyes, First Aid Kit, Monsters of Folk) at ARC Studios in Omaha, Nebraska.
Whispertown
LA-based Whispertown is the latest iteration of the unique vision of Morgan Meyn Nagler (songwriter, lead vocals, guitar). What was once The Whispertown 2000 has morphed into a less structured version of itself, with Nagler’s unmistakable vocals leading a revolving cast of musicians and artists. I'M A MAN (produced by Jake Bellows) out now on Graveface Records, marks Nagler’s return, and 3rd full length release. After being diagnosed with a polyp on her vocal cord, and faced with the possibility of never singing again, Nagler discovered she is without a doubt a “lifer”, and married to song writing, for better and for worse. I’M A MAN is a stripped back acoustic album, set in a naturally psychedelic world, where words reveal themselves in modern mantra - “New Genes in Blue Jeans”.

In various formations, Nagler and company garnered support slots for Jenny Lewis, The Breeders, M. Ward, Bright Eyes, She & Him, Maria Taylor, Rilo Kiley, Azure Ray, Conor Oberst and many more. The band soon caught the attention of Gillian Welch and David Rawlings, inspiring the first signing to their own Acony Records. Shortly thereafter the band released 2008’s SWIM, their debut release from Acony, followed by 2012’s Parallel (the first release under the Whispertown moniker).

In addition to traveling around the world playing her own music, Whispertown's Morgan Nagler has also worked countless co-writes with artists such as HAIM (“Falling”), Kim Deal (“The Root”,”Range on Castle”), Rilo Kiley (“Dreamworld”) and the Dave Rawlings Machine (“Sweet Tooth”) to name a few.
Jake Bellows
Jake Bellows had quit music. Or so he thought.

After fronting Neva Dinova for more than 15 years which included five full-lengths, a split EP, and countless tours, he packed up his dog and moved from his native Omaha to his girlfriend's hometown of Los Angeles. Two days before he left he recorded 18 demos with musician and engineer Ben Brodin (Before the Toast and Tea, Conor Oberst) at Brodin's insistence. Once in L.A., Bellows got a job installing sliding-glass doors and sold his Les Paul to buy a Datsun pick- up truck.

Though he had no plans to form a new band, he played the occasional solo show, performed with Whispertown, and continued to write songs. In early 2011, an invitation arrived from Omaha's Film Streams Theater for Jake's old friend Ryan Fox (Our Fox, The Good Life), also living on the West Coast, to perform an original live film score. Fox enlisted Bellows and Brodin to collaborate and the trio began to compose and discuss improvisational ideas over long- distance. Since they were all going to be in Omaha and had a long history of playing in each other's bands, Brodin and Fox nudged Bellows into booking studio time to record some of his dormant songs.

Bellows drove from LA to Omaha that November in a 1974 Volkswagen Beetle that didn't have heat, a speedometer, a fuel gauge, seatbelts, or radio. They made it as far as Lincoln, NE, before the car caught fire at 4 in the morning. The following night they performed the score to The Adventures of Prince Achmed. They entered ARC Studios two days later for a feverish recording session, arranging and writing parts on the fly with an impromptu band including Heath Koontz (Neva Dinova), Todd Fink (The Faint), Whispertown bandmate Morgan Nagler and other old friends. Committing quickly to intuitive arrangements the band recorded 17 tracks in a little more than a week. They worked remotely on the record throughout that winter and spring, adding overdubs in basements and bedrooms across western North America.

The group reunited in Omaha to debut the new songs at a couple of shows one week the following June. Excited to release the new material on their own terms the band put out a preview EP on cassette, Help, at the end of 2012. The new music is underpinned by philosophical conviction and shaped by an interest in physics, cosmology and mythology. Bellows returned to music with a renewed sense of the intrinsic value of art and its ability to express the commonality of human experience. His debut full-length, New Ocean, offers a mix tape of different kinds of songs hanging out on one record – love songs that are not necessarily ballads despite their introspective gauziness, with left turns into drunk-in-the-sun bossa nova and blue-eyed-soul ruptured by fuzz guitar. Bellows believes that songs change the fabric of the universe through the very frequencies they emit. As such, the record attempts to create the world he wants to see instead of reflect the world that is. "Our theory of the beginning of the universe is the big bang – a sound," Bellows said. "What gave birth to the universe is our one tool that we can change the universe with."
Venue Information:
Neck Of The Woods - SF
406 Clement Street
San Francisco, CA, 94118