Listings are in the opposite order of appearance: headliner is listed at the top, next is the support band(s), and the last band listed is the opener.
August 4 2013
9:30PM -- doors at 8:30PM ••• 21 AND OVER
classical, minimalist, post-rock
aka Trevor Montgomery
Balmorhea (pronounced Bal-more-ay) is a minimalist instrumental ensemble from Austin, Texas, that was formed in 2006 by Rob Lowe and Michael Muller. Balmorhea were influenced by Ludovico Einaudi, The Six Parts Seven, Claude Debussy, Ludwig van Beethoven, Rachel's, Gillian Welch, Max Richter, Arvo Pärt and John Cage.
The band self-released their first album, self-titled Balmorhea, in April 2007, and their second album Rivers Arms in February 2008, and released a limited EP in the fall of 2008. The group released their third full-length album, All is Wild, All is Silent on Western Vinyl Records. Their fourth full-length album, Constellations, was released in February 2010 on Western Vinyl. Balmorhea has toured the US three times, their latest with Japanese post-rock band Mono, and began their fourth European tour in Fall 2010.
They also played the Austin City Limits Festival in October 2010 and were called "a classy, perfectly played way to ease into the ACL Fest’s second day." The band is currently touring to promote their latest album Stranger.
aka Trevor Montgomery
on Western Vinyl
Trevor Montgomery is a craftsman. By day he's a skilled tile setter, a job taxing to both the mind and body. By night he's an equally meticulous and hard working musician, coaxing just the right tones out of his vintage drum machines and synths to carry his tales of love and redemption. As a tile setter and as a musician, his job is the same: assembling things of beauty to fill empty spaces.
Montgomery's previous album The Trickster (St. Ives) was inspired by his youth, wandering in the woods, riding trains, taking meth and heavy psychedelics, and narrowly cheating death on more than one occasion. On Navigated Like the Swan, his debut under the Young Moon moniker, he emerges like a shaman from the woods of his youth -- his darkness is filled with light, cynicism and macabre fixations washed away by a revitalizing and intoxicating love.
Young Moon is baffled by how his new album has been received as a work of sadness.
'Navigated Like the Swan" (Western Vinyl), the new album by Young Moon, is a dark work about lost love and dissociation. It engulfs the listener—and sometimes even the narrator—with its waves of synthesizers and strummed guitars. Young Moon, aka Trevor Montgomery, says the disc stems from a somber worldview exacerbated by a sudden, unexpected end to a long romance.
"The girl I wrote this record about, we were engaged and suddenly she kicked me out of the house," he said over coffee at his favorite haunt, a short bike ride from his Mission District apartment here. "'You're quitting on me,' I said. I told her that what's important to me is working together." He shrugged to indicate his logic had no place in their farewell conversation.
On the new album, Mr. Montgomery, 40, played everything including rudimentary percussion. He overdubbed his voice to form a choir and doubled some lead vocals an octave apart. Mostly down-tempo and always sincere, the album will interest fans of early Velvet Underground or of Mark Kozelek's projects the Red House Painters and Sun Kil Moon. Since the disc came out last month, some writers have compared Young Moon to Nick Cave and Leonard Cohen, but they're wrong: On "Navigated Like the Swan," Mr. Montgomery is sorting through thoughts and emotions to make sense of his personal chaos. With Messrs. Cave and Cohen, there's the sense that they write about what they've already discovered.
"In the past, I'd get bogged down with conceptual lyrics," Mr. Montgomery said. "This was kind of letting go of that lofty idealism." Of Mr. Kozelek, he said: "I really related to people like him or Arthur Lee of Love. Their characters come out of nowhere and they create these super-weird lyrics."
In the song "Cold Day Solstice," we hear Mr. Montgomery try to buck up and move on: "Why are you waiting for the light on a bright day?" His composition "Emma Jane," he said, is based on a true story: "She saved up her money and one day after school, she took a cab from Santa Rosa, walked out and jumped off the Golden Gate Bridge. Years later, her mom found a note. It reminded me of so many people I knew. I've had my own bouts of suicidal thoughts. It's always focused around the bridge."
Tall, fit and blue-eyed, Mr. Montgomery is an affable presence whose demeanor conceals his weighty introspection. He grew up in Anaheim, Calif., his father a successful entrepreneur who owned a string of athletic-apparel stores. "I had a great childhood," he said. "There were tons of kids in the neighborhood." But during the recession of the 1980s, his father lost his business. Happiness and security vanished; the family moved to San Bernardino. "I lost all my friends. We moved into a condominium where there were no kids. MTV and radio became my escape. I didn't quite understand what was going on."
He developed a taste for drugs. "Most of my high-school years," he said, "I was in rehab." In his late teens, he began to write songs, and though he considered a career in the fine arts—"I quickly realized I wasn't going to be a painter"—he remained enthralled by the New Wave bands of his youth, including Depeche Mode, Psychedelic Furs and Simple Minds. Here in San Francisco, he formed a band and found an encouraging community of musicians.
"They all seemed impressed," he said. "I didn't think I was talented, but I guess I had my own perspective." He knocked around in several bands, but never found any career-making acclaim. Still, he persevered, laying tile during the day for income, as he still does, but keeping up with his music.
Mr. Montgomery recently enjoyed giving a solo performance at the Hemlock Tavern in the Tenderloin here, where he sang and played songs from "Navigated Like the Swan"—some along with recordings of the backing tracks, others with just his voice and guitar. He's hoping to get on the road, at least to major U.S. cities, to perform additional shows.
He seems baffled by how his album has been received. "It seems people interpret this as a sad record," he said. "I feel the opposite about it—it's about happiness. Making it made me feel young and way more uninhibited. As long as I'm doing my art, it's going to go through my own filters."