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Wednesday January 15 2020
  7:30PM doors -- music at 8:00PM
 
•••  ALL AGES
$12 in advance / $14 at the door
Chris Farren 
www.chrisfarren.com/
 Slacker Pop
Retirement Party      
www.facebook.com/retirementpartychicago/
 Pop punk
Macseal     
www.facebook.com/macsealband/
 indie pop



Chris Farren
-from Naples, FL/Los Angeles, CA
-On his Polyvinyl debut  Born Hot , Chris Farren opens with a question he’ll spend much of the album trying to answer:  Why do I feel out of place in my own outer space?  Telegraphing his inner narrative with a childlike candor, the Florida-born artist lays bare his most intense anxieties and—in the very same breath—documents the mildly soul-crushing minutiae of everyday life: the strange indecency of blasting AC/DC bangers through an iPhone speaker, the inexplicable bleakness of a Starbucks franchise tucked inside a Target. But with his irrepressible sense of humor and utter lack of self-seriousness, Farren defuses the pain of even the deepest insecurity, gracefully paving the way for pure pop catharsis.
On  Born Hot  Farren fully embodies the sensitive-goofball dichotomy found in all his work, especially his exuberant live show: a solo performance in which he plays to live-recorded backing tracks while projecting purposely wacky visuals (his own face duplicated thousands of times, text that reads “ANOTHER PERFECT SET” at the end of each closing song). By the same token, Farren went full-on tongue-in-cheek in choosing  Born Hot ’s title and cover art—a crudely drawn self-portrait that captures him lounging shirtless, looking every bit the ’70s-pop Lothario.
“In my lyrics there’s so much self-examination that teeters on self-loathing, and I like to juxtapose that with an aesthetic that’s completely the opposite,” says Farren. “It’s a defense mechanism, because I feel embarrassed talking about my feelings so very plainly, but at the same time I also just find the idea of having that much self-confidence really funny.”
In the making of  Born Hot , Farren recorded in his L.A. apartment and worked entirely on his own, embedding his inventive take on classic power-pop with flashes of folk and punk and ’50s doo-wop. On “Love Theme from ‘Born Hot,’” he slips into a sunny synth-pop reverie, bringing bouncy rhythms and radiant synth tones to a heart-on-sleeve message of romantic determination. “I wrote that when two different couples in my life were splitting up, and I felt kind of rattled but also so lucky to have my wife,” says Farren. Moodier and more darkly charged, “Search 4 Me” reveals his struggle to live in the present, articulating his anxiety in pieces of fragile poetry (e.g., “And you glared at me so loudly that I burst into confetti”). And on “Surrender,”  Born Hot t  urns exquisitely melancholy as Farren details the specific hurt of a sudden friendship breakup. “I was friends with their ex, and they told me it was too painful to stay friends with me,” Farren recalls. “‘Surrender’ is about that feeling of wanting to respect someone’s wishes, but also missing that person and just wishing you could talk to them again.”
Elsewhere on  Born Hot,  Farren shifts from exacting introspection to more outward reflection, exploring life-changing matters like the recent death of his father-in-law and his wife’s experience of the ensuing grief. In each moment on the album, he instills his lyrics with the resolute sincerity he’s embraced since immersing himself in songwriting at the age of 17. Originally from Naples, Farren formed his first band when he was 18, later teaming up with songwriter/musician Jeff Rosenstock to co-found the indie-rock duo Antarctigo Vespucci. In 2016 he made his solo debut with an album called  Can’t Die,  and soon began dreaming up the outrageous spectacle of his live set. “I love being able to entertain in that way,” says Farren. “It’s one of the rare times when I feel confident, just completely in the groove.”
Despite the fleeting nature of that confidence, Farren’s music ultimately nudges the listener toward greater self-acceptance—or, at the very least, a more pronounced patience with their
own messy feelings. “When I was younger I wanted people to listen to my music and think I was good at making music—now I couldn’t care less about that,” he says. “I just want people to feel good, like they’re understood or less alone, because that’s what the music I love does for me. I want people to come away feeling like, ‘Oh good—I’m not the only one who feels like this.’”



Retirement Party      
Avery Springer
James Ringness
Eddy Rodriguez
-from Chicago, IL

-party rockers from the windy city. Retirement Party is a playful party punk quartet from the Windy City. Singer/lyricist Avery Springer tells nervous, insightful stories in a stream-of-consciousness style. She focuses on the minute details of every situation to give the listener a true sense of location throughout the band's raucous, jittery tunes. The quartet's best quality is their undeniable chemistry reflected in tasty riffs and loosely structured jam sessions.


Macseal  
Ryan Bartlett
Cole Szilagyi
Justin Canavaciol
Francesca Impastato
-from Farmingdale, NY

-Macseal is one of the most exciting bands to emerge from the vibrant, historically thriving Long Island, New York music scene in recent memory. Their unique ability to craft hook-laden earworms that also feature relatable lyrical narratives is uncanny and is impressively matched by their electrifying live shows.

Following the release of three EPs from 2015-2018, the band entered the studio with Justin Pizzoferrato in March 2019 to record their first proper full length. The resulting album, Super Enthusiast, is a not just the culmination of their honed songwriting over the previous few years, but also marks a decidedly new chapter for Macseal sonically. While their trademark sound remains present, a new maturity exudes throughout, marked by some of the most infectious music the band has made to date.