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Friday May 19 2023
 8:00PM doors -- music at 8:30PM
 
••• ALL AGES
$15
Tanukichan 
www.tanukichan.com/
  Alternative/Indie rock
TBA     
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TBA
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Tanukichan
-from Oakland, CA
-When the pandemic hit, Hannah van Loon adopted a dog named Gizmo, who became a much-needed companion while the Bay Area musician wrote her second album as Tanukichan. Aptly named after her new four-legged friend, GIZMO is an exercise in release, whether from situational hindrances — a forced lockdown, for one — or from self-imposed hedonistic coping mechanisms. “A theme I always had floating around was escape,” van Loon explains of her follow-up to 2018’s Sundays. “Escaping from myself, my problems, sadness and cycles.”

To channel the more uplifting spirit she wanted for GIZMO, van Loon turned to the radio pop-rock of her childhood: “I was struck by the in-your-face positivity of the lyrics,” she adds, referencing artists like 311, The Cranberries, and Tom Petty. “I wanted to bring that positivity while writing about the sad and helpless emotions I’d been grappling with.” But GIZMO’s lightheartedness doesn’t make it shallow: “I think that I could let it go, as beautiful as snow,” she murmurs on “Don’t Give Up,” a nu metal-meets-Cocteau Twins groove about the sudden awareness that all the relationships you depend on could vanish instantaneously. Van Loon’s main collaborator on GIZMO was Toro y Moi’s Chaz Bear, and the jangly pop earworm “Take Care” showcases the heavily distorted, in-your-face guitarwork reminiscent of Bear’s own psych joints What For? and Mahal. On the hypnotic, wall-of-sound-rocker “Thin Air” featuring Enumclaw, van Loon channels the triumphant grit of The Smashing Pumpkins as she ponders the impermanence of even the most impactful relationships: “I’ll always have the memories/Of how you used to make me see/Until they fell in the ocean/They’re not swimming/They’re not floating.”

Existentialism aside, GIZMO also sees van Loon break out of her sonic comfort zone. “One of the main changes of how I’m approaching music now is that I want to have more fun in the process,” she says, and she walks the line between melodrama and whimsy gracefully: “I can learn something because I’ve been here before,” she sings on the soaring, bittersweet “Been Here Before.” Deftones-inspired thrash drums and screeching electric guitars are gracefully contrasted with van Loon’s hypnotic, almost deadpan vocal style and a crystal clear acoustic guitar she describes as “cute.” Gizmo the dog suddenly passed away right as van Loon finished the album, but he’s immortalized with his photo on the cover — a fitting emblem of this new era of Tanukichan.

Tanukichan is the solo project of classically-trained Bay Area native Hannah van Loon, whose music screeched to a halt when she discovered what she affectionately calls “dad rock” in her tween years. Throughout her self-described “sheltered” adolescence, van Loon taught herself guitar by spending hours in front of the radio, replicating riffs and chords from omnipresent bands like The Beatles and Incubus.

Although van Loon is the creator and leader of Tanukichan, the project can be considered a collaboration between her and the Grammy-nominated chillwave pioneer Chaz Bear of Toro y Moi. After seeing an early Tanukichan show in 2016, Bear expressed an interest in working with van Loon; Radiolove, Tanukichan’s first headbanger of an EP, arrived on Bear’s own Company Records that same year. The promising four-song project was followed in 2018 by van Loon’s breakout debut LP, Sundays, which prompted her first solo headlining tour and dates opening for artists like Kero Kero Bonito and The Drums. Sundays earned Tanukichan enthusiastic critical acclaim, with Pitchfork writing that it “captures the spirit of a day whose wide-open nature fosters anxieties as well as ambitions” and Rolling Stone lauding its “bruising riffs, taut grooves, and open-road-ready guitar anthems.”

Tanukichan’s sophomore album GIZMO is out on March 3rd, 2023. While still rooted in the eerie shoegaze she’s become known and loved for, it also sees her go beyond her comfort zone, incorporating elements of grunge, industrial synths, nu metal basslines, and electric guitars that culminate into a captivating wall-of-sound. The result is her most fun-sounding work yet.




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