North Elementary / Stray Owls / Acid Cop

Friday, May 18, 2018 - 9:00pm

North Elementary:
At North Elementary’s core, there’s an unforced, natural center that creates the feeling of a pastoral summer day. The sunny melodies’ carefree shimmy invites a picnic-blanket smooch, while warm keyboard textures undulate gently in the background, trees gently swaying in the breeze. The tempos drift, with occasionally chugging guitars that soon jangle. The songs never seem anxious to be somewhere. Like a devil and angel on frontman John Harrison’s shoulders, the music’s pulled between two poles—billowing psych guitar with hazy keyboard swells and power pop/ college rock, all with flashes of folk.

Harrison spent several years in The Comas a decade ago. That’s when he began working on North Elementary. Over the interim, they’ve released seven albums and two handfuls of EPs and 7"s behind a number of different lineups anchored only by Harrison’s wavering, wheedling tenor. In the battle between the colorful atmospheres and more straightforward hook-laden pop, the latter tends to define their live shows, while the former exercises its prerogatives in the studio. Everything sounds widescreen yet not necessarily excessive, allowing space for Harrison’s ever-sharp melodies to gain hold. It’s richness becomes more apparent over time. —Chris Parker

Stray Owls:
Stray Owls are a three-piece psych/folk rock band from Mebane, NC consisting of Scott Griffiths, Matt French, and Jerry Kee. Influences include Neil Young, Grandaddy, Syd Barrett, Elliott Smith, The Kinks, and Quasi. After self-releasing EP’s in late 2015 and early 2016 as a duo, Stray Owls put out their first album, A Series of Circles in February 2017 on Potluck Foundation. Veteran engineer Jerry Kee (Superchunk, Polvo, Schooner) joined the band on drums after the album was released. Building on the fuzz-folk of their previous releases and live shows, the band is currently working on the follow-up to A Series of Circles. 

"As the album unfolds, sonic ghosts of everyone from Nick Drake, Syd Barrett, and Elliott Smith seem to hover benevolently in the ether, as layered acoustic guitars and close-mic’d vocals conjure a profound intimacy, one which is also tinged with sufficient amounts of sonic looniness to prevent the listener from being lulled into complacency". – Fred Mills : Blurt Magazine

Acid Cop:
Acid Cop is 3/4 of of the psych rock band Alpha Cop, which is (so far) like a low-key trip-hop evolution of what the original band was doing. They're a wall of sound with complete with guitar, bass, sequencer, and violin.

doors 9pm / music 9:30pm / all ages / $7