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The Builders And The Butchers

20th Anniversary Celebration of Badman Recording Co.

The Builders And The Butchers

n.Lannon, Tents

Sat, June 30

Doors: 8:00 pm / Show: 9:00 pm

Doug Fir Lounge

Portland, OR

$16.00 - $20.00

This event is 21 and over

The Builders And The Butchers
The Builders And The Butchers
The Builders and the Butchers were formed in the Fall of 2005 in Portland, Oregon. The bands' first two years consisted of busking, playing house shows, and showing up unannounced anywhere around Portland, where people were gathered. People began to take notice and the band transitioned slowly, going from playing on the floor of venues unplugged to gradually adding a mic here, an amp there, until they organically grew into one of the most exciting live bands in the Pacific Northwest. Even when plugged in, a cornerstone of almost every Builders' show is playing on the floor at some point during the set.

In the past few years, the members of the Builders and the Butchers have laid roots all around the world. They have come together for shows, wrote new material and toured whenever they could.

The members are all originally from Alaska. Justin, the band’s drummer, bought a home in Colorado and makes gin and whiskey for a living. Willy is a captain on a ship, and has been based in Malta for the past couple of years. Harvey lives with his family in Washington state, and Ryan and Ray reside in Portland, Oregon. With all of the logistics involved, The Spark was a challenging record to make.

Touring relentlessly from 2007-2012, the Builders gathered a cult-dedicated fan base across the US and Europe. Playing dozens of music festivals, such as Sasquatch and Lollapalooza, as well as supporting amazing bands and artists like Portugal. The Man, Amanda Palmer, Murder By Death and Heartless Bastards.

The Builders have scheduled their first US and Europe tours in several years to support their latest release The Spark. They hope to make music that brings people together for many years to come.
Falling Inside , n.Lannon's third solo album, on Badman Recording Co., combines the
sound of classic folk pop like Elliott Smith with the chillwave bliss of Washed Out and
Boards of Canada. The eleven tracks float with droney atmospheres and electronic
Right out of the gates, the ska-like syncopation of “Kill All These Machines” proves how
difficult it is to pigeonhole him as a singer/songwriter. n.Lannon, a moniker for Film
School’s guitarist-songwriter Nyles Lannon, juxtaposes sparse acoustic guitar with
samples from old records of Persian music, a spare 808 bass drum and backwards
guitars to create a thumping electro-folk backdrop for his soft vocal melodies. Standout
“Dreamer” is built on his signature blend of acoustic guitar and synths, which is as fresh
as ever. With spacey atmospheres and blurry melodic lines, his songs seem to always
live in the twilight of a dream. “The song is about being manipulated by a non-dreamer,”
Lannon explains. “We get preyed upon sometimes and we find ourselves hanging out
with the wrong people, in bad relationships, being influenced by bad advisors, schemers.
We are heavily influenced, we are trusting, and we learn things the hard way. Ultimately
though, we see things for what they are, we keep dreaming, and we heal and move on.”
Paste Magazine referred to n.Lannon’s previous album Chemical Friends as “the aural
equivalent of receiving a full-body massage outdoors at twilight in a gently pulsing mid-
summer shower while R2-D2 recites Shakespearean sonnets to you in his unintelligible
but comforting robotic chirp.” Chemical Friends, earned "Best Album of the Year" from
the San Francisco Bay Guardian and "Best Folktronica Artist" from SF Weekly.
Lyrically, Lannon likes to take us right into the dream with him; we are jealously spying
on our girlfriend from a submarine, contemplating the state of the human race from the
moon, venturing out into the cosmos only to be sucked into a black hole of existential
angst, hiding from the ghosts (and aliens) in our house...and that’s only half the album.
More broadly, this album has Lannon dealing with the midlife realities of the modern
world's ever-more sharper edges as they are closing in. It’s a battle cry to stay human, to
keep our connection to ourselves, each other and the earth, in the face of isolating
technology, anxieties, and manipulation. And even with all the heavy scenes, Falling
Inside is an uplifting, catchy, and fun album. In the war of the dreamers vs. the non-
dreamers, if we can just keep dreaming, we win.
“Dreamer” – KEXP Song of the Day
“Lannon’s ambient experiences run throughout “Dreamer”, an energetic, psychedelic
stomper. As Lannon whispers “I’m just a dreamer” during the songs hazy bridge, it feels
like a culmination of the tension between the percussive rhythms and ethereal textures,
augmenting each other to form something as direct as it is hypnotic.” - KEXP Radio
“Conflict is an integral part of good art,” says Brian Hall, the lead singer and songwriter for Portland, Oregon’s TENTS.

If we accept that statement as truth, then perhaps there’s been no better time to make music than the present day. We’re in the middle of any number of cultural clashes, where every opinion, action, or choice is primed for an antagonistic response. As listeners, we turn to our favorite songs to provide us solace and escape in days like these. Yet musicians often create to cope with their inner turmoil, only to find that what they’ve created can be just as healing for others.

Hall had plenty of his own to cope with when he chose to start TENTS. After years as a successful advertising composer, it became clear he couldn’t satiate his artistic impulses in corporate music making any longer. At 31, it was time to finally get serious about starting a band. He recruited his ever-supportive wife, Amy, to provide backing vocals. Their friend Christopher Hall (no relation) brought his eccentric guitar skills to the group, while the Australian transplant Josh Brine picked up the drum sticks.

That’s right about when Amy underwent spinal surgery and Hall found out he was infertile. They decided to adopt, a terrifying and chaotic experience as much as it was beautiful and fulfilling. Shortly after bringing their first child home, Brian was diagnosed with an autoimmune disorder. By the time they adopted a second child, he’d gotten cancer. It was a rolling series of tribulations punctuated by the brightness of parenthood. As if there weren’t enough difficulties in the world at large already.

But now he had TENTS set up around him. As they improvised together in Hall’s backyard studio, they would “literally just get lost back there.” Adrift in the swirling origins of compositions, finding creative elation in the face of modern anxieties, they would, as Christopher would often say, simply “keep flow.” There, in that free and vulnerable place, they tapped into a universal spirituality: joy.

“Joy feels spiritual to me,” Hall explains. “There’s a lot to be discouraged about and hopeless about, but in the midst of pain, just beneath the surface there is so much beauty to soak in. The pain can actually take you deeper. When I’m able to process something that gives me pain, when I feel genuine joy as I process it, that’s nourishing to people.”

Therein lies the sense of purpose that drives TENTS — to provide an outlet for others. Yes, being in the band has helped the Halls through their recent rough patches, but what keeps them going is something greater. “I really love being able to ask myself how I can effect change and communicate very directly with people. I like the idea of art as medicine,” Hall explains. “We’re in a really trying time in history, and I want to be able to contribute. And my desire to contribute, as an artist, only adds motivation. I’m less angsty than I was when I was younger so I feel like I have a lot of positive energy in general to radiate.”

As TENT’s debut full-length, Deer Keeps Pace, unfolds, you can feel that delight begin to radiate with greater brilliance. A track like “Back Yards” may be full of melancholy as Hall confronts his self-damaging behavior prior to getting sick, but weaved in are signs of rehabilitation and perseverance (“Tell my baby I’ll always be around”). “Danger” is an indie jam reassuring us that the fear of chasing your dreams will pass, and the tender “Shoulder to Shoulder” provides comfort for both those in need and their loved ones. Listening to the glowing “Light Light Weight” provides the strength to accept who we are without fear of judgment or disapproval.

Like all these songs, Deer Keeps Pace is about finding moments of truth and beauty in a world too often full of sadness and pain. The muck and the acrimony are everywhere, and TENTS are a reminder of what it feels like to find peace. “I wrestle with my own pain, I find clarity, and then I try to put that good stuff in to our songs,” Hall says. “Hopefully it can rub off on people.”

TENTS aren’t here to solve all the troubles that surround our daily lives. Hell, they’re pretty sure no one is ever going to figure it all out. But that doesn’t mean there isn’t a way to get through it all. “It’s not about right and wrong and the arguments,” Hall clarifies. “It’s about moving through those arguments and experiencing some kind of wellness that allows us to just communicate again and share again.”

For Hall, that quest for eudaemonia led him to his wife and the band they share together. As society and culture continue to become entangled in dissension, TENTS want to assure us that putting our arms around others for support only makes us all stronger. They’re striving to capture the sanctity they’ve found in each other and share it with whoever will listen. So for those looking for light in the darkness, listen up.

After all, isn’t that what music is meant for?

– Ben Kaye