1131 S. Broad Street,
Philadelphia, PA 19147

The Chairman Dances (Record Release Show)

The Chairman Dances (Record Release Show)

The Chip Breakers, Jonathan Monument

Fri, August 26, 2016

Doors: 7:30 pm / Show: 8:00 pm

The Boot & Saddle

Philadelphia, PA


This event is 21 and over

The Chairman Dances
The Chairman Dances
The Chairman Dances is a bookish indie rock band from Philadelphia. Their EP, Samantha Says (Grizzly Records) was released the summer of 2015 and earned the group a devoted following, prompting favorable comparisons to the Decemberists, Belle and Sebastian, and the Smiths. Alternative radio station WXPN championed the record, calling The Chairman Dances “luminaries,” and bestowing on them the title “indie rock literati.”

Following on the heels of that EP is the full length Time Without Measure, out August 26. Time Without Measure was produced by Daniel Smith (Danielson), the producer and songwriter who helped launch Sufjan Stevens’ career. It’s fitting that Smith should be involved: like Stevens, The Chairman Dances explore history and biography, faith and doubt, in unexpected and meaningful ways. What sets Time Without Measure apart—and what makes the album so relevant in 2016—is its political nature. The album depicts the lives of 10 (mostly) activists who demanded progress and, in return, were demonized by the powers that be. These activists—each of whom has a song devoted to them, with their name serving as the song title—include Fannie Lou Hamer (a black civil rights leader reviled by southern Democrats), Dorothy Day (a Catholic anarchist), and a group of religious protesters dubbed the ‘Catonsville 9’ (who, during the Vietnam-era, broke into a government selective service building and burned draft files—the nine were later apprehended by the FBI.)

Given the political subject matter, you’d expect a punk record. But here The Chairman Dances defy expectation. On its face a political album, the songs are anything but political. Instead, they deal with the protagonists themselves, their fears, anxieties, moments of despair—but also their small victories, their sense of humor. As the UK blog Wake the Deaf writes, with The Chairman Dances, there are no happy or sad songs; rather, every song has “everything at once.” And if art is to “represent life then surely that’s the only way to go.”

Such lyrical aims might bring to mind John Darnielle (AKA, the Mountain Goats) or Leonard Cohen. These influences are present, but Time Without Measure is a band effort—more variegated than most singer songwriter fare, the album is not content to stay in any one mood for very long. Here, you get the smart, sing-along indie pop of “Fannie Lou Hamer” and “Dorothy Day,” both of which seem to channel the Magnetic Fields, or maybe Elvis Costello & the Attractions. Then there’s the driving, Yo La Tengo-esque rock of “Augustine” and “Cesar Chavez.” And, showcasing the group’s versatility, we find “Thérèse,” “Jimmy Carter,” and “Kitty Ferguson,” all of which use a lush palette reminiscent of Pet Sounds or Tortoise, and whose original musical forms show that rock can still push boundaries, still exhilarate.

The result is an impressive collage—a musically rich record that speaks of and to a turbulent era. An era that is fascinating and brilliant and downright terrifying. The Chairman Dances has its finger on the pulse of the nation. Time Without Measure is our soundtrack.
The Chip Breakers
The Chip Breakers are an Americana folk rock group out of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Blending genres like bluegrass, folk, rock and classic country the three piece focuses heavily on harmonies and acoustic songwriting backed by a kick drum, hi hat, banjo, guitar and upright bass. Since the release of their self titled ep the folk trio has been making a name for themselves around the Philadelphia area with their high energy performances and varied instrumentation. The band's new EP "Desert Train" is due out 6/17.
Jonathan Monument
Reading, PA based songwriter Jonathan Monument first garnered acclaim with his band Dad Fight. His debut album "GHOLA" delivers a mercurial sound that ranges from jangly pop that echoes British Invasion era Kinks at their most Kinkish, to the hooky metallic sounds of Marc Bolan and David Bowie. Jonathan Monument combines these influences into an unmistakably modern sound that is as exciting and unconventional as any modern artist performing today.
Venue Information:
The Boot & Saddle
1131 S. Broad Street
Philadelphia, PA, 19147