1131 S. Broad Street,
Philadelphia, PA 19147

Fred Thomas, Night Windows (EP Release Show)

Fred Thomas, Night Windows (EP Release Show)

HLEP, Maxwell Stern

Tue, March 28, 2017

Doors: 7:30 pm / Show: 7:50 pm

The Boot & Saddle

Philadelphia, PA


This event is 21 and over

Fred Thomas
Fred Thomas
Following the release of his critically-lauded 2015 album All Are Saved, songwriter/producer Fred Thomas entered a period of enormous transition. He gave notice at the writing job that had offered stability for years, got married and moved to Canada, all between multiple tours that ran the spectrum from sold out opening slots to sleeping in the car after empty gigs. At the end of yet another tour he returned to Athens, Georgia, to again work with producer Drew Vandenberg (of Montreal, Mothers, many more) on an album aiming to encapsulate the nonstop changes that had sprung out of this phase of his life. Naturally, this record is named Changer.

The unflinchingly direct lyrical approach that defined All Are Saved continues here, with themes of uncertainty and struggle coming up over and over. A working title for the record was “Hope I’m Funny,” a reference to the opening line of an especially bleak Richard Pryor routine. The comedian found himself confused at the audience’s applause before he’s even uttered a word, certain he was going to disappoint them and feeling a little set up, but still hoping for the best.

That sense of floating between dread and promise runs through the album, present in the drunk-dial desperation of live favorite “Brickwall” as much as the chopped up harp samples that propel the electronics-heavy “Echolocation.” The production here is some of the densest in Fred’s catalog, with straightforward
guitar pop burners like “Voiceover” melting into synth-heavy instrumental segments like the glistening, Boards of Canada indebted “Oval Beach.” That these moments of textural ambience make sense alongside stripped-down guitar
pop speaks to the overall flow and vision of the album, which was meticulously edited from an hour long first draft to the lean 33 minute final product.

Taken from start to finish, Changer slowly tells a story that is more felt than explicitly narrated. Rather than insisting on finding an answer or some greater meaning in the shifting nature of lives in motion, these songs simply offer vivid snapshots and strange scenes. Even in its darkest moments, however, there’s an underlying sense of hope, that every mundane laundromat trip, every bummer night, every empty gig, hours logged at pointless summer jobs, or even the pain of tragedy could be for something bigger and lead to the next beautiful change.
Night Windows
Night Windows
Night Windows latest release, Home, was recorded in Hughes’ garage between tours (tours which included a stint at SXSW and a well received Daytrotter session) and produced by indie hero Fred Thomas. Two of the songs appearing on the release (Home and I Miss You & The Weekend) have been previously recorded and released by Hughes. The band has already wrestled command of these songs live, bringing them into a new light by adding energy and finesse. Thomas has his fingerprints all over them too; not only by adding vocals, playing guitars and synth, but writing his own parts and providing a sagely air to the band’s material. The result is the strongest effort yet by a band that has already produced a string of robust releases.
Hlep is an oversized sweater knit from Detroit psych-rockers, NJ seers, and Philly sages. Hlep is a Hawkwind bootleg printed on Velvet tape and left in the sun to warp, kink and bleach. Members of Shadow Band and Bad Indians ride on a magic carpet of mellow guitars and hypnotic drumming to travel to a world where it's always sunrise, and Byrds albums only play in reverse.
Maxwell Stern
Maxwell Stern plays in the bands Signals Midwest and Meridian and also makes music by himself. He's been touring the world for the better part of the last decade and has played shows in Australia, China, Europe, the UK and nearly every US state. He writes songs about ghosts, love, transportation, dogs and ghosts.

He grew up in Cleveland, OH and currently resides in Philadelphia, PA. He is trying to ride his bike and call his friends more. He is 100% not the person who wrote this bio. Nope. Not at all.
Venue Information:
The Boot & Saddle
1131 S. Broad Street
Philadelphia, PA, 19147