Von Wildenhaus//Claire Tucker with Bill Patton//Brian Straw (Oh) //Aaron Semer
Wed, Apr 27, 2022 at 7pm
COVID PROTOCOLS: All our staff are fully vaccinated, and we ask that our patrons be vaccinated as well. Our staff will be masked, and we encourage our audience to wear masks as much as possible.
Advance tickets can only be purchased online-we do not sell advance tickets at the venue. Refunds are not available within 48 hours of the event. Tickets do not guarantee seating during shows at the Royal Room. Seating is currently first come first served. The Royal Room is All Ages until 10pm.
Von Wildenhaus is vocalist Billie Bloom, guitarist Ben von Wildenhaus, Aaron Harmonson on bass and synths, guitarist Caleb Thompson, Jon Sampson on sax, and Andru Creature on rhythm and contraption. We all spent our 20s in Bellingham, WA playing and hanging in the punk and dive bar scene. We're old friends and still feel most comfortable with each other over others. We play big places like Triple Door and the Crocodile but we stick to the dark corners. Spin called our music "meditative anti-shredding" and New York Daily called it "guitar noir." Andru calls is "easy listening for demons." Billie thinks we play familiar sounding tunes that tend toward chaos - chaos being a comfortable place for us. Ben says it sounds either like Omar Khorshid covering The Carpenters or like Linda Ronstadt strangling Michael McDonald. Jon and Caleb and Aaron are probably huddled around Jon's sax case quietly playing a hand of 3 Card.
From her lush, layered, swirling guitar work in Black Nite Crash to the deep and richly poetic lyrics and melodies of Loose Wing, Tucker has demonstrated an artistic range that continues to evolve with the release of two stunning solo albums, beginning with her 2020 chamber-pop debut EP Same Old Hunters(co-produced by Colin J. Nelson). In November 2021 Tucker released Interior Monolith that shows her stretching her writing and music production chops with a set of new songs leaning toward the synth-pop, new wave and electronic music that she grew up listening to. Tucker is a bright and illuminating songwriter and musician, our favorite kind of artist – restless, prolific, never content to stay in one place, always surprising us with new ideas and new sounds. “There is a lot of reference for Claire Tucker’s work — Joni to Rickie pop folk, intimate chamber music, softly sung and intricately produced– but Tucker’s best quality, to stack onto all that, is one of defiance and acerbic wit... Lyrically, I don’t think Tucker has a contemporary” Sean Jewell — American Standard Time “Tucker is a talented chameleon. Her band Loose Wing made a worthy, ’80s-R.E.M.-ish album last year, and she also guitars for louder shoegazers Black Nite Crash. But ... she’s got a third, distinctive tact: lovely chamber folk... it’s the spareness of shimmery beds like Mary of Rain, and Tucker’s embedding her siren vocals into them, that lends Same Old Hunters a dreamlike state. Such ghostly warmth and gentle beauty show she’s aced this genre, too.” - Jack Rabid — The Big Takeover
FOR SOME YEARS, there has been no shortage of curiosity among the Cleveland music in- crowd around “when will Brian Straw finish his record?” This asked in amused but respectful tones, a la Tom Waits’s query, what’s he building in there, anyway? Baby Stars/Dead Languages is, then, a “long- awaited” album, one Straw has spent a good portion of his life making, and his first proper release in 15 years. Mostly working solo on the stage, Straw is a spellbinding performer, commanding the room with simple, resonant strumming along with an accomplished finger-picking technique, his take on American primitive. Those of us lucky enough to see him play over the years know several of these songs well. Noting a growing assuredness in his playing and singing, we were well prepared, and the new record is every bit as grand, detailed, and generous as we expected.
Aaron Semer is a different kind of folk artist. There is no traditionalist role-play, roots pandering, or faux-warbling. Just emotionally bold, sometimes sardonic, often provocative, and always wise and passionate songwriting. This formula landed his sophomore LP Cape Disappointment on the Best of 2019 lists at The Seattle Times, Artist Home, Northwest Music Scene, American Standard Time, and NadaMucho. Semer’s been called a “troubadour for our troubled times and questioning minds” (New York’s Big Takeover Magazine), a “gifted storyteller” (Seattle Times), and “the real deal” (The Stranger). PopMatters highly praised his 2019 album Cape Disappointment (9 out of 10) by writing “he deserves a seat at the table alongside Jeff Tweedy, Steve Earle, Warren Zevon, and John Prine. He’s that good.” And Rolling Stone France rated Cape Disappointment 4 stars, comparing Semer’s songwriting to Bob Dylan and Tom Petty. Semer has been performing in the Pacific Northwest (and the Midwest) for over 20 years in a variety of projects. Over time, his voice and worldview have weathered – fractured in some places, hardened in others – but the timeless, genre-defying quality of his songwriting is ever present.