Nana Grizol

Nana Grizol

Bad Moves, the grand shell game

Sat, March 25, 2017

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

The Pinhook

Durham, NC


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Nana Grizol
Nana Grizol
Nana Grizol, "Ursa Minor," Orange Twin Records

Growing up in the South, Theo Hilton found both lonely solace and wide community in music.
When he formed Nana Grizol in Athens, Ga., in 2007, he secured an outlet for expressing how confusion and constant pining became ingrained into a young, queer male in a small town. Despite Athens' liberal leanings and bevy of artistic collaborators, Theo walked in liminal spaces as a queer surrounded by straight people.

Nana Grizol's first two records "Love It, Love It" (2008) and "Ruth" (2010) chronicled that mixed experience. With "Ursa Minor," the first Nana Grizol record in six years, Theo Hilton is unequivocally certain about who he is and what he wants to say.

He's traveled and studied, moving from Athens to Seattle to New York and, currently, to New Orleans. Along the way, the role of social justice advocate came to suit him. Through song, he casts a critical eye on "Ursa Minor" to concerns environmental, like the effect of oil refineries in the Mississippi watershed, as well as how neoliberal policies chew up and spit out innocent human lives.

He's loved and lost and been reaffirmed. The new songs reflect an artist fully aware of what he's learned, what's changed for the better, what still sucks, and what, exactly, we're going to do about it.

On "Ursa Minor," a loyal cast of collaborators return to give wing to Theo's songs. Robbie Cucchiaro (Music Tapes) adds trumpet and euphonium lines that echo both the golden era of Elephant 6 recordings and the brass bands of Theo's current home. Laura Carter (Elf Power, Orange Twin Records) supplies secondary drumming, clarinet trills, and trumpet calls, a familiar cradle for new songs. Jared Gandy (Area Men, Witches), on bass and guitar, notches another year in a two-decade collaboration with Theo. Matte Cathcart (Area Men, Door-Keys), an ally pulled to Athens, Ga., from Bloomington, Indiana, rounds out the quintet on drums. Everyone, except Theo, lives in Athens. Recorded and co-produced by Andy Lemaster at Chase Park Transduction Studio in Athens, "Ursa Minor" completes a transition from 4-track recordings to big, clean production without sacrificing intensity.

In addition to themes of queer identity and capitalist aggression, the songs on "Ursa Minor" take cues from literary and academic tomes. Throughout the album's 12 songs, look for references and inspirations to works such as Cindy Milstein's "Anarchism and its Aspirations," Richard Wright's "American Hunger," and Carson McCullers' "The Heart is a Lonely Hunter," among others.

Nana Grizol will tour the U.S. in Spring and Summer 2017.

-André Gallant
Bad Moves
The Max Levine Ensemble's David Combs, Hemlines' Katie Park, Art Sorority for Girls' Daoud Tyler-Ameen and Booby Trap's Emma Cleveland have joined forces to create something magical. Bad Moves effortlessly mixed their vivacious, edgy vibe to create an infectiously feel-good performance. While it's no surprise that each member of Bad Moves played well as individuals – they are all experienced musicians in their own right – but it was commendable how well woven together they were.
the grand shell game
the grand shell game
The Grand Shell Game originally came together in May of 2014 to bring a few tunes to life from songwriter e-s guthrie's extensive catalog. By the end of the third song at that first meeting it was clear they'd be in for a whole lot more. Comprised of Daniel Fields (guitar, lap steel), Dylan Turner (bass, guitar, vocals), Joe MacPhail (keys, drums), Rob Dimauro (drums, percussion, vocals), Rob Davis (drums, bass, vocals), and e-s guthrie (guitar, vocals), the band members share a love of great music across all genres and eras. This is plainly evident in the music they make together.

The sound has been called "progressive Americana", "folk-core", or sometimes just good old rock and roll. The songs are deceptively simple yet contain an elegant complexity. Danceable, even in odd times. Singable, even when lacking a "traditional" chorus. Thoughtful, even when the whole of a tune could be written on a fortune cookie slip. They share a common theme of love, in all its forms. They speak to a belief in each other. And they champion the potential found within us all.

The Grand Shell Game is recording their debut, "Man on a Wire", this January at the renowned Tarquin Studios. Stay tuned.
Venue Information:
The Pinhook
117 W. Main St.
Durham, NC, 27701