Mal Blum

Mal Blum

Skylar Gudasz

Sat, June 23, 2018

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

The Pinhook

Durham, NC

$10.00 - $12.00

This event is all ages

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Mal Blum
Mal Blum
"The thing about Mal's songs is that they will rip your heart out of your fucking chest but also will make you laugh at the same time"

Chris Gethard - The Chris Gethard Show

“Spending Friday night alone/I’m reading Campus frat boy porn/strewn on the table/for my roommate/when he finally gets home”

And so opens the first track on Mal Blum’s new LP You Look a Lot Like Me out on Don Giovanni Records October 2nd. In many ways, the scene is immediately set for the record that follows: one that that vastly explores themes of struggle and loneliness through a lens of self-effacing humor. Though perhaps an odd choice for the opening line off most bands’ label debut, this immediate leap into first person narrative is unsurprising in this case.

Marissa Paternoster (guitarist/singer of Screaming Females) produced the album, going through sixteen songs Mal had written and paring them down to ten that made the final cut.

This collaborative effort resulted in a stripped-down, punk-influenced, indie rock record—a tighter, plugged-in, and less scrappy version of Mal’s work, emphasized by big guitar hooks, crunchy distortion, and that signature vocal flare and lyrical ingenuity Mal Blum has always showcased.

A more mature record than previous releases, due to both time and experience, Mal has written a fully realized, cohesive LP, which is ironic in some ways.

“When I wrote all the songs on the album I was so depressed at that time that I actually didn’t have a concept that I was writing songs. But when I started feeling better everything started to come into place: Don Giovanni wanted me to put out the album, then they put me in touch with Marissa to produce it.”

In many ways, the album is a mental health record, written when Mal was at a low point, and re-worked and polished at a high one. Though at times deceptive, large themes of avoidance (“Reality TV,” “Better Go” and “Cool Party”), escapism (“Iowa” and “New Orleans”), isolation (“Split, Splitting), obsessive thought patterns (“Archive,”) and even the therapeutic process itself (“The Shrink Thinks”) are carefully woven throughout the LP.
Skylar Gudasz
Skylar Gudasz
"Sometimes a whisper can say more than all the shouting in the world.

Skylar Gudasz writes subtly evocative, quietly powerful songs, and she performs them with an understated authority that resonates deeply in the listener's soul. The 26-year-old Durham, NC-based artist's sublimely expressive voice and effortlessly enchanting compositions disarm cynicism and defy easy categorization, embodying a timeless blend of worldly insight and open-hearted innocence.

Although she's yet to release a solo record, Skylar has already won considerable international acclaim, thanks in part to her spellbinding performances as part of the all-star touring Big Star Third tribute concerts, with which she's appeared in such far-flung locales as New York, Chicago, London, Sydney and Barcelona, as well as at the SXSW music festival in Austin, TX. As an unsigned unknown sharing the stage with such notable artists as Ray Davies, Robyn Hitchcock, Sharon Van Etten and members of R.E.M. and Wilco, she commanded the attention of fans and critics, as well as her fellow performers. The Sydney Morning Herald called her "the most impressive figure of the night," while the shows' musical director Chris Stamey noted, "She'd sing 'Thirteen' or 'Dream Lover,' and time would stop." Indeed, the response she received from live crowds was so profound that it soon became known among her tourmates as "the Skylar effect."

Her breakout performances in the Big Star concerts convinced Stamey (known for his work as a solo artist and with the dB's, as well as his production for the likes of Ryan Adams and Alejandro Escovedo) to take Skylar into the recording studio, tapping the talents of noted avant-garde clarinetist Ken Vandermark, southern pop godfather Mitch Easter, Brad Cook of Megafaun, Michael Blair (Elvis Costello, Tom Waits), Casey Toll (Mt. Moriah), and several talented young musicians from the fertile Chapel Hill alt-pop scene. The resulting recordings mark Skylar Gudasz as both a unique talent and a major artist in the making." - Scott Schinder
Venue Information:
The Pinhook
117 W. Main St.
Durham, NC, 27701