Rosie Thomas

"Home Away from Home: BIG Shows, Smaller Venues"

Rosie Thomas

Ivan and Alyosha

Sat, April 28, 2012

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

$10.00

Tickets Available at the Door

This event is 21 and over

Rosie Thomas
Rosie Thomas
Singer-songwriter Rosie Thomas embarks on a U.S. tour beginning March 15 in support of her upcoming album With Love. Due February 14 on Sing-A-Long Records, With Love is Rosie Thomas' first full-length record in four years. Hailed by The New York Times as a "sweet-voiced singer," Thomas makes her return to the studio with a band featuring David Bazan (Pedro the Lion), Blake Wescott (The Posies, Damien Jurado), brother Brian Thomas and members of Sufjan Stevens' band along with vocals by Sam Beam (Iron & Wine) and Jen Wood (The Postal Service).
With Love focuses on the central theme of love and its transformative powers. The album reflects Thomas' own experience, finding love and being aided by it as she fought a two-year battle with a thyroid disorder resulting in severe anxiety. "I woke up one morning, and the sun shined in the window, and I didn't mind," Rosie says of her recovery; "the birds chirped and I thought they were singing for me. The world felt like it was back on my side again or vice versa, and I finally fit in again."
Thomas began work on the record during this period of tremendous change during which she also got married and relocated to New York City from Seattle. Writing in Los Angeles, Nashville and her grandpa's farm in Kansas, she traveled to Texas to work with Sam Beam in pre-production, Thomas returned to Seattle to assemble her band and record with producers Bazan and Wescott. While in the studio Bazan gave Thomas a homework assignment to list every singer and song that she loved, including the guilty pleasures. This list began to influence the sound of the record, drawing from a broad spectrum of artists ranging from soul and r&b singers including Stevie Wonder and the Jackson Five to Rosie's more obvious influences including Joni Mitchell, Linda Rondstadt and the Innocence Mission. Rosie's list even included Whitney Houston's "Dance With Somebody" and her all-time favorite, Bette Midler. "The process was refreshing," Thomas says of her and Bazan's approach to recording. "David challenged me to show more of my personality this time around, and just like Sam he pushed me to 'belt it out!' There's a more playful part of me captured on this record...all around it's just more fun."
Thomas has recorded four full-length albums as well as 2008's A Very Rosie Christmas. She has collaborated with Sufjan Stevens and Damien Jurado as well as performed stand-up comedy as her alter-ego, Sheila Saputo. She appeared in the 2009 film Calvin Marshall and was the subject of the 2009 documentary All the Way from Michigan Not Mars.
Ivan and Alyosha
Ivan and Alyosha
There's a scene in Dostoevsky's Brothers Karamazov where the main characters Ivan and Alyosha discuss the existence of God. Ivan, in particular, questions the idea of God. Alyosha, on the other hand, is a monk, a believer, some may say, a holy fool.

Talk of faith and exalted things is rare in indie rock today. Enter Seattle band Ivan & Alyosha. Throughout their second release, the five song Fathers Be Kind EP, the band chart their own course between divinity and disbelief.

"I left my family and my home/to fight the battle on my own I stole a car and drove away/but in my hate St. Paul did say 'Glorify the Lord above/with your drink and making love Glorify the Lord my son, with your whisky and your gun."

Ivan & Alyosha began as the solo outlet for Tim Wilson but in spring 2007 the band formed after Tim met Ryan Carbary through a former band mate and mutual friend. Ryan and Tim began playing and recording together and a trip to Los Angeles to work with Eli Thompson (Richard Swift, Delta Spirit) spawned the name Ivan & Alyosha. According to Tim, Thompson is a huge Dostoevsky fan and the name stuck. With that, Wilson and Carbary released The Verse, The Chorus, their debut EP on Cheap Lullaby Records (Joan as Police Woman, The Silver Seas, Teitur). The stand out track "Easy To Love" earned NPR Song of the Day honors as "a propulsive, sweetly booming ode to love as a feat of endurance."

The name Ivan & Alyosha is apt for a band cutting its teeth. As Ivan in Brothers Karamazov moves through the novel with doubts, Ivan & Alyosha navigate the indie rock world contemplating their path as a band. Tim says he writes songs about what's current in his life. He recently married and had a son. Songs like "Living for Someone" and "Fathers Be Kind," reflect Ivan & Alyosha grappling with the idea of being in a band and trying to fashion a career. Not only to follow their dreams but to earn a livelihood and support their families; a feeling he expresses in the former song, "Expecting our first child / Amid the great recession". Despite the uncertainty, Ivan & Alyosha's soulful folk tunes suggest a band inspired, hopeful and longing; a band unafraid to probe their collective faith and doubts.

Plus, things are different this time around. Tim and Ryan are joined by two others – Tim Kim and Pete Wilson, Tim's brother. The band built a studio in a barn at Ryan's parent's house in Snohomish, 45 minutes outside of Seattle. Snohomish provides an idyllic setting with a charming main street lined by bars and little distraction. Self-recording their upcoming EP allows the guys more time together to create and perfect the new songs. Recently the band spent a week in New York playing gigs at 92Y Tribeca, Maxwell's in Hoboken and Brooklyn's Littlefield. They also took a trip to NPR Headquarters in Washington DC to record an NPR Tiny Desk Concert, and opened a run of shows for the Jayhawks' Mark Olson.

In the Brothers Karamazov, when Ivan asks Alyosha to renounce his beliefs, Alyosha refuses. Rather, he kisses Ivan on the lips. Seattle's Ivan & Alyosha are not nihilist indie rockers but a new brand of tender dreamers. And non-believers be damned! God, or no God – these guys are no holy fools. They have their music to prove it.
Venue Information:
The Cellar Door
101 W. Main St.
Visalia, CA, 93291
http://www.cellardoorvisalia.com/

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