Strand Of Oaks

Supporting Plus 1 Charity Foundation

Strand Of Oaks

Heather McEntire, Jason Anderson

Tue, March 28, 2017

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

Velvet Jones

Santa Barbara, CA

$13.00 - $16.00

This event is all ages

Strand Of Oaks
Strand Of Oaks
Strand of Oaks has partnered with Plus 1 so that $1 from every ticket sold will go to support Planned Parenthood and their work delivering vital reproductive health care, sex education, and information to millions of women, men, and young people in the US and worldwide.

Hard Love, Tim Showalter’s latest release as Strand of Oaks, is a record that explores the balancing act between overindulgence and accountability. Recounting Showalter’s decadent tour experiences, his struggling marriage, and the near death of his younger brother, Hard Love emanates an unabashed, raw,
and manic energy that embodies both the songs and the songwriter behind them. “For me, there are
always two forces at work: the side that’s constantly on the hunt for the perfect song, and the side that’s
naked in the desert screaming at the moon. It’s about finding a place where neither side is compromised,
only elevated.”
During some much-needed downtime following the release of his previous album, HEAL, Showalter began
writing Hard Love and found himself in a now familiar pattern of tour exhaustion, chemically-induced
flashbacks, and ongoing domestic turmoil. Drawing from his love of Creation Records, Trojan dub
compilations, and Jane’s Addiction, and informed by a particularly wild time at Australia’s Boogie Festival,
he sought to create a record that would merge all of these influences while evoking something new and
visceral. Showalter’s first attempt at recording the album led to an unsatisfying result—a fully recorded
version of Hard Love that didn’t fully achieve the ambitious sounds he heard in his head. He realized that
his vision for the album demanded collaboration, and enlisted producer Nicolas Vernhes, who helped push
him into making the most fearless album of his career.
Throughout the recording process, both Showalter and Vernhes maintained an environment that paired
musical experimentation with a mindset that defied Showalter’s previous studio endeavors: the
atmosphere had to be loose, a celebration of the creative process and a reinforcement of the record’s core
themes. “In a time of calculation and overthinking, I wanted to bring back the raw, impulsive nature that is
the DNA of so many records I love.” And in keeping with that loose, hedonistic vibe that encompasses so
much of Hard Love, Showalter looked to his best friend, Jason Anderson, whose musical prowess and
expert shredding augmented the unrelenting energy that would become the record’s backbone.
This uninhibited and collaborative studio experience led to the most dynamic album in Strand of Oaks
discography, moving beyond Showalter’s original concept for a singularly feel-good record to something
more complex and real. For as much as Showalter wants this record to seem like a party, it’s more than
that. It feels like living. “You went away…you went searching…came back tired of looking” is how Showalter
begins the title track, a sentiment that epitomizes Showalter’s own mentality in beginning Hard Love. And
as the record progresses, so do the themes of dissatisfaction and frustration with love, and family, and
success, and aging, both in personal experience and songwriting.
“Radio Kids,” Showalter’s infectious, synth-driven ode to youth and a time when music represented
something pure and uncomplicated, perfectly encapsulates his desire for escapism from both his adult
responsibilities and a world he no longer recognizes. But if there’s a sun in the Hard Love solar system, it’s
“On the Hill,” a psychedelic, celebratory homage to three days in the excesses of that mind-altering Boogie
Festival. “On the Hill” captures the true zeitgeist of how Showalter wants this record to feel. “It’s like I had
to fly across the world to find out who I was…it was all about getting loose, and connecting with people on
a primordial level…letting go of all the bad things, losing your inhibitions, and figuring out what it means to
be alive.” The accumulating intensity that Showalter crafts throughout this flagship track seems to
effortlessly achieve an almost hallucinogenic ambiance, with images of lighters being lifted, concert-goers
embracing, and the magnitude of the moment eliciting nothing less than mass euphoria.
And then, there’s “Cry.”
“Eventually there’s this crushing reality of what it means to hurt someone, what you did to hurt
someone…you’re not the victim anymore, it’s not romantic, it’s not a narrative…you just realize you’re the
cause of problems.” This noticeable shift in the tone of Hard Love—a heartbreaking, piano-laden ballad
with the chorus “Hey…you’re making me cry”—is a sobering reality check in Showalter’s universe. And as
Showalter struggles to reconcile his youthful desires with the realities of adulthood, we’re eventually led
into the final death rattle of his pervasive partying, “Rest of It.” With its loud, raucous arrangement of singalong
vocals and searing guitars solos, “Rest of It” emerges as Hard Love’s flawless manifestation of an
exceedingly fun, belligerently drunk night where you try to forego life’s responsibilities and have one more
good time.
Much of Hard Love was either written or conceptualized during Showalter’s post-tour break, as he reveled
in the memory of what he considered to be life-changing experiences. But it was during this period that he
received devastating news: his younger brother, Jon, had suffered massive cardiac failure. “He was 27
years old at the time…it happened out of nowhere. I flew out [to Indiana] and stayed in the hospital for
almost two weeks. They said he had a 10% chance of surviving and they had to induce a coma to prevent
brain damage. Sometimes he would start to wake up and look me in the eyes…it was the worst thing that
ever happened to me. But he got better. That’s all that matters.” In so many ways, it only seems fitting that
Showalter’s psychedelic journey, his awakening to drug-fueled excess, the loss of inhibitions, the inevitable
reality check, and his subsequent last hurrah be capped with his darkest, most life-affirming experience
yet. The title of the record’s final track, “Taking Acid and Talking With my Brother,” represents Showalter’s
last-ditch attempt at reconciling his personal life and his impulsions, crafting a clear connection between
what were previously considered trippy experiences and the now extraordinary surrealism of witnessing
his younger brother’s medical emergency.
And as Hard Love comes to its conclusion, it becomes that much more obvious that the singer/songwriter
has grown to something larger and more momentous, crafting a passionate, brazen, and fully realized rock
and roll record that captures the escapism of sex and drugs while offering an equally sincere perspective on
the responsibilities, complications, and traumas that punctuate our lives and force us to evolve. “Some
records are built like monuments, set in stone…I want this record to be burned in effigy, I want it to be
burned in celebration of the limited time we have on this Earth.”
Heather McEntire
Heather is the lead singer of Mount Moriah.

Fiercely contemporary yet rich with classic influences, Mount Moriah's Miracle Temple sports bigger arrangements, louder guitars, bolder vocals, and more soulful rhythms than their acclaimed self-titled debut. Through their artful personal storytelling, the band develops a piercing portrait of a "New South" where progressive traditions are still fitfully breaking free from conservative ones. Mount Moriah's cathartic vision for their home and themselves is writ large in their lovingly critical negotiation with romantic, political, and gender identities; geographical perspective; confrontation and forgiveness. The drive for change, resolute but tinged with regret, is arrestingly captured in the cover image of a burning barn.
Jason Anderson
Jason Anderson
Electrifying audiences with his impassioned, soulful performances, Jason Anderson's concerts are often described as life changing. Equal parts soul revue and rock 'n' roll revival, Anderson brings to mind mid-70s bootlegs of Springsteen and Van Morrison. His energy and enthusiasm have made his shows a one-of-a-kind sensation in bars and basements everywhere. Not to be missed.
Venue Information:
Velvet Jones
423 State Street
Santa Barbara, CA, 93101