I've got a couple really exciting shows coming up this weekend that y'all should know about.
Show #1 is this Friday (August 30th) at the American Folk Art Museum.
The museum runs the show most Friday nights and it's really a good
time. If you haven't been to the museum it's well worth it. I'll be
doing this show solo and the whole thing kicks off at 5:30PM.
Show #2 is Sunday evening (September 1) on the roof of the Industry City Distillery in
Sunset Park. Admission is $10 and you'll need to prebuy tickets at the
website I linked to. This show is also the first time that I've played
with a band in this glorious city and I'd love it if you'd be there to
experience it with me. The party sells out every time they have one so
be sure to get those tickets...
Just a quick rundown of a couple Chicago
shows I'll be doing over the next week... I haven't played in town this
year and since last time I've released a new record
and have been writing all sorts of new material that I'm really stoked
on. I'll be doing both f these shows solo and that means I get to do
whatever I want. I like that.
First off, THIS SUNDAY, JULY 28th I'll be playing at Schubas with my good buddies Old Fashioned War & Ty Maxon.
I love Schubas and I'm sure you do too... Ty starts it off at 8. Old
Fashioned War follows and I close it out. Tickets are available HERE
Then, SATURDAY, AUGUST 3rd I'll be playing at Tonic Room as part of the FUCKAPALOOZA fest they've been putting on for the last couple years. This is a weekend long shindig and all the info can be found HERE. I play first that night and will be around to hang afterwards.
If you can make either of the shows I'd love to see you there. If you can't, send friends.
How's it hangin? I just got back from a little summer trip to the
north country and thought I'd drop a line to tell everyone about a few
shows coming up. There's a chance that there'll be a few more set up in
the meantime so be on the lookout.
"New York City DIY singer-songwriter Nathan Xander, who has opened for artists such as Delta Spirit, The Felice Brothers, Tuneyards, and Prussia, writes and records music that is introspective, emotive, and reminiscent of artists like Neil Young and Nick Drake. Over the years, Xander has moved between Union City and Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, and then Chicago, before settling in New York.
Xander’s latest self-titled release, his third album, dropped in January. But it’s not the album he originally recorded and was set to release. In the summer of 2011, he was working in a New York recording studio on the finishing touches of the tracks for his new album. Then lightning struck – literally. Xander received a devastating call from the studio’s engineer who told him that lightning had struck the studio during a storm and wiped out, in one zap, all of the recordings from the hard drives; months of hard work was obliterated in a flash. Completely gone. Xander, nor the studio, had created backups (which should be a lesson to any musician – constantly create other backups of your work on an external hard drive or upload to a secure site like Dropbox because months of work can be lost in a second).
“We had everything pretty well done and I was going to mix it and do some tweaks here before releasing it,” Xander told IRC. “Then, when it was ready, it was gone…it really made mad to lose everything and start over but I write so much that it’s not a big deal.” Other than “crappy demos,” Xander had no other copies of the songs backed up anywhere. So, instead of trying to start again from the demos, he decided to move on: “So, I went in and recorded a totally new record… [the] overdubs were done over the Internet [by] sending files back and forth to my guitar player in Chicago.” No matter how you look at it, that’s an amazing story of loss, disappointment, renewal and triumph, which is evident in the songs on his new release.
(In a strange coincidence, the original post that we published a couple of days ago profiling Xander disappeared from our site for a reason that we still do not understand, and which has never happened before. Xander, noting that, said: “Someone is out to get me.”)
Xander works deliberately on his music, honing his songwriting skills, folksy, acoustic sounds and affecting vocals. He explained to IRC his songwriting process: “I just play guitar a lot and work on things as they come… I sort of sit on a guitar part and wait. I’ll usually come up with a couple lines when I walk the dog or something and then go home and write; [I] jump on things as they come.” His part-time backup band includes Brian Morrissey – guitar and keys; Ryan Juravic on percussion; Keith Rowland on bass and Nick Broste on trombone.
Xander said that he has 10 additional songs partially tracked for a new album and about 20 others that he is also working on. All the evidence points to a prolific artist. His next scheduled performance will be on April 14th at the Cake Shop in Manhattan with the rising indie band Water Liars.
While he is DIY, Xander is not completely off the radar; in addition to sharing the stage with some well-known and popular artists, he’s also been featured in publications like The Chicago Tribune and was invited to do a session on Daytrotter last June.
Xander’s impressive finger-picking style, along with his touching lyrics, creates a sound that is truly unique, even though he clearly draws inspiration from many of his favorite artists, from Bob Dylan and Why? to Elton John and Neil Young. Xander creates just as much variety and depth with his guitar as he does with his lyrics, and his accompanying band adds the fullness and poignancy to his songs, which helps to distinguish him from the traditional Americana singer/songwriter mold.
The blog, Slowcoustic, wrote: “If you are looking for a candidate to join the forces of today’s Indie-Americana heroes, Nathan Xander should be on your radar, hell, he should be in your ears!” Blogger Reglar Wiglar wrote of Xander’s music: “It’s sad, haunting, beautiful, universal and lingers in your brain… Nathan Xander’s songs are simple but smart, sparse but with space and definitely get to the heart of matters of the heart.”
Xander’s musical influences include Kris Kristofferson, Paul Westerberg, Mose Allison, Townes Van Zandt, Steve Earle , Michael Hurley, Magnolia Electric Co., Elton John, Dylan, Neil, Randy Newman, Why?, Felice Brothers, and Waylon Jennings."
Impressive soul searching from talented American singer-songwriter
This is the third album release from singer songwriter Nathan
Xander. Comprising 9 songs it is not a lengthy affair, but to mis-quote a
well known phrase, "never mind the quantity feel the quality". And
quality is what we get here with an eminently listenable album.
It all starts off with a couple of up-beat tracks; the most
catchy, a bittersweet love song intriguingly titled “ooo ooo ooo” before
settling into a slow acoustic grove. All songs talk of love and
heartbreak, reflecting the break up of a relationship, and all being
penned by Xander who plays guitar, vox and harmonica on the record. On
his website Xander refers to considering himself an American songwriter
“sort of like Tom Petty” where he also cites the influence of Neil Young
and Gram Parsons amongst others. There is reference to Tom Petty in
“Something In Me”, but that is a far as we get to any obvious Tom
Petty influence in this album although in “Last Day of the Moth” Xander
sounds remarkably like David Gray both in his vocal sound and style.
As the album draws to a close, the mood darkens, the closing track
“Drag a Scarecrow” having a melancholy feel with the telling line “the
two of us we don’t talk anymore”. A song straight from the heart and
from bitter experience, which is the reason why this album has such a
gritty and real feel about it.