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New Year’s Eve 2017 with MURDER BY DEATH * THE LIFE & TIMES

12/31/2017 Doors 8:30 PM    Show 9:30 PM 17 & Over

MURDER BY DEATH

On the surface, Murder By Death is a Bloomington, IN quintet with a wry, ominous name. But behind the geography and moniker is a band of meticulous and literary songwriters matched by a specific brand of brooding, anthem-riding balladry and orchestral indie rock.

Murder By Death’s path began in the early 2000s as most Midwestern college-town groups do, by playing to small crowds at ratty venues and frenzied house parties. While many of their formative-year scene-mates failed to make it much further than campustown’s borders, Murder By Death translated their anonymous beginnings into a 10+ year career founded on a bedrock of five full-length albums, tireless D.I.Y. touring and performing ethics, and, most importantly, a dedicated, cult-like fanbase.

Since the band began in 2001, their audience has blossomed due in part to extended tours alongside similarly hardworking musical kin such as Against Me!, Gaslight Anthem, Lucero, William Elliott Whitmore, Ha Ha Tonka, and others. Throughout relentless touring across the United States, Canada and Europe, Murder By Death has gained word-of-mouth devotees and support from the likes of media outlets like SPIN Magazine, who said of the band:

‘They brawl like Johnny Cash’s cellmates or dreamily swoon like Nick [Cave], stomping saloon floorboards in 4/4 time as grand strings fade into high noon.’

What resonates most with supporters is the band’s energetic, unique, and altogether consistent sound and conceptualized vision. The personnel and ingredients of the group consist of Sarah Balliet’s throaty cello melodies, singer/guitarist Adam Turla’s booming baritone vocals and brawny guitar strumming, drummer Dagan Thogerson and bassist Matt Armstrong’s locked-down, post-punk rhythm section interplay, and David Fountain’s multi-instrumentalist bag of tricks (including piano, trumpet, accordion, mandolin, vocals, percussion). The overriding sound is an amalgamation of textures ranging from dark and desolate to upbeat and brightly melodic, all of it landing somewhere under the orchestrated indie rock umbrella.

The other mainstay signature element of Murder By Death’s identity has been built by the overriding concepts behind each individual album. Every successive effort conjures up fresh imaginative and tactile worlds – whether it’s the battle between the Devil and a small Western town (Who Will Survive and What Will Be Left of Them?, 2003), an arid land of death and redemption (In Bocca al Lupo, 2006), or just songs inspired by a retreat into the Tennessee mountains (Good Morning, Magpie, 2010).

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THE LIFE & TIMES

THE LIFE & TIMES

Since August of 2005, The Life and Times has played over 200 shows in support of their debut full-length release Suburban Hymns (DeSoto) on US tours with bands like the Appleseed Cast, Murder By Death, Pelican, Mono, Sparta, Pinback, Engine Down, and William Elliot Whitmore. In June of 2006, they headlined a two week tour of Spain in support of an eponymous split CD/10″, both of which with urgent post-rockers from Barcelona, Nueva Vulcano (ex-Aina).

The Magician EP (Stiff Slack), their fourth overall release, is a fad-free snapshot of a band that’s constantly morphing from a dragon, to a butterfly, to blinding white light, to a bird, to Godzilla, and back again, often within the space of just one song. RIYLs don’t do the band justice from a recorded or live standpoint, but suffice it to say that the sound on the Magician EP puts them in company with artists like Pink Floyd, Slowdive, My Bloody Valentine, Swervedriver, Built to Spill and just a pinch of early U2. In October of 2006 they headlined a successful Japanese tour in support of The Magician for Stiff Slack Records (Mercury Program, 31 Knots, Shiner, Mates of State), and then a US/Canadian excursion in November and December of 2006. Domo.

Twitter   @thebottomlounge

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