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      Hiss Golden Messenger in Ithaca

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      November 13, 2019

      Wednesday   8:00 PM

      702 Willow Avenue
      Ithaca, New York 14850

      Hiss Golden Messenger

      with Molly Tuttle
      Describing the Durham-based Hiss Golden Messenger is like trying to grasp a forgotten word: Its always on the tip of your tongue, but hard to speak. Songwriter and bandleader M.C. Taylors music is at once familiar, yet impossible to categorize: Elements from the American songbookthe steady, churning acoustic guitar and mandolin, the gospel emotion, the eerie steel guitar tracings, the bobbing and weaving organ and electric pianoprovide the bedrock for Taylors existential ruminations about parenthood, joy, hope, and lonelinessour delicate, tightrope balance of dark and lightthat offer fully engaged contemporary commentary on the present. And then theres an indescribable spirit and movement: Hiss Golden Messengers music grooves. Theres nothing else quite like it.For over ten years, Taylor has spearheaded this prolific, perpetually evolving group. Hes toured and recorded relentlessly, earning devotees along the roads, deep in festival pits, and across the seas, delivering earnest performances that morph from jammy freakout to private prayer in a matter of measures.The work that I do requires me to be in a certain emotional place, says Taylor. My music depends first and foremost on being in a heightened emotional state and putting my vulnerability on display. This vulnerability is also central to Taylors steadily growing fanbase, which continues to discover universal themes in his deeply personal work. The critical acclaim and attention for Hiss Golden Messengerincluding features in The Atlantic and The New Yorker, glowing album and live reviews in Pitchfork, Rolling Stone, and Consequence of Sound, and barn-burning performances on Late Show with David Letterman and Late Night with Seth Meyersaffirm the emotional power of Taylors work.This raw emotion is especially apparent on Hiss Golden Messengers new album, Terms of Surrender. Out September 20 on Merge Records, Terms follows Taylors journey through a tumultuous year of trauma and psychological darkness, hoping and working towards redemption and healing, and the conflicting draw of home and movement. Another year older, Taylor sings on album opener I Need a Teacher. Debt slightly deeper. Paycheck smaller. Goddamn, I need a teacher.Later, Taylor tracks the complex dynamic between father and grown son on Cats Eye Blue, singing, Is this wicked word too bad to be spoken? You let the heart attack in. One taste and its broken. He later pivots towards his relationship with his own daughter on Happy Birthday, Baby. Happy birthday, babyGo love your brother nowIts a strange gift, maybeGirl, you know me betterbetter than I know myselfIm trying to repay youAll these miles that I roamAnd when Im far away, babyKnow that I love you and sing this little songTaylor says that he wanted to make Terms of Surrender a wandering record. I wanted where we recorded it to mirror the searching spirit of the music. Having written upwards of 40 songsin motel rooms, his studio in Durham, and a secluded cottage outside of Charlottesville, VirginiaTaylor winnowed them down to the ten works that comprise Terms of Surrender. With regular collaboratorsincluding Phil and Brad Cook, Josh Kaufman, and Matt McCaughanand new friends like Jenny Lewis and Aaron Dessner (of The National), the crew decamped to Dessners Long Pond studio in upstate New York, Sound City in Los Angeles, and producer Roger Moutenots Haptown studio in Nashville to create the most fully realized and genre-defying Hiss Golden Messenger album to date.Hiss Golden Messenger songs create feelings to which devoted listeners attach their own meanings and memories with each repeated spin. Throughout Terms of Surrender, those feelings range from fearful to celebratory. But perhaps the title trackwith its refrain of Im gonna give it/ but dont make me say it/ Its one thing to bend it, my love, but another to break itbest summarizes the nature of Taylors work as a musician, father and spouse, and cultural communicator on this album. He explains, Terms of Surrender is part apology, part plea, part love letter. Its about how much of the most important parts of ourselves we can sacrifice and still feel like were living the life that we thought we wanted.

      Cost: 21.00

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