Matt Pond PA at Holocene – Tickets – Holocene – Portland, OR – February 16th, 2017

Matt Pond PA at Holocene

Mississippi Studios Presents prolific and whip-smart indie rock from the east coast

Matt Pond PA at Holocene

Flinn, COMPLETIONS

Thu, February 16, 2017

Doors: 8:00 pm / Show: 9:00 pm

$13 ADV / $15 DOS

This event is 21 and over

Standing Show

Matt Pond PA
Matt Pond PA
Throughout his precarious northern New Hampshire youth, Matt Pond was often photographed without trousers, stumbling along the icy mountain runoff and over snow-flecked grass, a loyal and ferocious black-and-white Rough Collie half-heartedly giving chase.

The years passed. The film flickered but mostly stayed static until, in Philadelphia in ’98, he put the headphones over his ears and first listened to ELO. It was a lightening-bolt-for-one: the strings, they said everything. That’s when the electronic orchestration took hold. The songs started coming and they wouldn’t stop, reinforced by a battered Les Paul open-tuned like a dirty dulcimer.

From Philly, he took a Greyhound north and moved to New York. The song “New Hampshire” was written in an empty NYU apartment and would later show up through hand-covered eyes on The O.C. The next year there would be an appearance on Conan, followed by tours with Liz Phair, Ted Leo, Gomez, Rocky Votolato, Nickel Creek, Winter Sleep, Jimmy Eat World. Then on to headlining shows across the country, wildly swerving through the night and living out the cliched beauty expected of an upstanding rock and roll musician.

“Maybe it’s a search. Or it may be a fight. Out here under the indecisive traffic light, there doesn’t seem to be an absolute answer.” There are definitive scuffles inside the music and history of Matt Pond. A hustle, a triumph, a stumble, a slip and a slap in the face. At the end of the scene, he might be a little bleary, slightly worse for wear and tear. But he’s still standing.

With a shifting cast of band members through the years, eleven full-length albums and countless EPs and singles to his name, Matt Pond eludes characterization in a way that is both unpresuming and larger than life. It’s an evolution that just makes sense, because this journey is what he was made for.

It makes sense, too, that matt pond PA’s latest release, a bold celebration of what blooms in the coldest, stillest time of the year, is one that has him returning to his live-free-or-die roots. With Winter Lives, he gets to the point: This isn’t about labels and contracts. It’s about the music. It makes the clear and fully independent statement: It’s about connection.

By now, fans of the band are not unfamiliar with the enduring love affair Pond’s lyrics and arrangements have with his shift-shaping environment: an embodiment of the season, the beauty in a prosaic exchange, the weight of expectation and hope, a moment that says a kiss is not a promise. But it can be something close to the truth. And in Winter Lives, he keeps pulling us down this path.

With longtime collaborator Chris Hansen on guitar and at the production helm, core band member Shawn Alpay’s cello and string arrangements, and contributions by a notable assemblage of singers and musicians including The Mynabirds’ Laura Burhenn and Moving Panoramas’ frontwoman (and former mpPA guitarist) Leslie Sisson, Pond is building on a storyline whose conclusion, while unknown, is undeniably his own.
Flinn
COMPLETIONS
Shawn Alpay learned his first instrument at age ten. He chose the cello because it wasn't too big and it wasn't too small, and that suited him fine. He played in orchestras throughout high school and college, but departed the classical world soon after to pursue the potential of writing songs in one's own voice.

For several years, Alpay led a large orchestral rock outfit called The Definite Articles. They recorded their only full-length at Tiny Telephone in San Francisco. The group disbanded, but Alpay hung around the studio immersing himself in the craft of audio engineering. He soon rose to the position of house engineer and producer there, and his own creative output drifted off.

Then his mom unexpectedly passed, and the sharpness of those emotions got him to push through his self-doubt and to start writing again. The stage name of Completions serves as a continuing reminder that revision can serve too much like a shield; it's more important to finish an imperfect creation than to let it die on the vine. With that in mind, Alpay once again hunkered down at Tiny Telephone to record.

Completions, the self-titled EP, was released on October 9th, 2015. While the material touches on several personal stories and specific experiences, it also speaks broadly of empathy, the shared experience that binds us all together. On Completions, six original songs are accompanied by a Joni Mitchell cover. Sorting through his mom's things, Alpay found a handwritten collection of lyrics and chords from Blue. He crafted "A Case Of You" into something of a goodbye to her.

As a band of one, Alpay sings over a plucked cello onstage, invoking the idiom of quiet and thoughtful projects like Jose Gonzalez, Andrew Bird, and Sufjan Stevens. In addition to pursuing his own project, Alpay is a cellist in several others, including matt pond PA, How To Dress Well, and Emily Jane White. He is still house engineer and producer at Tiny Telephone.