Shana Falana

Shana Falana

The Sloppy Heads

Fri, June 23, 2017

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


Shana Falana
Shana Falana
“Dark pop,” Shana Falana calls it, when pressed for a genre. On Here Comes the Wave, the veteran of the Brooklyn and San Francisco undergrounds deals in paradoxes and oppositions: drones stormy and serene, layers of warmth streaked with wildness and troubled riffs, ethereal forces at war and at play. The duality runs deep in the record’s unlikely birth story as well.

In the winter of 2006, Shana lost half of her index finger in a workplace elevator accident in New York City. On the passenger seat of her car that morning—when the shoegaze/psychedelic songwriter was pulled over (and let go) with expired California plates and no insurance—sat cassette tapes of Django Reinhardt and Jerry Garcia, two guitarists famous for adapting to missing or damaged fingers in the pursuit of their art.

Themes of synchronicity, and gain born from loss, recur throughout the story and the record. Shana grappled with addiction and wrote furiously following the accident and this burst of driven productivity, a decade later, accounts for half of the potent, transformational songs on Here Comes the Wave. “Somehow, I knew those songs would serve me well later,” says the long-sober and creatively disciplined Shana Falana. The emotional turmoil of addiction seethes through the unstable sludge and fuzz of “Lie 2 Me,” but in the light and buoyant psychedelia of “Cloudbeats,” Shana hears the call of her own recovery, several years before it actually began.

Luminous, wise, and empathetic new songs comprise the other half of Here Comes the Wave, forming a dialogue between selves across a great expanse of time and personal transformation. On the single, “Cool Kids” she delivers an ethereal message of acceptance to her younger self and to all young people disfigured by social pressures, driven to addiction, marginalized by gender and racial identities. On the record’s cover, a polaroid self-portrait Falana took long before “selfie” was a word is artfully streaked and defaced by artist Carla Rozman.

Here Comes the Wave is Shana Falana’s second collaboration in as many years with producer D. James Goodwin (Bob Weir, Whitney, Kevin Morby) and long-time partner and drummer Mike Amari, both of whom play a larger role here than on 2015’s Set Your Lightning Fire Free. As is their way, Shana and friends trusted the material and their process, recording and arranging quickly, layering generously, going for audacious sounds and heightened moments. They had reason to be bold going into this record; the last one had been featured in the television series American Horror Story and generously affirmed by Pitchfork, Village Voice, Stereogum and others.

Themes of maturity and closure abound: letting go of youth (and eulogizing her native San Fransciso’s D.I.Y scene in the exquisite “Castle Kids”); coming to terms with the death of her father and of a musical hero and father figure in Lou Reed, whose song “Ocean” closes the record with a gradual wash of clarity, acceptance and affirmation.
The Sloppy Heads
The Sloppy Heads
IS THIS TO BE SLOPPY? Yes. Useless Smile is to be first long public release by the Sloppy Heads and it is very sloppy but also not-sloppy. Vlada has heard them be much sloppier and thinks it is very pretty and pleasing!

WHO ARE THESE SLOPPY HEADS? Yes. Your Sloppy Heads are notable because they are being the only band ever from Brooklyn! Laughing loudly! They are Bill the Drummer (aka V. Stiles) and Ariella Stok (aka Starmaiden) and Jimmy Jumpjump (aka Frow #1). The instruments in the Sloppy Heads are singing, guitar, bass, the organ, the drums, and the noise, and they are all done by everybody. They have their own instruments, and are writers of songs together. And for this album they are also having of the recording and guitaring of James McNew (aka J. McNew) of Yo La Tengo and The Dump. They are giving birth to this band in 2009. They are ready now to make big buzz! Bigger than buzz of guitar player’s amp! (This is music joke.)

WHY IS THERE NO SLOPPY HEADS ALBUM BEFORE? Yes. Your Sloppy Heads stay very under the ground! Before, they are making of a 7-inch EP (FIRST GASP) and some cassette tapes (CUSTY BLASTER and DO OR DANGLE) and CD-Rs and also been on compilation by Brah Records that is benefitting Japanese earthquake victims name of KOOZIES, WOODIES, AND BEERS, and compilation recording for magazine of Yeti. These Sloppy Heads are very busy! They record recordings of Sloppy Heads music every week just like band called Throbbing Gristle internet tells me but I am never knowing who this is. Vlada is not lying!

TELL ME ABOUT THIS “USELESS SMILE” THEN. Yes. Album was made almost all in band’s first Headsquarters, next to Shea Stadium. Music place not baseball place. Shea Stadium is still there and also the men who smoke hookah across the street, but that Headsquarters is not. Except for the song that was made in the Ocropolis, which is now hole. But also other sounds are from other places. These are songs that are written accidentally and some for purposes excepting two songs, which were also written somehow by other people but Vlada does not know how. This is none of Vlada’s business. Next question.

WHAT IS SLOPPY HEADS MUSIC LIKE? Yes. It is filled with sounds that are loud and quiet and written and made up right now. Sometimes they are to be very rocking! Other times they are not to be rocking at all! It makes Vlada feel like she has sunshine and sometimes feels sad. Other times is giving a feeling of swirling in many-colored flotation like hippie movie about the hair.

WHAT ARE THESE WAVES? Yes. They are painted by Al Jarnow (aka A. “Wol” Jumpjump Sr.) in 1975 and they are very very beautiful we think!

AM I TO BE SLOPPY? Yes. We are all being heads!!!
Venue Information:
Monty Hall
43 Montgomery St.
Jersey City, NJ, 07302