Musee Mecanique



Saturday, October 25, 2014

Show starts at 8pm, doors open at 7:30. 

Admission each night is by a suggested donation of $5.

Some time ago, while touring the Maritime Northeast of the United States, in a quiet, centuries-old, lichen-covered cemetery in Cape Cod, the members of Musée Mécanique discovered a phrase etched carefully into the final resting place of some unknown soul:

“A ship at port is safe, 

but that’s not what ships are built for.” 

-Grace Hopper 

After years of successful exploration on the strong shoulders of the band’s debut record, Hold this Ghost, these simple words continued to inspire and guide the creation and completion of their upcoming sophomore long-player, From Shores Of Sleep.  

Their first album, Hold this Ghost  (Frog Stand Records, US; Souterrain Transmissions, EU) was released in 2008 in the US and 2010 in Europe to great praise and review by Pitchfork, NPR, BBC, Tape Op and many others. The release sent them dashing around the US and Europe thereafter. Written and recorded in their home studio in Portland, Oregon, Hold this Ghost was the first fruits of long-standing collaboration between Sean Ogilvie & Micah Rabwin, the founding members of Musée Mécanique. The album cultivates an intimacy and reverence for nostalgia through the vulnerability of its lyrics and use of a wide range of instruments and sounds, from crackly old garage sale keyboards, to whimsical accordion and glockenspiels, to expressive strings and orchestra. Like the penny arcade machines from the Musée Mécanique in San Francisco (from which the band’s name derives) each song creates a scenic world unto itself; its own colors, landscapes, mechanics, and life.

At its conception, Musée Mécanique’s yet to be released second album, From Shores Of Sleep, was little more than a pile of melodic, rhythmic, and lyrical ideas. Between the trials and tribulations of regular and touring life, the gentlemen of Musée Mécanique began to toil endlessly on a body of work that never wanted to be finished. There was always a new melody seeking the right instrumentation, an older instrument requiring replacement, an arrangement begging for orchestral notation, a drum part finding a new rhythm or a lyric finding a new melody. They called upon friends to contribute their sounds and ears. Years passed. The band had set itself on a course to make a record that was uniquely Mécanique — one that became less like a traditional album and more like a musical novel or story. 

With the help of mixer/masterer Tony Lash (Elliot Smith, Heat Miser, The Dandy Warhols, Loch Lomond, Ramona Falls), the album is finally finished and set to be released in the summer of 2014. Captained by its sounds — frantic rhythms calling from the horizon, rich brass beds swelling with the tides, and layered vocal harmonies filling the air — From Shores Of Sleep is a through-composed, single piece of music full of surprises. The listener is taken on a voyage within a dream, through ten individual songs exploring the balance between realism and idealism, responsibility and adventure-seeking — the dream realm and waking life. From romantic shoreline, across haunted tides, through perilous squall and storm, past coral reefs and up grave river endings, the journey takes us through meticulously composed musical scenes that unfold seamlessly and ultimately leave us somewhere we never expected to be.

Given the difficulty of touring with a full symphony orchestra, preparations for the live performance of From Shores Of Sleep have included a tricky re-envisioning of what is doable onstage. The result is a compelling, multi-instrumental showcase that realizes as closely as possible the reverie and adventure of the album as it was conceived.

Musée Mécanique is: Micah Rabwin, Sean Ogilvie, Matt Berger, Brian Perez, John Whaley, Jeffery Boyd and friends.