This event is 21 and over
$29.50 – General Admission (Advance)
$30.00 – General Admission (Advance)
*plus applicable service fees
The general on sale begins Friday, April 7th at noon.
Tickets available at The Independent box office (628 Divisadero, SF) with no service charge.
Daniel Lanois & Rocco Deluca
Photo by Marthe Vannebo
Daniel Lanois is a name that deserves to be mentioned alongside the finest sonic experimenters of the 20th century – and the 21st century too. Yes, he’s been willing to step back into the background as others take the limelight, but that shouldn’t diminish his contribution, which ripples throughout practically every style and sound of the modern era. Whatever you’re listening to – whether it be acoustic or electronic, roots or futurist, underground or pop – if you listen closely you’ll hear traces of the sonic signatures of Daniel Lanois. And what’s more he’s still experimenting as eagerly as he ever has. At a point when most musicians with anything resembling his level of success would be resting on their laurels and playing on old successes, he still has more hunger for the new than people a third his age, and as a result is creating music as beautiful and new as ever before.
Though his connection with Eno would lead him onto working on some of the biggest selling records of the time, by megastars as big as U2 and Peter Gabriel, his approach in the studio was always as exploratory as when he was making the Ambient albums. Indeed, often this is what would make his productions so unique: there was never a formula, just a determination to find the right approach for the right artist. Working with Bob Dylan in 1987, for example, he brought out a Roland TR-808 drum machine to use as a compositional tool – kickstarting the groove of the Oh Mercy album, and helping make it one of the most dramatic creative reinventions in Dylan’s career. A few years later, he and Eno helped bring the electronic music culture that they themselves had helped to inspire into U2’s Achtung Baby.
This refusal to sit still, this constant hunger for new ideas and techniques, has defined Daniel’s solo work too. Though his albums have been few and far between, every one has dug deep for inspiration and roamed widely in its sound and style: as much as someone who counts Lee “Scratch” Perry as a literal neighbour in Jamaica should. Whether exploring his French Canadian identity and folk heritage in bilingual songs or taking mainstream rock themes into outer space with manipulations as strange as any electronica, shoegaze or post-rock young guns were managing at the time, every record has a questing spirit to it. Most recently, he has hit a rich creative seam, and on the rhythmically complex Flesh and Machine and now on the gorgeous, weightless Goodbye to Language, he is going all the way with that experimentation. On both of these records he connects the most forward-looking instincts that constant contact with studio technology can develop with the natural rootedness that only a lifetime in music can give a person.
Goodbye to Language is the perfect joining of the dots, from the music as a constant background of his childhood, through the world-changing experiments of his early days with Eno, through his flights through the most rarefied atmospheres of the mainstream of music. Constructed entirely from the sounds of the pedal steel guitar, Daniel on the pedal steel and his mate Rocco Deluca on the lap steel with compositional rigour that recalls the 20th century dreamscapes of Ravel and Debussy, with a sense of sonic futurism and yet also with the naturalness that can only come from someone rooted in centuries of grassroots music. And while fusions of influence can sometimes lead to homogenisation in the blending of source material, this record does precisely the opposite: it’s about highlighting the highest common factors from a lifetime of influences. Or as he succinctly puts it: “I operate under the banner of soul music – music that just feels right and comes from a truthful place.” When a musician with as much expertise and experience as Daniel tells their own personal truth, you should really listen closely.