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      November 14, 2019

      Thursday   9:00 PM

      185 Clingman Avenue
      Asheville, North Carolina

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      Allah-Las

      with Tim Hill
      A ship in harbor is safe, but thats not what ships are built for the saying goes. But suppose the proverbial harbor is Los Angeles a place not particularly known for being the origin of adventures. From the Spanish Conquistadors to the countless starry-eyed nobodies hoping to make it big, LA is usually the destination.So its no wonder the Allah Las became fascinated with both the carefree spirit and glitter-inthe- gutter lifestyle of their hometown. After three records mining its lore and lure (from the desert to the sea) they have become global ambassadors of not just a place but a location.Having taken their compact California on the road across the world (making stops in North, Central, and South America, Europe, South Africa, Australia, Russia, East Asia and beyond), they couldnt help but peek through the other end of the telescope. On their fourth LP, drummer Matt Correia, bassist Spencer Dunham, and guitarists Miles Michaud and Pedrum Siadatian turn their collective gaze outward and toward the horizon.Simply titled LAHS (a reference to a common misspelling of the bands name), their forthcoming release on Mexican Summer finds the band turning in their most cohesive and ambitious work yet. The Allah Las seem to be transmitting from a place not found on any map. Those familiar with the bands work will recognize their skillful melding of melodies and moods, but through that lens we see them venturing into new, exciting territories. Indeed, their growth not just as songwriters, but as performers, arrangers, and producers is clearly audible. Correia croons in Portuguese on Prazer Em Te Conhecer (Nice to Meet You), which evokes George Harrison while also sounding like a rare 45 from a Brazilian flea market. The breezy sweetness of Pleasure could pass for a song by Spanish folk darlings Picnic, were it not for the wistful wisdom in Dunhams delivery. Polar Onion takes us through the inevitable lows one encounters on a long journey, as Michaud laments drown in the sea, I fill my cup - but its not enough- a caricature of the lonesome cowboy seeking and occasionally glimpsing enlightenment.One of the most notable evolutions from their previous work is a razor-sharp focus on the groove. We hear the rhythms of Krautrock influencing songs like Houston and Electricity, with steady and precise drumming that create complexity from repetition. Whilst both Roco Ono and Star incorporate elements of disco and soul into Allah Las universe, highlighting an airtight rhythm section unafraid to tap their toes.Opener Holding Pattern conveys what the title suggests; youve almost arrived, you can see the ground, but youre not quite there yet. Airy, ethereal harmonies chant the title, holding you in suspense- and eventually give way to an entirely different mood just before the fade- as if telling the listener weve landed safely. The persistent shuffle of In The Air drives the song forward, while Siadatians echo slapped voice bounces along on top, describing images that cant compare to the real thing in the air. Electric guitar and mellotron trade licks, mirror each other's kinetic ascending and descending lines and calling to mind the playful jubilance of Kevin Ayers in his prime. Weve been traveling a lot the past couple years and I think that played a role in influencing the broader variety of songs on this record Correia explains. And this is precisely what sets LAHS apart from its predecessors -- a record inspired less by time, but by place. LAHS to me feels like a soundtrack to the past 5 years or so. A sort of audio postcard to anyone who wants to listen. This sentiment is echoed in the albums artwork a collection of exotic postcards, postmarked from equally exotic locals (designed by Matt Correia & Robbie Simon). Tracking was done mostly by the band at their own studio in Los Angeles, allowing them more time and space to experiment with tunes and tones. Producer/Engineer Jarvis Taveniere (Woods) was brought in to help polish it off, resulting in a sound both crisp and clear while keeping with the warmth and atmosphere the band are known for. The Allah Las have left the harbor. The infectious wanderlust that fuels these thirteen songs continues to propel the group forward across new frontiers, as they collect and catalog all they find and return with plenty of inspiration in tow. With LAHS we not only discover what souvenirs theyve brought back for us; theyre inviting us aboard and taking us along for the ride.~Frank Maston, June 2019

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