2496 S. Wentworth Avenue, Milwaukee, WI | Booking Inquiries

Event Details

Thu 11/18/21
8:00PM
18+
$13 ADV // $16 DOS

SV Presents: Video Age + Shy Boys

Notice: Proof of vaccination is required for entry into this event. Please show a valid vaccination card, clear photo of card, clear photocopy of card, or your state immunization registry which can be accessed online. No refunds will be offered for individuals that are unable to provide proof of vaccination upon arrival.

Video Age

(New Orleans)

Restlessness is the first step towards pleasure. We make comfort out of discomfort, pleasure out of pain. That journey isn’t always a straight line, but at least we’re going somewhere real. “I had to move, Lord I couldn’t be still” is the unsettled way that Video Age’s new album and title track, Pleasure Line, begins. But as the song unfolds, it uplifts us into a romantic space of possibility and love.

Just as “love” is both a noun and a verb, Pleasure Line is both a road to be traveled and the act of crossing that road. Singer and multi-instrumentalist Ross Farbe says, “Once you cross that threshold and become vulnerable in love, there’s a whole new challenge. There’s a reason that song comes first on the album, because the rest of the songs exist in that place.” These catchy, memorable songs radiate big “glass half-full” energy.

Video Age’s third album, due on August 7, 2020, from Winspear, pairs neon-bright 80s pop melodies with a vast range of influences (including Janet Jackson, David Bowie, and Paul McCartney) to create an optimistic sound all their own. The influences vary song to song, but they’re all tinted with the same rosy hue. Farbe says, “I’m often trying to create a more idealized version of the world I’m in.”

Shy Boys

(Kansas City, MO)

Each album feels different, and the audience gets the pleasure of listening in while Shy Boys experiment with and master new sounds. On their new album, Talk Loud, our Shy Boys are clearly so in sync with each other that they are able to explore getting out of sync in a way that feels right. The album is fun and scary at the same time. Right when you start to feel comfortable you turn a corner into a different dimension. They pan vocals, take audible breaths. The backing vocals are pure feeling. There’s a comfort to feeling surrounded by the five distinct voices that make up Shy Boys, but once in a while it starts to feel foreboding, too.

Touring can be a grind, and it can also feel like summer camp. Bands develop shorthand for communication, get used to tight quarters. You talk to each other and you sit in silence. It magnifies and affects your relationships with your bandmates, with yourself, and what home means to you. With Bell House, the tight-knit Shy Boys spent about a “year-and-a-half cheek-to-cheek in a conversion van touring the country,” recalls lead singer, Collin Rausch. They became friends with artists they’d been fans of… tripped in northern California under the redwoods… played for a couple thousand people and… played for two people. Arriving home from this intense journey together and separating from each other physically aligned with some personal and musical perspective changes. The outcome is an album that grapples with attachment.

“Fraid I Might Die” and “Trash” reference the universal passage of time. On “Fraid I Might Die” the synth sounds are airy and sharp. The accompaniment builds, and then cuts to just keys, the lyrics repeating all throughout, like a chant. “Fraid I might die / With every beat I get older / Fraid I might die / With every beat I get closer.” The more you exist, the closer you are to ceasing to exist; living is dying. The lyrics of “Trash” seem at first to be about daily life: cleaning the house knowing you will just have to clean it “over and again” – the monotony of daily life. But upon a closer listen, it stretches beyond the narrator’s house and into the whole world and the painful overwhelming endless cycle of consumerism. Another standout moment on the album, “View From The Sky,” is undeniable proof that bands can still write hits organically. The song has glossy elements while remaining endearingly human. There’s doo-wop backing vocals paired with laser-show shredding. Every sound is imbued with emotion, every flick of the wrist is meaningful. There’s just no way to listen to this album without tuning into their spiritual well of connectedness. It embeds itself in your body.

Shy Boys are like musical astronauts, with instrumentation from the beyond. Talk Loud has the heart-string-yanking ability of music concocted in a laboratory, but it still feels heavily human. It’s complicated, it’s swirly, it surrounds you and extends itself deep into your brain. There are noticeably more synths (and less guitar) than previous Shy Boys albums. There is a lot of hand percussion sprinkled throughout the record: shaker, wood block, finger cymbal. Drums and bass do a secret handshake. Lyrics about malaise are juxtaposed with joyful sounds. The record is cinematic, sparkly, jumpy, and spooky. At times Talk Loud connotes a children’s TV program or puppet show: haunting and funny become one. In their own words, “Shy Boys is a bubble…to the point that we might just be making music for ourselves.” Their musical perspective and context is limited and insular, which translates into music that feels limitless, experimental, and unlike anything.

– Greta Kline, Frankie Cosmos

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Cactus Club
2496 S. Wentworth Avenue
Milwaukee, WI 53207
414-897-0663
Hours
  • WED & THURS: 4:00 PM—12:00 AM
  • FRI: 4:00 PM—2:00 AM
  • SAT: 11:00 AM—2:00 AM
  • SUN: 11:00 AM—10:00 PM
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All Ages
$12 ADV // $15 DOS

CLUB RULES: No sexism, no racism, no ableism, no ageism, no homophobia, no transphobia, no fatphobia, no hatefulness. (Thanks, AfroPunk)

Cactus Club is committed to creating a welcome and inclusive environment. Predatory behavior is not tolerated. All gender expressions are welcomed and affirmed.

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