Marfa Dialogues

Beach House

Holy Shit

21 April 2013

Beach House
with Holy Shit
21 April 2013
Crowley Theater, Marfa, TX
Doors at 8 pm; show at 8:30 pm

Seats are sold out, but we will be selling standing-room tickets ($10) on the day of the show at 8 pm.

Lauded dream-pop band Beach House returns to Far West Texas on 21 April 2013 for a performance at the Crowley Theater in Marfa, presented by Ballroom Marfa. Inviting comparisons to such acts as Fleetwood Mac and Mazzy Star, the sound conjured by Victoria Legrand, Alex Scally and drummer Daniel Franz is imbued with intimate romantic detail and rendered as sumptuous, room-filling performance.

When Beach House first emerged from the fertile Baltimore scene in 2006, bohemian Arthur Magazine described their self-titled debut thusly:

All the songs have some sophisto pop songwriting going on: bridges, key changes, et cetera. And the sounds… when the organ comes in on “House on the Hill,” it’s like Captain Nemo down in the Nautilus playing pipe organ for the octopi. Whew! Can you imagine these guys with a big budget…?

A prescient question indeed, and one that was answered in due time by the New York Times, as Jon Pareles wrote of their 2010 and 2012 albums,

Beach House started as a low-fi project, using a Yamaha keyboard and its built-in drum machine, along with slide guitar. But with its 2010 album, “Teen Dream,” the pair gave up austerity and let the music seek the grandeur that previous albums had only blueprinted.

It was the right choice, and Bloom wisely expands on it. Songs start with the old dinky sounds, almost as indie nostalgia. But Ms. Legrand regularly becomes her own choir; shallow keyboard tones are joined by richer ones; and Daniel Franz adds physical drums to the machine beats; meanwhile, the guitar reverb expands toward the horizon.

In addition to near-universal critical acclaim, the unique sound Beach House has refined appears across a wide swathe of contemporary culture outside of the indie rock world that birthed them: Breakout Compton MC Kendrick Lamar’s “Money Trees” features a prominent slice of “Silver Soul,” and decadent R&B act The Weeknd showcases samples of “Gila” and “Master of None” alongside complementary snippets of the Cocteau Twins and Siouxsie and the Banshees.

And when Beach House denied Volkswagen the use of one of their songs for a commercial, the band accused the automobile manufacturer of commissioning a sound-alike impostor. As Scally told the New York Times, “They are using not just textural things, which people take all the time, they are using an actual musical moment.” Such is the music of Beach House, a collection of “actual musical moments” for which there is no substitute.

Alex Scally and Victoria Legrand recorded their most recent album Bloom with Chris Coady at Sonic Ranch Studios in Tornillo, TX, just down the road from Marfa. Please join Ballroom Marfa in welcoming them back to Far West Texas for this very special performance.

    Beach House’s “Wild,” off their most recent release, Bloom, out via Sub Pop.

    See photos from the Beach House show at Big Bend Now.

    Special thanks to Jennifer Bell, Michael Camacho, Dani Cardia, Ross Cashiola, Dan Chamberlin, Rob Crowley, Tim Crowley, the Crowley Theater, Hilary duPont, Lolita Fierro, Cuca Flores, Chris Hillen, Lilah Leopold, Susannah Lipsey, Marfa Recording Company, Alex Marks, Robert Pecina Jr., Geoff Peveto and Claire Taggart.