Cass McCombs

True West Presents

Cass McCombs

Sam Evian

Wed · March 27, 2019

Doors: 7:00 pm / Show: 8:00 pm

$18.50 - $20.00

This event is all ages

Cass McCombs
Cass McCombs
Cass McCombs is a transient storyteller interested in words, music and dreams. His ninth full-length album, Tip of the Sphere, is due February 8, 2019 on ANTI- Records.

Tip of the Sphere follows 2016’s Mangy Love. For that record, McCombs made his television debut on The Ellen DeGeneres Show and was featured in The New York Times’ Sunday Arts & Leisure section. It was named a “Best Rock Album of the Year” by Pitchfork, featured in the Washington Post’s “Best Music of 2016,” plus many other best of 2016 lists, and was his overall most critically praised album.

While most of McCombs albums have been pieced together in different studios over an extended period of time, Tip of the Sphere was recorded quickly and with a strong sense of purpose at Shahzad Ismaily’s Figure 8 Studios in Brooklyn. This new approach for McCombs brought his songs a raw immediacy and a special balance of compassion and experimentation with the intent of making a more consistent statement. The rock songs have more fervor, the ballads are more beautiful, the explorations more confident; the sounds of jazz and Latin music creep in through the back window. Engineered by Sam Owens (aka Sam Evian), Tip of the Sphere features the core band of McCombs (guitar, vocals), Dan Horne (bass), Otto Hauser (drums) and Frank LoCrasto (piano, organ, and more), plus a range of guests.

Tip of the Sphere recounts what has unfolded in the wake of Mangy Love’s pre-inaugural prophetic themes. It presents an artist trying to make sense of it all through a relentless, ever searching creative process. Throughout Tip of the Sphere, McCombs floats through a suite of songs driven by a journeying mysticism and dark grace. The thematic centerpiece of the album, “Sleeping Volcanoes,” is a rousing, rock and roll number that uses a distinct lyrical approach to intensify the narrative. On the main refrain, a key phrase of the song is repeated continuously and taken through its possible meanings, almost like a jazz musician repeating a musical phrase through key and chord changes. As described by McCombs, “Sleeping Volcanoes” is about “people passing each other on the sidewalk unaware of the emotional volatility they are brushing past, like a sleeping volcano that could erupt at any moment.”

The ‘Castillo de la Esfera’ is featured inside the vinyl edition of Tip of the Sphere. ‘The ‘Castillo de la Esfera‘ was created by fellow Northern California artist and contemporary Tahiti Pehrson as an homage to Brion Gysin’s dream machine. When the ‘Castillo de la Esfera’ is placed on top of the record player, and as the record is played (with or without a lightbulb cantilevered in the center), thoughts are encouraged to wander.
Sam Evian
Sam Evian
As it has been said: no matter where you go, there you are. With his new album You, Forever, Sam Evian, the project of New York-based musician, songwriter, and producer Sam Owens, is here to add some eternity to that sentiment.



“This is you, forever,” he says. “It’s about accepting that you are responsible for you, that you’re in charge of your actions. Everything you do affects others and yourself, so, no matter what you choose to do, be there and learn from it.” It’s a mantra that powers self-starter Owens, who debuted his first Sam Evian full-length, Premium, in the fall of 2016. The notion takes on a dual meaning that is echoed across You, Forever.



You, Forever is Owens’s foray into a more soul-baring sensibility and places the artist directly in the sightlines and heartlines of his listeners. The album (as well as 2017’s “Need You,” a collaboration with the multi-hyphenate musician Chris Cohen) was written on the heels of his experience touring Premium with his band and was recorded across the latter half of last year. The tours—which included opening shows for bands like Whitney, Big Thief, Teenage Fanclub, Luna, Nick Hakim and Lucius—taught him much about feel and interaction. Further fueled by a desire to escape from the glow of screens and to embrace a sense of limitation, he quickly developed a new set of songs for his band and recorded them on a Tascam four-track cassette recorder at his parents’ house in North Carolina.



Owens then borrowed an eight-track reel-to-reel tape recorder from a friend, rented a house in upstate New York, and took the band – Brian Betancourt (bass), Austin Vaughn (drums), Adam Brisbin (guitar), and Hannah Cohen (backup vocals) – there to record the new album in July of 2017. The limitations of the method - Sam even banned tuning pedals - focused the recording process on the vibe he had achieved on the original four-track recordings. 



Whether driving across America, navigating the bustle of his adopted NYC home, playing festival stages with rock legends, or getting back to basics in his parents’ garage, no matter where Sam Evian goes, there he is…forever.
Venue Information:
Aladdin Theater
3017 SE Milwaukie Ave.
Portland, OR, 97202
http://www.aladdin-theater.com/