SXSW 2008 has ended
Wednesday, March 12 • 10:00pm - 10:30pm

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A brief scan of heraldic press clippings from CMJ, the Village Voice, NME, Time Out, Wire and Magnet divulges a clear journalistic pattern of describing Hopewell in terms of opposition: delicate & visceral, sublime & stabbing, crushing & romantic, immense & fragile. Those who follow the group recognize volatility as an immediate and clear touchstone of both its music and history. With their new album Beautiful Targets being released July 2007 on Tee Pee Records, Hopewell have come full circle; not only recognizing, but exploring and ultimately embracing this tension to mature and stunning conclusions. Their latest offering, produced by Bill Racine (Rogue Wave, Mates Of State) and Max Avery Lichtenstein (Camphor, Mercury Rev) and recorded in the band's beloved upstate New York wilderness in 2006, showcases a band at the height of their creativity. Somewhere within the anthemic, soaring strings of Tree, the pop prowess of Bethlehem, and the whirling maelstrom of Windy Day, the band makes it clear that they are serious about outdoing themselves, genuinely determined to make lasting, genre-defying music, and, in the end, positively out to break the listener's heart. Accordingly, Beautiful Targets finds Hopewell perfecting their inherent and recurrent gift for drama. Characters in the album’s loosely connected narrative are often human to a fault, both clashing and rejoicing as the music threatens to overwhelm them, then veering off into unexpected tenderness at the last minute. Where their previous efforts honored turmoil and chaos, this is the sound of a band who has survived and managed to make something beautiful out of their struggle. When founder Jason Russo was 19 years old he was plucked out of the small town of Hopewell Jct, NY to traverse the world with the now legendary Mercury Rev. Following Rev’s breakthrough record Deserters Songs, he struck out on his own to promote Hopewell’s critically acclaimed The Curved Glass, meeting with equal measures of success and tragicomedy. The band played the Reading/Leeds festival in the UK, recorded a Peel Session, and traveled extensive through Europe and the UK. This notoriety led to the opportunity to work with uber-producer Dave Fridmann (Flaming Lips) on what became 2005's space rock opera Hopewell & The Birds Of Appetite. Named "Best Album of 2005" by legendary Seattle radio station KEXP the record is, in truth, a document of the band’s near destruction. In-fighting, lineup changes, hospitalizations & rehab stints fueled Birds’ dramatic and cathartic anthems. Incidents like drummer Jay Green’s tumble down a flight of stairs in an accident that resulted in partial amnesia and the loss of taste and smell just weeks before a sold out Bowery Ballroom show in NYC, for example, might have caused a lesser band to fold. But a curious thing happened; Hopewell found that hardships such as these at home, coupled with a grueling tour schedule actually galvanized them. A newfound sense of camaraderie, enthusiastic receptions from live audiences and peers, and increasingly positive album reviews inspired them to persevere, scrambling off headstrong into the studio during breaks from their near-constant cross-country sprees. The result is the joyful noise of Beautiful Targets.

Wednesday March 12, 2008 10:00pm - 10:30pm
Bourbon Rocks 508 E 6th St

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