[[SOLD OUT]] eTown Live Radio Show Taping w/ Jose Gonzalez & Mandolin Orange

  • When: April 21, 2015 Time: 7:00 pm - 9:00 pm
  • Where: eTOWN HALL / 1535 Spruce Street, Boulder, CO 80302
  • Cost: $25 Plus Applicable Service Fees
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More than just a regular concert, eTown is a unique live experience! Audience members will watch the eTown Broadcast recorded before their very eyes, complete with performances and interviews with both of our visiting artists, as well as the eChievement Award segment, eTown's opportunity to honor everyday heroes who are doing their part to make the world a better place. You won't want to miss it!

Doors: 6:00pm
Show Start: 7:00pm
Show End: 9:00pm


Jose Gonzalez

portrait of Jose GonzalezPhoto by Malin Johansson

With his crystal-clear singing voice and vibrant, classically-inspired playing, Jose Gonzalez is one of today’s most remarkable artists, and a testament to the irrefutable power of one man and a guitar.

His debut album ‘Veneer’ captured his magical sound in its purest state, simply beautiful and beautifully simple. Touching on a remarkable array of influences, from folk to classic pop to a dazzling spectrum of world music, ‘Veneer’ touched audiences across the globe. Originally released in Sweden on Imperial Recordings in 2003 and on Hidden Agenda in North America in 2005, ‘Veneer’ was re-issued in the US on Mute Records in 2006. In September 2007 Gonzalez will release his sophomore album, the highly anticipated ‘In Our Nature’ (released in the US on Mute). ‘In Our Nature’ sees Gonzalez coming into his own as a songwriter with songs that are as instantly accessible as they are brimming with darkness and brooding intensity.

In the four years since the Swedish release of ‘Veneer,’ Gonzalez’ global profile has grown steadily. Winning the Swedish Grammy for Best Newcomer in 2004, Gonzalez was awarded the European Border Breaker Award in 2006 and the Swedish Government’s Music Export Award 2007. His cover of The Knife’s ‘Heartbeats’ (which appears on ‘Veneer’) was used in a successful European advertising campaign for the Sony Bravia LCD Television, and Gonzalez’ played multiple worldwide tours, performing for audiences in Europe, Asia, South America, and North America. ‘Veneer’ also went Platinum in Sweden and Great Britain, Double Platinum in Ireland and Gold in Australia and New Zealand.

In March 2006 Gonzalez performed seven times at SXSW – winning over audiences and critics in Austin TX. This set the stage for taking on North America. He has since toured the US extensively, selling out shows in every major market, and appeared on Late Night with Conan O’Brien, The Carson Daly Show, with Zero 7 on The Tonight Show With Jay Leno and on the nationally syndicated English-language television show American Latino. Gonzalez was also a featured vocalist on the Grammy nominated Zero 7 album ‘The Garden.’

In 2006 Gonzalez performed at multiple music festivals including Central Park Summerstage in New York City, Austin City Limits, LA’s Hollywood Bowl, Seattle’s Bumbershoot, The Intonation Music Festival in Chicago and Toronto’s V Fest. Most recently, Gonzalez performed at the 2007 Coachella Music Festival in Indio California.

Gonzalez, like his music, is deceptively unassuming, studied and powerful. Swedish-born but of Argentinean descent, Gonzalez picked up the guitar at 14, learning the basics from his dad’s gift of a Beatles songbook, then studying classical guitar through his teens. At the same time as he was learning the ins-and-outs of his acoustic instrument, Gonzalez indulged edgier tastes like The Misfits and Black Flag by playing bass in a pair of Gothenburg hardcore bands.

In 1998, Gonzalez began playing guitar in a friend’s indie rock band, saving his own songs for an as-yet-undetermined purpose. He eventually put together his own trio, dubbed Junip, with an ear towards creating more experimental-tinged music a la Low and the Constellation Records catalog (home of, among others, of Godspeed You! Black Emperor, A Silver Mt. Zion, and Do Make Say Think). Incredibly, that wasn’t enough for the young musician. His newfound interest in artists such as Cat Power and Songs: Ohia – as well as a lifelong passion for singers like Chet Baker and Joao Gilberto – compelled him to attempt some solo recordings.

While working towards his PhD in biochemistry at the University of Gothenburg, Gonzalez music career began to take shape, eventually forcing him to choose a career in music over one in research.

The foundation on which he builds his songs is the same on which he built his studies – he attacks his music patiently, methodically and with great interest in finding unexpected angles. ‘In Our Nature’ is about exploring these angels.

“I didn’t want to write about love but to find other equally universal themes for the songs” says Gonzalez about the making of ‘In Our Nature.’ “These are things I have always been thinking about. But the last six months I became even more interested after I read the book ‘The God Delusion’ by Richard Dawkins. He’s an evolutionary biologist, but the lyrics are far from biological, I’d like to point that out. It’s mainly the themes that interest me.”

“I like playing with symbolism,” Gonzalez continues, “On this album I’ve wanted to bring out the primitive aspects of human beings.”

‘In Our Nature’ was recorded entirely on tape at a Gothenburg studio. Though Gonzalez spent a great deal of time writing these new songs – playing them over and over into a voice recorder until he was confident in their arrangements – the actual recording of the album happened very quickly, taking less than two weeks in the studio to record ten songs.

While it is sonically similar to ‘Veneer,’ ‘In Our Nature’ shows Gonzalez’ growth as a songwriter. Displaying a heightened emphasis on melody and strong, focused lyrics – the album is a dark combination of softness and anger that is at once mesmerizing, intimate and hauntingly epic.



Mandolin Orange

portrait of Mandolin OrangePhoto by Alex Loops

After the breakout critical success of Mandolin Orange's Yep Roc debut, 'This Side of Jordan,' you'd expect the relentless onslaught of touring that accompanied it to seep into the writing of the North Carolina duo's follow-up. You'd expect the sound to reflect long days on the road, long nights onstage, unfamiliar cities, countless miles.  You'd expect the classic "road record." But you'd be wrong.

"All of these songs are definitely a product of being on the road," says multi-instrumentalist/singer Emily Frantz of Mandolin Orange's gorgeous new album, 'Such Jubilee,' "but they're not about the road."

"They're about home," explains songwriter/multi-instrumentalist/singer Andrew Marlin. "Not because we were missing it, but because when you're gone so much, you start realizing what you have and what's waiting for you. You realize there's this place to come back to at the end of the journey, and that's where a lot of these songs come from."

The road has been good to Mandolin Orange since the 2013 release of 'This Side of Jordan.' NPR called the album "effortless and beautiful," naming it one of the year's best folk/Americana releases, while Magnet dubbed it "magnificent," and American Songwriter said it was "honest music, shot through with coed harmonies, sweeping fiddle, mandolin, acoustic guitar and the sort of unfakeable intimacy that bonds simpatico musicians like Gillian Welch and David Rawlings." The record earned them performances everywhere from the iconic Newport Folk Festival to Pickathon, as well as tours with Willie Watson, Gregory Alan Isakov, The Wood Brothers, and more.

"When you play these festivals, you start meeting all these other people doing what you're doing," says Marlin. "There are so many musicians together in one place and you become part of this community. We got to hang out with Tim O'Brien and Peter Rowan and Norman Blake. Sitting down and talking to them and playing with them, you get to see the personal side of them rather than the hero side."

"With all the touring and festivals, you look around and realize, 'OK we're actually doing this now,'" adds Frantz. "We're not just trying to do it, it's what we do, and that ties into a lot of the themes on the record."

It's at the heart of album opener 'Old Ties and Companions,' which takes stock of such rewarding moments.

"A good friend of mine and I were talking about this time in our lives - we've got all these friends playing music and everybody's playing with everybody and trading songs and it’s really special," explains Marlin. "But you don't know how long that's going to be around, so we don’t take this time for granted."

"Old man give me endless time," he and Frantz sing in stirring harmony. "Never let these ties sever / Cause heaven knows in all this foolin' round these times won't last forever."

To make the most of such magical, ephemeral moments, the duo set up facing each other with just a vocal and instrumental mic each in Asheville's Echo Mountain studio for the 'Such Jubilee' sessions. It proved to be the perfect setup to capture the undeniable chemistry of their live performances.

"I think a lot of times when people set out to layer tracks on a recording, they want the rhythm or a click track first," says Frantz, who initially met Marlin at a 2009 bluegrass jam in Carrboro, North Carolina. "But we've just played together for so long that subconsciously we know where all the spaces need to be and what's going to fill in afterwards. When it's just the two of us in there, we don’t have to orchestrate as much ahead of time because it all just falls into place so naturally."

On "Settled Down," Marlin looks at what it takes to find that level of comfort in a relationship, singing, "Moments, just fleeting times with little wings of gold / remind us of how real we find true love in every sign of getting older." "Daylight" looks for peace in long-term companionship and trust, "That Wrecking Ball" meditates on the sometimes ravaging passage of time, and album closer "Of Which There Is No Like" is a delicate, wistful duet about coming home, literally and metaphorically.

Not all of the songs are purely introspective, though. "Jump Mountain Blues" takes its name from a town in Virginia where Marlin spent weekends growing up. According to local folklore, a Native American girl threw herself off of the mountain rather than give up her true love to marry the man of her father's choosing. Marlin conjures up a haunting vision of the father, forced to watch her ghost rise and fall again every night when he looks at the peak. "Rounder" is written in the cowboy tradition and can be heard as a statement against capital punishment, while "Blue Ruin" was penned in response to the horrific violence at Sandy Hook.

"I was thinking about all those kids who wouldn’t be there on Christmas morning," says Marlin. "People can get so heated and so serious about change and addressing gun violence when something that traumatic happens, but a month or two afterwards, they've all cooled down and it's not in the forefront of their thoughts anymore. But two years later, those kids still aren't around on Christmas morning and their parents are still dealing with that."

It's a weighty moment on an album that doesn't shy away from grappling with difficult topics: intimacy, death, distance, regret. 'Such Jubilee' is a record about home, both the place and the idea. Some days it's a safe, warm, loving refuge from the world outside. Other days it's cold and empty and too quiet. Either way, it's always waiting for you at the end of the road.