Chris Pureka

Thu, January 23, 2014

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

Neighborhood Theatre

Charlotte, NC

This event is all ages

Andrea Gibson is not gentle with her truths. It is this raw fearlessness that has led her to the forefront of the spoken word movement– the first winner of the Women’s World Poetry Slam –Gibson has headlined prestigious performance venues coast to coast with powerful readings on war, class, gender, bullying, white privilege, sexuality, love, and spirituality.

Her work has been featured on the BBC, Air America, C-SPAN, Free Speech TV and in 2010 was read by a state representative in lieu of morning prayer at the Utah State Legislature.

Now, on her fifth full-length album FLOWER BOY and her second book THE MADNESS VASE, Gibson’s poems continue to be a rally cry for action and a welcome mat at the door of the heart’s most compassionate room.

“Gibson is among the nation’s most admired and emulated poets. Her verse is at once personal and political, feminist and universal, filled with incinerating verbs and metaphor, and delivered with gut punching urgency.”
— Metaphor Media

“Andrea Gibson is a truly American poet, or rather, she represents the America I want to live in. Her work lights a candle to lead us where we need to go.”
— Cristin O’ Keefe Aptowicz

“ Andrea Gibson does not just show up to pluck your heart strings. She sticks around to tune them. If being floored is new to you, ya might want to grab a cushion. Whatever the opposite of fooling someone is, Andrea does that. Beware of the highway in her grace and the crowbar in her verse.”
— Buddy Wakefield-award winning poet

“Andrea Gibson’s work is at once deeply haunting and profoundly inspiring. Her words cut so sharply and completely they cannot be shaken. To call her one of the best poets is a gross understatement. She is a rare artist who forever changes those who experience her poems.”
— Carlos Andrés Gómez, author/actor

Andrea Gibson was born in Calais, Maine in 1975 and now resides in Boulder, Colorado.
Chris Pureka
Chris Pureka
Rarely does an artist like Chris Pureka come along. In an age of fleeting success and temporary notions, Pureka is an artist of substance, armed with a sharp eye for oft-missed details and an emotional intelligence that can switch from withering to compelling with a subtle inflection. Now, with her third studio album How I Learned To See In the Dark, Pureka adds some bold new elements to the solid foundation she has been building throughout her ever-escalating eight-year career.

While maintaining the unique alchemy of longing, loss and hope Pureka sets to music, there is a sonic adventurism on How I Learned to See in the Dark that marks a new stage in Pureka’s musical evolution. Even from the first notes of the album’s opening track, “Wrecking Ball”, longtime fans and the newly converted will sense that How I Learned To See In The Dark is a bigger album, deeper and more vast than anything she’s released to date. “I wanted it to feel different right away,” Pureka explains. “And ‘Wrecking Ball’ exemplifies many of the elements that are different from the last record.” That difference is a newfound edginess, coupled with a more abstract sound: there is a musical depth and complexity that shines through each track, all the while maintaining the space and creative instrumentation Pureka is known for. Standout track, “Landlocked”, showcases Pureka’s technical prowess with the finger-picking style that won her so many accolades on Dryland while “Broken Clock” is the rhythm driven, heavy hitter bound to be on your next break up mix. “Wrecking Ball” mixes a playful quirkiness in production with an underlying paced anger, laced with twangs of percussive guitar. Finally, album closer, “August 28th” is the deep breath following the emotional tumult that precedes it – a return to quiet contemplation for the writer and the listener: “I think the whole world needs a shoeshine/I think we’re all living proof.”

With her 2004 debut LP, Driving North, Pureka started a career as a touring troubadour and began building an impressive fan base from the ground up: a fan base that started in her native New England and steadily grew to a national level. Fans and critics alike were drawn to her uniquely haunting voice and her acute attention to lyrical detail. Still others lauded her aptitude for crafting guitar parts that speak for themselves. "[She] is such a gifted guitar player and singer that you have to listen to each song twice, once for her guitar playing and again for her passionate lyrics about love, loss and hope." (The Boston Globe) With her 2006 follow-up, Dryland, Pureka further expanded on the emotional topography she charted earlier in her career: continuing to tour and significantly increase her fan base, and catching critics’ attention with that signature voice that makes heartbreak somehow sound desirable.

Throughout her career, Pureka has prized autonomy over ease. She has released her albums independently and plays upwards of 200 dates a year, enabling her to maintain a great deal of control over her process. “Independent has become such a buzz word these days. But it’s how I’ve always done it. I’m 100% independent, which means that I am not on an “indie label”, I have and am my own label.”
That independent streak is also felt throughout How I Learned To See In The Dark. From the use of alternative percussion, to the abstraction of the lyrics, to a new unrestrained vocal quality, this new record represents explorations into broader musical soundscapes. This is aided by Pureka’s choice of co-producer: longtime friend, Merrill Garbus (4Ad’s tUnE-YaRds). In addition to enjoying the comfort that comes with working with someone you’ve known since middle school, Garbus brought to the table her signature quirky recording techniques and alternative instrumentation, helping Pureka shift her sound into as-yet uncharted territory. “Merrill’s musical path these days has been a lot more experimental. The percussion and looping that she does, the music that she listens to – it’s not specific to the songwriter genre,” says Pureka. “And that’s what I’m trying to do a little bit with this record – push the envelope a bit – step outside of my comfort zone. And I think we did that.”

Staying true to the thread of growth that has been her career to this point, the touring aspect for Pureka is seeing incredible growth as well. Three to 4 side players will be joining Pureka on stage each night on her upcoming cd release tour, which sees her playing bigger rooms (Music Hall of Williamsburg, the Middle East and Slims in San Francisco) in addition to four shows at this year’s South By Southwest. The two-and-a-half month, 40+ city tour will stop in every major US market from New York to Los Angeles….onward and upward. It has taken years for Chris Pureka to arrive here, and each step has been as purposeful, as precise, and as unwavering as the music she makes.
Venue Information:
Neighborhood Theatre
511 East 36th Street
Charlotte, NC, 28205