SOLD OUT: The Weepies – Completely Acoustic and Alone – Tickets – Aladdin Theater – Portland, OR – August 11th, 2017

SOLD OUT: The Weepies – Completely Acoustic and Alone

SOLD OUT: The Weepies – Completely Acoustic and Alone

Bob Hillman

Friday, August 11th, 2017

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

Aladdin Theater

Portland, OR

$30 adv / $35 dos

Sold Out

This event is all ages

The Weepies
The Weepies
Singer-songwriters Deb Talan & Steve Tannen began writing together the night they met, and soon formed indie band The Weepies. On the strength of their simple yet insightful songwriting and distinctive harmonies, they quietly sold more than a million records, with over 17 million streams on Spotify, and 20 million views on YouTube. They married and had three children, rarely touring but continuing to release their music, five records over seven years.
Just before Christmas 2013, when their youngest son was 17 months old, Deb Talan was diagnosed with Stage 3 breast cancer. She was in chemo by New Year's Eve.
In 2014, Deb beat cancer, and The Weepies recorded the best album of their career. Coming back from the edge sharpened their skills and focus. At 16 songs and almost an hour long, SIRENS shows a band at the height of its powers.
The couple was unable to travel while Deb was in treatment, so they worked at home, inviting guest musicians to record remotely wherever each musician happened to be, resulting in an unlikely superstar backing band. Players from across the spectrum jumped in, including: Pete Thomas and Steve Nieve (Elvis Costello), Gerry Leonard (David Bowie), Rami Jaffee (Foo Fighters), Tony Levin (Peter Gabriel), Oliver Kraus (Sia) and Matt Chamberlain (Pearl Jam), as well as veteran Weepies compatriots Frank Lenz, Eli Thomson, Jon Flaugher, Meg Toohey, and Whynot Jansveld, plus a horn section from New Orleans.
The prophetic "No Trouble" was written prior to learning Deb's diagnosis. "I don't need no trouble, but sometimes trouble needs me," sings Steve; Deb's vocals were recorded during her first weeks of chemo. The couple continued to write and record throughout treatment, with Deb providing several key vocals far into the year, including title track "Sirens," captured in one take on a day where Deb really only had one take in her; her vulnerability is tangible. "We just kept going," says Deb. "We also have 3 small children, and were homeschooling, and the effects of chemo blew whole days out of the water."
The band was able to use their limited studio time as an escape, leading to some of their most joyful tracks ever, including the genre-bending "Fancy Things" and the upbeat "Early Morning Riser," aided mightily by a fantastic rhythm section and horns. There's plenty of heart and comfort for long time Weepies fans too – the deceptively simple "My Little Love," the gorgeous "Brand New Pair of Wings" and the straight ahead poetry of "River From the Sky."
After The Weepies had officially finished the album, and Deb was in recovery, they continued to record remotely with their phenomenal backing musicians for fun, eventually
adding a cover of Tom Petty's "Learning to Fly" and a version of Irish balladeer Mark Geary's "Volunteer" to the final album.
"No one song could capture that year," says Steve. "16 seems like a lot to release at once, but each song reflects a different angle of that long, suspended moment. They hang together like a bunch of photographs from a certain time. It was intense, but there was beauty and inspiration, too. Deb made it back. And we're still here."
SIRENS will be released by Nettwerk worldwide on April 28, 2015.
Bob Hillman
Bob Hillman
Bob Hillman had a good run in the late 90s/early 00s, releasing three albums and touring the United States and Europe, including 80 some-odd dates as the opening act on Suzanne Vega’s Songs in Red and Gray tour. Along the way, he earned positive notices like this one from Susan Stamberg on All Things Considered:

“I’ve never heard of this Mr. Bob Hillman but that song about War and Peace is enough to make you want to pick up War and Peace and start reading it.”

In 2003, however, Bob made the decision to become “employable” by going to business school; he then spent ten years working as a marketer on brands like Formula 409, Glad, and QuickBooks and raising two sons, who are now in elementary school.

A 2014 layoff – which opened up some time for writing and meditating on the possibilities, music-wise – roughly coincided with Peter Case’s relocating from Los Angeles to San Francisco. Peter, a songwriter’s songwriter, had encouraged Bob since the mid-90s, when a batch of early demos reached an address on the back of Peter’s Torn Again album. They re-connected and, eventually, decided to work together.

Peter was a major impetus for the project – who can resist the opportunity to work with one of the songwriters who inspired you to become a songwriter? – but the mainstreaming of crowdfunding didn’t hurt. Bob’s Kickstarter reached its initial goal in two days and eventually generated almost $20,000. Crowdfunding can work for the financing part, but it’s also great for gauging interest among your friends/fans. In other words, a vote of confidence.

The result is Lost Soul, produced by Peter Case with twelve new songs culled from the hundred or so new ones since 2005. The album was recorded by Sheldon Gomberg at The CarriageHouse in Silver Lake, CA with superb musicians including Joseph Arthur (loops, electric guitar), Danny McGough (keyboards), Jonny Flaugher (bass), Danny Frankel (drums), Cindy Wasserman (harmony), and my good friends Marky and Kipp Lennon (harmony).

Bob is proud of this recording, which – thanks to Peter Case’s vision and Joseph Arthur’s loops, among many other things – relies on a less crafted, more visceral sound than the straightforward folk-rock in his catalog. His ambitions are also different from the old days, when conquering the world still held some appeal: he just wants a few more people to hear the songs. But, for Bob personally and perhaps for others, Lost Soul is about more than just the songs or the sound. As one fan put it in a recent email:

“You know, I think seeing you ‘back’ could be the most inspiring thing I’ve come across in years. After sleeping on it, I’m rethinking all the things I thought I’d never do again…”