January 10, 2017 at Hotel Utah Saloon in San Francisco.
Dan Cantrell 8 pm
Step Jayne 10 pm
SON OF THE VELVET RAT is the project of Austrian Songwriter Georg Altziebler together with his wife Heike Binder on organ and accordion. The couple recently relocated to the California desert, leaving behind an impressive band history with 5 albums to their credit. Their catalogue includes collaborations with luminaries such as Lucinda Williams and former Wilco-drummer Ken Coomer. Peter Jesperson, former producer & manager of The Replacements, put it aptly: “… beautiful and somber music, their lyrics are pure poetry.” The new endeavor finds them commuting between the anonymous wasteland of Los Angeles and the high desert, reinventing their creative sphere in a totally different artistic environment. The sparse instrumentation underlines the insecurity and the doubts but also the adventurousness and the sheer euphoria that goes along with such an effort. It’s stranger music since it’s origins lie deep in the cultural heritage of the European folk-noir and chanson tradition. But it certainly strikes a chord in all of us who know about gravity and still like to dance on the tightrope.
SotVR have recorded with Ken Coomer (Wilco), and with Lucinda Williams. Their upcoming release, Dorado, was produced by Joe Henry (Billy Bragg, Emmylou Harris) and features pianist Patrick Warren (Bob Dylan, Tom Waits), bassist David Piltch (Allen Tousaint, Willie Nelson), drummer Jay Bellerose (Robert Plant & Alison Krauss), and guitarist Adam Levy (Norah Jones).
The album will debut internationally on February 17th, 2017 with a dual release by Fluff & Gravy (CDs and Vinyl) and Mint 400 (Digital Distribution).
Altziebler’s distinctively deep smoky voice carries the melody on its journey, as the falling sweat seems to evaporate before ever hitting the cracking dirt. [11/28/2016] —Paste Magazine—
“The song withers eerily and dryly along in a mesmerizing manner.” [11/28/2016] —Magnet Magazine
“They pull together spots of light and hope in the midst of a great ragged emptiness and allow these bright moments to shape the rhythmic momentum that propels the song forward.” [11/25/2016]—Joshua Pickard , Nooga
Accordionist/pianist/saw player Dan Cantrell is an Emmy winning composer known for his innovative and energetic approach to documentary film and television scoring. He can be heard on albums from Tom Waits, Joanna Newsom, the Toids, Beats Antique, as well as numerous self-produced albums. He was recently a featured soloist with the San Francisco Symphony, and has performed with the Oakland Symphony, Mike Marshall, members of the Klezmatics, Brave Old World, and Fishbone.
Dan composed music for three seasons of The Marvelous Misadventures of Flapjack on Cartoon Network and received an Emmy Award for his scoring work on the PBS documentary Home Front.
Influenced by the music of Eastern Europe, Early American Jazz and modern alternative rock, His extensive scoring catalogue for film and television is described as “hauntingly beautiful…quirky and energetic” (SF Bay Guardian). Dan’s music spans a wide range of emotion and style, rich with virtuosic performance, lush acoustic orchestrations, sonic textures resonant with sound design, and strikingly innovative melodic themes.
Step Jayne moves from nuanced Rock and Roll through theatrically brooding psychedelic incantations, supplemented with folk and ambient refrains. The project’s facilitator, JD Rudometkin is an unordained minister, in an attempt to re-orient himself. Having been trained in theological arts, Rudometkin has engaged in a re-programming of sorts, via music, performance, art and videography, which the band combines to create a sound and vision both familiar and foreign to the rock genre. The band notes wide-ranging influences, from ecstatic a cappella Slavic ancestral music, to the likes of Nick Cave and Tom Waits as well as Composer John Rutter. In addition, electronic influences include the likes of Squarepusher, Tricky, and the industrial reverberations of Einstuerzende Neubauten.
In addition to familiar rock & roll venues, SJ also performs in intimate theaters, galleries and other non-traditional venues.