Pie Shop Presents

Sean Rowe

All Ages
Saturday, October 19
Doors: 7:30pm
$20
Doors at 7:00 PM
All Ages
$20

“This album was truly a risk and a chance encounter. It played out like a spring storm in Eau Claire, Wisconsin.”

About half-way through the recording of Sean Rowe’s excellent new album, The Darkness Dressed in Colored Lights (Fluff & Gravy Records), he and producer Troy Pohl were taking a break. They were holed-up in Eau Claire, Wisconsin, working at Brian Joseph’s studio, Hive, which is situated on a remote acreage of rolling green hills. While catching their breath, they noticed a minivan that had turned off of the rarely traveled road adjacent to the property and onto the grass, driving straight towards them. It pulled so close that it almost touched the picnic table. A stout and somewhat menacing man emerged, who did little to calm suspicions when he spoke.

“You ever been on TV?” he asked.

Rowe, thinking that’s exactly the kind of thing someone might say before murdering you, replied, “I actually have. Have you?”

“Yep, back in the early 90’s, I was on David Letterman twice.”

“Oh yeah, for what?”

“Stupid Human Tricks — I could pour two beers at once without using any of my appendages.”

Troy and Sean nodded in recognition and without another word, the man climbed back into his minivan and drove off. As he was pulling away, Brian Joseph came sprinting across the yard to see what was happening. They recounted the head-scratching tale of their brush with a minor celebrity and after some failed attempts to make sense of it, went back to the business of making a record.

A blessing and curse of a curious mind paired with a sense of adventure is that one becomes a collector of stories. Some, like this, play out over the course of a few minutes while others, more profound and complex, take years to untangle. Rowe, an artist and nomad at heart, has made himself into the perfect repository for spun yarns of every variety — hysterical, terrifying, heartbreaking, mystifying, and ridiculous — and on this record, he makes it clear that at some point it’s hard not to feel them all at once.

The album’s title is taken from its first single, “To Make It Real.” “All this darkness, dressed in colored lights. Everything is wrong but you look so damn beautiful tonight.” It’s a relatable couplet that illustrates the paradox between what once was and what now is, while the chorus howls in response to being lost in the inbetween. “When you lose your way, when you lose your face, when you’re paid in full for what you used to steal. When you lose that love, when you lose your mind, well then oh my God, you make it real.”

While “To Make It Real” was forged from the despair that comes from losing yourself to heartache, “Little Death” recognizes that both in spite of and because of such events, it’s possible to find yourself again. Here, Rowe brushes off the dirt and looks ahead to the freedom of only being accountable to oneself. “A little death, it won’t kill us after all and that’s fine. When you ain’t there, you ain’t there to feel all that pain.” In the chorus, he lists some of what he’s looking forward to. “I’m gonna write a song, gonna phone a friend. I’m gonna fall in love with the road again. I’m gonna wrap my arms around her waist. Work me Lord and wash my sins. I’m gonna fall in love with the woods again. Fix that sorry shape I’m in.”

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