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Thu Oct 26 - October 26 @ 8:00 pm | all ages
Flasher | Street Stains
8:00 am
7:00 pm
$15 | Advance
$17 | Day of show


After a year of extensive touring in support of 2015’s The Agent Intellect, Protomartyr
returned to their practice space in a former optician’s office in Southwest Detroit. Guitarist
Greg Ahee—inspired by The Raincoats’ Odyshape, Mica Levi’s orchestral compositions, and
Protomartyr’s recent collaboration with post-punk legends The Pop Group, for Rough
Trade’s 40th anniversary—began writing new music that artfully expanded on everything
they’d recorded up until that point. The result is Relatives In Descent , their fourth full-length
and Domino debut. Though not a concept album, it presents twelve variations on a theme:
the unknowable nature of truth, and the existential dread that often accompanies that
unknowing. This, at a moment when disinformation and garbled newspeak have become a
daily reality.

“I used to think that truth was something that existed, that there were certain shared truths,
like beauty,” says singer Joe Casey. “Now that’s being eroded. People have never been more
skeptical, and there’s no shared reality. Maybe there never was.”
Relatives In Descent offers new layers and new insights, without sanding any of the edges
born from their days as a Detroit bar band. Ahee’s guitar still crackles and spits electricity.
Casey’s voice continues to shift naturally between dead-eyed croon and fevered bark.
Drummer Alex Leonard and bassist Scott Davidson remain sharp and propulsive, a rhythm
section that’s as agile as it is adventurous. But this is also Protomartyr at their most
impressive. After months of rehearsal, the band decamped to Los Angeles, California for two
weeks in March of 2017, to record at 64Sound in Highland Park. Co-produced and recorded
with Sonny DiPerri (Animal Collective, Dirty Projectors), who helped capture the band’s
long-simmering vision for something more complex, but no less visceral, Relatives In
Descent also features contributions from violinist Tyler Karmen and additional synths by
Cheveu’s Olivier Demeaux.

It all begins with “A Private Understanding,” pegged as the album’s opening statement the
second it was finished, and a wellspring from which the following eleven songs flow. At once
beautiful and brutal, it mutates from drum-led oddity to unlikely anthem, with some of
Casey’s most potent lyrical work at its center: “Sorrow’s the wind blowing through/Truth is
hiding in the wire.” He’d originally approached the writing on this album as an opportunity
to move away from the anger and personal despair that defined much of Protomartyr’s
previous three albums. But a lot has happened in the past two years. Disturbed by
happenings both local (the ongoing, man-made tragedy of the Flint water crisis) and
national (just about everything), Casey drew influence from the songwriting of Ben Wallers,
the recently translated stories of Irish writer Máirtín Ó Cadhain, and Robert Burton’s The
Anatomy of Melancholy , a sprawling, 17th century masterwork that provided both solace
and confirmation.

One can hear these influences throughout , be it in the wary reportage of “Here Is The Thing”
or the uncanny menace of “Windsor Hum”, the shining city of “Don’t Go To Anacita” or the
triptych of delusions both “good” and “bad” that is “Up The Tower”, “Night-Blooming
Cereus”, and “Male Plague”. In the end, Relatives In Descent offers a small light in the
darkness, while never denying that we are all just standing in the dark.

The songs are born from a process of deconstruction and reassembly. Melodic motifs are transmuted into fodder for the rhythm section. Call and response vocals warp and skew established gender roles. Lyrically, the trio take on experiences of shame, guilt, and pleasure, and haul them away from abstraction toward a place of physical expression. The songs are intended as experiment in how far a body - whether composed of flesh and bone, or melody and rhythm - can be restructured and reinvented while remaining desirable or even functional.
Street Stains
Street Stains by Street Stains Wishlist supported by Aaron Batley thumbnail Levi Rubeck thumbnail john onyskin thumbnail Brian Audette thumbnail Paul Remic thumbnail hc4n thumbnail Brandon thumbnail Dave thumbnail Peter Herman thumbnail David Thair thumbnail Jon O'Neill thumbnail Jonathon Grim thumbnail Elizabeth Barker thumbnail Taylor Jones thumbnail P. Eggleston thumbnail Carlisle House thumbnail Nick Adams thumbnail Bob Chapman thumbnail Adam ALDRIDGE thumbnail chariot_ghost thumbnail David Malitz thumbnail campuz thumbnail Barry Dolan thumbnail Cwirka thumbnail thebusstop thumbnail outmoder thumbnail Vari McLaren thumbnail Matt Cohen thumbnail Hometown Sounds thumbnail Bryne Yancey thumbnail Erik Englund thumbnail Groschi thumbnail Matt Banash thumbnail Roman Salazar thumbnail blakeallenx thumbnail Staz thumbnail Benjamin Martinez thumbnail Habilis thumbnail jon2tone thumbnail Out of Step Music Hour thumbnail Jaime Zimmerman thumbnail matt horowitz thumbnail Vasilis thumbnail 123456789 thumbnail Jeremy Hernandez thumbnail Keegan thumbnail hlinak thumbnail Nacho Ruiz DJ thumbnail Doug Mayo-Wells thumbnail Alexander Engquist thumbnail barrypeak thumbnail Igor thumbnail Christopher Penna thumbnail Gentle Reminder thumbnail Zdenek Suchan thumbnail Phil thumbnail Ben Boyer thumbnail Daniel Massoglia thumbnail F. thumbnail CXHairs thumbnail more... Street Stains 00:00 / 01:01 Streaming + Download Includes unlimited streaming via the free Bandcamp app, plus high-quality download in MP3, FLAC and more. $3 USD or more 1. Street Stains 01:01 2. A Big To Do 01:24 3. The Brain Is a Bruise 02:02 4. The Party 02:03 5. I Wanna Die (In the Summertime) 02:04 6. No No No 01:02 7. Somewhere Over the Chemtrails 01:55 8. Ice Water and Saltines 00:55 9. The Wait Around 02:09 10. (I Need Space) To Be a Jerk 00:54 11. Hardcore Sensuality 00:47 12. Really Wanna 01:10 13. Better Than Nothing 01:03 14. We Need to Talk 02:23 about In the summer of 2008, Chris took the bus from Brooklyn to Philadelphia every Thursday afternoon to jam with Sean and watch the Olympics. They wrote more than 30 songs.Then they forgot about them until January of 2013. Chris was now living in D.C., and Sean convinced Aaron to cart his Tascam-388 up to Philly for an afternoon of recording. Captured on tape for the ages, these songs were quickly abandoned once more -- until the summer of 2014, when Chris finally recorded the words with Aaron back in D.C. Everybody forgot about the songs one more time before reconvening to mix them in the spring of 2015. And then -- after another two years had vanished into oblivion -- presto! "Street Stains" was released in January 2017 and can finally be forgotten forever.