The Definite Articles

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Coilhouse comrade Jon Sung describes his indie chamber rock band The Definite Articles as “the Arcade Fire with a string quartet where the guitars should be.” Listening to the lovely songs on their new record, King Merriweather, one can also hear a bit o’ scrumptious John Vanderslice influence in the production values (they recorded at his and Scott Solter’s studio, Tiny Telephone) and some Northwesternly, Death Cab-ish ghosts in bandleader’s Shawn Alpay’s wistful voice. And a wee bit o’ Pinback in there somewhere. But different, of course. ‘Cause it’s all epically orchestrated n’ shizzle. But seriously, King Merriweather sounds like it was an intensely ambitious undertaking. Took over two years to make, and its instrumentation ended up including 30 musicians (including woodwinds, horns, harp, choir, and a dozen strings).

The SF-based band is celebrating its release with two live presentations of the album in its entirety on 11/19 and 11/20 (the Fri/Sat before Thanksgiving) within the rafters and stained glass of a breathtaking church designed by Julia Morgan. The core band will be joined onstage by many of the aforementioned session players. “These players come from a range of backgrounds, anywhere from self-taught to conservatory-level, but each will contribute something different and lovely to the music.”

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