Right now storytelling is an under-appreciated part of musicianship. Hip-hop, a storytelling heavy genre, may be at the top of the charts but the popular melodic style hinges more on beats and vocal performance than lyricism. Outside of hip-hop the situation is even more dire. Rock is on its last legs, without making too much of a value judgment any decade in which a band like Imagine Dragons can rise to the top of a “rock” chart is clearly lacking in quality rock music. Folk and indie as we knew them are on the outs as well, but there are a choice few generational voices who continue to tell stories. Andy Shauf is one of them.
Most albums and songs have lyrics that deal with the intangible, feelings and emotions inspired by moments in time, rather than the moments and times themselves. Folk has always provided a refuge for the inverse, the ballad, where characters and moments and entire storylines can live out their lives in lyrical bliss. Shauf, hailing from Regina, Saskatchewan, takes this a step further with detailed worlds and storylines that rely on well crafted characters and settings. Many of his songs end in tragedy or carry a somber reminder of the pain that life can sometimes bring, but even when the burden of his lyrics grow heavy he remains magnetic in his storytelling.
The Fonda provides Shauf a perfect setting for his lyrical style. A theater now largely utilized as a music venue with Hieronymus Bosch paintings lining the walls, positively oozes personality and is capable of effortlessly transforming from a concert space back into a theater, creating a perfect place for Shauf to spin his yarn, and exhibit some of the new yarns from his upcoming album The Neon Skyline.
Location: The Fonda
Address: 6126 Hollywood Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90028