’90s shoegaze pioneers Lilys have announced January 2022 West Coast tour dates. The band’s West Coast tour will include shows in San Francisco, Los Angeles, Pioneertown and more. All upcoming shows and ticket links are listed below.
“There is an energetic shift at play the last 12 months, away from the dominating cultural commodity of outrage,” Kurt Heasley, frontman, founder, and sole constant member of highly influential indie rock band Lilys says. Lily’s “Casablanca” tour is here. Acting supervisor Don De Vore (Collapsing Scenery), a Lily for twenty years now, remarks that “I have a great respect for these songs, so I’m almost glad they haven’t been overplayed. I’ve gotten together some of the best musicians to pay proper tribute to them.”
While the Lily’s musical style and approach shifted continually in its history, their early recordings, including the stunning debut album In the Presence of Nothing, were strongly influenced by My Bloody Valentine. The Lilys’ first seven-inch single ‘February Fourteenth,’ released via Slumberland Records in 1991, even gives direct tribute to their impact. It’s important to note that MBV’s own frontman Kevin Shields is a huge fan of Kurt Heasley’s work, and in his book on Loveless for Continuum’s 33 1/3 series, writer Mike McGonigal called the Lilys “the only post-MBV ‘shoegaze’ band that mattered.”
1994’s ‘Eccsame the Photon Band,’ described as a “hallucinatory revelation” by Marc Hogan of Pitchfork, marks the Lily’s shift to a slower, moodier, and more spaced-out sound. “I went closest to what my 23 year-old brain could stand with Eccsame— to the edge of my own mortality and sanity,” Heasley says. “as far as the period, the energy, the zeitgeist of what we were intending, that was the only time we ever did it.” An imminent, meticulously remastered vinyl version on a newly revitalized Frontier Records will please fans. “There’s no reason that should be a $200 record,” Kurt says.
These shows celebrate the release by the recently-revitalized Frontier Records of an expanded version of their classic collection ‘A Brief History of Amazing Letdowns’ (originally a 10” on spinART) as a double LP (order). These recordings, made in Philadelphia 1993-4, present what Heasley terms “basically a maximum listen, which properly represents that transitional phase” between the 1992 Slumberland debut ‘In the Presence of Nothing’ and their second album ‘Eccsame the Photon Band’ (originally released by spinART, then reissued by Frontier).
“These performances are bringing the personalities –both players and patrons– to the forefront with the largest mythical synthesis,” Heasley says. “The songs largely cover the first epoch ‘90-’95, but that’s only most of the set.” “I always say that Kurt and I can play guitar for like seven hours straight and not miss a note because we always listen for each other’s mistakes and exploit each other’s mistakes and have that sort of psychic connection,” Devore says.
“Playing these shows we have James Richardson of MGMT on guitar,” Devore says. “Also playing is Evan Weiss of Girls and Sparks on bass;Chris Colley of School of Seven Bells on percussion; Matty McDermott of Nymph on cosmic pedal steel; and Alex Craig who is a longtime collaborator on guitar. Then I will be playing synths, samples, and guitars and Kurt will sing and occasionally play guitar.”
The expanded format of the ‘Casablanca’ tour is just another development in the Lilys’ ever-revolving lineup that has included more than seventy-two different musicians since 1991, as well as a myriad of collaborators. Heasley is always pushing the boundaries of his music. This show can be seen as a retrospective performance celebrating the brilliance of his craft and his lasting influence on the current indie scene.
Lilys January 2022 tour dates
January 19 – San Francisco, CA @ The Chapel (tickets)
January 20 – Sacramento, CA @ The Starlet Room (tickets)
January 21 – Long Beach, CA @ TBA
January 22 – Pioneertown, CA @ Pappy and Harriet’s (tickets)
January 23 – Los Angeles, CA @ The Echo (tickets)