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AJJ and WHY?

Event Date/Doors Open: 
Tuesday, August 23, 2022 - 7:00pm
Event Time: 
August 23, 2022 - 8:00pm
Cost: 
$20 Advance, $25 Day of Show

On Tuesday, August 23 the Community Center for the Performing Arts proudly welcome AJJ with special guest WHY? to the WOW Hall

AJJ

AJJ is an American folk punk band from Phoenix, Arizona, originally formed in 2004 as Andrew Jackson Jihad. Their lyrics handle themes of shyness, poverty, humanity, religion, addiction, existentialism, and politics. AJJ's core members are singer/guitarist Sean Bonnette and bassist Ben Gallaty.

AJJ frontman Sean Bonnette can summarize the band’s new album, Good Luck Everybody, in a single sentence: “Sonically, it’s our least punk record, and lyrically, it’s our most punk record.” And indeed, Good Luck Everybody (January 17, 2020), the Arizona band’s seventh album, stands out in their already diverse catalog. While still rooted in the folk-punk sound AJJ has become known for, the album is unafraid to delve into new territories that test the limits of what the band is capable of. “I think it explores some of the weirder sides of AJJ, the more experimental leanings that we’ve had in the past,” says bassist Ben Gallaty. Good Luck Everybody draws from a wealth of sonic inspirations, from Laurel Canyon folk-rock of the 60s and 70s to avant garde artists like Suicide, as well as some orchestral pop. There is even a piano ballad, the tragic “No Justice, No Peace, No Hope.” Lyrically, Good Luck Everybody is a change of pace from the idiosyncratic songwriting style Bonnette has honed over more than 15 years fronting AJJ. It still features his wonderfully weird turns of phrase and oddball word pairings, but this time, his thematic lens is more directly focused on the inescapable atrocities of the world around him. Longtime fans will recognize the album’s social commentary as a return to their 2011 release, Knife Man, but this time it’s fueled by a more radical urgency.

WHY?

 

WHY? is an American alternative hip hop and indie rock band. The band was founded in 2004 by Cincinnati rapper and singer Yoni Wolf, who had been using Why? as his stage name since 1997. In addition to Wolf, who serves as lead vocalist and multi-instrumentalist, the band consists of multi-instrumentalists and backing vocalists Doug McDiarmid and Matt Meldon, and drummer and backing vocalist Josiah Wolf, who is Yoni Wolf's older brother.

The band has released six studio albums, along with several extended plays, demo albums, and live albums, since their inception. Their first album, 2005's Elephant Eyelash, came two years after Yoni Wolf's final solo release as Why?. They followed this album with Alopecia (2008), Eskimo Snow(2009), Mumps Etc. (2012), Moh Lhean (2017), and AOKOHIO (2019).

Yoni Wolf has spent the last two decades traveling the remote sonic terrain where underground hip hop, avant-pop, and psych-rock meet. In that time he’s cultivated a unique sound, and a unique position as one of contemporary music’s most distinctive voices. Some of Yoni’s most compelling and critically-praised musical experiments have been issued under the moniker WHY? and his latest entry is no exception. On AOKOHIO, Yoni condenses the essential elements of WHY? into a stunningly potent musical vision. 

AOKOHIO feels like a consequential addition to the WHY? catalog, possibly even an artistic turning point. But its creator remains circumspect when asked to comment on the album’s significance within his discography, instead preferring to characterize the work as the latest iteration of his deep commitment to his artistic practice. “I have no idea if this record is good or not,” Yoni says. “But I never really know. I know that I've never written a song that's indispensable to the American songbook. But in terms of what it is, it's a piece of art. I put blood, sweat, and tears into this album, and struggled through the creative process as I always do. As far as where this sits with the rest of my albums? I can't answer that. I just know that my career is a lifelong career, and I’m working it. Every time it feels right, it makes me feel good.”

 


The W.O.W. Hall will comply with all COVID-19 Guidelines issued by the State of Oregon and the CDC at the time of the event. This may entail limitations on capacity that might be lower than the number of tickets sold and/or event cancellation.

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