Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Wed. 3/9: Emily Jane White, Helene Renaut Record Release, & Ed Masuga @ Cafe du Nord

Wednesday March 9th

SeaweedSway Presents:
HELENE RENAUT (Record Release!)
~at Cafe du Nord~

Address: 2170 Market St. SF, CA 94114
Time: 8:30pm doors / 9:30pm show
Press Inquiries, please contact: Jessie Woletz,

SeaweedSway is proud to present the record release show for Hélène Renaut's new album, The Deer Convention - at Cafe du Nord on Wednesday, March 9th - the line up will include local favorites Emily Jane White and Ed Masuga.

Hélène's long-awaited album is being released as a limited edition vinyl with download card. Recorded by Jason Quever (Papercuts) and with a roster including Matt Montgomery (Adam Haworth Stevens), Donovan Quinn (Skygreen Leopard, 13th Month), Jasmyn Wong (Skygreen Leopards) and members of the Mumlers, it is now available for review

- Feel free to view and share the video for the single "Bumblebee".

- Scroll down to read what the press had to say about Hélène's music and for a complete one-sheet.

The album is now available on Bandcamp, and is now on iTunes, as of today!

Please get in touch for interviews, press passes, photo passes, PR materials, or anything else.

******More Info About the Bands******

Co-headliner: Emily Jane White
Acclaimed dark folk-rock chanteuse Emily Jane White has just released her third album in Europe, Ode to Sentience, and is anticipating a release in the US. This will be her first Bay Area show since May 2010, a rare occasion to hear a preview of the new material.

Co-Headliner: Hélène Renaut - Record Release
This will be the record release show for local folk-pop musician 
Hélène Renaut. Recorded by Jason Quever (Papercuts) at PanAmerican Studios, The Deer Convention features guest appearances by Matt Montgomery (Adam Haworth Stevens), Donovan Quinn (Skygreen Leopards13th Month), Jasmyn Wong (Skygreen Leopards), members of The Mumlers, and Quever himself. The 12' limited edition vinyl, with a sweet cover designed by Simone Rubi (FeistKings of Convenience) comes with a download card, and will be made available at the show. A description of The Deer Convention and past quotes from the press for Hélène Renaut are below. 
Opener: Ed Masuga
Local favorite Ed Masuga is a self-described "finger-picking maniac; a folk and blues orchestra of beautiful clanks and calls". At two years old he saw his dad compete on the game show "Name That Tune," and though the appearance netted just a jukebox and a trip to Puerto Rico, Ed's future as a traveling musician had been fully inspired. Also a true dream-inducer songsmith.


by Jon Pruett

Somewhere on the coast of Northern California, whether amidst the watchful eyes of San Francisco's Mission District denizens or up the highway even further where the air is clearer, you'll find Hélène Renaut. Guitar in hand, she's hit up stages high and low and worked at carving out her own little corner in the world, preserving something otherwise intangible. 

Renaut is French by birth and that influence, that sound – that idea of the chanson is something that carries over distinctly into her own songwriting. She's married this with a hopeful, wistful air that is more akin to American folk - and still there's this hint of the sweet primroses from the British Isles. It's all one.

The Deer Convention is a pocket-sized valise carrying a dozen of Renaut's most expressionist sentiments. It's something she's carried with her for the past few years - honing, polishing, finding the ins and outs of the song and letting them all become part of the big fabric. They naturally found a recording home in PanAmerican Studios, helmed by Jason Quever (Papercuts), where  the album was captured almost nearly all live on tape, in one take. Additional help, flavor, and deep color was provided in parts by members of The Mumlers, as well as key individuals and friends Matt Montgomery (Adam Haworth Stephens), Jasmyn Wong, and Donovan Quinn (both Skygreen Leopards). The result is a lightly orchestrated, deeply personal world of acoustic guitars, strings, horns, upright bass and light drums - accented here and there by an electric guitar or glockenspiel line.

The Deer Convention fights in its own way against jaded sensibilities and rises up for the purity of songwriting. “Bumblebee” is pop song best appreciated among the wildflowers, while other tracks touch on the ease in which love can come (“To Be A Child”) or the difficulties when it doesn’t (“Wisdom Of the Dove”). There are moments within that switch up mysterious travelogues with the most subtle of backdrops - putting Renaut in the role of navigator ("February's Daughter") aided by an electric guitar lead that is akin to Richard Thompson's Fairport work  - but diffused, like a film in slow-motion. "The Way You Looked At Me" sounds as if you took your favorite song by The Shirelles and threw it in the ocean and waited for it to return - battered and beaten into a new natural form. Old forms give new forms. Similar words could be typed out for "Keep Your Garden Clean" - a spin on an Appalachian ballad, or “Orpheus” – where the Greek myth serves as metaphor for the uncertainty of love in our modern world.

If there’s a constant in her musical routes, it’s the forever and always influence of artists like The Beatles and Nick Drake – impeccable pop music but with introspection at every turn. Beyond that, Renaut cites the lyricism of Joni Mitchell and Leonard Cohen, the vocal work of '20s and ‘30s female jazz singers like the Boswell Sisters or Bessie Smith, Karen Dalton, Bert Jansch, Donovan, the Kinks, and the Zombies' lush harmonies as key chapters in her development.

Through all of this - through all of the lyrical mysteries, the spirited takes on girl group sounds, British folk, curious pop, and dusty avenues that haven't been given a permanent title yet, there is still Hélène Renaut at the center, spinning tales, playing guitar - singing her experience, making it ours. 

The Deer Convention will be made available on sweet, limited edition vinyl and will come with a download card for all of your new-fangled devices. 


"Hélène Renaut's simple tenderness evokes fellow Frenchwoman Françoise Hardy; her spare approach, Marissa Nadler. Complex acoustic guitar parts are trimmed with playful glockenspiel, trombone, and soft percussion. But what's most charming about the Brittany-born, San Francisco-based singer-songwriter is how she dresses up adult motifs in kid's attire."Bumblebee" finds Renaut grappling with crushing isolation through a blushingly cute chit-chat with a bee. The aching restlessness of "The Deer Convention" is hidden underneath her childlike wonder of golden light. Rather than showing the singer-songwriter circumventing grown-up crises, these songs offer the realization that adolescence can be damn fun, especially set against folk music that simultaneously makes you blush and squirm."

"The voice of Hélène is as lithe as a slowly moving could in the bright blue sky and her acoustic guitar playing is lulling and pure"

"Hélène Renaut sets this one on fire with "Bumblebee", providing all the intangibles that make French chanteuse-age so righteous when it works...a clean, full recording, simple and effective arrangements, and a voice to die for."

"The French pop splendour of Helene Renaut kicks off disc two in style, the sweet as honey "Bumblebee" oozing class."

"...delicate guitar melodies and charming ballads."

"...evokes early Floydians punting down the River Cam, albeit infused with La Francais... Superb summery sounds."

"...often recalls the broodingly ornate songs of Love's Arthur Lee spiced with just a little dash of Revolver-era John Lennon"

Presented by: SEAWEED SWAY (google calendar of events)

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