LPR Presents: Caroline Says

LPR Presents: Caroline Says

Katie Von Schleicher, Gobbinjr

Thu, October 19, 2017

8:00 pm

Union Pool

Brooklyn, NY


This event is 21 and over

Caroline Says
Caroline Says
50,000,000 Elvis Fans Can’t be Wrong is the debut by Alabama-raised, Austin-based Caroline Sallee, aka
Caroline Says. After college Sallee took a job as a waitress in Yellowstone as an exercise in solitude and
independence. With the money she saved there, she took a transformative journey via Greyhound to
explore the West Coast before returning to Alabama where she would record her debut album in her parents’
basement. 50 Million puts us in the seat right next to Sallee where we can feel the warm West Coast light
through the window, the bus route charting the lines between our youth, and our delayed future.
The modern roadblock of moving back in with your parents after college is generally painted in negative
colors, often mentioned in news bumps as a sign of the stunted growth of a generation that increasingly sees
itself as valueless in traditional economic roles. What isn’t discussed is how this move can provide us with a
renewed perspective on, and clarity about the formative years spent in this familiar space. Perhaps this
temporary return is a cosmic gift to a culture that’s overdue for reminders of its indelible potential – a gift that
provides one last opportunity to create art in the nostalgic haze of your youth, before your time and energy
are sapped by economic pressures to make it on your own. Recorded during just such a time, 50,000,000
Elvis Fans Can’t be Wrong is a fruit of this ambivalent phase of early adulthood.
There are rays of youth beaming through this music, but they never outshine a kind of maturity that betrays
the fact that Sallee was just 22 years old when 50 Million was made. Our trek starts with album-opener
“Winter Is Cold” which somewhat fittingly shares its title with the 1969 Wendy & Bonnie song of the same
name. Bouncy, alternate finger-picking marks a gentle beginning, safely and surely generating momentum
while setting up the story through a frank quatrain: “I’ve never been to the West Coast, I’ve always heard it’s
the best though.” Sallee then immediately confesses the kind of realization that’s a benchmark of setting out
into the world alone: “I think it’s okay, just not all they say.”
That kind of dichotomy is at play throughout 50 Million Elvis Fans Can’t be Wrong. Even the album title
seems to refer to the contrast between what our elders tell us and the perspectives we form out of our own
experiences. There’s a vacillation between idealism and realism, and it expresses itself musically in the
hairpin turns from gentle folk into brazen experimental flourishes, like on “Funeral Potatoes.” The track opens
with lilting, somber, Satie-esque piano, but at the halfway point, typical choices of song structure and
transition are discarded in favor of a screeching, static-washed loop of violin and feedback that transcends
the formality of songcraft, becoming something altogether more daring and collage-like.
The more band-driven songs on 50 Million recall an early-1990’s style of production in the way chorustwinged
electric guitars and tight, papery drumbeats point our mind’s eye to the West Coast sunset, like on
the mid-album standout “Gravy Dayz”. But what makes these more caffeinated moments special is their
constant proximity to gentleness and reflection. Sallee decorates the background of most songs with hushed
humming that could stand alone as a minimalist-ambient choral album, and when employed on her songs,
elevates the final product to an astral level.
Sallee’s gift lies in pitting the familiar against the unexpected with a delicate assuredness, never
compromising the one for the other. These kinds of debuts can sometimes feel like an over-promise of what
is to come, but in the case of Caroline Says there’s clearly plenty more thread to be unraveled. It’ll be a
pleasure to see where the next bus ride takes us.
Katie Von Schleicher
Katie Von Schleicher
Released on cassette last year, Katie Von Schleicher’s Bleaksploitation took the tape world by enough of a storm to thunder demand for more formats. “Bleaksploitation is earnest pop for the wonderfully doomed generation,” says DIY Magazine; Stereogum calls the debut “stellar” and “invigoratingly terrifying”; Consequence of Sound described her songs as “like ghosts trying to communicate through a cassette deck”; Paste claims they “sound like a vintage girl group playing in the basement of a haunted house.” This is exciting music from someone we’ll be hearing about for a long time to come.

Bleaksploitation was recorded in a dark room on a Tascam 4-track cassette machine. The result is hazy, terrifying and playful. This is what happens when well-crafted songs are made in the moment, warped, drunk on themselves. Von Schleicher’s voice sinks like an anchor and rises like a phoenix, wrestling its way through its very own form of basement tapes. ’70s piano rock provides the core, sad lyrics form the shell.
Emma Witmer is the sole writer, producer and engineer behind gobbinjr (lower-case, please). Moving from Madison, Wisconsin to attend NYU before dropping out after three semesters to pursue music and dog befriending, gobbinjr released her debut album manalang(again, lower-case, pretty please) on Infinite Best and later rereleased on Yellow K Records. Emma has found herself a staple of the New York music scene, being a regular at Shea Stadium and performing multiple times a month with live bandmate Hayley Livingston.

Her music is poppy in the face of mid-western melancholy and aging out of adolescence. Emma wants you to get to the gig.
Venue Information:
Union Pool
484 Union Ave
Brooklyn, NY, 11211
Reopening Spring 2021!
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