NYC duo the Shivers
play a free show at Cake Shop Tuesday night UPDATE: a representative from Cake Shop has informed me that the Shivers have canceled and that they neglected to update their website with Julian and the Lopez Dispensers. John Cantwell at The Awl recently called the Shivers songwriter Keith Zarriello “one of the best songwriters working today.”
I’m new to the band, having started with More, the album that came out in May on Silence Breaks. I then dug into the copious output: five albums since 2004, when the debut, Charades came out. It’s a 20 track DIY monster, featuring centerpiece track “Beauty.” After years of working independently, first as just Zarriello and then as a duo, the new album is the first with a label.
I think the Awl assessment gets it right, that Zarriello is a working songwriter, the kind who strives to perfect the craft and doesn’t expect anything to be handed to him. The Shivers songs are weird and independent and varied. Despite the lo-fi “unfinished” feeling of some of the earlier songs, they are also honed pieces of work that don’t conform to an aesthetic. Zarriello falls into the Robert Pollard mold of prolific songwriters who just write because they’re so full of songs that they have to, and those songs won’t ever dry up.
You should read the Awl piece if you haven’t already, not only because Cantwell knows the band’s oeuvre intimately and I’ve been listening to them for all of two weeks. These kinds of long form profiles of creative people are essential – perhaps made more so in this case because the Shivers aren’t a known commodity.
Doors for this free show are at 9pm. Cake Shop lists two more acts as TBA. Will update if I get word who those are.
Stream More below, courtesy of the Awl. You can also download a free copy of the album here. To say thanks for this, go to the show tomorrow night and buy a copy, or a shirt, or something.
Also check out the (NSFW) video for “Two Solitudes,” a stand-out track from the new album.
I learned from this Brooklyn Vegan post that the members of Deer Tick are big fans of the Shivers. Now you know.
Finally, you can download a free EP, Daly City, from opening act Julian and the Lopez Dispensers at their Bandcamp.
Byrds of Paradise
Miracles of Modern Science
My Teenage Stride
Pillars and Tongues
The House Floor
The Poison Control Center