Though entirely reductive, it’s tempting to read into Tyvek’s music the state of post-crash Detroit—to hear in the songs’ disintegrating fidelity that city’s crumbling infrastructure. But if Tyvek aims to critique Detroit, they also look to celebrate it. There’s a lot of hope and optimism in their music and that’s what was most apparent when Tyvek stopped by Silent Barn on their short April tour. The band played to the diehards upfront who sang along to every lyric and reacted to every song as if Tyvek main-man Kevin Boyer was speaking some spiritual truth, every lyric an indispensable wisdom. Whether it’s navigating the city’s geography (new song “Gridlock”), playing shows and crashing in basements (“Midwest Basements”), or feeling awkward at parties (“Scaling”), in each song there’s a resonant experience for a mid-twentysomething or mid-thirtysomething.
The front half of this set is devoted to songs off Tyvek’s upcoming record, while the back half delivers on the hits. New songs include “Gridlock,” “A Form Outside,” “The Origin of What,” “Tip to Tail,” and “Count It Off,” some of which will appear on the next Tyvek album. The rest of the set is devoted to all—okay, many—of the songs on any Tyvek fan’s wishlist: “Underwater,” “Midwest Basements,” “Scaling,” and crowd-favorites “Air Conditioner” and “Give It Up” from their earliest recordings.
Perhaps Tyvek’s best-known song, ”Frustration Rock” caps the set off and concludes with an extended outro of “Henry My Son,” a traditional English folk song which was later popularized by Pete Seeger on his Childrens Concert at Town Hall album. It’s a puzzling—yet somehow entirely appropriate—performance of the song. A childrens’ parodic corruption of a traditional (according to Seeger’s telling), it narrates a child’s accounting to his mother of his day spent in the woods eating eels. Ultimately I’m not sure if this choice of covers reveals anything about Tyvek’s music—but I’m also not convinced that it isn’t somehow to the key to it all.
I recorded this set with the AKG’s in front of the soundboard at about 11’ high along with a soundboard feed. The fidelity falls slightly this side of raw, but it matches Tyvek’s aesthetic nicely. Enjoy!
Stream the complete show:
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Recorded and produced by Eric PH
Soundboard (engineer: Yaman Palak) + AKG C480B/CK61 (FOB, LOC, PAS) > Roland R-26 > 2xWAV (24/48) > Adobe Audition CC (align, balance, mixdown) > Izotope Ozone 5 (EQ, compression, tape exciter) > Audacity 2.0.5 (amplify, fades, downsample, dither, tracking, tagging) > FLAC (16/44.1, level 8)
02. A Form Outside
03. The Origin of What
05. Tip to Tail
06. Midwest Basements
07. Count It Off
09. Air Conditioner
10. Give It Up
11. What Were They Thinking
12. Stop Start
14. Frustration Rock > Henry My Son [traditional]
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