After earning a masters degree in library science, Ernest Green Jr. moved back into his parent’s house – and reinvented himself as Washed Out. He pulls into Gundlach Bundschu Winery to play in the Redwood Barn on May 16, as part of a mini West Coast tour.
Washed Out became successful creating and recording dreamy dance tracks. His work was first discovered on MySpace. He released his debut album, “Within Without,” in 2011. “Paracosm” was dropped in 2013, and his latest, “Mister Mellow,” was released last June. His song, “Feel It All Around” is the theme song for the sketch comedy series “Portlandia.”
Washed Out’s MySpace site holds no less than 35 songs. He also has several dozen videos available on YouTube. His most recent video, and the one featured on his website, is “Burn Out Blues.” It is a creative and fun few minutes; its inspiration seemingly a cross between the live collage style of Monty Python, a taste of Pee-wee Herman and a sprinkling of David Lynch.
Musically, the feel is drowsy, hypnotic and melodic. And a little chaotic. Heavy on the reverb, his vocals are distinctive, his lyrics simple and sly. The many layers of simple sounds blend into a sweeping force of tone and texture.
Reached by phone at his studio in Atlanta, Washed Out explained that the current tour is a bit different than the previous times he’s passed through the area. In the past, he has performed solo, with synthesizers filling out his sound. At Gun-Bun he’ll have a drummer and bass player accompanying him. His show will also feature a “heavy visual element,” with projectors synched to the music providing a “unique experience for the audience.”
Washed Out said he and his band will “try to deliver the live sound as close to the record” as possible. While they do pay attention to subtle shifts in the mood of the crowd, and adapt accordingly, this tour’s heavy reliance on technology makes that flexibility more difficult. Don’t expect them to bust into “Twist and Shout.”
Washed Out regrets that he will be unable to see much of Sonoma during the stop at Gundlach-Bundschu. The band will have played in Portland the night before, and spent long hours riding on the tour bus. He hopes to visit with his young family in the near future.
Show begins at 7:30 p.m.; tickets are available at ticketfly.com. The concert takes place in the Redwood Barn rain or shine. The Origenes Taco Truck will provide the grub, the wine all the local stuff.
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