Zero Mile Presents

Jesse Malin

The Earl

Friday, January 24
9:00 doors / 9:30 show
Ages 21+
  • Price$16-$18
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Jesse Malin

Jesse Malin—whom the London Timessays“writes vivid songs with killer tunes and sings them with scary conviction”—and Lucinda Williams—the southerntroubadour once named “America’s best songwriter” by Timemagazine—first met in the early 2000s at a jazz club in NYC’s West Village. In a joint 2017 Rolling Stoneinterview, the twodiscussed their “shared love of miscreants, misfits, the misunderstood and the mysteries of everyday lives binds them across the Mason-Dixonline.”“From the early frontier days of hardcore in New York to all the punk rock and singer/songwriter touring,” says Malin,“it’s all been about survival and reinvention. I wanted to make an open-sounding record with the space to tell these stories. I like to write about characters and people I meet along the way. The dreamers, schemers, hustlers, romantics, lovers, leavers and believers.”Manyof the dreamers, schemers and so on from Jesse’s own life contribute toSunset Kids, hisnew albumof highly personal songsbeing released August 30 on Wicked Cool Records.Sunset Kidsfirst tookshape at The Hollywood Bowl, when Jesse accepted Lucinda’s invitationto see her open for what turned out to be Tom Petty and The Heartbreakers’ final concert.The bittersweet experience inspired one of the new album’s highlights, “Shining Down,” arainy day jangle about“keeping alive the spirits of the oneswe’velost.”During that samevisit,the ideacame aboutof three-time Grammy-winning Lucindaproducing Jesse’snext record.“Lucinda has a great eye for finding the beauty in broken things and a knack for always picking the right take. Once she starteddancing in the control room, we knew we hadit.”In addition to this rare turn in the producer’s chair for Williams, sheco-wrote and sangon the evocative Country-flavored “Room 13,” which Malincalls “the heart of the record in a lot of ways,about those meditativemoments far away from home, where you’re forced to reflect on the things that really matter.” The album also features “Chemical Heart,”anupbeat pop basherlocated at a mythical point on Queens Boulevard where Paul SimonandThe Ramonesintersect, namecheckingBernie Taupinand Jake LaMottaamong others. “Shane”isa gentle balladabout one of his heroes, the lovably shambolic Shane MacGowanof The Pogues.“My first album, The Fine Art Of Self-Destruction, was about finding glory in the wreckage,” says Malin of thealbum which was upon releaseUncut’s “Album of the Month.”“Sunset Kidsis about owning it. The failures,thevictories, the moments.And moving up from there.”After reflecting on his life while walking the streets of London, jamming riffs in an East Village basement and writing songs in Florida hotel rooms while visiting his ailing father, the ambitious 14-song albumwasrecorded on both coasts between the two artists’ touring schedules. It opens withthe pre-apocalyptic confession “Meet Me At The End Of The World Again,” which includes backing vocals by Malin confidante and collaborator Joseph Arthur. Another key guest contribution comes courtesy of Green Day’s Billie Joe Armstrong, who co-wrote and sangon “Strangers &Thieves.”“Billie Joe was intown and I showed him where we hung out when we were kids in the hardcore days,” Malin recalls.“A couple days later, I got a text and he had finished the song. He went into the details of his experience in the Bay Area with that scene, and also my experiences, which were very parallel in New York.”Those early days found a young Jesse “riding the subway trains from Queens to the record stores and nightclubs in dirty, pre-Disney New York City” and never looking back. His band Heart Attackput out the first New York hardcore single “God Is Dead” when Malinwas 14 years old. He later went on to acclaimas the frontman forthe fast and loud D Generation, whose albums were produced by Ric Ocasek, Tony Viscontiand DavidBianco.Bianco is one of the Sunset Kidsreferenced in the album’s title. The engineer who won a Grammy for his pristine sonics onTom Petty’s Wildflowersand produced the first major-label release of Jesse’scareerpassed away suddenly after overseeing the initial sessions for SunsetKidsin his L.A. studio.“Playing music is something I need to do. Singing under those hot lightsevery night is a great exorcism. Weget to put together this pirate ship of charactersandgo around the world making trouble and singing our guts out.”As the line in crucialcut“When You’re Young” says, “Don’t waste your life on things that don’t get better.” Malin concludes: “It’s about finding ways to survive and navigate through all this stuff. Beingcompassionate and loving in a world that will break your heart. But you’re still here. You wake up again and put one foot in front of the other and live every day like it could be your last.”