Originally from New York, now dividing his time between Buenos Aires, Argentina and New York's Hudson Valley, Richard Shindell is a writer whose songs paint pictures, tell stories, juxtapose ideas and images, inhabit characters, vividly evoking entire worlds along the way and expanding our sense of just what it is a song may be. From his first record, Sparrow's Point (1992) to his current release, Careless (September 2016), Shindell has explored the possibilities offered by this most elastic and variable of cultural confections: the song.
The path that led him to songwriting was both circuitous and direct. Taking up the guitar at the age of eight, he spent his formative years learning the instrument - first acoustic, then electric. And he listened: Beatles, Dylan, Joni Mitchell, Motown, Bowie, Hunter-Garcia, King-Goffin, Paul Simon, Bill Monroe, Rogers & Hammerstein. Their songs gave the impression of having always been there, so solid and self-evident were their melodies, hooks, grooves, and lyrics. Listening to WNEW or WLIR in 1970s NY felt like a kind of anamnesis. So it seemed completely out of the question to imagine that a song could be written - by anyone, anywhere, anytime, about absolutely anything. If he sang, it was just to sing along, or harmonise to the hymns in church.
On the other hand, a good song seemed like such a simple little thing. A voice in the back of his head kept whispering that surely it must be possible to write one. He would make his first attempts at it during college, where he studied Philosophy. According to him, these early songs were "abysmal: pointless, self-indulgent drivel. It's a wonder I ever allowed myself to try again."
7pm doors | 8pm show | $30 adv. | $37 day of