Live Concert Photography: Geographer with Manatee Commune at Bowery Ballroom 6/7/19
JOVM mainstay Geographer is the solo recording project of New Jersey-born, Los Angeles-based singer/songwriter, multi-instrumentalist, electro pop artist and producer, Mike Deni. And as you may recall, Deni relocated to San Francisco reeling in the aftermath of the sudden and tragic deaths of his sister and father. While sleeping on a floor of a friend’s Haight-Ashbury apartment, Deni serendipitously found a synthesizer on the street and began to channel his grief and optimism into the songs that would eventually comprise his full-length debut 2008’s Innocent Ghost. And through the release of two more full-length albums 2012’s Myth, 2015’s Ghost Modern and three EPs, 2010’s Animal Shapes EP, 2015’s Endless Motion EP and last year’s Alone Time EP, Deni has received attention across the blogosphere for his unique, textured and soulful blend of analog, electronic and acoustic elements, a sound that he has described as “soulful music from outer space.”
Building upon a growing profile, Deni has toured with the likes of K. Flay, The Flaming Lips, Young The Giant, Tycho, Ratatat, Betty Who and Tokyo Police Club, and he played sets at Outside Lands Festival and Firefly Festival. Last year the JOVM mainstay gave up his San Francisco apartment and hopped between tours and friends churches for the next six months, including a month stay back in Jersey and a few weeks in Italy (where both sides of his family are from). And he did that before finally relocating to Los Angeles. During that period of shiftlessness in which he was in limbo between his old life and new life, Deni wound up writing the material, which would eventually comprise his recently released New Jersey EP. And while further cementing Deni’s long-held reputation for crafting swooning and earnest, 80s inspired synth pop, centered around Deni’s plaintive and aching vocals — but unlike his previously released material, the EP generally possesses a wistful, nostalgia for a long-gone, seemingly simpler time that you can never have again — and for the dreams your younger self may have given up for the compromises of adulthood.
Deni is currently on a North American tour with fellow JOVM mainstay Manatee Commune, and the tour included a stop last weekend at Bowery Ballroom. The set was a swoon-worthy set featuring a career spanning batch of material that primarily focused on the new EP. But, first check out the remaining tour dates and then check out the photos from the show below.
Over the past handful of years, I’ve written quite a bit about Manatee Commune, the solo recording project of Seattle, WA-based multi-instrumentalist, electronic music artist and producer Grant Eadie. Eadie specializes in a carefully crafted sound in which he pairs natural overtones extracted from various field recordings and other sources, live instrumentation and arrangements with slick, nuanced production. Eadie opened the night with an energetic set that got the crowd rocking.
For these photos and more, check out the Flickr set here: https://flic.kr/s/aHsmEb1BMk