The Lab

The Lab is a nonprofit experimental art and performance space located in the Mission District of San Francisco.

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Damon & Naomi


8:30pm doors / 9:00pm show
$15 general admission / $10 members
Tickets available at the door

Back in 1998, Damon & Naomi sang, “It’s the turn of the century / which way you going to go?” Their most recent release, In the 21st Century, documents the direction they chose, drawing on their four albums recorded for 20/20/20, 2005-2015. Michio Kurihara, electric guitarist extraordinaire known for his work with Tokyo bands Ghost and Boris, features prominently on nearly all its tracks, as does avant-garde soprano saxophonist and arranger Bhob Rainey.

Damon & Naomi’s 21st century songs may be a bit more musically complex than their albums made for Sub Pop in the 1990s, or their recordings with Galaxie 500 in the 1980s, but as journalists (and twin sisters) Jenn and Liz Pelly point out in collaborative liner notes that accompany this release, there are strong continuities with the mood of those earlier albums. “In their acoustic dream pop, inspired by poised English folk, I hear composure and also intensity; delicacy and also rigor; a hushed quality as well as strength, which is to say stoicism. I hear grace and what makes grace so emotionally necessary. Theirs are magic-hour songs, pushing the dualities of our emotional lives into stark relief,” says Jenn.

“It’s music that makes time stop, or stretch, or slow down. Songs where the ticking clock is not met with pure anxiety,” adds Liz. “There’s also a sense of mystery in some of these songs that seems to allow for the unpacking of interior life with a respectful distance, which I admire.” “Really I feel like there is a whole approach to life in these songs, a life spent in devoted pursuit of ideas and experience and art and poetry, and people and places and solitude and memory, and more to the point aliveness itself,” concludes Jenn. “The process is circular, and we’re always looping back to the start, towards a new idea, towards the next phase. That’s what Damon and Naomi in the 21st Century documents: They keep going, finding the way with each arresting song.”

Live, Damon & Naomi often perform as a duo – Damon on acoustic guitar, Naomi on keyboard, the two of them alternating lead vocals and singing together in harmony. These duo shows are a stripped back, direct expression of their songs that they have travelled with around the world. Join them for an intimate 21st century evening of song.