David Wax Museum (Duo)
at The Parlor Room
Sunday, April 28th
SHOW: 7:30pm / DOORS: 7:00pm
ADV TIX: $20 GA / $18 MEMBERS
DOS TIX: $25 GA / $23 MEMBERS
In the presence of the strange digital drone of hospital machines, David Wax’s thoughts turned to 13 songs and the changes they give voice to.
After suddenly and inexplicably collapsing, Wax—half of David Wax Museum alongside wife and bandmate Suz Slezak—was headed for a heart catherization in his hometown of Columbia, Missouri, his doctors suspecting a heart attack. At a moment with more questions than answers, he hurriedly signed his name to a waiver—and was struck by a revelation.
“Lying there on that stretcher the thing that kept running through my mind was: at least we made You Must Change Your Life,” Wax recalls. “Whatever else happened, I felt at peace because this record exists.”
The album, out on Nine Mile Records, is an openhearted manifesto – a collection that embodies, then transcends bedrock elements of the band’s 15-year recording career.
It’s a seamless tapestry of boundless curiosity, an artful display of what Wax frames as “the lines blurring and dissolving between musical cultures and eras.” As it humbly beckons listeners to fulfill its title, You Must Change Your Life sounds out a thousand minor- and major-key ways one can do just that.
Producer Dan Molad (of Lucius, Coco, JD McPherson) brings a particular brilliance to David Wax Museum’s makeshift orchestra, an array of instruments bewildering on paper but perfectly intuitive to the ears. The album features everything from electric guitar and bass clarinet duets to the large-bodied Mexican huapanguera; tubular bells a la Pet Sounds to Jagger-esque heavy breathing; fiddles and marimbas adventuring through effects; and a saxophone “pitch-shifted several octaves into a helium state of excitement,” as Wax puts it. He credits Molad’s instinct with making the songs “3-D,” each tune inching toward pop glory.
You Must Change Your Life refracts the light of a band whose vibrancy has been globally recognized by the highest tier of tastemakers. Since their early breakout as a buzz band at the revered Newport Folk Festival, Wax and Slezak have transmitted their kinetic energy in platforms including CBS This Morning: Saturday, Tiny Desk Concert, and NPR’s World
Cafe. They have soundtracked love stories on and off screens, from the Netflix #1 show Firefly Lane to the wedding of US Secretary of Transportation, Pete Buttigieg.
Throughout You Must Change Your Life, Wax and Slezak convey how a single response to the heart’s cry—returning a stolen glance, ripping off a bandage, stepping out in faith—can make our world over. Pain and peace attend every shift. After all, Changing your life ain’t like changing clothes, Wax sings on “Your Heart’s a Pinata.” The band has held tightly to this truth, attending to Wax’s ongoing health journey and reshaping their career with intention. The album boldly testifies: Your life will change with deliberation, but also in the mere act of living.
The album is a celebration and an invocation, pure and infallible: It’s never too late. What are you waiting for? You must change your life.
The Parlor Room is a BYOB venue. Tickets are non-refundable.
The Parlor Room is located at 32 Masonic Street Northampton, MA 01060
Date & Time
Sun, Apr 28, 2024 7:30 PM - 9:30 PM