Portland’s Hemingway (6131 Records) hits Wilkes-Barre’s The Other Side
Portland, Oregon’s Hemingway formed in 2012, but their sensibilities live in a bygone era where emo wasn’t a buzz word. The band’s 2014 debut LP “Pretend to Care” could just as easily fit into the musical landscape of 1994, but their sound doesn’t come across as a gimmick; that genuine aural honesty invites the listener in to see just how much Hemingway understands about a good rock song.
On July 19, the band will play at The Other Side in Wilkes-Barre during the latter half of their 2016 US summer tour. Vocalist/guitarist Ben Ward described the excursion as a sort of remixed and remastered version of their 2015 trek
“It’s been a lot better. Last summer was our first time out past Arizona or Utah,” Ward said. “We came to the East Coast. It was definitely fun and mildly successful, but I definitely have seen the difference the second time around because, you know, I have made so many contacts and the shows are better. I kind of know what I’m doing a bit more when it comes to booking and what to expect.”
Old Charades, Doghouse Charlie and Science Queen will join Hemingway on the July 19 show. Science Queen bassist Jeff Collins contacted Ward last summer about possible booking opportunities, and when Hemingway decided to hit the road again in 2016, Ward reached back out to Collins (and other Collins around the United States) to flesh out the touring schedule.
“That same thing happened two or three other times around the country; a lot of people kind of reached out,” Ward said. “We’re down to try a lot of new stuff, but I’m always pretty eager to be like, ‘yeah, if you can get a show we’ll come to you.’”
Collins said he fell in love with Hemingway’s songs when the band released “Pretend to Care,” and wanted to bring the band in because he sees a potential audience for them in Northeastern Pennsylvania.
“I wanted to bring Hemingway to Wilkes-Barre/Scranton because I know other people will fall in love with their music like I did,” Collins said. “Also, it was an excuse for my band to play with them.”
Collins may fall in love all over again after Hemingway’s set. Ward said he plans on playing two songs at The Other Side from a newly-recorded album.
“Still waiting for the first mixes of that, that’s going to obviously be a long process when it comes to not only mixing and mastering but then trying to get it released because when it comes to vinyl these days it just takes forever,” Ward said. “Hopefully that will happen this next year.”
Ward plans to take the band on more West Coast tours now that he’s finished recording, but doesn’t see Hemingway making the trek east again anytime soon. See them before they retire to their own time zone.
Reach Gene Axton at 570-991-6121 or on Twitter @TLArts
Who: Portland, Oregon’s Hemingway with Old Charades, Doghouse Charlie and Science Queen
When: Tuesday, July 19 at 7 p.m.
Where: The Other Side, 119 South Main St., Wilkes-Barre
How Much: $5