Drawing of the artist wearing a paper crown
STG Presents

Radical Face

Special Guest: Axel Flóvent
January 29, 2020 | The Neptune Theatre

Performance Notes

Wednesday, January 29, 2020
Doors at 7:00 pm
Show at 8:00 pm

General Admission
All Ages / Bar with I.D.

$25.50 advance
$28.50 day of show
(not including fees)

To Purchase By Phone:
1-800-982-2787

STG Presents Radical Face at The Neptune on Wednesday, January 29, 2020.

"Hello, Hope, it's been a while," go the opening lines of "Dead Ends", the centerpiece of Ben Cooper's latest EP as Radical Face. Over the eight years he put into the three-part The Family Tree series -- The Roots (2011), The Branches (2013), and The Leaves (2016) -- he'd grasped onto ideas and perceptions that left him hopelessly drained, creatively and emotionally. Speaking with a professional finally enabled him to let go, something he's honored by naming his new effort Therapy.

With The Family Tree, Cooper sought to confront his difficult upbringing in Florida by forming a fictional genealogy paired with stirring folk arrangements. Intense family drama near the end of the process pushed The Leaves to take on a far more personal tone, as Cooper felt "dishonest… putting it into a separate avatar." That only made the songs increasingly more difficult to perform, however, which coupled with the artistic exhaustion of pairing music with his grand concept made him pine for palliation.

In an attempt to test himself and move on from the compositional confines of that trilogy, Cooper undertook a number of different projects. There was his Missing Film instrumental album, a score he released for filmmakers to use for free, and his Covers, Vol. 1 EP, in which he only sang songs by female artists. Adding to the challenge was his relocation to California; moving away from his studio in Florida forced him to relearn how to record in an apartment with minimal tools.

But Cooper as says, "If you wait for ideal conditions, you'll never get anything done."" Singing the songs of Lana Del Rey and Cyndi Lauper reconnected him to traditional structures, while watching the Boom Boom Room performances on Twin Peaks: The Return and revisiting Talking Heads inspired him to seek richer, vaster orchestrations. His desire to leave the acoustic leanings of his past works behind and return to verse-chorus framework became the drive for the sonic shifts on Therapy. "This time, he focused on creating the production first and "letting the content work itself back in." The Family Tree had been the opposite, a template that had grown to stifle his songwriting. Of course, it was finding that lyrical content that became the struggle -- until therapy gutted him. "Weekly sessions helped him realize the portrait he'd created in The Family Tree was masking the hard truth: "There's no real positive there," as Cooper puts it. While he's proud of the work he did on the trilogy, he looks at it differently now that it's in the rearview. "I don't regret it, but it wasn't what I thought. I thought I was telling a different story, immortalizing the strange into something beneficial rather than just dysfunction."

Stripped of any previous conception of self, Cooper was left empty -- which is a good place to start. "Psychologically when we first let go of something, there's a void, and a void is a notice of an absence," he posits. "But then absence can turn to space, and space you can start filling it with things." Though filling that space has only just begun, he's embracing the beautiful rawness on Therapy.

"You gotta learn how to take your hits when your hands are always tied/ And no, I'm not well, but I'm alright," goes the quietly determined hook on "Hard of Hearing". Cooper soothes his own worries on "Better Days"" as he coos, "Try to remind yourself/ That it's probably gonna take some time/ But there are better days to find." "And I don't wanna know why/ I just want to know how to move on now," he sings on the uplifting "Dead Ends". "The past is buried in time/ And the future's an anxious invention."

Approaching songwriting from this painfully achieved mindfulness has opened Cooper up to fresh understandings. "Looking back, it's like letting go. Mourning concepts, in a way," he explains. "Sometimes you have a narrative, it's an idea, a projection you see for yourself. Sometimes, you're able to understand that that's just some picture, you would never be that thing. It's letting go of the narrative."

On Therapy, Radical Face has let go of all his past narratives. Instead of an intricate saga, he's kept his parameters simple. Instead of his troubled past, he's focused on his scarred present. Instead of acoustic folk, he's written lush compositions. Unsure yet confident, battered yet resilient, Cooper is taking Radical Face in a poignant new direction -- towards hope.

Season Sponsors

Venue

The Neptune Theatre

1303 Northeast 45th Street
Seattle, WA 98105-4502

DIRECTIONS ›

Box Office

The Paramount Theatre box office, located at 9th & Pine in downtown Seattle, is open Monday through Friday, from 10 am to 6 pm for advance ticket sales to performances at our Paramount, Moore, and Neptune Theatres.


AVOID FRAUDULENT TICKETS!

ONLY BUY FROM OFFICIAL SOURCES:

  • IN PERSON at the Paramount Theatre Box Office, open Monday through Friday, 10 am to 6 pm.
  • ONLINE at Ticketmaster.com, which is accessible via this site.
  • BY PHONE using Ticketmaster's automated system at 1-800-982-2787.

There are many ticket resellers and secondary markets for tickets. The ONLY OFFICIAL website for the theatre is stgpresents.org. Please note: we do run occasional offers through partner sites including, but not limited to: Broadway.com, Goldstar, TravelZoo, official artist websites and their official fan clubs.

Purchasing tickets from any other seller or website runs a high risk of receiving fraudulent tickets.

Note: if you have successfully purchased tickets from one of the official sources listed above, congratulations! We're sure you're excited, but please DO NOT share photos of your tickets online. Tickets can be replicated via these photos and resold, which could inhibit your ability to enter the theatre. We look forward to seeing you at the show!