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Show Preview: BARR – March 2 @ Neumo's
The Man. The Message. The Madness.
by Katie Sauro

“B is for We Will Overcome, A is for Always, R is for It May Take a Minute, and R is for But Always in the End, Yes!”

Confusing? Slightly. Crazy? A little. But inspirational, optimistic, and altogether insightful? Fuck yes. While the acronym from his song, “Is All for Updated,” doesn’t exactly make sense, it is probably the best way to describe Brendan Fowler, the man otherwise known as BARR, as he himself doesn’t exactly make sense.

L.A.-based Fowler is well-known and well-loved in the underground scene as a literary and performance artist, a zine writer, and a record label owner. He’s a musician whose side project includes the quirky New England Roses with JD Samson from Le Tigre. He’s an urban beat poet you could just as well imagine in a hippie coffee shop as on stage and under the bright lights of bars and clubs, dispensing his muddled thoughts and tangled musings over minimalist background beats, rolling jazz drums, and the occasional xylophone. 

Transcending categorization with all his part-time jobs and side projects, it is clearly difficult to label Fowler’s music. He himself describes it as a type of motivational speaking, and the focus is on the words and the message behind them, not the music, as he paints an intimate portrait of his persona through half-sung, half-spoken-word conversations with himself. These broken and perplexing conversations are at times sad, at others, funny, and still others, incredibly perceptive, writing about relationships, death, and life in general. 

His music is challenging and sometimes it’s hard to understand what’s behind the obscure lyrics and the political rhetoric, but at the same time, his bizarre dialogues are so goddamned engrossing, it doesn’t seem to matter what his motivation is or how nonsensical it seems.

BARR has toured with the likes of Le Tigre and Tracy and the Plastics, and is currently on the road with the ethereally winsome and inventive Animal Collective, promoting his newest album,
Beyond Reinforced Jewel Case, his 3rd full-length, and the first on 5RC, the sister label of Olympia’s Kill Rock Stars. 

For more information and tour dates for what will surely be a unique and oddly poetic performance, visit

Essential Info.
The Venue: Neumo’s, 925 E. Pike St.
The Support: Animal Collective, First Nation
The Date: March 2
The Time: 8pm
The Price: $13 advance, $15 day of show
The Catch: NONE! It’s ALL AGES!