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Shea Stadium & Baby's Present: Alex Orange Drink
Wednesday September 15, 2021
+ Doors @9:30 PM
~+ Shows @10:00 PM
Alex Zarou Levine has been writing music & lyrics since youth in Bay Ridge, Brooklyn. Most notably with his brothers in D.I.Y. punk outfit The So So Glos. There’s dark subtext to his lyrics which are often laced into bright, hooky outsider anthems. During a period in which his band went on hiatus and local DIY venue (and home base) Shea Stadium shuttered, Alex Orange Drink was born. The new solo project took its name “orange drink” as a nod to the medication Alex depends on to treat a rare metabolic disease, Homocystinuria. As with his work in The So So Glos, by flipping a slang term from the ordinary to a new identity, Alex once again exhibited a gift for spinning a negative force into something positive.
On his sophomore record - “Everything’s Broken, Maybe That’s Ok” - a permanent state of teenage angst manifests itself through even more hushed tones and sugar-coated sweetness than his debut, resulting in a more complex, vivid soundscape. Half of the album was recorded before the pandemic in a party-like atmosphere (with basic tracking captured live among a community ), while the other half was completed by a heartbroken protagonist reflecting in isolation. There is something eerily medical about this collection of songs - two contrasting songs about grappling with a life-threatening disorder (“Homocystinuria Pt. 1” & “Pt. 2”), three songs about chemical addictions triggered by love (“Oxytocin”, “It’s Only Drugz”, “I L.U.V. I.O.U.”), plenty of references to the intersection of technology and mental health (“Clickbait, Click Me”), and a closing track that implies that a cure may be found in a return to the natural world (“The Sun Is Only Shining”).
Lyrically, Alex delves even further into brave personal territory, continuing to explore his own individual crises and life story in a world that’s even more disjointed and damaged than before. Collaborating again with producer Adam Reich, (who was behind the board for an impressive list of classics from Brooklyn’s D.I.Y. scene) dark subject matter is transformed into positive energy, enriching the music more than any of Alex’s previous recordings. If the most cohesive and fulfilling music of Alex’s career is the outcome of everything being broken, then maybe that’s ok...
Alex Orange Drink