Aaron Lee Tasjan w/ Molly Martin
Saturday, Apr. 20 | 8:00pm ET (7:00pm CT)
2023 Acorn Music Festival fan-favorite Aaron Lee Tasjan returns to The Acorn! Singer, songwriter, guitarist, producer, band leader, activist, and Grammy nominee – Aaron Lee Tasjan has been and continues to be all of these things.
About the Artist
Aaron Lee Tasjan:
Over his past decade plus of writing, recording, producing, Aaron Lee Tasjan has released four excellent and critically acclaimed solo albums, toured the world over on his own and as the guitarist in the New York Dolls. He co-founded and co-wrote all of the material for the band Semi Precious Weapons. In 2021 he was nominated for a Grammy for his writing on Yola’s “Diamond Studded Shoes” and most recently, Tasjan produced Mya Byrne's album Rhinestone Tomboy (Kill Rock Stars Nashville) which helped to establish her as one of the first openly trans artists in Americana Music.
He’s cultivated a brilliant and outstanding career to date already. But his forthcoming album Stellar Evolution (Blue Élan Records) is just what the title says. Tasjan’s new album is truly the sum of all of the parts of his diverse accomplishments to date while clearly heading in a brand-new direction. You can’t put any labels on Stellar Evolution except for it being a career defining work and a major leap forward for someone who’s never been afraid to push the boundaries of any and all expectations.
As he set out to work on Stellar Evolution, Tasjan knew better than ever what was important to him. He’s been working his way towards a record like this since he first started making solo albums, with 2015’s In the Blazes. He stuck to an alt-country paradigm early in his career, though he knew that all of his favorite artists were the ones who broke out of their own boxes. His approach to that changed when he began to be more open about his queer identity.
“I realized that part of being an artist means building a community. What do you want that community to look like? Who do you want to be a part of that community? As an artist, it’s your job to curate that, and to be a reflection of what you wanna see in the world,” he says. “I gradually got braver to share more and more of myself through each record, and the music just kinda had to follow suit.” Stellar Evolution is a record on which Tasjan’s songwriting is beholden to nothing — no expectations, and certainly no genre. Just the pure sense of wonder and discovery that had made him fall in love with music as a kid in Orange County, devouring it all with no understanding or care for what was “cool.”
As he was writing, times became very dark for the queer community in the South. Bathroom bans and drag bans were enacted in Tennessee, while right-wing rhetoric around LGBT people became uglier and uglier. Tasjan knew this album needed to reflect the vibrant community that has become home to him. “You don’t wanna think that you live in a time where people are still so vocal about the hatred that they have for each other. But it’s something that I think we’re seeing the whole world over,” he says. “I felt like it was really important to let people know that they’re not alone, that we’re all in this fight together and that we see each other, and that we’re gonna do what this community always does, which is come together and have each other’s backs.
“The record became a sort of rallying cry for being who you are in a time when people literally wanna try to make it illegal to do that.”
Molly Martin’s debut album Mary released January 2023 is cheeky indie rock reminiscent of early Smashing Pumpkins, Land of Talk, and the attitude of the Pretenders. It’s music that pretends not to care about your feelings but really does. It’s a spotlight on the honest truth of Molly’s experience before and after quitting drinking; an 8-song inquiry into self-discovery. Molly’s birth name is Mary, and each track feels like a different aspect of the intersection between a buttoned-up Mary and a buttoned-down Molly. Nowhere near sacred and naturally profane, Mary is a think piece on everything from self-hatred to sexual assault. Something is bound to resonate, and that’s the point.
RESERVED SEATING DONATION option includes a $25 tax-deductible donation to The Acorn and guarantees you a seat with optimal sightlines. $25 Donation per ticket holder in your group.
Box Office opens at 4:00pm ET
Starts 8:00pm, doors open 7:00pm