The World Is A Beautiful Place Comes Home To CT For Ballroom Show

Years from now, when the history of Connecticut-centric music in 2017 gets written, here's hoping "Marine Tigers," "Fuzz Minor" and "Infinite Steve" — together, the final, exquisite, three-song flow of "Always Foreign," the latest album from The World Is A Beautiful Place & I Am No Longer Afraid To Die — each get their own full-page spreads.

Phew. Squeezing the band's name and some other idea into an opening sentence is challenging. TWIABP's sound — currently, guitarists Tyler Bussey and Chris Teti, bassist Joshua Cyr, drummer Steven Buttery, keyboardist Katie Dvorak and singer David Bello are touring members — feels similarly sprawling, and thank god for that.

TWIABP performs at the Ballroom at the Outer Space in Hamden on Nov. 10 at 8 p.m., with Rozwell Kid and Animal Flag opening.

That three-song segment, though: 18 minutes of moody, epic, atmospheric guitar rock, wispy melodies, dynamic shifts and odd-length phrases, meticulously produced and super angry.

"Making money is horrible / A rotten institution," singer David Bello mutters, before a sectional swerve. Voices enter: "We're here / I told you so." Bello returns, over a martial drumbeat. It's a goosebump-raising moment.

Can you still call it a country?

If all the states are broken

Can you still call it a business?

If all you do is steal?

Bello's exasperation overflows on "Fuzz Minor": "Call me 'a-rab' / Call me a 'spic' / I can't wait until I see you die." (Bello's parents are Puerto Rican and Lebanese.) "Infinite Steve" begins with anxious, repeated notes and snare hits, building up layers of frenzied guitar arpeggios and bashed cymbals before collapsing.

The music calms; Bello's lyrics become a split-screen movie: "You're in running shorts, and I can't stand still / You brought a gun into a clothing store / And I'm stuck in their driveway."

TWIABP formed in Willimantic, but its members have mostly moved out of state. Guitarist Nicole Shanholtzer was asked to leave in 2016. (Some of the bile of "Always Foreign" is directed at her.) Bello, Cyr, Bussey and Dvorak live in Philadelphia. Buttery moved to Columbus, Ohio. Teti, a Berlin native who joined the band in 2011, resides in New Britain. Some are involved in other projects.

"Always Foreign," the third of three brilliant albums (after 2013's "Whenever, If Ever" and "Harmlessness," from 2015), was recorded in April 2017, at Silver Bullet Studios, in Burlington (co-owned by Teti).

But songwriting began in November 2016 — the day after Election Day.

"We didn't really plan that," Teti says. "It's just where everybody's schedule was."

TWIABP hadn't performed in public since July. They kicked around song ideas in MewithoutYou drummer Rickie Mazzotta's practice space, starting with "Infinite Steve," a song floating around since the recording of "Harmlessness."

At the same time, the band wrote "Marine Tigers" (the song shares its title with a book written by Jose Bello, David's father, about arriving in New York City in the 1940s) and "Fuzz Minor." The last three songs on the album, in other words, were written first, with Donald Trump's victory on everyone's minds.

"The record goes by pretty fast, but I feel it fits in with given mood and context, to a degree," Teti says.

There are other good songs, too. Shanholtzer's departure squeezes into "Hilltopper" ("Can't seem to erase you / I threw out all the records you're on"). "Dillon And Her Son," the first single, is a howling, two-and-a-half-minute joyride. "Gram" and the acoustic guitar-driven "For Robin" allude to drug addiction and enforcement. (In 2002, a five-part Courant story called "Small Town, Big-Time Heroin Use" focused on drug abuse in Willimantic.)

Before joining TWIABP, Teti studied music production at the University of New Haven. He dropped out when touring with My Heart To Joy, his previous band, took up most of his time.

"It's funny, because after I'd left the recording program, I got an internship at a studio," he says. "It oddly worked out, where I left school for recording but then got a job doing it."

Teti transferred to Central Connecticut State University. When My Heart To Joy broke up, he toured with TWIABP as a photographer, starting on New Year's Day of 2011; on subsequent tours, he filled in on bass, then guitar.

For most of the band, leaving Connecticut for Philly, Teti says, felt right. "They'd been in Connecticut their entire lives," Teti says of his bandmates. "I see why they wanted to move and go somewhere else."

These days, geographical separation only becomes an issue if the band wants to be spontaneous.

"It's actually easier for me, to say, 'Oh, we're going to meet up for a week before a tour, or we're going to schedule a week for practice.' It's harder for me now to have practice, say, every Wednesday night at 6 p.m., like a normal band."

At recent shows, Teti says, fans embrace TWIABP's new material.

"The crowds have been really receptive," he says. "The other night [Halloween] in Austin [Texas] was wild. I had to pack up, but kids kept coming up for us to sign things. I signed a plastic skull."

"Over the years there have been offers to do meet and greets, and we generally don't feel like we have to do that," Teti adds. "We're not hiding from kids at shows. If someone wants to come up to us after the set, it's OK. We're not running away to the van after the show."

THE WORLD IS A BEAUTIFUL PLACE AND I AM NO LONGER AFRAID TO DIE performs at the Ballroom at the Outer Space in Hamden on Nov. 10 at 8 p.m., with Rozwell Kid and Animal Flag opening. Tickets are $15.

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