Walter's Downtown

1120 Naylor Houston,TX 77002

May
4
8:00 pm20:00

PEACH KELLI POP, GIANT KITTY, ROSE ETTE

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8 PM / $7 ADV / $10 DOOR

Peach Kelli Pop is known for her catchy and tongue-in-cheek songs inspired by video games, Chinese food and conspiracy theorists, illustrating not only her playfulness but also her wit and her angst. Hanlon also grapples with more serious topics like the pressures and challenges women face and the weight of love. Some songs feature the sounds and words of frustrated heartache and recognizable sorrows.  Those that spend enough time with Hanlon’s music will grasp its depth –both musically and emotionally. Peach Kelli Pop plays with the type of urgency and immediacy that appeals to an audience with short attention spans. Hanlon fronts Peach Kelli Pop’s energetic live shows on guitar and vocals and is backed by an assembly of female musicians. The live band consists of an additional guitarist, a bassist, a keyboardist and percussionist and a drummer. Hanlon has been playing with all female musicians in recent years because she recalls being inspired by seeing other women play shows as a teen. In the male-dominated music world, it affirmed her own potential for writing and playing music. In 2015 Peach Kelli Pop released their third full length record. Recorded in Fullerton, CA Peach Kelli Pop 3 is the band's best work to date!

Peach Kelli Pop is known for her catchy and tongue-in-cheek songs inspired by video games, Chinese food and conspiracy theorists, illustrating not only her playfulness but also her wit and her angst. Hanlon also grapples with more serious topics like the pressures and challenges women face and the weight of love. Some songs feature the sounds and words of frustrated heartache and recognizable sorrows. 

Those that spend enough time with Hanlon’s music will grasp its depth –both musically and emotionally. Peach Kelli Pop plays with the type of urgency and immediacy that appeals to an audience with short attention spans. Hanlon fronts Peach Kelli Pop’s energetic live shows on guitar and vocals and is backed by an assembly of female musicians. The live band consists of an additional guitarist, a bassist, a keyboardist and percussionist and a drummer. Hanlon has been playing with all female musicians in recent years because she recalls being inspired by seeing other women play shows as a teen. In the male-dominated music world, it affirmed her own potential for writing and playing music.

In 2015 Peach Kelli Pop released their third full length record. Recorded in Fullerton, CA Peach Kelli Pop 3 is the band's best work to date!

May
6
7:00 pm19:00

WILLIAM ELLIOTT WHITMORE, JOSIAH

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$12 ADVANCE / $14 DAY OF SHOW / $16 BOX OFFICE

Known for the sparse, haunting qualities of the mostly solo recordings he refers to as Dzroots-folk music,dz in which his voice is often accompanied by little more than a banjo or acoustic guitar, Whitmore began writing songs last year with some changes in mind. DzI purposefully went into it wanting to make a little bit of a departure,sonically, using an electric guitar a little bit more and adding more instrumentation, more full-band type stuff,dz he says. Raised on a family farm in Iowa and inspired by the insurgent sounds of The Jesus Lizard, Bad Brains and Minutemen, Whitmore sketched out the new songs between feeding animals and tending crops. Each week he traveled two hours to Flat Black Studios in Iowa City, built and operated by his cousin and producer, Luke Tweedy. Together, where they would rehearse, record and build songs, sometimes welcoming other musicians to play live on tracks. Energized by this diversifying, and also given the space to pair a patient sense of craft with the usual punk rock spirit to which Whitmore has always paid homage, the songs on his new album, Radium Death (out now on ANTI- Records), hum with an exigent electricity—whether amplified or not. They also present a cohesive look into those recurring Whitmore themes of respect, protection, sustenance and survival.

May
12
8:00 pm20:00

MEPHISKAPHELES, THE SKATASTROPHICS, METANOIA

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DOORS: 8 PM / $12 ADVANCE / $14 DAY OF / $16 BOX OFFICE / ALL AGES

Mephiskapheles are back in red and black for 2014. The band who invented the devilish, whimsical MTV- and radio-friendly genre of Satanic Ska, then defied critics by exploring even greater possibilities for their darkly original ska fusion, have reunited, with a new tour and new album in the works.
Formed in the East Village of New York City in early 1991 by a group of artists, ad-agency employees, and jazz musicians, Mephiskapheles played their first show on Long Island, and from day one began attracting a diverse, dedicated fan base.
Flash-forward to today; and with Satanic Ska being, without a doubt, the genre of music most relevant to our current times. Mephiskapheles are picking up where they left off, with a reissue program with Jump Up Records, a focused performance schedule, and a new Mephiskapheles album in the works.

May
13
8:00 pm20:00

DEVIL KILLING MOTH (Album Release!), LINEAR DOWNFALL, REX HUDSON, ONLY BEAST

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$7 ADVANCE / $10 DOOR / ALL AGES / 8 pm

Linear Downfall, an experimental band from Nashville, is known for seamlessly blending psychotic noise along with beautiful melodies. Their music taps into the highs and lows of life and challenges one to look inward. Their live show is intense and jarring captivating the audience from beginning to end. They have self-released three albums and one EP, extensively toured the U.S., and caught the attention of the Flaming Lips which led to their side project called the Electric Würms. 


In 2014, they toured in support of their third self-released album, “Fragmental Hippocampus” and released the first Electric Würms album, “Musik, die Schwer zu Twerk.” A 5-song EP of brand new material was released in November as the band put the finishing touches on a 4th album, “Sufferland.” The band released “Sufferland” on November 6th, 2015 along with a full-length film to correspond with the highly visual music of their new album. The film "Sufferland" was chosen and screened twice in early 2015 for the Nashville Film Festival.

May
19
8:00 pm20:00

JMSN

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Doors: 8 / $12 Advance / $15 Day of / $17 Box office / ALL AGES

Born in Detroit, and currently residing in Los Angeles, JMSN (born Christian Berishaj), is an American singer-songwriter, multi-instrumentalist, producer, engineer, mixer, and videographer. The R&B crooner, who released his debut album, †Priscilla†, in January 2012, also operates his indie label, White Room Records, out of his home studio. The success of his freshman album captured the attention of platinum-selling artist Usher, and even landed JMSN four slots on Kendrick Lamar's groundbreaking Good Kid, M.A.A.D City album ("Bitch Don't Kill My Vibe", "The Art Of Peer Pressure", "Sing About Me/Dying Of Thirst", "Real").

JMSN's impressive talents have allowed him to collaborate with the likes of Game, J. Cole, Tyga, Ab-Soul, Kaytranada, Ta-ku, and many others. The success of JMSN's self-titled album, affectionately known as the Blue Album, released in December 2014, paved the way for a successful world tour, including multiple stops across North America, Europe, Australia, and China. JMSN's musical evolution continues with a new release coming in 2016 via White Room Records.

May
25
8:00 pm20:00

CHRIS COHEN (Captured Tracks), GUESS GENES, ROSE ETTE

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8 PM / $7 ADV / $10 DOOR / ALL AGES

As If Apart, the long-awaited sequel to Chris Cohen’s 2012 soft psych garden of unearthly alter-pop earworms and studio-sonic delights Overgrown Path, follows on its predecessor with another bittersweet ensemble of dreamy, complex songs. Pushing the idiosyncrasies of Cohen’s melodic and rhythmic approach into even more fractured, shifting spaces, As If Apart unsettles lazy pop conventions, upending jaded heads and hearts with an expansive, moody psychedelia. Where Overgrown Path plunged within, As If Apart voyages out. And up.  - Sometimes as a leader, sometimes as a sideman and collaborator; sometimes as an invisible musician but you’ve heard him: the chest-high bass drum thump, the tightly paired flight of guitars in odd harmony, the disorienting shift in time and texture that resolves itself into song. Chris Cohen has plied the inside and outside folds of pop musical possibility since at least 1978, when he first set infant drumstick to skin at the tender age of three, initiating decades of sonic experimentation across multiple bands and nearly a dozen recordings. - Cohen’s songwriting isn’t so much disjunctive as subjunctive, asking “what if,” playing against the expected and building suspense, breaking like waves or the patterns at the edges of things. Chris makes music with the patience of a gardener: he went out and collected a backyard’s worth of thorny succulents, took them home and cultivated them like so. They are modular plants – cut one little piece, stick it in the ground, give it time. Come back and find it branching, breaking and replanting itself into tangle and form. You notice yourself changed too. - To say that this is how pop music should have turned out would be nostalgic — a misapprehension of time, pop, history and our place within those structures — what we could say is that this is how pop music has turned out alongside itself –how it has become beside itself – as if apart.

As If Apart, the long-awaited sequel to Chris Cohen’s 2012 soft psych garden of unearthly alter-pop earworms and studio-sonic delights Overgrown Path, follows on its predecessor with another bittersweet ensemble of dreamy, complex songs. Pushing the idiosyncrasies of Cohen’s melodic and rhythmic approach into even more fractured, shifting spaces, As If Apart unsettles lazy pop conventions, upending jaded heads and hearts with an expansive, moody psychedelia. Where Overgrown Path plunged within, As If Apart voyages out. And up.
 -
Sometimes as a leader, sometimes as a sideman and collaborator; sometimes as an invisible musician but you’ve heard him: the chest-high bass drum thump, the tightly paired flight of guitars in odd harmony, the disorienting shift in time and texture that resolves itself into song. Chris Cohen has plied the inside and outside folds of pop musical possibility since at least 1978, when he first set infant drumstick to skin at the tender age of three, initiating decades of sonic experimentation across multiple bands and nearly a dozen recordings.
-
Cohen’s songwriting isn’t so much disjunctive as subjunctive, asking “what if,” playing against the expected and building suspense, breaking like waves or the patterns at the edges of things. Chris makes music with the patience of a gardener: he went out and collected a backyard’s worth of thorny succulents, took them home and cultivated them like so. They are modular plants – cut one little piece, stick it in the ground, give it time. Come back and find it branching, breaking and replanting itself into tangle and form. You notice yourself changed too.
-
To say that this is how pop music should have turned out would be nostalgic — a misapprehension of time, pop, history and our place within those structures — what we could say is that this is how pop music has turned out alongside itself –how it has become beside itself – as if apart.

Jun
2
7:30 pm19:30

HOLY GRAIL, SAVAGE MASTER, HEL-RAZOR, THUNDERTANK

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Doors at 7:30 pm / $12 advance / $15 Door / All Ages

Like many of the legendary bands whose influences they wear on their tattered sleeves, the Los Angeles quintet HOLY GRAIL made an immediate impact when they exploded onto the metal scene in 2009. Here were five immortal men who fought to kill, armed with an infectious sound – a mix of classic heavy metal and modern sensibilities – sure to win over even the most jaded of cynics. As if on cue, metal media around the world swooned immediately. Metal Hammer UK nominated HOLY GRAIL for their “best new band” Golden Gods Award based solely on the two original tracks that appeared on their debut EP “Improper Burial”, while the group was invited to perform at major worldwide events such as the Wacken:Open:Air (Germany) and Download Festival (UK) before their full-length debut was even finished being recorded. When their full-length debut “Crisis In Utopia” was finally released in late 2010, it was clear from the opening notes on that HOLY GRAIL’s music is their silver bullet. The album reasserted the group’s potential and earned the band a new round of critical acclaim, with Revolver Magazine naming the release one of 2010′s Top 20 albums. Hereafter, the group hit the road for a nearly two-year touring cycle during which guitarist Alex Lee (ex-BONDED BY BLOOD) joined the fold and the band performed alongside the likes of BLIND GUARDIAN, ELUVEITIE and DRAGONFORCE, among others. In addition, they further developed a burgeoning international fan base by touring Japan, Australia and the UK. If “Crisis In Utopia” hinted at what HOLY GRAIL could achieve, new album “Ride The Void” shouts it through a megaphone. Gone are sword-and-steel odes to Valhalla; in their place are morbid tales of serial killers. Indeed, producer Matt Hyde (SLAYER, CHILDREN OF BODOM) brought out a darker, hungrier side of the band than many have heard to date – yet musically, they’re more exhilarating than ever: Witness the galloping riff of “Dark Passenger”, the betcha-can’t-play-this exuberance of the opening lick of “Too Decayed To Wait” or the unexpected triumphant and melodic solo in “The Great Artifice”. Perhaps more importantly, the album sees HOLY GRAIL continue to expand the limits of their sound by incorporating classical guitar (“Wake Me When It’s Over”), a cinematic, QUEEN-like vocal intro (the otherwise anthemic “Sleep of Virtue”), a trance-like guitar loop (“Silence The Scream”) that cleverly belies the lyrical content it introduces, and a moody finale (“Rains of Sorrow”) inspired by a family member’s battle with cancer. Someone pretty might catch your attention, but only someone special can keep it. HOLY GRAIL could have easily written an album filled with lovable tales of mead-chugging knights-on-horseback, but instead, they pushed themselves further – and in the end, created an unforgettable collection of timeless metal anthems that not only validates the early praise they received, but creates an exciting question: Where will they go from here? For now, though, buckle up and enjoy the ride!

Like many of the legendary bands whose influences they wear on their tattered sleeves, the Los Angeles quintet HOLY GRAIL made an immediate impact when they exploded onto the metal scene in 2009. Here were five immortal men who fought to kill, armed with an infectious sound – a mix of classic heavy metal and modern sensibilities – sure to win over even the most jaded of cynics. As if on cue, metal media around the world swooned immediately. Metal Hammer UK nominated HOLY GRAIL for their “best new band” Golden Gods Award based solely on the two original tracks that appeared on their debut EP “Improper Burial”, while the group was invited to perform at major worldwide events such as the Wacken:Open:Air (Germany) and Download Festival (UK) before their full-length debut was even finished being recorded. When their full-length debut “Crisis In Utopia” was finally released in late 2010, it was clear from the opening notes on that HOLY GRAIL’s music is their silver bullet. The album reasserted the group’s potential and earned the band a new round of critical acclaim, with Revolver Magazine naming the release one of 2010′s Top 20 albums. Hereafter, the group hit the road for a nearly two-year touring cycle during which guitarist Alex Lee (ex-BONDED BY BLOOD) joined the fold and the band performed alongside the likes of BLIND GUARDIAN, ELUVEITIE and DRAGONFORCE, among others. In addition, they further developed a burgeoning international fan base by touring Japan, Australia and the UK.

If “Crisis In Utopia” hinted at what HOLY GRAIL could achieve, new album “Ride The Void” shouts it through a megaphone. Gone are sword-and-steel odes to Valhalla; in their place are morbid tales of serial killers. Indeed, producer Matt Hyde (SLAYER, CHILDREN OF BODOM) brought out a darker, hungrier side of the band than many have heard to date – yet musically, they’re more exhilarating than ever: Witness the galloping riff of “Dark Passenger”, the betcha-can’t-play-this exuberance of the opening lick of “Too Decayed To Wait” or the unexpected triumphant and melodic solo in “The Great Artifice”. Perhaps more importantly, the album sees HOLY GRAIL continue to expand the limits of their sound by incorporating classical guitar (“Wake Me When It’s Over”), a cinematic, QUEEN-like vocal intro (the otherwise anthemic “Sleep of Virtue”), a trance-like guitar loop (“Silence The Scream”) that cleverly belies the lyrical content it introduces, and a moody finale (“Rains of Sorrow”) inspired by a family member’s battle with cancer.
Someone pretty might catch your attention, but only someone special can keep it. HOLY GRAIL could have easily written an album filled with lovable tales of mead-chugging knights-on-horseback, but instead, they pushed themselves further – and in the end, created an unforgettable collection of timeless metal anthems that not only validates the early praise they received, but creates an exciting question: Where will they go from here? For now, though, buckle up and enjoy the ride!

SAVAGE MASTER features female vocals soaring on Lucifer's wings, over sick rockin' guitar riffs straight from the depths of hell, to honor and pass along the great traditions of our True Occult Heavy Metal foremothers and forefathers.

SAVAGE MASTER features female vocals soaring on Lucifer's wings, over sick rockin' guitar riffs straight from the depths of hell, to honor and pass along the great traditions of our True Occult Heavy Metal foremothers and forefathers.

Jun
4
7:00 pm19:00

THE GRIZZY BAND, BEFORE RADIO, SIK MULE, SATIN HOOKS

The Grizzly Band - (Altercation Records)
This band has reached amazing stride's since they're 2012 inception, and the momentum behind them keeps growing and growing!! 
Revealing they’re inspirations from the talents of Bruce Springsteen, Lucero, Social Distortion, Johnny Cash, and Jawbreaker, this band comes out with a More than mesmerizing performance. The mixture of punk, rock n roll, and country (esq) overtones is almost mind boggling. The kind of band that leaves you in absolute awe! True southern whisky punk! 
The band has recently shared the stage with such contemporaries as Zeke, Old Man Markley, Riverboat Gamblers, 2 Rocklahoma Fests, and oh, so much more. . . 
https://www.facebook.com/TheGrizzlyBand


Before Radio - 
Sighted as one of Houston’s more energetic bands, Before Radio hit a quick stride by Immediately striking crowds with easy to swallow songs, and a perplexingly poppy, "bob your head" type command. The energy in the music can build to almost pure chaos, and yet maintain an absolute detail of design. Akin to early Goo Goo Dolls, Descendents, and even traces of Gin Blossoms. Quoter’s from they’re last show here in December, insisted they where “better than radio”. 
https://www.facebook.com/beforeradioband/

Sik Mule - 

These guys truly are Sik!!
"Stomp-Rock Groove Blasters!" It's raw, electric, Punk-Drunken Bluesy Rock. They got that soulful sound & wild performance...You're in for a treat!
https://www.facebook.com/sikmule/

Satin Hooks - 
This band hit hard in the mid to late 2000”s exhilarating any place they played! 
Whether it be an off the beaten path warehouse, or the West Fest street festivals, This band has a legendary status of there own, bringing down the house In a fashion only they could, and its just as surreal as the hooks actually are! Centered in the experimental, but somehow making since, the pleasantry's , the pace, originality and design is something that has never been touched. And Good luck trying, cause they are back, and keeping they're throne!!

Jun
8
7:00 pm19:00

THE HOTELIER, TOLD SLANT, LOONE, FOOTBALL ETC

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DOORS: 7 PM / $12 ADVANCE / $15 DAY OF SHOW

RSVP!

It is not enough to say that The Hotelier have grown older, or wiser, or more of anything. We can trace a progression, if we like, from the explosive empowerment of It Never Goes Out to the ashen disillusionment of Home, Like Noplace Is There. We can follow an awakening of youth in suburbia attempting to learn what is right, and what is ours, and what is possible and impossible, and maybe we can't save each other like we thought we once could. We're awake and we're tired and we want love in our lives again. And so we find ourselves now in Goodness, in the woods outside of the suburbs, trying to re-learn that love. But we seek a space outside time. Once in a while we can feel it, like a clearing. Where our histories and our rhetoric blends into languages spoken and unspoken. Where the greatest awe comes upon us for the overlooked, the simple, the incomprehensible. Where things glitch as they solidify, repeat as they evolve, scream as they whisper. Where always and forever above us, in all of its natural, unnatural, supernatural love, shines the moon. Goodness is not this place --goodness is nowhere -- but we are following it to where we have to be. After all we've gone through, how young are we? What is age softening in us, what is it hardening in us? Are we getting better? Worse? How could we ever know, when capital forces us onward away from ourselves? Will the woods consume the suburbs; will the suburbs consume the woods? In the gaps between these monumental questions, in the tiniest details, in the infinitude of cycles outside of time, there is Goodness. We begin there.

It is not enough to say that The Hotelier have grown older, or wiser, or more of anything. We can trace a progression, if we like, from the explosive empowerment of It Never Goes Out to the ashen disillusionment of Home, Like Noplace Is There. We can follow an awakening of youth in suburbia attempting to learn what is right, and what is ours, and what is possible and impossible, and maybe we can't save each other like we thought we once could. We're awake and we're tired and we want love in our lives again. And so we find ourselves now in Goodness, in the woods outside of the suburbs, trying to re-learn that love. But we seek a space outside time. Once in a while we can feel it, like a clearing. Where our histories and our rhetoric blends into languages spoken and unspoken. Where the greatest awe comes upon us for the overlooked, the simple, the incomprehensible. Where things glitch as they solidify, repeat as they evolve, scream as they whisper. Where always and forever above us, in all of its natural, unnatural, supernatural love, shines the moon. Goodness is not this place --goodness is nowhere -- but we are following it to where we have to be. After all we've gone through, how young are we? What is age softening in us, what is it hardening in us? Are we getting better? Worse? How could we ever know, when capital forces us onward away from ourselves? Will the woods consume the suburbs; will the suburbs consume the woods? In the gaps between these monumental questions, in the tiniest details, in the infinitude of cycles outside of time, there is Goodness. We begin there.

Jun
10
8:00 pm20:00

ROGUE WAVE, FLOATING ACTION

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$14 adv / $16 day of
Doors: 8 pm / All Ages

Over the decade and a half that Rogue Wave has made music, Zach Rogue has continued to expand his band's emotional spectrum. Drawing inspiration from the inevitable delusions of everyday American life, Rogue, his longtime bandmate Pat Spurgeon, and their fellow members have returned reinvigorated, and with a fresh sound founded on the art of patience, the fearlessness of experimenting, and the unbridled joy of creating something meaningful to help us navigate through these vacant times. Trusting in its own abilities and leaning on each other, Rogue Wave has seized creative control of its identity and sound and is set to smash any preconceptions of its music, revealing the most truthful, powerful, and urgent sonic blueprint of the band to date. Taking a longer break in between albums than ever before, Rogue enjoyed his extra time off at home in Oakland with his children. The songwriting process for Rogue Wave's music is always the same-"me, alone in a room," as Rogue says-and this time around, he found the most success at home in his bedroom or while driving in his car, even learning to embrace his two-year-old son's "experimental tunings" on his beloved Taylor guitar. Lyrics, however, did not come as easy, and Rogue only found success with his words when slowing himself down and recognizing that his wild juxtapositions of lyrical themes actually felt right. "I wanted the duality," he says, "I wanted the thematic conflict. This is a record of things being out of balance and at odds with one another." Thematically, Rogue Wave's music has never drifted too far from the subject matter of emotional battles with fear and joy in equal parts. Choosing to title the record Delusions of Grand Fur, a riff on the tendency of fresh-faced musicians to misperceive the reality of band life, Rogue found himself reflecting on all that he had learned through his time in Rogue Wave, in addition to our need as humans to keep up appearances. "You think the world will be your oyster and the wounds you were running away from when you joined a band will magically go away-you think you can just become someone else or get whatever you want," he says. "But really, we are all deluded in some way. We need to delude ourselves to deal with the impossibility and difficulty of life. Delusion is what keeps the mythology of America alive. It keeps us from facing our history and our true selves. We don't want to be deluded. We need it." And once he had convinced Spurgeon of the sincere intent behind the titular pun, they began the recording process. In a sense a return to their recording roots, Rogue and Spurgeon decided to work without a producer, instead recording and producing themselves at their home studio in Oakland. Calling to mind the band's debut, 2003's Out of the Shadow, a project completed entirely by Rogue and a single engineer, the band also decided to work without recording demo versions of songs-instead, the demos would simply become the songs. Setting up shop amongst their large collection of well-loved gear at the place they felt most comfortable, the band was free to experiment at will-rarely would they rehearse a song as a band first, instead choosing to tinker and jump off the deep end as Rogue and Spurgeon desired, blessing the process with what seemed like a natural evolution. At times, bassist Mark Masanori Christianson and the band's new guitar player Jon Monohan would come by to throw in some ideas. But by and large the architects remained Rogue and Spurgeon, resulting in a revelatory experience and so many songs the band could have potentially released a double album. The process taught them to trust their instincts while embracing the fleeting energy of an imaginative spark. "It was really nice working at our own pace," says Rogue. "We wanted to just go with our own instincts and trust ourselves. Pat really blossomed as an engineer during this record. His curiosity in the studio is just endless. There are no rules. And that's why I've always been so comfortable bringing song ideas to him, because he is so open." Spurgeon played all the drums on the record, as well as a bit of everything else. In Rogue's words, even Spurgeon's experiments became instruments all of their own, and despite the modest environment and DIY approach, the end result is a clearer snapshot of who Rogue Wave is today. "In a way, it could be argued that we chose the most regressive step by tracking our record in such a comparatively low fidelity environment," says Rogue. "But for the music itself, it is the trajectory I've always wanted for this band. It's the sound of who we actually are, for better or for worse." Echoing that sentiment, Delusions of Grand Fur opens on a confident tone with the upbeat and personal "Take It Slow," a song inspired by a mantra of patience. The energy takes off on the next track, "In the Morning," which was given its gyrating, infectious pulse by the deft hands of its mixer, Chris Walla. And the bright clip of "California Bride," perhaps the tone that will prove most familiar to longtime fans, is a meditation on the beauty and fortune of being alive. "Do you even know how lucky you are?" says Rogue of the song. "You got to live in California and feel the sand in your toes and grab what you wanted from life." But when the dark indie pop of lead single "What Is Left To Solve" opens the second half of the album with electronic flourishes, it's clear that a new, exciting direction is being heralded. Originally written on guitar, the duo was inspired to deconstruct the song by listening to electronic music by Kraftwerk and Grimes. "The synth bass line is meant to represent the futility of thinking you will get a different result when you try to change someone else," says Rogue. "We are slowly but surely replacing human interaction with digital interaction." Continuing the fresh foray, "Frozen Lake" is an interpersonal breakup song that evokes sounds of the '80s, the present, and the future all at once, while the jangly, psychedelic "Ocean" is an instant smash about breaking up, and how getting stabbed in the back can leave you feeling infinitesimally small. When Mike Deni of Geographer lends his soaring voice to the track's bridge, the tune rises to the rafters. By the time the album reaches its close with the slow-burning, achingly lush "Memento Mori," it's clear that Delusions of Grand Fur is a masterstroke by a band that knows who it is and has continued to evolve. Rogue Wave has released a work that serves as a culmination of all it has learned and that trusts itself over all else to deliver that message with a supreme urgency. "Overall, I think we have grown more comfortable in our own skin," say Rogue. "We had total control; we were on our own little island and made the record entirely for our own amusement. As a result, there are some pretty experimental tendencies. It is pretty immersive. There are some very emotional moments. But my relationship with Pat continues to grow. In many ways, I feel like we are just starting to figure out how we like to record music. This record was the most challenging album we've ever worked on, but it never felt like a slog. When we are working on songs together, it just never feels old."

Over the decade and a half that Rogue Wave has made music, Zach Rogue has continued to expand his band's emotional spectrum. Drawing inspiration from the inevitable delusions of everyday American life, Rogue, his longtime bandmate Pat Spurgeon, and their fellow members have returned reinvigorated, and with a fresh sound founded on the art of patience, the fearlessness of experimenting, and the unbridled joy of creating something meaningful to help us navigate through these vacant times. Trusting in its own abilities and leaning on each other, Rogue Wave has seized creative control of its identity and sound and is set to smash any preconceptions of its music, revealing the most truthful, powerful, and urgent sonic blueprint of the band to date.

Taking a longer break in between albums than ever before, Rogue enjoyed his extra time off at home in Oakland with his children. The songwriting process for Rogue Wave's music is always the same-"me, alone in a room," as Rogue says-and this time around, he found the most success at home in his bedroom or while driving in his car, even learning to embrace his two-year-old son's "experimental tunings" on his beloved Taylor guitar. Lyrics, however, did not come as easy, and Rogue only found success with his words when slowing himself down and recognizing that his wild juxtapositions of lyrical themes actually felt right. "I wanted the duality," he says, "I wanted the thematic conflict. This is a record of things being out of balance and at odds with one another." Thematically, Rogue Wave's music has never drifted too far from the subject matter of emotional battles with fear and joy in equal parts.

Choosing to title the record Delusions of Grand Fur, a riff on the tendency of fresh-faced musicians to misperceive the reality of band life, Rogue found himself reflecting on all that he had learned through his time in Rogue Wave, in addition to our need as humans to keep up appearances. "You think the world will be your oyster and the wounds you were running away from when you joined a band will magically go away-you think you can just become someone else or get whatever you want," he says. "But really, we are all deluded in some way. We need to delude ourselves to deal with the impossibility and difficulty of life. Delusion is what keeps the mythology of America alive. It keeps us from facing our history and our true selves. We don't want to be deluded. We need it." And once he had convinced Spurgeon of the sincere intent behind the titular pun, they began the recording process.

In a sense a return to their recording roots, Rogue and Spurgeon decided to work without a producer, instead recording and producing themselves at their home studio in Oakland. Calling to mind the band's debut, 2003's Out of the Shadow, a project completed entirely by Rogue and a single engineer, the band also decided to work without recording demo versions of songs-instead, the demos would simply become the songs. Setting up shop amongst their large collection of well-loved gear at the place they felt most comfortable, the band was free to experiment at will-rarely would they rehearse a song as a band first, instead choosing to tinker and jump off the deep end as Rogue and Spurgeon desired, blessing the process with what seemed like a natural evolution. At times, bassist Mark Masanori Christianson and the band's new guitar player Jon Monohan would come by to throw in some ideas. But by and large the architects remained Rogue and Spurgeon, resulting in a revelatory experience and so many songs the band could have potentially released a double album. The process taught them to trust their instincts while embracing the fleeting energy of an imaginative spark.

"It was really nice working at our own pace," says Rogue. "We wanted to just go with our own instincts and trust ourselves. Pat really blossomed as an engineer during this record. His curiosity in the studio is just endless. There are no rules. And that's why I've always been so comfortable bringing song ideas to him, because he is so open." Spurgeon played all the drums on the record, as well as a bit of everything else. In Rogue's words, even Spurgeon's experiments became instruments all of their own, and despite the modest environment and DIY approach, the end result is a clearer snapshot of who Rogue Wave is today.

"In a way, it could be argued that we chose the most regressive step by tracking our record in such a comparatively low fidelity environment," says Rogue. "But for the music itself, it is the trajectory I've always wanted for this band. It's the sound of who we actually are, for better or for worse."

Echoing that sentiment, Delusions of Grand Fur opens on a confident tone with the upbeat and personal "Take It Slow," a song inspired by a mantra of patience. The energy takes off on the next track, "In the Morning," which was given its gyrating, infectious pulse by the deft hands of its mixer, Chris Walla. And the bright clip of "California Bride," perhaps the tone that will prove most familiar to longtime fans, is a meditation on the beauty and fortune of being alive. "Do you even know how lucky you are?" says Rogue of the song. "You got to live in California and feel the sand in your toes and grab what you wanted from life."

But when the dark indie pop of lead single "What Is Left To Solve" opens the second half of the album with electronic flourishes, it's clear that a new, exciting direction is being heralded. Originally written on guitar, the duo was inspired to deconstruct the song by listening to electronic music by Kraftwerk and Grimes. "The synth bass line is meant to represent the futility of thinking you will get a different result when you try to change someone else," says Rogue. "We are slowly but surely replacing human interaction with digital interaction."

Continuing the fresh foray, "Frozen Lake" is an interpersonal breakup song that evokes sounds of the '80s, the present, and the future all at once, while the jangly, psychedelic "Ocean" is an instant smash about breaking up, and how getting stabbed in the back can leave you feeling infinitesimally small. When Mike Deni of Geographer lends his soaring voice to the track's bridge, the tune rises to the rafters. By the time the album reaches its close with the slow-burning, achingly lush "Memento Mori," it's clear that Delusions of Grand Fur is a masterstroke by a band that knows who it is and has continued to evolve. Rogue Wave has released a work that serves as a culmination of all it has learned and that trusts itself over all else to deliver that message with a supreme urgency.

"Overall, I think we have grown more comfortable in our own skin," say Rogue. "We had total control; we were on our own little island and made the record entirely for our own amusement. As a result, there are some pretty experimental tendencies. It is pretty immersive. There are some very emotional moments. But my relationship with Pat continues to grow. In many ways, I feel like we are just starting to figure out how we like to record music. This record was the most challenging album we've ever worked on, but it never felt like a slog. When we are working on songs together, it just never feels old."

Jun
12
8:00 pm20:00

THE GOOD LIFE, SPEEDY ORTIZ

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$12 ADV / $15 DOOR / 8 PM / ALL AGES

Omaha, NE’s The Good Life returns this summer with their first album in eight years, Everybody’s Coming Down. Call it a soundtrack to Man’s 21st century existential angst, the album poses cosmic queries, contemplates regrets, questions self-worth, and examines the possibility of living in the moment, when memories are all that we truly take with us. And in some ways, that’s the sweet spot front man and lyricist Tim Kasher inhabits: trying to make sense of this world of ours, and how and why we navigate it the way we do. 

Everybody’s Coming Down moves in a new direction musically and, in contrast to The Good Life’s earlier releases, is very much a rock record. It is also the first that truly embodies the band as a whole, more so than any previous album. In blending elements of drummer Roger L. Lewis’s love of classic rock, multi-instrumentalist Ryan Fox’s chaotic approach to melody, Stefanie Drootin-Senseney’s propulsive yet tuneful bass parts, and Kasher’s deft, complementary song writing, the band sparked a vibrant evolution in sound. The gentler, folk-driven pop/rock for which the band is beloved remains (sonic sister album bookends “7 In The Morning” and “Midnight Is Upon Us;” “The Troubadour’s Green Room”), but it is now mixed amongst guitars lines that unspool in a blaze across songs that hit harder and more viscerally (“Everybody,” “Holy Shit”), as well as moments of distorted psychedelia and moody ambience (“Flotsam Locked Into A Groove,” “Diving Bell,” “How Small We Are”).

The Good Life have never been afraid to switch up their sound, refusing to be ascribed as one thing or another. 2000’s Novena On A Nocturn – recorded essentially as a solo project by Kasher as an outlet for quieter songs that didn’t quite fit with his long-standing band Cursive – was spacious and stirring, glistening with occasional electronic flourishes. 2002’s Black Out saw The Good Life grow into a full band, telling tales of drunken nights and capricious lovers over an evocative blend of electronic and traditional instrumentation. 2004’s Album Of The Year was the first recorded with the now longtime core band of Kasher, Drootin-Senseney, Fox, and Lewis. Hailed by Pitchfork, Alternative Press, NYLON, SPIN, and Time Out New York, among others, this album left behind any electronic touches as it chronicled 12 months of a doomed relationship – and the attendant complex feelings – through strains of soaring pop. 2007’s Help Wanted Nights, conceived as the soundtrack to a screenplay, was a more musically stripped-down affair and presented a bare look at human emotions through characters in a small-town bar.

Following a tour supporting Help Wanted Nights, and save for a handful of June 2010 shows, the band’s four members quietly moved on to other projects without officially saying goodbye, but with the confident assumption that they’d come back together again. Then life, as it does, took over: Kasher moved around the US, eventually settled in Chicago, and released two Cursive albums as well as two solo albums. Drootin-Senseney relocated to Los Angeles with her husband Chris, where they had a couple of kids and formed the band Big Harp, which released two albums. Fox moved to Portland, OR, worked on solo material, recorded with label-mate Jake Bellows, and started a tape label, Majestic Litter. Lewis stayed put in Omaha – The Good Life gleaned its name from Nebraska’s displaced state slogan – and played with bands Conduits and Oquoa. 

Kasher began writing songs for a new album in October 2013, and the quartet – balancing their busy lives and multiple projects – reconvened from July to December 2014 to finish writing what became Everybody’s Coming Down. With the help of Ben Brodin in Omaha’s ARC Studios, The Good Life started recording in January of this year and finished the album in their respective homes. The band then turned to John Congleton (St. Vincent, Baroness, Angel Olsen, Cloud Nothings) to mix the album at his Elmwood Recording in Dallas, TX, looking to his experienced hand and uninhibited style to maintain and further realize the album’s untempered, vital sound.

And vital it is: Everybody’s Coming Down might not crack the ever-elusive code to our universal wonderings, but it’ll make you think, illuminate a new or alternative perspective, perhaps salve a lonely ache of isolation. Because we are, ultimately, all in this together – forever coming down.

Jun
21
7:00 pm19:00

PITY SEX, PWR BTTM, PETAL

$12 Advance / $15 Day of Show
Doors: 7 pm / Show: 8 pm / ALL AGES

It's a different world under the White Hot Moon: familiar but warping around the edges, at once thick with layers of swooning guitar and lightened by melodies as fine and sharp as cut glass, earnest enough to be the soundtrack of your most private, cinematic moments but with a sense of playfulness to keep it all from ever being too heavy to carry. 

Ann Arbor's Pity Sex build this world inch by inch on White Hot Moon, their second album. The group, formed in 2011 by childhood friends and lifelong collaborators Sean St. Charles and Brennan Greaves, came together explicitly to try its hand at writing pop songs. St. Charles and Greaves were putting their hardcore band to rest, enlisting Britty Drake and Brandan Pierce to round out Pity Sex's line-up. Now, the band is using the foundation of 2013's celebrated Feast of Love as the framework for something bigger, stronger, and altogether more monumental. Coming off of tours with Ceremony, Eskimeaux, and Colleen Green—including a run in Australia—the band dove into the studio with Feast of Love producer Will Yip to harness that momentum into an album to showcase Pity Sex's growth. 

And it shows. Guitarists Drake and Greaves spin huge webs of sound, anchored in shoegaze but branching off in a dozen directions, from fuzzed-out power-pop (“Bonhomie”) to shimmering balladry (“Dandelion”) and back again, while co-lyricist/drummer St. Charles and bassist Pierce lock into step with floor-shaking low-end and subtly counterintuitive rhythms. Drake brings an immediacy to her intimate, fearlessly personal songs—check the quietly devastating revelation of a recent loss in the opening moments of “Plum”—guided by her airy, hypnotic vocals. Meanwhile, Greaves brings gravity to St. Charles' more imagistic lyrics, his voice effortlessly seguing from baritone counterpoint for Drake to an evocative, confident croon. Together, as on highlight “What Might Soothe You,” their voices bob and weave around each other in innervating tension before melting into harmony. 

It's these two distinct attitudes toward songwriting that fuel Pity Sex's creative fires, with Drake and St. Charles not so much competing as complementing one another's style, a confluence that enriches White Hot Moon and encourages compositional complexity and a shared affinity for pop solidity in equal measure. The record features some of the most directly collaborative songwriting in the band's career, and that spirit has taken them in exciting directions—often several at once, dipping into different stylistic touchstones while maintaining a constant, grounding sense of emotion throughout. For instance, St. Charles and Drake both offer takes on romantic longing in “Bonhomie” and “Burden You,” respectively, and while St. Charles’ lyrics offer a more metaphorical vision of being hung up on love (“Electric tape for you, / Bound arms and legs for you”), Drake cuts to the quick with a sharp directness (“I want your summer's salty skin, / Without yours, mine is wearing thin”) that levels the listener in equal measure. 

If White Hot Moon wears its ambition on its sleeve, that's by design: the band looked to wide-screen albums by Yo La Tengo and Sonic Youth for inspiration in finding a bigger sound. As St. Charles explains, “We thought a lot about pop conventions and how they work, and we're purposefully playing around with that.” In other words, when a song like “Bonhomie” takes a sudden shift from lo-fi guitar pop into a fully fledged fists-in-the-air anthem, that's the band leaning into the stylistic trappings of power-pop, energized by the diving headfirst into the genre while testing how far they can push against its boundaries. By working with familiar sounds and transforming them into fresh creations, Pity Sex makes their judicious experiments more stark in comparison. As St. Charles puts it, “It's the idea that you can take a mundane life, and it becomes different in a slightly 'off' world—like, you spend winter sitting in your room everyday, and the details around you become boring. But in those instances, the smaller peculiarities stand out. The little details become more meaningful.” 

But Drake has her own approach to the songs she brings to the band. “I'm not interested in hearing about someone's mundane day-to-day life,” she says. “Love and relationships—not just romantic relationships, but in general—are things everyone can relate to, and I tend to gravitate towards universal experiences. People are the main inspiration for me.” The result: wherever you visit White Hot Moon, you'll come away refreshed, revitalized, and ready for Pity Sex to guide you along the rest of the trip.
By: Corey Beasly


Jun
22
7:00 pm19:00

THE FOREIGN EXCHANGE

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Doors open: 7 pm / Show: 8 pm / $25 / ALL AGES

Representative of how the Internet can aid in creating music, the Foreign Exchange started when Little Brother rapper Phonte heard a beat on Okayplayer.com by Dutch producer Nicolay and asked if he could lay some vocals over it. Nicolay agreed, and the song "Light It Up" appeared shortly thereafter as the B-side to Little Brother's 2002 single "Whatever You Say." Relying mainly on instant messaging and email, the duo continued to work together, with Nicolay sending beats to Phonte, who would add vocals and send them back until they had enough tracks together to form an album. Not once during the entire process of making their debut, Connected, which came out in 2004, did the members of the Foreign Exchange speak over the phone or in person. Due in part to an increasing production load, Nicolay moved to the States, and Leave It All Behind, the second FE album -- more R&B-oriented than the debut -- was recorded. Released in 2008 and featuring a handful of stunning videos, its lead single, "Daykeeper," was nominated for a 2010 Grammy in the category of Best Urban/Alternative Performance (and lost to India.Arie's "Pearls"). After assisting two of their associates, YahZarah (The Ballad of Purple St. James) and Zo! (SunStorm), with albums, the Foreign Exchange released Authenticity. All three sets were issued in 2010 through The Foreign Exchange Music. A DVD/CD set, Dear Friends: An Evening with the Foreign Exchange (2011) and a two-disc set of remixes and new songs titled The Reworks (2013) preceded the group's fourth studio album, Love in Flying Colors (also 2013). After a world tour and the release of Nicolay's City Lights, Vol. 3: Soweto -- an album inspired by the group's world tour dates in South Africa -- the group issued Tales from the Land of Milk and Honey (2015), a diverse set co-produced by Zo! that incorporated throwback house, Latin jazz, and even a playful nod to funk legends Slave.

Representative of how the Internet can aid in creating music, the Foreign Exchange started when Little Brother rapper Phonte heard a beat on Okayplayer.com by Dutch producer Nicolay and asked if he could lay some vocals over it. Nicolay agreed, and the song "Light It Up" appeared shortly thereafter as the B-side to Little Brother's 2002 single "Whatever You Say." Relying mainly on instant messaging and email, the duo continued to work together, with Nicolay sending beats to Phonte, who would add vocals and send them back until they had enough tracks together to form an album. Not once during the entire process of making their debut, Connected, which came out in 2004, did the members of the Foreign Exchange speak over the phone or in person.

Due in part to an increasing production load, Nicolay moved to the States, and Leave It All Behind, the second FE album -- more R&B-oriented than the debut -- was recorded. Released in 2008 and featuring a handful of stunning videos, its lead single, "Daykeeper," was nominated for a 2010 Grammy in the category of Best Urban/Alternative Performance (and lost to India.Arie's "Pearls"). After assisting two of their associates, YahZarah (The Ballad of Purple St. James) and Zo! (SunStorm), with albums, the Foreign Exchange released Authenticity. All three sets were issued in 2010 through The Foreign Exchange Music. A DVD/CD set, Dear Friends: An Evening with the Foreign Exchange (2011) and a two-disc set of remixes and new songs titled The Reworks (2013) preceded the group's fourth studio album, Love in Flying Colors (also 2013). After a world tour and the release of Nicolay's City Lights, Vol. 3: Soweto -- an album inspired by the group's world tour dates in South Africa -- the group issued Tales from the Land of Milk and Honey (2015), a diverse set co-produced by Zo! that incorporated throwback house, Latin jazz, and even a playful nod to funk legends Slave.

Jun
25
8:00 pm20:00

CONFLICT, TOTAL CHAOS, THE SCANDALS

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Doors: 8 pm / ALL AGES / $15 Advance / $17 Day of Show

Anarchy in the U.K., indeed -- such was the ultimate goal for the fiercely political British punk band Conflict, a group fueled by its hatred of Thatcher's England, the media, the military, and the general status quo of late 20th century life. Conflict played its first gig in 1981 led by vocalist Colin Jerwood, who would remain one of the group's few constants throughout its fluid existence. Much more permanent was the group's political agenda, which was already firmly ensconced by the release of their 1983 debut It's Time to See Who's Who; songs took on topics like Vietnam, nuclear arms, and vegetarianism. The animal liberation movement, which would remain one of Conflict's central concerns throughout their career, returned to the fore on the next year's Increase the Pressure, with its cover art's focus on the Save the Seals fight.

The band's increased political involvement, often in support of unpopular causes, led a number of their concerts to be broken up by the police; a 1987 appearance at the Brixton Academy even ended in widescale rioting (as documented on the live record Turning Rebellion Into Money, named after a Clash lyric). At about the same time, ex-Crass member Steve Ignorant joined Conflict as a joint vocalist. His tenure ended in 1989, the year the band released three different records: The Final Conflict, Against All Odds, and Standard Issue 82-87, a compilation of rare singles and album cuts. After four years of inactivity, Conflict released a single in 1993, followed later in the year by the album Conclusion. The record's title proved premature, however; by 1996, the group was back on tour, in support of a re-recorded, re-titled, and re-issued It's Time to See Who's Who Now. ~ Jason

Jun
30
8:00 pm20:00

SPECIAL DUTIES, POTATO PIRATES

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DOORS: 8 PM / ADVANCE TICKETS $12 / ALL AGES

In late 1977, Special Duties was founded by school friends Steve Norris (Aka Steve Duty) Steve Green (Aka Steve Arrogant) and Nigel Baker under the name X-pelled. 

The three were punks who attended the same school, but the idea of forming their own band came when they saw The Adverts in Colchester. The fact that the three schoolboys couldn't play and didn't own any instruments didn't discourage them, as they realised that was not stopping hundreds of bands up and down the country from forming punk groups. 

Initially the boys decided to put Arrogant on vocals, Duty on guitar and Baker on bass and penned two songs "Nothing Out Of Us" and "No Money, No Scandals" which were soon dropped from the set. In the early days the line up changed a few times and saw Baker on Vocals, Arrogant on Guitar and local punks Carl and Paddy given a try out on Guitar and Bass respectively. Sometime later, Stuart Bray joins the band on drums. 

The name of the band was changed from X-pelled to Special Duties when a box of around 200 badges with "Special Duties" printed on them came into their possession after they had allegedly been stolen from a school in Colchester. The band decided they could save money on getting badges made by simply changing their name and so Special Duties was born.

Special Duties have also toured in the US with a tour of the East Coast in 1998 supported by some of the best Punk Bands in the US namely The Casualties, Violent Society, The Virus, The Unseen and Banner of Hope. The finest moment of the tour was getting to play at one of the homes of Punk, CBGB's. A sell out gig with the doors being left open so the punks on the street who couldn't get in at least got to see and hear the band! The show was recorded for the ‘Live at CBGB's' album. The great reaction the band received in the US resulted in the boys touring the West Coast in 2001 supported by Violent Society, Oppressed Logic and some of California's best Punk Bands. 

Since reforming in 1995, six singles have been released plus a further four albums, '77 in 97', ‘The Punk Singles Collection', ‘Live at CBGB's and Get Back Records from Italy released Distorted Truth.

Jul
1
8:00 pm20:00

MITSKI, JAPANESE BREAKFAST, JAY SOM

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$10 ADVANCE / $12 DOOR / ALL AGES

Mitski warmly recalls a quote from sculptor El Anatsui, “Art grows out of each particular situation, and I believe that artists are better off working with whatever their environment throws up.” With this nerve exposed lyrically, and having dived into her new beginning, Mitski chooses her 2014 breakthrough album Bury Me at Makeout Creek to explore uncharted sonic territory, trading in large string arrangements for guitar and bass. While studying composition at SUNY Purchase’s music conservatory, she previously recorded music with a full orchestra. However as college graduation inched closer, Mitski moved away from the concert hall and into the campus’ active DIY scene. Upon relocating to New York following graduation, she entered stages at Death By Audio, Silent Barn, and Bed Stuy basements, entrenching her songs of love, fear, lust, and brilliant clarity into entirely sympathetic ears. Since releasing Bury Me at Makeout Creek, Mitski has received international acclaim for her distinct, arresting sound and profoundly reflective lyrics. Pitchfork applauded the release as “inventive and resourceful,” while Rolling Stone celebrated her “deep-cutting lyrics.” NME said of Bury Me, “it’s a record that doesn’t tug at your heart-strings as much as it mercilessly pounds at them, taking to your emotions like a lead pipe to a piñata.” She has also received widespread attention for her “cathartic” live shows as dubbed by The New York Times’ Jon Caramanica. “I was so young when I behaved 25,” Mitski sings on “First Love / Late Spring,” “yet now I find I’ve grown into a tall child.” This veritable thesis speaks to sentiments of the poetry and beauty of struggling up the hill to adulthood. Mitski follows El Anatsui’s humbling advice, cathartically revealing snapshots from her adventures in youth, and the empowerment found in sharing these stories with others. In 2015 Mitski is poised to continue delivering her particular flavor of soul-baring rock, and tour throughout North America and beyond.

Mitski warmly recalls a quote from sculptor El Anatsui, “Art grows out of each particular situation, and I believe that artists are better off working with whatever their environment throws up.”

With this nerve exposed lyrically, and having dived into her new
beginning, Mitski chooses her 2014 breakthrough album Bury Me at Makeout Creek to explore uncharted sonic territory, trading in large string arrangements for guitar and bass. While studying composition at SUNY Purchase’s music conservatory, she previously recorded music with a full orchestra. However as college graduation inched closer, Mitski moved away from the
concert hall and into the campus’ active DIY scene. Upon relocating to New York following graduation, she entered stages at Death By Audio, Silent Barn, and Bed Stuy basements, entrenching her songs of love, fear, lust, and brilliant clarity into entirely sympathetic ears.

Since releasing Bury Me at Makeout Creek, Mitski has
received international acclaim for her distinct, arresting sound and profoundly reflective lyrics. Pitchfork applauded the release as “inventive and resourceful,” while Rolling Stone celebrated her “deep-cutting lyrics.” NME said of Bury Me, “it’s a record that doesn’t tug at your heart-strings as much as it mercilessly pounds at them, taking to your emotions like a lead pipe to a
piñata.” She has also received widespread attention for her “cathartic” live shows as dubbed by The New York Times’ Jon Caramanica.

“I was so young when I behaved 25,” Mitski sings on “First Love / Late Spring,” “yet now I find I’ve grown into a tall child.” This veritable thesis speaks to sentiments of the poetry and beauty of struggling up the hill to adulthood. Mitski follows El Anatsui’s humbling advice, cathartically revealing snapshots from her adventures in youth, and the empowerment found in sharing these stories with others. In 2015 Mitski is poised to continue delivering her particular flavor of soul-baring rock, and tour throughout North America and beyond.

Aug
14
8:00 pm20:00

DEERHOOF, COWTOWN (U.K), TELE NOVELLA

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DOORS: 8 PM / $12 ADVANCE / $15 DOOR / ALL AGES

Satomi Matsuzaki plays bass and sings, Greg Saunier plays drums, John Dieterich and Ed Rodriguez play guitars. But what is Deerhoof really? Hell if we know. Pitchfork went so far as to label Deerhoof as "the best band in the world.” The New York Times described them as “one of the most original rock bands to have come along in the last decade.” From their humble beginnings as an obscure San Francisco noise act, they've become one of indie music's most influential bands with their ecstatic and unruly take on pop.

Satomi Matsuzaki plays bass and sings, Greg Saunier plays drums, John Dieterich and Ed Rodriguez play guitars.

But what is Deerhoof really? Hell if we know.

Pitchfork went so far as to label Deerhoof as "the best band in the world.” The New York Times described them as “one of the most original rock bands to have come along in the last decade.”

From their humble beginnings as an obscure San Francisco noise act, they've become one of indie music's most influential bands with their ecstatic and unruly take on pop.


May
2
8:00 pm20:00

L.A. WITCH, SUGAR CANDY MOUNTAIN, MOJAVE RED, AK'CHAMEL

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8 pm / $7 ADVANCE / $10 DOOR / ALL AGES

"Dirty distorted country" -- Dark Party

"Imagine Kim Deal influenced by Nirvana (rather than the other way around)" -- Los Angeles Magazine

"Images of Gun Club 'Fire Of Love' era and early X" -- Buddyhead

"Recalls the early ragged glory of Black Rebel Motorcycle Club or the Black Angels" -- Buzzbands LA

"Haunted surf rock, road trip blues and 60's-sounding psychedelia" -- L.A. Weekly

"A dirty country-blues sound... a darker, scuzzier, more psychedelic Holly Golightly" -- Kalamitat

"Scuzzy dark country minimalism... ghostly lo-fi vocals and Black Angels-sounding psychedelia." -- Tom Tom Magazine

Apr
29
6:30 pm18:30

PARACHUTE: THE WIDE AWAKE TOUR

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DOORS @ 6:30 PM / $21 ADV / $23 DAY / $25 BOX OFFICE / ALL AGES

For the members of Mercury Records group Parachute, the name of their third album, Overnight, could well be a sly commentary on the hard work and commitment it's taken for them to experience the success that's been building over the last four years and first two albums. Their 2009 debut Losing Sleep featured the Top 15 single, "She is Love" (boasting more than 6.5 million views), while 2011's The Way It Was included the #1 iTunes Rock Song "Kiss Me Slowly" (co-written with Lady Antebellum) and the Top 15 hit "Something to Believe In."
Or it could refer to the late evenings put in by chief songwriter Will Anderson, burning the midnight oil, writing in his new Nashville base, after moving from the band's hometown of Charlottesville, VA (where they were discovered and signed to Dave Matthews Band's Red Light Management out of college). Anderson composed more than 50 songs for the album with a variety of collaborators, including Ryan Tedder (the first single, "Can't Help"), as well as Grammy winner Chris DeStefano [Kelly Clarkson] and Ashley Gorley [Carrie Underwood, Keith Urban] on the title track.
"Even though there's plenty of pressure to break through on your third album, the actual recording process was much less stressful," says Will about the band's sessions at Ocean Way in Nashville with producer Oren Yoel, a young contemporary who has worked with hip-hop phenom Asher Roth as well as Miley Cyrus, among others. "All of us were on the same wavelength. We all kind of knew exactly what we wanted without having to say it out loud. There was a weird sense of peace that we knew where we were going and where we needed to be."
From the pop fervor of "Can't Help" and the powerful simplicity of "Hurricane," composed on acoustic guitar by Will after a long frustrating day, to the ‘80s Phil Collins-meets-U2 flair of "Waiting for that Call" and the slow Peter Gabriel/John Mayer jam of "The Other Side," Parachute prove adept at combining guitarist Nate McFarland's Edge-influenced arena-rock guitar licks with Will's melodic sense of what will resonate with their passionate fan base.
It's no surprise for anyone who has followed the band's history. Will has been playing with drummer Johnny Stubblefield, bassist Alex Hargrave and saxophone/keyboardist Kit French since they were high school classmates in Charlottesville almost 10 years ago. Anderson met Nate while attending University of Virginia together, and the guitarist joined the band six years ago.
"We're just now getting to know one another as musicians as well as we know each other as people," says Will. "We wanted to capture a sound in the studio that reflected us as a band. And we all know which parts each of us had to play to get that sound."
The band's stylistic palette can run the range from old-school legends like Stevie Wonder, Elton John, Paul Simon and Bruce Springsteen to newer acts like U2, Coldplay, Weezer, Ben Folds, Maroon 5 and John Mayer.
With producer Yoel, the band has even begun to stretch the boundaries, with Will's spoken word vocals adding almost a hip-hop flavor to a new song called "Didn't See It Coming," about an actress friend of theirs in Hollywood excited to land a gig, only to discover it was an X-rated feature.
"That's probably the catchiest song I've ever written," he says. "I just laid down this spoken-word track, thinking we'd replace it later, but everyone loved it so much, we kept it on."
Anderson is most proud of "Hurricane," a song he wrote before going to sleep by strumming an acoustic guitar.
"It's like the feeling you get when you think you're never going to be able to write another song," explains Will. "Once I started, it all came spilling out."
Anderson credits guitarist Nate with creating parts that were "just perfect" for each song. "He really nailed it, with a unique spin to every song that made them epic, but at the same time, within a pop framework. That's something we've always tried to do, melding his rock guitar to my sensibilities, making it work both for the arena and within the melodic sense of strong hooks. I think we really nailed it this time."
Having played more than 400 shows over the last few years, touring around the country with everyone from NeedtoBreathe to Andy Grammer, Parachute's live show continues to grow and impress. They've also played before several million at a New Year's Eve celebration in Times Square, as well as appearing on NBC's The Tonight Show with Jay Leno, ABC's Good Morning America and Jimmy Kimmel Live and CBS' The Early Show. The band's songs have been featured on MTV's The City along with CW's One Tree Hill, Vampire Diaries and 90210.
"It's so nice to have three albums' worth of material to choose from in concert," says Will, while the band has always played an eclectic variety of covers, from Spencer Davis Group's "Gimme Some Loving" to vintage tracks from Elton John, Billy Joel, Bruce Springsteen, Stevie Wonder, the Commodores and Motown. "We're just now hitting our stride as a live band. We're better musicians who have come to trust one another. We all have our pocket and fill it. But we still have a long way to go."
Overnight has a little something for everyone. Longtime fans will recognize their favorite band, with a fresh sound bound to intrigue newcomers.
"The last album was like taking a brand-new car straight off the lot," says Will. "This album is just as fun to drive, but it's like a vintage Mustang, a little more muscle and grittier, built to last."


Apr
24
6:30 pm18:30

LAURA STEVENSON, CRYING, CHRIS FARREN

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DOORS:  6:30 PM / $12 ADV / $14 DAY OF / $16 BOX OFFICE

Laura Stevenson is finally learning not to worry. After more than a year of national and worldwide touring following the release of her critically acclaimed album Wheel, both headlining, and alongside such varied acts as Against Me!, The Go-Go's, Kevin Devine, Tim Kasher of Cursive, and The Gaslight Anthem, the songwriter made the move from her between-tour home base of Brooklyn, to upstate New York's Hudson River Valley. There, she rented a nineteenth- century Victorian, a former brothel in a cement-mining town-turned hippie-enclave, and converted the attic into a makeshift studio. It was in this space that she and her band went to work arranging and demoing the eleven songs she had written that would make up Cocksure, Stevenson's fourth album. The record features musicians Mike Campbell, Alex Billig and Peter Naddeo, who in various incarnations have performed with her for over seven years, as well as newcomer Samantha Niss, a long-time Hudson Valley resident and the veritable go-to drummer of the region.

Apr
22
7:00 pm19:00

OTENKI, DJ FOUR, PORTAL FRAME, ARI & THE SKELETONES, HOTMAGANDHI

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DOORS: 7 PM / $10 ADV / $15 DOOR / ALL AGES


Otenki: https://www.facebook.com/otenkirocks/
Hotmagandhi: https://www.facebook.com/hotmagandhi/
Portal Frame: http://facebook.com/portalframeband
DJ FOUR
Ari & The Skeletones: https://www.facebook.com/Skeletones

Stream Otenki's album 'KINETIC' here: http://spoti.fi/1OrHtC7
Purchase the album on iTunes: http://apple.co/1BeNqOz

Apr
19
7:00 pm19:00

RUN RIVER NORTH, THE LIGHTHOUSE AND THE WHALER

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DOORS @ 7 PM / ALL AGES

"During the writing of Drinking From A Salt Pond, the band admits to flaring tempers and tense operations as they worked to redefine their sound, goals, and relationships…"

Run River North will be the first to tell you: it has largely been an uphill climb for the indie rock sextet from Los Angeles, a hero's journey full of odds-defying opportunities seized amidst rocky naysayers and the snagging brambles of band life. And now, with their second full-length album Drinking From A Salt Pond, Run River North are poised to push forward and create their own wake as a major voice in today's music landscape.

Since the band's beginnings just over four years ago, their rise has been steadily spectacular, marked by appearances on national television, sold-out shows at historic venues, tours with rock and roll royalty and heaps of praise from fans and critics alike. As they blossomed, they embraced their initially folk-driven sound, which found its harmonic home alongside rootsy, foot stomping, sing-along-leading peers like Mumford & Sons, The Head and the Heart, and Of Monsters and Men. Powered by the acoustic-guitar-and-vocals songwriting of frontman Alex Hwang, their 2014 self-titled debut record, produced by Phil Ek (Fleet Foxes, Modest Mouse, Band of Horses), was released with their lineup rounded out by the strings duo of Daniel Chae and Jennifer Rim, Joe Chun on bass, Sally Kang on keys, and John Chong on drums.

As time and tours passed, the six lives spent in close-quarters began to grind the gears a little differently; their whole dynamic began to change. "When we became a band, we mostly played Alex's songs in band form," says Chae. "Since then we've all put our musical input into it, so the music has changed a lot."

"We were tired of me on acoustic guitar and everybody singing harmonies," says Hwang. "We were hitting a ceiling, and it wasn't fun. We had always agreed this band was six-ways, for better or worse. So at the end of last year, after being in the van constantly, we said, 'no more touring, let's write new songs.'"

"We had to grow up pretty fast as a band," says Chong. "So this past year, there were times when different perspectives and priorities have butted heads."

During the writing of Drinking From A Salt Pond, the band admits to flaring tempers and tense operations as they worked to redefine their sound, goals and relationships. "We've had a lot of hating each other, almost kicking people out of the band," says Hwang. "We're being honest and that openness is one of the main thrusts for the album. Embracing the bitter with the sweet, not trying to hide the crappy parts…the crappy parts helped make the good." Being open about its faults, the band recognizes how the turmoil has helped Run River North create something beautiful.

"The record we just made, it's all the difficult stuff we went through so there's a darker tone to the music. It works," says Chae.

One of the first steps in leaving behind their folk roots was to work with new collaborators. Instead of the reverb-heavy, northwest sound of Ek, they recorded in Los Angeles with Lars Stalfors (Cold War Kids, HEALTH, Deap Vally, Matt and Kim) at the production helm. Stalfors opened their eyes to the upbeat energy and electric tone of indie bands like The Walkmen. Throughout Salt Pond the indie rock influence can be heard, with the band nodding inspiration to everyone from Cage the Elephant and Kings of Leon to The National, Death Cab for Cutie, and Cold War Kids, whose studio in San Pedro, CA the band borrowed to make the album. Also, in a move encouraged by their record label, Nettwerk, Hwang and Chae were sent to Nashville for a week in April 2015 to work on a few new tracks with two different co-writers, Lincoln Parish (formerly of Cage the Elephant) and the Kings of Leon collaborator Nick Brown.

"It was weird but at the same time it was really encouraging," says Hwang of the co-writing. "It was like bringing our demos to a blind date."

The first song from the Nashville sessions was "Run Or Hide," co-written with Parish, and from first listen it's clear that Run River North are exploring bombastic new territory. Hwang, Chae, and Parish came up with an organic way of working that was based on jamming and vibing together, and once the song's melody was nailed down, the rest came easily. It was immediately hard-hitting than any previous song from the band, with a discernible strut serving as a sonic contrast. When the demo was sent home to LA, the rest of the band was shocked.

"Almost everyone else was really scared," says Hwang, "'this is not your voice, this is not who we are.' I was confident it was a really good song and that we were gonna keep it. There's nothing more aggressive on the record, and that groove on the verses is bigger than the band. The band can't contain the song."

"I loved it!" says Chong emphatically. "Alex has a very wide range of emotion when he sings—soft, whispery things; really bombastic; rough—this song showcases all of that. I got really excited. When we recorded it, it really showcases more groove. Joe, our bass player, is solid, and the way the melody is created in the verses really adds to that. There's a really cool contrast happening, but the choruses hit hard."

The other song written in Tennessee was the Nick Brown co-penned "Can't Come Down," a track with pop qualities that the band does not shy away from recognizing. For that they leaned on Brown heavily, who served almost as a mentor to Hwang and Chae during the sessions, teaching them about pop hooks, authenticity, and Southern tradition. Deciding to go all in on a pop song, the trio rallied behind Brown's catchy melodies and licks, and what they ended up with is a happy medium that "still sounds as Run River North as possible," according to Chong, while simultaneously reaching for the rafters.

"We really gelled with Nick Brown," says Hwang. "We had the same idea: 'We have enough songs that exemplify us, so let's try our hand at writing a pop hook.' With that mentality we came up with 'Can't Come Down.' Nick wrote the hook, Daniel and Nick wrote the music, and a heavy collaboration on lyrics from everyone. It's the first song I ever sang the word 'baby' in."

With those songs firmly planting the band's flag in new ground, it is Hwang's "29" that may be the best indicator of the band Run River North are becoming. A piano and drum fueled anthem examining the ups and downs of transition, it finds the singer posing multiple existential questions at once. "Everyone's always talking about how if you will something, it's gonna happen. But, sometimes it doesn't!" says Hwang. "That was a realization I wanted to play with: 'Your words are cold like the wind…' It's kind of like saying, 'I don't care what you think,' but it's also a reflection about my words. What I do can be just as insignificant as anyone else. So what are you gonna do about it? You're 29. 'I know it's home, I know it hurts/I know I'll end up at the bottom/What if I leave?' What if we go on this tour and we don't end up anywhere? The brutal question is, who cares, and why does it matter? Not answering that in the song really helps. The music is still upbeat, it still has the 'oh's' going on, it's an anthemic thing. I'm still energetic, I'm not some old dude at 29."

"29" was written on electric guitar, a tool Hwang has been using more frequently since the end of the debut album's touring cycle. Originally intended for a more somber feel, at the suggestion of their producer Stalfors, the tempo rose to meet Hwang's intonations. "It became this song with so much energy," says Chong, "it's probably the fastest song we've ever done as a band. It's new territory for us; it's very fun. It's a good transition, with lulled verses and really upbeat instrumentals and choruses. This is a good appetizer for our old fans, as this is who we've become."

Embracing their natural growth and learning to ride the waves of their personal and musical evolutions with open hearts and nimble hands, Run River North have created a sophomore album that will propel them to the forefront of today's landscape. Although at times the rushing water of their rise will pool into depths tough to swallow, they have learned to lean on each other and to trust themselves along the way in order to make something lasting and truly beautiful.

"From the start, we always said we wanted to play on the biggest stages possible," says Hwang. "That's still the same. But it isn't some self-indulgent dream of becoming rock stars; we still want to support our families with this, we still have the parents that sacrificed for us and we want to honor them. For us as a band, at times it's felt like we've been drinking from a salt pond—and yet, we still created something pretty fresh that we like and are proud of."


Apr
13
8:00 pm20:00

SLINGSHOT DAKOTA, MIDDLECHILD, VALENS, SINCE ALWAYS

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DOORS @ 8 / $5 ADVANCE / $10 DOOR / ALL AGES

Carly Comando and Tom Patterson are two people who carry the weight of an entire band. Their set-up is simple: Carly is on keys and Tom plays drums. They do things with these instruments that most bands can't do with a standard set up: they cram the sonic space they are in. Originally this was actually the case as they began as a three-piece featuring Jeff Cunningham and Latterman's Pat Schramm. But narrowing it down to a duo in 2006 did no harm; Carly's keyboard seems to take on the role of several more people as it adds multiple dimensions to their sound. 2008's Their Dreams are Dead, but Ours is the Golden Ghost was a seminal release for their entry onto the scene. With Carly from Long Island and Tom from the Lehigh Valley (PA), their home-turfs both came with built-in popular support as they romped the DIY all-ages show circuit. In it, they blew away audiences with their at-times more sober lines like "I'm gonna love you till the day I die" juxtaposed with moments of their swelling pop sound. When Tom isn't screenprinting (he does everything from gig posters to commercial ventures to fine art) and Carly isn't music licensing, they are refining their highly-anticipated album, Dark Hearts, set to come out this year.

Carly Comando and Tom Patterson are two people who carry the weight of an entire band. Their set-up is simple: Carly is on keys and Tom plays drums. They do things with these instruments that most bands can't do with a standard set up: they cram the sonic space they are in. Originally this was actually the case as they began as a three-piece featuring Jeff Cunningham and Latterman's Pat Schramm. But narrowing it down to a duo in 2006 did no harm; Carly's keyboard seems to take on the role of several more people as it adds multiple dimensions to their sound.

2008's Their Dreams are Dead, but Ours is the Golden Ghost was a seminal release for their entry onto the scene. With Carly from Long Island and Tom from the Lehigh Valley (PA), their home-turfs both came with built-in popular support as they romped the DIY all-ages show circuit. In it, they blew away audiences with their at-times more sober lines like "I'm gonna love you till the day I die" juxtaposed with moments of their swelling pop sound. When Tom isn't screenprinting (he does everything from gig posters to commercial ventures to fine art) and Carly isn't music licensing, they are refining their highly-anticipated album, Dark Hearts, set to come out this year.

Apr
12
7:00 pm19:00

LITTLE GREEN CARS, JOHN MARK NELSON

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DOORS: 7 PM / $12 ADVANCE / $14 DAY OF / $16 BOX OFFICE

Few of us make much out of the endless weekend hours we spend together when we're young. Draping ourselves throughout our friends' houses and airing out the angst and dreams and heartbreaks that will shape us before they fade away with time, we may make mixtapes, or weave friendship bracelets, or simply craft inside jokes and rosy memories to cherish in years down the line. But for Dublin folk rock quintet Little Green Cars, those Sunday afternoons may have built the most important adventure they'll ever take.

Fresh off a whirlwind month of touring that included several CMJ showcases - ones that caught the attention of outlets like NPR and the New York Times - the band will be spending the next few months leading up to Absolute Zero's release preparing themselves for whatever comes next. Because once it drops, all they'll be able to do is to keep their hands outstretched and wait patiently for listeners to reach back.

Apr
11
8:00 pm20:00

DRESSY BESSY, GIANT KITTY, SLOW FUTURE

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RSVP! 

DOORS: 8 PM / $8 ADVANCE / $10 DOOR / ALL AGES

"We never broke up,” Dressy Bessy singer/guitarist Tammy Ealom says on the occasion of the release of KINGSIZED, her band’s first new album in seven years. “It was never our intention to drop out, it just sort of happened. We were dealing with life, but we never stopped making music.” “We didn’t quit,” agrees guitarist John Hill, Ealom’s bandmate of nearly two decades. “But we did go through a period of reexamining what we were doing, and we came out of it a better and stronger band.” Indeed, the 13-song KINGSIZED makes it clear that, nearly 20 years into their career, Dressy Bessy are making some of their most compelling and accomplished music. Such melodically infectious, lyrically barbed new tunes as “Lady Liberty,” “Make Mine Violet” and the anthemic title track are potent examples of the band’s uncanny ability to wrap Ealom’s personally-charged, pointedly subversive lyrics in sparkling, irresistibly catchy songcraft. In addition to showcasing the band’s musical chemistry, KINGSIZED also draws upon the talents of a wide assortment of friends, admirers, and contemporaries. R.E.M’s Peter Buck adds distinctive 12-string guitar on “Lady Liberty” and “Cup ‘O Bang Bang,” while legendary Pylon frontwoman Vanessa Briscoe-Hay adds her voice to “Get Along (Diamond Ring).” Minus 5/Young Fresh Fellows mastermind Scott McCaughey plays keyboards on “Make Mine Violet” and “57 Disco” and R.E.M’s Mike Mills sings on the band’s distinctive rendering of the George Harrison classic “What Is Life,” which appears as the b-side of the 7″ single release of “Lady Liberty.” KINGSIZED, after the departure of original bass player Rob Greene, features an assortment of notable guest bassists as well, including Eric Allen of The Apples In Stereo, Jason Garner of the Polyphonic Spree and The Deathray Davies, Mike Giblin of Split Squad and fabled punk progenitor Andy Shernoff of The Dictators. “We’ve always been a really self-contained band, and not the kind of band to have a million guest stars,” Ealom notes. “But losing a member freed us up to try different things and bring in different people, who came up with things that were different from what we’d come up with on our own. I went ahead and recorded some scratch bass lines for the songs on the album, and then we asked various people to play, and it worked out perfectly.”  “We gave almost everybody the song and let them do what they do, and we got some great things back,” adds Hill. “One of the bass parts actually set the tone of the song for me, and had a big impact on my guitar parts. On “KINGSIZED”, we sent the song off to our friend Mike Giblin and he sent us back three bass lines: the Ramones version, the Buzzcocks version and the Elvis Costello version. We ended up using the Buzzcocks version.” The release of KINGSIZED caps a transitional period that followed Dressy Bessy’s 2008 release Holler and Stomp, during which the band cut back on its touring activities and limited their musical output to their 2012 Summer Singles series of digital singles. “It was a combination of a lot of things,” says Hill, who is also a longtime member of The Apples In Stereo. “Holler and Stomp came out right before the economy crashed in 2008, and that made it much harder to tour, and hard to get people out to shows.” “It kind of took the wind out of our sails for awhile and caused our morale to drop,” Ealom admits. “But it also forced us to think about how we felt about the band. We came out of that period feeling stronger than ever. Then the songs started coming, and I wrote this album in about a month.” KINGSIZED also marks a return to the band’s early recording approach. As Hill explains, “With our first two albums, we were a completely D.I.Y. operation, and we recorded everything at home. Then we did our next three albums in the studio. Three or four years ago, we revamped our home studio, so we could record complete works at home. Now we have the sound quality of a real studio without the time constraints. We have enough time for stuff to jell and enough time to work things out.” While KINGSIZED features some of the most focused, organic music Dressy Bessy has ever made, the new album is consistent with the pursuit of joy and transcendence that’s been the band’s mission from its early days in its hometown of Denver.  “When we started,” Hill recalls, “everybody was making music that was so serious, and fun had become really unfashionable. If you played rock ‘n’ roll in 1996, you were expected to be glum and brooding, but we wanted to show people a good time.” “Sometimes,” Ealom adds, “we felt like we were in the wrong decade, like we should have been around in the ’60s, when bands weren’t afraid to look like they were enjoying themselves. It never made sense to me to go and see a band and everyone’s sulking and moping; I couldn’t relate to that at all.” Although such seminal Dressy Bessy releases as Pink Hearts Yellow Moons, The California EP, SoundGoRound, Little Music: Singles 1997-2002, Dressy Bessy and Electrified earned the band an enthusiastic fan base with their effervescent, uplifting pop tunes, they also caused some observers to miss the tougher edge of Ealom’s lyrics.  “All of my songs,” she reveals, “come out of some sort of personal turmoil, or they’re me getting back at someone or something. But I think people hear our name and see our artwork, and they think of us as some kind of bubbly cartoon.”  “Some people saw the songs as kind of cutesy,” Hill notes. “But in fact, so many of them are Tammy saying ‘fuck you.’ But when we play them, we’re jumping around and smiling, because we’re having fun. Some people don’t get it, but our fans do.” Now that they’re back in action with some of their strongest music to date, Dressy Bessy is happy to be back at work. “I feel like we’re just starting to get good at what we do,” Ealom states. “We’ve had a lot of time to hone in our sound, knowing what we want to sound like and figuring out what we need to do to get that. I’m really excited about the future.” “We actually kind of know what we’re doing now,” adds Hill with a chuckle. “We used to always be flying by the seat of our pants, but we’re better players, Tammy is a better singer, and we’re a better band. I think we’ve recorded the best album that we ever have, so our plan now is to just get out there and rock, then keep on rocking. We need our fans and we feel like they need us too.”

"We never broke up,” Dressy Bessy singer/guitarist Tammy Ealom says on the occasion of the release of KINGSIZED, her band’s first new album in seven years. “It was never our intention to drop out, it just sort of happened. We were dealing with life, but we never stopped making music.”

“We didn’t quit,” agrees guitarist John Hill, Ealom’s bandmate of nearly two decades. “But we did go through a period of reexamining what we were doing, and we came out of it a better and stronger band.”

Indeed, the 13-song KINGSIZED makes it clear that, nearly 20 years into their career, Dressy Bessy are making some of their most compelling and accomplished music. Such melodically infectious, lyrically barbed new tunes as “Lady Liberty,” “Make Mine Violet” and the anthemic title track are potent examples of the band’s uncanny ability to wrap Ealom’s personally-charged, pointedly subversive lyrics in sparkling, irresistibly catchy songcraft.

In addition to showcasing the band’s musical chemistry, KINGSIZED also draws upon the talents of a wide assortment of friends, admirers, and contemporaries. R.E.M’s Peter Buck adds distinctive 12-string guitar on “Lady Liberty” and “Cup ‘O Bang Bang,” while legendary Pylon frontwoman Vanessa Briscoe-Hay adds her voice to “Get Along (Diamond Ring).” Minus 5/Young Fresh Fellows mastermind Scott McCaughey plays keyboards on “Make Mine Violet” and “57 Disco” and R.E.M’s Mike Mills sings on the band’s distinctive rendering of the George Harrison classic “What Is Life,” which appears as the b-side of the 7″ single release of “Lady Liberty.”

KINGSIZED, after the departure of original bass player Rob Greene, features an assortment of notable guest bassists as well, including Eric Allen of The Apples In Stereo, Jason Garner of the Polyphonic Spree and The Deathray Davies, Mike Giblin of Split Squad and fabled punk progenitor Andy Shernoff of The Dictators.

“We’ve always been a really self-contained band, and not the kind of band to have a million guest stars,” Ealom notes. “But losing a member freed us up to try different things and bring in different people, who came up with things that were different from what we’d come up with on our own. I went ahead and recorded some scratch bass lines for the songs on the album, and then we asked various people to play, and it worked out perfectly.” 

“We gave almost everybody the song and let them do what they do, and we got some great things back,” adds Hill. “One of the bass parts actually set the tone of the song for me, and had a big impact on my guitar parts. On “KINGSIZED”, we sent the song off to our friend Mike Giblin and he sent us back three bass lines: the Ramones version, the Buzzcocks version and the Elvis Costello version. We ended up using the Buzzcocks version.”

The release of KINGSIZED caps a transitional period that followed Dressy Bessy’s 2008 release Holler and Stomp, during which the band cut back on its touring activities and limited their musical output to their 2012 Summer Singles series of digital singles.

“It was a combination of a lot of things,” says Hill, who is also a longtime member of The Apples In Stereo. “Holler and Stomp came out right before the economy crashed in 2008, and that made it much harder to tour, and hard to get people out to shows.”

“It kind of took the wind out of our sails for awhile and caused our morale to drop,” Ealom admits. “But it also forced us to think about how we felt about the band. We came out of that period feeling stronger than ever. Then the songs started coming, and I wrote this album in about a month.”

KINGSIZED also marks a return to the band’s early recording approach. As Hill explains, “With our first two albums, we were a completely D.I.Y. operation, and we recorded everything at home. Then we did our next three albums in the studio. Three or four years ago, we revamped our home studio, so we could record complete works at home. Now we have the sound quality of a real studio without the time constraints. We have enough time for stuff to jell and enough time to work things out.”

While KINGSIZED features some of the most focused, organic music Dressy Bessy has ever made, the new album is consistent with the pursuit of joy and transcendence that’s been the band’s mission from its early days in its hometown of Denver. 

“When we started,” Hill recalls, “everybody was making music that was so serious, and fun had become really unfashionable. If you played rock ‘n’ roll in 1996, you were expected to be glum and brooding, but we wanted to show people a good time.”

“Sometimes,” Ealom adds, “we felt like we were in the wrong decade, like we should have been around in the ’60s, when bands weren’t afraid to look like they were enjoying themselves. It never made sense to me to go and see a band and everyone’s sulking and moping; I couldn’t relate to that at all.”

Although such seminal Dressy Bessy releases as Pink Hearts Yellow Moons, The California EP, SoundGoRound, Little Music: Singles 1997-2002, Dressy Bessy and Electrified earned the band an enthusiastic fan base with their effervescent, uplifting pop tunes, they also caused some observers to miss the tougher edge of Ealom’s lyrics. 

“All of my songs,” she reveals, “come out of some sort of personal turmoil, or they’re me getting back at someone or something. But I think people hear our name and see our artwork, and they think of us as some kind of bubbly cartoon.” 

“Some people saw the songs as kind of cutesy,” Hill notes. “But in fact, so many of them are Tammy saying ‘fuck you.’ But when we play them, we’re jumping around and smiling, because we’re having fun. Some people don’t get it, but our fans do.”

Now that they’re back in action with some of their strongest music to date, Dressy Bessy is happy to be back at work. “I feel like we’re just starting to get good at what we do,” Ealom states. “We’ve had a lot of time to hone in our sound, knowing what we want to sound like and figuring out what we need to do to get that. I’m really excited about the future.”

“We actually kind of know what we’re doing now,” adds Hill with a chuckle. “We used to always be flying by the seat of our pants, but we’re better players, Tammy is a better singer, and we’re a better band. I think we’ve recorded the best album that we ever have, so our plan now is to just get out there and rock, then keep on rocking. We need our fans and we feel like they need us too.”

"I’m nearly ready to toss my hat into the ring for fan club presidency. The music seals the deal. Why would you not love a band singing about Keanu Reeves over music that sounds like Concrete Blonde? How could you resist an act that brings its one cover song to the stage, and it's a P.J. Harvey tune? "  – Houston Press "...refreshingly old-school, dancing across the grey area between New Wave, pop-punk, and straight-up pop... what might’ve happened if L7 had been produced by Ric Ocasek back when The Cars were at their peak"  – Space City Rocks

"I’m nearly ready to toss my hat into the ring for fan club presidency. The music seals the deal. Why would you not love a band singing about Keanu Reeves over music that sounds like Concrete Blonde? How could you resist an act that brings its one cover song to the stage, and it's a P.J. Harvey tune? "  – Houston Press

"...refreshingly old-school, dancing across the grey area between New Wave, pop-punk, and straight-up pop... what might’ve happened if L7 had been produced by Ric Ocasek back when The Cars were at their peak"  – Space City Rocks

Mar
28
8:00 pm20:00

HIGH-FUNCTIONING FLESH, BODY OF LIGHT, BUOYANT SPIRIT, SPIT MASK

Instinctive EBM laced punk from Los Angeles own High-Functioning Flesh cuts through the discord with their sophomore album, Definite Structures. Formed in southern California in 2012 following the conclusion of their previous musical endeavors, Gregory Vand and Susan Subtract came together fusing their backgrounds and aesthetics of industrial, punk, and noise to model songs that were collected on their debut album, A Unity of Miseries, A Misery of Unities, on Atlanta based electro label DKA Records. Referencing the rack mount synthesis and accented drum machine strikes of 80’s bands like Portion Control and Nitzer Ebb, HFF main-lined their punk resumes into the reaction causing a signature chemtrail of martial techno-inspired electronic mayhem shredded through a vocally dystopian finality. The past 3 years have launched HFF from a handful of lo-fi flashback demos to aggressively realized synth/punk dance floor anthems, carving out a sound that would let you think that HFF has warped time to an era completely their own.

Instinctive EBM laced punk from Los Angeles own High-Functioning Flesh cuts through the discord with their sophomore album, Definite Structures. Formed in southern California in 2012 following the conclusion of their previous musical endeavors, Gregory Vand and Susan Subtract came together fusing their backgrounds and aesthetics of industrial, punk, and noise to model songs that were collected on their debut album, A Unity of Miseries, A Misery of Unities, on Atlanta based electro label DKA Records.

Referencing the rack mount synthesis and accented drum machine strikes of 80’s bands like Portion Control and Nitzer Ebb, HFF main-lined their punk resumes into the reaction causing a signature chemtrail of martial techno-inspired electronic mayhem shredded through a vocally dystopian finality. The past 3 years have launched HFF from a handful of lo-fi flashback demos to aggressively realized synth/punk dance floor anthems, carving out a sound that would let you think that HFF has warped time to an era completely their own.

Formed in the Spring of 2011, Body of Light have proved to be a prolific force within the modern synth scene. From the archaic drones of their first releases, to their new heavy cinematic pop ballads and darkwave sounds, the two brothers are no strangers when it comes to pushing the boundaries of underground music. Having worked together and separately in previous projects such as Otro Mundo, Blue Krishna, Somali Extract, and Memorymann (among the few), whilst unveiling over a dozen visual, audio, and written works via the Ascetic House Collective, Alex and Andrew Jarson have released an abundant amount of work within a fairly short amount of time. Body of Light is simply one extension of that method of experimentation. Hesitant to define themselves strictly as a synth-pop act, the Jarson brothers incorporate a wide variety of sounds—they are attempting to construct a path, unique with decaying, warbled tape loops, old VHS home-movie sound samples from their childhood, digital and analog sound waves, and unique vocals buried in effects. Their idea is to utilize past and present technologies in a way that feels unique, new, and more importantly, honest. With multiple cassette releases to date, including Follow The Current, Lustre, Universal Sin, Volantà Di Amore and Limits of Reason, the project has established a sound and iconography that seem unusual in conjunction, though aesthetically and sonically rich.

Formed in the Spring of 2011, Body of Light have proved to be a prolific force within the modern synth scene. From the archaic drones of their first releases, to their new heavy cinematic pop ballads and darkwave sounds, the two brothers are no strangers when it comes to pushing the boundaries of underground music. Having worked together and separately in previous projects such as Otro Mundo, Blue Krishna, Somali Extract, and Memorymann (among the few), whilst unveiling over a dozen visual, audio, and written works via the Ascetic House Collective, Alex and Andrew Jarson have released an abundant amount of work within a fairly short amount of time. Body of Light is simply one extension of that method of experimentation.
Hesitant to define themselves strictly as a synth-pop act, the Jarson brothers incorporate a wide variety of sounds—they are attempting to construct a path, unique with decaying, warbled tape loops, old VHS home-movie sound samples from their childhood, digital and analog sound waves, and unique vocals buried in effects. Their idea is to utilize past and present technologies in a way that feels unique, new, and more importantly, honest. With multiple cassette releases to date, including Follow The Current, Lustre, Universal Sin, Volantà Di Amore and Limits of Reason, the project has established a sound and iconography that seem unusual in conjunction, though aesthetically and sonically rich.

Mar
26
8:00 pm20:00

ABSU, PEASANT, HEL-RAZOR

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DOORS @ 8 PM / ALL AGES

First formed as "Dolmen" in 1989 by Shaftiel (vocals/guitar/bass) and Equitant Ifernain (lead guitar, bass), the black/death metal band Absu hails from the least likely of extreme metal watering grounds: Dallas, Texas. By 1991, the name change to Absu (borrowed from ancient Mesopotamian beliefs) had taken effect, two demos, "Immortal Sorcery" and "Return of the Ancients" were in the can, and independent Gothic Records was showing interest in the self-proclaimed "mythological occult metal" group. Drummer/vocalist Proscriptor (a.k.a. Russ R. Givens) joined shortly after the release of the following year's The Temples of Offal E.P., and his academic lyrics and songwriting began to dominate the band, starting with 1993's full-length debut Barathrum. Absu then signed with France's famed Osmose Productions, which issued their subsequent efforts, Sun of Tiphareth (1995), ...And Shineth Unto the Cold Cometh (E.P., 1995), The Third Storm of Cythraul (1997), and In the Eyes of Ioldánach (E.P., 1998). Each of these displayed increasingly elaborate studies of obscure mysticism (Sumerian, Gaelic, you name it!), and, and led to tours with the likes of Impaled Nazarene and Enslaved, helping Absu carve a position of huge respect within black metal circles. 2001's long-awaited Tara focused on Celtic legend and obtained even greater acclaim, but was the last to feature longtime member Equitant. ~ Eduardo Rivadavia

Mar
25
6:00 pm18:00

THE SMITH STREET BAND, HARD GIRLS, WORRIERS, FIGHT ME

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DOORS @ 6 PM / ALL AGES

Once a word of mouth whisper in their hometown of Melbourne, Australia, The Smith Street band is slowly winning over the world. Riding high on the success of their album Sunshine & Technology from August of 2012, the band has rarely paused for breath since.  After concluding a sold out national tour of Australia to launch the record, the four-piece headed to China for five dates spanning the country, a destination largely neglected by artists, let alone those from Melbourne playing a brand of music The Big Issue referred to as "unpretentious and insightful." The band then won over a new legion of fans when they headed to The USA for the first time, taking in the East Coast and concluding the tour with a much talked about performance at The Fest, in Gainesville, Florida. The following year they returned to The States again, this time for an extensive tour with Frank Tuner. In between, there were dates in Europe, the UK, Canada and increasingly larger venues played in Australia, as the good word spread. It wasn't just the fans catching on to The Smith Street Band however, as inadvertently they become Australian ambassadors for touring punk bands in their country, playing host to international acts Restorations, Joyce Manor, Cheap Girls, Bomb The Music Industry and recently The Menzingers on a sold-out national tour. As songwriter Wil Wagner sings, "Let's start something bigger than us," the band created friendships and a following boundless to borders and were soon no longer just a small band from Melbourne, Australia.   Having played most of Australia's music festivals and received high rotation on the national broadcaster triple J, the band now finds themselves in demand overseas, including being booked for Groezrock Festival in Belgium and getting airplay in foreign countries. Their most recent offering, a 5 track EP titled, Don't Fuck With Our Dreams was released via Poison City Records in August of 2013 and recently picked up internationally by Asian Man Records in America and Uncle M in Germany. As 2014 rolls on, between completing a European tour with Restorations, coming home to record their third album, returning again to Europe and then The US, releasing the album, then touring Australia, this year is shaping up to be the band's biggest and busiest year yet, which compared to 2012 and 2013 is a feat in itself.

Once a word of mouth whisper in their hometown of Melbourne, Australia, The Smith Street band is slowly winning over the world. Riding high on the success of their album Sunshine & Technology from August of 2012, the band has rarely paused for breath since. 

After concluding a sold out national tour of Australia to launch the record, the four-piece headed to China for five dates spanning the country, a destination largely neglected by artists, let alone those from Melbourne playing a brand of music The Big Issue referred to as "unpretentious and insightful."

The band then won over a new legion of fans when they headed to The USA for the first time, taking in the East Coast and concluding the tour with a much talked about performance at The Fest, in Gainesville, Florida. The following year they returned to The States again, this time for an extensive tour with Frank Tuner. In between, there were dates in Europe, the UK, Canada and increasingly larger venues played in Australia, as the good word spread.
It wasn't just the fans catching on to The Smith Street Band however, as inadvertently they become Australian ambassadors for touring punk bands in their country, playing host to international acts Restorations, Joyce Manor, Cheap Girls, Bomb The Music Industry and recently The Menzingers on a sold-out national tour. As songwriter Wil Wagner sings, "Let's start something bigger than us," the band created friendships and a following boundless to borders and were soon no longer just a small band from Melbourne, Australia.  

Having played most of Australia's music festivals and received high rotation on the national broadcaster triple J, the band now finds themselves in demand overseas, including being booked for Groezrock Festival in Belgium and getting airplay in foreign countries. Their most recent offering, a 5 track EP titled, Don't Fuck With Our Dreams was released via Poison City Records in August of 2013 and recently picked up internationally by Asian Man Records in America and Uncle M in Germany.
As 2014 rolls on, between completing a European tour with Restorations, coming home to record their third album, returning again to Europe and then The US, releasing the album, then touring Australia, this year is shaping up to be the band's biggest and busiest year yet, which compared to 2012 and 2013 is a feat in itself.


Mar
21
8:00 pm20:00

CROWN LARKS, AK'CHAMEL

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DOORS: 8 PM / $7 ADV / $10 DOOR / ALL AGES

"Crown Larks threw psych-rock, noise music, and free jazz into one pot and stirred until the whole thing combusted.” – Stereogum "…a coed unit of electro-jazz shapeshifters with a penchant for blending the schizophrenic and radical musical movements its hometown is notorious for producing." – The Village Voice what happened heavy grooves // harsh noise // subtle whispers // free jazzish chaos // damaged outbursts // tangled polyrhthms // fuzzy drones // personal songs, twisted Americana

"Crown Larks threw psych-rock, noise music, and free jazz into one pot and stirred until the whole thing combusted.” – Stereogum

"…a coed unit of electro-jazz shapeshifters with a penchant for blending the schizophrenic and radical musical movements its hometown is notorious for producing." – The Village Voice

what happened heavy grooves // harsh noise // subtle whispers // free jazzish chaos // damaged outbursts // tangled polyrhthms // fuzzy drones // personal songs, twisted Americana