TONIGHT 9.28 | Chelsea Shag with Caleb Hawley! Support from Elgin. Doors 8:30. More info at link in bio. 👆�
with Cinemachanica, Thousandaire
The Masquerade, Speakeasy Promotions, and Wrecking Ball ATL Present...
Oneiric Album Release Concert
w/ Cinemechanica, Thousandaire
Sunday October 2 @ Aisle 5
$10adv / $12dos / All Ages / Doors at 7pm
Fascinating things can happen when a hard alternative rock band explores its dreamy side. The result is BIG JESUS’ ‘Oneiric’ (pronounced ō-ˈnī-rik), which means “relating to dreams or dreaming.” BIG JESUS contrasts loud and heavy fuzz-laden tones with soft, pop-melodic vocals to create their own unique brand of music. The result is ethereal rock n’ roll that’s multi-faceted and powerful: Loud and soft; bludgeoning and dreamy; progressive and classic…all at the same time.
BIG JESUS’ eclectic sound stems from their surroundings and their upbringing in the Atlanta, GA music scene. “We grew up in the Atlanta punk/hardcore/metal scene, and that has a big influence on us, musically and philosophically,” explains guitarist C.J. Ridings. Lead singer/bassist Spencer Ussery continues, “We grew up on the popular rock music of the 90s, and we’re greatly impacted by everything from metal, psychedelic pop, shoegaze, hip hop, and even classical piano music.” Rounding out the band are guitarist Thomas Gonzalez and drummer Joe Sweat.
On BIG JESUS’ upcoming Mascot Label Group debut, Oneiric, the band showcases six brand new songs and four previously self-released tunes, which have been remixed and rerecorded. The result is a trippy group of lush, accessible songs with the surreal feel of a Fellini film.
Oneiric was recorded in Los Angeles and produced by Matt Hyde (Deftones, Slayer, Monster Magnet, Sum 41, Alkaline Trio, etc.). Of the recording, Ridings says, “Working with Matt was fun and amazing. It was an experience I never would have dreamed I'd get to do. Matt totally understood our band and what we wanted to create.” Ussery continues, “Working with Matt in Los Angeles was incredible. He knew exactly what was needed from us in order to make the best of the songs in the end, and the final product is something that we are all extremely proud of.”
BIG JESUS originally formed in 2009 through Atlanta’s alternative rock music scene. Ridings explains, ”I had the idea to create a band with some friends in my spare time, just for fun. The idea was to just record a few songs and put them online for free. So I made this demo of a song one day where I played all the instruments and then sent it to a few people. I'm a terrible singer, so finding that was my first priority, and Spencer was my immediate thought of who to ask. We ended up getting together with a drummer friend of ours and re-recorded the demo with Spencer singing, got a couple other friends involved, and eventually made a little 4 song EP to put up online in 2011. From there, it just kind of snowballed to taking it more and more seriously. From the EP, people wanted us to play some small local shows, then we got asked to open some bigger shows, then that drove us to make an album of new songs, then that got us a record deal, bigger shows, etc. Now, in 2016, this band has become my absolute top priority and through the process, Spencer has become one of my closest friends and an amazing person to collaborate with.” Ussery adds, “CJ and I had met several years prior, playing shows together with our different Atlanta bands. Over the course of writing and recording a few demos for fun, we started to flesh out a solid lineup of talented guys to play with us. Through several lineup changes, and CJ and I switching guitar and bass duty, we landed on our current lineup with Tommy on lead guitar and Joe on the drums.”
The band is somewhat cryptic when asked to explain meanings behind their songs, instead preferring their audience to form its own opinions of what each song is about. Blending yin with yang, heavy with soft, can produce the most alluring results. Such is the music of BIG JESUS.
The first cut on the album, “SP,” starts off right away energetically, with big guitars. Its heavy beat with melodic vocals sweeping over it gives it an almost psychedelic feel. “Time bends away/It’s such a shame to hear you say/Leave your thoughts at the door/Don’t think, put your mind away/Let it all fade.”
The next track, “Always,” is heavy and anthemic, with crunchy guitars and a strong rhythm section driving the tune throughout. “Some sleight of hand lights up your eyes/Some treaded thought to lay beside/Always sleepless thinking of it/Always.”
“Lock & Key” is reminiscent of some of the biggest hits in ‘90s alternative rock, with its soft beginning, which crescendos into fuzzy guitar tricks and bombastic, harmonious vocals. “Don’t leave me loveless/Your lock hangs there looming/Don’t leave me loveless.”
Anthemic power ballad “Fader” draws us in with trippy, deft guitar and bass work, a steady, rolling drumbeat, and alluring, sweeping vocals that suck you into a dreamscape. “Oneiric undertones to what I know is real/Dream-like, there in the light/It’s hard believing still/I don’t want to go back/I don’t want to go back to knowing what it’s like on my own.”
BIG JESUS believes this new album shows how their song craft has matured. “Oneiric sees us as more mature songwriters overall,” Ussery reveals. “After years of playing together, we’ve gotten to be quite effective in communicating our ideas to each other. It takes less time for us to compile the arrangements of our material into something we’re proud of. We’ve also had several years of new experiences to pull influence from both sonically and lyrically and conceptually. We’re just smarter musicians than we were in 2013 when we self-released our first record.”
The BIG JESUS live show experience is one not to be missed. Ridings promises, “We’re four guys on a stage, playing music as loud and as crushing as possible. We want you to feel the riffs in your gut.”
BIG JESUS isn’t flashy, and they aren't trying to be overnight rock stars. They simply are who they are, and they want you to take a ride with them on their heavy, dreamy musical journey… and maybe lose your hearing at the same time.
with Max Frost
In little under two years, blue-eyed soul duo HONNE have become the band to fall in love with, and to. “There’s a lot of women at our shows,” says co-songwriter and multi-instrumentalist James Hatcher, “and a lot of couples.” Unsuspecting frontman Andy Clutterbuck – often witness to more than he bargained for as the band’s sensual grooves ripple through certain pockets of the crowd – senses it, too. “We get a lot of people coming up to us afterwards telling us that a track has soundtracked their relationship, from meeting online to their first date, and from break-ups to having babies.” In their very British, buttoned-up appearance, HONNE don’t strike you as the type to open up about anything this intimate, which is precisely the point – ‘Warm On A Cold Night’ is an album where expressing feelings may not come naturally, but one which nonetheless strives for real love in the digital age.
A term with no Western equivalent, the origins of HONNE lie in the Japanese word meaning ‘True Feelings’ (it’s often twinned with ‘tatemae’, roughly translated as the contrasting behaviour or opinions you display in public). It was this fascination with Japan that offered the pair an early porthole into how to transmit their most personal moments into music. Their own backgrounds, of course, were far less culturally exotic: having met on the first day of University, the pair had unknowingly grown up around 45 minutes from another in the South West. Andy’s childhood was farm-life, his youth spent introspectively in a spare room filled with his dad’s clutter (a drum kit, old record players, and musical ephemera that looks like junk but feels like magic to the right imaginative eye). “On your first day at college,” says James “you arrive nerve-wracked about what’s going to happen. Am I going to make any friends? Will they be alright? I instantly knew Andy was sound. He played me a whole album he’d written and put up on online. It was more developed than anything I’d heard from anyone my age.”
Matched at first-sight, HONNE began making music that same night. “It was 2 in the morning,” says Andy, “it was completely pitch black and we just had a microphone set up. We felt immediately relaxed around each other, there was no-one laughing and no-one was being judged.” The perfect environment, it turned out, for the emotional honesty which followed. And as these dusky songs kept coming, their after-hours conversations turned towards the future, to travel, and in particular to Andy’s time in Japan (where he was in a long-distance relationship). During a midnight re-watching of ‘Lost in Translation’, it became apparent that this sense of a partner at a loose end - of wandering through a strange environment, and struggling to convey what you mean - was just as relevant to their lives off-screen. When James found the word ‘Honne’ later on, he knew it was theirs. “I came across it, saw the meaning and was like ‘I can’t believe no-one is called this.’”
All this is wrapped up in HONNE’s mission-statement of a debut track, ‘Warm On A Cold Night’, a widescreen take on late-night lust far removed from the South West student-life the band emerged from. The transatlantic tone first rooted in Japan extends to the song’s West-Coast, US-inspired groove: musically, HONNE take heavy influence from the late 70s/early 80s soul and funk of Quincy Jones, together with crooning, contemporary electro-R&B like James Blake or Frank Ocean. ‘Warm On A Cold Night’ introduced a sound which has become instantly-identifiable as HONNE’s. In Andy, too, the band have a singer of remarkable depth, whose emotional restraint and veneer of self-control would mirror the keep-calm-and-carry-on attitude underlining their snapshots of modern romance.
Over 20 million Spotify streams, several Hype Machine number 1s and sell-out worldwide tours later, HONNE are writing songs which feel both quintessentially of the moment yet charmingly gentleman-like in their worldview. Their debut album captures, they say, “the good days and bad of relationships in 2016” - a time where we’re told to settle for nothing less than a soulmate and yet risk treating dating like any other online experience, browsing endlessly, swiping left or right, and weighing up any of the overwhelming number of choices all around us. “We were terrible at being single,” the band say now. “It’s always been about the search for something more meaningful.”
There are songs, then, about trying to make that connection - the silky, sepulchral ‘All in The Value’ (“I never thought that I’d have the nerve to / tell you my world is crushed now without you”) - and others about the difficulty nowadays of doing that (see recent single ‘Gone Are The Days’, which suggests you go and find someone who’ll appreciate you instead). The gospel-tinged uplift of ‘Good Together’ celebrates that honeymoon-period - however long it lasts –on an album whose sleepy sexuality often lies just beneath the surface, comfortable in its own skin: ‘The Night’ is the sort of attitude-heavy, simmering slow-jam few would dare put into a text, let alone song. And it’s this tension between your public self and what you might privately want to tell someone which is threaded into this debut album, blurring that line where “Honne” meets “tatemae”.
A record so positive in its view of point-of-view on relationships lends itself naturally to a female voice: first with JONES, a fellow online-favourite who the band teamed up with on beautiful EP track ‘No Place Like Home’. Then came a collaboration with Izzy Bizu, with whom HONNE released breakout collaborative single ‘Someone Who Loves You’ this summer: they met over Twitter (where else?) and soon produced a track fundamentally about forbidden love, “but from both sides of the story.” And it’s this empathetic quality, neither Alpha nor Beta, which led to tracks like ‘Woman’, which describes this sense of “knowing you are cared for and care for the ones around you, whether that’s a girlfriend, a mother, or a best friend.”
Here are sincere but never-saccharine songs written for the right reasons, and in the shape of Andy, HONNE have the sort of figurehead that you would almost dub an anti-frontman (a theme which is picked up on in ‘One At a Time Please’, based on their smalltown upbringing). “I feel like there’s a lot of pressure in what people think a frontman should be,” he notes, “and that they should perhaps have an arrogance about them.” James thinks about this. “I don’t think it would be right for someone with arrogance to sing our songs. Andy’s the kind of person who’ll do anything for you, but his parents will ask me privately what’s going on in his life because he wouldn’t tell them. This is about us – and people like us – getting better at expressing themselves.”
And if such openness – inspired by everything from Japanese culture to US hip-hop, all in the sometimes-brutal dating climate – feels unnatural to guys like HONNE, it’s not entirely out of character. “My mum told me only the other day,” says Andy, “that when I was a child I always used to say to my friends ‘I’ll end up in your record collections one day.’” Turning that rare moment of immodesty into a reality has resulted in an album which “isn’t about one ex, cataloguing where things went wrong, or writing something completely devotional either. But when these songs are about relationships, they’re hopefully about the good aspects – trying harder or doing more for the other person, so as to ultimately find something rewarding.” For all its forward-thinking electronics and online noise, then, ‘Warm On a Cold Night’ is ultimately a back-to-basics album - of old-school romance, timeless songwriting, and two very modern souls.
with Helms Alee
Presented by Tight Bros
Tuesday October 4 @ Aisle 5
9pm | $18adv /$20dos | All Ages
Since 2004, Chicago’s Russian Circles has been crafting heavy, transcendent and melodic soundscapes. Russian Circles has tirelessly brought its masterful live show around the world, sharing the stage with artists such Tool, Deafheaven, Pelican, Isis, Boris and many more.
A3C has partnered with DJbooth to bring hip-hop's Top Prospects to 2016 A3C Festival & Conference.
DJbooth launched Top Prospects a couple years ago to identify and spotlight artists on the come-up that are going to be making great music for a long time. This is NOT a list of future pop-stars. This is a list of the most talented artists on the rise.
Free entry with VIP, A3C Festival & Conference or A3C Festival Pass.
OR $15 Advance / $20 At Door
Savage Fam Pro presents
Don’t Flop International Rap Battles A3C Edition
Pat Stay vs Jon Jon Da Don
More battles TBA
Thursday, Oct 6th
Doors at 8pm / Showtime at 8:30pm
Advance tickets: $20
No Cover with A3C Festival Pass
Red Bull Sound Select is a monthly live music showcase curated by local tastemakers. This months showcase features performances by Mick Jenkins and Smino, with additional sounds by Speakerfoxxx.
*RSVP for $3 entry: http://win.gs/rbssnash1016
*Join the conversation: @RBsoundselect #BreakMusic
NOTE: RSVP confirmation does not guarantee you entry, but does qualify you for a $3 ticket. Entry is first come first served up to capacity, regardless of RSVP. RSVP is also only good for each individual guest. No +1s will be included. You must RSVP on redbullsoundselect.com to receive the discounted ticket price. The show is all ages, but an ID is required.d.
The Widdler + Thelem
Thursday October 13 at Aisle 5
$10-$15 / 9pm / All Ages
Presented By: Together At Last
Born in Tel Aviv and now living in Austin, TX, The Widdler became a known commodity in US dubstep thanks to Excision’s yearly Shambala mix series and a massive online presence. As the YouTube views increased, so did the attention of the dubstep world Yoni Oron’s music was soon being supported by everyone from Mary Anne Hobbes and 6Blocc to Bassnectar and Skrillex, providing a rare bridge in the undergroundmainstream gap. Widdler songs get their power from Oron’s expert sound design. “I like to bring different aspects of sound, be it musical, cinematic, ambient, etc.,” said Oron, “then mold them into a deep bass template” The result is an array of provocative original sounds powered by big rolling basslines, a pleasant experience for music fans of all backgrounds.
Thelem’s come a long way since first firing up Fruity Loops Studio in 2006. In the intervening decade, after spending a few years honing his craft, Thelem has earned widespread recognition for building devastatingly heavy beats whilst always looking to create fresh and challenging directions for his music. Matt combines pulverising sub frequency architecture with a highly varied production palette, ranging from intensely dark and skeletal halfstep rhythms to the surging raw energy of his more hip hop influenced sound. He is supported by some of the most influential selectors in the game. Inspired by textures and soundscapes and drawing from Drum and Bass, Hiphop and Grime, Thelem showed promise early on. With a dedicated and meticulous approach to studio time, and an emphasis on high quality control of his output, he was soon picked up by two of Dubstep’s flagship labels, Black Box and Osiris Music.
Free show immediately following the Little 5 Points Halloween Parade featuring David Bowie tribute band, Jerome Newton and the Band Who Fell to Earth.
Sometimes inspiration strikes from the immersion of living in a far away place. The view of the ocean. The soundof a rainforest at sunrise. The smell of an open-air market. The embrace of the wild human experience. However, maybe the nostalgia for a certain place might be attributed instead to a feeling, or a time, or even a person. Sometimes, inspiration stems from a place that everyone can relate to, but maybe no one's actually been. This is the music of The Hip Abduction, the vibrant St. Petersburg, FL-based collective that formed over a mutual appreciation for West African and early Jamaican reggae/dub music.
The Hip Abduction began through informal jam sessions and quickly coalesced into a sound that attracted national attention. For Gold Under the Glow, the band’s third full album releasing on March 11, 2016, THA engage an indie pop acumen alongside a highly emotive and roots driven sound. Recorded in Nashville, Gold Under the Glow was produced by Dabney Morris (Wild Cub) who is credited with incorporating synth-pop teeth into the band’s global foundation and summery vibe. It’s a smart blending of world pop and club aesthetics that appeals to both audiences.
The Hip Abduction featuring David New (lead vocals, guitar), Pat Klemawesch (kamale ngoni, guitar, vocals), Chris Powers (bass), Dave Johnson (baritone and tenor sax), Paul Chlapowski (keyboards), Matt Poynter (drums, vocals), and John Holt III (kamale ngoni, guitar, vocals) have shared stages with the likes of Ziggy Marley, Umphrey’s McGee, Thievery Corporation, 311, Dawes, Galactic, and .moe and has performed at Sunfest, Wanee Music Festival, Suwanee Hulaween, Orange Blossom Jamboree, Tropical Heatwave Music Festival, The BIG What? and more. The coming year promises national tour dates with exciting appearances at festivals including Shaky Knees, Slide Into Spring Fest and more. Fans should also be on the lookout for surf footage and travel photos from this Florida coastline collective.
Thursday October 20 @ Aisle 5
Wayne Krantz and 2x[Salvation]
$15adv / 9pm / All Ages
Throughout his decades-long career, New York-based guitarist and composer Wayne Krantz has never rested on his laurels. From his early sideman days with artists such as Billy Cobham, Michael Brecker, Steely Dan and others, through his numerous live and studio solo recordings, Krantz has consistently pushed his stylistic roots in rock, jazz, fusion and blues beyond their boundaries.
A world-renowned improviser, Krantz’s singular approach to his instrument combines rhythm-centric phrasing with a dynamic attack in a style that is distinctly his own. His cutting-edge status has been further established through his use of unique harmonic vocabularies (which Krantz details in his highly-regarded 2004 instructional book An Improviser’s OS), and a strong focus on bold group improvisation. All of these elements combined equal a genre-defying artist who is firmly positioned at the vanguard of his craft.
Throughout his solo career, Krantz has predominantly worked in a trio setting (with stellar musicians as Keith Carlock, Tim Lefebvre, Cliff Almond, Anthony Jackson, Lincoln Goines, Zach Danziger and others), and has documented his steady evolution with nearly every type of trio album imaginable, ranging from the heavily composed to the primarily improvised, both live and in the studio. In 2009, Krantz released Krantz Carlock Lefebvre (Abstract Logix); a strikingly original album that was the first studio recording to showcase the group improv dynamic of one of his most enduring bands.
Known globally for his uncompromising musical vision, staggering virtuosity and deep reserves of soul, Wayne Krantz is one of very few modern guitarists to venture beyond the instrument’s limitations and create an identifiably original style and sound. Good Piranha/Bad Piranha is his full-throttle double-take on four contemporary pop and hip-hop songs, from which he plunders the textural, rhythmic and harmonic intrigue that has come to define each of his unique projects.
Following 2012’s critically acclaimed Howie 61—a record packed with cleverly arranged, hard-hitting original songs and a small army of masterful sidemen—Krantz has scaled back the setting and material for his tenth outing as a leader. Good Piranha/Bad Piranha finds his trio in the studio revisiting a selection of cover tunes they performed during legendary recent appearances at the 55 Bar in Greenwich Village.
Presenting two distinct versions each of Pendulum’s “Comprachicos,” M.C. Hammer’s “U Can’t Touch This,” Ice Cube’s “My Skin is My Sin” and Radiohead vocalist Thom Yorke’s “Black Swan,” Krantz extracts and serves up a surprising range of nuance by switching up musicians and applying his inimitable instrumental inventiveness. Each song’s multiple takes allow the group(s) to reimagine the material from unexpected angles, making use of subtle rhythmic and melodic shifts to frame a dazzling display of the guitarist’s revered melodic and chordal innovations; he intertwines his stark, elastic tones with the familiar tunes’ snaky rhythmic skeletons and insistent basslines to create wholly new works.
Joining Krantz on Good Piranha/Bad Piranha are his longtime trio mates Keith Carlock (Steely Dan, Sting) on drums and Tim Lefebvre (Tedeschi Trucks Band) on bass. Recent cohort Nate Wood (Kneebody) reprises his chameleonic role in Krantz’ touring band, appearing here on bass for the first versions of the four tunes and then on drums for the second. The material is delicately enhanced by occasional vocal interjections courtesy Gabriela Anders.
Since the late ’80s Wayne Krantz has been revered as one of the world’s great guitarists, working alongside such rock legends as Steely Dan (both as a bandmember and later on solo projects by Donald Fagen), jazz saxophonists Michael Brecker, Chris Potter and David Binney, composer Carla Bley and drum icon Billy Cobham. In addition to his influential studio albums as a leader, Krantz has released several recordings of his celebrated live trio performances, which have become major concert draws worldwide for fans of powerfully adventurous improvised music.
I'm Blockhead. I was born and raised in downtown manhattan. I make beats. I've worked with a bunch of MC's (lots with Aesop Rock, Murs, Cage, Mike Ladd, and a bunch of others). I also do solo instrumental hip hop type shit on Ninja Tune Records .
My first album "Music By Cavelight" is now approaching triple platinuim and I'm thinking of buying a jet . Both of those statements are incredebly false. But what is true is that I'm also one half of the critically acclaimed (if acclaimed means dispised) Party Fun Action Committee along with my homeslice Jer. It was a comedy album put out by Def Jux. It is also , possibly, the best worst selling album ever made.
Since then, I've made four other solo albums, worked with a bunch of rappers, toured a lot and I'm still here.
My newest album, "Bells and Whistles" is out now. You should totally check it out. Seriously.
Jeff McIlwain has been producing his visceral, melodic strain of abstract electronic music as Lusine for over 10 years now. Originally a Texas native, McIlwain met Shad Scott while living in LA and put out his self titled debut on Scott's imprint, Isophlux. He relocated to Seattle in late 2002 and began steadily releasing his music on Ghostly International. McIlwain has also contributed tracks to various compilations and remix releases on Mute, !K7, Kompakt, Asthmatic Kitty, and Shitkatapult. In 2009, he released the album, "A Certain Distance", which featured the single, “Two Dots.” He followed that with another full length, titled "The Waiting Room" in late 2013. His latest release, the "Arterial EP" came out in 2014.
McIlwain has performed throughout the US and abroad, including the SXSW, Mutek, DEMF, and Sonar festivals, and sets at London’s esteemed Fabric nightclub, Tokyo's Unit, and Berlin's Berghain and Watergate nightclubs. He has been involved in the scoring of various film and commercial projects: co-scoring (with David Wingo) the 2008 film "Snow Angels" (with Kate Beckinsale and Sam Rockwell), and "The Sitter" (Jonah Hill) and scoring the 2009 film "Linewatch" (with Cuba Gooding Jr. and Omari Hardwick). McIlwain teamed up with David Wingo again in 2013 to score the film "Joe" (Nicolas Cage) . He is just beginning work on a future album and is prepping new material for upcoming shows in 2015.
with Imagined Herbal Flows and Coucheron
Presented by Zero Mile Presents
Lemaitre is an electronic duo hailing from Oslo, Norway. Formed in 2010 by longtime friends Ketil Jansen and Ulrik Denizou Lund, the bandmembers named themselves after Belgian priest Georges Lemaître, father of the big bang theory.
with Conrank, Zeke Beats, Jah Sun
In 2009 NastyNasty turned the heads of the electronic music community with a series of bass heavy singles. While certainly within the vein of dubstep he opted away from the highly manufactured edm style buildup and drop format, instead bringing hip-hop sampling aesthetics and a much more experimental approach to his sound design. This unique take on a genre that was rapidly growing garnered the attention of labels like Planet-Mu, Rwina and Frite Nite as well as magazines and blogs like Xlr8r and The Fader. By the time his Rwina records E.P. "Poison Flavored" dropped NastyNasty was receiving support from huge acts such as Bassnectar and Zeds dead, but still not complacent enough to stop experimenting with his sound. Following "Poison Flavored" his music found it's way into a slew of new avenues including radio(BBC1), television(CSI:Miami) and even co-producing a track with Salva for Foreign Beggars Mau5trap release "The Uprising". Continuing to seek out new sounds and constantly re-invent himself NastyNasty finds support from a whole new generation of producers like G-Jones and Minnesota despite having been relatively quiet to the public eye. In 2016, sitting atop a mountain of new tunes, he sits perched at the precipice ready to let his sound rain down with a thunderous roar of bass.
The Philippines and suburban Maryland aren’t exactly R&B or dance music hot beds, but they didn’t need to be for Antonio Cuna aka Sweater Beats to ingest both genres and spit out an exciting hybrid, melding the sensuality of contemporary R&B with the immediacy of dance music. Born in the Philippines, Cuna moved to Maryland, adapting to his new environment by engaging with music and skate culture. But it wasn’t long before R&B entered the picture, first as an obsession and later, while Cuna was at university in New York, as a creative outlet. Growing up in the 2000s, it’s no surprise that Cuna’s heroes include R&B producer mavens like Pharrell and Timbaland, as well as French dance music behemoths Daft Punk, but it’s how he’s filtered those influences into the ingenious sonic aesthetic, a sound equally fitting both the festival stage and bedroom play, that makes Sweater Beats such an unavoidably intriguing project.
Since bubbling up in the dance world with the premiere of his debut single “Mlln Dllr” on Annie Mac’s Radio1 show, Sweater Beats has constantly pushed the limits of his own sound. With support from the likes of Diplo, Omarion, and JoJo, plus tours with artists like Chance the Rapper, Flume and Chet Faker, the producer has clearly caught the eye some of a wide variety of tastemakers. Featured by the likes of Billboard, Entertainment Weekly, Boiler Room and TheFADER, Cuna has also received admiration from music journalists the world over, drawing almost universal praise from disparate outlets. With countless collaborations, mixes, and remixes, on top of a constant touring schedule, Cuna has garnered a reputation for his incessant work rate and willingness to push his sound into new and uncharted territory. And that’s part of the reason why Cuna connects with his fan base on such a visceral level, eschewing traditional industry methods for his own unique, intimate manner of going about business.
Presented by The Bowery
The Bowery Presents:
Matt Wertz + more TBD
On Sale: Friday, June 3 10am
Tickets: $18 adv/ $20 dos
A self-made singer/songwriter, Matt Wertz spent years creating soulful, feel-good pop music on his own terms. Nashville — a city that doubled as his muse and adopted hometown — always played a big role in that creation process. It was the place where Wertz wrote his songs, the place he recorded his albums, the place he'd return after touring the country with songwriters like Jason Mraz, Maroon 5, Parachute and Gavin DeGraw.
Something changed after 2014's Heatwave, a record that shone a neon light on Wertz's appreciation for '80s pop music. Wertz realized he'd grown perhaps a bit too comfortable in Nashville, where he'd been making music for more than a decade. Looking to write an album that tackled contemporary pop music from a different angle — literally — he headed to Los Angeles, where he spent several months writing songs for his ninth album, Gun Shy. Fueled by infectious, 90’s-inspired beats, lush textures, and soaring air-tight pop melodies, Gun Shy fires twin barrels of modern pop and synthesized R&B, finding new life in old-school influences.
"I realized I'd been making records in a similar way in the same geographic area," Wertz admits, "and I wanted to get away from that comfort zone. I personally was needing a fresh approach — to pull the clip on the grenade and blow things up and start over. I'm a fan of current pop music, and L.A. is very much about what's happening now. I wanted to see how my music fit into that space."
Filled with left-field love songs about guarding yourself, opening your heart to new possibilities, and wrestling with the sacrifice and vulnerability that love requires of everyone, Gun Shy finds Wertz urging his listeners — and, perhaps, himself — to continue taking leaps. It's an album about stepping into unfamiliar situations, armed with the courage to fail and the drive to succeed. On "Committed," the album's kickoff track, Wertz rededicates himself to the artistic struggle, and with "Slow Motion," he focuses his attention on a loved one by clearing away the clutter and distractions of everyday life. Later, during "Hold On To Me," he channels his inner Michael Jackson on a song that poses some of the biggest questions of his career: why we're here, who put us there, and what it all means. A longtime member of Nashville's songwriting community, Wertz teams up with some of L.A.'s A-list pop writers for Gun Shy, including Ian Keaggy (Hot Chelle Rae, Cody Simpson), Ben Romans (The Click Five, Carly Rae Jepsen), and Seth Jones (Greg Holden, Tyler Bryant).
More than a decade into a career filled with commercial success and touring milestones, Matt Wertz remains proud to be an independent singer/songwriter. But don't mistake Gun Shy for the sort of intimate album you'd hear at your local coffee shop. These are not acoustic guitar songs. They're songs built on laptops and driven forward by dance beats. Songs that move you physically and emotionally. Songs that splash Wertz's super-sized hooks across the backdrop of the Los Angeles skyline, creating their own brand of scenery along the way.
Whether they're tearing it up in a basement, rocking a festival crowd or hard at work in a studio, The Districts are a band that exists in the moment.
The Pennsylvania four-piece channels its long-forged bonds into visceral, explosive rock and roll. You'll hear hints of Americana, moments of the blues and folk, but written into songs so expressive that those labels are transcended. Their second LP, "A Flourish and a Spoil," is out on Fat Possum Records in February of 2015.
Founding members Rob Grote (guitar, vocals) Connor Jacobus (bass) and Braden Lawrence (drums) have been friends since childhood and formed The Districts in high school. You can hear that closeness in their effortless chemistry onstage and off, the way their songs build and grow, the way instrumental bits intertwine and the compelling command they have of whatever square footage they occupy behind microphones and a PA.
The band self-recorded and self-released its "Kitchen Songs" EP in 2012, followed that summer by their full-length debut "Telephone" (also a self-release, and all the more impressive for it). By their senior year, the band had already begun to make inroads beyond their small Lancaster County hometown of Lititz, and were performing on the regular in Philadelphia, Delaware and New York ("4th and Roebling" from "Flourish" is named after the intersection in Brooklyn where they parked their car for their first New York gig at the now-defunct Big Snow Buffalo Lounge).
In 2013, they were being played in regular rotation at WXPN in Philadelphia and were a featured performer at the station's XPoNential Music Festival. That fall they signed to Fat Possum, which released their self-titled EP in January of 2014; the five-song 10" contained two new songs -- "Rocking Chair" and "Lyla" -- along with three tracks from their self-releases.
With the momentum behind the EP and their buzzed-about live show, The Districts had a tremendous showing in Austin for SXSW 2014, named "the band who owned SXSW" by the NME. They've since taken the show to Lollapalooza, Austin City Limits, Reading / Leeds, Outside Lands, Haldern Pop Festival and many more fests in the U.S. and Europe.
That's not to say the band hasn't experienced its share of setbacks. In early summer of 2014, its van was broken into during a tour stop in St. Louis and all of its gear was stolen. Shortly after, founding guitarist Mark Larson left the band to pursue college, performing as a District for the last time at the 2014 XPoNential Music Festival (where they shared the stage with Band of Horses and Beck). But the band persevered, recruiting new guitarist Pat Cassidy and recording their second full length with producer John Congleton in the fall.
"A Flourish and a Spoil" is built about those ideas of transition. As Rob puts it, it's a record about "change and loss, the fact that everything sours in time, but also the beauty that can be found in that." It's reflected in the cover art the band made in collaboration with photographer Joanna Ference: a halved grapefruit, dried and decaying, but still attached to a bright green stem.
Sonically, "Flourish" is a vibrant, eclectic rock record, collecting sounds from toe-tapping fuzz-pop ("Peaches") to contemplative folk ("Suburban Smell") and driving, impressionistic soundscapes ("Young Blood" is well worth 9 minutes of your time) into a whirlwind 45 minute set. The Districts credit John Congleton with shaping their sound on this outing. While the band is used to writing and producing on its own, Congleton "gave us an objective ear that helped us find and refine what we were trying to accomplish with this album."
Rob recalls that, toward the end of the recording process, he had a song stuck in his head: the old Doris Day tune "A Bushel and a Peck," which his mother used to sing to him as a childhood lullaby. "The title was born from that," he says. "'A Flourish and a Spoil' is our attempt to reconcile lullabies with reality."
It also announces the arrival of The Districts as a captivating voice in contemporary rock: a young band crafting heartfelt music that's honest, raw, energetic and unforgettable.
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