First Fleet Concerts presents
Maniac, Stars In Stereo
504 E. Locust St,
Des Moines, IA, 50309
Doors 6:00PM / Show 6:30PM (event ends at 9:00 pm)
For millennia, mankind has pondered the meaning of life. In 2012, the answer will arrive. Welcome to the Church of Rock and Roll, baby.
Foxy Shazam have traveled the globe for years spreading their bombastic gospel and singing the praises of a life less ordinary, leading a massive mutiny against the mundane and converting thousands of believers in the fight to save what's right about the world. But the world ain't seen nothin' yet.
Foxy Shazam, the most electrifying rock band to inhabit the planet for the past seven years, have just crafted the most meaningful and grandiose record of their career and they're ready to unleash it into public domain. Produced by Justin Hawkins, the mastermind behind U.K. glam-rockers The Darkness, The Church of Rock and Roll is an ambitious and awe-inspiring cavalcade of passion and humanity. From the bawdy sex-strut of lead single "I Like it" to the heart-wrenching ardor of "Forever Together", this is a record for anyone with a beating heart.
"We're not concerned with what category we fall into," declares singer Eric Nally. "We want to stand for our generation."
They're currently doing a damn good job. With three albums (2005's The Flamingo Trigger, 2008's Introducing, and 2010's Foxy Shazam) and nearly 1,000 live performances under their collective belt, this band of angelic hellions who call Cincinnati, OH their Earth-home, Foxy Shazam have few peers when it comes to live performance. However, it is their fourth studio album, and their first for the recently revamped I.R.S. Records, that truly begins to reveal the glorious potential that has been percolating internally for more than half a decade, a flourishing burst of refreshing yet timeless music waiting for the right time to strike the hearts of the masses. That time has come.
Displaying a unique caliber of musicianship nearly nonexistent in the world of modern radio, Foxy Shazam create forceful landscapes of commanding melody. The uplifting keys of extraordinary pianist Sky White twinkle playfully above the soaring chords and searing solos of guitarist Loren Turner. The pummeling rhythm section of drummer Aaron McVeigh and mononymous bassist Daisy churn steadfastly while the shimmering shrill of Alex Nauth's trumpet pushes the known limits of the instrument to majestic new heights. And then there's that voice.
At the center of the pulpit stands one enigmatic man, a hypnotic hurricane of smoke and glitter. Cutting through the lush instrumentals like a fiery bolt from the Heavens, Eric Nally's unparalleled vocals power the congregation with a ferocious intensity that cannot be manufactured, with a roaring sincerity that burns deep within the mortal frame attempting to contain them.
"I didn't go to college. I knew what I needed to do," Nally explains. "Back in the day, rock stars were mythical creatures. Now there's no mystique, but I like the element of mystery and longing. The rock star is becoming extinct. I want to revive it."
Foxy Shazam are a soul band with a punk rock attitude and a symphonic attention to detail. A name that once represented a pair of cool sneakers has become synonymous with charisma, bravado, rock and roll. Here to pull you from the disparagingly bland edges of modern rock and return music to an era of glamour and emotion, this band has crafted the immaculate soundtrack to a world in moral disarray, each song the audial accompaniment to a work of epic cinema that exists only in the mind of the listener.
"I wanted to break that boundary of uncool. Because nothing is cool until it's made cool," Nally states, and he should know. With their powers combined, Foxy Shazam have made cool.
Without further ado, Foxy Shazam present The Church of Rock and Roll. You're welcome.
Maniac is the musical collaboration between singers Jake Grigg (Sydney, Australia) and Shawn Harris (Oakland, California), two friends who initially began writing together in 2008 when they were living on opposite sides of the world. At the time, they were both also otherwise occupied with separate bands – Jake in the rock group Something with Numbers and Shawn in Epitaph Records recording artists The Matches – so their musical partnership was largely limited to online Skype meet-ups and sporadic vacations. Quickly enough, however, Maniac became each of their main focuses; they enthusiastically worked to craft pop music that came seemingly straight from the '80s. They drew influence from the Beatles and duos like Hall and Oates and Crowded House, in addition to more contemporary acts like Washed Out, MGMT, Blur, and The Sleepy Jackson. Yet, it wasn't until Harris' move to Australia in March 2010 that the two were able to finally record together and play live. They released the EP Extended Play on Stop Start Records in Australia that June and spent the rest of the year performing around Sydney. To pull off their sound in a live setting, Harris's sister Vanessa became a permanent gig member, contributing on keys and backup vocals. Maniac eventually made its way back to the United States, with multiple shows around their new home base of California. The band released its full-length LP Mania in May 2011, which coincided with an appearance at the South By Southwest music festival. Positive press followed from magazines like Alternative Press and Rolling Stone Australia, and over time, they found themselves sharing bills with acts like Atomic Tom, Family Of The Year, Kevin Devine, Voxhaul Broadcast, and Rooney. Visual artists in addition to musicians, Harris and Grigg held fast to the DIY method of working and creating; they designed their albums and merchandise, and used their personal printing press to completely fund the band's pursuits. Once landing back in the U.S. Harris also created low budget videos for several of their tracks, like "Thank Each Mistake," which was created using an iPad app. In the spring of 2011, the duo filmed and self-produced a documentary that followed them as they played house parties and hitchhiked the 3000 miles from Barstow, CA to NYC, using music as their only currency. Meanwhile, Maniac raised funds for its sophomore album, Sons of Summer, by selling four limited edition EPs throughout 2012 as they were creating the record. They supported Foxy Shazam on dates in the early spring and aimed to release the finished album that fall.
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