Scott Lucas & The Married Men
1710 Mission Street
San Francisco, CA, 94103
Doors 8:00PM / Show 9:00PM
Scott Lucas & The Married Men
Continuing the tradition they started with last year's sold-out holiday show, Scott Lucas & the Married Men are aiming to emulate "A Prairie Home Companion" with the evening's set and will structure the night as an old tyme radio variety show. Surprise guests will join the band for some songs.
Lucas, who is best known as the singer/guitarist for the two-man, Chicago rock band Local H, promises plenty of Christmas classics, like "Feliz Navidad," Mr. Grinch" and "Christmas" from the Who's Tommy. Lucas and his six-piece backing band, the Married Men -- a collective which includes violin, organ and accordion -- will also perform original songs from their forthcoming second album, tentatively titled Blood Half Moon, and Married Men staples, drawn from their first two releases: George Lassos the Moon and The Absolute Beginners EP. The show will be recorded and broadcast from the band's website www.scottlucasandthemarriedmen.com around Christmas.
"Christmas songs are awesome, and I don't feel even slightly embarrassed or cornball about that statement," says Lucas. "Most of them are flat out hilarious. This is our second go at this, and we want to keep doing it every year. We're hoping to make this as much of a Christmas tradition as arguing with your uncle about politics."
'For anyone remotely in-the-know of Chicago's music scene, Local H is a band name that surely rolls off your tongue. But during the rock duo's downtime, frontman Scott Lucas doesn't exactly kick his feet up. For the past few years, the singer/songwriter/guitarist has spread his musical aptitude to Chicago electronica group, the Prairie Cartel. Most recently, Lucas has crafted yet another new project—the Married Men... In his newest musical outfit, Lucas proves himself a rock and roll chameleon, shedding his tough Local H exterior and evoking a tamer sound and stage persona. The sextet, which has just wrapped up work on its forthcoming debut, George Lassos the Moon, set the stage for the Disciplines. Their lineup alone (violin, accordion, guitars, drums) proved not only would they sound nothing like Local H, but chances are they wouldn't sound much like most contemporary indie bands.
The majority of the band's set consisted of subtle gems, like "What Fools Allow," a tender and honest reflection of love-lost, complimented by a woeful violin part.......... But Lucas showed he hasn't quite lost his hard-rock edge, as proven in the full-band breakdown of "Extra Special Bitter," or in "Stolen Umbrellas," as he croons, "I'll take this communion 'til things turn black / A glass of Robitussin with a whiskey back / And still I can't make the world disappear." The band dedicated its set to nonstop music, offering little between-song banter, as they pumped out 'George' tracks, including "Weatherman", and a pleasantly surprising closing cover of David Bowie's "Absolute Beginners."
It was refreshing to witness a Chicago rock staple take the bold step out of the alt-rock confines and into an artistically progressive musical genre, free of the distortion pedal. It's always interesting when artists reach into another realm in their side-projects—but balancing alt-rock, electronica, and art-rock—that's just plain intriguing. Look for Scott Lucas & the Married Men's official debut, George Lassos the Moon.'
-- Neph Basedow, www.thedelimagazine.com
Moving to NYC after 11 years in SF, and more than half of those years deep in the Bay Area's music scene...
Described as “sexy, soulful, genuine, and edgy” by the San Francisco Bay Guardian and an “indie folk powerhouse” by Bend’s Source Weekly, Valerie Orth is a fearless and genre-bending songwriter. Her distinctive hybrid of rock, groove, soul, and folk reaches out and grabs your attention; her live performances captivate and charm at once.
Rich with melody and metaphor, Orth’s tunes move nimbly between darkness and light, hope and despair, taking deft turns of phrase along unforeseen rhythmic twists in the road. With gorgeous, multi-octave vocals and no fear of heights, she flirts with the edge as readily as she subverts expectations.
"Unpredictable and highly original,“ writes the Jefferson Agrarian. “Just when you think she’s going to settle into a familiar groove, off she flies into the stratosphere with phrasings you never saw coming.”
Orth’s dynamic range as a performer is made all the more compelling by what the East Bay Express calls a “completely intuitive composition style.”
Influenced by artists as diverse as Ani DiFranco and Bjork, Meshell Ndegeocello and Zap Mama, Valerie understands song as revolution, whether personal or political, and as evolution, creating change within herself and the possibility for it within her listeners.
“There is an honesty to Valerie's music that is both brilliant and heartbreaking,” writes the San Francisco Chronicle.
Orth grew up, as she puts it, “singing before I could talk.” That penchant led from musical theater productions in her youth to an African diaspora choir at Tufts University. Along the way, she studied drumming and dance in Ghana. But her background is mainly in activism. She campaigned for a women's studies department at Tufts and organized rallies for fair trade and environmental justice. After graduating, Orth took a job with Green Corps, then moved to San Francisco and became a labor organizer for Global Exchange. She challenged corporate behemoths like Procter & Gamble and led the effort to pass San Francisco's anti-sweatshop law in 2005.
After a few years of burning the midnight oil on grassroots campaigns that often found her working over 70 hours a week, Valerie decided to return to her musical roots, hopeful that her art might have similar impact to her work in social justice. “Songwriting and performing are basic necessities in my life,” she says. “I couldn’t stand the idea of not singing.”
Her most recent full length release, Faraway City, which the East Bay Express described as “a remarkable piece of work,”features Scott Amendola (Charlie Hunter) on drums, Julie Wolf (Ani DiFranco, Indigo Girls) on piano and organ, and Jon Evans (Tori Amos) on bass and electric guitar. Produced by Evans, it amply displays Valerie's range as composer, lyricist, and singer.
"I think we went a bit more 'out-there' than the regular singer-songwriter genre," says Orth.
Brick & Mortar Music Hall
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