Zeus, Robbers On High Street
249 4th Avenue
Brooklyn, NY, 11215
Doors 8:00PM / Show 8:00PM
This event is 21 and over
Watch & Listen
Unlike the several heavy metal bands that share the same name, the Canadian indie group Zeus forgoes doom and gloom to make music with three-part harmonies, Americana sensibilities, and sunny power pop hooks. After parting ways with the 6ixty8ights, childhood friends (and ten-year veterans of the Toronto music scene) Mike O'Brien and Carlin Nicholson reunited to play shows as Paso Mino, the backing band of Broken Social Scene member Jason Collett. The two started recording music together for fun in their downtime, and realizing that their songs had potential, they recruited drummer Rob Drake and multi-instrumentalist Neil Quin to round out the group. In the summer of 2009, Zeus released the Sounds Like Zeus EP, which gained attention with its cover of the Genesis hit "That's All." Arts & Crafts released a full-length debut, Say Us, the following winter, in February of 2010. ~ Jason Lymangrover, Rovi
Robbers On High Street
Robbers on High Street began performing publicly during the summer of 2002, but the band’s roots stretch back much farther. Ben Trokan and Steve “Sparky” Mercado have been friends since their preteen years growing up in the upstate New York town of Poughkeepsie. Both Mercado and Trokan shared a recent familial relocation from the Bronx and Manhattan, respectively, and a love of Led Zeppelin. Ten years later Trokan returned to New York City for college and through mutual friends met and began playing with drummer Tomer Danan. In Poughkeepsie, Mercado reconnected with Jeremy Phillips, an old school friend. Robbers on High Street—the name came from a lyric of one of the band’s early, discarded compositions—was officially born when the four began playing together.
Phillips left the band in 2005 and was replaced by Florida native Morgan King. In addition to playing bass, King can get around on most brass instruments, and occasionally plays them on stage. The band also added a keyboard player occasionally in early 2006. Those duties were fulfilled by Matt Trowbridge (Rana, The King of France, Sam Champion) then Jared Samuels (Sonny Oaks, James Hunter). Danan left the band in August 2006 and drum duties have been taken over by Mikey Post (Naomi Shelton and the Gospel Queens, the Jay Vons). Permanent keyboard duties were taken over by David Sherman (Goodbye Girl Friday, Grand Mal, The Silent League) in the summer of 2007.
Tree City, the band’s first full-length album, was co-produced by Peter Katis (The National, Interpol, Mercury Rev) and Britt Myers (Dressy Bessy, Chairlift) and released in February 2005. The band toured for most of 2005. The record label entrusted by Newline Records to distribute Robbers’ on High Street’s Tree City Vinyl, Doulbing Cube Records, was audited twice by the IRS in 2007.
Grand Animals is the band’s second full length album, released on July 24, 2007. Produced by Italian film composer Daniele Luppi, known mostly for his string and orchestra work with Danger Mouse (Gnarls Barkley) and pop artists like John Legend. The band recorded in New York and mixed with Jeff Peters (Beach Boys) in Los Angeles. The new collaboration brought out the band’s clear obsession with 1960s and 1970s AM radio, and allowed them to explore broader sonic landscapes.
Robbers on High Street recorded a few covers for compilations over the course of 2008 including a cover of New Edition’s “Cool It Now” for Engine Room Recordings’ compilation album Guilt by Association Vol. 2, which was released in November of 2008, a cover of the Style Council’s “Shout to the Top!” for Buffet Libre’s Rewind 2 project. A cover of Emitt Rhodes’ “With My Face On The Floor” was recorded for release in 2010 on the Groover Recordings tribute record “Long Time, No See.” The men of Robbers on High Street entered the studio in October of 2009 to begin work on their third full-length album.
What does Country Mice front-man Jason Rueger have in common with less than 300 people in the US? -- Growing up in rural Beattie, Kansas, where he lived on a farm that was passed down through three generations of his family and old enough to be on the Pony Express route.
There he walked dirt roads, worked the land, squinted his eyes at the sun, but with headphones on. It was not the bucolic atmosphere, but music that most inspired him. At an early age, Rueger spent his savings on a guitar and set his sights for something other than the surrounding dust that stung his eyes and milo that cut his hands.
Breaking away from the close-knit ties of home, Rueger moved east to New York. There, it doesn't take long for him to hook up with fellow Midwest transplants Ben Bullington (guitar) and Kurt Kuehn (drums). The trio then recruits upstate New Yorker, Mike Feldman, to play bass.
As Country Mice, they rally together to craft apocalyptic ballads through amplifier hazes that thicken into funnel clouds and drums that stomp-clap sedately before the storm explodes. Rueger draws on his small town rearing with sophistication beyond that of the ordinarily romantic and reductive Americana troubadour, and his songwriting is anything but dime a dozen.
Strong traces of Neil Young and Wilco are mixed into modern experimental guitar sounds that any fan of mid-90's Sonic Youth and Dinosaur Jr. will love.
Their debut album, "Twister," is out now. It's a record that sonically chisels through the calloused shell of glossy rock & roll to find the dissonant live wire beneath and Country Mice play it for all its worth. It tells a tale of strained memory – the hardships, joys, and deep-rooted love of growing up in a small town in the Midwest – coupled with the hopes and dreams of breaking free and traveling the world: a record for every kid looking out at the big world from his small bedroom window.
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