Psyko Steve Presents
mewithoutYou [A—> B] Life 15 Year Tour
PIANOS BECOME THE TEETH, STRAWBERRY GIRLS
2303 E. Indian School Road
Phoenix, AZ, 85016
Doors 6:30 PM / Show 7:30 PM
This event is 21 and over
Those who have followed mewithoutYou's music in recent years will likely see their new, self-released Ten Stories as a return to old form. Their previous record, It's All Crazy!, etc. had been a drastic and intentional departure. Aaron Weiss’ manic, unorthodox hollering was nowhere to be found, deliberately giving way to a more conventional melodic vocal approach. The explosive, schizophrenic drumming and swarthy, tempestuous low end (Rickie Mazzotta and Greg Jehanian, respectively) were accordingly subdued, relegated largely to keeping basic time. Chris Kleinberg had jumped ship for med school, leaving Mike Weiss reluctantly alone on electric guitar, feeling like a session player embellishing his little brother’s folk songs, no longer part of a coherent unit.
In short, due largely to their singer’s creative wanderlust, the band had entirely forsaken whatever they'd become; in an effort to spurn the familiar, they had grown unrecognizable, alienating no shortage of fans in the process. Those fans, and whoever has come to miss what was most distinct about mewithoutYou, will welcome Ten Stories as the rightful follow-up to their 2006 release, Brother/Sister, and 2004’s Catch for Us the Foxes. To be sure, the band hasn’t altogether renounced the psychedelic-rustic-pop elements of It’s All Crazy!; rather, they have renounced the scrupulous control inherent to its renunciation. Simply put, they seem to have let go of the steering wheel, and are back to writing music, well, ‘naturally.’
“They're not quite children’s songs,” vocalist Aaron Weiss explains, “with not quite coherent storylines, but there is an overarching and kind of child-like narrative: a circus train crashes in 19th century Montana. Some animals escape, others stay in their cages. The traveling menagerie re-rails, stays its course, and struggles to fill in the missing attractions. Meanwhile, freed from institutionalized life, the rice-cake rabbit takes to a peripatetic fortune teller, the monastic walrus is tempted by a hedonistic owl, a fish falls for an eggplant. Other songs describe a contemplative Fox's prophetic dream, a starving Bear's vision of a martyred saint, and an indecisive Peacock & gnostic Tiger learning the virtues of megalomania from an ego-annihilated Potter Wasp.”
This bizarre, character-heavy lyrical approach let the band revisit their perennial leitmotifs of romantic disaster & quasi-mystical speculation, without the self-pity/indulgence of direct autobiography. Reflecting recent, devastating personal losses, practically every song addresses our inevitable dying, apparently easier to face when projected onto anthropomorphic animals. This zoological ventriloquist act allows them to explore abstract philosophical themes and draw on finespun literary sources with a profound goofiness that deflates whatever danger of pretentiousness. The story-teller elements are obscure enough to avoid the short-lived rock opera aesthetic, leaving most plot details and potential moralizing to the imagination; and this without succumbing to insincerity/irony, overt relativism, or outright nonsense.
The ever-odd Daniel Smith's production and veteran Brad Wood's mixing combine to improve upon the best sonic elements of the band's past releases. Musically, Ten Stories is a mix of the brazen noisiness, hypnotic soundscapes, and derelict shouting of their old songs, the dead-level melody and extravagant orchestration of recent years, and a newfound reliance on ethereal harmonies, courtesy en masse of female guest vocalists (most notably, Paramore's Hayley Williams). Whimsically morbid as an Edward Gorey alphabet, simultaneously self-abnegating and -aggrandizing, defying simplistic musical or intellectual categorization, mewithoutYou's new collection of songs is the fabulously vivid outgrowth of an ongoing religious and irreverent eclecticism, a ‘decade-plus narcissistic scramble for artistic affirmation’ (their words), and the even longer-running and peculiar friendship of four not-so-younggentlemen from nowhere in particular, apparently at the height of their mutual affection.
Epilogue: mewithoutYou's 17-ton grease-powered bus -- the ornately-chipped, floral-painted, “mental hospital on wheels” -- will once again, according to the band, “hem and haw its way across the country this summer, punctuated no doubt by near-daily breakdowns, makeshift repairs, newborn babies, manic depressive episodes, and desperate attempts by all parties involved to separate [them]selves from separation itself.”
PIANOS BECOME THE TEETH
Pianos Become The Teeth is an American screamo band that formed in 2006 in Baltimore, Maryland. They perform a style of music inspired by post-rock and early screamo acts.
When an eclectic group of individuals comes together with an idea to create something fresh, the results can often be outstanding. Such is the case with the experimental rock trio Strawberry Girls. These guys from California (who could even make noise sound groovy) were founded by ex-Dance Gavin Dance guitarist Zachary Garren after he crossed paths with drummer Ben Rosett and bassist Ian Jennings. Although the band has worked with guest vocalists, they have remained an instrumental three piece. "Our sound was originally built from a desire to practice and play as much as possible, without being restricted by the schedules of many different band members," says Garren. However, what originally began as an invention out of necessity, became much more than that. Strawberry Girls take a simplistic, yet sometimes technical approach to songwriting by mending parts together that get stuck in your head and compel you to listen to them over and over again.
Their debut release was an EP entitled Italian Ghosts (2011), which featured six instrumental tracks that they produced at their home studio. Strawberry Girls, being the ever-evolving machine that they are, decided to crank up the energy and try something different this time around by adding guest vocalists to their first full-length album entitled French Ghetto, recorded at their newly established Spirit Vision Studios in Carmel, CA. "We decided to have different guest vocalists for a few different reasons," says Garren, "Originally, we had written a couple songs for the album that were shorter, a bit chill compared to our normal stuff, and had more pop based structures. Since we didn't really plan on playing those two songs live, we thought it'd be cool to get Kurt Travis, who I used to play with in Dance Gavin Dance, to collaborate on a full song for old time's sake." One of the more interesting features on the album is Shane Smit from Overtone, a South African group who was managed by Clint Eastwood's wife, Dina, and was a focus of her reality TV show "Meet The Eastwoods." Other featured vocalists on the album included Nic Newsham (Gatsby's American Dream), Gavin Mulkey and Kathleen Delano.
With yet another instance of their versatility, the group covered Swimming Pools by Kendrick Lamar and filmed a video for the song which they edited themselves. It has since reached nearly 400,000 views on YouTube, greatly surpassing the band's expectations. "We're still blown away that it ended up with so many hits. We even said while editing it that we'd be excited if it even hit 20,000," says the band. Strawberry Girls have recently signed with Tragic Hero Records and are preparing for their first full US tour. "We really believe in what we're doing and think we bring something exciting to the music industry and hope others take notice." The band is currently set to work on a live video version of their album French Ghetto, which will be out later this year.
$18.00 - $20.00