Local H

Chicago band Local H is known for their face-melting, gut-quaking live shows and for creating a catalogue of consistently clever concept albums and compelling cover songs over the past two decades. The pioneering, two-man band -- front man Scott Lucas covers both guitar and bass through an extra pick up in his guitar while drummer Ryan Harding pounds out the rest of the sound -- has released seven studio albums, a live album, and a bunch of EPs. Harding joined Local H in November 2013 and fit right in. The re-vamped line-up has written several new songs, which they’ve been testing out live to great response from the band’s incredibly loyal fans. In between stints on the road this year, they are recording a string of singles, a move that breaks away from their usual concept album approach. They are currently touring in support of Harding’s first recording with the band: a heavy, rocking reinterpretation of Lorde’s “Team,” the first track from their forthcoming EP, Local H’s Awesome Mixtape #2 .

The band’s most recent album, Hallelujah! I’m a Bum (Slimstyle 2012), an epic double-album about the deeply divided political climate that exists in the U.S., has a dog theme running throughout, making it a fitting companion to the band’s widely praised 1998 concept album Pack Up the Cats , which earned a spot in SPIN magazine’s top 20 albums of that year. Local H was named “Chicagoans of the Year” by the Chicago Tribune for their 2008 break-up album, 12 Angry Months , more that a decade after their breakthrough hit “Bound for the Floor” ruled the Modern Rock charts.

Alright Junior

Alright Junior is a raw, genuine modern rock trio who has a desire to communicate their collective internal focus. Playing hundreds and hundreds of shows since 2006, touring a vast amount of area in the USA, Alright Junior is keen on constantly being on the go, as this band’s live show is what defines them. This musical endeavor has led Alright Junior to share the stage with Incubus, Cake, Circa Survive, Local H, Flogging Molly, Civil Twilight, Maps & Atlases, Sponge, Our Lady Peace, 10 Years, The Red Jumpsuit Apparatus, Young the Giant, The Ataris, The Head and The Heart, KONGOS, Bear Hands and more. The explosive, impulsive, and intense mindset of Jace Miller, mixed with the creative efficiency of Mike Fraclose and Rob Perry, make for an electric mixture of rock, with passionately haunting lyrics, infectious riffs and stunning energy.

"Philadelphia's own Alright Junior has been one of my favorite locals for years now."
- Wendy Rollins, Assistant Program Director at Radio 104.5 WRFF

"Alright Junior...this is like Philadelphia's finest right here. It is such a treat getting to see these guys live. They're a talented band with HUGE stage presence. Not to mention they have addicting little songs, too."
- Jessie Sabella, On-Air Personality at Radio 104.5 WRFF

“They have endurance, no doubt, extolling their engendered appreciation for the last “good” era of rock music with all the spasmodic moves of an undomesticated bronco”
- Origivation Magazine (That Mag)

"I would describe Alright Junior as beautiful melodies, mixed with thought provoking lyrics, tied together by the threads of tangled guitars being dragged about by the rhythms of an incendiary drummer."
- Philly Rock Blog

“..Alright Junior is a must add to your collection."
- Campus Philly

“Alright Junior offer beautifully-arranged frenetic rock songs, doused with passion and finished off with a heavy dose of head thrashing. Lead singer Jace Miller is a born performer, and gestures frantically, grabs the microphone for dear life, and at one point even dives into the audience, almost knocking over an unsuspecting spectator. The entire band is all over the stage, thrashing harder than any band I’ve seen. I’m struck by the comparison of children on a Moonbounce.”
- Philly.com

Scott Lucas

Scott Lucas is best known as the singer/guitarist for the two-man, Chicago rock band Local H. But recently, he has broadened his musical scope and greatly expanded his lineup, pulling together a collective of musicians -- the Married Men -- that currently numbers seven and includes violin, accordion and organ. The result is quite different than Local H and a perfect fit for Lucas’ more personal, introspective songs. Reviewers have compared the band to Wiclo, the Waterboys and Nick Cave. Lucas calls the group’s evolving sound “country-ish, alt-rock for people who like metal.”

"The more we played live, the louder the amps got. The louder the amps got....you get the idea. After a certain point, we quit fighting it and decided to get chocolate all over our peanut butter,” Lucas explains, describing how he merged the force and volume of Local H with the sensitive twang of the Married Men for the band’s second album. “It's not like we've turned into Slayer or anything - we've just decided to embrace our dark side. And that goes for the lyrics, as well."

Blood Half Moon (the End Records - June 2012), is distinctively darker, yet ultimately more optimistic than Scott Lucas & the Married Men’s previous records, which were often described as quiet and sad. From the searing violin and haunting organ on the opening track “Lover the Lullaby,” which Lucas cites as the song that marked the band’s turn toward a more commanding sound; to “Heavy Lidded Love,” an upbeat song about cancer and ODing; to the closing, scorching eight-minute rendition of the traditional “There Ain’t No Grave (Gonna Hold My Body Down),” this album is HEAVY -- figuratively and sonically. Its songs touch on endings, disappointment, betrayal, confusion, love, uncertainty and death.

"Even on, what you might call, the prettier songs - we let that darkness creep into the lyrics,” Lucas says. “‘There You Are’ has these delicate three-part harmonies, singing about graves and maggots. It's like ‘Turn, Turn, Turn’ meets the Grim Reaper. For ‘Blood Half Moons’ - which is the closest I've ever gotten to a beautiful piece of music - I drove around in the desert for a couple of days and came back with lyrics full of blood, crows, and whiskey. And that dichotomy - the light of the music vs. the darkness of the lyrics - only serves to reinforce each other. It makes the songs seem MORE hopeful than if it was all flowers and babies. At least, to me."

As they did with their first two releases, the Married Men engaged Andy Gerber (Smoking Popes, the Tossers, the Effigies) to produce Blood Half Moon and recorded it in their native Chicago. But instead of working exclusively in Gerber’s Million Yen Studios, they laid down the bulk of the record at Steve Albini’s Electrical Audio, bringing in engineer Greg Norman (Neurosis, Pinebender, Russian Circles) to assist. And, to infuse just the right amount of heaviness, they turned to metal guru Sanford Parker (Yakuza, Pelican, Bloodiest) to mix it.

Scott Lucas formed the Married Men in early 2009 out of a desire to record a batch of intensely personal songs he had written that didn’t feel like they belonged on a Local H album. Shortly after culling his backing band from a host of local indie acts -- most notably the Tossers, Caviar and the Joy Poppers -- Lucas and the Married Men recorded their first album, with fewer than a dozen live shows to their name. Their debut, George Lassos the Moon, was released in February 2010 and was followed by several tours. To showcase the band’s evolution after more time spent together playing live, they hit the studio again that summer, releasing The Absolute Beginners EP in October 2010. Though he has no intention of abandoning Local H, Lucas has also never considered the Married Men a one-off, side project. He plans to keep them both going simultaneously.

Scott Lucas & the Married Men are:
Scott Lucas -- vocals and guitar
Jason Batchko -- organ and piano
Aaron Duggins – accordion
Rebecca Brooke M. -- violin
Peter Muschong – guitar and vocals
Randy Payne – drums and percussion
Tom Szidon – bass and vocals

$12.00

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Local H with Alright Junior, Scott Lucas

Monday, December 17 · 8:00 PM at North Star Bar