Sleepy Sun, Gram Rabbit, Strange Vine

The band of brothers known far and wide as Sleepy Sun don't sit still for long. Though they remain real and spiritual citizens of the Northern California hive that birthed the band in the latter half of the last decade, Sleepy Sun is a rambling band—a certifiably vagabond unit that built a reputation among American and European audiences as fine-tuned, ironclad locomotive and candy sweet heavy pop machine. Barnstorming the Great Plains….stealing afternoons from the unsuspecting on the European festival-go-round…hooking the uninitiated opening for the Arctic Monkeys, Black Angels, and Low Anthem, they've done yeoman's work, sparked the party, and made the music sound young again.

Sleepy Sun's miles, months, and days in the van are a tangible presence in Spine Hits, an LP of whimsy, restlessness, and urgency that leaps nimbly from landscape to landscape with ease, irreverence, and a catch-em-before-they-ain't changeling nature. For the most part, the sprawling Zeppelin-esque epics that defined much of Embrace and Fever have been traded in for a potent pop-compact framework. But never at the expense of the dodging, juking, and downshifting instincts that set their older long form pieces apart from a thousand other psychedelic drone warriors.

Recorded under the big skies of the California high desert with Queens of Stone Age and Eagles of Death Metal alumnus Dave Catching, the jams on Spine Hits are alternatingly precision whittled and moodily muscular. Matt Holliman and Evan Reiss' guitars adroitly move from steamroller heavy to beachside airy and bouncing to interstellar—tinkering with texture and dynamics like never before. Vocalist Bret Constantino sings with a road-toughened, husky soul yowl and hush that occasionally betrays a society-weary frustration but more often hints at a way out. The rhythm section of drummer Brian Tice and Jack Allen is a super-cohesive, tricky, and tough-as-hell unit that keeps the Sleepy train on track as it teeters, creeps and runs wild across the land.

To any seasoned Sleepy Sun listener the new destinations will be surprises and revelations. "V.O.G." hints at a backstage conspiracy hatched on the Arctic Monkeys tour—buoyant and tight as a wire. "Boat Trip" moseys with a Lou Reed offhandedness—a postcard from Brian Wilson's forgotten vacation with the Velvets. "Still Breathing" is an elegiac nod to the band's early alignment with the Verve's dreamworlds.

For Sleepy spotters that came to love the band in its most massively rocking incarnations, there are the slow burns—"Stivey Pond" a sinister, stalking, and tender lurching beast bearing down on the subject of its obsession. And "Lioness (Requiem)"—a drifting, drowsy, late night lost in contemplation, dawn nowhere in sight.

Spine Hits isn't a portrait of a band in a moment. It's a box of snapshots spilled on the floor and blowing in the wind…left behind by a band that can't stop moving, but remembers what they left behind in a thousand colors.

"Dry and tough as mule jerky, sexy as a swayed hip, the music weaves elements of electro-dance, Byrd's-era country rock, inner-space jazz, and gnomic meditations in the manner of Spiritualized and Pink Floyd into a sound that's unaffectedly homey, profoundly ambitious, and frankly revolutionary."
-Ron Garmon, LA CityBeat


Gram Rabbit's highly anticipated fourth record, Miracles & Metaphors, is now complete and plans for a spring release are underway. Produced by Ethan Allen(The 88, Luscious Jackson, Patti Griffin)who decided he loved the Rabbit so much he now joins them live on guitar, Miracles & Metaphors takes the listener on an epic journey of beauty and depth that has become all but extinct in today's market.

Founded in 2004 by Jesika von Rabbit and Todd Rutherford in the desert landscape of Joshua Tree, California Gram Rabbit quickly gained attention for their offbeat styles as well as their decidedly bent take on modern music. Using beats, twangy guitars, programmed samples, a healthy dose of mind-altering lyrical illusion and super-charged sexual energy, Gram Rabbit were hailed as best new LA Band in 2005 at the LA Weekly Music Awards.

Momentum built as the band sold out West Coast clubs and earned rave reviews in monthly, daily and International publications. Their rapid ascent from outsiders to the top of the L.A. club scene could be attributed to the dichotomy of their audience. Well-heeled
hipsters in low-slung jean and ironic t-shirts could be found next to actress Scarlet Johansson. Uberfan John Cusack rounded out his iTunes celebrity playlist with music from the band. It's easy to see how the bands classy image combined with it's dirty sound was a lethal combination for their divergent audience.

When the band hopped the pond for some shows in the United Kingdom, the toast of Southern California made quite an impression on the tight-knit world of the London press with write ups in Time Out London, Dazed and Confused, The Independent and others. They were then invited to perform at the Wireless Festival in London sharing the stage with Basement Jaxx, M.I.A and LCD Soundsystem.

Gram Rabbit's must-see live show, their fantastic sound and their geographic desirability helped secure a much sought after gig at the desert music festival, Coachella. The trade magazine Daily Variety commented: Sunday's Coachella fest got off to a slow start with unimpressive performances by hyped artists like Fiery Furnaces and M.I.A. (with the definite exception of the acid-trip costume show by local, sexy psych-rockers Gram Rabbit.)

The adulation was not lost on Hollywood. A bevy of licensing opportunities were presented to band landing spots on CBS's "CSI", MTV's "The Assistant"' with Andy Dick, NBC's "Life" and "Dateline", Fox's "Head Cases", ABC's "10 Things I hate About You", Bravo's "Long Way Round", STARZ' "Crash", and FX's "Sons of Anarchy" to name a few.

With Miracles and Metaphors complete, Gram Rabbit is set to embark on the next phase of their career. Their fans are set for more hare-raising gigs, vital new additions to the live band and a sound that will surely get their asses moving and minds bending. Beatrix Potter couldn't have written it better herself.


Instrumentation
Jesika von Rabbit- Vocals, Keys, Guitar
Todd Rutherford- Vocals, Bass, Guitar, Programming
Ethan Allen- Guitar, Programming
Hayden Scott- Drums

Discography
LP's to Date:

"Music to Start a Cult to" 2004 Stinky Records
"Cultivation" 2005 Stinky Records
"RadioAngel & ther RobotBeat" 2007 Royal Order
"Miracles & Metaphors" Coming soon!

Strange Vine

Strange Vine's earthy, energetic music is a fusion of blues, psychedelic, and traditional American rock. It's a sound born of California's Sierra Nevada Mountains, from two men who were raised there. Ian Blesse plays drums and Rhodes piano (simultaneously), while Toby Cordova fleshes out the songs with a rotating arsenal of guitars (including one made from a cigar box). Both contribute vocals toward a rich, layered sound that's greater than the sum of its parts. In just a year's time, Strange Vine has already shared the stage with acts like The Black Keys, Cage The Elephant, Band Of Skulls, B.B. King, The Growlers, White Denim, Robin Trower, The Greenhornes, Pokey LaFarge and JEFF The Brotherhood.

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Sleepy Sun, Gram Rabbit, Strange Vine

Saturday, May 4 · Doors 8:30 PM / Show 9:00 PM at The Satellite