ANTONY &THE TRAMPS
Julie Meckler, Good Evening
1354 W. Wabansia Ave
Chicago, IL, 60642
Doors 8:00 PM / Show 9:00 PM
ANTONY &THE TRAMPS
“We call it American Gypsy, because it wanders but isn’t lost. Its a tramp, you can’t get lost when you’re in love with where you are,” says Antony, writer/director for The Tramps. Following a national tour in the fall of 2011, the band recorded their debut album over the winter of 2011/12 with the approach of making a movie, free from the studio and on location around Chicago and parts of Northern Wisconsin. Enormous recital halls, warehouse hallways, train underpasses, intimate bedrooms, tiny closets. “We weren’t stuck in the studio trying to fake it, we could choose the room like choosing an instrument. Every place has its own sound already in it, and it affected the musician, it evoked something in us that inspired the music, inspired the scene we were recording,” Antony says. Mixed by Matt DeWine at Pieholden Suite Sounds in Chicago, they released their self-titled debut in July of 2012.
"Exotic, odd, and beautiful..." Bandsoup.com
"Wonderfully orchestrated roots rock for the 21st Century sounds almost too good to be true. The songwriting is elemental in its appeal and mesmerizingly executed." --2012 Illinois Entertainer
"...fun, grounded, joyful, rural, honest, hilarious and foot-stompingly catchy" --Bandcamp's Album of the Week
The band displays “extensive musicianship and songwriting, as [they] weave in and out of roots rock, acoustic folk, and Middle-Eastern influenced alt-pop”. ---2011 Illinois Entertainer
At times, French songstress Julie Meckler's story can sound almost cinematic. Leaving behind a life as a theater actress in her native Paris, Meckler immigrated to the US in early 2008 and bought her first guitar in New York City. There, the music began, as did her journey across a country she'd never seen before. After visits to Buffalo, Detroit, Portland and Vancouver, she settled in Chicago just as her visa expired. This began a determined, hopeful path as she opted to stay despite fears of deportation and never seeing her home country again. Over four years of honing her craft onstage - from gallery lofts to songwriter circles to sold out bills at venues such as the Hideout, Empty Bottle and Schubas - she's assembled a collaborative group of Chicago veterans that includes bassist Brett Bakshis (Wooden Rings, Belleisle), guitarist Will Phalen, guest guitarist Ryan Anderson (Go Long Mule), trumpeter James Davis (ALDRIC, Zing!), and drummer/percussionist Shawn Rios (Stolen Silver, Dick Prall).
Touted in the Tribune's Metromix as one of "15 Chicago Artists to Watch" alongside The Disappears and The Smith Westerns, Meckler and band have spent the last two years hard at work at Steve Albini's Electrical Audio with producer/multi-instrumentalist Will Phalen(The Stereo Addicts, Musikanto, Bailiff). The result of their labor, the aptly-titled Queenshead, offers a rather diverse collection of songs narrated by her hauntingly unique voice, vulnerable storytelling, and climactic intensity. Her youthful curiosity and playful dance into the unknown is matched with a wary wisdom gained only from risks taken and lessons learned along the way. Reggae, 70s AM radio vinyl, Mariachi, lush reverbed-out Blues, orchestral Pop and Post-punk all have a voice in the mix. It's all there, imbedded in the arrangements. Standout tracks include the pulsating guitar rocker "Forest," the despairing yet thorny Dub cut "Bitch," and the dancey Graceland-infused title track "Queenshead." And while the album will draw listeners with potent genre-spanning singles, it's a record created to be absorbed in its entirety. Each piece is a vital element of the story, yet mystery and unanswered questions still prevail; every tune portrays a different character, unpredictable and sensitive yet blunt in their nature.
Upon the arrival of Queenshead, momentum and fanfare continue to build. The group has dropped their video for the single "Manhattan" (shot both in France and the US) and is about to release their next - their Bossa Nova-infused take on David Bowie's 1968 Ziggy Stardust cut "Soul Love." Inevitably, new material is emerging as a part of their live show. And as most stories love a good ending, Meckler has not only married along the way (to jazz trumpeter/composer James Davis) but has also gained a Green Card and will return to France this summer to finally reconnect with her country, family and friends and show them her new artistic musical ventures. While hometown fans can expect more headlining bills in the later part of 2013, it won't take long for those everywhere to have their chance at seeing Julie Meckler on the road, performing with the same intimacy that can be achieved through a pair of headphones and a record player. Her soundtrack is our movie.
"Meckler's presentation drew the listener into her world. Watching her was like ducking into a dark theater on a summer day to watch a foreign black-and-white film." -ConcertGoer.com
"This Parisian transplant pens moody tunes that rival epic mood swings. Witness "Deportation Blues," which opens in muted tones before the guitars and Meckler begin snarling at one another at its staggering climax." - Metromix
"Julie Meckler rocks like a French PJ Harvey, feminine and dominant." - Goth Traveler
Good Evening formed on the Ides of March shortly after Weston Rose had decided to remain on spring break from law school for the rest of his life.
Alyssa Martinez had recently graduated from art school and was, therefore, confused and directionless. When it was revealed that Alyssa could sing, tap dance, play violin and keep up with Weston’s partying, they naturally decided to form a band. The pair began working on material, but soon found that a crucial element was missing from their performances: a physicist-piano player.
After auditioning dozens of players from all the top universities, they happened to meet Matthew Sternberg through a mutual friend. In addition to the necessary piano and trigonometry skills, Matthew also possessed whiskey and a healthy thirst for whiskey, making him the natural choice on keys. Davis Krieg, also discovered through a mutual friend, joined soon after, bringing with him a 1937 Martin tenor guitar, a most refined ponytail, and a bottle of Maker’s Mark. The group began performing at speakeasies and underground parties, as well as opening for Chicago bands at local venues. Soon it was time for David Rose to realize his destiny and join the band as well. The two cousins, David and Weston, had been best friends and sometimes band-mates since birth, but Good Evening was to be their ultimate musical adventure.
Good Evening’s greatest pleasure is to please. Specializing in ‘midnight broken glass love songs’ that can make Dubstep DJs teary-eyed and grandmas nod their heads with approval, their sound is appropriate to all-night ragers, weddings and campfires, as well as cafes, bars and auditoriums. With eclectic musical backgrounds and interests, and the ability to play in varying forms and combinations, the band has a dynamic sound, full of happiness and heartache, whiskey and woe.
Good Evening is based in Chicago and released their first full-length studio album, In Public, in July 2010.