Nicos Gun, Bridge Underwater
1100 Chestnut Street
Philadelphia, PA, 19107
Doors 8:30 PM / Show 9:30 PM
This event is 21 and over
Watch & Listen
Morning Teleportation formed in 2005 when Bowling Green, KY natives and lifelong friends Travis Goodwin (keyboards) and Tres Coker (drums) met up with Chicago transplant Tiger Merritt (vocals/guitar), who had just moved to their hometown for college. From the beginning the band has built up a roller coaster of tumultuous rock 'n roll, featuring analog synths, heartfelt vocals, and sudden changes woven through psychedelia, electronica, and deep-space pickin' n' grinnin'. They've spent most of the past year on the road playing for enthusiastic crowds at Bonnaroo and Sasquatch and supporting the likes of The Flaming Lips, Cage The Elephant, and Modest Mouse.
To witness Morning Teleportation's live show is to experience a cacophony of improvisational mayhem draped with melodic twists and turns. Merritt's vocals dart sharply about the frantic, pulsing backbeat held down by the rhythm section, while his spacey fingerstyle guitar prowess embodies a style best described as "finger-trippin." And while their sound may be somewhat more modern than several of their cited heroes (including James Gang and CSNY), you should make no mistake: these are still some boys who want nothing more than to have a good time in the classic rock idiom.
With the combined energy of a basement party, a back-room jam session, and a futuristic hootenanny, Morning Teleportation's raucous, off-kilter explosion of enthusiasm is guaranteed to raise a smile. The band's first album, entitled Expanding Anyway, is out now on Glacial Pace Recordings.
"If #sxsw is where the world meets the future, then we'd like to introduce the future to Nicos Gun." - Spinner
"With oodles of talent, an incredible live show and a super-sized love for Prince many things rhythmic, Nicos Gun brings together elements of New Wave with electronic dance music. File under: not afraid to entertain." - Paste Magazine
"If you could distill the feverish intensity of an all-night rager and alchemize it into a musical form, then you'd get a sense of what to expect from Philly-based foursome Nicos Gun...Fusing punk rock energy with a genre-jumping eclectic mix of psych-pop, funk and glam rock, Nicos Gun wants their fans to have fun enjoying their sound." - Relix
"Nicos Gun mine the musical territory of electronic dance rock. Though the sound of the band recalls elements of the past, they are a band of the moment. The full-force funk of songs like "Dirty Girl," and "Soldier" bring to mind the R&B music of Prince, with its funky rhythmic bottom and slinky, chicken-scratch guitar riffs. On songs like "Control," the sinewy synthesizer lines drive the beat bring to mind the lock-step electronic grooves of LCD Soundsystem." - WXPN
"Nicos Gun got the crowd energized with their own bounce and raucousness. More streamlined then their tour mates, the Philadelphia based band seesawed between electro-tinged dance floor anthems and Velvet-Underground inspired hazy rockers.... The polish of the dance numbers were dirtied up with a surprisingly non plagiarized rock attitude and the guitar freak outs of lead singer/guitarist Barney Cortez........" - Brooklyn Vegan
"Nicos Gun didn't start out as a band at all. Producer Harry Zelnick, Barney Cortez (singer/guitar player), and Nick Bockrath (guitarist/keyboardist) initially met to produce "a track that Lil Wayne would want to use". Having won a Grammy for work that he did with Ludacris when he was just 17 ("War With God"), Zelnick has worked with everyone from Kelly Clarkson to 50 Cent. "Harry is trained to just crank beats out. We started to write fast and combine every type of music we like from the Velvet Underground to Lil B. Next thing we know we had over 40 songs."
Cortez has cut guitar tracks for The Roots before, Bockrath has done time with American Babies and Elevator Fight (with Zoe Kravitz), and the two previously performed together as Philly Indie darlings Cortez, Cortez. But when they combined forces with Zelnick, the pieces started falling into place and they realized they didn't have a group -- they had a gang.
With a laptop studio set up in the loft apartment they all share -- and a permanent practice space they frequent daily -- Nicos Gun doesn't take a day off. When they're not recording a new song, they're making a video for the new song they recorded yesterday. "I want people to know that we're experimenting and doing a lot of work," says Cortez. "We're just trying to do something new and cool everyday, whether it fits into this box or that box."
"A big part of it, too, is that we want to bring people into our world," says Nicos Gun. "We want to show people how we live in Philly. Making a video is as fun as making a new song. And especially just to be able to write a song, make a video, put it on the net, and have people respond to it is awesome. Friends will tell friends who will tell friends and you can gain a fan one at a time. We like writing songs, we like getting them to people, and we like playing live. It's a pretty simplistic idea."
-- Benjy Eisen (AOL Music / Spinner); San Francisco