The 88 (Record Release Show)
Aaron Embry, Gliss
9081 Santa Monica Blvd
Los Angeles, CA, 90069
This event is all ages
The 88 (Record Release Show)
The 88 have been hailed as one of the finest pop/rock/alternative bands in recent memory; a distinction proven all the more relevant by their soon to be released LP, entitled FORTUNE TELLER. The ten-song collection from the Los Angeles-based band grabs the listener at the first note and never lets go, from the piano-driven opener "I Saw The Light That Day" to the longing beauty of ballad "The Clouds Rolled In." Songs like "You Are In Love" and "Deep In Your Heart" boast all of the vitality and craftsmanship of a seasoned band in full flight, brimming with both confidence and creativity.
Founded in 2002 by high school pals Adam Merrin (piano/keys) and Keith Slettedahl (vocals/guitar), and solidified as a band with the addition of bassist Todd O'Keefe and drummer Anthony Zimmitti, The 88 made their bones on the Southern California indie scene, releasing two well-received albums and earning acclamation as "Best Pop/Rock Band of the Year" from L.A. Weekly.
The band's lively stage show soon attracted major label buzz. In 2007, The 88 signed with Island Records, releasing their major label debut the following year. A mutual parting of ways came in 2009, allowing the band to return to the independent landscape that allowed them to thrive. Slettedahl spent the early part of the year making home recordings, which were later finished by the band and released digitally as 2009's "unofficial album" This Must Be Love.
Shortly after recording commenced on their 2010 self-titled record, The 88 received word that Ray Davies was looking for a band to both support and back him on a U.S. tour. Avowed fans one and all, the band recorded a half-dozen Kinks classics for Davies to assess. The result: The 88 found themselves on the biggest tour of their career, alongside one of their greatest musical inspirations. "I still can't believe it," says Slettedahl. "I mean, he's my hero."
A few months later, The 88 crossed the Atlantic for Davies' UK tour - culminating in an incredible show at London's historic Royal Albert Hall - as well as their own first-ever British headline shows. Davies also invited the band to record a number of songs at his world famous Konk Studios for a Kinks tribute compilation, See My Friends. The 88 played on tracks by Davies with both Lucinda Williams and the late Alex Chilton, as well as dueting with the legendary Kinks frontman on the classic "David Watts."
"To all of a sudden find ourselves playing the Royal Albert Hall with Ray Davies and recording at Konk Studios... it was pretty magical," as O'Keefe remembers it.
The FORTUNE TELLER LP continues the same spark and ingenuity that has kept the band a focal point on the music industry's radar throughout their career. In addition to touring with such artists as The B-52s, Matt Costa, Smashing Pumpkins, and the late Elliott Smith, the band has sustained itself in large part thanks to a seemingly infinite series of high-profile song placements - spanning films, commercials, video games, and TV shows - as well as resourceful projects like self-produced YouTube videos and the digital single, "Love Is The Thing," recorded entirely via iPhone app.
"We're always trying to discover new things, and come up with new ideas," says Merrin.
The 88 returned to the road with Ray Davies in late 2011; a run that also included a string of television appearances on shows like Live With Regis & Kelly and Late Night With Jimmy Fallon. At the start of 2012, the band earned the once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to perform a Kinks medley with Davies at Clive Davis' annual Pre-Grammy Gala, sharing the stage with Jackson Browne and Elvis Costello. "Musically, the high point of the night," as Rolling Stone stated of the performance.
Currently, The 88 continue to see their film and television presence rise to the top of the heap, with music featured in the Universal film The Lorax, as well as their song, "At Least It Was Here," serving as the theme song to the NBC comedy Community. In March, the band added a new credit to their resume: scoring a movie. For the Lionsgate release Friends With Kids, the band co-scored the Jennifer Westfeldt film, while also contributing three original songs.
By remaining true to themselves, The 88 have crafted an immensely satisfying LP that stands tall among their impressive catalogue. And with so many projects in music, television, and film both ongoing and upcoming, the band shows no signs of slowing down. But like any true craftsman, their best is never enough.
"It still feels like a beginning," says Slettedahl.
Adds Merrin: "We have huge ideas for this band."
At the tail end of his three-year stint as the piano player for the Los Angeles ensemble Edward Sharpe & the Magnetic Zeros, Aaron Embry finally found the voice for which he'd been searching. He discovered this voice captive in an arch top tenor guitar, a harmonica, and a small stack of moleskin notebooks. Travel-ready and now equipped with his new discoveries, Embry found a current and the songs came up like a flood.
He wrote at a prolific rate while on tour throughout the late spring and fall of last year, a body of songs born among communal, creative atmospheres of life on the road with Sharpe and of time on the rails with the numerous musicians of 2011's Railroad Revival Tour. As a songwriter, Embry cut his teeth by recording and touring with greats such as Elliott Smith, Willie Nelson, and Daniel Lanois, among plenty of others.
In April 2012 he began recording, and the outcome is Tiny Prayers: a 10-track collection that explores a wide range of emotions while anchored in the cardinal folk tradition of simplicity. Elemental s ong structures and spartan acoustic arrangements bring Embry up close and in focus as a songwriter, singer, and musician. Lyrics such as "Is my happiness dependent on its own design? Am I only waking up to leave my dreams behind?" are evidence of his love for emotional complexity, while his voice and bare instrumentation carve melodies that are built like something low to the ground yet wide as the sky.
Tiny Prayers was recorded at the Embry's family home in Ojai, CA. It is set for release in Fall 2012.
Danish/American band Gliss makes a huge departure from their old sound on the
new record Langsom Dans which is gathering comparisons to Beach House, Crystal
Castles and Lower Dens. The LA based band, consisting of Victoria Cecilia and Martin
Klingman pour their collective musical imaginations into recording
timeless art pop with a precise Scandinavian texture that steps away from their
previous work. The 12-track LP features heavy synths and electronic beats with Danish
expatriate, Victoria Cecilia, stepping into the role as lead singer. The passionate vocal
harmonies dictate the recordings with stories of coming out of the darkness into a new
life, bringing to mind The XX, Portishead and Depeche Mode.
This is a full-length from a band that knows their sound, and having toured with the likes
of Glasvegas, The Horrors, Raveonettes and Editors, they clearly have the credentials.
The album is released through Modern Outsider and is already climbing into the Top
5 on the alternative specialty radio charts.