First Fleet Concerts presents
The Dangerous Summer
Tommy And The High Pilots, Rare Monk, Breaking Laces
212 4th Street
Des Moines, IA, 50309
Doors 4:00 PM / Show 4:30 PM
This event is all ages
The Dangerous Summer
Straightforward, earnest rock music seems to be a contradiction from the path popular music has strayed as of late. The need for genuine lyrics, purposeful direction and accessible melodies has been long overdue. The Dangerous Summer have crafted a throwback to the days when music was charged with hope and contained a much-needed brand of sincerity.
This foursome from Ellicott City, MD, have poured every drop of honesty and thoughtfulness into Reach For The Sun, a polished and wise debut brimming with a poise that belies the band’s years. Taking their name from an Ernest Hemingway novel of the same name, it seems every move toward success has been calculated from the start. “We thought that name sort of fit for the time in which we were starting the band, and the commitment we’re getting into,” explained guitarist Cody Payne. That commitment was one that proved a bit shaky at the band’s beginning, when their crowded hometown shows gave way to smaller turnouts once they ventured past city limits. As Payne recalls, The Dangerous Summer’s first NYC show was held in a bar basement and included an audience of five. But for this collection of friends who’d been toiling away in practice sessions since high school, these were simply the dues of an ambitious group of musicians. And that low attendance record soon became a thing of the past once Hopeless Records came calling, finding the band’s quintessential rock pleasers just as inviting and impressive as those hometown patrons.
Sticking with producer Paul Leavitt (All Time Low, Circa Survive) in their comfortable and familiar home base, The Dangerous Summer wanted to fashion Reach For The Sun with someone who “really knows how to bring out our sound,” Payne said. “Also, since we weren’t doing much as a band and were at home living somewhat normal lives, this album was just driven by pure inspiration and just wanting to play music.” With Bryan Czap adding spiraling second guitar, Tyler Minsberg smattering raptly behind the drum kit and AJ Perdomo's astute lyrics and ardent delivery, The Dangerous Summer has churned out a studied and unfettered production. The modern nostalgia and urgency of opener and lead single “Where I Want To Be” builds to the crisp ebb-and-flow of “Surfaced,” before giving way to the tempered yearning of “Northern Lights.” Perdomo emits an understated-yet-electric vocal approach that is vulnerable and defiant in the same breath. ..
Tommy And The High Pilots
Life remains busy for local rock quartet Tommy and The High Pilots. The Santa Barbara based band released their most recent EP, The Sawhorse Sessions, April of 2011, which was the follow-up to their 2010 debut, American Riviera. And through it all, the band has remained on the road full-time, with major label rockers Ludo and others (Tommy and the High Pilots are on Ludo's Redbird Records).
The four-piece from Santa Barbara released an EP, American Riviera, in September of 2010 and have been on the road ever since. They supported other artists nationwide in the fall and finished the year by headlining more West Coast dates, including a sold out stop for their annual Christmas show in Santa Barbara. The Pilots wasted no time hitting the road again in 2011 and 2012, playing clubs, colleges, and anywhere with a stage.
When the band did take a break for a few days in February 2011, it wasn't to relax or go home. Tommy & The High Pilots went into the studio. The result was Sawhorse Sessions; five stripped-down, soulful acoustic songs that feel as live and intimate as a performance in your living room. Recorded in just two days in St. Louis, the band worked with producers Tim Convy and Jason McEntire on Sessions, their third release for Redbird Records & Touring.
Tommy and the High Pilots are one of the hottest bands in the nation not on a major label, with a fresh, yet classic sound and songwriting that features two brothers who have been singing together all their lives-- and are a four-piece of gifted musicians who love to play together.
The band played three performances at South by Southwest in Austin, Texas in March 2011, and the video for their debut single "Where to Start" (from American Riviera) received air time on mtvU, as well as a placement on the nationally syndicated The Nate Berkus Show. They toured in early 2012 with Allen Stone, and had their video for "Lonely Place" debuted on American Songwriter.com. In addition, the band was featured on MTV's Buzzworthy in June 2012.
Hailing from Portland, Oregon, the young turks of Rare Monk sound simultaneously like everything and nothing you've ever heard. While the obvious signposts are there to guide you (Modest Mouse, Phoenix), Rare Monk combine their love of late 90s alternative with a fevered pop intensity, before shooting the whole thing into outer space to see what comes back.
That psychedelic insanity can be traced back to their college roots, when the guys were the go-to band for drunken debauchery and sonic exploration. Having grown exponentially as a band since those early house party days, Rare Monk have teamed up with noted producer Skyler Norwood (Blind Pilot, Horsefeathers) for their first full-length Death By Proxy.
By turns their most ambitious and deceptively simple release to date, Death By Proxy is immediately accessible, while continually surprising upon each spin.
"Although we draw upon many genres for inspiration, we've been creating our own based on nothing other than "these are the songs we wrote cause they sound cool."
The giddy pop thrill of the title track and the funky, slow burn of "Underground" acts as the band's mission statements, and according to Dorian, summarizes what the band has been building towards since forming in 2009.
"Regardless of where our music falls on the spectrum, I think it's pretty genuine. I think the important thing here is not to try and fit a compartmentalized soundscape, or be different from everyone else; the importance lies in doing what you are passionate about. Passion is genuine."
For fans of: Modest Mouse, Phoenix, Helio Sequence
Breaking Laces is a three-piece acoustic rock band out of Brooklyn NY with a sound that has stylistic debts to such artists as Death Cab for Cutie, Snow Patrol, They Might Be Giants and the Lemonheads.
When the three musicians who comprise Breaking Laces got together to start the band, they had an acoustic guitar, a drum set, a bass and two very good voices. From there they went on to build a band and sound that has continually defied its origin and appearance.
"The idea was to take simple acoustic pop songs and make them bigger than life." says lead vocalist and guitarist Willem Hartong. "We've toyed with the addition of members to the band, but we have such a great chemistry as a trio. So the challenge was to make the kind of music we were hearing as a three piece." The band added live sampling and keyboards to the mix and found that three bodies and six hands were enough to get it done in a fashion not seen by many live acts today.
In the summer of 2009, Breaking Laces took the next step in the band's evolution by hitting the studio to begin work on their forthcoming album "When You Find Out". Eyed for release in early 2010, the band recorded with producer Ed Tuton (who has worked with artists as diverse as Carly Simon, Eagle Eye Cherry, Maxwell and T-Pain) helming the effort.
The guys feel that the new album is the culmination of the band's musical journey over the last five years and is the proverbial bridge between the band's live success and its melodic, commercial songwriting appeal.
Breaking Laces is headed to the stars. And if need be, they'll walk there. "What I've always liked is the confidence and positive attitude of this band," says Hartong. "It's why we called our second album Lemonade. It's what we always tend to come out with no matter what the circumstance or what fruit you throw at us. Even if you give us mangos, we'll make lemonade. And, trust me, it'll taste good."
More About Breaking Laces
Festivals & Achievements
Winner 2007 Starbucks MusicMaker's Competition
XMU Artist In Residence at XMU (XM43) for June 2007
Named Best Band in NYC 2006 (IndieSoundsNY)
Astronomy EP on many top ten lists for 2006
CMJ Radio National Top 200 for both Sohcahtoa and Lemonade LPs
UK Tour 2008/2005
South Park Music Festival 2008
SXSW Showcase 2008/2004
Red Gorilla Music Fest 2009/2008
Milwaukee SummerFest 2007
MidPoint Music Festival 2007
Fleshpot Festival 2006/2005
Dewey Beach Festival 2006/2005
Camplified Tour 2008
Featured XM Live! concerts 2003, 2007 - top 5 of all time, only repeat visitors
Total CDs sold in excess of 30,000
Sold Digital Downloads in excess of 100,000
Email list over 20,000
500+ shows in 5 years
73,000+ plays and 3,800+ friends on MySpace
3 very sexy guys