Dope Body, Total Slacker, Lazyeyes, Alien Whale, Kitty Pryde (dj)

Dope Body

Have you ever been punched in the face? If you’ve been in the front row at a Dope Body show – or the back row or somewhere in the middle for that matter – it’s a distinct possibility. The Baltimore quartet has built a reputation in the underground community for delivering intense live performances, galvanized in large part by the group’s charismatic lead singer, Andrew Laumann. Off the back of their 2012 release for Drag City, Natural History, the band embarked on a rigorous 19 months of almost nonstop touring. Unless you were at one of their shows, however, you may not have heard of any of this. That’s because the band chose a different path than many of their peers, developing a unique performance and bringing it to every festival, bar, basement and backyard to garner a grassroots fan base rather than seeking ephemeral blog recognition.

In autumn 2013, the band took time to pursue a life outside Dope Body: bassist, John Jones, focused on his solo project, Nerftoss, as did guitarist Zachary Utz and drummer David Jacober with their duo, Holy Ghost Party. Lead singer Laumann pursued his creativity in the visual arts, exhibiting work at Galerie Jeanrochdard in Paris, Pre Teen Gallery in Mexico City and Signal in Brooklyn.

The vacation was short lived. In January 2014, Dope Body was back in the studio recording with producer, Travis Harrison, at Manhattan’s Serious Business Recording Studio. On their sophomore album for Drag City, Lifer, Dope Body refines the aural yawp they have been perfecting for some time. There is a distinct evolution from one Dope Body record to another. Lifer is no different. “Repo Man” showcases the progression of the band’s songwriting, creeping up on you, crooning with an oscillating bass groove before whipping into a frenzied stomp. Where most songs show Laumann’s rhythmic ability, “Rare Air” is one of the first Dope Body tracks that exhibits his talent for constructing melody. “Hired Gun” gives us the pyrotechnics we want with a fully dynamic range and an almost anthemic chorus. “Day By Day” has a propulsive sound, which continues to evolve without losing any of the feral energy that lead to the group making their reputation in the ever-vibrant Baltimore music and arts underground.

The group began modestly, rocking ass in Baltimore punk basements. The landscape and street culture of the small, east coast city, have risen to prominence due to the popularity of the realist crime drama, The Wire. Dwelling shoulder to shoulder in that harsh urban environment is a vibrant art scene, which has served as an incubator for some of the most prominent indie acts of the last decade. Groups like Dan Deacon, Future Islands and dozens of artists from DJ Dog Dick to Lower Dens to Animal Collective have their roots in the city. Amid this landscape, the group cut their teeth and evolved into a four piece. They released one cassette and one full-length album via HOSS Records before releasing their first LP and subsequent split twelve-inch singles for Chicago’s Drag City Records.

The evolution of the band has been modest as well. Its members don’t reflect on the reactions or public expectations for their new record. In the Internet age where the audience is constantly bombarded by trending artists and the best new music, it’s easy to lose sight of the basic concept of music as a source of creative output. For Dope Body, at the end of the day, it doesn’t boil down to much more than that.

Total Slacker

"...a very lascivious sound and hovering vocals...Listless and languid phrasing." - Anthony Mansuy/ ROLLING STONE July-2010

"Front man Tucker Rountree manages to echo both Thurston Moore and Lou Reed with his half-sung, half-spoken lyrics about being young, broke, and in love." - Jamie Peck / Village Voice -July 2011

Music Video for "Wait" - http://bit.ly/UL4FB4

Alien Whale

ALIEN WHALE is Matt Mottel (of Talibam!, on keys), Colin Langenus (of USA is a Monster, on guitar), and Nick Lesley (of Necking, on drums).

$10.00

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Dope Body, Total Slacker, Lazyeyes, Alien Whale, Kitty Pryde (dj)

Thursday, June 20 · 8:00 PM at 285 Kent