Dear Boy

Bitter-sweet alternative rock with roots in both postpunk and 90‘s British guitar pop.

Born in Los Angeles, Dear Boy wrote their debut EP in Vauxhall, London. Tracked by Chad Bamford (Spiritualized), Mixed by Michael Patterson (Trent Reznor, BRMC) and Mastered by Mike Marsh (Pulp, Phoenix, Savages), the DEAR BOY EP will be released everywhere September 2013.

Dear Boy is Ben Grey (vox/guitar), Keith Cooper (drums), Austin Hayman (guitar) and Nils Bue (bass).

Dear or Die.

The Ceremonies

Upon meeting Matthew, Mark, and Michael Cook — three smart, stylish, and somewhat serious-minded brothers who make up the Los Angeles band The Ceremonies — it's clear that these aren't just any ordinary young people. Their biggest influences are '80s post-punk pioneers Echo & The Bunnymen, The Smiths, and The Cure. The oldest, 21-year-old Matthew, who is The Ceremonies' musical architect and lyricist, cites the romantic poets William Blake and William Wordsworth, and British futurist writer Aldous Huxley as major inspirations. A lover of conceptual art and experimental film, Matthew attends art school, as does Michael, 19, who is also an abstract painter. Rounding out the highly artistic trio is Michael's twin brother Mark, who pursues creative writing and painting with his brothers while also working toward a business degree. The images that The Ceremonies' have made public are stark black and whites of their creative lives, whether it's a shot of them playing guitars in the studio, Michael drawing a self-portrait, or all three of them composing a painting to illustrate the concept behind their debut single "Land of Gathering." Drawn to the full sensory experience (it's hard to think of Depeche Mode or Joy Division without conjuring up Anton Corbijn's iconic portraits), The Ceremonies are in full control of their visual statement as well as their musical one.

"We cross-breed the rock band feeling with a multi-media theatrical element when we perform," says Matthew, citing the Talking Heads' David Byrne in Stop Making Sense as inspiration. "Our shows aren't just concerts, but something much more special — where people can go not only to watch our performance but also to have an impactful experience." "That's why we call ourselves The Ceremonies," explains Mark. "We've created a sense of communion through music," adds Matthew. "Ceremonies can be both positive or negative. Ceremonies are held for someone's funeral or wedding; they are all-encompassing gatherings about engaging with emotion."

The exuberant "Land of Gathering" is all soaring harmonies, airy synths, and bright horns set to an insistently chugging backbeat. It's a blend of cinematic, melodic pop lushness, '80s New Wave nostalgia, and cutting-edge alternative rock aesthetics, reflecting the band members' love for such classic pop tunesmiths as Michael Jackson, The Beach Boys, and The Righteous Brothers, as well as current tastemakers Arcade Fire. But the Cooks, working with producer Danny Garibay, are clever and talented enough to transcend their influences and create something entirely their own.

The brothers, who grew up in Los Angeles, recall their childhood rarely holding a silent moment; song never failed to flow through the Cook household. When Matthew was a teenager, he discovered a dark, swirling cover of The Beatles' "All You Need Is Love" by Echo and the Bunnymen, which he found an intriguing contrast to the original. He eventually turned his brothers on to his favorite music and the three formed The Ceremonies while Michael and Mark were still in high school, where they performed in an a cappella group and in musicals.

"It's hard to find the right people to be in a band with," Matthew says, "and I've realized that making music with my brothers is really special." While Matthew writes the songs and plays all the instruments on the band's recordings, all three band members play various instruments live and sing lead vocals. "There's definitely a quality each of us has in our voices that allows us to intertwine and come together," Mark says. "Our vibratos are pretty much the same pace, which is difficult to find when you're singing with other people," notes Michael.

The brothers met Danny Garibay through a mutual friend and bonded over their shared musical taste. Matthew and Garibay began to retool the demos Matthew had created, injecting rhythmic urgency and other production flourishes into the sound. Garibay brought the music to Troy Carter, who also manages Lady Gaga and John Legend. Carter asked for a meeting. Now The Ceremonies are signed to Carter's company Atom Factory and are working on their debut album, which they describe as "very conceptual." "The songs are about maintaining the perspective of a child in the adult world," Matthew says. "We're really interested in the idea of keeping imagination alive. 'Land of Gathering' is a metaphor for a place you can go in your mind to preserve childhood wonderment. If we can inspire other people to hold onto that appreciation for things that go unnoticed, it would be huge for us."

Brooklyn duo by way of London, VON HAZE, are the latest transplants to the booming synth scene of Lost Angeles. Equally ominous and blissful, these are synthscapes interwoven with driving Suicide-style beats and bits of buzzsaw guitar. Both of the band's EPs (on Hippos In Tanks) and their LP (on Pendu Sound) are produced by Richard Fearless of Death In Vegas, so both Primal Scream and Spiritualized's fuzzy and blissful collaborations with Fearless come bzzzzzing to mind...

Gangplans

GANGPLANS is a production duo lead by Echo Park/Lake Arrowhead musicians War Gogh and Tiger Smith (ex-Blacks& and Sea of Cortez). They also manage a fantasy football team and ride bikes together to the local farmers market. The duo used to make original music and remixes under the name NazcarNation.

GANGPLANS is currently working on their debut LP, Alcapwned, which features a different artist per track. The album will be released on digital and vinyl format in Summer of 2013.

Keyboardist Myles Young (Mr. MPH), multi-instrumentalist TJ Abbonizio, and drummer Troy Lawton (A B & The Sea) round out GANGPLANS' live show setup.

+ Special Guests

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Free - Mondays in September

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Indian fusion eats by India Jones Chow Truck

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Dear Boy with The Ceremonies, Von Haze, Gangplans, + Special Guests

Monday, September 9 · Doors 8:00 PM / Show 8:30 PM at Bootleg Bar

Free

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