Jacuzzi Boys

The Jacuzzi Boys’ practice space is like most any other -- crammed with gear along with one of the guys’ record collections. But their band room happens to be located in a trailer tucked just inside Bill Baggs Cape Florida State Park on gorgeous Key Biscayne, FL. Just a few feet from their amps: tropical paradise. This is an area home to weird animals and buttonwood trees, located on an island just outside of Miami. “Miami is not known for producing many good bands,” bassist Danny Gonzalez concedes. “So, quite frequently we get asked, ‘would you ever consider moving?’ Our answer is always, ‘No!’ This is where our friends and family are from. Miami is such a part of the Jacuzzi Boys, as important as any musical influence.”

The Jacuzzi Boys are guitarist/vocalist Gabriel Alcala, drummer Diego Monasterios, and bassist Danny Gonzalez, three dudes from South Florida, bright as neon and fun as hell. After forming the band in 2007 and accruing a handful of 45s, the group released the LP No Seasons on Florida’s Dying (located in nearby Orlando, FL) in 2009. Now, in 2011, we have Glazin’ – their second full-length, and the first for Hardly Art.

For Glazin’, the group traveled to Key Club Studios in Benton Harbor, MI where they spent twelve full days recording and mixing. The Jacuzzi Boys used this as an opportunity to dig deeper into the production of each song. “If the first record was the Everglades, the follow-up is Dadeland Mall,” says Alcala. This is also true sonically – while No Seasons was a primal wallop, Glazin’ has the slight sheen of a studio environment. Moving beyond the beauty and harshness inherent in a life spent within a single climate, Glazin’ instead offers a take on the culture that surrounds that environment: girls, cruising, air conditioning, and “raspberry feelings.”

Crisp hand claps, tambourine shake, zip gun guitar and sneaky lazer keys are all here, alongside rolling bass lines, the sharp-snap drums of the unshakable Jacuzzi Boys’ sound, and Alcala’s cool, breezy vocals winding through it all. The trio offers up 10 new tracks of outré power pop, occasionally roaming into surf territory (“Lebras and Zebras”) as well as some heavy metallic glitter (“Silver Sphere”). Despite having been recorded in Michigan, nearly every track on Glazin’ circles back to Miami through love ditties about crushing and glazin’, big anthems dedicated to waiting on a bus, and miniature neon glam rock opuses about a death dream and erections.

While it conjures images both sweet and sexual, those looking for specific meaning within the term “glazin’” will be disappointed. When pressed for details, the band confirmed that there is no concrete definition for the word. Alcala made it up, and the band instantly knew what he meant by it. It could be a state of mind, it could be a way of life, it could be about sex, drugs, and rock ‘n’ roll. However it is meant to be taken, with any luck, Glazin’ will soon become synonymous with Miami: “The Gun Club and X are so L.A., and Television is so New York,” says Gonzalez. “It’s such a part of what makes them who they are, you know? I al

The Lovely Bad Things

Brought together by time and fate—they’d all known each other since high school, but finally made a band together in 2009—and named by some kind of esoteric computer filename error too complex to further explain, Orange County’s The Lovely Bad Things are the hyperactive omnitalented and relentlessly hilarious garage-pop band who crowdfunded their way to an encore performance at the world-famous Primavera Sound festival and whose new album The Late Great Whatever was titled during a dream at the suggestion of their spirit guide, who happens to look strangely like Dinosaur Jr drummer Murph. Was that a lot to take in all at once? Then now you can sympathize with the cop who pulled them over on their way to the UFO museum in Roswell, New Mexico: “‘Who here has ADD?’” Brayden Ward remembers him asking. “And we all raised our hands.”

The Lovely Bad Things are Brayden and brother Camron Ward, Tim Hatch and Lauren Curtius, each a multi-instrumentalist and each devoted to a bottomless knowledge of ridiculous pop culture and comprehensive appreciation for the Pixies, though if you dismantled their songs and their record collections both you’d find Sonic Youth, Modest Mouse, the B-52s, the Wipers and of course Redd Kross, whose sense of humor and sense for a hook the Bad Things have inherited. They mostly come from the city of La Mirada, but their true home is the Lovely Bad Pad, a converted suburban garage—converted personally by the band members—that’s hosted truly legendary backyard punk shows, up to and including a surprise set by Peter, Bjorn and John, who know a good thing when they hear it.

It’s this combination of D.I.Y. spirit and off-the-wall luck that carried The Lovely Bad Things from that backyard to a cassette release on trendsetter label Burger Records that would be called one of the best L.A. punk releases of 2011 by the L.A. Weekly. And from there they ricocheted into a surprise slot at Primavera Sound festival, crowdfunding and benefit-showing just barely enough for airfare to get there and winning over their audience forever once they did. Now, after building a fan base show by show and person by frothing-at-the-mouth person—a guy once came all the way from Belgium to see them play one special song—The Lovely Bad Things have finished The Late Great Whatever for Volcom Entertainment.

The Late Great Whatever was started just after the release of the maxi-EP New Ghost/Old Waves, until now the Lovely Bad Things’ signature release. Although they’d released a full-length called Shark Week in 2010, the album that would become …Whatever was going to be something new, they explain: “Our first real full-length,” says Tim. At least half of Shark Week’s songs were written in … oh, about two minutes, calculates Lauren, because back then Lovely Bad Things were just discovering the knockout sugar high that came from just playing music with each other. But this would be different: “How do I say it and not sound like a super-cliché musician?” asks Camron. “More mature, I guess?”

So what’s that mean? Not one but two Star Wars references on the tracklist, Bigfoot on the cover, a shout-out to Macho Man Randy Savage and a relentless collection of the strongest songs The Lovely Bad Things have ever done. What, did you think “mature” meant? They were going to get all mopey and slow? (“Just say it’s ‘globular’ and ‘shapeshifting,’” suggests Camron.) Produced by Jon Gilbert in the studio built and run by Crystal Antlers’ frontman Jonny Bell, this is a record by a band who’ve developed a telepathic language of their own, with songs that stop and start and turn inside out in ways you just can’t play unless you know exactly what everyone else in the studio with you is thinking.

On The Late Great Whatever, Lovely Bad Things roll out just about anything you’d want about 15% faster than you’d expect. Do they do it all? They indeed do it all. They have stormers like “Kessel Run” and the stand-out “Randall the Savage,” which is all jittery post-punky guitar and gradually building insanity. Then they have sweetheart pop-punk like “Maybe I Know,” which is born for the best mixtapes of 2013. They have surf’s-up guitar (“Styx And Branches”) and wah-wah guitar (“Oozin It”) and oh-my-God-I’m-being-attacked-by-furious-bees guitar (“Kessel Run”). They have Frank Black-style spoken-word stammer (“Fried Eyes”) and cooled-out Kim Deal back-ups. And those heartbreaker harmonies that are part of what make The Lovely Bad Things so special? Pretty much everywhere, thanks to Lauren’s gift for melody, but why don’t you go right to “Rope Swing” if you need ‘em right away? And if this still seems like a lot to take in at once, don’t worry—down some (or too much) caffeine, roll down the windows and let The Late Great Whatever take the wheel. Just watch out for the cops on the way to the UFO museum. When they hear music like this, they pay way too much attention.

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Jacuzzi Boys with The Lovely Bad Things, King Grincewicz and His Grincewicztones

Thursday, October 31 · 9:00 PM at Will's Pub

Tickets Available at the Door