Detroit Bar and Thief Present
Sleepy Sun, Jail Weddings
Summer Twins, Terminal A
843 W. 19th St.
Costa Mesa, CA, 92627
Doors 8:00 AM / Show 9:00 PM
This event is 21 and over
The band of brothers known far and wide as Sleepy Sun don't sit still for long. Though they remain real and spiritual citizens of the Northern California hive that birthed the band in the latter half of the last decade, Sleepy Sun is a rambling band—a certifiably vagabond unit that built a reputation among American and European audiences as fine-tuned, ironclad locomotive and candy sweet heavy pop machine. Barnstorming the Great Plains….stealing afternoons from the unsuspecting on the European festival-go-round…hooking the uninitiated opening for the Arctic Monkeys, Black Angels, and Low Anthem, they've done yeoman's work, sparked the party, and made the music sound young again.
Sleepy Sun's miles, months, and days in the van are a tangible presence in Spine Hits, an LP of whimsy, restlessness, and urgency that leaps nimbly from landscape to landscape with ease, irreverence, and a catch-em-before-they-ain't changeling nature. For the most part, the sprawling Zeppelin-esque epics that defined much of Embrace and Fever have been traded in for a potent pop-compact framework. But never at the expense of the dodging, juking, and downshifting instincts that set their older long form pieces apart from a thousand other psychedelic drone warriors.
Recorded under the big skies of the California high desert with Queens of Stone Age and Eagles of Death Metal alumnus Dave Catching, the jams on Spine Hits are alternatingly precision whittled and moodily muscular. Matt Holliman and Evan Reiss' guitars adroitly move from steamroller heavy to beachside airy and bouncing to interstellar—tinkering with texture and dynamics like never before. Vocalist Bret Constantino sings with a road-toughened, husky soul yowl and hush that occasionally betrays a society-weary frustration but more often hints at a way out. The rhythm section of drummer Brian Tice and Jack Allen is a super-cohesive, tricky, and tough-as-hell unit that keeps the Sleepy train on track as it teeters, creeps and runs wild across the land.
To any seasoned Sleepy Sun listener the new destinations will be surprises and revelations. "V.O.G." hints at a backstage conspiracy hatched on the Arctic Monkeys tour—buoyant and tight as a wire. "Boat Trip" moseys with a Lou Reed offhandedness—a postcard from Brian Wilson's forgotten vacation with the Velvets. "Still Breathing" is an elegiac nod to the band's early alignment with the Verve's dreamworlds.
For Sleepy spotters that came to love the band in its most massively rocking incarnations, there are the slow burns—"Stivey Pond" a sinister, stalking, and tender lurching beast bearing down on the subject of its obsession. And "Lioness (Requiem)"—a drifting, drowsy, late night lost in contemplation, dawn nowhere in sight.
Spine Hits isn't a portrait of a band in a moment. It's a box of snapshots spilled on the floor and blowing in the wind…left behind by a band that can't stop moving, but remembers what they left behind in a thousand colors.
Jail Weddings' epic second full length is quite aptly titled. Meltdown: the flailing emotional implosion often borne of a triumvirate of frayed nerves, volatile substances and excessive external pressure is clearly evidenced in the words and music herein. But, there's also a newfound sense of musical genres and histories mixing together like molten wax where the band's signature Shangri-La's, Bad Seeds, noir-hued pop merges with hazy psychedelia, bombastic rock and even essences of bizarre Eastern European folk. It's the sound of a band that's always been at the brink of self-destruction actually growing and thriving on its own chaotic impulses.
It's now six years into something that wasn't expected to last six months -- this "thing" called Jail Weddings. While the songs have always been timeless and top notch, they're also a band whose initial popularity often hinged on the fact that it could all fall apart at any given moment -- with frequent dagger eyes or fistfights both onstage and off -- where it was always clear to the audience that the high-drama of the songs often spilled into the band members' own precarious lives. They are a group that audiences could live through vicariously, a band capable of not just inspiring listeners' ugly catharsis, but often enacting its own in public. One of few that could claim they are not just a band, but a lifestyle all their own.
It was late 2012 when we had last checked in with frontman Gabriel Hart, who explained that last year's Four Future Standards EP (described by VICE Magazine as "music to have knife sex to") was also the gradual bridge to their more grandiose work-in-progress second full-length. Hart ensured that anyone who thought they were any sort of "party band" would be gravely mistaken upon hearing what they had been stirring up in their charred cauldron. Little did he know it would take well over 365 days to finish what he had started, where the stakes were raised, bank accounts drained, sanity/sobriety and sleep compromised, and their longtime rhythm section and one of their back-up singers lost…where towards the end it would cause him and his eight-headed collective to treat it with all the intensity a band would as if it was the last record they would ever record, even though their present locomotive momentum will prove at least that part otherwise.
And what better process to make a record, Meltdown – A Declaration of Unpopular Emotion which Hart describes as a somewhat conceptual "dissection of the personal Apocalypse." A record whose liner notes cite such patron saints as disparate as philosopher Carl Jung and enfant terrible Francis Farmer as touchstones? But, this is only for the uninitiated to understand – as within the first listen of Meltdown one will soon realize this record is indeed a vast, universal tantrum, where the best path of protest is often to create one's own atmosphere, to secede from pain through a self-imposed baptism of fire. And, the end inspiration proves once again one must look no further than Jail Weddings' own twisted, snake-eating-its-tail world they've created.
Meltdown begins somewhat similarly to their 2010 debut Love Is Lawless -- Hart's lone baritone accompanied by minimal instrumentation slowly building the anticipation that something is about to leave a crater in its wake. But, instead of the Broadway schmaltz approach of their previous effort's intro, the song explodes as if they are going into battle, marching drums and ominous war siren back-ups announce that they are going into this nervous breakdown unabashed. And before we get a chance to catch our breath, they blow right into the electric 12-string guitar of "May Today Be Merciful" where Hart sets the real tone of the record as if Echo and The Bunnymen were lost in some bad trip section of L.A.'s Paisley Underground scene. Elsewhere, "Why Is it so Hard To Be Good?" lumbers to a start with thunderous early-Swans sounding drums leading a dark lament of our collective penchant to do wrong. Throughout the album there's chiming power-pop ("Dead Celebrity Party"), somber balladry ("Summer Fades", "Obsession"), dramatic pageantry that would make Born To Run era Springsteen blush ("Angel of Sleep") and so many other twists and turns that the album's dramatic title will make perfect sense.
Sessions for Meltdown commenced once again at their home base of The Station House in Echo Park with engineer and co-producer Mark Rains (Black Rebel Motorcycle Club, Waylon Jennings, etc). The line-up on Meltdown proves to be their most enduring, sturdiest and studied yet – familiar faces from their last effort being Hart's right hand man Christopher Rager on guitar (and co-producing), last O.G. member Hannah Blumenfeld on strings (the group has since turned her into an octopus string quartet in the studio – recently earning her full-string duties on the new Ghostface Killer record), secret weapon Marty Sataman on piano/synths, vocalists Jada Wagensomer, Marianne Stewart and Kristina B holding steady as three-part harmony dream team, with Wagensomer occasionally moving front and center as Hart's female counterpart, where they duet on "Why Is It So Hard To Be Good?" and "…Keeping The Faith," also seeing her solo spotlight on "A Promise" and "…Never Going To Find Me." The new fierce rhythm section that came swinging to rescue the group from mid-recording uncertainty includes Morgan Hart Delaney on bass (and blood, as Hart's own cousin) and Hart's long co-conspirator Dave Clifford (The VSS, Pleasure Forever, Red Sparowes, Hart's own Starvations/Fortune's Flesh) on drums.
Meltdown -- A Declaration of Unpopular Emotion will be available on LP and download via Neurotic Yell Records on August 27th, 2013.
Summer Twins are sisters Chelsea and Justine Brown. They write dreampop and rock 'n roll songs with a touch of California sun. Born and raised in Riverside, Ca, the two decided they wanted to start a band from a young age. Inspired by their dad's old rock 'n roll records, Chelsea picked up the guitar, Justine taught herself to play drums, and they played in an all-girl band throughout their teens. They formed Summer Twins in 2008, with a focus on singing pop harmonies atop garage rock inspired by the '50s and '60s. Now in their early twenties, Summer Twins play live with Alan Olney on guitar and Michael Rey Villavicencio on bass.
"Each repeat listen to the California dream-pop duo's lazy, hazy, crazy debut adds another layer of shimmering, pink pleasure. Sisters Chelsea and Justine Brown quickly start to sound like a band you've had in your collection for years – and it's more than simple 90s nostalgia for a brand of pop ala The Cardigans that the Summer Twins wholly embrace." -Impose Magazine
"Just some damn sunny pop with a nice dusting of melancholy that begs to be on your headphones and walked around the city." -Raven Sings the Blues
"...a sound that is both nostalgic and timeless" - Get Bent
In this delusive world
I viewed the moon
two years too long.