D.O.T.S. C.O.N.F.U.S.E. M.I.N.D.S., Lightouts, Jesse Denaro

D.O.T.S. C.O.N.F.U.S.E. M.I.N.D.S.

D.O.T.S. C.O.N.F.U.S.E. M.I.N.D.S. is a Brooklyn-based band that prides itself on enthusiasm, originality, and camaraderie.

Musically, DCM is a tough band to categorize. The closest thing to a label yet has been “dude rock”, but the influences span everything from jambands, indie rock, funk, bluegrass, surf rock, indie pop, and punk, so it should never stay in one place for more than a song or two before the direction completely shifts gears. That’s the hallmark: the ability to write high quality songs in a variety of genres.

It’s a forgone conclusion that every single show should be the best one yet. The setlists, catalog, and banter are always be fresh and changing. All of the band members are friends first, musicians second, so having fun is the single most important element of everything. Egos get left at home every night. The is a band about enjoying life, working hard, not taking anything for granted.

Lightouts

It started with a want ad, plastered across the board of a post-industrial space near Brooklyn’s infamously filthy Gowanus Canal. The request? Quite simple: “Robert Smith / Emily Haines, where are you?” The sort of thing you’d expect from a Metric fan who, as a kid growing up in New Mexico, fell under the spell of the Cure’s often bleak, yet always beguiling music at a time when riff-raking guitar heroes were all the rage.

“People would say, ‘Why would you want to play like Robert Smith?,’” explains Lightouts founder Gavin Rhodes, last heard in one-man band Honeypower. “‘Wouldn’t you rather learn how to shred instead?”

No, not really. Better to become the backbone of a fuzz-toned band in the mold of the Jesus and Mary Chain with vocals that recall David Bowie’s most spirited moments. Enter Greg Nelson, the only sane person to answer Rhodes’ call.

Nelson was exactly what Lightouts needed: A seasoned natural at toeing the line between darkness and light. For proof of the man’s formidable vocal chops, listen no further than to his sensual croon and sky-scraping wail on the verses and choruses of “See Clear,” the band’s sledgehammering debut single from 2011.

Fast-forward through the release of four ensuing singles — each a brilliant, hook-laden monster — plus dozens of live shows, press adulation from the likes of The Village Voice, SPIN, and Magnet, and the recruitment of an airtight rhythm section in the form of Dean Perry (bass) and Josh Fleischmann (drums). What began as an instrument-swapping duo is now a full-on power quartet, a development that’s set the stage for the March 2013 release of Lightouts’ first LP, Want.

A loosely linked concept album based around the idea of following forward-moving instincts while trying to keep certain desires in check, Want features a 13-track lineup that draws liberally from Lightouts’ catalog of short-form releases to include all the band’s singles and accompanying B-sides to date. Three new cuts bookend and bisectWant, including the sucker-punch title tune that arrives ten tracks in. Rhodes calls it “the most collaboratively written song on the album, in contrast to me writing most of the other tracks, apart from the vocals.”

Why the wait for Lightouts’ first full-length release? “This was always our plan,” says Rhodes. “We wanted our debut album to come after we’d established ourselves as a band that made music worth listening to.”

There’s little doubt Want is a clear thoroughbred in 2013′s best debut album horse race, and Rhodes, Nelson, and Perry are justifiably proud of their two years of work. They’re also less than shy about paying homage to their strongest influences, buried in melodic distortion as they may be. For sonic proof, seek out the band’s singles for phenomenally reverent updates of deep cuts by the Stone Roses, the La’s, Guided By Voices, the Cure (of course), and not least of all, a devastating mash-up of LCD Soundsystem’s “All I Want” and Bowie’s “Heroes.”

Rhodes elaborates: “While we’ve been compared to everyone from the Hold Steady to Surfer Blood, it’s no secret that many of our touchstones are acts from the early ’90s.”

“I like bands who sound like Animal Collective and Yeasayer,” admits Nelson. “But we’re not part of the new primitive movement, you know? We’re after something tighter and more structured.”

“Like Smashing Pumpkins,” adds Rhodes. “When they were good.”

Jesse Denaro

Jesse Denaro writes simple songs about complex things: love, homelessness, faith, remorse, death, and God Himself. Phrases turn, emotions connect, and melodies soar. You sing along even though you've never heard the tune before.

Jesse writes from an inner perspective wrestling with things he can't change, yet knows his life has purpose when he cries out "Someone Save My Life." Jesse's song construction will take you to unexpected places but when you arrive you're pleasantly surprised; as in the case of his recognition as finalist in 2009 Billboard Contest for his CD "Speed of Light."

"SATISFACTION FROM
HELPING OTHERS
GROW IN THEIR GIFTS"

Jesse has a way of packing a venue as he draws the audience in with his unassuming style and genuine humility. You want to like him! And he delivers. Then you're hooked. He has an uncanny way of crossing demographics from teens to thirty-somethings where they miraculously intersect at the lyrics, arrangements, and the infectious melody lines. When you listen to songs like "More Than Man" and sense his struggle with his purpose and his faith, you marvel that this is a man of only 20 years. With tens of thousands of downloads & iTunes sales, thousands of Vimeo YouTube hits, his fan-base stretches farther than he can physically.

Although Jesse toured extensively up and down the east coast from MA to FL, he's entertained audiences at Illinois' Cornerstone Summer fest; packed coffeehouse venues in quaint Warwick; recorded material in Atlanta and honed his style in Savanna, Daytona Beach, and appeared on radio programs in Nyack, New York. Recently, Jesse has toured the east coast as the drummer with the band "von Wolfe." He has been a featured guest on several radio programs including World Radio program in Nyack, New York.

As if he wasn't busy enough, Jesse is completing his Bachelor of Science in Recording Arts from Full Sail University this summer. The satisfaction he gets from helping others grow in their gifts provides another area of satisfaction for this young man.

Jesse will succeed not because every song written will be a "hit" but because he has good taste and instinctively knows what hits an emotional "nerve", what will be memorable, and what just "feels right." You'll agree when you find Jesse's songs stuck in your head and slotted in your favorite playlist.

$8.00 - $10.00

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D.O.T.S. C.O.N.F.U.S.E. M.I.N.D.S., Lightouts, Jesse Denaro

Saturday, December 7 · Doors 8:00 PM at The Rock Shop