Great Lakes, Fan Modine, Joanna Gruesome, Room Full of Strangers, Sophie Auster, Riverwild, Three Thousand Crowns

Great Lakes

GREAT LAKES formed in 1996 in Athens, Georgia and released a self-titled debut in 2000. Though fronted by Ben Crum since its inception, the band has always enjoyed the contributions of a rotating cast of accomplished collaborators. Their debut benefitted from contributions by members of Neutral Milk Hotel, Olivia Tremor Control, Elf Power, of Montreal and many others, and garnered strong reviews from Mojo and Uncut, which led to festival appearances in Europe and an opening slot for Belle & Sebastian. After Crum left Athens for New York in 2002 the band went through many iterations, releasing three more albums and many singles and touring the US and Europe many times. The list of collaborators grew to include many players who made names for themselves with the likes of Talibam!, Ted Leo and the Pharmacists, Beirut, The Ladybug Transistor and many others. While the band's debut and 2002’s The Distance Between established Great Lakes' reputation as accomplished purveyors of top-notch late 60s-inspired psychedelic pop, over time Crum shifted the band’s focus towards more organic and natural instrumentation, beginning with 2006’s Diamond Times and continuing with 2010’s Ways of Escape, and increasingly incorporated more folk and country music influences as his songs veered away from psychedelia and began to take on a greater degree of emotional depth. The band's more recent records have been praised by Magnet, Allmusic, No Depression and many others. A fifth Great Lakes album is currently in the mixing stage, and is expected to see release in 2014. All of the band's albums are available from Orange Twin Records.

Fan Modine

Since the release of “Slow Road to Tiny Empire”, Fan Modine’s first album, in 1998, Gordon Zacharias has been known as an artist who mixes buoyant orchestral pop music with oftentimes more gloomy lyrics. This disconcerting combination has won him a cult following among fans of obscure rock bands, and of indie-pop artists in particular. With “Gratitude for the Shipper”, Fan Modine’s first album in six years, his music adds dimensions both lyrically and sonically, drawing inspiration from sources as diverse as French symbolist poet Stephane Mallarmé and Southern pop trailblazer Alex Chilton (“Waiting for Distant Light,” the album’s finale, is a tribute to the recently-deceased songwriter, singer and guitarist)

With expanded instrumentation and higher-fi recording, “Gratitude for the Shipper” sounds consistently bright, melodic and hook-happy. “It’s a struggle to think in terms of albums these days, but I still strive for that,” Zacharias says. “I wanted to make a tight, solid album that holds together like John Cale’s Paris 1919 or Procul Harum’s A Salty Dog do for me, although, I feel like we ended up with something quite different.”

Joanna Gruesome

Riotous teenagers Joanna Gruesome are a five-piece noisepop/C86-ish/punk/riot grrrl/whatever band from Cardiff that sound like You Made Me Realise? era My Bloody Valentine being channeled by sloppy punk kids. They like quiet and sweet melodies, hardcore punk drumbeats and brutal feedback. Equal parts Huggy Bear and classic Dinosaur Jr, in the space of five minutes their boy-girl high velocity terror-pop can veer from jangle to riot, from sweaters to torn tights, from feedback to swoon.

"Joanna Gruesome are a brilliant band from Cardiff who love their fuzzy melodies and songs dripped in scuzzy reverb." Huw Stephens, Radio One

Room Full of Strangers

Sardonic Garage Pop n Roll music with a vicious twist, that whips their audience into a creamy rock-n-roll lather.

Sophie Auster

"I tend to gravitate towards material that can be a little dark," says Sophie. The unreleased material Auster has been working on for the past two years has been a huge evolution for the gifted and prodigious 25-year-old singer/songwriter. "The material has matured and grown as I have gotten older. It's a process to hone in on your own style. I think a lot of what I have been doing over the past few years is discovering my voice."

In 2012 Sophie completed work on her new record, Red Weather, that will be released this November. The daring and soulful sound of this forthcoming effort highlights Sophie's visceral vocals, stunning arrangements, and heart-wrenching lyrics.

"I force myself to write everyday," says Sophie, "but the best songs are the ones that pour out of you—the ones that are urgent."

Riverwild

Riverwild is a four-piece from Brooklyn, New York. They are the sons of first generation Portuguese immigrants and of Post-60's California cult leaders. Their musical influences are as diverse as the sounds of the Catholic liturgy, the racket of cult worship services and the sources that, as children, they would find inspiration and escape such as late-night F.M. radio and stolen cassette tapes.
Songwriter and guitarist, Michael Monteiro, met Sam Anderson (bassist) and his brother Paul (drummer), while working in an East Village bar. It so occurred that among the minutiae of working in a bar and late night conversations, they discovered mutual influences— 80's-tinged pop, the anthems of Springsteen's Jersey and the similarity of their roots under the influence of religion. At this point, Michael revealed bedroom demos that he'd recorded and the three formed the band. Brendan Root, lead guitarist and childhood friend of Monteiro, joined the group soon after.
The music of Riverwild is concerned with redemption either by God, substance or women and often, the confusing embrace of what feels like all three at once. The songs are about hazy moments of epiphany that occur at 3am that are equally dark and euphoric. In a spirit of defiance against this darkness, the music is anthemic and seeks to affirm the struggle to find one's own voice.

Three Thousand Crowns

From the boroughs of Brooklyn, and Queens, pop-noir band Three Thousand Crowns makes sensual, cinematic indie music.

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Great Lakes, Fan Modine, Joanna Gruesome, Room Full of Strangers, Sophie Auster, Riverwild, Three Thousand Crowns

Saturday, October 19 · Doors 12:00 PM at The Rock Shop