American Aquarium

American Aquarium

Hailing from Raleigh, NC, American Aquarium's southern musical perspective is a blend of honest songwriting, an unwavering work ethic, and a genuine love of rock & roll. Whether you call it alt-country, Americana, or roots rock, one thing is for certain: Their music is a fresh voice that borrows from many forms of the American songbook. 26-year old songwriter and band leader, BJ Barham, brings songs to his band mates who breathe life into a performance that is equal parts Springsteen-esque rock bravado, old-school country lyrical heartbreak, and indie-rock introspection. From the college coeds to tattooed bikers and hipsters, the band has demonstrated their ability to cross boundaries. With the release of their latest studio album, Burn.Flicker.Die., American Aquarium is proving that they have graduated to that class of professional musicians that have made an undeniable commitment to their music and their fans.

American Aquarium's six years as a band have been a fast-moving blur of rubber on road, touring coast to coast through the states and Europe. Most nights of the year are spent far from their Raleigh homes, squinting out from bright stages at a growing legion of passionate fans who've followed them through the release of six albums that reflect a whirlwind of too many whiskey soaked nights, nameless women in smoky bars and fast living while your youth is in full bloom. But what happens when it all stops feeling good?

Burn.Flicker.Die. is what has emerged from that scenario for this group of hard working players. After two years of writing, they journeyed to the legendary recording hub which gave birth to some of the greatest blues, country and rock records of all time: Muscle Shoals/Sheffield, AL. Recorded in eight days under the precise hand of friend/tour buddy Jason Isbell, the record is an aptly named milestone for the band, and their most painstaking effort to date. As a long-time Southern rock artisan, Isbell provided a weathered know-how in producing the record American Aquarium is proudest of. Described as a "consequence record" by vocalist BJ Barham, the band spent that week pushing out everything that's been haunting them: working for six years, watching buzz bands peak and die, and pining for their own payoff. They are a band and crew that spend their lives between a van with no air-conditioning and stages all across the country. Their collaboration forms a wholly new and polished version of what Americana might start to look like in the years to come.

Great Peacock

You can call Great Peacock a folk band... but don't expect them to make music for campfires or square dances. Raised in the Deep South and headquartered in Nashville, they're a group of red-blooded country boys who aren't afraid of the big city. Case in point: Making Ghosts -- the duo's harmony-heavy, guitar-driven debut album -- whose 11 songs find the middle ground between rootsy, down-home Americana and super-sized arena pop/rock.

"To us, it's just pop music with organic acoustic instruments," says Andrew Nelson, who shares lead vocals and guitar duties with co-founder Blount Floyd. "The album has some fiddle, some pedal steel and a whole lot of acoustic guitar, which sounds like the traditional setup for a country band. But this isn't a country record. It's not really a folk record, either. It's a pop/record... with folk tendencies."

Nelson and Floyd first crossed paths in their early 20s, bonding instantly over a shared love of cheap beer and good Southern music. After logging several years together in a loud, Tennessee-based rock band, they split off to form their own project, swapping out the amplified swagger of their previous group for a straightforward sound anchored by acoustic guitars, anthemic melodies and two intertwined voices. Like an old-school harmony duo retuned for a new generation, they started off with a handful of classic influences -- the country croon of George Jones, the working class rock & roll of Bruce Springsteen, the heartland hum of Tom Petty -- and expanded their sound from there, turning Great Peacock into the sort of band that's simultaneously rooted in tradition and headed toward new territory.

The music on Making Ghosts reflects Great Peacock's ambition. Songs like "Tennessee" are swooning, sweeping tributes to the band's homeland, while "Take Me To The Mountain" pushes the band toward anthemic territory, fueled by super-sized drums and a radio-ready melody. On "Arms," the guys jump between haunting verses and big, Technicolor choruses, capping everything off with a screeching guitar solo. These peacocks know how to strut their stuff.

What's in a name, by the way? In Great Peacock's case, quite a bit.

"We initially thought it was just a funny name for a band," Nelson admits, "but through the evolution of everything we've done, we've always been big and colorful. That's why Blount jumps around onstage. That's why I wear a suit jacket embroidered with feathers, which is basically a poor man's nudie suit. We've embraced the image of the big peacock feathers, and we want to entertain you. We look that way, we think that way, and we sound that way, too."

$16.00 - $18.00

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