Letters To Cleo

Letters To Cleo (10:00 PM)

Allison Weiss (9:00 PM)

Sat, October 22, 2016

8:00 pm

$25.00

Sold Out

This event is all ages

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Letters To Cleo - (Set time: 10:00 PM)
Letters To Cleo
When Boston alt-rock band Letters To Cleo split after 10 years, 3 albums, and thousands of tour miles together, it was at the behest of a pact that singer Kay Hanley and guitarist Greg McKenna made with each other when they started the band in 1990.

"We said that we'd stop doing it when we weren't having fun anymore." says Hanley. "I had just had a baby, (lead guitarist) Michael Eisenstein and (drummer) Stacy Jones were recording and touring with Veruca Salt's Nina Gordon, (bassist) Scott Riebling was crazy in demand as a record producer, and I know it was frustrating to Greg to be in the shitty position of doing all the work to try and keep the ball rolling. It felt hard all of a sudden, and I hated that feeling."

Soul searching done and tough decisions made, Letters To Cleo called it quits. The band members moved into new careers in and out of the music business, with Hanley, Eisenstein, and Jones migrating to Los Angeles. They all remained friends and sometimes even colleagues, collaborating on a host of movie, TV, and touring projects.

Now, for the first time in 17 years, Hanley, Eisenstein, Jones, and McKenna have written and recorded five brand new songs for "The EP," are poised to launch a Pledge Music campaign, and will play club dates in Boston, NYC, Chicago, San Francisco, and Los Angeles in the Fall. So why reunite now?

"Because we're good and stuff," laughs Jones. "To me, the question isn't 'Why are we doing this now?,' the question is, 'Why didn't we do it sooner and why aren't we doing it more?''

McKenna adds, "It's a blast. I mean, we spent our formative years learning how to do this stuff together. When it was done, we went out and lived our lives and now everyone's bringing their experiences back to this at a new level of musicianship, but writing with these guys still feels effortless."

The new material reflects McKenna's sentiment. All 5 songs are instantly recognizable Cleo concoctions that fans will devour. From Eisenstein's fierce, angular guitars locking horns with Jones' roaring locomotive rhythm on "Hitch A Ride" to McKenna and Hanley's signature melodic ESP on "Good Right Here," the Cleo bandmates are in prizefighter form.

Staying true to the chemistry that defined their muscular pop sound throughout the 90's was key to Cleo's new venture. "It feels completely unforced. It sounds like classic Cleo. But at the same time, there's nothing nostalgic about it.," says Jones.

In addition to playing guitar, bass, and keys on The EP, Eisenstein also handled the lion's share of production at Death Star Studio in the Koreatown section of LA, where he and Jones are current and former partners, respectively. Eisenstein is hesitant to pick any favorites from the new batch of songs but offers, "I really like 'Four Leaf Clover' because it's so in line with who we are as a band. It could have been on any of our records. The emotional content of 'Back To Nebraska' is impossible to deny. It's beautiful and powerful."

According to Hanley, the opportunity to re-unite with her former band and make new music came almost from out of nowhere. "I didn't have time to think up reasons to say no, so I just said yes. We didn't have a plan. We just jumped in and everything unfolded really quickly. We all love the new songs and can't wait to start playing them. It's really fun!"
Allison Weiss - (Set time: 9:00 PM)
Allison Weiss
Call it cliche but sometimes a musician's inspiration can be broken down simply. Some are inspired by fame and money and some just want to tell their story to everyone. The latter is the best way to describe 25-year-old singer-songwriter Allison Weiss. "When I started playing, I wasn't so much inspired by other musicians as I was inspired by the need to get a feeling out into the world," she states. Weiss' honest, catchy, folk-infused powerpop have attracted a devoted fanbase over the last few years. While her music has changed stylistically, her passion to create music hasn't. "I've always been a writer. I've got a lot to say to people and the only way I know how to do it is through pop songs."

Weiss first picked up the guitar at the age of 14. Inspired by pop punk and the ups-and-downs of young relationships, her journey began. Throughout it all, Weiss always embraced a DIY ethic. "I've always been a shameless self promoter. I never counted on finding anyone who believed in me as much as I did, so I just learned to handle everything myself" she says.

Confidence in herself mixed with natural online marketing skills has helped Weiss' spread her music to new audiences. Two highly successful Kickstarter campaigns resulted in New York Times and Wired Magazine features and a panelist position at SXSW.

It was at this point, Weiss made one of the biggest decisions of her life and moved to Brooklyn. The change of scenery brought a whole new mindset when it came to making music. "In the past I was just a sad teenager in my bedroom writing hopeless breakup songs. I'm still a sad teenager on the inside, but I'm also a pretty happy adult trying to figure myself out and talk about love in a more mature way," Weiss reflects. Weiss' maturity shined on the self-released I Was An Island EP.

Earlier this year, Weiss received one of the biggest honors of her young career. She was handpicked by Lou Reed to join his backup band for a European tour. While some might be intimidated by the presence of a rock legend, she tried to absorb as much as possible from the experience. "Our soundchecks were two hours long and he'd be there the whole time, breaking a song down into the tiniest parts, perfecting the sound." Weiss remembers. "He has this way of breaking you down with brutal honesty and building you back up with the most genuine praise. One minute he looks you in the eye and says your note was terrible. The next minute he stops the song to tell you how beautiful you just sounded."

If she took anything from Mr. Reed however, it was the reminder to always have fun and enjoy the ride. The sky is the limit at this point for Ms. Weiss. "My favorite moment is right now. I feel like I've just made the record I've been dying to make. I started playing electric guitar again. I got my hands on a tour van. I played in Europe with a legend. I flew over the Atlantic four times this summer. I've got this constant feeling that something great is about to happen."
Venue Information:
Troubadour
9081 Santa Monica Blvd
Los Angeles, CA, 90069
http://www.troubadour.com/

All lineups and times subject to change