Alkaline Trio

Alkaline Trio (10:00 PM)

Smoking Popes: Playing Born To Quit in it's entirety (8:45 PM)

Dead Country (8:00 PM)

Dave Hause (7:30 PM)

Tue, July 19, 2011

6:30 pm

$24.99 - $28.00

Sold Out

This event is all ages

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Alkaline Trio - (Set time: 10:00 PM)
Alkaline Trio
Alkaline Trio’s iconic Heart & Skull symbol has come to represent more than the viscerally creative band, their deeply connective albums and the label imprint partnered with Epitaph Records that releases their music. While it does symbolize those things, the instantly recognizable logo tattooed on the bodies, hearts and minds of supporters worldwide also denotes a diverse but decisive lifestyle equal parts passion and dedication. It’s a commitment to the triumph of the outsider.

Those who display the emblem do so as a badge, a show of unity in individuality. Like the skeleton-with-a-martini attached to Social Distortion, the Crimson Ghost associated with the Misfits or the “bars” intrinsically linked to Black Flag, Alkaline Trio’s logo is representative of subculture itself; a type of victory, through longevity and purpose, that transcends arbitrary commercial appeal and celebrity groupthink.

Now more than 15 years into their career, the dark punk trio has cemented their legacy with their ninth studio album. Feverishly determined to never make the same record twice, Alkaline Trio nevertheless have preserved the most electric elements of their collaborative songwriting abilities, as their most diehard listeners have come to expect, while ever broadening their palette with new colors and extremes.

The raw energy of ‘70s proto-punk, the darkly romantic sensibility and tongue-in-cheek wordplay of ‘80s new-wave, the upbeat melodicism of the underground power-pop movement of the ‘90s and the eclectic individualism of the new millennium all have a home in the Alkaline Trio sound, which is stunningly contemporary in execution yet as timeless as the hook-infused Top 40 of Midcentury America.

The downtrodden, the dispossessed, the ill-at-ease; they have all found something to identify with in Alkaline Trio’s creative output, vociferously declaring their dedication and the life-preserving encouraging power of the songs across social media. The new material furthers the building story, adding new twists to the diverse elements strewn throughout 2010’s intimately reimagined collection Damnesia with the energized promise befitting a band whose continued position in the fabric of the underground community has been assured since their 1998 debut.

Recorded with Bill Stevenson of punk legends The Descendents (and Black Flag) at the drummer/producer’s Blasting Room Studios in Colorado, Alkaline Trio’s latest offering exhibits the hard-won anthems of an album made while sequestered away from home surrounded by the inspiration of desert sunsets bright nighttime stars.

Alkaline Trio formed in 1996 in the Midwest, looking for neither fame nor fortune, but instead working toward a potential future where their music would be meaningful to likeminded and/or disenfranchised people. Once, on tour, they optimistically imagined someday averaging crowds of 300 people from city to city, never dreaming that they would, in fact, someday hit #11 on the Billboard charts.

An early “trio” of albums comprised of Goddamnit (1998), Maybe I’ll Catch Fire (2000) and From Here to Infirmary (2001) steadily built the Alkaline Trio story, connecting with people on levels much deeper than the sounds of fly-by-night pop-punk bands more concerned with tabloid culture than authentic expression. Good Mourning (2003) songs like “Blue in the Face” further explored the darkness while Crimson (2005) tracks like “Mercy Me” greatly expanded upon the band’s past, as did the entirety of Agony & Irony (2008). What began on indie labels and flirted with the twists-and-turns of the corporate majors returned to its roots with the band’s own imprint through Epitaph in 2010 and the release of the powerful This Addiction, which ably used the drug heroin as a metaphor for love in its title track.

Band co-founder Matt Skiba (vocals/guitar), Dan Andriano (vocals/bass) and drummer Derek Grant have established a chemistry together that is uniquely their own. There’s a combustible magic in the room when they perform on stage, when they collaborate in the studio and when they interact with fans at their shows.

The band may sometimes celebrate the dark, the macabre, the reckless; they may tackle the underbelly of modern existence and the tragedy of man’s inhumanity to man; but there’s a light in the darkness, much like the heart that surrounds the skull, to be found in their expression. Alkaline Trio represents strength from adversity, armor from scar tissue, and the resolve to overcome. No matter how dark times can get, there’s a sinister smile, a sly twist of phrase and a sweet melody to survive with.
Smoking Popes: Playing Born To Quit in it's entirety - (Set time: 8:45 PM)
Smoking Popes: Playing Born To Quit in it's entirety
“Ever wonder what a traditional saloon singer would sound like backed up by a punk band? The Smoking Popes take that concept one step further: They've created a unique kind of music that some listeners are describing as ‘hyperkinetic tear-jerkers’." Los Angeles Times
Smoking Popes built a relationship with their legion of fans and fellow musicians by melding raw songs about bittersweet heartache with soaring melodies, power chords and punk spirit. Wielding such musical influence is remarkable, and their latest album This is Only a Test is perfect proof that their sparkling lyricism and ineffable charm is still intact. This is Only a Test is the Smoking Pope’s first ever concept album, exploring the life of a fictional high schooler. The album hits the street on March 15th, sparking a spring tour to celebrate, beginning at SXSW in Austin.
This is Only a Test's songs explore themes of identity, musical aspirations, love and teen suicide." Singer/Guitarist Songwriter Josh Caterer explains, “When I first got the idea to write from a teenage perspective, the individual songs came really quickly. I wrote a song a day for five days. That’s half the album in less than a week. I never write that fast! Each song stands alone as a snapshot from this kid's life. The story doesn't unfold like a narrative. It's more like a collage." Recorded at Chicago’s Atlas Sound in 2010, the album was produced by Mat Allison (Alkaline Trio, Lawrence Arms, and The Menzingers).
Some may assume that This is Only a Test is autobiographical but Caterer lays that notion to rest, saying, “The main character on this album is definitely a creation. He’s not me. Well…he’s similar to me, but he’s not limited by the realities of my own experience. I created a character that basically has the same view of the world that I had when I was in high school, but he’s his own person and he does some things that I never did.”
Smoking Popes first burst onto the scene in 1991 and released several albums on various local labels. They signed to Capitol Records in 1995 and re-released Born to Quit¸ one of Smoking Popes landmark albums, to an even larger fan base gained by touring with bands like Jawbreaker and Jimmy Eat World. Praise from SPIN, Alternative Press, Rolling Stone and Billboard arrived with the re-release and later that year, “Need You Around” was also featured in the hit movie Clueless. Musical icon Morrissey raved: “Did you ever hear Born to Quit? It’s by the Smoking Popes. I thought that album was extraordinary, the most lovable thing I’d heard in years”.
In 1997, the Smoking Popes released Destination Failure. The album challenged the idea of what a pop punk band could do, with lyrics that told tales of love and longing with heartbreaking details. To the shock of many, Smoking Popes decided to throw in the towel in 1998. In 2005, rumors started flying that the band would perform again. Their sold out reunion show at Chicago’s Metro on November 11th sparked a resurgence of Smoking Popes fans, leaving the crowd yearning for new material. The band was re-energized and reformed for good, releasing Stay Down in 2008 and in 2010, Its Been a Long Day, a compilation of songs released on rare vinyl singles.
Dead Country - (Set time: 8:00 PM)
Dead Country
There is a fertile range of musical moments that lays the foundation for the powerful, driving rock made by this band of four called Dead Country. Nick Long, singer, guitarist and California native, felt the tug toward music at an early age and gravitating toward the music of Jawbreaker, Fugazi, Nirvana and Rites of Spring, the sound that forms Dead Country’s original, hard-hitting rock holds traces of those influences, but only as a jumping off point.

Dead Country came together in late 2008 after Nick returned from Switzerland where he’d been living. “I didn’t think twice about coming back to Los Angeles to start a band. It made complete sense to me,” he says about the pulling together of guitarist Jonny Black, whom he’s known since art class at Santa Barbara High School, and bassist Patrick Solem. Right before leaving to play some shows in 2009 with Sunny Day Real Estate, they brought drummer Jarrod Alexander on board.

Now, with the imminent release of the band’s debut EP, recorded at Studio 606 in Los Angeles, which is the Foo Fighters studio, Dead Country can rest assured that the energy pumping from every song will without a doubt move listeners to dive straight into this pool of sound with nary a backward glance. The four tracks: “Euro Thrash,” “The Shade,” “Satori In Luzern,” and “Sea Change,” each, in their own arresting way, move immediately into overdrive, harnessing adrenaline along the way and flying straight into the stratosphere. It’s a great ride, but mind the lyrics as well because along the way a peek into some hearts and minds is guaranteed.

With this kind of forward movement ongoing, the question posed in “Satori in Luzern,” might continue to hang in the air: “What does the word home mean these days, anyway?”
Dave Hause - (Set time: 7:30 PM)
Dave Hause
“The way we learned to live is fading fast/I guess we never bargained for a crash.”

For Dave Hause the American dream is a broken promise, a childhood ideal that has been shattered by the reality of the past two decades. On the musician’s second solo album, Devour, Hause scours the foundation of that crumbled dream in an attempt to discover how everything we believed growing up could have turned out so differently. The album, initially written to become the third record from Hause’s rock band The Loved Ones, follows his 2011 solo debut Resolutions, a disc that allowed the musician to understand his potential as his own artist.

As Hause, a Philadelphia native, began penning new music for a new album from The Loved Ones, it became clear that the group, who had taken a break after their second album, had stalled. These songs, however, which showcased a clear thematic journey, were meant to be vocalized by Hause and over the past few years he transformed them into Devour. Hause solidified the album’s sequence before even going into the studio, aiming to craft a narrative arc that drove the album from its dark, heavy first half into a lighter, more hopeful tone. A thematic line of melody runs through the songs, reflecting the overarching ideas in the music itself. The disc explores the heartbreak of shattered childhood promises of a better world and concludes with optimistic hope.

“Devour is about that inherent American appetite,” Hause says. “It’s in all the songs in some degree. There’s a reason why Tony Soprano became such a huge American icon – he’s this guy with this insane appetite for women and food and power. I think for the American public to latch onto a figure like that says something. Some of the positive things about America come from that as well, but there’s a real sense of reckoning that comes from devouring everything in front of you. Is it ever enough?”

The rock songs, tinged with folk and punk tones, are firmly rooted in Hause’s own upbringing and the sensibility that comes from growing up in a blue collar neighborhood driven by the lingering anticipation of upward mobility. In the lyrics, the fulcrum around which the album revolves, Hause grapples with this working class ideal and the fact that America’s recent shifts have caused it to no longer fit. From “The Great Depression,” which centers on the unfulfilled promises laid out in the Reagan-era ‘80s, to the more specific-minded relationships of “Father’s Son,” Devour comes to terms with the loss of youthful innocence in a rapidly evolving world.

“I wanted to shine a light back on what was going on,” Hause says. “It was a topic that was close to me and I wanted to write about it. In the end, it leaves you with the idea that if you have music and love you may be able to save yourself. It’s going to be alright. That simple John Lennon concept of all you need is love. That’s how I wrote myself out of the dark and the music begs the listener to come take that risk as well.”

Once Hause had the track sequence and overall narrative in place he enlisted producer Andrew Alekel along with musician and co-producer Mitchell Townsend. The producers helped Hause collect the right musicians to build the songs in the best way possible, including My Morning Jacket keyboardist Bo Koster, Social Distortion drummer David Hidalgo Jr. and bassist Bob Thomson. Frightened Rabbit’s Scott Hutchison, Alkaline Trio’s Matt Skiba and The Watson Twins also appear on several tracks. Hause and his crew recorded the album over several weeks from mid-February to mid-March at Grandmaster Recorders LTD. in Hollywood, CA, focusing on giving each song the right tone while maintaining an overall musical aesthetic that helps tie the lyrical themes together.

“It was this group effort,” Hause says. “A lot of trust went into letting Andrew and Mitch be the architects of the record. I trusted that we would get in there and they would know who was right for the music. They wanted to bring these people together in this great studio to get a record that was greater than the sum of its parts. I’m glad I trusted them because it was great to work with everyone there.”

For the musician, who has toured with Social Distortion, The Gaslight Anthem, Bouncing Souls and Chuck Ragan since launching his solo career, Devour is a cathartic release, both sonically and lyrically. Hause recently relocated to California and is committed to pursing the music he feels best reflects him individually. The journey on the album, the search for the light at the end of the tunnel, mirrors his own trek. The record closes with the delicate introspection of “Benediction,” a song that pulls lyrical lines from all the tracks that precede it. After all the ruined promises and the culminating disappointments of the world, Hause ends the album with the sentiment of possibility. “It’s love my friend in the end that can save us tonight,” he sings. “So are you in?”
Venue Information:
Troubadour
9081 Santa Monica Blvd
Los Angeles, CA, 90069
http://www.troubadour.com/

All lineups and times subject to change