Magic Man

Magic Man (9:00 PM)

Night Terrors of 1927 (8:15 PM)

Prides (7:30 PM)

Thu, July 10, 2014

7:00 pm

Adv Tix $13.00 / Day of Show Tix $15.00

Sold Out

This event is all ages

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Magic Man - (Set time: 9:00 PM)
Magic Man
If you were to trace Magic Man's distinctive Americana synth-rock back to its first innocent glimmers, you'd find a preschool in Newton, MA, where Alex Caplow and Sam Vanderhoop Lee formed the friendship that's still at the heart of their band today. The pair started playing music in the elementary school band, and in middle school, they added guitar to their wheelhouse, dropping their other instruments when their parents said they had to choose ("A hard decision, as the oboe always sounds so good," says Sam dryly). They took lessons from the same teacher and joined up with two school friends to form their first band: Yello Sno, purveyors of self-described "out-of-tune garage rock," whose merch featured a portrait of the band members as captured by a bar mitzvah caricature artist.
Other bands came and went as the years passed, then the friends separated for college. Alex headed to Tufts and Sam to Yale, studying child development and graphic design respectively. As their freshman summer loomed, they decided to go WWOOFing, or to swap their labor for room and board on an organic farm. They bought plane tickets to France, where Alex, whose mother is French, was a native speaker. In the south of the country, the farm days were sweltering, making it impossible to work in the middle of the day. Sam and Alex, sharing an attic room with three sheepdogs, began retreating at noon to write and play music on a guitar with one string missing.
The material gripped them, and throughout the rest of the summer, they developed the songs as they traveled. When a hippie circus festival stopped for the week at the chateau of another farm, Sam and Alex befriended a young nomad who fumbled through card tricks and called himself the "Magic Man." This aspiring magician was the first person to hear the rough demos, which Sam and Alex finished that winter, sending edits back and forth from their dorm rooms. They ended up with Magic Man's first album, called Real Life Color, recorded entirely on GarageBand with a laptop's internal microphone.
In 2010, Alex and Sam put Real Life Color on the then-new platform Bandcamp, and the scene picked up on their sound quickly: shades of warm Postal Service electronica and deft pop structure are clear in early songs like "Monster," which garnered a Pitchfork feature. By the time they took the album down, it had been downloaded over 25,000 times. When Neon Gold Records emailed them the following summer, a wheel started turning that resulted in the band signing with Neon Gold/Columbia in 2012, the same year that Sam and Alex graduated from college. Magic Man was now a five-piece, with high school friends Daniel Radin on bass, college friend Justine Bowe on keyboards and Joey Sulkowski on drums. The exuberance of their new live set started to transform the band's sound, and when Sam and Alex retreated to the Providence, RI flat they called the "Fox Den" to refine their material, the lo-fi, mellow warmth of Real Life Color started shifting to the anthemic propulsiion that defines their EP You Are Here.
At the end of 2012, Magic Man emerged with the Fox Den Demos, three home recordings that topped the Hype Machine and have been collectively played over 500,000 times, as well as the roster of songs that would comprise their new EP and upcoming album. They've spent this year out of the studio, touring with Walk The Moon, MS MR, St. Lucia, Ra Ra Riot, Grouplove and San Fermin. In the months approaching the September 10th release of You Are Here, Sam and Alex spent an intense fortnight in Dumbo working with Passion Pit producer Aldi Alex, and the result is arresting: Bruce Springsteen for a generation raised on synth. “We try to evoke emotion with our music, rather than just trying to make something cool," says Sam, but it's clear that Magic Man's managed to do both.
Night Terrors of 1927 - (Set time: 8:15 PM)
Night Terrors of 1927
Blake Sennett and Jarrod Gorbel had no intention of being in a band together when they started writing the songs that evolved into Night Terrors of 1927. They were just trying something different. “I think we each had let go of the idea of being anything we’d ever been before,” says Sennett, whose previous projects include The Elected and Rilo Kiley. “I had given up the band dream in a way that has been kind of reborn in me. I had put it in the ground and buried it and was like, ‘Cool, I’ll just write and produce and that’s where I’ll go.’”

“We were like two people with broken hearts that came out of bad relationships, in a way,” says Gorbel, formerly of The Honorary Title. They met through mutual friends in 2010 and Sennett produced some of Gorbel’s solo material. “Back then, we talked about writing together, but I wasn’t open to that at the time,” says Gorbel. “But I think I went through a year of turmoil and realizing that I wanted more help, more than just production. I wanted to create something with someone, not just on my own like I always had. When I moved to LA, I called Blake and was like, ‘Hey, can we just get together and write a song. I don’t know for what or why.’ And that was that.”

They started getting together casually to work on songs that fell out of their comfort zone. They tried to push themselves to explore their poppier creative instincts, to blend their styles without judgement. After all, they weren’t trying to be a band, so why overthink it? But then something unexpected happened.

The pair met up in Todo Santos, Mexico for an impromptu songwriting retreat, to finish some songs they’d started, and to brainstorm some new ideas. It was a short trip -- just a few days -- but it was a revelation. “Todo Santos was such an easy-going atmosphere, and we had acoustic guitars and everything just flowed,” says Gorbel. “We started writing a couple new songs and we were just excited about them in a way we hadn’t been before.” Adds Sennett: “There was just no noise and the only thing left was songs. We had a house on the water that was all tile, with very little furniture, so everything we played sounded so magical and reverb-y, bouncing around that cool beach house. Once it was just us and some guitars and my iPad serving as a drum machine, we were having fun and the songs were working and it suddenly became clear to me: This is actually very simple, when you strip away everything else. I felt like, ‘Wow, I want to do this.’”

Back in LA, they set about building on the songs they started in Todo Santos, recording in Sennett’s Echo Park studio and beginning to flesh out their vision for their new band. They decided to call themselves Night Terrors of 1927, after a phrase Gorbel had found scrawled in his grandfather’s old journal and which had stuck with him ever since. “Everything we ever loved spills out into this band,” says Sennett, citing things as diverse as 80s goth and 90s hip-hop, plus contemporary artists from Crystal Castles to The Weeknd to Lana Del Rey.

“Pop and indie are influencing each other more than ever, which is exciting because it opens up possibilities for the kind of music you can make,” says Gorbel. “But no matter what, I've always loved anthems. Bruce Springsteen and Bon Jovi -- that’s what I grew up on. Even though Night Terrors is on the darker side of that spectrum, I think the goal for me is trying to find a masculine way to express an anthem that’s dark but still accessible.”

Sennett says he thinks the strength of the duo lies in their opposite extremes. “Jarrod comes from a suburban upbringing and his parents are still together, and he loves these anthems rooted in the traditional everyman experience,” he says. “And I’m this LA child of, like, five divorces and random New Age ideas and hip-hop and weird, cut-up sounds.”

Without including any biographical details, they posted their first couple of finished tunes on Soundcloud last year, and the response was immediate. “Watch The World Go Dark” drew raves from the U.K.’s Guardian (“an impending apocalypse never sounded so good,” and taste-making blogs including All Things Go (“The most polished songwriting and production we’ve heard from a relatively obscure group in a long time”) and Neon Gold. Released a couple months later, their song “Dust & Bones” earned plays on powerhouse Los Angeles radio stations KROQ and ALT 98.7, as well as Sirius XM’s influential Alt Nation. On the strength of those songs and their dynamic live performances, Atlantic Records signed Night Terrors of 1927 last summer, releasing their debut EP, Guilty Pleas, in November.

Gorbel and Sennett are currently working on a full-length album, teaming with producers Andrew Dawson (Kanye West, Fun.) and Ben H. Allen (Washed Out, Walk The Moon, Cut Copy). Though the early attention came quicker than they’d have expected, Gorbel and Sennett are settling in for whatever hard work it takes. “I feel like this is the project of my life,” says Sennett. “I've never worked this hard on a project and I've never cared more.”
Prides - (Set time: 7:30 PM)
Prides
Venue Information:
Troubadour
9081 Santa Monica Blvd
Los Angeles, CA, 90069
http://www.troubadour.com/

All lineups and times subject to change