Van Hunt

Van Hunt (10:00 PM)

Empress Hotel (9:15 PM)

The Canyons (8:30 PM)

Sun, October 16, 2011

8:00 pm

$13.00 - $15.00

This event is all ages

ADV TIX $13.00/DOS TIX $15.00

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Van Hunt - (Set time: 10:00 PM)
Van Hunt
With his new What Were You Hoping For?, Van Hunt employs a spare but dizzyingly vibrant meld of day-glo psychedelic soul laced with glammed-up riffs and the acerbic energy of punk. A joint venture between the Nashville-based Thirty Tigers and Hunt’s own label, godless-hotspot, the album sees the Grammy-winning musician/songwriter/producer turning up the volume on his genre-smashing songcraft and the results are altogether gripping. From the breakneck “Watching You Go Crazy Is Driving Me Insane” and “A Time Machine Is My New Girlfriend” to the metallic k.o. of the album’s first single,“Eyes Like Pearls,” Hunt unleashes a sound that reverberates with caustic wit, passion, and the thrilling excitement of an artist operating at the peak of his powers. Careening with exhilarating intensity and frenetic, inventive musicality, What Were You Hoping For? is Van Hunt’s most daring and provocative work to date.

“I’m really excited about this record,” Hunt says. “I love the way it sounds. I’m nervous about the way it’ll be received, even by big Van Hunt fans, and I think that’s good. I want the record to be disruptive.”

Hunt first fell in thrall to the power of music from an early age, taking inspiration from a remarkable range of musicians and composers, spanning J.S. Bach to David Bowie, Thelonious Monk to Curtis Mayfield, Iggy Pop to The Isley Brothers. The Dayton, Ohio-born musician soon made his way to Atlanta, where he drew acclaim for his creative production efforts and crafty songwriting, featured on recordings by such diverse artists as Dionne Farris, Joi, Rahsaan Patterson, and Cree Summer.

His own self-titled debut album arrived in 2004, instantly establishing Hunt as a distinctive and original talent with its idiosyncratic amalgamation of R&B, neo-soul, funk, pop, and rock ‘n’ roll (not to mention earning him a 2005 “Best Urban/Alternative Performance” Grammy nomination for his breakthrough hit single, “Dust”). The equally inventive On The Jungle Floor followed two years later, highlighted by the single, “Character.”

In 2007, Hunt received a Grammy Award for “Best R&B Performance By A Duo Or Group With Vocals,” honoring “Family Affair,” a collaboration with John Legend and Joss Stone found on the 2006 Sly & The Family Stone tribute album, Different Strokes For Different Folks. Hunt’s third album, Popular, was slated for the following year but the decision was made to delay the album’s release in order to “set the record up properly.” Hunt was concerned, but agreed to wait. He put together a band of talented young players – including keyboardist/programmer Peter Dyer and drummer Ruthie Price – and hit the road. However, upon his return, the label balked and opted to pull Popular from its schedule.

“It set me back a year,” Hunt says. “To be honest, I was kind of numb to the whole thing as it happened.” Thanks to the wonderful world of online music sharing, Popular has since become somewhat of an underground sensation, a certifiable lost classic hailed by LA Weekly as “a left-field stunner” for its “trippy fusion of funk grooves, punk guitar and soul vocals.”

“They did such a disservice to themselves and their company, to me and my work, and ultimately to the people who would’ve enjoyed my music,” Hunt says. “If they had just allowed me to grow into my own thing, everything would’ve been fine.” Hunt – who had relocated in 2007, leaving his Atlanta homebase for Los Angeles – found himself at a true crossroads. Separated from his family and without a record deal, he was a musical ronin unsure of his next creative path.

Hunt spent countless hours driving the streets of L.A., seeking out some kind of inspiration. He immersed himself in photography, taking photo after photo, first of the city’s countless abandoned couches and later of L.A.’s rapidly increasing homeless population. A friend noticed a theme to Hunt’s work, suggesting a subconscious attraction to “discarded objects.”

Further stimuli came from Legs McNeil & Gillian McCain’s indispensible Please Kill Me: The Uncensored Oral History of Punk. No stranger to punk – a surprising cover of Iggy Pop & James Williamson’s Kill City classic, “No Sense Of Crime” is among the high points of On The Jungle Floor – Hunt saw himself in the book’s chronicle of artistic frustration and rebellious spirit.

“These folks, it didn’t matter if they were good musicians or not, because they brought this kind of intelligence along with the rawness,” Hunt says. “It was really bold. They just didn’t give a shit. I was like, that’s the attitude that I’m feeling right now.”

Encouraged by friends, Hunt was at long last ready to make music once more. He dove into the project with his customary fervor, writing the bulk of the material in late summer 2010 before heading into Los Angeles’ Santa Fe Tracking Station to record. Hunt both produced and played, with former drummer Ruthie Price his only accompaniment. Together they constructed a series of tracks radiating raw power and vivid color, later enlisting keyboardist/programmer Peter Dyer to “build a landscape of sound around the songs.” Hunt declares the record’s minimalist approach to be “musically adept but also stringently unique. People might describe it as futuristic.”

Hunt’s low-key line of attack only serves to further amplify his audacious songwriting, his lyrical eye for detail as sharp and quick as his camera. Songs like the meaty beaty “North Hollywood” or the beguiling title track crackle with all the dissonance and tension of modern life in the golden west.

“All of these elements are coming together to create this combustion,” Hunt says. “My experience of trying to live here and survive myself is really where this record was born.”

A charismatic and engaging live performer, Hunt is unabashedly looking forward to bringing his unbridled new sound to as many people as humanly possible. Having already toured both as headliner as well as alongside such diverse acts as Kanye West, The Roots, Coldplay, Mary J. Blige, and Dave Matthews Band, he plans to hit the road hard to herald the new album’s release.

“We’re gonna play until we either make a lot of money or run out of it,” Hunt says. Hunt has returned to action invigorated and re-energized, his time in the wilderness spurring on his already ambitious sound and vision. What Were You Hoping For? marks a genuine milestone for Van Hunt, the moment in which this sonic adventurer lit out for territories all his own.

“I feel like I’ve finally shed the music that I grew up with,” he says. “I made a record that doesn’t sound like anything I’ve heard before.” >
Empress Hotel - (Set time: 9:15 PM)
Empress Hotel
Empress Hotel is a pop ensemble based in New Orleans whose sound is inspired by both one hit wonders of the '70s and legends such as Prince, Sparks, and Roxy Music. The band has a unique slant on their own pop songs though, with stream of consciousness lyrics, dynamic vocal melodies and layered harmonies. Their sound salutes the glory days of rock n roll, and truly lives on stage with an audience right there with them.

Empress Hotel is a by-product of a pair of brothers from New Orleans, some good friends and a stack of great ideas. Ryan Rogers spent a lot of time over the last couple of years watching his brother Eric weave in and out of other local bands. Ryan, with unwavering brotherly advice, listening to Eric's adventures & staying up late and talking about their favorite records or ripping apart other ones. As Eric toured and joined new musical projects, Ryan stayed home with his close friend, singer/songwriter Micah McKee, and began writing and recording batches of feel-awesome pop gems that couldn't remain just in their circle of friends. These recordings were shared and found their way throughout the city to the point that the next logical step was to put a live band together, and that's when the Micah and the Rogers brothers formed Empress Hotel.

Spearheading the band are brothers Ryan and Eric Rogers on guitar and drums, backed by Patrick Hodgkins on bass, Leo DeJesus on keys and percussion and, the lovely Julie Williams on keys with Micah McKee on lead vocals and guitar. The construction may be brand new, but it's a comfortable & classic design.
The Canyons - (Set time: 8:30 PM)
The Canyons
The Canyons is a collaboration of artists brought together by a love of music and a fait of sorts. The group started in the imagination of producer Randy Jackson. It was to be a project in which solo artists could come together as a movement. Following in the footsteps of legendary bands like Fleetwood Mac and The Beatles, the goal would be real songs, honest music, and a new sound for a generation in need of change.

Alisan Porter has been performing since the age of three. She was the youngest person to ever appear and win on “Star Search”.

Alisan is best known for her role in the movie “Curly Sue” where she played the title role. She also appeared on Broadway in “Footloose”

and played ‘Bebe’ in the Broadway revival of “A Chorus Line”. Alisan released a self-titled solo record on her own in 2009 and is known for her distinct vocal style and honest songwriting. She also collaborated with her good friend Adam Lambert on his debut album “For Your Entertainment”. When she met fellow band mate Ilsey Juber at a dinner party the two began writing songs together almost instantly.

LA native Ilsey Juber (daughter of Laurence Juber, lead guitarist for Paul McCartney and Wings) was practically born playing the guitar, singing and writing songs. Her musical journey began as a drummer at the age of 12, but by 15 she was selling jingles and performing around the LA area as a singer/songwriter. With her unique voice and guitar playing Ilsey quickly started to make a name for herself. After some success in collaborating with actor/musician Terrence Howard on his debut album, “Shine Through It”, Ilsey was ready to take her music to another level. In the next phase of her career she sought guidance through her friend and mentor, Randy Jackson.

Randy shared his vision of this “super group” with Ilsey and her chance meeting with Alisan brought the idea to life. Alisan and Ilsey were always hoping to find another talented musician to write and sing with and

on a writing trip to Nashville the two met Jordan Lawhead, who would soon become their third partner.

Jordan, an Arizona Native, has worked as a solo artist and published songwriter with Sony/ATV for the past four years. His music has been heard on MTV and on such shows as “Men in Trees”, “Kyle XY”

and on the Lifetime Network. Jordan has collaborated with such artists as, Jason Reeves, Charlie Sexton, Rusty Anderson and Charlie Peacock, and has shared stages with Griffin House, Switchfoot and John Mayer.

Together they have merged all of their strengths as solo artist to create an undeniable sound and spirit. Their common thread is music, songwriting and the desire to share a message of truth with the world.
Venue Information:
9081 Santa Monica Blvd
Los Angeles, CA, 90069

All lineups and times subject to change