X Ambassadors

X Ambassadors (10:00 PM)

Parade of Lights (8:50 PM)

Busy Living (8:00 PM)

Tue, November 18, 2014

7:30 pm


Sold Out

This event is all ages

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X Ambassadors - (Set time: 10:00 PM)
X Ambassadors
For X Ambassadors, an unshakable sense of brotherhood has long shaped the sound and spirit of the band. Growing up in small-town upstate New York, frontman Sam Harris, his brother Casey, and childhood friend Noah Feldshuh bonded over an obsessive love for punk, rock & roll, soul, and hip-hop that defied the conventions of their peer group. Forming their first band in middle school, the three channeled their infatuation with artists as eclectic as The Stooges and The Staple Singers into a string of musical projects that sharply clashed with their local scene’s favoring of folk and country. After graduating high school and decamping to New York City in search of a greater music community, the Harris brothers and Noah joined up with L.A.-raised drummer Adam Levin—a move that helped X Ambassadors solidify their sound into a groove-fueled take on alt-pop, and ultimately land a deal with KIDinaKORNER/Interscope Records.

Produced in collaboration with KIDinaKORNER founder Alex Da Kid, Imagine Dragons frontman Dan Reynolds and friend Dan Stringer, X Ambassadors’ new EP Love Songs Drug Songs finds the Brooklyn-based foursome building off their singular chemistry to create a collection of songs both stylish and soulful. “They’re bringing together alternative and R&B in a way I’ve never heard before, and at the core of that are these great songs with so much authenticity,” says Alex, a Grammy-winning producer hailed for his work with heavyweights like Dr. Dre and Nicki Minaj. “The music comes from a very real place,” he continues, “and it’s made even more powerful by the deep connection that they have as a band.”

Throughout Love Songs Drug Songs, X Ambassadors weave elegant melodies and sweetly smooth vocals into taut arrangements powered by percussion. From the Afro-pop-inspired beats of “Unconsolable” to the fuzzed-out stomp of the title track to the slinky groove of “Stranger,” the heady rhythms at the heart of the EP endlessly mesmerize but never overshadow X Ambassadors’ graceful musicianship. Still, even on the EP’s breezier tracks—such as the shimmering, harmony-kissed “Down With Me”—X Ambassadors flaunt their finely honed pop sensibilities while radiating a raw intensity and darkly moody emotionalism.

For X Ambassadors, the passionately charged pop heard all over Love Songs Drug Songs is the product of a lifetime of sonic exploration. Born into a highly musical family (Mom was a jazz and cabaret singer, Dad once aspired to be a country songwriter), Sam and Casey each began playing instruments before the age of ten. While Casey discovered his love for piano at seven, Sam (who “started singing as soon as I could speak”) moved from drums to guitar to piano to bass to saxophone throughout his childhood. In junior high, Sam prompted Noah (his best friend since the first day of kindergarten) to learn guitar so that the two could start a group. “Casey eventually started playing with us too, and ever since then I’ve only been in bands with the two of them,” Sam notes.

In 2006, the three moved from Ithaca to New York City so that Sam and Noah could attend the New School while Casey worked as a piano tuner. Within the first month of college Sam and Noah met Adam in the freshman dorms, learned he was a drummer, and slipped a demo under his door in a successful attempt to lure him into the band. With the lineup complete (Sam on vocals and guitar, Noah on lead guitar, Casey on keyboards, Adam on drums), X Ambassadors began playing local gigs and writing material for their debut album. Then, just before the band was scheduled to begin recording, a lifelong medical condition left Casey in urgent need of a kidney transplant. With both his brother and mother (who volunteered one of her kidneys) recuperating from the transplant, Sam began working on a new batch of songs, including a fierce yet tender ballad that would emerge as the title track on X Ambassadors’ debut.

Released in early 2012, Litost soon caught the ear of the program director for Norfolk, Virginia-based radio station 96x. After hearing “Litost” on a friend’s Spotify playlist, the PD threw the song into heavy rotation and quickly drew a rabid response from listeners. Beating out heavy-hitters like fun. and Of Monsters and Men, “Litost” ended up emerging as 96x’s number-one song of 2012. In the meantime, X Ambassadors began opening for the likes of the Lumineers and Imagine Dragons, as well as scoring slots on the lineups of such festivals as Lollapalooza.

To expand their sound on Love Songs Drug Songs, X Ambassadors deepened the collaborative dynamic that’s long been essential to their strength as a band. “To me one of the most magical things about making music is taking a song idea to a group of people and letting them tear it apart and build something entirely new,” says Sam, who serves as X Ambassadors’ chief songwriter. “I strongly believe that you discover so much more about the song in other people’s hands than you ever would on your own.” And during the recording of Love Songs Drug Songs, he adds, involving Reynolds and Alex Da Kid in that process yielded more than its share of sublime surprises. On “Stranger,” for example, Reynolds encouraged Sam to adopt “this straight-up R&B, Prince-y, Michael Jackson-y kind of vibe” in his vocal work. “Dan was like, ‘You’ve got the voice, don’t hold back, just go for it’—which I wasn’t expecting at all, but the way it worked out was so cool,” Sam recalls.

Not only fuel for their creative spirit, X Ambassadors’ commitment to collaboration reflects an unfailing belief in the unifying power of music. Noting that the band’s small-town beginnings infinitely inform their output, Sam points out that “all those middle-school dances where they played Ginuwine and Ol’ Dirty Bastard and all different kids would just come together and dance” have proved to be one of his most formative musical experiences. “It’s always been my goal to make music that’s unique and personal and completely true to who we are, but in a way that’s got a very communal feeling to it, that can be shared with everyone,” he says. “If a song’s melodies can feel perfectly formed but also natural, where you’re feeling it so much that everyone else can’t help but feel it too, then that’s just beautiful.”
Parade of Lights - (Set time: 8:50 PM)
Parade of Lights
Parade of Lights refer to its sound as “dirty alt-electro meets shoegaze rock,” a fitting descriptor for the Los

Angeles-based quartet’s signature blend of electronics with an indie rock aesthetic that creates a hook-laden,

addictive, anthem-ready sound as familiar as it is strikingly unique.

The band’s primary songwriters Ryan Daly and Anthony Improgo met in 2006, finding an instant connection in

their musical sensibilities. Ryan and Anthony bonded over their mutual love of artists like Failure, My Bloody

Valentine, and Depeche Mode. They began writing together, and their natural creative chemistry led to the duo’s

first collaboration, the band Polus, which soon disbanded due to other obligations. But the two remained friends,

and though short lived, their time together as Polus planted the seeds for what would later take shape in the form

In 2010, while both on tour with other acts in Australia, Ryan and Anthony reconnected and realized their artistic

bond was too rare to pass up. The duo formed Parade of Lights that year and spent the next two years focused

on perfecting the band’s lineup and live show, self-releasing its first EP Born To Live, Born To Love (2012) and

adding Randy Schulte and Michelle Ashley to the lineup the following year.

In early 2013, Ryan and Anthony penned a song called “We’re The Kids,” a buoyant, surging synth-pop number

that fully embraced the Parade of Lights aesthetic. The single was self-released that summer and so undeniable

that radio began spinning the track almost immediately. It’s a rare thing for commercial radio to champion an

unsigned artist but Parade of Lights proved the exception to the rule. The song was quickly added to rotation

on SiriusXM’s Alt Nation, garnering top-10 airplay from the station and gathering traction at terrestrial radio with

support from heavy hitters such as KROQ, Live 105, WEQX, and KXTE. “We’re The Kids” also quickly caught the

ear of Astralwerks Records, who signed the band to its roster in the fall of 2013.

Since signing to Astralwerks, Parade of Lights have been putting the finishing touches on its next EP,

“Golden,” due out in early 2014. The collection, which will include “We’re The Kids,” reveals a range in tone.

The song “Burn” is a raucous anthem that pairs surging guitars with a booming drum groove while the title

track “Golden” builds a propulsive dance melody with layers of static-laced synth and a hook-heavy chorus. It all

leads back to a unified vision that begins when the band first enters the studio.

“All of our songs start and are fully realized in the studio,” explains Ryan. “Whether it’s Anthony bringing in a

drum loop, me bringing in a vocal or guitar riff, a bass riff courtesy of Randy, or one of Michelle’s synth sounds,

they all begin with a single element or defining, recognizable characteristic. We focus on this particular sound until

we feel it’s right, then move on to chords. A great melody set against the right chords can create such a definitive

mood that the song rapidly takes shape and virtually writes itself. Others are more groove-based, and tend to

require us to laser in a loop until it feels right. Sometimes we get lucky and pull together the best of both worlds.”

Parade of Lights has toured throughout California, Utah and Nevada, establishing fanbases in their hometown

of Los Angeles as well as Las Vegas, where Anthony spends much of his time. The group has opened for artists

like Imagine Dragons, Fitz And The Tantrums and The Neighbourhood, and crafted a dynamic live performance

that translates their recorded songs into a captivating organic-meets-electronic stage set. The plan is to tour

extensively throughout 2014 to promote “Golden.”

“Our goal is to make music that resonates in the immediate but that will also stand the test of time,” Anthony

says. We’re constantly pushing ourselves, working to develop our craft, because at the end of the day it’s about

creating a compelling body of work that people connect to.”

For Parade of Lights, the magic is in the collaboration and the connection. The musicians are interested not only

in making lasting music but in creating a complete vision around that music. In addition to doing much of their own

production, Ryan and Anthony are deeply involved in the group’s visuals, both in photography and graphic design.

It allows the band to convey something meaningful in all aspects of their career, augmenting the power of the

“It’s taken us a long time to streamline our process,” says Ryan. “Countless hours and tons of mistakes have

only honed our skills, challenged our boundaries, and made us a better band. For every song we finish, we learn

“It’s very rare that you encounter people you can collaborate with so easily,” adds Anthony. “It almost never

happens and that’s why it’s so important that we solidified ourselves as a unit and created Parade of Lights. We

feel like this is the beginning of something really significant.”
Busy Living - (Set time: 8:00 PM)
Busy Living
Los Angeles rock/pop outfit Busy Living was formed in early 2012 after frontman Mike Moonves left his former band, Chief (Domino). Writing songs of love and heartbreak, Busy Living heavy lyrics are complemented by their upbeat melodies. Rounded out by Jared Sohnen's pounding drums, Tim Hutton's strong bass, Matt Leddy's hooky and atmospheric keys and Drew Phillips' melodic guitar playing, Busy Living brings an energy packed live show that is truly an experience. Busy Living released the "It's a War Out There!" EP in the summer of 2012 and plan to release their second EP in late 2014.
Venue Information:
9081 Santa Monica Blvd
Los Angeles, CA, 90069

All lineups and times subject to change