Upcoming Events


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Tuesday 27 September
White Oak Music Hall Upstairs 07:00 PM All Ages $12.00 ADV $13.00 DAY OF BOX OFFICE
Days Of Yesteryear North American Tour 2016: Mystic Braves Plus Very Special Guest The Dream Ride, Ganesha
Mystic Braves sold out their first time show at the Troubadour, West Hollywood, June 13, 2015
"Bust out the wavy gravy and let the psychedelia flow. The sold out crowd, unplugged and tuned into the Mystic Braves who are the grooviest boys you can imagine, came back to LA to close out their tour. Sporting the authentic style of the 60s and perfectly matching hair, the band infused a new edge to their style of retro music and the fans caught every chance to ride a wave. The flower power on their album Desert Island kept the kids up well past midnight and inspired moshing on every jam."

"The scene at the Troubadour was indeed a dream-like, mind-bending, mind-altering, mind-expanding, mind-blowing musical trip."

LA Record
June 16, 2015

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Wednesday 28 September
White Oak Music Hall Downstairs 07:00 PM All Ages $18.00 ADV $20.00 DAY OF BOX OFFICE
TroyBoi: The Mantra Tour, Hiram, Josiah Gabriel
One of South East London's most closely guarded secrets has recently emerged from the shadows and is set to take the music industry by storm. Known only as TroyBoi, this multi-talented musician recently signed to Timbaland's right-hand man and US Super Producer, Jim Beanz, things are heating up faster than ever! Producing a wide variety of genres, but specializing in extraordinarily unique, versatile, and highly musical trap beats, TroyBoi is without a doubt one of the top up-and-coming producers in the game right now and it's quite clear from his composition that his influences are vast indeed. He is also one half of the Producer/DJ duo SoundSnobz with one of his best friends, icekream and together they craft the most creative and daring audio paintings you'll ever listen to. Buckle up and get ready to be taken into the world of TroyBoi because once you are in, you will never want to get out.

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Thursday 29 September
White Oak Music Hall Downstairs 07:00 PM All Ages $35.50 to $46.50 ADV 35.50 to 46.50 DAY OF BOX OFFICE
Andrew Bird, Sinkane
With his new album, Are You Serious, Andrew Bird has widened the breadth of his art by directly rejecting his own human experience. With key contributions from Fiona Apple and Blake Mills, Are You Serious attains a level of expression that's a personal, evolutionary leap. "Here I am with my most unguarded, direct, relatable album to date," Bird says, "Go easy on me."

"I set out to make a record that's diferent than any I've made before," he explains. "I wanted to make an album musically crafed like a Wrecking Crew session, where you have to be good. There's less wordplay and more intention to process some brutal times that I went through. What happens when real ordeals befall someone who has always been happy writing from their imagination and the distance of the third person? Who has time for poetics while grappling with birth and death? What's the role of sincerity for a songwriter who doesn't really go in for the confessional thing? This is what I struggled with for this record. I suppose the title could be poking fun at my own foray into the confessional realm."

Are You Serious is the second record Bird has made with producer Tony Berg, following 2005's breakthroughThe Mysterious Production of Eggs. "Tony and I spent months preparing for Sound City," says Bird, referring to the legendary Los Angeles studio where Nirvana recorded Nevermind and Neil Young made After The Gold Rush. "We went through every part of every song, every note, scrutinizing the voicing of the chords, fnding melodically interesting ways to move from one chord to the next. I decided to work with a producer because I wanted the recording process to be more rigorous. Novelists have editors and playwrights workshop their drama. Tony really played that role for me on this album."

An up-tempo blitz addressing personal chemistry as a rearrangement of molecules, "Roma Fade" may be the album's centerpiece. Its sense of longing - "from the tips of your fngers, every strand of hair …you may not know me but you feel my stare" - is based in part on how Bird met his wife, or rather, the times he saw her before they met. "It always seemed to be at a party, from ffeen or twenty feet away," he explains. "‘Roma Fade' and ‘Truth Lies Low' present both sides of the phenomenon of observing and being observed. Desire draws a fne line between what's romantic and what's creepy."

The album's surprise revelation is "Lef Handed Kisses," a duet with the singular Fiona Apple. With Bird playing the skeptic and Apple the romantic, the stop-start ballad portrays two lovers who are philosophically opposed but inevitably drawn together. It feels like it could be a lost Johnny Cash/June Carter classic.

"The song began as an internal dialogue," Bird says. "At frst it was just my voice. Then this other voice came creeping in and I thought ‘this should be a duet if I can fnd the right person.' I needed to find someone really indicting. And Fiona does the pissed of thing really well! She was totally committed. The session was a long whiskey-fueled night. We were unhinged, for sure. All worth it, of course… I can't write simple love songs. People are complex. My inclination was to write a song about why I can't write a simple love song."

"My favorite songs I write are the ones that change and adapt according to my mood," says Bird. Album opener "Capsized" is a prime example, having been in his live repertoire for close to a decade under various titles and guises. In the album's recorded incarnation, "Capsized" is a propulsive gem evoking both the chamber-soul of Bill Withers and the backbeat of The Meters. Bird's vocals are driven onward by drummer Ted Poor and bassist Alan Hampton. The musically expansive nature of Are You Serious is due in part to ace ensemble players like Poor and Hampton, and the guitar playing of Blake Mills. "Blake raises the bar and gets where I'm coming from like few musicians I've met. He's as restless as I am and gets the odd accents and microtonal stuf that's outside western music."

The album closer "Valleys of the Young" encapsulates the album's themes. This is what Andrew means of when he uses the word "brutal." "For years now, the code I've been trying to crack is how to translate plainspoken real life into song and have it meet my melodic, syntactic standards. There are no riddles here. No encryption. I've lef the valley of the young, the small-seeming dramas, the brunch and misery, for a far more perilous place where your heart breaks from cradle to grave. The musical setting for this had to ensure that both young and old listeners can relate. Tony kept making us look at photos of the dust bowl storms raging across the prairie, the ones that made Woody Guthrie sing ‘So long it's been good to know ya.'"

Jettisoning established methods begets reinvention. This is part of the great success of Are You Serious. See how it plays out in person on Bird's 17-date Spring 2016 tour, kicking of March 30 at The Ryman in Nashville. "I never walk onstage knowing what I'm doing," says the artist. "It's a shrug-of-the-shoulders approach and people like it, it seems human to them. I began playing with the idea of reinvention, so that onstage a wild untamed thing can happen. I wanted to make a record that lets me subvert or expand my onstage personality."A personality now ready to answer the question, Are You Serious.

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Thursday 29 September
White Oak Music Hall Upstairs Canceled
Tourist, Wrestlers
"Due to unforeseen circumstances, Tourist will be unable to perform in Houston on Sept 29. All tickets will be refunded at the point of purchase. We deeply apologize for any inconvenience - Team Tourist"

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Friday 30 September
White Oak Music Hall Upstairs 07:00 PM All Ages $15.00
30footFALL, Bigwig, Pears, Talksickbrats
Rising out of the scattered Texas punk scene, and surviving a string of early lineup changes, 30footFall quickly established itself as a notable and enduring band. Catching the attention and admiration of their peers, the band toured with punk luminaries such as Tilt, The Vandals, The Offspring, and Face To Face, and has appeared on countless compilations. The third of four LPs, 1999's Nitro release Ever Revolving, Never Evolving, highlights 30footFall's deft balance of roots punk styling and progressive themes. Going only by their first names, current members Butch, Brian, Chris, Jason, and Rubio continue to tour and deliver blistering punk rock to fans everywhere.

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Friday 30 September
Eastdown Warehouse 07:00 PM All Ages $15.00 ADV   $17.00 DAY OF $19.00 DAY OF BOX OFFICE
The Casualties, Slapshot, Lower Class Brats, Flatfoot 56, The Potato Pirates, Thug Boots, Johnny Rioux and the 713
The Casualties formed in 1990 out of a desire to return to the heyday of punk, an era that hung on into the early '80s and then started to fall by the wayside in favor of the very early grunge movement, as well as hair metal, synth pop, and new wave. But the band's lineup was far from stable in the early days. The initial lineup consisted of singers Jorge Herrera and Colin, drummer Yureesh, guitarist Hank, and bassist Mark. Even this inaugural lineup was shaky, with Colin stepping out for several months to finish his education, and Rivits singer Rachel stepping in to take his place. During this period, the Casualties put together a demo. The following year, the core lineup consisted of Colin, Jorge, Yureesh, and Mark. The band added guitarist Fred when Hank dropped out, and went on to make an appearance on the compilation Benefit for Beer. Soon more changes were in the works, with new guitarist Fred heading off to school. C Squat's Scott temporarily filled Fred's shoes until he returned a short time later. During this period, guitarist Hank came and went a second time. Another guitarist, Steve, also played briefly with the group.

The Casualties stabilized long enough in the fall of 1991 to put together an EP, 40 Ounce Casualty. By the following year, the band was touring frequently and building up a fan base in their hometown of New York City. In 1993, however, more shakeups were in the works. Guitarist Fred and bassist Mark were out, and Jake Kolatis and Mike were in to take their respective places. The following year, the band appeared on another compilation, Pogo Attack, and put together a second EP, Drinking Is Our Way of Life. The four-track EP was never issued but later was incorporated into the band's 1999 release, Early Years: 1990-1995. Stability remained elusive, and drummer Yureesh and singer Colin dropped out. Shawn stepped in to take Yureesh's place. The group put together a third EP, A Fuckin' Way of Life, in 1995, the same year that Rivits drummer Meggers (aka Mark Eggers) took Shawn's place.

Temporarily settled in terms of their lineup, the Casualties traveled to London in 1996 for a performance on the stage of the Holidays in the Sun Festival. The following year, the band put out their first full-length album, For the Punx, and embarked on a tour where it supported the Varukers. Unfortunately, the lineup evolved again the following year, when the Krays' bassist, Jon, took over when Mike dropped out. Jon stayed long enough to help out on the Underground Army album, but jumped ship during the band's supporting tour across Europe in 1998. To take his place, the band recruited Dave Punk Core, who only stayed until 1999. With the addition of ex-Manix bassist Rick Lopez, the group (rounded out by Jorge Herrera, Jake Kolatis, and Meggers for those still following) started another tour. More tours of the U.S. and Europe followed in 2000 and 2001, along with the albums Who's in Control?, Stay Out of Order, and Die Hards, the last marking their debut on Side One Dummy. On the Front Line appeared in February 2004; two years later, the Casualties preceded Under Attack's late August release with a main stage slot on the Vans Warped Tour. All We Have, the band's eighth studio long player, dropped in 2009, followed by the Season of Mist-issued Resistance in 2012, and Chaos Sound in early 2016.

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Saturday 1 October
Raven Tower Pavilion 07:00 PM All Ages FREE There will be a $5 cover for under 21. RSVP does not guarantee entry. Admission is subject to venue capacity at time of arrival.
New Language, Kemo For Emo
The new band is out of Los Angeles created by Tyler Demorest and Matt Cohen.

The two joined forces with Tony Hajjar of At The Drive-In / Sparta to produce the new music. Intentions of creating an EP quickly turned into a Summer of writing a d recording a handful of songs that are now beginning to surface.

"WAKE UP" is the first song written and released by NEW LANGUAGE, debuting on TripleJ Radio by Richard Kingsmill.

"It's a call to action… a plea to snap out of the current haze of cultural monotony we've all come to expect and many have come to embrace." - Tyler Demorest, Vocals

NEW LANGUAGE made their debut performance in April 2016 to a sold out crowd as direct support to Gone Is Gone (Queens of the Stone Age, Mastodon, At The Drive-In) in Los Angeles, CA and has now embarked as direct support to THE USED on their 15 Year Anniversary Tour across the US.

The band's live lineup is Tyler Demorest (vocals, guitar), Matt Cohen (bass), Sebastien Betley (guitar), and Martin Dovali (drums).

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Sunday 2 October
White Oak Music Hall Downstairs 07:00 PM All Ages $20.00 ADV   $22.00 DAY OF $24.00 DAY OF BOX OFFICE
St. Lucia, Sofi Tukker
Emotional moments are Grobler's specialty. Under the name St. Lucia, he crafts the kind of high-energy, artful pop that tugs at the heartstrings as it pulls you onto the dance floor, and in four short years, he's amassed a lifetime of highlights: signing with Columbia Records; selling out multiple nights at Terminal 5 in his adopted hometown of NYC; performing at major festivals from Lollapalooza to the main stage at Coachella; touring with stars like Ellie Goulding and Two Door Cinema Club; landing his songs in national campaigns from Victoria's Secret to Taco Bell; producing the debut LP for friends and label-mates HAERTS; and collaborating on remixes for peers like Passion Pit, Charli XCX, and Foster The People.

It's all been remarkable, but it's also only been the prelude to Matter, St. Lucia's second full-length release and most exhilarating collection yet. The record finds a more sophisticated and bold Grobler grappling with themes of getting older, battling with insecurity and self-doubt while balancing maturity and ambition. It's a St. Lucia record though, so even the darkest moments are bristling with infectious vitality and hook-fueled charisma. Writing the songs, however, required Grobler to change up his process from 2013's 'When The Night,' the debut album he built from the ground up playing nearly every instrument himself in his Brooklyn studio.

Though synth-pop has been an easy and reductive label used to categorize St. Lucia, most of the songs on Matter feature as much electric guitar, explosive percussion and complex brass arrangements as synthesizers. Nearly every track on the album contains horns and multi-part vocal arrangements, their sophistication reflective of Grobler's lifetime of music study. But there's nothing academic about a St. Lucia concert. Grobler and his cohorts are first and foremost a live band, with their reputation for dazzling, immersive shows fueling their rapid growth and status as global festival favorites.

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Sunday 2 October
White Oak Music Hall Upstairs 08:00 PM All Ages $15.00 ADV   $18.00 DAY OF $20.00 DAY OF BOX OFFICE
Gallant, RKCB
The push-and-pull that drives Gallant's music is like a pendulum swinging back and forth between genres and influences. His combination of muscular vocal acrobatics and sonic unpredictability has attracted universal tastemaker praise and a growing fan base. Complex championed the Los Angeles-based singer and songwriter as "The R&B game changer," LA Times claimed, "Precise writing of Frank Ocean, big vocal runs of Sam Smith," and NME predicted, "the voice that will redefine R&B," while Entertainment Weekly, The Fader, Billboard, and more have shown support. Sir Elton John summed it up best saying, "Gallant is gonna be huge." In addition to performing at Coachella and SXSW in 2016, he collaborated live with Seal and Sufjan Stevens and sold out his first two NY and L.A. shows. However, the artist continues questioning, learning, and progressing on his full-length debut, Ology [Mind of a Genius/Warner Bros. Records].

"I was knowingly trying to dig deep," he explains. "I wanted to be more vulnerable and honest. I asked myself, ‘What can I say that's almost too uncomfortable to share?' The process felt like this analytical dissection of myself, but I wasn't going to find any solutions. Ology references this constant pursuit we all experience without any starting point or conclusions."

Gallant has been on this pursuit since junior high. Growing up in Columbia, MD, he began tinkering on his computer and making songs after school inspired by everything from nineties R&B to classic jazz and blues. Rather than write in a journal, the music collated his feelings and emotions. He'd rarely share it with friends though. While attending NYU, he enrolled in summer school, so he could graduate early. Post-graduation and countless hours of meticulous practice later, he was finally ready to share his songs to the world at large.

"I was still approaching music as a means to learn more about myself," he goes on. "I started pulling from more influences, getting more skilled at the computer production-wise, and growing as a writer. When I got out of college, I felt like I had to define myself by a body of work."

His first online release "If It Hurts" would establish him in the blogosphere, while 2014's Zebra EP landed him on Spotify's viral charts and at the top of HypeM. Signing to Mind of a Genius in 2015 and relocating to L.A., he dove into creating what would become Ology with co-producers such as Stint. The first single "Weight In Gold" enjoyed its world premiere on Zane Lowe's Beats 1 Radio show as the introductory entry in the coveted "World's First" segment. In less than six months, it accumulated over 6.5 million Spotify streams.

Tempering an airy atmosphere with chopped-up blues guitars, "Weight In Gold" gives way to an impassioned and infectious croon reminiscent of a gospel transmission from the furthest reaches of outer space.

"I was opening up a little bit more, so I decided, ‘Fuck it. I'll scream on the chorus,'" he admits. "The lyrics fizzled down into my brain. It's one of the most vulnerable pieces I have."On the intoxicating follow-up single "Bourbon," his fiery falsetto takes hold and transfixes. "I wanted to create a hurricane-type storm of vocals," he says. "It's one of my darkest songs, which makes it really special."

Then, there's "Skipping Stones" where Gallant trades vivid and vital verses with Jhené Aiko over a backdrop of horns, heavenly keys, stirring strings, and a jazzy beat produced by composer Adrian Younge.

"We recorded it all to tape," he recalls. "We wanted it to be imperfect. It defines the umbrella on which most of the album falls under: feeling lost and longing for something you can't obtain. Jhené is an amazing person. I've always admired her work, and she killed it."

As Gallant continues on his search, he leaves a message on the path. "If people can hear I'm not doing this to feed any ego or serve someone else, that's all I want," he leaves off. "I'm trying to create a photo album I can look back on to see where I've overcome challenges. I'm using music as a means of self-discovery."

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Monday 3 October
White Oak Music Hall Upstairs 07:00 PM All Ages $12.00 ADV $13.00 DAY OF BOX OFFICE
Lucy Dacus
Lucy Dacus's No Burden is full of surprises-sharp lyrical observations, playful turns of musical phrase, hooks that'll embed themselves in your frontal lobe for days. But the most surprising thing about this album might be the fact that it's a debut; it has a keen sense of self about it, and it nearly glows from the self-possession held by the woman at its core.

The 21-year-old Dacus grew up in Richmond; she was adopted at a young age, an experience that informed her curious, openhearted songwriting. "When my parents were explaining what adoption was-which was very early on in my childhood-they always said that my birthmother thought I was worthwhile even though she couldn't be my mom," she says. "And so from essentially infancy, I was taught that life was innately worthwhile because a bunch of people had worked together to set me up with one.

"Every other philosophy of mine has been built on that foundation," she continues. "Humans want this experience for each other; there has to be some reason why. I seem to always end up trying to write and understand how we can live the most worthwhile life, and therefore how we hold each other up from getting there."

Dacus started playing around Richmond while in college, opening for local acts and eventually meeting Jacob Blizard, a guitarist who invited her to make a record for a college project of his. No Burden, which originally came out in February on the Richmond label EggHunt Records, opens with the forthright, almost brutally honest "I Don't Wanna Be Funny Anymore," the last song Dacus wrote before the album's day-long recording session at Starstruck Studios in Nashville. Dacus delivers scalpel-sharp observations about resisting pigeonholing over chunky guitars, ticking off ideals of femininity and youth until the track's not-quite-resolution.

These themes extend to the lyrics of songs like "Strange Torpedo," a whirling portrait of a friend whose "bunch of bad habits" who, Dacus sings, has "been falling for so long… [and hasn't] hit anything solid yet." "I've been that friend watching a loved one do what they know is bad for them and not understanding why," says Dacus. The song offers a simple message: "'I love you, why don't you love you? You're the one in your body so you get to choose what to do with it, but if I were you I'd treat me differently.'"

The rest of No Burden, which was produced by Collin Pastore, puts Dacus's voice center stage, allowing the glinting poetry of her lyrics to shine even more brightly. "Trust," which Dacus wrote in late 2013, showcases her alone with her guitar, her faint vibrato floating over strummed chords as she sings of self-redemption. And the diptych "Dream State…" and "…Familiar Place," which revolve around Dacus repeating "Without you, I am surely the last of our kind/ Without you, I am surely the last of my kind," capture disappointment and loss in a jaw-dropping way; the music trembles around her while her voice stays steady, anticipating whatever might come next.

No Burden is a forthright, disarmingly catchy statement. And while it's a sterling debut, it only hints at the potential possessed by this passionate, thoughtful young woman. -Maura Johnston

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Tuesday 4 October
White Oak Music Hall Downstairs 06:30 PM All Ages $23.50 ADV   $25.00 DAY OF $27.25 DAY OF BOX OFFICE
Foals, Bear Hands
On an unseasonably warm night in March, 2013, within the august, hallowed walls of the Royal Albert Hall in London, something extraordinary happened. Five musicians took to the stage, launched into a song called Inhaler, and blew the roof off. For the 5,000-plus people who were lucky enough to be present that evening, the experience was more like a mass epiphany at a revivalist meeting than a gig. Foals whipped up a frenzy and sent it hurtling towards the audience, who gave it a shake and sent it hurtling right back. Two hours later, we staggered, reeling, out into the night. This was more than music. This was alchemy.

But then, inevitably, came the fear. Could the band ever match this? My advice for the fretters is simple: put on track one - the title track and lead single - of Foals's visceral new album, What Went Down. Put it on anywhere - on your headphones, in the car, in the great wide open, and put it on LOUD. "I buried my heart in the hole in the ground," sings Yannis Philippakis, like a fire-and-brimstone preacher in a Deep South prayer house, over eerie, pitch-shifting organ. "With the lights and the roses and the cowards downtown. They threw me a party, there was no one around. They tried to call my girl but she could not be found." That's when the beat kicks in, a giant Motorik beast of a thing that hurls the song forwards. A lowering, syncopating theme enters the picture, threatening to drag the song down into the depths. And, oh God, here's the chorus. It doesn't just arrive, it explodes. "When I see a man I see a lion," Yannis screams. "When I see a man I see a LIAR." Radiant, roiling, roistering, rabble-rousing: this is music that is at once beautiful and hellish, euphoric and demonic. What, and you were worried Foals couldn't match what they'd created before? Match it? They've fucking left it for dust.

It cannot be the case that one type of music can be more resonant, more significant, than another. Music, from whatever genre, either connects or it doesn't; not because it's chart-pop, or alt-country, or deep house, or art-rock, but because it speaks to us, baffles us, ensnares us. Sometimes, though, a band will ride roughshod over that logic, will create something that takes music beyond the usual narrow considerations of chart placings and boy-meets-girl platitudes, and renders all around it irrelevant, trivial, disposable. All of the truly transformative and era-defining albums have grappled with questions that are a world away from the bland bleatings of homogenised pop. Permanence and impermanence, life and death, solitude, vulnerability, intimacy, passion, rage, humanity - weighty issues that make demands of the people creating that music, and of all those who listen to it, too.

What Went Down confronts these issues head-on. Recorded with James Ford (Arctic Monkeys, Florence + The Machine) in the same Provence village where, 127 years ago, the artist Van Gogh was hospitalised in a psychiatric ward after slicing off his ear, the album sees the band take their songwriting to a new level. Yet it was, says frontman Yannis Philippakis, the easiest to make. "We spent two months in the studio, and that's quick for us. There's a propensity in the band to over-think, and sometimes undo what had been great in the first place, out of boredom or restlessness - or a desire to make something better. But it rarely is. But I think we'd all have got bored of being in the band had we not had that restlessness. I mean, I can't begin to imagine, or predict, what the next record will sound like, but thank god for that. There are so many bands where you just know what their next move will be, because it'll be the same as their last one."

No sooner had Foals rounded off their world tour for the Holy Fire album with an incendiary headlining set at last September's Bestival, than they were back in the studio - and it's that sense of urgency, Yannis says, that gives What Went Down its power. "By the time we got to Bestival, we were playing the best we ever have. I had this image of the band as this 10-legged beast, this ruthless, elegant machine, with everyone pulsing at exactly the same frequency. The five of us were at this level where the shows were still reckless and on fire, but it felt like we'd become this predatory animal, designed to annihilate the spaces we were in. The point is, if we'd had two months to deflate, to re-enter normal life, before going back into the studio, the new record would never have sounded like it does."

Too often in the past, Yannis has been crudely characterised as a tormented, chain-smoking obsessive, as someone not liberated by music but driven half-mad by it - to the point where it's tempting to feel that those doing such pigeonholing would rather musicians and songwriters were opinion-free automatons, trumpeting the light-entertainment party line. Do we seriously want that? Or do we want artists for whom creativity is like mortal combat, who bear the scars of those battles but don't hesitate to re-enter the fray? Yannis is the first to admit that he's a poor advertisement for the serenity that music is supposed to induce. But for him, that's not the point. He's not using music, using songwriting, to cauterise the wounds (wounds that most of us, if we're honest, carry round with us, too). He's using it to explore them, to attempt to understand them.

Writing the title track came about during a period , Yannis says, where he was "thinking a lot about masculinity, but also about being an animal, being violent and primal. When I sing that song I feel like I'm this fevered, skulking, brawling person. But again, there's a vulnerability in there, too, and I think that's got something to do with moving to London. I'd been in Oxford for so long, and I had to recontextualise myself, I'd marked the lampposts in Oxford, I knew my co-ordinates. In London, I thought, ‘I'm one of 10m people you know?' It's about trying to escape yourself, too; trying to tear everything away."

The decision to work with James Ford was an easy one, Yannis says. "The chemistry was just immediately right. He doesn't praise you, he's very British in that respect. I remember, for the first few days in France, I'd be going, ‘Why's he not being more encouraging?' It took me a while to realise that that was a good thing. There were two clear aims this time: a really lean sound, nothing extraneous, nothing too fluffy, trying to get away from some of the more epic tendencies the band have. At the same time, we wanted to explore the more experimental side of the band, and push the extremes out further, in every direction - to dial everything up, to make the heavy stuff even more menacing."

Albatross, a pivotal track on the new album, is certainly that. The lyrics are like daggers, self-lacerating shards of mockery and disgust - you can almost hear Yannis's lip curl as he rages against himself on lines such as "You've got a hundred broken wishbones under your bed / You've got a hungry green-eyed monster that you keep fed", as the clattering house beat and glacial piano send the song galloping towards oblivion. It's shivers-up-the-spine stuff, music that delves into the darkest reaches of your soul and leaves you feeling winded. It's also brave, fearless and shockingly candid. The antithesis of talent-show warbling. Music as passion, fire and confrontation.
By contrast, the album's astonishingly beautiful closing track, A Knife in the Ocean, is like the calm before the storm, but also the stillness and silence after it has passed. A song that addresses the ephemeral, fleeting nature of human existence, and our endearing but deluded attempts to defy that irrevocable reality, it opens with Tibetan bells, and a plainsong-like melody that conjures up a supplicant at prayer. "When I come to walk the line," Yannis sings, "the fire it comes, but I'll be just fine." Yannis likens the narrator to "a young man, saying ‘I'm going out, what I'm going to face will be dangerous, and I may not return.' On one level it's about a sort of personal apocalypse, a personal oblivion, confronting the conveyor-belt nature of life, and becoming more aware of human frailty, and how that interacts with being a fairly confident, bullish individual. But it's also about looking round at a city like London and thinking, ‘How could this ever cease to exist? Something this imposing? This evidence of human endeavour?'"

Again, the question needs to be asked: do we want music that shies away from the complexity of life, from the baggage we all, every one of us, carry, from the fear we all feel, from the rapture and thunderstruck love that somehow coexist with that fear? Or do we, rather, want music that confronts that? Four albums in, Foals continue to walk into the storm. They can't not, say Yannis. "I decided that whatever I wanted to say, I was really going to say it in the lyrics this time; and that, sonically, we'd have the same approach. There are far fewer veils on this record. It's unfettered communication, it's the clearest distillation of me, of all of us. Before, there's always been that gap between the imagination, the romance and fantasy about what we wanted to create, and the actual reality, and that disparity has been difficult. But on this record, we're the closest we've ever been to the vision in our heads. I feel much more at ease in myself, definitely; that things have aligned for me, creatively, where I feel far more confident, and much closer to the goal than I was before. One thing that we really take pride in, really take great enjoyment from, is that, through a series of beautiful accidents, we've got to the position where there's no tethering to any preconceived idea of what we should do. So it feels like we can do anything."

My notes on What Went Down, taken when I first heard the album, look like automatic writing, a scribbled blur that makes me feel breathless if I read it back. On every page, the same words are repeated, always in capitals: SONG! LIVE!!! I am impatient to the point of petulance to see the band play new songs such as Night Swimmers ("Calypso!" "Tom Tom Club" "SONG!"), London Thunder ("Hymn-like, elemental" "WHAT a melody!" "Amazing liftoff into middle 8" "LIVE!!"), Give It All ("Woodpecker staccato guitar" "Vast return of drums") and Birch Tree ("Total bliss-out, borne aloft" "Summer soul, West Coast with the roof down" "Middle 8 massed vocals, handclaps") live. To feel the brute force of the title track ("Fucking HELL. Sonic carnage") slap me in the face. To watch one of the best bands in the bloody world whip up a frenzy and send it hurtling towards me. At which point, I'll give it a shake, and send it hurtling right back. For What Went Down is more than music. What Went Down is alchemy.

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Tuesday 4 October
White Oak Music Hall Upstairs 07:00 PM All Ages $12.00 ADV $13.00 DAY OF BOX OFFICE
Voodoo Glow Skulls with Special Guests Tartar Control, Always Guilty, Metanoia
In their 24 years of existence, the Voodoo Glow Skulls have an impressive list of achievements. 9 albums, one million records sold, appearances in exotic locations like Brazil and Japan as well as the creation of a record store, record label, recording studio and a music venue attests to the remarkable creativity and energy of the band. Formed in 1988, Voodoo Glow Skulls meshed hardcore punk, traditional ska, tough guitar riffs and the Mexican music of their roots to create the prototype for the West Coast ska-core sound. Unflinchingly honest, their songs often used humor to comment on harsh political realities - from racial inequity to unrest overseas. Singing in both Spanish and English, Voodoo Glow Skulls' bilingual musical tradition has been a hallmark of the band since they began.
The core of the band since the beginning has been the three Casillas brothers, Frank, Eddie and Jorge. With a list of accomplishments that might make some bands ready to slow their pace, the band shows no signs of slowing down. Voodoo Glow Skulls dubbed their sound "California street music" - a perfect description of their high octane mix of rock, punk, ska and hardcore.
Voodoo Glow Skulls 9th studio album "Break the Spell" was released on January 17th on Smelvis Records and is available now!
Current Line Up:
Eddie Casillas-Guitar
Frank Casillas-Vocals
Jorge Casillas-Bass
Vince Sollecito-Drums
Mark Bush-Trumpet
Dan Albert-Trombone

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Tuesday 4 October
Walter's Downtown 07:00 PM All Ages $15.00 ADV   $20.00 DAY OF $22.00 DAY OF BOX OFFICE
The Felice Brothers, Aaron Lee Tasjan
The Felice Brothers (Simone, Ian, and James) and their long time friends and bandmates Greg Farley and Christmas Clapton, come to us from the Catskill Mountains, where a homegrown sound has been working its way through the bloodlines for generations. Their rambling journey so far has brought them from busking in New York City subway stations, to tours across the world that have included enthusiastically received performances at major music festivals including Bonnaroo, All Points West, Outside Lands, and Langerado.

A defining memory to date might be their appearance at the 2008 Newport Folk Festival. A summer afternoon thunderstorm rolled in and began to douse the land. While it electrified the atmosphere, the rain had the adverse effect of cutting power to The Felice Brother's stage. After many assurances that power would be restored, they were informed it was a lost cause, and that they'd have to make due acoustic. Without hesitation the band jumped down into the crowd and began playing acoustic while stomping around barefoot in the mud that had formed on account of the ongoing downpour. What might have led some to call it a wash and leave was turned into another epic show that drew upon the familiarity and casual ease of the backyard bbq sessions that took place at their dad's porch on Sunday afternoons during their first days as a group. The audience that day, like others before and after, left utterly converted.

Titled with a phrase drawn from the pages of Mark Twain, Yonder Is The Clock is a nod to all of the American ghosts that lend their narrative and characters to the Felice Brothers' forthcoming April 7th release. Their studio was built from the remains of an abandoned chicken coop and it was there over the summer and fall of 2008 that they wrote and recorded this new collection of songs. Presented by Team Love Records, Yonder Is The Clock is teaming with tales of love, death, betrayal, baseball, train stations, phantoms, pandemics, jail cells, rolling rivers and frozen winter nights. This is music that hasn't lost sight of the history of the land from which it came, and that quality alone makes The Felice Brothers the next great American band.

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Wednesday 5 October
Raven Tower Pavilion 06:00 PM All Ages $16.00 ADV   $18.00 DAY OF $20.00 DAY OF BOX OFFICE
The Summer Set Made For You Tour 2016, William Beckett, Hudson Thames
Pairing their infectious brand of pop rock with catchy driven choruses, The Summer Set are on a mission to win the hearts of audiences worldwide. Led by singer Brian Dales, the band's fourth full-length Stories For Monday delivers 11 of their most well-crafted songs, throwing punch after punch of sun-drenched nostalgia, reckless love, and Dales' most honest lyrics to date. The Phoenix, AZ quintet quickly became a phenomenon through the independent music scene since their formation and have continued to hone their irresistible brand of feel-good pop through major television syncs and new album Legendary (2013). The band have come off an incredible string of success that includes a full summer on the Main Stage of the Vans Warped Tour 2014, winning the 2013 iHeartRadio Rising Star Competition, appearing in Macy's "Back To School" TV, online and radio ad campaign, performing at the iHeartRadio Music Festival in Las Vegas, broadcasted on the CW, as well as TeenNick's Top 10 with Nick Canon. The band also performed the single "Lightning In A Bottle" as part of the 2013 Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade. Led by poignant single "Figure Me Out" and the infectious "Missin' You", new album Stories For Monday is positioned to be The Summer Set's most powerful release to date.

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Wednesday 5 October
White Oak Music Hall Upstairs 07:00 PM All Ages $15.00 ADV $17.00 DAY OF BOX OFFICE
Skeletonwitch, Iron Reagan, Oathbreaker, Gatecreeper
The drought is over. After years in the wilderness, homegrown heavy metal has finally returned. No longer the domain solely of our European forefathers, metal pure in both delivery and creativity is gaining momentum at breakneck speed in the Western Hemisphere. Leading the charge domestically are Ohio‟s sons of Midwestern darkness SKELETONWITCH, who have emerged as forerunners of this new American sound. The „WITCH‟s mighty, sonic fortress is an amalgamation of classic Bay Area thrash, Scandinavian death/black metal and NWOBHM. Upping the ante from their Prosthetic debut, Beyond the Permafrost, these five gnarly longhairs show no mercy and take no prisoners on their newest long-player, Breathing the Fire, which debuted at #151 on the Billboard Top 200 charts.
To lay this nasty, raging slab to tape, SKELETONWITCH traveled to Seattle and hooked up with legendary producer Jack Endino (Nirvana, Soundgarden, High On Fire). To make things extra filthy, the „WITCH enlisted Scott Hull of grind kings Pig Destroyer to handle the mastering duties. Tracks like "Crushed Beyond Dust" and the leveling album-opener "Submit to the Suffering" are sure to whip even the most jaded metal fan into a psychotic frenzy.
"Breathing the Fire is a burning, fucking beast!" says guitarist Scott Hedrick. "The drums are monstrous; Chance‟s sickening vocals sound inhuman and somehow retain amazing clarity; Evan‟s bass sounds like Steve Harris, Lemmy and D.D. Verni in a blender; and the guitars sound like jousting chainsaws. A lot of people said that on Beyond the Permafrost, we married black and thrash metal. With Breathing the Fire, they banged and had a kid - and that baby‟s a burner!"
SKELETONWITCH‟s vicious live show and fierce blue-collar ethic have helped to establish the band as torchbearers of today‟s metal scene. They were handpicked by Glenn Danzig for his 2008 Blackest of the Black tour, and have since logged countless miles on the road crisscrossing the nation with the likes of Municipal Waste, Job For A Cowboy, Amon Amarth, Dimmu Borgir, 1349 and Cannibal Corpse. In the fall of 2010, they hit the road with Children of Bodom and The Black Dahlia Murder. The band has also made high-profile appearances at several festivals, including the New England Metal and Hardcore Festival in 2008, 2010 and 2011, the 2010 Scion Rock Fest in Atlanta (along with Mastodon, High on Fire, etc.), South By Southwest and Ozzfest.
"White van, black t-shirt: that‟s been my life since we started SKELETONWITCH," adds Hedrick. "We love and live for the road. We‟ll play the enormo-dome or we‟ll play in your fucking closet - we don‟t care as long as we get to play. Being out there on the road and mixing it up with all the metalheads is what it‟s all about. We‟re all one and the same, and if we weren‟t fortunate enough to be on the stage, we‟d be right in front of it banging our heads."


SKELETONWITCH formed in 2003 and self-released their debut full-length, At One With the Shadows, in 2004. In 2006, after several underground tours, the band broke through musically with the self-released EP Worship the Witch (which included a limited, handmade edition by Baroness‟ John Baizley). Worship the Witch peaked label interest, and in 2007, the band signed with Prosthetic Records and released Beyond the Permafrost, which received numerous accolades in the U.S. and overseas and landed on many year-end "Best Of" lists including Revolver, Decibel, and Pitchfork. The album also cracked the top ten of the CMJ Loud Rock Chart.
SKELETONWITCH brings together the old and sacred elements of true heavy metal, melts them down, and forges them into a brand new monolith of riffage. If you know what‟s good for you, you‟ll come out and bang your head when SKELETONWITCH comes to your town. Worship the 'WITCH!

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Thursday 6 October
White Oak Music Hall Upstairs 08:00 PM All Ages $13.00 ADV   $15.00 DAY OF $17.00 DAY OF BOX OFFICE
mc chris, MC Lars, Mega Ran
mc chris (always spelled in all lower case letters) is rapper from the Libertyville, Illinois, a suburb of Chicago. He was one of the first rappers to focus solely on nerd life, rapping about Star Wars, Harry Potter, ninjas and unrequited love, instead of the usual hip hop fare. He's just as likely to make an appearance at Comicon as he is at SXSW.

mc got his start as an animator on many of the shows you see on Adult Swim. He was writer, actor, songwriter and animator for Sealab 2021, The Brak Show, Space Ghost Coast to Coast and Aqua Teen Hunger Force. He has voiced characters on several Adult Swim pilots such as Welcome to Eltingville, Cheyenne Cinnamon, Your Pretty Face is Going to Hell and Tight Bros. He was also a producer of on air content for over a year before leaving Williams Street to pursue a career in music.

mc has since crossed America countless times touring as a headlining act, as well as opening for bands like Pinback and Reggie and the Full Effect. He's collaborated with Talib Kweli, Andrew WK, Cee-Lo and Childish Gambino. His music has been featured in Kevin Smith's Zak and Miri Make a Porno, Jay and Silent Bob's Super Groovy Cartoon Movie and he has composed several themes for Smith's Smodcast podcast network. mc's song "hoodie ninja" was featured in both a Honda commercial and America's Funniest Home Videos. Other songs have been featured in Comedy Central's Broad City and Fox's So You Think You Can Dance? mc most recently started in the pilot Bunny and Frog for Disney and a national commercial for Fiat.

mc raises money to fight Cystic Fibrosis. Inspired by his nephew who has CF, mc chris and his fans have raised over $150,000 for the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation through eBay sales and donations collected at live shows.

mc kickstarted "the mc chris cartoon" an animated extension of the skit universe featured on his records. Thanks to donations from his fans, he raised $60,000 and produced a six minute pilot presentation with the animation company Titmouse Inc. mc is currently shopping the project.

mc chris lives in Los Angeles with his wife and son.

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Friday 7 October
Raven Tower Pavilion 07:00 PM All Ages $17.00 ADV   $20.00 DAY OF $22.00 DAY OF BOX OFFICE
Jon McLaughlin, Marc Scibilia, Brad Ray
Whether writing and producing songs, performing his music, or hanging out with his two daughters, Nashville-based singer-songwriter, Jon McLaughlin puts passion into everything he does. McLaughlin has released six albums and over the years, this piano-rock musician has collaborated with fellow artists such as Sara Bareilles, Demi Lovato, and NeedtoBreathe as well as sharing the stage with artists including Kelly Clarkson, Adele, OneRepublic, Bon Jovi, and Duffy. In 2014, a dream came true when Jon even supported the legendary piano man himself, Billy Joel.

Jon has provided songs for television shows, such as Madam Secretary, Chicago Fire and So You Think You Can Dance. In addition to contributing music to major Hollywood films, including Bridge to Terabithia and Georgia Rule, McLaughlin earned an on-screen appearance and performance in the Oscar-nominated Disney film, Enchanted, a d went on to sing "So Close," live at the 80th Academy Awards.

Filled with "infectious and catchy piano-driven melodies" (Eat Sleep Breathe Music), his new album, Like Us has already garnered attention from notable media outlets, such as The Huffington Post, Entertainment Tonight and Perez Hilton, with the latter referring to McLaughlin as "charming as hell with a buttery voice to match." While on a national tour in support of the album this past fall, the devoted family man partnered with charity World Vision, to build safe houses for children in Bangladesh to help them escape human trafficking.

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Friday 7 October
White Oak Music Hall Downstairs 07:30 PM All Ages $18.00 ADV   $20.00 DAY OF $22.00 DAY OF BOX OFFICE
Oh Wonder, Kevin Garrett
There is a sign pinned to the wall of Oh Wonder's recording studio in south-east London, a pact of sorts, signed by the band's two members, Josephine Vander Gucht and Anthony West, in the winter of 2012. It isn't a checklist or a plan so much as a setting down of shared dreams for their musical careers. "We wrote it to say that we're dependent on one another," explains Josephine. "That there are things we want to achieve, and we can help each other get there."

That Oh Wonder have achieved all of these dreams in the first year since starting the project is testament to their talent and their perseverance, but even they seem a little startled by how much more they have attained: the 100 million streams and now their debut album, a collection of 15 impeccably-crafted songs that explore London and loneliness, love and the need for human relationships.

Josephine was a classically-trained solo performer and Anthony a singer and producer whose lives and careers overlapped for several years - a run of near-encounters and half-conversations at gigs and venues, and vague introductions through musical acquaintances and mutual friends. It was only when they finally sat down in Anthony's former studio in north London with a view to producing an EP of Josephine‘s solo material that they realised their great musical bond. "We found all our favourite bands were the same bands, all our favourite songs were the same songs," says Anthony. "It was a day of saying ‘Oh you should listen to this'. And then the other one saying ‘I know that song. That's one of my favourite songs.'" "It was," adds Josephine "really, really odd. I've never had that. I've never felt that closely aligned with someone, musically speaking, and more widely in terms of how we view the world."

It was Anthony's suggestion that they begin writing together - purely for fun at first, as an exercise in songwriting and collaboration while they pursued their other musical projects. The first song they wrote was called Body Gold and was, Josephine says, "the marker for what the sound of Oh Wonder was: electronic and somewhat R'n'B, which was totally surprising, and totally different to our solo work, but we were really proud of it."

Still, for 18 months they did nothing with it. Anthony moved to London and released an EP as part of a duo, Josephine was busy writing and recording as Layla. "But we thought it was a waste to leave Body Gold unheard," says Anthony. And so they decided to post it on the internet, anonymously.

That day they went to a café in east London, posted the song on SoundCloud and emailed a few of their favourite music blogs about it. "We were in this café," Josephine remembers, "and we were looking at the play-count, and I think it said six plays, and then all of a sudden these blogs started posting the song - really lovely write-ups saying ‘Who the hell are these people? They're about to blow up the internet.'" They sat in the café and watched the play count climb to 100. A few weeks later it had reached 100,000 plays. Just over a year later and they have tens of millions of plays and a string of sold out headline shows across the UK, Europe, Australia and the USA. "It was just really, really bizarre. And odd. And completely accidental," she says. "We didn't tell anyone it was us, we didn't ask people to listen, we didn't tell our friends, it was so far removed from us. But I genuinely think that the reason so many people connected with it was because it was really sincere."

The plan from the start was to release a song a month, for the course of a year. "We approached it as a songwriting project rather than an artist project," continues Anthony. "And so the most important thing of all is the song and we would never release what we consider to be a bad song."

They had already written two other tracks: Shark and All We Do - a track Josephine finds most affecting. "It's about the human propensity to play it safe and not push yourself beyond the parameters of normal life," she says. "It's about just existing and not wondering or being inquisitive. It's about how a lot of people sink into the monotony of everyday life. And how it's a shame, because the world's there for the taking, and you've got to go grab it and have an adventure."

Their own adventure soon gathered pace. They found they could write quickly, finishing the body of a song in 20 minutes or so and spending more time, they say, on the production. "Writing together is a weird magical thing," says Josephine. "More than anybody else in the world I trust Ant. Which makes the writing process totally open, totally vulnerable and non-judgmental, and means you can say all of these things openly in a song."

The things they chose to say all possess a striking tenderness and a tangible passion for life, ranging from exquisite break-up songs Drive, Landslide and The Rain to quiet rallies against materialism, gambling, gentrification and globalization, and, in Lose It, a song that serves as a tribute to a night out they once had in Melbourne, where as the sun came up, Josephine found herself at a party dancing in her underwear to Destiny's Child. "I've never before felt what I felt that night," she says. "I didn't take any drugs, and I wasn't even drunk, there was just something heady in the air. It was the first time I'd ever felt untethered from myself."

Though they vary from piano-led ballads to whip-sharp electronica, what unites all of Oh Wonder's songs is their extraordinary sense of humanity. "We didn't realise it at first, but a lot of our songs are about relationships and support," says Josephine. Anthony points to album opener Livewire, "which is about needing someone to lift you up, someone who can bring you up from your lowest point, bring you back to life, be the heartbeat you need…" and to White Blood, about times in life, in illness or difficulty, when you "really need someone with you", and to Heart Hope, inspired by watching the area around their home in east London rapidly gentrify, and feeling that for all the shiny new buildings, what people really need is other people, "it's saying actually all you need is a heart and a soul and to be connected to yourself and to each other."

"They're songs about humans, and about people being there in your life," says Josephine. "People need people. And that's what this album looks at, from all the different angles: it's about being grateful for the people in your life, for relationships of all sorts."

Perhaps most of all, this album is Anthony and Josephine's tribute to each other, to the partnership they have formed, the places it has taken them and the confidence they have given one another.

Josephine tells a story that perhaps best sums up the depth of the belief they have in one another - the bond, the trust, and the faith they have in their own music: "I used to have lots of jobs," she says. "I worked in Waterstones, and waiting tables, and Ant was the person who told me to give them up. He told me to call up my boss and say "Sorry I can't work at Waterstones anymore, I'm being a musician." He said "we're going to do this. And that was the same day we wrote that sign."

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Friday 7 October
Warehouse Live The Studio 08:00 PM All Ages $15.00 ADV   $17.00 DAY OF
Russian Circles, Helms Alee
Perhaps the most immediately apparent characteristic of the fifth Russian Circles album, Memorial is its wide range of emotion. Vacillating from somber-yet-soaring melodies on one track to pummeling metal heft on the next, Memorial sounds like an album with split personalities.

Where one song showcases guitarist Mike Sullivan, drummer Dave Turncrantz and bassist/keyboardist Brian Cook's mastery of lush melancholic melody, the next exhibits their most abrasive underground metal leaning sound, with washed-out 16th-note riffs and crushing rhythms. The band's penchant for endless hooks remains a constant, but Memorial embodies their most dramatic ranges in tone.

"We've always tried to balance our metal-influenced sounds with more nuanced, pretty, orchestral elements," Cook says. "But this time, it's far more polarized in that the heavy parts are much more blown out and exaggerated while the pretty moments are far more restrained, delicate, and atmospheric." In the two years since Russian Circles released their landmark fourth album Empros, the Chicago trio toured worldwide nearly incessantly, encountering many heavy acts whose music seemed needlessly complicated. "We set out to make a straightforward, intense, heavy record," Cook explains. "We subconsciously gravitated toward darker and more somber sounds. We wanted to get away from the overtly flashy."

To a degree, the monolithic, juxtaposed moods on Memorial is the band's reaction to the proliferation of iPod culture affecting how bands write music. Today, most musicians are trying to mash together disparate elements with results sounding as unpalatable as cooking a meal blindfolded. Russian Circles wisely and deftly sidestep the trappings of genre amalgamation. "I want to hear a band with a broad palette," Cook says. "But it should find that weird balance with breadth and width. We wanted to make a record with more extreme peaks and valleys. I'm hoping that we can get away with making a schizophrenic record."

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Friday 7 October
Revention Music Center 08:00 PM All Ages $27.50 ADV $29.50 DAY OF BOX OFFICE
Young The Giant - Home Of The Strange Tour
With the breakout success of their self-titled 2010 debut album and widespread acclaim for their exhilarating live shows, Fueled By Ramen recording group Young The Giant has quickly established itself as one of the most exciting new bands to come out of Southern California in recent memory.

For their highly anticipated second album "MIND OVER MATTER," Young The Giant enlisted Grammy-nominated producer Justin Meldal-Johnsen -- known for his work with such diverse artists as Beck, Nine Inch Nails, Paramore, and M83. Featuring the electrifying lead single "It's About Time," the collection of songs finds the young band challenging themselves both lyrically and musically. "MIND OVER MATTER" follows the band's debut, "YOUNG THE GIANT," which featured singles as "Apartment" and the RIAA gold certified smashes, "My Body" and "Cough Syrup." "My Body" was a top 5 hit at Alternative radio and closed 2011 as the year's fifth most-played song at the format. "Cough Syrup" drew even greater success, peaking at #2 at Alternative, and enjoying crossover chart success at both Hot AC and Triple A radio. "Cough Syrup" remains in regular rotation at radio outlets nationwide and was recently performed on the season premiere of NBC's top-rated show "The Voice."

In addition to its popular success, "YOUNG THE GIANT" also drew reams of critical acclaim from SPIN, The New Yorker, and The Wall Street Journal who hailed the album as "a pop masterpiece with well-crafted songs, surprising arrangements and soaring vocal harmonies." "YOUNG THE GIANT" also received rare applause from British musical icon Morrissey, who enthused, "I could break down with happiness at the new debut CD by Young The Giant. It is the whole thing... It is the perfect tone... and Sameer's voice is unbreakable. If there is any justice in the world (and we all know there isn't) Young The Giant will own most of it... Every three thousand years, a band comes along who restore that precious component of faith."

Young The Giant spent much of 2011 and 2012 traveling the globe, with sold out headline tours, top-billing on mtvU's inaugural "Woodies Tour," and show-stopping appearances at such festivals as Bonnaroo, Austin City Limits, and Lollapalooza. A dynamic and distinctive live act, the band also made a range of high profile TV performances, spanning ABC's Jimmy Kimmel Live!, and NBC's TODAY and The Tonight Show with Jay Leno to 2011's MTV Video Music Awards and their own edition of MTV Unplugged.

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Friday 7 October
White Oak Music Hall Upstairs 08:00 PM All Ages $18.00 to $55.00 ADV   $20.00 DAY OF $22.00 DAY OF BOX OFFICE
Bob Moses, Weval, Harrison Brome
We gotta keep pushing, gotta keep pushing through. It's gotta mean something to you.

Occupying the fertile ground between organic band land and an all-electronic production project, Bob Moses draw on the two poles to vividly resonate across both. A duo with an individual name, Tom Howie and Jimmy Vallance's musical endeavor plays with this kind of duality all over their debut album Days Gone By.

"We were never happy just making music on guitars," says Tom Howie of the organic-electronic sound of Bob Moses, the Brooklyn-by-way-of-Canada duo he formed with partner Jimmy Vallance. "Our live show combines what a DJ does with a rock band," Vallance adds. "Everything flows together in a continuous mix for the dancefloor, but it's all our own original music, with live vocals and guitar. Then again, we came out of a scene that was trying to change what dance music is - that pushed beyond the expected sonic spectrum."

Initially connecting in high school back in Vancouver, the two went their separate ways - Howie to Boston's Berklee College Of Music, Vallance to the commercial dance charts producing big room floor fillers. After moving to New York City separately only to serendipitously bump into each other in a carpark and discover that they each had studios across the street from each other in Red Hook, the call was made to get together to try and jam something out. "We booked a couple days to write at my studio for fun, and by the end of the week, I told Tom, ‘Come live at my place and let's do this every day'", Vallance recalls. It made sense that the name of their project paid tribute to the city in which it was birthed, and so in homage to Robert Moses, the urban planner behind iconic New York landmarks like Shea Stadium and the Brooklyn-Queens Expressway, Bob Moses was anointed.

Invigorated by the now legendary scene that surrounded the illegal underground warehouse parties that were going down in New York championing a new wave of house and techno crews (including those connected to the Marcy Hotel and Resolute), Howie and Vallance were encouraged to dive in deep following a performance with Francis Harris' Frank & Tony project in 2012, for which they'd been ghostwriting hooks. "We didn't think much of it until we played Marcy with Frank & Tony in 2012," Howie recalls. "Tom sang live to the tracks we'd written, and people went insane! We'd never expected that reaction, which made us think we were on to something," Vallance says. "We woke up the next day thinking ‘We have to become our own act.' We came up with the songs for our first EP, Hands to Hold, and Francis agreed to put it out."

While their introduction to dance music may have come in the genre's traditionally communal setting, it's Days Gone By's potency in solitude that marks it out as a debut album worthy of deeper scrutiny. A sound palette that combines the elegantly icy with an indelibly human touch, its Cologne techno rhythms in the bottom, the elegant otherly distance of Detroit in the middle, and an unmistakably earthly, almost jazzy textures in the top end, anchored by Howie's softly suggestive voice that doesn't dominate, but instead plays out as another instrument in an alluring mix.

Alternating between brooding dancefloor burners and moments of reflective, downbeat repose, Days Gone By is a record that's not in a rush to get to its destination, preferring to subtly, slowly seduce rather than sway and swagger into submission, weaving a rich spectrum of sensation over the course of its twelve tracks.

The opening track Like It Or Not perfectly exemplifies the Bob Moses approach. A stark introduction of piano and voice departs into a propulsive, off-kilter house rhythm, before breaking right back down and riding out on a heady conclusion of vocal harmony, before the first single,Talk, spins a deceptively catchy vocal melody over jacking bass and foreboding ambience. Slinky, sinewy and imperceptibly catchy, Too Much is a grower in the shape of a guitar-led deep house Trojan horse. Tearing Me Up resurrects the oft-overlooked schaffel rhythm to deadly effect, a slow-burning, gyrating epic of tortured love that simmers without ever boiling over, while the title track unfolds in waves of repetition over almost seven hypnotic minutes, a melancholy slice of cathartic release and a worthy album centerpiece. Gentle rhodes chords and a loping heartbeat drum pattern marks Writing On The Wall as one of the record's more vulnerable intermissions, and Here We Are closes out proceedings with a lush, melancholy acoustic guitar-led lament, a touching glance in the rearview.

The balance of man and machine is a delicate dance that Bob Moses have realised with their debut, and Days Gone By is a dazzling exploration of discreet, personal moods that engages and eventually engulfs, tastefully coalescing dance music's giddy rush with more timeless, introspective song craft. Borrowing from both but slaves to neither, as a result the record is equally effective headphone listening as it is deft club euphoria. Days Gone By reveals Bob Moses as masters of their art.

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Saturday 8 October
Raven Tower Pavilion 07:00 PM All Ages $18.00 ADV   $20.00 DAY OF $22.00 DAY OF BOX OFFICE
The Wombats, Mona
Los Angeles: a city of contrasts. On one hand, a metropolis of aspirations, a place which offers the transient a tantalising glimpse of glamour and permanence. On the other, many dreams drift away, deserted within an urban personification of unfulfilled ambitions. It might not seem like the most obvious place around which to theme an album for a band rooted in Liverpool (albeit via Norway in the case of bassist Tord Øverland Knudsen, or onto London for frontman Matthew 'Murph' Murphy), but that's precisely what The Wombats have done with their third set "Glitterbug," a collection which follows their top five hit "This Modern Glitch."

Completed by drummer Dan Haggis, The Wombats have a long association with Los Angeles. They've played in and around the city numerous times since the release of their debut "A Guide To Love, Loss and Desperation," and even recorded their second album "This Modern Glitch" there too. For the band's core songwriter Murph it also proved to be a fount of inspiration, which gradually mutated into a magnetic attraction.

"Along with Liverpool and London, Los Angeles is my favourite place in the world, but I used to hate it," admits Murph. Part of the appeal was its versatility: the ability to experience "the opulence and anxiety" of the city or the rejuvenating qualities of the easily accessible countryside that lies just outside its borders.

As the process of working on a new album drifted over the horizon, Murph's internal dialogue took on a questioning tone, notably: what was it that inspired him to write in the first place? He soon realised that his greatest strength was writing about both the romance and the failings of modern relationships. The first new song, "Isabelle," placed those issues within the realm of a seductive new location.

"That was based on an idea of going through tumultuous times with a fictional woman from L.A.," he explains. "That became the main inspiration for most of the songs, this false world that I'd created for myself. As time progressed, I'd go to L.A. more and more, and the idea kept on building. The album's about the envy and the struggle and the pretence and the worry and the fear that L.A. -- and every major city in the world -- encompasses."

Instrumentally, most of the songs took one of two directions: back in Liverpool, Tord and Dan's rush of creativity would result in them delivering backing tracks as a foundation for Murph to then build upon in L.A. or London; alternatively Murph would develop the essence of a song on guitar or piano for the band to collectively flesh out -- a process that had served them so well in the past. The slick Eighties synth grooves of "Headspace," for example, originated as an initial idea from Tord before Murph expanded it into one of the album's strongest moments: "I wanted that whole song to feel like you were driving a Cadillac, coming down or hungover. Like an antidote to 'The Boys of Summer.'"

In January 2014, approximately halfway through the writing process, events conspired to curve full-circle from fiction into fact when Murph started dating a seemingly unattainable woman from the city. It was, he admits almost gleefully, a decidedly creepy coincidence. And so imaginary stories evolved into real life concerns: the fading embers of his relationship back in London and the challenges of maintaining a long distance relationship.

"Be Your Shadow" is a prime example of a lyric about the reality of that person, and "Give Me A Try" was written after she returned home from visiting Murph in London. "I was distraught. I just felt like a part of me was missing," he shudders. "I really love that song. It's special to me because it has a far more positive outlook than what you've heard from us in the past."

When it came to recording, The Wombats changed course from the plan which dictated "This Modern Glitch." Instead of collaborating with an army of star names, the majority of the album was recorded at Bastille producer Mark Crew's studio in Battersea. Vitally, Crew exuded a calming influence to counteract the band's shared collection of irrational neuroses.

"Glitterbug" certainly demonstrates that their efforts have resulted in the band's finest album to date. "Your Body is a Weapon" -- inspired by the sight of a disinterested pap snapping Harry Styles after an awards party -- was first to emerge when it was released as a stop-gap sweetener to the band's devoted fanbase. The rest of the album is just as compelling.

Excitingly for the band, "Emoticons" is a track which is often met with a "is that you guys?" reaction when played to outsiders; the elastic bass that permeates "Be Your Shadow" imbues the track with a pulsating disco rhythm; while "Greek Tragedy" floats an East Asian-infused synth riff over booming, distorted drum beats. Collectively it snakes subconsciously into the leftfield but it's recognisably The Wombats.

Another of the album's key moments comes with "This is Not a Party." Although The Wombats had previously been renowned as a band who could party as hard as anyone, some "fairly sizeable" nights out in the summer of 2013 saw Murph seesaw from celebratory hedonism to a borderline existential crisis -- all of which he has documented here.

"Those nights were a lot of fun, but they came with a hefty price," he summarises. "They led me to question what the hell we were all doing and, more importantly, why we were doing it? This song was one of the easiest to write and most challenging to record. I also decided to name-drop everyone involved, and no one has complained yet. Apart from Charlie."

Despite the album's focus on L.A. and the band's growing geographical displacement, The Wombats remain a Liverpudlian band at heart. Tord and Dan still live there, with the band's rehearsal room also in the locality. Similarly Murph is proud of his roots, despite plotting a move to Los Angeles in the longer term. "I'm actually excited about how much of an awful struggle I'm going to have to make it a reality," he laughs. "It's going to be great."

For now, though, all thoughts are focused on the band's return with "Glitterbug." It's taken a while due to the recording schedule, two solid years of touring as well as 2014 delivering yet another hectic summer schedule of European festival dates, but The Wombats are truly thrilled by the prospect of the wider world finally hearing it.

"This album is the reconciliation," affirms Murph defiantly. "They say your first album is luck, your second is a rebellion and your third is what defines you. As proud as I am of the first two albums, I think 'Glitterbug' will be what defines The Wombats."

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Saturday 8 October
White Oak Music Hall Downstairs 08:00 PM All Ages $29.00 ADV $31.00 DAY OF BOX OFFICE
Stryper, Millennial Reign
Heavy metal certainly has no shortage of rebels. It seems like everybody's rebelling against something, and that's part of the genre's allure. However, the most rebellious thing anybody can do is hold steadfast to personal beliefs and never waver. Stryper indisputably do both.
They're not shy about their Christian beliefs, but they're also consistently as heavy as any of the genre's pillars. Following up 2013's seminal opus No More Hell To Pay, which debuted at #6 on Billboard's Top Rock Albums Chart and #2 on the Christian Albums Chart, their eleventh full-length original album, Fallen [Frontiers Music SRL], is their heaviest offering to date.

"In the past 30 years, we've evolved into what we are now," says vocalist and guitarist Michael Sweet. "This is what we always really wanted to be. I love the progression. The story of Stryper is that of an underdog. We go against the grain with everything we do. This album is another chance to show the world what we can do."

In early 2015, Michael and his band mates Robert Sweet [drums], Oz Fox [guitar], and Tim Gaines [bass] retreated to Spirithouse Recording Studio in Northampton, MA. The four musicians collectively immersed themselves in the recording process for Fallen with Michael handling production yet again.

"There's something to be said for the chemistry of a whole band in the studio together," he continues. "We were there living and breathing this record, and I feel like the results speak for themselves."

Album opener "Yahweh" certainly does. Penned with Clint Lowery of Sevendust and Call Me No One, the six-minute plus anthem fuses tight thrash guitars with soaring vocals and a galloping beat. Airtight solos nearly collide with an orchestral refrain bolstered by a muscular groove.

"It's an epic unlike anything we've ever recorded," smiles Michael. "I was so moved by The Passion of the Christ. Even though it was bloody and disturbing, it represented what actually happened. I wanted the lyrics to be the same way."

At the same time, the first single "Pride" weaves together intricate fretwork with a slamming refrain that seesaws between swooning and searing. "Sometimes, pride gets in the way of what we want to accomplish or what we want to do," he sighs. "Everybody goes through that. It's my reminder saying, 'Let's not allow pride to tear us apart.' Nine times out of ten, that is what separates us. Beat our pride down, and we will survive."

"All Over Again" stands out as the album's centerpiece. With an orchestral elegance and an ever so slightly countrified swing, the track sits proudly in the Stryper canon alongside the likes of "Honestly." "It isn't a hair ballad or a piano ballad," he laughs. "It's different, and that's important to us. I have a funny feeling this might be a standout track for everyone."

Following a tradition of some bombastic and bruising covers, Stryper also tackled Black Sabbath's classic "After Forever." The foursome infused a new kind of fire into this timeless gem. "We grew up on Black Sabbath," he says. "It says something. Stryper covering a Sabbath tune causes much controversy. The lyrics are very interesting because it questions if Sabbath was a Christian band or not. They could have been the first Christian group if you take a closer look at those lyrics."

Stryper continue to remain metal stalwarts, leaving an indelible mark on the genre with every subsequent album. With hits in their arsenal such as "Calling On You", "Free", "I Believe In You" and "Always There For Your," album sales exceed over 10 million worldwide with their discography including one of the most successful Christian rock albums ever, 1986's multi-platinum, Grammy Award-nominate To Hell With The Devil. They also have the distinction of being the first band in history to notch two songs in MTV's Top 10 with "Free" and "Honestly."

Ultimately, for all the heaviness, Fallen possesses the power to uplift. What's more rebellious than that?

Michael leaves off, "I want everybody to walk away with excitement, encouragement, and joy. It's all positive. It's not about being heavy or dark. It's about sharing this energy. I hope they press the 'repeat' button and feel blown away."

That's exactly what all the best heavy metal does.

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Sunday 9 October
White Oak Music Hall Upstairs 07:00 PM All Ages $15.00 ADV   $20.00 DAY OF $22.00 DAY OF BOX OFFICE
Foy Vance: The Wild Swan World Tour, Trevor Sensor
Foy Vance knows how to write a song. It's a naturally-born but dedicatedly-finessed skill that has led him to collaborate with artists as diverse as Plan B, Sheryl Crow and Rudimental, synced his music on multiple TV shows ranging from Grey's Anatomy to the finale of Sons Of Anarchy, and caught the ears of some of the biggest players (in every sense) in music, from Elton John to Ed Sheeran.

So it is that in the run-up to the release of his new album, Vance travelled to Nashville. It's a long way from home for the Irishman, both from the place of his birth (Bangor, Northern Ireland) and the place of his residence (Aberfeldy, Scotland). But for an inveterate songwriter, Music City is an irresistible draw, a place where Vance can work with the best of the best. Not, Vance clarifies, for himself or his own material. For one thing, he's already completed his new album, and with songs of the calibre and single-minded brilliance of the dozen that comprise The Wild Swan, there's no need for any outside assistance.

That said, there's no denying the infectious beauty of The Wild Swan. It opens with "Noam Chomsky Is A Soft Revolution", a rock'n'blues celebration of a roll-call of musical, philosophical, literary and polemical insurrectionists. It stops off with "Coco", a tender, campfire song written for the young daughter of good friend Courtney Cox (Coco is a friend of Vance's own daughter, Ella). And it ends with a dash of uillean pipes and "The Wild Swans On The Lake", a stop-you-in-your-tracks breath of Celtic balladry inspired by WB Yeats' poem The Wild Swans At Coole.

Vance's rich, rich voice also gets up close and personal on the hymnal "Burden", then digs deep for "She Burns", a song and a performance evocative of Bruce Springsteen's "Tunnel Of Love".

There are other, equally deeply felt glories too, like the ancient-but-modern "Be Like You Belong", Vance's soulful rasp weaving through pedal-steel and simple piano chords, or "Ziggy Looked Me In The Eye". The latter is a piano-based, strings-buoyed soul-stirrer that compresses anthemic cri de coeur into four minutes of dignified tribute to, says Vance, "various people who I think have been part of a revolution. I'm not talking about Che Guevara or Ghandi or even Russell Brand for that matter - I'm talking about personal revolution. I like that idea constantly revolting against your own parameters."

This thinking no doubt informs Vance's embracing the opportunity of a summer tour with Elton John. Ever attuned to passionate artists, and forever intent on giving audiences the best possible night, Elton has invited Vance to support him on the British and European legs of his Wonderful Crazy Tour. But Elton's enthusiasm for Vance goes deeper, still, than that - he's Executive Producer of The Wild Swan.

"I feel so privileged to be a part of this remarkable artist's first album on Gingerbread Man Records," says Elton. "He is an extraordinary writer and singer."

As seals of approval go, they don't come much better than the imprimatur of one of the greatest songwriters of all time.

Referring to the album's penultimate song, the "antsy", agit-folk "Fire It Up", this tyro-troubador sets straight his goals: "|t just has to be real. You go back to ancient Irish music, or Native American music, or people out on the plains of Africa - those people who are struggling for food, sometimes not eating for weeks on end, and having to hydrate themselves by piercing the neck of a wildebeest. But every single night the drums are out, and they're singing around the fire.

"That tells you something about what music actually is. Whereas we've turned into a commodity - it's become something to sell, a vehicle to get money or fame," Foy Vance says with cheerful distaste. "That's not what has ever interested me. It's the music itself that matters. It has to be real."
The Wild Swan will be released May 13, 2016

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Sunday 9 October
White Oak Music Hall Downstairs 07:00 PM All Ages $18.00 ADV   $20.00 DAY OF $22.00 DAY OF BOX OFFICE
Deerhunter, Aldous Harding, Jock Gang
From Atlanta, Georgia, the origins of Deerhunter can be traced back to when frontman Bradford Cox first met guitarist Lockett Pundt at high school. Years later Bradford met Moses Archuleta and started jamming together. Other contributors to Deerhunter since its establishment in 2001 include Josh Fauver, Colin Mee and Whitney Petty. The current incarnation consists of Cox, Pundt and Archuleta plus bassist Josh Mckay and guitarist Frankie Broyles.

Deerhunter's first album was a lo-fi experiment not initially intended for the wider world, but appeared in 2005 on a local Atlanta label, Stickfigure. Although officially untitled, it has since become known as Turn It Up, Faggot; a phrase that doesn't actually appear on the sleeve but is an insult that Cox claimed was often thrown at the band during their early gigs. Their next album, Cryptograms (2006), was generally considered to be their real debut and as such things started to get serious for the band. They had moved to fêted Chicago indie, Kranky (Godspeed You! Black Emperor, Low, Stars Of The Lid), and the world outside was starting to pay attention.

Then in mid-2008, Deerhunter and Kranky signed a deal with 4AD, allowing them to finally release music outside the US and the band's next move was to prove epic in more than just musical terms.?? Recorded over the course of a week at the Rare Book Studios in Brooklyn, NY, the Can and Wire-inspired Microcastle (2008) was to propel them to further heights. However, the album leaked four months before release, leading the band back to the studio to record Weird Era Cont., an album in its own right added as a bonus disc to make Microcastle a 25-track colossus. Not content with such prolificacy, the band announced a new five track EP, Rainwater Cassette Exchange, in 2009 and that its release would coincide with the band's extensive European, Japanese and Australian tour in May and June.??

Displaying few signs of slowing down, Halcyon Digest, the band's fourth studio album was released in September 2010. Remaining in their native Georgia to piece together the album, Halcyon Digest took just a few weeks to complete. The recording sessions took place at Chase Park Transduction in Athens with Ben H. Allen helping to co-produce the album, while final track, ‘He Would Have Laughed', was recorded separately by Bradford Cox at NOTOWN SOUND in Marietta. To announce the release, the band fully embraced the DIY mindset of their New Wave heroes from the 70's and 80's with a Cox-designed, cut-and-paste Xeroxed flyer. It's with these kind of approaches that Deerhunter continue to widen their sphere of influence and impress with each subsequent release.

After a brief hiatus, during which time Bradford Cox and Lockett Pundt released their own albums as Atlas Sound and Lotus Plaza respectively, a new Deerhunter line-up (with additions of bassist Josh Mckay and guitarist Frankie Broyles) reconvened in January 2013 at Rare Book Studio in Brooklyn, New York. Produced by Nicholas Vernhes and Bradford Cox and recorded in the dead of night, Deerhunter's new longplayer Monomania will be released in May. Monomania finds the group recalling its scrappy punk aesthetic; a perfect nocturnal garage rock album full of the layered and hazy vintage guitar sounds that define them. .
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