17 Meadow Street Btwn. Waterbury & Bogart
8:00 p.m. Friday, Jan. 25, 2013
Toy Soldiers is a lively, hard-working bunch who spent most of 2011 playing 120+ shows across the east coast and southern U.S. tearing through everything from tiny dive bars to festival stages to big theaters with a brand of soulful rock n' roll music that takes it's roots, puts it in a blender and pours out that good old feeling made for today. From it's beginnings as a duo started by Ron Gallo i n Philadelphia in 2007, to it's era of fluctuating cast of players and it's eventual growth into a solid 5-piece band consisting of Gallo (lead vocals, guitar), Dominic Billett (drums), Bill McCloskey (bass), Matt Kelly (guitar), and Luke Leidy (keys), Toy Soldiers love a good song and dance with no pretense and no wall between the band and audience (literally, as members often times end up in the crowd). Their first record, "Whisper Down the Lane" was described by WXPN/World Cafe as a "gritty, dirty collection of liquor-fueled Americana music. Shifting flawlessly from roots, to blues, to country, to rockabilly…an undeniable barn-burner". Their follow-up "Get Through the Time" EP was a look into the more pensive and heartfelt side of the songwriting. While, their most recent release, a split EP with good friend/Nashville artist Jordan Hull, embraces the communal, live aspect of the band (having been recorded all live in Nashville in April 2011). After a great 2011, with appearances at CMJ in New York and having shared the stage with Dr. Dog, Justin Townes Earle, Fitz and the Tantrums, The Walkmen and many more they entered the studio in January 2012 with engineer/producer Bill Moriarty (Dr. Dog, Man Man) to begin making their next full-length record. They released three of the tracks on a preview EP, title "Tell the Teller" in March before embarking on a monthlong national tour with dates at SXSW including Rachael Ray's Greenhouse Party. The album should be finished in Fall 2012. Double King
Double King is the musical persona of Ryan Dieringer, former songwriter of Philadelphia-based pop band, The Powder Kegs. Upon moving to Brooklyn a year ago, Dieringer hit the ground running. He started a band (including fellow Powder Kegs member, Sam McDougle on bass, and drummer, Alex Goldberg), and immediately set to work on a self-titled, full-length album with upcoming New York producer/engineer, Andrew Lappin (who also plays lead guitar.) Together, they decided on a pain-staking, in-house approach to the production, which would take place over the course of this past year. What they came up with - Double King's debut, self-titled LP - is a rock & roll record, with pop songwriting that recalls the era of The Replacements and Echo & the Bunnymen, as well as post-Beatles George Harrison ("Four White Horsemen," "Monsters"). The songs are deliberately lean, guitar-driven, and mostly recorded live to bring out the range and unique energy of Dieringer's vocal performance. The record is to be released on Sept. 10th, via their own label, Kill The Messenger Records. Lightouts
It started with a want ad, plastered across the board of a post-industrial space near the Gowanus Canal. The request? Quite simple: "Robert Smith/Emily Haines, where are you?" The kind of thing you'd expect from a New Mexico native who studied the Cure's bleak but beautiful hooks at a time when riff-raking guitar heroes were all the rage. "People would always say, 'Why would you want to play like Robert Smith?'" explains Lightouts founder Gavin Rhodes, last heard in the one-man band Honeypower. "'Wouldn't you rather learn how to shred instead?" Not quite. More like become the instrument-swapping backbone of a fuzz-flecked band like the Jesus & Mary Chain. Enter Greg Nelson, the only sane person who answered Rhodes' call. Luckily he was exactly what Lightouts needed: a seasoned member of the NYC music scene with the war stories to prove it. (Let's just say Lady GaGa opened up for him at a Lower East Side club in 2007.) More importantly, Nelson's a natural at toeing the line between darkness and light, as exemplified by the sky-scraping choruses of "See Clear," the sinewy melodies of "The Eloise Suite," and the vapor trail verses of "Dress Shop." All part of a loosely-linked concept album—Want, a meditation on what it means to follow our instincts—that'll be prefaced by a series of singles in the coming months. The idea being a brief return to an era where A and B-sides actually meant something, right down to the duo's highly reverential deep-cut covers of the Stone Roses, Joy Division, and more. "While we've been compared to everyone from the Hold Steady to Surfer Blood," explains Rhodes, "Our retro touchstones are rock bands from the early '90s." Beyond that, Lightouts' first proper recordings are a byproduct of the band's home base in Brooklyn. We're not talking about Williamsburg or any of the borough's other painfully hip environs here, either. Try Gowanus, an area that's full of airy art studios, pockmarked apartment buildings, and a canal that's dirtier than your kitchen sink after a potluck presentation of Thanksgiving. "There's a sick pulse running through it," says Nelson. "Some people might not find it attractive, but I love its sense of space and openness. Its desolation is beautiful." And so is Lightouts' moonlit blend of steam-pressed beats, cauterized power chords and lean bass lines. Not to mention a crucial call-and-response chemistry that's quite surprising considering the duo—yep, a duo's responsible for every last deftly layered track—formed less than a year ago. "I like bands who sound like Animal Collective and Yeasayer," admits Nelson, "But we're not part of the new primitive movement, you know? We're going for something that's tighter and more structured." "Like Smashing Pumpkins," adds Rhodes, "When they were good."
$8.00 - $12.00