Downtown Live Music

Gatecreeper

Monday, December 11th | Doors at 7pm
with Bad Gateway / Echoes of Fallen

Gatecreeper was formed in September of 2013 with members originating from both Tucson and Phoenix, Arizona. After a debut 4-song EP a series of splits, the band signed to Relapse Records which resulted in the release of their debut full-length Sonoran Depravation on October 7th 2016. The band has since toured with Nails, Pallbearer, Code Orange, Skeletonwitch and more. Gatecreeper play crusty, doom-soaked death metal at its most infectious and uncompromising, with a massive sound that calls to mind the classic Swedish buzz-saw attack of Dismember and Grave mixed with the impeccable groove of Obituary and Bolt Thrower.

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Le Chat Lunatique

Friday, December 8th | Doors at 8pm
Album Release Party

As unpredictable, fearless, and entertaining as their namesake, Le Chat Lunatique purveys an addictive genre they call “filthy, mangy jazz,” a signature sound that makes you want to smoke and drink too much—if only you could get off the dance floor. Le jazz hot of Django Reinhardt and Stéphane Grappelli is their north star, but they use that beacon to navigate through a wide range of genres, blending Western swing, classical, reggae, d00-wop, and “anything else we damn well please” into strikingly original compositions and audaciously reworked standards alike.

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Le Chat Lunatique is Muni Kulasinghe’s theatrical vocals, his violin skittering across the music like beads of water on a hot skillet—inspired as much by a legless Polish gypsy he encountered on his vagabond travels as by the great Grappelli. It’s the axe of guitarist John Sandlin, the classicist who fell under the sway of Reinhardt, felling bar after bar of music with ferocious dexterity. It’s the slap-happy bass and slyly sweet vocals of Jared Putnam, the sinisterly innocent one whose dark past embraces both death metal and Western swing. It’s Greg.

The group began prowling the nightspots of Albuquerque -that secret haven of hot jazz – back in 2005, spontaneously impregnating the ears of unsuspecting audience members, who found themselves unable to stop listening or dancing or making merry. From their earliest gigs, Le Chat Lunatique has offered swinging originals with ear-snagging hooks and stories to tell—well-constructed little gems that propagate earworms for ongoing pleasure. Devilishly clever lyrics offer insight into l’amour (“falling in love is like eating tacos”), a louche paean to a doting millionairess (“Buy me a Cadillac, buy me a yacht / Buy me everything that I haven’t got”), minatory observations on fate (“the bus of God will run you
over”), and the inevitable bitterness of a broken heart (“Miss Lady . . . please do me the courtesy of drinking in some other gin joint”).

The band’s repertoire also features original arrangements of tunes that stretch from kindergarten favorites (“Frère Jacques”) to pop hits (“Straight Up”) to swing anthems (“Minnie the Moocher”) to Reinhardt classics (“Blue Drag”). Every single tune is more than covered—it’s completely “Le-Chat-ified.” First, it’s dunked in the group’s collective musical subconscious, and then they play the hell out of it. Take, for example, Sandlin’s inspired gypsy jazz arrangement of Eric Satie’s Gnossienne No. 1 – over a reggae rhythm (say what?). Then there’s the medieval liturgical intro to “House of the Rising Sun,” which ultimately descends into transcendent desperation.

Riding the popularity of their acclaimed first CD, Demonic Lovely, which featured all original tunes, and their follow-up collection of covers, Under the Covers (Vol.1), Le Chat Lunatique has been inducing musical mania in an ever-widening circle—from the South by Southwest Festival in Austin, Texas, to the clubs of England, to the boards of the national theater in Novi Sad, Serbia, where they performed their commissioned score for Lucidity Suitcase Intercontinental’s ground breaking theatrical production Flamingo/Winnebago. In their home state of New Mexico, they’ve won award after award annually for best band, best jazz act, and best song.

Their irreverent humor, their intensity, and their expert musicianship will soon win them your acclamation as the best time you’ve ever had in public with your clothes on.

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Supersuckers

Monday, December 4th | Doors at 7pm
with The BellRays / The Bombpops

Supersuckers are an American rock band. Following the relative success of their 1997 foray into country music with the release of Must’ve Been High, they have also been known to play country shows under various names, including, of course, the Supersuckers.

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Chad Vangaalen

Saturday, November 18th | Doors at 8pm
with NE-HI

Nobody cared about their old heads, because the new ones work just fine now, don’t they?…. they have the same size mouth and eyes.

The song “Old Heads” is a sci-fi space anthem to technology that constantly replaces itself, proving both necessary and unnecessary at the same time. It’s also a jangly pop gem, a trip through the fantastical that is ultimately warm and relatable. This remarkable coexistence is one of many achievements of Chad VanGaalen’s Light Information, his sixth record on Sub Pop, due September 8th.

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For an album that’s about “not feeling comfortable with really anything,” as VanGaalen says, Light Information is nonetheless a vivid, welcoming journey through future worlds and relentless memories. The rich soundscapes and sometimes jarring imagery (“I’ll be the host body, yes, for the parasitic demons. They can eat me from the inside out, I already hear them chewing.”) could only come from the mind of a creative polymath–an accomplished visual artist, animator, director, and producer, VanGaalen has scored television shows, designed puppet characters for Adult Swim, directed videos for Shabazz Palaces, Strand of Oaks, METZ, Dan Deacon, and The Head and the Heart, and produced records for Women, Alvvays, and others.

While alienation has always been a theme of VanGaalen’s music, Light Information draws on a new kind of wisdom–and anxiety–gained as he watches his kids growing up. “Being a parent has given me a sort of alternate perspective, worrying about exposure to a new type of consciousness that’s happening through the internet,” he says. “I didn’t have that growing up, and I’m maybe trying to preserve a little bit of that selfishly for my kids.”

As always, VanGaalen wrote, played, and produced all of the music on Light Information (save Ryan Bourne’s bass part on “Mystery Elementals” and vocals on “Static Shape” from his young daughters Ezzy and Pip), and designed the cover art. The product of six years’ work, going back even before 2014’s Shrink Dust, Light Information emerged from the experimental instruments that fill VanGaalen’s Calgary garage studio. Among them is a beloved Korg 770 monosynth, which VanGaalen coveted for years before fixing one up and devoting a lot of recent energy to recording “duets” with it. One of these, “Prep Piano and 770,” is the lone instrumental on Light Information, more atmosphere and chord bursts than the rest of the album’s hooky rock narrative.

“If I was going to go out and buy a record, I would probably want it to sound only like that,” says VanGaalen. “That one’s for me.”

Throughout the dark-wave reverb of Light Information are stories of paranoia, disembodiment, and isolation–but there’s also playfulness, empathy, and intimacy. “I sit and do a drawing, a portrait of my dad,” sings VanGaalen on “Broken Bell.” “I should really visit him before he is dead. Cuz we are getting old. Our cells just won’t divide like they told us. But I’m not really good at this kind of thing.”

But VanGaalen is good at a lot of things–and he’s trying to pursue them for the right reasons. “I’m just trying to get over the weight of feeling like I have to be making something of my time constantly,” he says. “Especially with kids, you get these small breaks where you get to make stuff, and now I try to say ‘you know what, I’m going to make something for me.’”

And if he could make anything for himself, it would be without constraint. “I would love to build a living structure from scratch,” he says. “I’ve slowly been ripping my studio apart and building additions, but you’re always kind of down to this box. I’d love to explore more open forms of architecture, with an endless supply of materials to use, even garbage. Building codes keep us in these boxes–You can’t just build a giant hand made out of wood that’s the size of a house to live in. But we really should be able to do that.”

Boris

Tuesday November 14th | Doors at 7pm
with Endon
***Helms Alee has cancelled their performance due to van trouble***

“We don’t feel comfortable calling Dear a return to our slow and heavy style,” says Tokyo’s amplifier worshiping experimental metal institution Boris. “We’ve been heavy since day one.” And it’s true. From the droning thunder of their Absolutego debut and through the cinematic crescendo of albums like Flood, the bombastic licks of the Heavy Rocks records, the punk rage of Vein, the bottom-dwelling psychedelia of Akuma no Uta and Pink, and the grimy thump of Attention Please and New Album, Boris has always attempted to search out new ways to level listeners with their sound. On the 25th year of their existence, the trio delivers Dear, an album they describe as “heavenly—far beyond heavy.”

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Though Boris has traversed a broad swath of sonic territories, they have always been consistent in their embracing of excess, pushing their myriad of approaches and stylistic forays to points of intoxicating absurdity. But a time came in the early years of their third decade where the band wondered if there were any new horizons for the band to explore. Consequently, it was decided that the band would begin jamming on material for what was planned to be a record that served as a formal goodbye to fans. In a strange twist of fate, being unencumbered by expectations and having an open-ended approach to the writing process reinvigorated Boris. The renewed vitality yielded an album that fortifies their monolithic wall of sound while also allowing the individual band members to explore the nuances and intricacies of minimalist riffs played at maximum volume.

Album opener “D.O.W.N. –Domination of Waiting Noise-“ sets the tone for the record’s glacial pace and seismic rumble with vast swaths of sustained chords underscoring oscillator pulses and Takeshi’s soaring vocals. Songs like “DEADSONG”, “Kagero”, and “The Power” take the glacial doom of their early records and broaden the expanses of empty space to allow the chirp of amplifier tubes, the groan of strained speaker cabinets, and the sizzle of cranked distortion to transform their dirges into macrocosms of textures. It was a premeditated strategy, with the band deliberately scaling down on instrumentation in order to allow more color, detail, and tension to emanate from their protracted riffage. The galloping chugs and acidic guitar leads of “Absolutego” provide the most rock-oriented moment of the album, even though the song’s crushing timbre is cataclysmic even by the most down-tuned and heavily doped stoner rock standards. Brief moments of respite from the dimed amplifiers can be found on songs like “Beyond” and “Memento Mori”, where the band juxtaposes their deluges of fuzz with hints of ethereal dream pop.

Songwriting for Dear initially yielded three albums’ worth of material by the end of 2015, but as the band was slated to spend a large chunk of 2016 on their “Performing Pink” worldwide tour, they decided to hold off on releasing any new material. The tour further rekindled their passion, and when the band returned home they wrote several more songs and scaled the three records down to one. “At the very first moment, this album began as some kind of potential farewell note of Boris. However, it became a sincere letter to fans and listeners… you know, like ‘Dear so-and-so, this is the new album from Boris’ or something like that. We feel so grateful we can release this album in our 25th anniversary year.” Adding to that sentiment, Sargent House is grateful to release Boris Dear to the world on July 14, 2017 on CD, 2xLP, and digital formats.

Tennis

Monday November 13th | Doors at 7pm
with The Wild Ones

Tennis continue their extensive North American tour in celebration of their fourth full-length album, Yours Conditionally. After a cross country tour in the Spring/Summer supporting artists including Spoon, The Shins and Father John Misty the band is primed to head out on a Fall Headline tour crisscrossing the United States; their largest to date.

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More On Thurston Moore

Yours Conditionally — out now on Mutually Detrimental via Thirty Tigers and available at all record stores as well as via iTunes and Spotify — continues to receive praise from NPR’s “Weekend Edition,” Interview Magazine, W, New York Magazine and many more.

The new record was composed both on land and at sea during a five-month sailing trip through the Sea of Cortez. Upon returning, Tennis’ husband-and-wife team of Patrick Riley and Alaina Moore self-produced the record in a small cabin in Fraser, CO. It was mixed by Spoon’s Jim Eno at Public HiFi.

Now based in Denver, Moore and Riley began writing music together as a way to document the history of their time living aboard a sailboat. The result was their first release, Cape Dory. Moore and Riley followed Cape Dory with Young and Old, which The New Yorker described as “winsome as it is ebullient” and debuted #1 on Billboard’s Heatseeker Chart and #1 on CMJ Top 200, where it remained for three straight weeks. The album also debuted on Soundscan’s “New Artist Chart” at #1, remaining there for nine consecutive weeks. Their newest record comes on the heels of the group’s most recent release, 2014’s Ritual in Repeat, which received rave reviews from The New York Times, NPR’s “All Things Considered” and “Fresh Air,” TIME, Vogue, Pitchfork, The FADER, Entertainment Weekly and many more. The band has performed on “The Late Show with David Letterman,” “The Tonight Show with Jay Leno,” “Conan” and “Last Call with Carson Daly.”

Blockhead

Thursday November 9th | Doors at 8pm

Blockhead, is an American hip hop record producer and disc jockey from Manhattan, New York.

Aside from his solo efforts released on the Ninja Tune label, Blockhead is most associated with producing tracks for Aesop Rock. He has been a member of the groups such as Party Fun Action Committee and The Mighty Jones.

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Rosetta

Sunday October 29th | Doors at 8pm
with North

Rosetta is a Metal / Psych / Prog band from Philadelphia that is absolutely killer live and not to be missed! Sludge metal band North will be support on this tour and they’re quickly becoming one of our favorite heavy bands.

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