Boston-based band theWandas are hosting a listening party Tuesday, March 8th at the Enormous Room in Cambridge, MA. The party is to celebrate the completion of their upcoming full length album.
Being an independent outfit, theWandas looked to their fans to fund the recording process. By allowing their fans to pre-order the album (in digital, CD, and vinyl formats), and to get their hands on limited edition merchandise, the band set out to raise $10,000 by using the direct-to-fan fundraising platform Kickstarter. The campaign was a huge success and they raised just under $12,000 in 30 days.
Now that the album is complete, it will be played in its entirety with DJ sets by the band to follow. Cocktail hour exclusive to their VIPs & Kickstarter backers starts at 7:30pm. Doors open to public at 8:00pm. There will also be a photo booth, courtesy of TimeOut Boston.
There is no release date set or name for the album yet, as the band is in talks with record labels to determine the release details.
This listening party is also a birthday celebration for guitarist Brent Battey and a sendoff for the band. Heading to Toronto for Canadian Music Week and then straight to Austin to play SXSW, the band will not be back in the Boston area until April.
Tuesday, March 8, 21+, FREE
7:30pm - Doors Open to Kickstarter Backers & VIPs
8:00pm - Doors Open to Public
8:30pm - Album Played In Entirety Over House PA
DJ Sets by the band to follow until close.
569 Mass. Ave, Cambridge --The Deli Staff
Well, I guess that you can call this a story rather than review because I really had no plans to write about this event (so excuse the lack of details because I didn’t take any notes - sorry, all from my drunken, stoned memory). Last Friday night started off very tame. Just another uneventful evening in the life of a writer/editor trying to make my deadline for our SXSW print issue when I received a phone call urging me to see Creepoid perform near my hood at Tritone with The Vandelles, a band that has been on my radar for years now but I have never seen live. “Fuck! Why do I have to be so busy all the time?” So I was going to geek out and bring my laptop with me to do some writing while at the show. (I know that’s lame. But isn’t missing the show worse?) However, I received a second phone call about the place being packed so I abandon that idea and opted for Plan B: drinks and less sleep later to finish my work. (Check out how the rest of my evening went here!)
Well, I guess that you can call this a story rather than review because I really had no plans to write about this event (so excuse the lack of details because I didn’t take any notes - sorry, all from my drunken, stoned memory). Last Friday night started off very tame. Just another uneventful evening in the life of a writer/editor trying to make my deadline for our SXSW print issue when I received a phone call urging me to see Creepoid perform near my hood at Tritone with The Vandelles, a band that has been on my radar for years now but I have never seen live. “Fuck! Why do I have to be so busy all the time?” So I was going to geek out and bring my laptop with me to do some writing while at the show. (I know that’s lame. But isn’t missing the show worse?) However, I received a second phone call about the place being packed so I abandon that idea and opted for Plan B: drinks and less sleep later to finish my work.
When I got to Tritone, the small red room was quite crowded with a heavy-drinking crowd steaming up the front windows and waiting with great anticipation for the night to unfold. I made my way to the only open space at the bar by the bathrooms to grab a special. That’s where I ran into Creepoid’s drummer Pat Troxell so we downed a shot of whiskey and chatted. He was really excited about their upcoming trip to SXSW where they had nine showcases already lined-up. They also had plans for a summer U.S. tour in June & July which was being routed by Sinister Foxy Productions. As any band whose ever done it before knows, booking a relatively long tour is a huge pain in the ass so having it done for you is quite an accomplishment and relief when your wearing multiple hats like band member, booker, promotions, and PR which Troxell had been taking on as of late. He headed off after our conversation to help The Vandelles because they were borrowing Creepoid’s backline.
Unfortunately, I had missed Lux Perpetua’s set (sorry Justin) and only caught a few songs by NYC’s Invisible Days. (I remember thinking that the song I was listening to at the time instrumentally sounded like an upbeat Smiths’ song - in a good way.) I headed outside after their set to catch some air and a few puffs with Creepoid’s lead vocalist Sean Miller and The Troxells’ roommate Stoney. We found Pat outside already smoking a bowl with old friends and lead guitarist Pete Joe Urban while checking out his white pickup truck with an “I Never Brake for Dallas Fans” bumper sticker and oddly enough a bunch of dying coniferous tree branches in the back. After getting away from all the crowd noise and standing in the brisk cold air, I immediately noticed that Pat sounded pretty trashed already, and The Vandelles hadn’t hit the stage yet. I joked with Miller about it, and we both had a chuckle because it’s not like we haven’t seen him perform wasted before. But Pete Joe seemed OK, at the time.
After the session that was filled with good vibes, we headed back in to catch The Vandelles’ set which was pretty damn sweet. If you’ve never heard them before, they are a mix of fun California surf rock with the kind of dark, brooding indie rock you’d expect to find coming out of the NYC indie music scene. It was surprising to see how much their appearances seemed to be reflected in their music. The two male guitarists (Jason and Christo) looked like blonde-haired, kind of buff surfer brahs with their loose-fitting, striped tees while the female rhythm section (Honey and Lulu) were stylishly decked out in the finest of indie rock star chic. They quickly won the crowd over as they blasted through their reverb-heavy tunes. But it was definitely Honey who stole the show ferociously and precisely pummeling the skins as her long blonde locks and the tassles from her white roaring twenties type go-go dress flailed all over the place. There were screams from the crowd like “Drummer, I love you!” in between songs. I admit that I even got a better spot to watch her perform. Ladies who truly rock are sexy! OK, let me get back to my story before I breakout into my softcore pornographic account of Honey’s performance (good porn name by the way). Basically, The Vandelles are definitely worth checking out the next time they come back to Philly. (That is if we didn’t scare them away.)
When they finished their set, about half of the room cleared out as the show was running very late. Creepoid was scheduled for 11pm, and it was almost 12:30am so there was definitely a sense of urgency in their faces to get setup. When the band was finally ready, the first two or three of their songs felt like sound check because they were still getting feedback through the speakers. They requested for the crowd to move up closer to the stage so I grabbed a spot in the front row. I believe that they kicked into “Spirit Bird” next. However, something seemed a little off with Pete Joe. He kept saying stuff to Pat, and at one point, I thought that I heard him say, “But you can play drums when you’re drunk!” Soon after Urban had a freak out and threw his guitar breaking its head off. He then kicked a few things and proceeded to walk off stage. The rest of the band was looking around like “What the fuck is going on?”, but continued to play the next song “Staircase” as a three-piece. Pete Joe roamed through the crowd, then returned back on stage, and tried to start playing again. When the song was done, Urban grabbed the mic, thanked the audience, announced that they were Creepoid, said that the show was over, and walked off stage. That’s when Anna Troxell brazenly spoke into the mic, “We say when the show is over!” with the rest of the band affirming her statement. The chant “FUCK THAT GUY, FUCK THAT GUY” started to come from the crowd behind me. I think that Pete Joe had a few words with someone from that group. Then he stood next to me in front Anna’s mic stand, and I wasn’t sure if he was heckling her or talking to himself. He proceeded to hop back on stage and started to play again. To add a little more strangeness to the chaos, some wasted guy (who I later found out from Pat was there from England and was really excited to see Creepoid) all of a sudden passed out and slammed his face into Anna’s mic stand while she was singing causing the mic to smack her in the face. She screamed, “What the Fuck!?!” and recovered to finish the tune. Then Urban grabbed Anna’s mic, and apologized for freaking out. They played one more song. In the middle of the song, Pete Joe started throwing plastic bottles at Pat to get his attention. At the end of the song, he decided to toss more of his equipment around which knocked part of Pat’s drum set over. At this point, Miller walked off stage, and into the crowd lightening the mood a bit by starting an E-A-G-L-E-S chant. Urban also left the stage as Pat sat their on his stool pretty dumfounded like the rest of us. Pete Joe returned to the stage where he and Pat started to get into a heated argument which got broken up by Anna. It was really strange to me because the whole time that I was watching flabbergasted I kept laughing in my head thinking, “I know these guys. Everything is alright. This is just a stupid drunken moment.”
I decided that I had enough of watching the guys drunkenly play around, and left the show because I still had way to much work to finish. (Sorry, I don’t have any pics or video. I had my smartphone, but taking pics and stuff really isn’t my thing. I always feel rather intrusive when doing so, and this probably wasn’t the ideal Kodak moment for the band.) I staggered home texting some of the other Deli writers and reflecting what I had just seen that evening. I woke up the next morning, and there was a funny text from Pat Troxell: “Creepoid is way punk - haha.” I knew all was fine as I had thought it would be. We later chatted on the phone about the previous night’s events. Pat said that the band was still together, and all their touring plans were still intact. Apparently, Pete Joe had “a bit of a drunken meltdown,” but they talked it out and had a laugh. When asked I Pat if they cared that I wrote about what I had seen, he said, “Go ahead - we have nothing to hide. We’re real people and a real band with real problems. But I think that we freaked out the New York bands, and one of them is playing with us again at SXSW (laughs).”
I think that Pat Troxell’s own words from our last Where Is My Mind? interview (which you can read in its entirety here) with Creepoid might sum things up best for everyone:
“…what I see about this band is that I look at this band through and through as a punk band vibe. How punk rock was dangerous and you didn’t know what was going to happen next, and it was in the moment. That’s exactly how our songwriting and our live shows are. At any moment, anything can really happen, and we’d go with the flow. But growing up together and being in a band with my wife and everything, it’s like I know that I am in a gang that no matter what. They have my back. We’ll get through whatever happens.”
It’s difficult to discern any kind of category for Heypenny. Suffice it to say that their LP, A Jillion Kicks, is like someone banging two pots together near your ear. It’s loud, amusing and almost impossible to ignore. With a hometown performance at the end of February, the record was finally released – 13 tracks of boisterous, key-reliant pop rock candy recorded with other Nashville names like Mikky Ekko and Natalie Prass. These songs have already reached the ears of those who frequent Heypenny shows, but for new listeners, the album kicks off with the single “Purple Street,” a revving anthem crafted with a synthesizer’s trill and a ridiculously catchy bass line. As most Heypenny listeners are aware, ridiculousness is something of a trademark of the band, notorious for decorating the stage with TVs and giant robots, performing in pastel marching band uniforms and releasing 2009 EP CopCar with a coloring book.
The bounciness of the melodies and the chipper, almost satirical quality of Ben Elkins’ pinched vocals ring like children’s songs at times, particularly in “Star For All The Kidz” – thick with soulful vocal harmonies and the bash of a kick drum. Or the march song “Parade” in which Elkins sings, “It’s the shittiest rock ‘n’ roll ever played by anybody, but you’re singing great.” Hm. The dizzying nature of his sometimes more-spoken-than-sung rhymes and his comical lyrical insight (as found in “Oh No”: “all my friends are getting old but I’m staying the same age/so I trump it in their faces and they act like you’re a freakin’ idiot”) are countered by a lot of percussive racket (“You Shine”) or unexpected Zeppelin-like breakdowns (“Water”).
At times, AJK sounds over-produced. There are enough key-induced noises and glitches as is without the record being polished to perfection. This album’s version of “CopCar” sounds cleaner and pales in comparison to the CopCar EP’s version. The more live a Heypenny recording sounds, the better, and seeing them perform in person is best considering how they tend to take the word “perform” very, very seriously. Excessive? Yes. Flamboyant? Absolutely. A Jillion Kicks offers a munchkins-at-a-rave sound from the Nashville band with the most blatant sense of humor. – Jessica Pace
If you find yourself stumbling around in a midday, directionless haze during this year's SXSW - which is perfectly normal - point yourself east and uphill, and check out the French Legation happenings. This is possibly my single favorite destination during SX.
Because Texas was once its very own country - take that, Oregon - we had our very own ambassador here from France, who was housed at this elegant estate up on a hill. Now, I can't be sure, but I think that the French ambassador decreed at one point that there should be fine indie rock, grilled sausage, and Lone Star beer made available on SXSW afternoons, and it has come to pass. This year events on Weds., Thurs., and Fri. - hosted by Bella Union, Yours Truly, Other Music, and Dig for Fire - will feature Low, Cass McCombs, Vetiver, John Vanderslice, and !!! (above).
What started off as a curated event by Strand of Oaks a.k.a. Timothy Showalter has turned into a last minute record release party for our much-buzzed about singer-songwriter! Come celebrate the physical release of Pope Killdragon at Marvelous! this evening and grab yourself a copy (vinyl and/or CD) of this fine album! The evening will be kicked-off by Brandon Morsberger laying down some slide blues guitar. Then Oaks will be performing some tunes, hustling some albums, doing a Q&A about synths, and toasting the night away while the drinks flow. His buddies Golden Ages are closing out the evening with some swirling, blissed-out jams. It’s a PARTY, BYOB, and FREE so you have no excuses not to swing by and join us in many toasts! See you there. Marvelous! Music, 208 South 40th St., 8pm, FREE, All Ages - Q.D. Tran
One of the more distinct voices in town belongs to Ami Saraiya. She mixes jazz-filled vocals with an edge that is powerful. On her new ep she has teamed up with The Outcome to establish a sound that is rather eclectic. Ami wrote these songs will working the nightshift as a nurse se at Illinois Masonic.
Ami Saraiya and The Outcome will be celebrating the release on March 10th at Schubas with Jared Bartman and Julie Meckler.
How does a group celebrate being a band for two years? The Apache Relay does it to a packed crowd at the Exit/In while opening for the legendary Philly-based G. Love & Special Sauce. Not too shabby for such a young band that got their name from a movie about fat camp. This was an epic show for these Nashville rockers, and they jumped to the occasion to deliver a high-octane set that built from the very beginning to the should-have-been encore. Their songs are mature and their riffs are locked down tighter than most two year old bands. The only real downfall was that they didn't play longer than they were allowed.
This band is more than a tight sound and solid songs; they were also a blast to watch. For their opening number I saw two drummers, one sitting, and one pouncing on pre-positioned toms placed around the stage. I must have seen each member pull out three different instruments during this show – no wonder this band sounds huge on stage. Turning around and taking a look at the venue showed people on the upper deck standing and hanging off the edge during guitar solos and breakdowns. With the fluidity of the set and a demeanor that stands above their peers, The Apache Relay is at the front of the pack in this race. This band is a pastiche of the best things about our favorite genres of music, and I know I am not the only one who is planning on grabbing their album on April 12th. They held their own in this great venue and had a huge following. Oh yeah, and G. Love rocked too. – Beau Welsh