Ringo Deathstarr, Shannon and the Clams, Drinks, Mild High Club, Whitney, Acid Dad, Stealing Sheep, Murals, Cloud Castle Lake, Residuels

Levitation & Alisa Loog Present

Ringo Deathstarr

Shannon and the Clams

Drinks

Mild High Club

Whitney

Acid Dad

Stealing Sheep

Murals

Cloud Castle Lake

Residuels

Drippy Eye Projections

Sat, October 17, 2015

Doors: 5:00 pm / Show: 5:30 pm

Rough Trade NYC

Brooklyn, NY

$15

This event is 21 and over

Ringo Deathstarr
Ringo Deathstarr
Ringo Deathstarr is an alternative rock band from Austin, Texas, which channels such diverse influences as Fugazi, The Cure, The Smiths, My Bloody Valentine, and The Velvet Underground. The band was originally formed by singer/songwriter Elliott Frazier in 2005, and released their eponymous EP in 2007. This was followed by a string of singles and a series of international tours hitting both coasts and the streets of the UK and Japan. The band's debut full-length album, Colour Trip, was released in February 2011 by Club AC30. They toured with The Smashing Pumpkins in the winter of 2011/2012. The name of the band is a parody of The Beatles drummer's name, Ringo Starr, and the Death Star.
Shannon and the Clams
Shannon and the Clams
The American West. America’s America. It was here in three very different worlds that Shannon and the Clams were spawned. From the dark redwood forests of Oregon emerged Cody Blanchard: singer and guitarist. The dusty walnut orchards and vineyards of northern California gave us Shannon Shaw: singer and bassist. Out of the lonely dunes of California’s central coast shambled Nate Mayhem: drummer and keys. These three talented visual artists were drawn separately to Oakland, California and it was there that the Clams began playing house parties and grimy clubs.

The band was forged in the anachronistic remote communities of the west, in some strange mixture of computer show and country fair; their music is some odd alloy of The Last Picture Show and The Decline of Western Civilization. The pioneer spirit of western life is all over this band: pushing into the unknown, blazing their own trail, creating their own destiny, with the accompanying canyon-esque loneliness and untamed joy only truly known by those with the courage to pull up stakes and head off into the big empty sunset.

Gone by the Dawn, the newest Shannon and the Clams album, is their best work to date. The music is complex, the lyrical content is emotionally raw and honest, and the production is the strangest it’s ever been. The album was written as one member was recovering from a serious breakup and another was deep in one. The lyrics reflect it, and the entire album is dripping with sadness, pain, and introspection. Shannon and Cody have not written generic songs about love or the lack of it. Instead they have written about their very own specific heartbreak, mistreatment, and mental trials. The emotion is palpable. On Gone by the Dawn the Clams have DARED TO BE REAL. They’ve exposed their true emotions, which is what's most moving about the album. People are scared to be so real. Society does not encourage it. Folks remain guarded to protect themselves from being mocked, punished, and becoming outcast . The Clams have opted to forgo the potential tongue-clucking finger-waggers, and have instead had the artistic courage and audacity to splay their pain and struggles out for all to hear. We are lucky to hear them get so damn real.

For Gone by the Dawn, the Oakland trio hooked up with studio wizard and renaissance-man Sonny Smith to record the album at Tiny Telephone Recording in San Francisco. Best known as the driving force behind San Francisco’s beloved Sonny and the Sunsets, Smith uses his refreshing production techniques to create an engaging sonic landscape without compromising the Clams’ signature Lou Christie-meets-The Circle Jerks sound. The Clams have evolved: their skills are sharper, their chops are tighter and weirder and they’ve added new instruments to to the mix. A whole new dimension of the Clams has emerged.

Nowadays, it’s exceedingly rare for a two-and-half minute rock song to have raw emotional power, but with Gone by the Dawn Shannon and the Clams have gifted us an entire album of them.

-Dan Shaw
Drinks
Drinks
"Tim, do I like that dog?" A strange question, a queer query, an odd ask. The answer surely already known unless one mind knows the other. Which would appear to be the case with Cate and Tim. With Tim and Cate. Cate, born in West Wales, raised under the shadow of a woolen mill, dressed by the field and by the rain. Tim, from San Francisco, grew under and over the bridges and streets, combed by corners and by concrete. A more different musical upbringing you couldn't dream up. One a black thread strung through the eye of American hardcore, she a shard of glass tapped through a solid wall. Loop the thread around the shard and you have pendular device for predicting the sex. Will it be a boy or a girl? They both like to drink, coffee mostly and sometimes each other. And once the drinks are drunk out it comes. The mud slicks and the plates click. Drinks is a solo project, not a collaboration. It has one mouth, one set of lungs, one mind and four legs. Drinks are the sound of hermits on holiday, having the time of each others lives.
Mild High Club
Mild High Club
Following on the underground buzz generated off 2015’s debut LP Timeline, Mild High Club returned in 2016 with their latest effort, Skiptracing (Stones Throw), a thematic, psychedelic jazz-pop odyssey whose story arc follows a private investigator attempting to trace the steps of the sound and the spirit of American music.

Originally hailing from Chicago, Alexander Brettin, who writes and records under the moniker Mild High Club, relocated to Los Angeles in 2012, where his demos caught the ears of prominent local musicians and labels. After signing with Stones Throw Records, Mild High Club released their debut LP in September 2015, which Pitchfork described as “a record full of psychedelic soft rock that draws strongly from White-album era Beatles and T-Rex, with swirls of '80s-indebted synthpop.”

The band quickly became a preferred supporting act on the road, touring with King Gizzard & the Lizard Wizard, Allah-las, Quilt, Youth Lagoon, Wire, and appearing at festivals across the globe, their live act described as “hypnotizing and ethereal”.

The release of 2016’s Skiptracing was a major step forward for the band, which Aquarium Drunkard described as a “cool, grooving blend of lo-fi psych, lounge, and exotica” and was followed by sold out club tours across North America and Europe, as well as festivals in South America and Australia, and continue to tour regularly.
Whitney
Whitney
Whitney make casually melancholic music that combines the wounded drawl of Townes Van Zandt, the rambunctious energy of Jim Ford, the stoned affability of Bobby Charles, the American otherworldliness of The Band, and the slack groove of early Pavement. Their debut, Light Upon the Lake, is due in June on Secretly Canadian, and it marks the culmination of a short, but incredibly intense, creative period for the band. To say that Whitney is more than the sum of its parts would be a criminal understatement. Formed from the core of guitarist Max Kakacek and singing drummer Julien Ehrlich, the band itself is something bigger, something visionary, something neither of them could have accomplished alone. The band itself is something bigger, something visionary, something neither of them could have accomplished alone.

Ehrlich had been a member of Unknown Mortal Orchestra, but left to play drums for the Smith Westerns, where he met guitarist Kakacek. That group burned brightly but briefly, disbanding in 2014 and leaving its members adrift. Brief solo careers and side-projects abounded, but nothing clicked. Making everything seem all the more fraught: both of them were going through especially painful breakups almost simultaneously, the kind that inspire a million songs, and they emerged emotionally bruised and lonelier than ever.

Whitney was born from a series of laidback early-morning songwriting sessions during one of the harshest winters in Chicago history, after Ehrlich and Kakacek reconnected - first as roommates splitting rent in a small Chicago apartment and later as musical collaborators passing the guitar and the lyrics sheet back and forth. “We approached it as just a fun thing to do. We never wanted to force ourselves to write a song. It just happened very organically. And we were smiling the whole time, even though some of the songs are pretty sad.” The duo wrote frankly about the break-ups they were enduring and the breakdowns they were trying to avoid. Each served as the other’s most brutal critic and most sympathetic confessor, a sounding board for the hard truths that were finding their way into new songs like “No Woman” and “Follow,” a eulogy for Ehrlich’s grandfather.

In exorcising their demons they conjured something else, something much more benign—a third presence, another personality in the music, which they gave the name Whitney. They left it singular to emphasize its isolation and loneliness. Says Kakacek, “We were both writing as this one character, and whenever we were stuck, we’d ask, ‘What would Whitney do in this situation?’ We personified the band name into this person, and that helped a lot. We wrote the record as though one person were playing everything. We purposefully didn’t add a lot of parts and didn’t bother making everything perfect, because the character we had in mind wouldn’t do that.”

In those imperfections lies the music’s humanity. Whilst they demoed and toured the new songs, they became more aware of the perfect imperfections of the songs, and needing to strike the right balance, they eventually made the trek out to California, where they recorded with Foxygen frontman and longtime friend, Jonathan Rado. They slept in tents in Rado’s backyard, ate the same breakfast every morning at the same diner in the remote, desolate and completely un-rock n roll San Fernando Valley, whilst they dreamt of Laurel Canyon, or maybe The Band’s hideout in Malibu, or Neil Young’s ranch in Topanga Canyon.

The analog recording methods, the same as used by their forebearers, allowed them to concentrate on the songs themselves and create moments that would be powerful and unrepeatable. “Tape forces you to get a take down,” says Kakacek. “We didn’t have enough tracks to record ten takes of a guitar part and choose the best one later. Whatever we put down is all we had. That really makes you as a musician focus on the performance.” The sessions were loose, with room for improvisation and new ideas, as the band expanded from that central duo into a dynamic sextet (septet if you count their trusty soundman). And that’s what you hear — Whitney is the sound of that songwriting duo expanding their group and delivering the sound of a band at their freest, their loosest, their giddiest.

Classic and modern at the same time, they revel in concrete details, evocative turns of phrase, and thorny emotions that don’t have exact names. These ten songs on Light Upon the Lake sound like they could have been written at any time in the last fifty years. Ehrlich and Kakacek emerge as imaginative and insightful songwriting partners, impressive in their scope and restraint as they mold classic rock lyricism into new and personal shapes without sound revivalist or retro. “I’m searching for those golden days,” sings Ehrlich, with a subtle ripple of something that sounds like hope, on the track “Golden Days”. It’s a song that defines Whitney as a band. “There’s a lot of true feeling behind these songs,” says Ehrlich. “We wanted them to have a part of our personalities in them. We wanted the songs to have soul.”
Acid Dad
Acid Dad
Brooklyn, NY's Acid Dad will release their debut EP, Let's Plan A Robbery, on February 26th, 2016. "Fool's Gold," the first track off the EP, premiered on Stereogum this morning, calling it "…a kaleidoscopic, rebellious tune, capturing the buoyant feeling of city shenanigans"; the song can also now be streamed and shared via Soundcloud: https://soundcloud.com/aciddadnyc/fools-gold-un-mastered. The EP has gotten early praise from Newsweek, which named it one of the 'Nine February Albums We Can't Wait To Listen To', and will also be released as a limited edition cassette tape via Knife Tapes, which can be pre-ordered here.

Although barely 18-months-old, Acid Dad have quickly established themselves as one of the tightest, tireless, and most energetic live bands in the Brooklyn scene, with Oh My Rockness deeming them one of the site's 'Hardest-Working Bands of 2015.' The foursome – all in their early 20s and two of whom were enrolled full-time at NYU until recently – have already released a string of infectious psych-punk singles that have earned them nods from the likes of NYLON, Village Voice, Impose, HERO, CMJ, The Deli, and more.

Let's Plan A Robbery is a magnetic four-song EP self-recorded by the band in upstate New York throughout December 2015 and January 2016. Expanding upon their previous singles, the EP ranges from the explosive drive of opener "Don't Get Taken" to the psych-sway of "Fool's Gold"; from the dynamic charge of "Digger (Gotta Get That Money)" to the languid, hypnotic closer "Shoot You Down," with guitarists Vaughn Hunt or Danny Gomez handling lead vocals on every other track. Cover artwork can be seen below.

Acid Dad – which recently sold-out a hometown show at Baby's All Right – will head out on a lengthy U.S. tour in late February, beginning with a stretch of dates with White Reaper that kick off on the 28th in Chattanooga, TN. The band's tour dates will continue through April 21st in Chicago, IL, and include an April 8th show in Los Angeles, CA. Acid Dad are also confirmed to perform on The Special Without Brett Davis in Brooklyn, NY on February 24th, as well as festivals including SXSW, the Savannah Stopover, Treefort Music Fest, and Canadian Music Week.
Stealing Sheep
Stealing Sheep
Stealing Sheep's acclaimed 2012 debut, 'Into the Diamond Sun', morphed their individual styles to create a 'medieval-kraut-folk' inspired sound. They were described as an unanticipated 'pagan pop revival' and since its release have toured as guests of Postal Service and Alt-J, opened for St.Vincent in Paris, performed the songs of David Lynch at the Barbican and collaborated with the Radiophonic Workshop on an original soundtrack to the cult 70's science fiction film 'La Planete Sauvage'.

For their second album they have concentrated on developing the sonic aesthetic of their music. "We were more focused about what we are trying to do. Everything has a reason for being there." They've experimented with tuned percussion, programmed beats, trigger samples and worked with effected synths, utilising the guitar and lap steel more sparingly and introducing more processed sounds. They've drawn inspiration from 50's exotica, electronic music and 80's pop and been influenced by the likes of Grace Jones, Maya Deren, Eden Ahbez, Delia Derbyshire, Moondog and John Carpenter.

Having learned new skills in the studio over the last few years, the band self-produced the album. They used the studio not only as a writing tool but also as an instrument; experimenting with post-production and varying instrumentation and layered textures. "We started off in pre-production doing all the demos ourselves" say's Becky "the demos captured an atmosphere that we wanted to carry forward to the album. The result was a hypbrid of casual takes and more considered recordings."

The visual representation is highly important to the band, all of whom have art backgrounds. "We like to be involved in all the aspects of the presentation because it's symbiotic to the music." The colourful and organic album cover, a collaboration between photographer Charlotte Rutherford and collage artist Louise Mason, shows their confident image for this record: as they tread the lines of surreal pop. Follow them on a hypnagogic journey as they sing: "listen to yourself and look within".
Murals
Murals
Murals is a collection of the elements set in motion many years ago when the earth was freshly formed. Their Fire Talk debut "Violet City Lantern" is out early 2016.
Cloud Castle Lake
Cloud Castle Lake
Residuels
Residuels
Drippy Eye Projections
Drippy Eye Projections
Let the color overwhelm you.
Venue Information:
Rough Trade NYC
64 N 9th St
Brooklyn, NY, 11249
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