TITUS ANDRONICUS

Select & Stateside Present

TITUS ANDRONICUS

SPIDER BAGS, BAKED, DJ ZUNE (Tristan from Dogbreth)

Wed, September 23, 2015

Doors: 7:00 pm / Show: 8:00 pm

$13.00 - $15.00

Tickets at the Door

This event is all ages

TITUS ANDRONICUS
TITUS ANDRONICUS
In July of 2005, the rock band Titus Andronicus made their first live appearance, performing for a few friends in an unfinished basement. The ensuing decade would see nearly 800 shows, 18 members, and the release of three full-length albums and 14 7-inches, as the group rose from their obscure beginnings in the tri-state DIY scene to the heights of international "indie stardom," only to (nearly?) throw it all away in a vicious cycle of depression and decadence. The culmination of that ten-year journey is The Most Lamentable Tragedy.

The Most Lamentable Tragedy [hereafter TMLT] is the fourth studio album by Titus Andronicus [hereafter +@] and the band's debut for Merge Records. A rock opera in five acts, it will see release on the 28th of July 2015 as a digital download, double CD, and triple vinyl LP. "[In July 2005] I turned 20 years old—I started the band and closed the door on my teenage years," says singer/songwriter Patrick Stickles, "and on July 28th this year, I'm turning 30. Putting out this record is my way of closing the door on my twenties—sharing what I have learned, sorrowing what I learned too late."

TMLT was produced by frequent collaborator Kevin McMahon and +@ lead guitarist Adam Reich. The core band is rounded out by the long-standing rhythm section of Eric Harm (drums) and Julian Veronesi (bass) plus hotshot rookie guitarist Jonah Maurer. Joining the lads throughout are veteran pianist Elio DeLuca and luminous Canadian violinist Owen Pallett, beside a colorful cast of special guests representing some of the New York scene's most exciting bands (The So So Glos, Baked, Bad Credit No Credit, Lost Boy?, etc.).

The central narrative of TMLT ("a work of fiction," Stickles says, looking away) concerns an unnamed protagonist whom we meet in the depths of his decrepit despair. Following an encounter with his own doppelgänger (an enigmatic stranger, identical in appearance though opposite in disposition), long held secrets are revealed, sending our protagonist on a transformative odyssey, through past lives and new loves, to the shocking revelation that the very thing that sustains him may be the very thing to destroy him.

Hardly the rambling mess its 29 tracks and 93:44 runtime might suggest, TMLT is a miracle of structural integrity and symmetry. The complete sequence of five "acts" will present a cohesive vision the likes of which few rock groups would have the self-esteem (let alone the chops) to even consider attempting, while the division of these acts, and the special care taken to give each its own sonic and thematic identity, will grant the listener the ability to ration or binge according to their pleasure. Across these five acts, we watch the passage of four seasons—the desolate desperation of winter melts away under the warm hope of approaching spring, just as the sticky fumes of the big city summer dissipate when autumn brings its comforting colors, and with them, the knowledge that they will fade, that all will fall and decay.

Still beyond the linear legibility of its seasonal motif, TMLT creates a universe that begs to be explored, an interlocking cycle of phases and recurrent events. "The first half is the second half in reverse—holding the first up to the mirror, we see the second," explains Stickles, feverishly. "Like our universe, it expands outward in every direction. It contains our most ornate arrangements and our most spare, our most uplifting music and our most bleak. With equal fervor we strive to show you +@ at our most beautiful and our most brutal, our most polished and our most raw." All these factors contribute to what Stickles identifies as "a certain bipolar quality."

"It should always be the dearest hope of the Artist that the Art they create could have been created by no one else," Stickles says suddenly, unprompted, "and that if it cannot be adored, it should be despised. Cast wide the poles! +@ is undaunted and TMLT will not be quietly abided."

Nor can it be denied—TMLT is the pinnacle and the missing piece, both the crown jewel of the band's discography and the legend that contextualizes their entire body of work. It reveals that +@ are what hardcore fans have said they are for years, and what the world must now recognize them to be: not merely the greatest rock and roll band of this era, but one of the greatest rock and roll bands of all time.
SPIDER BAGS
Spider Bags formed in 2005 as a long-distance project between close friends who had known each other since their high school days in New Jersey. Dan McGee had just witnessed the demise of his NYC-based punk band DC Snipers. Feeling he had gone as far as he could with the three-chord punk genre, and not wanting to repeat himself, he began writing volumes of songs with his friend Gregg Levy. He began sending these new songs in demo form to three of his NJ friends who had since relocated to Chapel Hill, North Carolina. McGee and Levy drove down to NC to record with the full band, intending it to be more of a visit than anything. But something special happened during that recording, and eventually McGee and Levy would relocate to the area as well. That original lineup recorded their excellent debut, A Celebration of Hunger (Birdman, 2007), with Brian Paulson and then toured the country together for a couple of years before eventually going their separate ways. But McGee found himself more prolific than ever, and he and Levy decided to keep Spider Bags going. A number of different players toured and recorded with the band while they finished another full-length, Goodbye Cruel World, Hello Crueler World (Birdman, 2009), and recorded half a dozen singles. Shortly after, Levy would move back north, but he continues to be a contributing member when he can.
During the 2011 recording of the band's third album, Shake My Head (Odessa, 2012), the current lineup consisting of Steve Oliva (bass) and Rock Forbes (drums) was finally solidified. Having gone through so many members by this point, McGee couldn't help but wonder if the guys would stick around for the long haul. But slimming down to a three-piece, the band members found they connected musically, and most importantly, they all liked each other. Building upon the foundation laid down by its predecessor, Frozen Letter rocks with the clairvoyance of three musicians who have spent a lot of time recording and touring together over the last few years. "When we started this record, we weren't even thinking about it being released. We just did it to have fun and keep moving forward," says Forbes, who has been playing with Spider Bags since 2008. This approach, and McGee's intent to make a "weird, trippy record," allowed the band to push itself further out into the psychedelic frontier than ever before, aided by engineer/producer Wesley Wolfe. Simultaneously, the trio was recording a full-length as the backing band for North Carolina blues singer extraordinaire Reese McHenry. The sessions, both engineered by Wolfe, tended to blend together but also kept the band focused on music. Some finished songs were left on the cutting room floor (and the McHenry album as of this writing is still a work in progress), but during those three exhilarating days, the eight songs on Frozen Letter were recorded.
Opening side one, "Back With You Again in the World" is the kind of up-tempo, riff-driven rocker that Spider Bags have made their trademark, augmented by an Andy Mackay-style sax solo. "Japanese Vacation," with its Chuck Berry-by-way-of-Johnny Thunders riff, and the frenetic "Chem Trails" keep the needle placed firmly in the red. Indeed, these first three songs blast by with such urgency that you feel as if you were just ushered into the Spider Bags home, and over the course of ten minutes, they failed to take your coat, give you a seat, or offer you a drink—but you had so much fun that it didn't matter. Before you know it, you're bouncing along to a cover of John Wesley Coleman's "Summer of '79." "Why you wanna be a Rolling Stone?" McGee sings, in a perhaps lighthearted example of "poking fun at oneself." Whether he's referencing the band or the concept is unclear, but the distinction hardly matters. But just as we think we know what kind of record this is, the band plunges us immediately into darker and moodier territory. "Coffin Car" finds them mining an ominous morbidity, but over one of their prettier chord patterns.
Side two continues the introspective mood established by "Coffin Car." "Walking Bubble" features a gorgeous fingerpicked acoustic guitar and the enigmatic lyric "Why trust the morning to the sky / Is there good reason why?" The line is punctuated by a doubled, haunting guitar riff—a detail, like many on the record, that pushes things into headphone territory. The centerpiece of the record is the brown-acid-laced "We Got Problems," which features a heavy and repetitive pattern, a slew of effected guitars, searing guest leads from Superchunk's Mac McCaughan, and some of McGee's best vocals to date. The song encapsulates an entire Spider Bags epoch in just under six minutes.
Taken as a whole, Frozen Letter manages to glide along the razor's edge, and true to an actual acid trip, there are moments of utter terror alongside unfettered joy.
BAKED
Baked is a 5-piece psych / indie rock band from Brooklyn consisting of R.J. Gordon (vocals, guitar), Davey Jones (guitar), Jeremy Aquilino (bass guitar, vocals), Isabella Mingione (snyth, vocals) and Yoni David (drums). Founding members play in both Leapling and Lost Boy ? Baked was born in 2012 shortly after members of the band opened Big Snow Buffalo Lodge. ​

Baked released their self titled EP in July of 2013. The EP was re-released by Forged Artifacts in March of 2014. Their debut LP, Debt, was released August 19, 2014 on Exploding in Sound Records.
Venue Information:
The Rebel Lounge
2303 E. Indian School Road
Phoenix, AZ, 85016
http://www.therebellounge.com/