Fri, March 4, 2016

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

$12.00 - $15.00

Tickets at the Door

This event is 21 and over

PSYKO STEVE PRESENTS is Celebrating 15 Years(-ish) of the Best Fucking Shows Ever! 

Being in a band used to be different. It wasn't all about getting the best support slots, collecting the most friends on MySpace or dressing a certain way in order to sell records. It was about crafting music that celebrated your influences, seeing the country unfold via bug-splattered van windows and meeting people and sharing experiences that wouldn't only help spike sales in certain markets, but would also help define you as a human being.

When Limbeck frontman Robb MacLean sings "It feels like I grew up too late" on Limbeck, you get the feeling that might be what he's referring to—and with the band's third full-length, they've finally done just that. Equal parts rock, Americana, pop and country, Limbeck proves that these four former punk rockers from Orange County and Milwaukee have finally grown into their cowboy boots and crafted a disc that everyone from The Bamboozle to Bonnaroo can appreciate.

In fact, Limbeck—which also includes guitarist/vocalist Patrick Carrie, bassist Justin Enstmiger and drummer Jon Phillip—might be the only band on Earth who can be equally well-received touring alongside pop-punkers like New Found Glory and the All-American Rejects or Americana acts like Lucero and Rhett Miller. "We can play in some kid's basement or we can play somewhere where they have a nice dressing room for us and they treat us like royalty," explains Carrie. "Both of those scenarios feel comfortable at this point because we've been hopping around for a while now."

Although the members of Limbeck are intrinsically modest, "hopping around for a while" is a bit of an understatement, even for them. Over the past five years, the band have logged countless miles criss-crossing the country in their trusty van, which features various mementos lovingly taped to the ceiling—including Elijah Wood's autograph. However, while Limbeck contains its fair share of road anthems (see the driving 4/4 rocker "Let Me Come Home"), this time around MacLean found inspiration in being at home—and, more specifically, the little things that most of us might not notice.

"I'd say this record is more about people than places," MacLean explains when asked about the disc's central theme. This is abundantly obvious on tracks "Reading The Street Signs," which recounts the details of an extended bus ride with a fiction writer's eye for detail, or the raucous "Let's Get Crazy," which recalls some unheeded dating advice with memorable lines like, "If I was on the shore with you, I wouldn't go in the sea."

Musically, Limbeck is also a huge progression for the band. Instruments like ukulele, bar chimes, vocoder, horns and strings add new sonic textures to the band's sound, while Beach Boys-esque harmonies fill out the melodies on tracks like the sunny opener, "Trouble." "On this record we had so much more time so it allowed us to really experiment with the songs," Carrie explains about recording the album sporadically over a seven-week period last summer in Eudora, KS with longtime producer and friend Ed Rose (Get Up Kids, Motion City Soundtrack).

"We're ecstatic about playing all of these songs," he continues when asked if it feels daunting to get ready to begin another seemingly endless touring cycle in support of Limbeck. "I'm really interested in what this album will sound like live," adding that the band will be adding a fifth member to fill out the album's complex arrangements live. "I'm just excited for all of it," he finally gushes, unable to contain his enthusiasm. "'Excited' is a word that I use a lot these days."
It’s a tired old saw, but no less true for wear: you’ve heard of Reubens Accomplice, but you’ve probably never heard them.

Seems like I’ve spent most of my adult life spreading their gospel, trying to explain why the group is so great. Any failure in that regard is largely my own fault. But I will place some of the blame on the band.

See, Reubens Accomplice are a confounding bunch. As people and musicians, you never know quite what to expect. You’re just as likely to get a warm hug as a sharp tongue lashing. But that’s always been the dynamic guiding the band’s two singer-songwriters, Chris Corak and Jeff Bufano.

For nearly 20 years, these childhood friends have worked a musical double act. On the surface, they seem to be a study in contrasts: Corak as pop confectioner; Bufano as hard-bitten storyteller. But that’s a clever deception -- they write and sing in a uniquely intertwined style, shifting roles, and perspectives seamlessly. Hell, I’m still trying to figure out which one is yin and which is yang.

As you will no doubt glean from the geography of the songs, Reuben’s Accomplice are dustbillies, creatures of a desert wasteland to which escape is the only reasonable response. Yet the band has stuck it out under the proverbial sun, turning the peculiar ennui of their environment into a searching art of the highest order.

The music? Well, you could say it’s an aural homebrew that was probably never meant for mass consumption.

Yes, Reubens write love songs; but love songs as moral explorations. They write pop songs; pop songs that quiver with quiet desolation. I’d hesitate to call what they do rock ‘n’ roll; they’ve always had more brains than brawn. Often, the music sidewinds into country, or explodes into grand orchestral expressions.

Take, for example, album opener “Field Science” a lilting fingerpicked folk song that turns into a widescreen epic. Or “This Desert” an irresistible mingling of barbed wit and buzzing pop. Somehow, Reubens mingles tragic content and joyful noise to magical effect, whether on the dusky evocation of “Women” or the desperate “I Love You But I’m Tired” -- a song so melodic even its choruses have choruses.

The band’s sound isn’t built solely on Corak and Bufano’s brotherhood, but on a rare alchemy that extends to the group’s other members. To simply call John O’Reilly a drummer would be a disservice; his percussion is a form of fluid composition, redrawing the parameters of the songs as he plays. And while Ryan Kennedy fits the description of a multi-instrumentalist, he’s more a sonic artisan, helping paint every one of these little masterpieces.

Reubens’ records have always been stocked with melodic gems, now they’re filled complex anthems layered with meaning and potent. Lyrics go off like tiny explosions in your brain: “Will we shake off the losing curse? Where’s the break in the universe?” This is the sound of teenage melancholy grown up. Fresh-faced hope roughened into blasted beauty.

The songs here are pretty and funny, sad and scathing, caustic and carefree. Canny juxtapositions all down the line. Like I say, hugs and tongue lashings. That’s Sons of Man.

Two decades on, Reubens Accomplice sound remarkably vital, like a band that’s just made its first record. And, also, a band that’s made its best record. And maybe its last record.

Whether it’s today, tomorrow, or some point off in the distance, here’s hoping you finally do get to hear them. – Bob Mehr, July 2012
Tickertape Parade’s self-titled second album (released on Jim Adkins label Western Tread) explodes with the opener “Smile”, an enormously catchy song that challenges you to tear off your insecurities and have a good time. Nate Ruess of fun. steps in to offer up some delightful guest vocals on this gem as well. The record continues with “Darker”, an epic song with a melodically masterful drum beat sharing a glimpse at the depth that Tickertape Parade's music and style easily apprehend. The albums massive choruses combined with the staid musicality behind songs like “Next First Try”, “Dead on a Dime”, and “Poisoned Arrows”, create the entranced sense of discovery that every great band strives to achieve. Maintaining their hardcore roots, Tickertape Parade’s “Someday Soon” assaults you with dramatic guitars and colliding drums that help to paint the story of a former friend, isolated on his lonely mountain of misery and despondency. The record comes to a magnificent close with Tickertape Parade giving us a self-stamped version of the Cyndi Lauper classic “Girls Just Wanna Have Fun”. A truly enjoyable listen from beginning to end.
Tobie Milford is a Phoenix-based songwriter and composer who arranges chamber-pop songs for string quartet. Combined with keys, additional vocals and powerful percussion, his new live act takes what was already a unique solo experience and magnifies it tenfold. This new compositional approach and instrumentation will be reflected in his forthcoming album, Listen to the Trees Grow. Fans of Sufjan Stevens and My Brightest Diamond take note. Milford is joined by Mark Michaud (drums), Tina Estes (keyboard, vocals), Megyn Neff (violin), Kirk Johnson (viola) and Katie Buetow (cello).
Mitch Freedom's Phantasmagoria is the musings of one Mr. David Thomas Moroney... the vision conjured is one of music, art, culture, love and life... jack-of-all-trades... hopeless romantic... renaissance boy... all. everything. more.
Venue Information:
The Rebel Lounge
2303 E. Indian School Road
Phoenix, AZ, 85016