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Artists No Joy
event::about The female-fronted noise poppers are certainly content to mine the depleted fields of shoegaze and twee indie sounds for inspiration, the group creates a maelstrom of melody out of both, with a layered, fuzzy approach that incorporates big, clean riffage, anonymous vocals hiding in the background, and a considerable churn across memorable four-minute pop songs. There’s a great deal more structure in their work than is found in many of their contemporaries, and their contemplative song structures work in favor to this approach. It’s the perennial box of chocolates filled with razor wire, but even the most fastidious of modern music archaeologists won’t see this one coming.
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event::about Within a grainy film-still between a summer sunset and the end of times lies the post-punk squall of Weekend. Weekend filter the aggression, tempo and sneer of punk through a wall of reverb, haunting melody, feedback and primitive garage guitar. Formed in San Francisco in late 2009, the band have quickly developed a totally distinctive take on the history of noise rock. Combining noisy guitars, pounding rhythms and dark post-punk vibes in fresh ways isn't easy, but Weekend somehow make it look like it is. Their new album Sports is one of the most assured debuts in recent memory, full of rumbling rhythms, layers of LOUD guitars and most of all great songs that pay special attention to texture and atmosphere, and leaven even the most riotous moments with unexpected shards of melody. "Coma Summer" kicks things off in stunning fashion, an epic slice of noise/gaze that stands tall with No Age's best power-drone. "Youth Haunts" is a new version of a tune from their long sold-out 10" single on Mexican Summer and shows off the band's darker, more tribal side. "Monday Morning" is a dreamy noisescape, a perfect lead-in to the driving, punky "Monongah, WV," which is blessed with a chorus melody a lot of straight pop bands would kill for. As the album continues, it takes in such touchstones as the the chaotic psychedelic noise of groups like Skullflower and Terminal Cheesecake, and the scything racket of post-No Wave noise bands DUSTdevils and Sonic Youth. "Age Class" storms along like classic Killing Joke, and "Veil" is an echoey tune that builds and builds to a smashing coda, trailing off into spectral trails of feedback and incidental static. "End Times" is power-pop as interpreted by "Feed Me With Your Kiss"-era MBV, an amazing mix of melody and racket that perfecting encapsulates what Sports and Weekend are about. "Afterimage" and "Untitled" wrap up the album on a high note, a crescendo of pounding, relentless power.
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PS I Love You
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Artists PS I Love You
event::about Kingston, Ontario’s quick-rising duo, PS I Love You, unleashed their brilliant debut album on October 5th, 2010 on Paper Bag Records. The ten-track album titled, Meet Me At The Muster Station, is a relentless listen that grips and pulls the listener through just under thirty-minutes of squalling Marshall feedback, searing solos, soaring melodies and rock-steady beats and will surely be considered one of this year’s finest debuts. PS I Love You have been extremely busy over the past couple of years having already released two acclaimed 7″ singles. The first was a split 7″ with friend Diamond Rings in August of 2009. Earlier this year, the band released a 7″ for ‘Starfield’ before wowing audiences at their Canadian Music Week and NXNE showcases. Recently, the band has shared the stage with the hottest indie acts including label-mates Born Ruffians as well as Japandroids and Wavves. PS I Love You was originally the solo project for multi-instrumentalist Paul Saulnier who has performed in everything from a country-rock band to an improvised noise duo. PS I Love You was intended to be his experimental, pop music outlet using guitar looping pedals, keyboards with some gadgets and gimmicks. The addition of Benjamin Nelson on drums suddenly transformed PS I Love You’s little songs into mini, soaring rock anthems.
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Artists Surfer Blood
event::about Hailing from West Palm Beach, Florida, the quintet known as Surfer Blood had a breakout year in 2010 with the release of their debut album 'Astro Coast' in January 2010. Months prior to the actual release, Surfer Blood took the CMJ music festival by storm playing an incredible 12 shows. Spending the winter months leading up to their album release, Surfer Blood criss-crossed the nation on tour supporting Japandroids and Art Brut. Never breaking straight into the new year, getting a major boost from all around rave press reviews, including a 'Best New Music' tag from Pitchfork Media, the band continued their incessant touring. This year has taken these Floridians across Europe several times, as far as Japan for Summer Sonic and Australia for Splendour in the Grass festivals; they ended out the year with a support tour for Interpol. Because of their dedication, 12 months later Astro Coast is topping several year end lists. NPR deemed them "America's best new pop band", they made Rolling Stone's "Rookies of the Year" list, Filter Magazine listed their album as #7 of the year, plus making the list of numerous others: MySpace, NME, Urban Outfitters, Rough Trade Shop. Based on the longevity that the album stayed in PopMatter's rotation, they regard it as "unfuckwithable" and PrefixMag said, "Surfer Blood is the best '90s band working today." For 2011, Surfer Blood will return with an EP of new tunes to be released in late spring. More touring will inevitably ensue.
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Artists The Stripminers
event::about It started innocently enough, musician (boy) invites fellow musician (girl) to participate in a project at the suggestion of producer. Boy and girl find they have a lot in common musically, and boy writes them a country song on the plane home. Thus begins two years writing and recording songs with the producer. “That first song got lost as soon as we started writing more songs. It just didn’t fit” Said Paul Stinson from his seat at an airport diner. “I’ve always had songs that I wrote just for the sake of writing, without any specific destination in mind. Ever since Paul and I started working together it's been great to find a place for those tunes, and write new ones together.” Brett Anderson explains. “We did a couple Stripminers songs at one of my solo shows and it felt right” Scrote the bands producer and guitar player chimes in. So here we are 2011, it is official, and The Stripminers are a band. After two years of recording sessions and a couple under the radar shows, The Stripminers are open for business.
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Artists Trash Talk
event::about Trash Talk is an American hardcore punk band hailing from Sacramento, California, formed in 2005. Trash Talk combines classic hardcore punk with the aggression of its descendants. They have toured all around the world including Japan, Europe and Australia, as well as performed in many festivals in support of their releases which helped give the band recognition from publications including Rolling Stone and NME.
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event::about The individual roots established by Keith Morris (Black Flag/Circle Jerks), Dimitri Coats (Burning Brides), Steven McDonald (Redd Kross), and Mario Rubalcaba (Earthless/Hot Snakes/Rocket From the Crypt) are uniquely woven throughout the rock music canon. Each has challenged society's cyclical and complacent ideals in their own respective bands, and three decades on they've never strayed from their intentions. Now they come together as a four-piece called OFF! and they're as confrontational as ever, lunging inside the aesthetic of West Coast hardcore to push life's most provocative issues to the forefront. The pinch-hitting First Four EPs box set marks their explosive approach for a total of 16 songs in just under 18 minutes.
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Artists Bad Brains
event::about Bad Brains is an American punk band formed in Washington, D.C., in 1977. They are widely regarded as among the pioneers of hardcore punk, though the band's members objected to this term to describe their music. They are also an adept reggae band, while later recordings featured elements of other genres. Originally formed as a jazz fusion ensemble under the name Mind Power, Bad Brains developed a very fast and intense punk rock sound which came to be labeled "hardcore punk," and was often played more emphatically than the music of their peers. The unique factor of the band's music was the fact that they played more complex rhythms than that of other hardcore punk bands, also adapting non-punk style guitar riffs and solos into their songs. The band's classic and current lineup is singer H.R. (Human Rights), guitarist Dr. Know, bassist Darryl Jenifer and drummer Earl Hudson, H.R.'s younger brother.
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The Black Lips
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Artists The Black Lips
event::about 200 Million Thousand What do you do when your sixteen and in deep shit? You're looking out at the world from the strip-mall and the detention hall, from the basement and the cul-de-sac and it just looks like there is a wall around you. Everybody tells you and your friends that you're going nowhere, that your lives are already ruined. What the fuck do you do? You hang around and smash stuff and get high and try to be a bad-ass, that's what you do. You steal and drink and smash up the car your mom gave you and pull your pee-pee out in public. You work at sandwich shops and fast-food joints and try to screw private school girls because they think your tough and the girls at your school think your gay because you pretended to give your friend a blowjob at the junior prom. You fuck it all up as ugly and as dirty as you can because, why the fuck not? Your parents and teachers and sandwich-shop supervisors look at you and think, "What happened to the kid? He has all the advantages in the world and he has chucked it all in the shitter. Doesn't he believe in the inherent goodness of our enlightened society? Doesn't he believe in any thing at all?" It is this question, the question of belief, nay, the question of faith, that is the crux of the matter. It is this question that was asked of the Black Lips. And the Black Lips have answered it. They have answered it in their songs and in their actions. They have answered it for every shit-assed, burned-out brat that staggers out of the suburbs. They have answered it resoundingly and continue to answer it. "Where is their answer?" you may ask. Do those psychedelic swamp guitar drones bear witness to a faith of some kind? Does the quasi-violent sexual comedy of their stage show underscore a deeply held belief system? Does their commingling of Deep South, big-tent revival rhetoric with hoary-throated, drug-haze mumble truly mean anything, to them or to anyone else? You bet your ass it means something to them. How would they have persevered through all the drudgery and threats of doom if it didn't mean a goddamn thing to them? Their adversaries have been formidable and numerous, and they have bested them all. Why, even in their earliest days, death itself reared its ugly head to attempt to halt their progress, and was dismissed directly. How, without faith, could the Black Lips have carried their message forth into the four corners of the earth? And so, on the eve of the release of their fifth album, the faith abides stronger than ever. A host of influences have passed through their gullet and provided the sustenance to keep their faith alive. The dusts of a southern back road and the big-city gutter puke crackle in the grooves of this record as it did in the previous ones. The shouts and moans and static continue to bear witness. "But faith in what?" the fathers, mayors and captains of industry might continue to ask. Well, if you've never been one of those shit-assed brats looking out into a world you were already excluded from, a world that sickened you, but for which there was no alternative, then you may not understand. But, through the eyes of one whom, like them, was a go-nowhere from the get-go, the Black Lips represent the faith that it takes to reject that world of sterile, futile, servile, silliness and forge your own world based on bravery and bad-ass-ness. They have carried to fruition the plan that has been hatched, and will continue to be hatched in the minds of dizzy, dumb and desperate youth the world over. Now they carry their message of faith to the world. FEAR NOT! BE BRAVE AND TAKE HEART! THE WORLD IS YOURS IF YOU ACCEPT THE POWER OF FAITH!!! (As I record these words a purple and orange fog engulfs the bay below me. The gin gimlets glide down my throat and I ponder the freedom that I, myself, have wrenched from the 'enlightened society' that once oppressed me. It is good and right that we should live free. I know this, the Black Lips know this, and the gulls in the bay below know this. Take this knowledge and go in faith.) Baby Gusty Accra, Ghana December, 2008
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Artists King Creosote
event::about Kenny Anderson, known primarily by his stage name King Creosote, is an independent singer-songwriter from Fife, Scotland. To date, Anderson has released over forty albums, with his latest, Flick the Vs, released on 20 April 2009.
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event::about AUSTRA is Katie Stelmanis, Dorian Wolf, and Maya Postepski. They play dark, electronic music highlighted by Katie's incredible voice. AUSTRA just released a 12" single with One Big Silence in November 2011, and will release a full length with Domino Records in April.
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Artists Cass McCombs
event::about Having been asked to compose the biographical material for WIT'S END, the new album from Cass Mc Combs, it somewhat felt like a trap had been set and that I'd willingly walked into it by accepting the challenge. To be forthright, yours truly could be considered neither a casual nor objective observer, having familiarized myself with the subject at hand over the past decade in various capacities. In the process of preparing for this exercise, I was reminded of one our earliest encounters. Having flown out to meet Cass in Los Angeles after he'd commenced making his Domino debut, DROPPING THE WRIT, and hoping to hear some of the early recordings that had taken place already, he refused to play any of the progress as he considered them unfinished and therefore verboten. However, he was willing to share his completed lyrics, more than enough to fill five albums and many of them without any composed music. This puzzled me as I've often found that finished lyrics are usually one of the last pieces of the puzzle to be finished off with most of the songwriters I've worked with. Anyhow, he was especially proud of one song in particular that he intended to record... beaming in fact, as he pulled up the page. The minute I began to read, I knew exactly who the song was about, a mutual acquaintance. It was a sharp and compact lyric and its scrupulousness just added to acerbity. I turned to him and said something along the lines of... "Cass, this one... it's written for an audience of you and person about which this song is written. It's so specific, I fear it won't be relatable to nearly every other listener." And if my memory serves, I believe his response was "So what?" Mc Combs is wordsmith of great economy and precision. When you see his compositions in printed form, they appear incredibly sparse, like they could hardly fill a verse, let alone a whole song, and often lacking the traditional structure and rhyme schemes we've come to associate with modern music. But, once paired with his melodies and arrangements, they are transformed into these subtly revealing songs filled with depth of emotion and meaning. It is that precision that would lead one to believe that all the autobiographical material a person would seek about Mc Combs is embedded in the songs (and you'd be right) but then he would insist after the fact that your deductions couldn't be more off the mark about what is truth and what is simply artistic expression. So now I've written hundreds of words, given you no concrete biographical information AND neglected to mention anything about the new album beyond its title, but somehow I think Cass will appreciate that. There's really little to say other than you should give WIT'S END your full and undivided attention (I recommend late at night in solitude), as it is by far the most ambitious and realized artistic statement of his career. Period. If you will humor my enthusiasm for a moment, imagine a Terrence Malick film as scored by Mark Hollis... light in its darkness, claustrophobic in its panorama, distant in its intimacy, present in its timelessness. I won't pretend that I'll ever fully understand Cass as there are times where the dichotomies are dizzying even to those who know him better than most. I've heard from him the most withering couplets about the things he adores and words of great affection for those he's thought much, much less of. I've seen live performances filled with tenderness and aching that has made me believe in the absolute certainty that it will be just a matter of time before the rest of the world catches on and then the next time a performance so raw and confrontational that it could easily be mistaken as an act of professional self-immolation. I've never heard mention of that song that I so quickly dismissed at the time as too unequivocal and now a perverse curiosity as to what might have been is all that remains as he's never mentioned it or performed a variation of it since. Perhaps I felt my own unease at the notion of being on the receiving end of a Cass Mc Combs lyric. Perhaps, I already have been and just don't know it. He is that clever. -Kris Gillespie Domino Records Cass McCombs is a singer-songwriter born in Northern California in 1977 and currently resides somewhere in that State.
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event::about If Prof had things his way, people would think he was nothing more than a heavy-boozing, free-wheeling playboy. His lyrics are sometimes rude and usually downright crude. He boasts in his rhymes about how he’s pretty much the shit at everything. He’s even performed shows where he makes himself get so drunk he throws up before going on stage. Unfortunately for Prof, there’s an underlying seriousness to his lyrics that he tries his hardest to cover with layer upon layer of party-perfect beats and rhymes. Growing up on the South Side of Minneapolis, Prof matured in step with the local hip-hop scene. In his 26 years, he’s seen some shit that can’t help but escape from his memory and into his songs, lending his lines the kind of wisdom that can only be born on hard city streets. He started free styling in eighth grade and, although he likes to have fun with his music, the swiftness of his rise to local fame shows how seriously he regards his rap career. A rowdy young buck who loves a good time, Prof wants his music to inspire others to party it up with him. In a world where credibility is currency, Prof sticks a middle finger to those who feel hip-hop should be straight-faced and serious. “Everyone’s trying to be a preacher or a politician— telling you how to live your life,” he says. “I’m not running for Senate. I’m doing this for fun and I don’t watch my mouth.”
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event::about 'I've been deep into electronic music my entire life. The first records I ever owned were 'Fat of Land' by the Prodigy and 'Come To Daddy' by Aphex Twin,' raves Sonny Moore, better known as emerging electronic visionary SKRILLEX. 'Marilyn Manson and Nine Inch Nails were also early influences. I've been dabbling in making electronic tracks on programs like Fruity Loops since I was 14 years old.' SKRILLEX is part of a new generation of artists that refuse to be restricted by preconceived notions or outside expectations. 'Genre has never been important to me,' he insists. 'I've never thought about music that way.' Describing his current sound as 'a mix of dubstep, electro and glitch all thrown together,' new SKRILLEX release 'SCARY MONSTERS AND NICE SPRITES' reflects all of the above and beyond. The uplifting post-trance synth melodies of 'ALL I ASK OF YOU' (featuring the soaring vocals of Penny) stands in stark contrast to the face-melting electro bass blasts of the massive electro-dubstep hybrid 'ROCK N' ROLL (WILL TAKE YOU TO THE MOUNTAIN).' 'I've listened to so much music for so long, it's more about instinct than influence,' Moore explains about his sonic inspirations. 'Coming up, I was into a lot of artists on the Warp record label like Autechre, Squarepusher, and Aphex Twin, so SKRILLEX tracks are inclined to have more changes than most dance tracks normally have. I can draw influences from almost anything. I just like to mess around and create cool new sounds and noises. I just go where the music takes me.' After just one hugely successful independent release, 'SCARY MONSTERS AND NICE SPRITES' is the first SKRILLEX release on Big Beat Records, in conjunction with fellow electronic revolutionary Deadmau5's freshly minted Mau5trap record label. 'For years, the artists needed the record labels. I don't feel that way at all,' Moore stresses. 'SKRILLEX has been 100% independent until now. I think it's so important to be self-sufficient as artist. Working with Atlantic / Big Beat, and cooperating with Mau5trap, allows us all to work as a team and expand on what's already been built.' Following its release on Beatport, the 9-song EP dominated the charts on the site, with the title track claiming the site's #1 slot (the first time a dubstep track has ever done so), 8 songs breaking into the top 10, and multiple tracks claiming the #1 slots on several of the site's subgenre charts, including Dubstep, Electro House, Progressive House. Aside from the immediate success of 'SCARY MONSTERS AND NICE SPRITES,' SKRILLEX has also made a name for himself as a highly sought-after remixer. He's already produced officially commissioned remixes for such A-list artists as the Black Eyed Peas ('Rock That Body'), Lady Gaga ('Bad Romance' and 'Alejandro'), and La Roux ('In For The Kill'). SKRILLEX stands not only at the vanguard of electronic dance music, but the perpetually evolving new music industry as a whole. 'For me, it's important to believe in and love the music you're making. I gave away my first EP on my manager's website, just so people could hear the music,' he enthuses. 'It was downloaded by the thousands in just a couple of months, and it hasn't let up since. That's all the inspiration I need to keep making music. 'SKRILLEX can be anything I want it to be,' he continues hopefully. 'There are so many different avenues for music now. Video games, movie scores - the possibilities are endless, and I'm excited to be a part of it.' November 2010
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event::about Richard Andrew, better known by his stage name Outasight, is an American rapper and singer from Yonkers, New York. Though he is considered a Hip-Hop artist, he draws influence from other genres such as classic rock and soul, and describes his music as "Energetic hip hop mixed with melodic soul"  In October 2009, Outasight signed with Warner Bros. Records under Asylum Records. His first full length studio album is set to be released by Warner Brothers Records.
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Artists Pharoahe Monch
event::about Pharoahe Monch is one of the uniquest emcees in hip-hop today. After releasing three albums with the group Orgainzed Konfusion he went on to have a successful solo career releasing two critically acclaimed albums. His next album "W.A.R. (We Are Renegades)" is set to drop this Spring.
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Asher Roth & Nottz
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Artists Asher Roth & Nottz
event::about The Nottz Raw and Asher Roth collaborative effort , The Rawth EP, is finally upon us. Together, they recorded a free EP with eight new tracks featuring guests Kardinal Offishall, Rhymefest, and DA, of Chester French. Asher Roth is making a movement from the mainstream back to the underground,
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Artists Freddie Gibbs
event::about Freddie Gibbs is a direct product of Gary, Indiana’s East Side. An uncut distillation of his surroundings, Gibbs was born into a dire situation; industrial divestment from the Midwest has created a vacuum of poverty. It’s a tragic sight, or it would be if there were anyone to document it. Freddie Gibbs had his work cut out for him. Freddie’s keen survivalist mentality and work ethic won him a scholarship to Ball State for football after high-school, but he was dismissed over questionable allegations. It’s fair to assume that Freddie hadn’t completely divorced himself from the streets, but whatever the case, higher education was no longer a viable option. Gibbs was cast back into the sink-or-swim realities of his upbringing, and he resorted to pimping and manufacturing freebase to keep the lights on. A humble critic, Freddie never meant to be a part of the problem, and explored means of supporting himself without partaking in the cyclical plague of drugs and prostitution. A gifted writer who stood out amongst his peers with his reserved wit and command of language, Freddie began to rap about the things he saw. As word of his skills spread to the coasts, he aligned himself with notable producers like The Alchemist, Polow Da Don, Just Blaze, and Buckwild to create a discography that illustrates his experiences as a struggling denizen of a blighted community, but he doses each compilation with positivity and humor as well. XXL Magazine caught wind of Freddie’s unique approach and nominated Gibbs to their Freshman Top 10 earlier this year, a prophetic announcement that has come fully to fruition. Freddie Gibbs’ mixtapes are amongst the most praised of the last few years, frequently capturing the forsaken instrumental aesthetic of 90’s boom-bap and juxtaposing it with his distinctly Midwestern double-time flow. Freddie Gibbs has positioned himself as a recession-era mascot for the disenfranchised Midwestern working class and he wears the title exceptionally well while also giving a cognizant nod to the classic sonic pillars of hip-hop. This sound is fully evident in his release with Decon, the Str8 Killa EP. It was Public Enemy’s Chuck D that once famously called hip-hop “the CNN of the ghetto”, and the sentiment is particularly applicable to Freddie’s music. In 2010 Gibbs is reporting live, stay tuned.
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Artists Das Racist
event::about Das Racist is a weed edge/hare krishna hard core/art rap/freak folk music trio based in brooklyn, new york, comprised of queens-born himanshu kumar suri, san francisco-born victor vazquez, and queens-born ashok kondabolu. Suri and vazquez met at sarah lawrence bard pomona wesleyan art college in massachusetts, where victor was himanshu's resident advisor in a "students of color for social justice" themed freshman year dormitory. The duo later added kondabolu as a hype man and spiritual advisor. After a couple of years of occasional drunken freestyles with each other, Himanshu and Victor decided to record a couple of raps together. The first of which was called "We Made It" and immediately became a hit amongst stupid assholes who like rap from the 1990s and really want that shit to keep happening. The second track was called "Fever" and it was fucking terrible - really bad. Then they made some other songs and then they made "Combination Pizza Hut and Taco Bell" which is the one that everyone likes and then they made some other songs.
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Artists Saint Motel
event::about The explosive, cinematic, indie-pop band Saint Motel is, to put it best, hard to resist, and damn fun. In the world of Saint Motel, nothing bows to convention: Stages become forests and living rooms, and shows become kaleidoscopic mind explosions in 3D. This theatrically creative world is due in large part to the fact that the gentlemen of Saint Motel share a distinct interest in cinema. The band's keen visual sensibility has yielded an array of stunningly original videos that accompany songs from their recently released debut EP ForPlay, released via the band's label On The Records, and the physical or digital version of ForPlay includes the free added bonus of the beautiful, ultra-conceptualized videos for each song. Having met at film school in the summer of 2007, Saint Motel is A/J Jackson (vocals, guitar), A Sharp (lead guitar), Greg Erwin (drums) and Dak (bass) – musicians who constantly experiment and push boundaries within the songwriting process to keep evolving their signature sound that features unique guitar tones and surprising sonic twists throughout. Dear Dictator is the EP's first single, which is enjoying spins and support from influential Los Angeles radio station KROQ. The song balances a hauntingly beautiful melody and a powerfully familiar-feeling riff. Butch has a Frankie Valli-meets-The Who vibe with its catchy melody, gentle vocals, and huge climax, while Eat Your Heart Out is reminiscent of a more intense Muse with its atmospheric fire. To My Enemies showcases Sharp's use of the slide guitar that he manipulates to produce a mesmerizing horn-sounding tone. Pity Party has a build reminiscent of an earlier era and takes you away with quick turns and a memorable breakdown that warns "And if the world would end tonight, I won't be by your side." ForPlay's final track, Do Everything Now, is a steady build that grabs you and punch you in the gut with its musical force, and sounds like the soundtrack to Jack Kerouac's On The Road. The raw energy apparent in Saint Motel's music is felt at a new level when experiencing them live. The band's live shows are marked by this effusive energy and the spectacle of exciting visual soundscapes that blend the sonic with the artful. Jackson explains, “People want to be entertained when they go out to see a show so we try to offer not only an energetic performance but also a memorable experience.” Metromix agrees, stating that “Saint Motel never fail to put on a show that’s a treat for the senses” and The Onion claims “Saint Motel has a...particular blend of wholesome indie rock brimming with raucous sexual energy,” while Flavorpill declares the band “Imploring, atonal, and irresistible garage glam.” Saint Motel was the only band to play main stages at both Sunset Junction and Sunset Strip Music Festival this summer, headlined to an over-capacity crowd of 1400 at the Hammer Museum as part of KCRW's “Also I Like To Rock” series, recently toured with British rockers Band Of Skulls, and are currently recording new material. With their track “Butch” being played consistently on KCRW's Morning Becomes Eclectic, they attack the road with Nico Vega this fall starting on October 26th.
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Artists Greek Fire
event::about Greek Fire is a mission to capture the attention of a rock deprived generation. A mission to re-vitalize the spirit of rock music in all of it's purity and greatness. A mission to create uplifting, soaring music for those who need it now more than ever. Greek Fire is comprised of 4 young men from the planet Earth, each sharing an extreme passion for their respective instruments. Greek Fire is about purity and expression, poetry and mystery, the beauty of the journey. Faith in something greater, a quest into the unknown, a connection with the fire within. Embracing the power of words, the beauty of the guitar riff, the energy created through real rhythm, Greek Fire is a quest to resurrect the greatness of rock music for those who want something more. Natural melodies and rhythm with no cover ups, no pitch correction, no splicing and dicing it to perfection, just the spirit of that natural and attitude-filled first take. We invite you to the ride.
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Artists Neon Trees
event::about Neon Trees Tyler Glenn: lead vocals/keyboards Chris Allen: guitars Branden Campbell: bass Elaine Bradley: drums/vocals “I wanna shake up your system/I wanna rattle your bones/I wanna take you to the stars/And then I’ll leave you alone.” “Farther Down” Like their name, Neon Trees are a combination of slick pop hooks and sturdy organic rock, both melodic and hard-hitting, their anthems of adolescent angst, longing, love lost and found, delivered with the kind of heart-on-the-sleeve passion that only comes from hard work and commitment. Their Mercury/Island Def Jam debut, Habits, produced by Tim Pagnotta, is a refreshing blast of timeless rock energy and spirit that wouldn’t sound out of place at any point from ‘60s garage-rock to 2010 dance rock, with the first single, “Animal,” taking off from a round of weaving, angular guitars into a song equally at home in the arena as on the dance floor, a paean to sexual longing in which singer/front man Tyler Glenn wails, “Take a bite out of my heart tonight.,” and you have no reason to doubt his sincerity. Take hook-happy new wave, add to it the classic-rock story-telling humanity and leaven with other-worldly charisma, and you begin to understand the palette Neon Trees are working from. “I have this weird, obsessive nature of wanting to be a superhero,” admits Glenn, who cites his two favorite performers as the Boss and the King of Pop. “I just want to help my friends and the people I love by saving them, only to realize they’re really saving me by listening to the music. The songs are all about forgiveness, love and passion, which basically sums up the whole vibe of what we’re about as a band, professionally and spiritually.” In the opening “Sins of my Youth,” Tyler reminisces about a childhood of trial, error and eventual self-discovery. “I’ve got these habits I cannot break… Call me crazy/I was born to make a mess.” “Your Surrender” takes Roy Orbison’s romantic plaint and sets it up against Phil Spector’s Wall of Sound, while “Girls and Boys in School” speaks for itself, with a playground chant over a dark yet sing-along synth-pop chorus. Chris Allen has a quirky, edgy Johnny Marrr-meets-The Edge guitar playing while drummer Elaine Bradley drums with the intensity of John Bonham adding a heartbeat to the sensuality of the songs. “We’re all about songs which relate the human experience,” says Las Vegas native, bassist Branden Campbell. “The emotion is very important to us. Our logo is a human heart with wings. We try to keep it real, but we’re not afraid to dream, either, work hard and admit we want success.” “We approach the songs from a classic perspective,” adds guitarist Chris Allen, who formed the initial group in Southern California with neighbor Tyler, who lived around the corner. “Even from the start, it was all about the music for us. We didn’t even talk, just practice.” “I’ve always tried to keep my feet on the ground with my songwriting,” adds Tyler, a self-taught musician who began composing when he was six. “I try to focus on getting out what I’m thinking and feeling. It’s a tool to help me cope with all the weird things that come into my mind. I’m just happy to have found that outlet.” When Allen moved to Provo, UT, to attend school, Glenn followed him, knowing he wanted to play music with Allen. “That was a real awkward trip,” laughs Chris. “We drove all the way out there and hardly said a word to each other. All we knew was we wanted to play music together.” Once there, they were soon joined by Campbell on bass and drummer Bradley, a Midwestern Led Zeppelin/Depeche Mode fan, a combination that clicked despite the fact the individual members eventually discovered they were all very different people. “We are all so fascinatingly different,” explains Bradley, who has been playing in bands since she was 14, first as a guitarist then as a drummer. “Tyler’s the quirky serious type who is really a goofball. Branden’s the musical history encyclopedia. Chris is the manual labor. Being in this band is like an arranged marriage where divorce is not an option, and I’m ok with that.” Being signed to a major label hasn’t changed Neon Trees one bit. “Our goal and how we play are still the same,” insists Tyler. “We’ve always tried to evoke a larger-than-life feel, even if we’re playing to 10 people in a garage. We’re just trying to keep our feet on the ground and remember why we started doing this in the first place.” “Music is a sacred act of communion for me, offering hope and love,” says Tyler. “That’s the heart of this band. Just like in life, though, you need to have fun, too, you have to laugh and dance and sing. The songs that last and get people to feel something are the ones they can sing along to and really identify with.” “There’s so much breath to what we do,” adds Elaine. “Every song represents a different aspect of our sound. We don’t stick to a single formula. And we have the goods to back it up live.” “Our favorite thing is playing live shows, traveling, seeing new places, meeting new people,” adds Chris. “We just want to share that feeling we got from the bands that inspired us, and then We want to pass the torch.” With their major label debut, Habits, Neon Trees light the fire.
to 8:00 PM
to 9:00 PM
1 schedule::attendeesLocation Emo's Main Room
event::about The Denver duo enlarge their innovative experimental doom metal sound on their latest release, Felo De Se (June 2010) on Cavity Records. Adai are massive on both stage and record. Felo De Se was recorded by Matt Talbott (Hum) and mixed by Kurt Ballou (Converge), and not surprisingly Adai achieve an astounding amount of color (instead of just going for dark) while keeping it crushingly heavy. The two friends that comprise the band, Justin Trujilo (drums, samples) and Devin Mendoza (guitars, vox, amps) are hard-working, diligent, focused, and they clearly love what they do.
to 10:00 PM
9 schedule::attendeesLocation Emo's Main Room
event::about After touring solidly across North America, the UK, and Europe for the last several years, the bearded men of Junius are currently working on the follow-up to their critically acclaimed The Martyrdom of a Catastrophist (on The Mylene Sheath worldwide and Make My Day Records in Europe). Junius has been electrifying rapt audiences with its spellbinding walls of reverb-drenched guitars, haunting vocals and self-made lights since 2003. The band's music is both cinematic and accessible, building to crescendos which echo some of Post Rock's most epic moments, but with vocals, hooks, and lyrics creating focus throughout. While Junius can be tough to categorize (they've been called a hybrid of Neurosis and The Smiths by Rolling Stone), band members have cited such artists as Bedhead (Junius singer/guitarist Joseph E. Martinez's uncle Trini was their drummer), Philip Glass, Hum, and M83 among a long list of inspirations.
to 11:00 PM
6 schedule::attendeesLocation Emo's Main Room
Artists Mose Giganticus
event::about Mose Giganticus is a four-piece, progressive heavy metal band from Philadelphia, PA. Incubated in the 'Do-It-Yourself' music scene of West Philadelphia, Mose Giganticus has evolved to blend the ominous, lumbering weight of sludge and stoner metal with the bombastic pomp and technological expertise of progressive metal, creating a wall of sound that is dark, heavy, and baroque. As front-man and creative force behind Mose Giganticus, Matt Garfield maintains the art of the 'well crafted hook' by infusing winding guitar riffs with his signature use of synthesizers and vocoders, producing songs that are as memorable as they are crushing. In July 2010, Mose Giganticus released their Relapse Records debut LP, "Gift Horse," which went on to garner international critical acclaim, including multiple "Best of 2010" listings worldwide (Sonic Abuse London, Metal Injection US, BangBang Canada). Currently, Mose Giganticus continues to tour year-round, painstakingly forging their position on the national touring circuit. To date, Mose Giganticus has performed at over 400 shows and festivals across the continental United States, western Canada, the Yukon Territory, and Alaska in their Waste-Vegetable-Oil fueled bus. For fans of: Mastodon, Baroness, The Melvins, Zombi, and Cynic
to 12:00 AM
to 1:00 AM
13 schedule::attendeesLocation Emo's Main Room
event::about Caspian is a rock band from Beverly, Massachusetts, a seaside town 20 minutes north of Boston. Nobody sings. Most of the time we play heavy, other times quite soft. We always try to play with heart. So far we have recorded three albums. The process is always evolving - Thanks for exploring it with us.
to 2:00 AM
Extra Action Marching Band
14 schedule::attendeesLocation Emo's Main Room
Artists Extra Action Marching Band
event::about The Extra Action Marching Band is a collision of big band and ecstatic turmoil. Despite their name they rarely march, but rather shimmy, crawl, mob and charge. Trumpets pounce like eagles and tubas drip ass-bouncing blurps from fat fingers. Drums shudder under wild eyed and white knuckled drummers, and through it all winds the flag team; glittering and sinuous creatures who masterfully pulsate pom-poms in a hypnotic fantasy. The listener is hoodwinked, soaked, and savaged into giddy abandon. Powerful and empowering, the Extra Action Marching Band seduces the pre-civilized will. They are immediate and visceral - more of a sweaty invitation than a show. They are a parody of idioms with shattering volume - guerrilla theater with the rug rolled up. Extra Action has performed in back alleys and at the Hollywood Bowl, they have played Black Sabbath in a synagogue for dancing octogenarians - but the preferred venue is a small locked room with the heat turned up. As the sound boils into a spinning crossfire, sweat and flying hair tangle in a delicious knot. Audience and band submit together, to each other, to the whim and fancy, to satisfaction. Irresistible.