Archive for August, 2012

It’s no secret I’m a big fan of rock ‘n roll, the blues, and danceable variations on the theme, and it’s becoming less of a secret that I love bands from Texas.  Enter, The Bright Light Social Hour, who are all of the previous and a whole lot of extra goodness.  Hailing from Austin, Jack O’Brien(bass/vocals), Curtis Roush (vocals/guitar), A.J. Vincent (vocals/keyboard), and Joseph Mirasole (drums)’s notoriety has been escalating rapidly, as their debut, self-titled release has gathered rockers and hipsters onto the dancefloor with soulful vocals, psychedelic aura, contagious beats, sultry grooves, southern sass, unmistakable personalities, and mind-blowing live performances.  Still in the midst of their nationwide tour, Jack found a moment to answer some questions (Thanks!).   Speaking of Jack, check out his mustache and make sure to contribute to the band’s efforts as  they enter back into the studio to record their next album.  New York fans, you’re in luck; these Austinites will be hitting the Bowery Ballroom stage next Wednesday, August 8 with Brooklyn buddies, BLACK TAXI and Echosuite,  for a full night of grooving and moving. It’s bound to sell out, so make sure to grab a ticket while you can.  Doors at 7:30pm.  For other tour dates, see the band’s website for a show in your city!

RS: You probably get this question constantly, but how did your band’s name come about?

TBLSH: Curt and I started the band in college. He was studying Indian activist/writer Arundhati Roy, who was known for saying the activist’s job is to shine bright lights in dark corners of society. We liked that idea, and wanted to convey a forward-looking sense of community and gathering that we felt an important part of the atmosphere surrounding the band and music.

RS:   How would you describe your music to someone and convince them that it is worth listening to? What’s the most important thing fans can glean from your music?

TBLSH: Psychedelic/southern/rock/soul/hard dance/deep funk. If you’d like to experience passionate artists attempting a genuine expression of beauty, appeal and communion, check us out.

RS:  What cities are your favorite tour spots?  Where did you have the best but most unexpected turn out?

TBLSH:  We’ve been to so many great places. Some of our favorites include Miami, Toronto, Portland, Mexico City, Tampa, New York of course. We’d never been to Aspen and were expecting a very small turnout but it turned to be one of our best club shows.

RS:     All your fans have heard the horrible and unfortunate news about your stolen equipment in Suskatoon and are pretty pissed off on your behalf. How has this affected your tour, and how have you managed with the incident?  If you came face to face with your burglars, what would happen?

TBLSH: It was certainly the greatest heartbreak we’ve ever faced as a band. Those guitars were our babies; just about everything we’ve written thus far was written with them. But it was hard to stay bummed for too long; as soon as we posted about the theft and asked for donations the support came flooding in to a degree we’d never have thought possible. It was truly amazing. A friend of a friend in Ottawa has lent me a sweet ’76 P Bass until I sort something out, and Curt picked up an excellent Nash Tele guitar and Victoria “Bassman” amp from craigslist so we didn’t have to cancel any shows and we’re back up to having a full, quality touring rig. If we ran into the burglars I think we’d pump the brakes on any aggression and beg, plead and offer anything for a lead on how to recover the instruments.

RS:   It’s been great watching you grow as a band and get the attention you deserve since I first saw you play at SXSW a few years back. Seeing you open for The Cult was incredible! What have been the most rewarding and memorable moments over the last year?

TBLSH: Thanks! Playing with the Cult at SXSW is definitely up there. We recently played Festival d’été de Québec in Québec City opening for Aerosmith in front of an amazing 80 to 100,000 person crowd. It was a little terrifying, but absolutely a blast.

RS:      What is your most hilarious and/or embarrassing tour story?

TBLSH: During our song “Bare Hands Bare Feet” there’s a part where A.J. throws me the tambourine across the stage. For the 1st time in probably over 200 shows we’ve done that song I just forgot it was coming and it totally nailed me in front of thousands.

RS: 2012 has already been a roller coaster of a year for you guys. How do you plan to finish out the year?

TBLSH: After Thanksgiving we’ll finally have a good bit of time off from touring for the 1st time this year. But there’ll be little time to relax, we’ll be busy finishing writing for the next record, hopefully to get into the studio a few months later. We’ll be closing out the year opening the 1st of Umphrey’s Mcgee’s New Year’s shows on December 28th in Atlanta.

I’ll admit first that I haven’t been the most avid follower of tonight’s heavy hitters over the years,   but I’m pretty excited to get a chance to  rock with Helmet and Toadies, who have both been quaking audiences since 1989, at Webster Hall. I’ll do my best to get some photos to share, but no guarantee…one thing I’m not a fan of is getting my camera smashed!  Doors at 6pm, show at 7pm.

I got a chance to chat with rock n roll bringer backers, TAB the Band, out of Massachusetts.  Rock  to the bones, these four gents let me in on some band history and news, and what it’s like to hang with Slash.  Comprised of Adrian Perry – Vocals, Bass, Tony Perry – Guitar, Ben Tileston – Drums, Vocals, and Lou Jannetty – Guitar, Vocals, the group’s shows are never short of droll humor and raucous guitar solos.  Currently, TAB is in the process of releasing a brand new record, but their album, Zoo Noises is a great way to introduce yourselves to a fusion or wit and wailing.

 Rocker Stalker:    I’m sure you get this ALL the time, but what does TAB mean or stand for? Or, are you guys just huge fans of the soda?

TAB: T stands for Tony. A stands for Adrian. B stands for Ben. And the Band stands for Louie. So there ya go. Tony and I used to have a project called “TnA” so naturally, by adding Ben and Lou, the name had to be augmented in some way.
RS:     How did you all meet? What connected you all musically that drove you to form a band?
TAB: Tony and I are brothers, so I’ve known him since he was a baby. Ben and Lou went to high school with Tony so they’ve all been buddies awhile, and I’ve known Ben and Lou coz they hung around the house and what not. The initial drive to form the band was a mutual hatred of what we were hearing at the time out of the indie scene and a desire to create a band that played music we liked. Also, everyone lived close by.
RS:    You’ve been playing some of your new material live, and it sounds awesome! What sets your new album apart from Zoo Noises? When can we expect it?
TAB: The new album is done and we hope to have it out later this year. The record is definitely our most “mature” album; tightest arrangements, some of the best hooks we’ve come up with, and a nice variety of dynamics and sounds. It has a real power pop feel at times, and other times it’s a bit darker. It’s like a Kinks record on steroids I guess.
RS:   You’ve  played with some incredible artists, Slash, Cage the Elephant, Stone Temple Pilots, Black Rebel Motorcycle Club, etc. What did you learn from these veterans? Who would you like to play alongside in the future?
 TAB: You learn about professionalism. You learn what it takes to bring it every night, the work that goes into meeting people’s expectations on a nightly basis. We’ve been very lucky to open for some great bands. Some of the bands we’d love to play with in the future are the Black Keys, Jack White, the Kills and Beck, to name some favorites.
RS:  Where do you see the band going in five years? What has been the best memory since your  band’s  conception?
TAB: I’d say the hope is that we are still making good records in 5 years and that we have expanded our audience between then and now. It’s a long way to the top, as Bon says. My favorite memory so far is stepping out on stage for our set at Lollapalooza last year. It was a great feeling to have so many people psyched to see our set. We are used to being an opening act, so for that moment it felt like we were a headliner. ‘Twas a good time.
RS:  Lastly, I just have to ask. What is Slash like?

TAB: Slash is an awesome dude. One of the nicest, most mellow guys you’ll ever meet.

This post has taken long enough! Here’s a look at Black Taxi’s summer start at Ulysses! Enjoy 🙂