Happy People, Dinowalrus, Inky Jack

Wed, November 28, 2012

Doors: 7:00 pm

Mercury Lounge

New York, NY

This event is 21 and over

Benzos - (Set time: 10:00 PM)
After nearly a five-year hiatus, NYC electro-indie rockers, Benzos, are back for a special reunion performance at the venue they called home, NYC’s Mercury Lounge.

Originally forming at the start of 2003 as a five (sometimes six)-piece, they ushered in a new sound to the New York City scene that incorporated layered synths, ambient soundscapes and sampled rhythms, surrounded by driving guitar lines and soaring vocals. The band quickly created a buzz, which got them a personal invite from Matt Pinfield to perform live on NY’s 92.3 K-Rock. Soon after, Benzos grew from headlining slots at the smaller local venues to playing Irving Plaza with Blonde Redhead, and Bowery Ballroom with The National, TV on the Radio and Phoenix. By the time their debut album, Morning Stanzas, was released in 2005, they had begun to tour nationally with acts ranging from She Wants Revenge and Mellowdrone, to Lake Trout and The Benevento/Russo Duo.

After two years on the road, they parted with co-founding member/singer, Mike Ortega, and transformed into a four-piece that began to incorporate “live remixing” of their songs into their sets, earning them a reputation as an exciting live act. Their second album, Branches, released in 2007, reflected the recent change in lineup and performance by incorporating the elements often experienced at their live performances to tape. After its release, Benzos hit the road again and capped off a year of touring with a memorable late-night performance at Bonnaroo.

In mid-2008, after make their new Coup d’etat EP available for free to fans, the four remaining members had decided to go on an indefinite hiatus in order to focus on individual projects: Christian Celaya’s band/production team With Lions; Brian Joyce’s band Blue Coin; Eiko Peck’s solo venture, elco deck; and Steve Bryant’s solo project, Cru Jonez. After nearly five years passing, they decided to reunite for a special show, bringing the band full circle by reforming as a five-piece (featuring Happy People’s Stephen Ortega taking the place of his brother on vocals) and bringing their music to the stage where they established themselves early on, NYC’s Mercury Lounge. Continuing the trend of taking the band back to where it started, Benzos has invited the bloggers that helped to create that initial buzz in the scene to present this special performance.
Happy People - (Set time: 9:00 PM)
Happy People
Happy People is a rock band based in New Jersey. Jeffrey Widner and Stephen Ortega formed the band in late 2010 with Jeff on bass, guitar, drums and keys and Stephen on guitar and vocals. Influences such as The Velvet Underground, David Bowie, Beck, My Bloody Valentine and Four Tet, make for Happy People's diverse sound. In the Spring of 2011, Happy People released HP-EP, their first 5 song EP. A full band accompanies Stephen and Jeff's live show, transforming Happy People's performance into rich and vivid layers of sound reminiscent of Phil Spector.
Dinowalrus - (Set time: 8:00 PM)
DINOWALRUS is psychedelic synth-punk band from Brooklyn, NY comprised of former Titus Andronicus guitarist Pete Feigenbaum, synth and bass wizard Liam Andrew, and veteran drummer Max Tucker. Pete started the band in 2008 and they quickly grabbed attention with a long run of local and regional shows with the likes of Javelin, Surfer Blood, Health, Real Estate, Screaming Females, A Place to Bury Strangers, Crystal Stilts, Titus Andronicus and These are Powers. They started 2009 strong with a 7" release that was distributed by Impose and RVNG, another 7" release on the Australian label EXO, plus a tour to SXSW with the Australian post-punk band Bachelor of Arts. In January 2010, DINOWALRUS put out their shape shifting, eclectic and erudite debut, %, on Kanine Records (Surfer Blood, Chairlift, Grizzly Bear). The album was a unique, structurally unorthodox, unpredictable mélange of krautrock, synthpop, shoegaze, acid-rock, noise, and thrash-punk that was well received in underground circles, but was generally ignored by broader indie-rock audiences. In the year that followed, The band toured the east coast and California with the likes of Titus Andronicus, Fang Island, Aa, Signals (ex-mae shi), and Tempo no Tempo. Later in 2010, Pete revamped the lineup and songwriting approach, and began working with Liam Andrew (synthesizers, bass). The two has been friends since college, where they both took a course entitled "the experimental traditional in pop music", where they received course credit for listening to favorites such as PiL, Brian Eno, Throbbing Gristle and Kraftwerk. With drummer Anton Hochheim from their Kanine shoegazer label-mates the Depreciation Guild onboard for recording and a run of shows, DINOWALRUS reinvented themselves with a more pop-oriented songwriting approach that drew heavily on the 1980s beats of Madchester plus other groovin' minimal synth, new wave, dark wave, and post punk angles, while retaining their psychedelic and krautock backbone. After finishing the album, they started working fulltime with drummer Max Tucker, formerly of Patrick Cleandenim and Francis and the Lights to take their live show to the next level.
Inky Jack - (Set time: 7:00 PM)
Inky Jack
Inky Jack's founding members found themselves working deep in the urban/pop machine (Cash Money, Diplomats, etc.) before they came out kicking and screaming, delving back into their indie roots with newly-minted pop sensibilities. Inky Jack is making real, fun, honest music that is resonating with people and growing their fan base. Having landed a monthly residency at Brooklyn's Trash Bar (named best punk bar in NYC in 2011 by the Village Voice), and recently playing the BK Indie Fest, CMJ, and SxSW, Inky Jack is ready to support their release with a live show that makes people move like they're sand-skiing in the dunes of Jamaica or just trying to pull on tight pants. The band coined the term "synthy soul-rock" to describe their records as well as their live shows, which consists of a system of drum machines and synthesizers in addition to the standard rock band components.

Inky Jack has been compared to TV on the Radio, Passion Pit, and Gnarls Barkley, among others.
Venue Information:
Mercury Lounge
217 E Houston St.
New York, NY, 10002