Yellow Dogs, HITS

Yellow Dogs

HITS

Baby Alpaca, Nicos Gun

Wed, December 19, 2012

Doors: 7:30 pm

Mercury Lounge

New York, NY

This event is 21 and over

Yellow Dogs - (Set time: 10:30 PM)
Yellow Dogs
The Yellow Dogs formed back in Tehran, Iran in 2006, and are one of the youngest Iranian rock bands out there. The social restrictions in Tehran and the restrictions imposed by the Iranian government forced them underground, and to build their own tiny bohemian practicing room -the "Sagdooni-by their own hands on the rooftop of their drummer Sina's house. SAGDOONI (farsi for kennel) was where they shaped their own style of independent music. As the Iranian environment cracked down on underground music, they continued making and playing music in their tiny abode shut off from the outside world.

Yellow Dogs were one of the main subjects of the award winning (Cannes & Sao Paulo International film festivals) film, "No One Knows about Persian Cats" - who tells the stories of the underground music scene in Iran. Since their move to the USA one year ago, they have played numerous shows in NYC (including an ongoing monthly gallery/loft party), gone on a national tour, showcased at SXSW and CMJ, recorded an EP “In the Kennel” with producer, Keith Souza (The Battles, Clap Your Hands Say Yeah) - which we will be releasing in spring 2011.

“My God--the Yellow Dogs are brilliant." -The Huffington Post

“Yellow Dogs may be from Iran, but they're a badass, Gang of Four-influenced punk band with dancefloor-moving songs.”-SPIN

“Yellow Dogs’ illegal performances have served to inspire universally human and simplistically humble goals.”-AOL/Spinner
HITS - (Set time: 9:30 PM)
HITS
Dictionary definitions prove useful -- prophetic, even -- when listening to HITS, the New York-based synth rockers whose songs are a collection of incisive scenes of the 21st century condition all set to infectious pop arrangements. Few bands ever land on a name that so aptly describes both their sound, and the effect it has on its audience. In its many iterations, the word ‘hit’ denotes the following: To collide with; to affect; to perform successfully; to win. Synth lines shimmer under guitars burnished by sixty years of musical history, laced with lead singer Louis Epstein’s croon on subjects broad (heartbreak) and specific (television series). With guitarist Ben Vescovi, keyboardist Erik Tonnessen (live member of Holy Ghost!), and drummer Chris Stein (former member of the The Drums) they have positioned themselves to be at the top of bands to watch this year. Fortunately for listeners, it happens the band is just as good at making music as they are at naming it. Listeners are first struck, then dazzled, then ultimately won over.
They’ve shared the stage with artists such as Tom Tom Club, Capital Cities, MNDR, Cloud Nothings, and Dale Earnhardt Jr. Jr.
Baby Alpaca - (Set time: 8:30 PM)
Baby Alpaca
When trying to identify the music made by NYC trio Baby Alpaca, it’s perhaps easier to try and figure out what the music is NOT. Judging by the music on the band’s first proper EP, it’s easy to say that this is definitely not your standard indie rock fare: an autoharp is involved, as well as both live and programmed beats and a smattering of guitars. The music eschews any musical tropes typically assigned to wispy bedroom electronica, beardy folk music, or the new wave of alternative R&B, but it could perhaps exist as a distant cousin to all of those things. Buoyed aloft by the winsome vocals of front man Chris Kittrell and shaped by the guitar styling of Zach McMillan, Baby Alpaca make music that is both romantic, vaguely tropical, and sufficiently futuristic—music that seems born of a million dramatic road trips that might provide a suitable soundtrack for a million more.

“I’ve been making music for about five years now,” says Kittrell, “It just takes a while to really hone in on your sound and figure out what you’re doing. I think this music really does that. This is really what we mean to say, what we mean to be as a band. I do love rock and roll and the freedom that it stands for. Musicians are forced to worry so much about genres—about trying to figure out how they are gonna sell their music—that they get distracted sometimes from the real soul of it. I just wanted to make music that people could really connect with in a genuinely human, emotional way.”

The four songs on the Baby Alpaca EP—which is a precursor to a full-length Baby Alpaca record slated for release later this year—make for a striking, remarkably blissed-out statement of intent. The EP’s first single, “Sea of Dreams” (whose Dada-esque video premiered earlier this year via NPR.org) is as fitting an introduction as any band could hope to have: all echo-chamber vocals that seem to be haunted by reverby guitar lines and gently-played piano notes that drift through the song like ghosts. Tracks like “Wild Child” and “On The Roam” evoke a palpable sense of modern restlessness, something that permeates all of Baby Alpaca’s music. It’s a feeling that Kittrell attributes to his own meandering youth—a time spent experimenting, studying, travelling, and trying to locate his own creative voice.

The gentle, humane quality of Baby Alpaca’s music is deeply indebted to Kittrell’s adventurous youth. “I’ve always been torn between tradition and total wildness,” he says, which explains the rather circuitous path he took before settling on music. Having studied a variety of subjects in college—everything from psychology to art to economics—to dipping his toes into the world of fashion working with Marc Jacobs and at The Row with the Olsen twins, Kittrell picked up a support system and a family of creative souls that help support him on the journey. “I’ve lived on rooftops in Bushwick and brownstones in Chelsea. I’ve traveled around the world. At some point I just threw caution to the wind. It was rough at times and it lead me to experience a variety of hardships, but it also brought to the place I was meant to be—which is playing music.”

“A lot of this music is about running way,” explains Kittrell, “I don’t mean that in a escapist kind of way, but more in terms of exploration. So much of my life has been about running away from tradition and traditional ways of thinking, which seeps into the music we make together. It’s about discovery. It’s not so much about running away from something bad, but rather running towards something really beautiful.”
Nicos Gun - (Set time: 7:30 PM)
Nicos Gun
2011 brought the debut of NICOS GUN with Full Length album "PLUSH", many music videos, and constant shows and touring playing venues/festivals such as Red Rocks Ampitheatre, Deluna Festival, 4th of July in Philly Parkway (with the Roots, Earth Wind and Fire..), The Roots Picnic, Camp Bisco, Gathering of the Vibes, and many more sharing bills with such names as : Weezer, Janes Addiction, Cut Copy, Diplo, Ariel Pink, Free Energy, Morning Teleportation, Yeasayer, Ratatat, DFA 1979, Holy Ghost!, Wiz Khalifa, Big Boi, Rusko, and many more. Now in 2012 NICOS GUN continues touring and splitting time recording between Los Angeles and Philadelphia working on our 2nd full length album.

"If you could distill the feverish intensity of an all-night rager and alchemize it into a musical form, then you'd get a sense of what to expect from Philly-based foursome Nicos Gun...Fusing punk rock energy with a genre-jumping eclectic mix of psych-pop, funk and glam rock, Nicos Gun wants their fans to have fun enjoying their sound." - Relix

"If #sxsw is where the world meets the future, then we'd like to introduce the future to Nicos Gun." - Spinner

"With oodles of talent, an incredible live show and a super-sized love for Prince many things rhythmic, Nicos Gun brings together elements of New Wave with electronic dance music. File under: not afraid to entertain." - Paste Magazine

"Nicos Gun mine the musical territory of electronic dance rock. Though the sound of the band recalls elements of the past, they are a band of the moment. The full-force funk of songs like "Dirty Girl," and "Soldier" bring to mind the R&B music of Prince, with its funky rhythmic bottom and slinky, chicken-scratch guitar riffs. On songs like "Control," the sinewy synthesizer lines drive the beat bring to mind the lock-step electronic grooves of LCD Soundsystem." - WXPN

"Nicos Gun got the crowd energized with their own bounce and raucousness. More streamlined then their tour mates, the Philadelphia based band seesawed between electro-tinged dance floor anthems and Velvet-Underground inspired hazy rockers.... The polish of the dance numbers were dirtied up with a surprisingly non plagiarized rock attitude and the guitar freak outs of lead singer/guitarist Barney Cortez......"
- Brooklyn Vegan
Venue Information:
Mercury Lounge
217 E Houston St.
New York, NY, 10002
http://mercuryloungenyc.com