Compiled by Jackie Lam
As a lifelong cheapster, Tuesdays just keep getting better with all the hot deals around town: 39 cent tacos at Del Tacos, dollar corn dogs from Hot Dog on a Stick, and now free shows at LaBrie’s. It’s the second week of our December residency featuring Marvelous Toy, and we’ve got The Hectors, RISERS, and the brand-spanking new project The Mid Cities (with members from The Henry Clay People, The Californian, and Les Blanks) playing sets that are sure to provide a kick for your week. Tonight's show begins a little earlier at 8:30 pm, and the doors open at 8 pm. Check out the free mp3 downloads below. We’ve also asked each of the bands to provide a little bit of back story on the songwriting process for the track. It's kinda like our own version of VH1's Behind the Music. Enjoy!
From Jonathan of The Mid Cities:
As this project is extremely new, I can't offer an mp3 for the mp3 preview. *Sad face* Instead, here's an extremely boring story about The Mid Cities: When I got home from tour at the end of October, I rented a rehearsal space for a few weeks to write. My goal those days was to write a song every morning, and that's, more or less, what happened. Most of them weren't totally complete at that point, so I spent a few more days getting a handful of them to their fighting weight. Those songs are what we, The Mid Cities, will play tonight. Oh! I should probably mention my pals playing in the band: Jake Posner (the breakups [his lower case, not mine], The Californian), Jonathan Hylander (Honey Loving Cells, Les Blanks), Mike Hopkins (Honey Loving Cells, The Californian), and Jeff Halbert (a producer/engineer friend of many years). They're swell guys in swell bands!
Corinne from The Hectors on “Frozen River”
This is a rough demo of "Frozen River" from our upcoming full-length album. It's about one of my best friends from childhood. She recently got in touch with me, but I realized we didn't have much in common anymore, and it made me a little sad. I sort of wish we hadn't reconnected and I could just have those memories of her from when we were 11 or so. Some of the lyrics are a memory of us in 5th grade, on the verge of getting kicked out of class because we were cry-laughing so hard but trying to do so silently.
We recorded the disembodied voice and screeching sounds in the beginning of the song at a subway station in Tokyo. It was one of the most ridiculously crowded places I have ever been, but it had a very distant and lonely feeling. We thought this would be an appropriate way to start the song.
Jordan from Marvelous Toy on “There’s a Red Light Above Me”
I wrote most of this song on a bus from Pennsylvania to New York. When I write a song in my head, I
usually try to remember it for as long as I can. If I can remember it by the time I get to where I can record it, then I know it has a shot at being a decent song. If I forget it, then it probably wasn't very good to begin with. This was one of those songs that stayed with me from PA all the way to NY, so I thought it might be worth developing. When I got back to LA, I took it to the band and, as Franck would say, we "hammered it out" in rehearsal. Thematically, I kept the idea of traveling in mind when writing the lyrics. It’s one of my favorite songs to play live, and I especially like the part where Raymond goes ape-shit at the end with the fuzz bass. That's not in the recording; that's something that only a stage and a glass of whiskey can do.
Josh from RISERS on “Cleopatra”
This song landed us on an indie upstart label, greatminds! who will be releasing a comp called Beat LA: Underground Bands of Today Covering Underground Bands of Yesteryear. We have a track on this, too. The funny thing about this song is it has been played in three incarnations of bands that Sean (the lead vocalist and piano player on this track) and I have been in.
We are the songwriters (childhood friends) and unofficial captains of the ship that is Risers. Sean wrote the song about five years ago. We played it in our band back then, The Baby Mammals, then in our next band, Anglos, and now in Risers. Keeping with the rule of three, it was recorded as a solo demo by Sean and then as another demo with more production by the both of us (So we could have something to show bass players and drummers during the auditioning process) and then finally a proper in studio recording was produced.
So that song has been through a lot. The little trooper. But it has found its final resting place with Risers. As have Sean and I. We have a new EP coming out in January, so in with the new!