Laser Brains Presents
"A Very Merry Die Hard Holiday Rock Show" ft. Tedo Stone, Grand Vapids, Palace Doctor & T Hardy Morris
Grand Vapids, Palace Doctor, T. Hardy Morris
Wed · December 20, 2017
Doors: 8:00 pm / Show: 9:00 pm
This event is 18 and over
Four great rock acts getting into the holiday spirit at the Georgia Theatre. Bands will be playing along to Die Hard on the big screen along with other visual treats. "Welcome to the party, pal(s)".https://www.georgiatheatre.com/event/1607922/
Now living in Atlanta and with a searing new album, Marshes, due out on September 18 via This Is American Music, Stone is making a name for himself with an enthralling fusion of throwback southern vibes, indie rock hooks and a wall-of-sound resonance.
A lifetime of listening to classic country and soul artists like Patsy Cline and Otis Redding imbued the young songwriter with a retro pop and strong vocal appreciation from a young age, though finding his own voice has been an ongoing process. His 2013 debut album, Good Go Bad, saw Tedo delving into glam jams and alt country rock, though Stone admits he wasn’t fully assured of his sound yet.
While hanging out in Athens, Georgia and playing with the endless array of talented young musicians there, Stone realized his songs were sounding different live, evolving into a mixture of Dinosaur Jr’s wailing guitars and Neil Young’s raw emotion; and he liked it. Taking that new energy into the studio last year, Stone recorded Marshes straight to tape, live in a room with a core group of friends. Under the guidance of producer and engineer Drew Vandenberg (Deerhunter, of Montreal), Stone this time around establishes himself as a pure rock and roll songwriter, with invigorating rhythms, addictive hooks and keenly layered guitars.
Certain tracks throughout the album, like “By Your Side” and “Home to It” seamlessly infuse myriad musical elements at once, simultaneously echoing 60’s sock hop riffs, T. Rex-styled big amp fuzz and soaring post-rock solos, all while Stone fearlessly croons with a fierce timbre. Reflecting the swampy mires that Stone grew up around, Marshes is an album of deep grooves and assured writing that will find its way into your rotation with an endlessly repeatable appeal.
Forming in early 2014, Grand Vapids spent the course of a year recording its debut album Guarantees with producer and engineer Drew Vandenberg (of Montreal, Deerhunter, Kishi Bashi) at Chase Park Transduction in Athens, GA. On the album the sonic palette is wide. Withguitars that are laboriously crafted, a driving rhythm section, and synths that are densely layered and structured. The songs are at once intimate and expansive, exploring a fevered state of fear and wonder. The album was mastered by Joe Lambert (Wye Oak, Sharon Van Etten, Wild Nothing) in NYC.
While Grand Vapids' music could easily satiate the space between Yo La Tengo and Sonic Youth, there is a depth of feeling to these songs that moves beyond nostalgia and pushes the listener toward a state of mind where memory and wonderment intersect. It is a delicate and dense balance on a debut record that finds the band carving out its own musical identity.
Grand Vapids is McKendrick Bearden, Austin Harris, Paul Stevens, and Patrick Morales.
Their debut album Guaranteeswas released on January 20th, 2015.
Like ideas, the best songs are the simple ones. And like most simple ideas, they’re usually far more complex upon further examination than they seem at first.
So many young songwriters start off looking for the most complex way possible to examine a simple truth. Perhaps to seem smarter, or more “mature”. The better songwriters learn - hopefully before too much embarrassment - that the complex thought simply put is the key to a great song. Distilling that subtle truth down to its very essence and expressing it in a way that cuts through the bullshit and takes the listener by the heart into the depths of the intended emotion.
“I ain’t never giving back the things I took”
I caught the line on about my third listen, busy as I was doing things around the house while the new album played loud in the next room. I’ve known Hardy a while. His long running band Dead Confederate played some of their earliest shows opening for Drive-By Truckers several years ago. I always liked them but probably didn’t delve deep enough into what they were doing to listen closely to the songs. That all changed when Hardy was about to release his debut solo album (2013’s fantastic Audition Tapes) and I saw him play a couple of times around Athens. I was immediately blown away. Every time I’d see or hear him, I’d hear something new. Great songs keep getting better the more you listen to them.
“I ain’t never taking back the things I said”
Which leads us to the new one, Hardy & The Hardknocks: Drownin On A Mountaintop. If Hardy’s solo debut was a high and lonesome mellow-roast with musical touchstones like Harvest-era Neil Young and driving down a windy back road alone, the new one blasts out of the garage like some high-octane muscle car full of friends, blasting Mott The Hoople on the way to the last-call dive bar. It has it’s very own sound, but hits me in the same places as my favorite Replacements albums - stripped down and raw, yet sonically thrilling.
“Tell me how you like it, I’ll fix you up
Don’t you know home has cleaner cups”
The music is propelled by The Hardknocks. Vaughan Lamb and Nick Sterchi are a rock solid rhythm section, pushing it forward while never over-playing or detracting. That rare thing known as A songwriter’s rhythm section. Serious praise has to go to Hardy’s long time pedal steel player. Matt “Pistol” Stoessel, a veteran of Athens GA’s incredible music scene for many years. Pistol really shines in this band, providing both a melodic counter-point to Hardy’s formidable melodies and serving as the glue that holds all the elements together. The album all manages to be stripped down and raw yet sonically thrilling.
“Cuz I’m leaving now and coming back never
You can’t kill time without hurting forever
Cuz no one knows when I’m around
but it gets quieter when I leave town”
All of which leads me back to where I started, the wonderful last song on the album where the beat drops down to a slow waltz and the pedal steel swirls and the leading man sings…
“Just like the movies our eyes met
and just like the movies by the end they were wet
Just like in the movies I can’t catch each word
but love is a language with no subtitles”
215 N. Lumpkin St
Athens, GA, 30601