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Friday July 22 2016
 8:30PM doors -- music at 9:00PM ••• ALL AGES
$15 in advance / $17 at the door
Hey Mercedes
 Alternative rock, Emo, Pop punk
The Velvet Teen
 indie rock
(Record release)

Hey Mercedes
Damon Atkinson (drums), Todd Bell (bass), Bob Nanna (vocals/guitar), Michael Shumaker (guitar),
Sean O"Brien (interim guitar player)
-from Milwaukee / Chicago

-A rock/punk band from Illinois that was formed after Braid split up. The group included vocalist/guitarist Bob Nanna, bassist Todd Bell guitarist Mark Dawsurk and drummer Damon Atkinson. Born of the ashes of the now legendary Chicago emo outfit Braid, Hey Mercedes had a tough reputation, not to mention their work cut out for them from the start. It all began in mid-'99, when Braid decided to call it quits and original guitarist Chris Broach left the group. They closed out their career with a series of well-received and well-documented local shows before Broach went on to work with his other act, the Firebird Band, and the remaining members -- guitarist vocalist Bob Nanna, drummer Damon Atkinson, and bassist Todd Bell -- attempted to return to their normal lives. Normal lives being as often boring as they are, it was mere months before the three decided to regroup, and Hey Mercedes was born. Drafting former Alligator Gun guitarist and Milwaukee native Mark Dawursk, Hey Mercedes officially came into being in April of 2000, and almost immediately headed into the studio to record a four-song EP for the Danville, IL-based Polyvinyl Records. The self-titled disc was a mix of the churning syncopations of Braid and a newfound melodic structure, highlighted by Nanna's fantastically solid vocal presence and a more laid-back but still commanding musical approach from the rest of the band. Eschewing the more aggressive nature of their old music, Hey Mercedes was a more accessible and melodic entity, and it didn't take long for their songs to win the hearts of a new generation of young music fans caught up in the burgeoning emo trend. Many still existing old connections led to high-profile touring slots with acts like Jets to Brazil, Saves the Day, and Alkaline Trio, and soon the band was signed to Vagrant Records, a trend-setting and powerhouse label in the genre. Early 2001 saw the group head back in the studio with producer J. Robbins to record their debut full-length, a powerful 11-song effort, entitled Everynight Fire Works, which after countless delays was finally released by Vagrant in October of 2001. The record is a continuation of the band's commendable post-emo songwriting, and may be the final nail in the coffin of Braid, as it appeared Hey Mercedes is now an act well worth mentioning in their own right. This was confirmed by the relase of the Weekend EP the following summer, as well as the semi-regular updates found on the band's website.

The Velvet Teen
Casey Deitz, Josh Staples, Judah Nagler
-from Sonoma County, CA

-Since its inception in late 1999, The Velvet Teen has traveled the world and challenged the very concept of genre with its eclectic and at times schizophrenic appeal. From the early EPs which showed prowess in the pop realm, to the dynamic indie jangle of 'Out of the Fierce Parade', to the romantic strings and quietly political lyrics of 'Elysium', to the sexually charged whip-it beats of 'Cum Laude', The Velvet Teen truly has a talent for seducing the masses into a cult-like state, before promptly leaving the faithless with nothing but a kool-aid aftertaste. The believers, however, will vouch that the experience is well worth the trouble.

The Velvet Teen officially made its debut in a brief Icelandic tour in the debatedly millennial new year, finding founding member Judah Nagler accompanied by electronic arrangements
programmed on a portable sequencer. After returning home, Nagler teamed up with former bandmate Logan Whitehurst, and together they recorded the first EP under the moniker. Joshua
Staples soon joined the group, and the trio recorded a wealth of material while touring North America, Canada and Japan until late 2004, when Logan was diagnosed with brain cancer. He
died from the disease in 2006. Casey Deitz filled in during Logan's absence and later joined the group to help extend the band's reach to Europe and record Cum Laude.

The present day finds The Velvet Teen writing and recording as always, the newest material a culmination of its history, its vision set on the horizon.

Pat, Lauren, Rion, Phil, and Joel.
-From San Francisco, CA

-Cocktails sound more like a frosty, cheap beer on a sweaty summer day than some pretentious potion stirred up by a mixologist, a badge of honor the SF quintet proudly sports. With their debut long player in hand, Cocktails return with a mature attitude and a refined version of their no-frills blue collar power pop. Their latest album, Adult Life, rides an ebullient harmonic wave with twists of garage simplicity and Moog flourishes, hinting at traces of effortlessly cool outfits like The Rentals and Big Star.