Jackie Zealous
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Saturday January 21 2017
 8:30PM doors -- music at 9:00PM ••• ALL AGES
American Wrestlers
 alternative indie pop indie rock lo-fi
The Soonest
  Indie Rock, ambient
Jackie Zealous
 surf rock 

American Wrestlers
Bass - Ian Reitz
Drums - Josh Van Hoorebeke
Keys - Bridgette Imperial
Guitars/Singing - Gary McClure
-from St.louis, MO

-How do you improve an already striking set of stripped-down, homemade pop? Gary McClure, the St. Louis-by-way-of Scotland songwriter behind American Wrestlers, a once anonymous project that became one of the year’s best new bands, believes it’s about being true to the basics.

“It’s truly about becoming good enough to write the album you wanted to listen to when you were 15,” he says. “Every time I make a new record, I feel like I’m getting closer.”

Goodbye Terrible Youth (November 4, Fat Possum) shows McClure taking bedroom recordings onto a bigger stage without sacrificing the intimacy that makes them so attractive. If his self-titled album showed his knack for stringing together addictive guitar lines—the shimmer of shoegaze mixed with the emotional fist pump of power pop—Goodbye Terrible Youth amplifies that energy with a road-tested band. Literally breaking out of the home studio—the Tascam mixer McClure had been recording on has fallen apart from overuse—he’s embraced a bigger sound and stage on Goodbye Terrible Youth, his rueful yet propulsive songwriting only becoming sharper.

“I wanted to write songs that bridged the gap better between audience and stage,” he says. “Faster, louder more distortion. Something you can do handstands and backflips and start small fires to.”

The Soonest
Young Lee
-from San Francisco, CA

-Sometimes you get an idea for a sound that just never goes away. Sometimes that idea becomes something worth working on and sometimes that idea can grow and lead to more ideas. When that happens, sometimes other people are drawn to those ideas and want to work on it together and make it something more than it was before.

The Soonest is my overgrown idea that I’ve had the fortune of working on with many people over the last 6 years. It’s not quite a band as it is a continuous project that allows me to put a story with the sounds that I make. The people who helped me in the beginning aren't the same people who are working with me now and while it’s sad when things change, it’s amazing seeing how each person left their mark on the music.
“Doors to the City” is based on story about a person who is given an opportunity to relive moments of his life, redo things he regrets, and come to terms with who he is now. It’s not as much as a concept album as it is a soundtrack to the story that I’m keeping to myself for the most part. It’s got loud moments followed by soft moments that are all tied together with a lot of instruments and a lot of voices singing together. It’s been an amazing opportunity work on it and when it’s released I hope you enjoy it. - Young Lee

Jackie Zealous
Eddie Curzon [guitar/vocals]
Ryan Lee [drums]
Zach Scott [bass]
-from Santa Cruz, CA

-Jackie Zealous is a three-piece garage-rock band, but it’s also the name of a real person. Not one of the members, though—the name belongs to a guy they met at their practice space who provides them with a lot of unsolicited advice. And he lives in a van right outside.

“He sits in on some of our practices, and tells us what we should be doing from the business side of things,” says drummer Ryan Lee. “He’ll tell us that we’re too laid back and we need to go off—and then threaten to kick us.”

The trio obviously has a goofy side, but they also have some real songwriting skills, a couple of notches above the standard fuzzed-out, cymbal-crashing psych-garage formula. There’s some sophisticated Rubber Soul-era Beatles, and late-’60s Kinks influences in there. The only music they have online at the moment are some mellow acoustic demos of their songs, and they work stripped down because of the strong pop sensibilities. Live, they play the songs much faster and more distorted.