Listings are in the opposite order of appearance: headliner is listed at the top, next is the support band(s), and the last band listed is the opener.
Saturday July 30
8:30PM doors -- music at 9:00PM
••• ALL AGES
$15 in advance / $17 at the door
post-punk art rock
Forty Feet Tall
post-punk psychedelic rock
psychedelic rock country
-from New York, NY
-Dig deep enough inside yourself—start treating your body as your sanctuary rather than your enemy—and eventually you’ll find yourself blooming right back out into the sun. That’s the transformation Guerilla Toss trace on their newest album “Famously Alive,” their effervescent Sub Pop debut. After a decade sprinkling glitter into grit, building a reputation as one of the most ferociously creative art-rock groups working, the upstate New York band have eased fully into their light. This is Guerilla Toss at their most luminescent—awake, alive, and extending an open invitation to anyone who wants to soak it all up beside them.
Singer and lyricist Kassie Carlson, multi-instrumentalist Peter Negroponte and guitarist Arian Shafiee wrote “Famously Alive” at home in the Catskills during the pervading quiet of the pandemic year. The uncertainty of COVID-19 lockdowns and the total disruption of routine forced Carlson to negotiate with herself in new and challenging ways. “You have to be with yourself all the time during the pandemic,” she says. “I had to figure out a way to manage my anxiety. The pandemic was hard, but it helped me get comfortable inside my own body. My peace of mind came out of being thrust into the deepest shit. This album is all about being happy, being alive, and strength. It’s meant to inspire people.”
The album’s title derives from a poem written by a close friend of the band, Jonny Tatelman, who supported Carlson through the early stages of her recovery from opiate addiction. The poem comprises the entirety of the lyrics to the title track, an exuberant ode to loving your own survival and charting a course into unconditional self-acceptance. “The song ‘Famously Alive’ is about living with purpose and excitement whether you’re famous or not, accepting your strangeness and thriving even if your successes look different than other people’s,” notes Carlson. “To me, ‘Famously Alive’ means flipping the notion of dying famously to living famously,” Negroponte adds. “I also like to think of it as a way to describe living through something traumatic and coming out of it a stronger, wiser person.”
Songs like the expansive, gleaming “Live Exponential” similarly invite the listener to lean into the light. “It’s about loving yourself and finding a way to be comfortable in your own body—to live life to the fullest and beyond,” says Carlson. Throughout the record, Guerilla Toss meet themselves with curiosity, generosity, and acceptance even for the harder parts of being alive. Opener “Cannibal Capital,” a song about the exhaustion and dread of social anxiety, came together in a flurry toward the end of the album’s sessions. A taut bass groove erupts into competing squalls of guitar and synth that support one of the most immediate and arresting vocal hooks of Guerilla Toss’s catalog to date.
Together with guitarist Arian Shafiee, Carlson and Negroponte cultivated a sound that spliced together psychedelic texturing and Krautrock syncopation with the gloss and glow of contemporary pop music. “I like to combine as many musical influences as possible,” says Negroponte. “We thought the sleekness of current radio pop would make our dense wall-of-sound aesthetic both more bizarre and more accessible and fun at the same time.” Carlson was similarly inspired by a wide range of artists from around the world after diving deep into obscure 7-inches for her weekly show on Radio Catskill, Rare Pear Radio.
While writing the album, Carlson took voice lessons online for the first time. Though she has been singing since she was four years old, at first with a vocal harmony group in her family’s church, she hadn’t formally trained her voice since joining Guerilla Toss. The lessons allowed her to deepen and broaden her range, helping her feel more embodied and connected to her voice. Underneath ripples of Auto-Tune, playful, searching vocal melodies suspend lyrics about reaching for yourself and holding fast in your own love.
“Famously Alive” finds Guerilla Toss coming into the fullness of their power, celebrating their prismatic idiosyncrasies from a place of optimism and abundance. “It felt like I didn’t need to force myself into this dark place to create anymore,” Carlson says. “For the first time in my life, I feel like I’m finally comfortable inside my body.”
Forty Feet Tall
-from Portland, OR
-In 2011, a group of 15 year old high schoolers from LA, raised on healthy doses of 90’s-era punk and grunge, with just enough old-school classic rock thrown in, came together to develop their own sound and started writing and playing original songs from day one. The kids, now called Forty Feet Tall, began playing around Los Angeles in classic venues like The Troubadour, Roxy and the Whiskey. Throughout their last couple of high school years, Forty Feet Tall built themselves a loyal base of local fans by playing parties and shows throughout LA.
College brought them to Portland, OR, where they continued to play locally while focusing on finishing up school. With the addition of bass player Brett Marquette in 2017, and new drummer Ian Kelly, childhood friends Cole Gann (lead singer/guitar) and Jack Sehres (guitar) had completed the circle of Forty Feet Tall with a band to be reckoned with, kicking out some of the best rock songs you’ll hear today.
In 2014, the band released a self-titled full length album while still in college and followed it recently with an EP called “Red Dressed.” A number of their songs have been licensed and featured on shows like Showtime’s Shameless, the Arnold Schwarzenegger vehicle, “Killing Gunther,” the Paramount film “Drunk Wedding” and several MTV spots.
Forty Feet Tall’s sound is aggressive and expansive, somewhere between The Strokes and Queens of the Stone Age, releasing some of the most well-crafted and sincere rock songs you’ve heard in years. Their newest material seems fitting for the tumultuous political landscape, with a more assailing punk intensity. These are the kinds of songs you hear for the first time and can’t help but wonder if they’ve always been there, like a song you can’t decide if you already know or if you just need to keep listening to it over and over again. And you will need to keep listening to them over and over again, because the songs (and the band) are just that good.
With a brand new album just released along with two videos, Forty Feet Tall is moving forward at a rapid-fire pace. Their live shows are an explosive display of aggressive intensity, grounded by the songs that are the reason people keep coming back to see them again and again. Keep your eyes out and don’t blink for too long or you’ll miss the next move from this fiery young band.
-from Oakand, CA
-Half Stack are an Oakland country rock band that incorporates elements of garage rock, psychedelic pop, jangle pop, jazz rock, and jam band into their brand of gorgeous, laid-back philosophical West Coast music. Featuring noteworthy personnel such as frontman Peter Kegler (Babewatch) and Oliver Pinnell (who worked with Jay Som on Everybody Works), Half Stack boasts a ‘stacked’ lineup of top-tier songwriters and musicians.