Wednesday, November 18, 2009

The Mountain Goats


The Mountain Goats is the musical project of singer-songwriter and guitarist John Darnielle. The New Yorker magazine referred to him as “America’s best non-hip-hop lyricist”. In its June 2006 issue, Paste magazine named Darnielle one of the “100 Best Living Songwriters”. Darnielle’s lyrics are literate and filled with imagery that reference classic literature, religion and mythologies, pop culture, art and history. Others are vague references to his stepfather, and with the 2005 album The Sunset Tree Darnielle finally offers a more intimate account of his experience as an abused child.

Darnielle began performing under the name the Mountain Goats in 1991 in Claremont, California, where he attended Pitzer College and worked as a psychiatric nurse. The band’s name, the Mountain Goats, is a reference to the Screamin' Jay Hawkins song "Yellow Coat". Darnielle released his first album, Taboo VI: The Homecoming, on Shrimper Records. Many of his first recordings and performances featured Darnielle accompanied by members of the all-girl reggae band, The Casual Girls, who became known as The Bright Mountain Choir. One of this group’s members, Rachel Ware, continued to accompany Darnielle on bass, both live and in studio, until 1995.

Highly prolific, since the early 90s Darnielle has released over a dozen Mountain Goats albums, 6 full-length cassettes, various 7” singles, 10” and 12” EP’s and has contributed to compilations and label samplers too numerous to mention.

Recommended If You Like:

Okkervil River, John Vanderslice, Neutral Milk Hotel

Record Label: 4AD

Listen at:

Appearing at The Social on November 23rd 2009

8pm doors $17.00ADV $20.00DOS 18+ Welcome

Monday, November 9, 2009


Monday, November 16th 2009

While attending Brooklyn's Pratt Institute of the Arts in the late '90s, vocalist/guitarist Shawn Christensen, bassist Amanda Tannen, and drummer Arthur Kremer befriended one another for what would eventually become a musical journey. The threesome had barely grasped the beauty of their respective instruments, so forming the band Ghistor was an interesting move. It was a work in progress and a bond in the making, however short-lived. Christensen, Tannen, and Kremer eventually graduated and tried the corporate thing for a while. They reconnected in spring 2000 with former Charlotte's Funeral guitarist and Philly native Michael Jurin to form the indie rock outfit stellastarr*. A deal with Tiswas followed by 2002 and their EP Somewhere Across Forever appeared the next spring. After much acclaim from the media for the eponymously titled debut full-length, the group returned in 2005 with the follow-up effort Harmonies For The Haunted. In 2009 stellastarr* released Civilized on their own Bloated Wife Records.

Recommended If You Like:

The Bravery, Interpol, The Raveonettes

Record Label: Bloatedwife

Listen at:

Appearing at The Social with So Help Me Rifle, and Drink Up Buttercup

7pm doors $13.00ADV $15.00DOS All Ages Welcome

Monday, September 21, 2009

Jay Brannan


Jay Brannan is a Texas born singer, actor, and songwriter. After finding homes all over the country to live in, and briefly attending University of Cincinnati’s acting school, he decided to plant his feet down in New York City. He played the role of Ceth in “Shortbus”, an indie film directed by John Cameron Mitchell. Relatively new to the music world, he has released several songs on iTunes and on his myspace page, has become extremely popular thanks to his YouTube profile, and has been keen on maintaining a self-produced, low-key website.

His songs hold many of the same universal themes other artists acclaim to, but with a more fresh, realistic, sometimes vulgar, understanding. This has made him a hero to other gay men and general audiences alike.

Recommended If You Like:

Chris Garneau, Scott Matthew, John LaMonica

Record Label: Great Depression

Listen at:

Appearing at The Social Wednesday October 21st

8pm doors $10.00 18+ Welcome

Friday, September 18, 2009

David Bazan


The son of a pastor, David Bazan wasn't introduced to secular music until his early youth, an experience that helped fuel the Christian-influenced songwriting of his first project, Pedro The Lion. Bazan formed the band in 1995, mixing first-person narratives and nuanced indie rock with contributions from a rotating cast of musicians. Based in Seattle, the group released four albums, beginning with 1998's It's Hard To Find a Friend and concluding with 2004's Achilles Heel. Bazan stopped using the name in early 2006, but his musical aspirations continued with several other outfits.

Shortly after dropping the Pedro The Lion moniker, Bazan joined Nick Peterson and Starflyer 59's Frank Lenz to form the electronic pop outfit Headphones. He also began recording his own solo material, and 2006 saw the release of a solo EP entitled Fewer Moving Parts. The ten-track album featured five songs, each one given a full instrumentation effort as well as an acoustic rendition. Bazan even altered the songs' names depending on their arrangements. Named one of the Top 100 Living Songwriters by Paste Magazine, he spent the early portion of 2006 on tour in Europe with the Undertow Orchestra, an outfit featuring Vic Chesnutt Will Johnson, and Mark Eitzel. He headed to North America later that summer, supporting his EP's release with a tour alongside Micah P. Hinson. Three years later, Bazan released his full-length solo debut, Curse Your B, on the Barsuk label.

Recommended If You Like:

Damien Jurado, Pedro The Lion, Jeremy Enigk

Record Label: Barsuk

Listen at:

Appearing at The Social with Say Hi

8pm doors $12.00adv $14.00dos All Ages

Monday, August 31, 2009

Frightened Rabbit


Playing clever but purposefully na├»ve pop in the manner of the Vaselines,the Twilight Sad, and the Clean, Frightened Rabbit sound a good bit bolder than their moniker would suggest, though it suits their lively but nervous musical personality. Frightened Rabbit was founded in Glasgow, Scotland, in 2004, when guitarist Scott Hutchison and his brother Grant, a percussionist who -- like his sibling -- prefers to keep his last name a secret, began recording demos of songs they had written. Encouraged by friends and family, the brothers added a second guitarist, their friend Billy, and the trio began making the rounds of Glasgow's pubs and music venues. Slowly but surely gaining a reputation for their work, Frightened Rabbit began work on their first album, initially planning to record at the home studio where they'd done their original demos but eventually opting to record at Glasgow's Diving Bell Studio with Marcus Mackay instead. 

Frightened Rabbit released Sing The Greys through their own label, Hits the Fan Records, in mid-2006. Reviews were enthusiastic, and Universal picked up the disc for distribution in the U.K. and the U.S. The group's reputation enjoyed a considerable boost in America after they played a well-received showcase at the 2007 South by Southwest Music Conference in Austin, TX, and the U.S. release of Sings only increased Frightened Rabbit's popularity. The band's sophomore release, Midnight Organ Flight, arrived in April 2008.


Recommended If You Like:

The Vaselines, The Long Winters, The Clean

Record Label: Fat Cat



Appearing at The Social with The Twilight Sad and We Were Promised Jetpacks

8pm doors $12.00 18+ Welcome

Friday, August 7, 2009

Fountain of Wayne


Although Fountains of Wayne didn't enjoy mainstream attention until the release of "Stacy's Mom" in 2003, the band had already established itself as one of America's strongest power pop acts. Based in New Jersey, the group first appeared in 1996 with a mix of British-influenced songcraft, lo-fi production, and wry lyrics about dead-end jobs and biker boyfriends. Fountains of Wayne expanded their lineup and embraced a more polished sound during the following years, eventually hitting gold with 2003's Welcome Interstate Managers. While the album proved to be something of a fluke success, the band continued releasing well-crafted records throughout the subsequent years. Meanwhile, co-founder Adam Schlesinger enjoyed a separate career as a producer and ghostwriter for other artists. 

Schlesinger first crossed paths with songwriter Chris Collingwood in 1986, while both were studying at Massachusetts' Williams College. Sharing a mutual affection for melodic British pop, the two formed a series of short-lived bands before recording an LP under the name Pinwheel. The duo split up after legal hassles blocked the album's release, with Schlesinger resurfacing as part of the indie pop band Ivy and Collingwood joining a Boston-based country group named the Mercy Buckets. The two musicians eventually reunited in 1996 as Fountains of Wayne, christening their band after a lawn ornament store in Wayne, NJ. Atlantic Records issued the duo's acclaimed self-titled LP that same year, and Schlesinger helped expand the band's profile by authoring the title song to the movie That Thing You Do! 


Recommended If You Like:

Weezer, They Might Be Giants, The Lemonheads

Record Label: Virgin Records



Appearing at The Social on September 19th 2009

9pm doors $17.00ADV $20.00DOS 18+ Welcome

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Lee "Scratch" Perry


Some call him a genius, others claim he's certifiably insane, a madman. Truth is, he's both, but more importantly, Lee Perry is a towering figure in reggae -- a producer, mixer, and songwriter who, along with King Tubby, helped shape the sound of dub and made reggae music such a powerful part of the pop music world. Along with producing some of the most influential acts (Bob Marley and The Wailers and the Congos to name but two) in reggae history, Perry's approach to production and dub mixing was breathtakingly innovative and audacious -- no one else sounds like him -- and while many claim that King Tubby invented dub, there are just as many who would argue that no one experimented with it or took it further than did Lee Perry.


Recommended If You Like:

Augustus Pablo, King Tubby, The Upsetters

Record Label: Upsetter



Appearing at The Social on September 4th 2009

9pm doors $20.00ADV $25.00DOS 18+ Welcome