CRX

9:30 Club presents at U Street Music Hall:

CRX

Streets of Laredo, The Gloomies

Wednesday Nov 16

7:00 pm

$15

Tickets Available at the Door

This event is all ages

CRX - (Set time: 10:00 PM)


The urge to begin a new project, for CRX’s Nick Valensi, came from a primal place: He just wanted to play. “I was at a place where I got really hungry to perform in front of audiences, and do things a little more simply,” Valensi says. “The Strokes don't play that often anymore, and when we do it's awesome, but it got to the point where I needed to balance that out with a project I could take on tour whenever I wanted to. And the idea of playing clubs again was really exciting to me.” But Valensi couldn’t start playing until he’d written some songs, and he realized he’d have to finally embrace an aspect of performing he’d resisted up until that point -- singing. Last summer, he just dug in, grabbing whatever spare time he had to record demos on his laptop at home. “It was a learning process,” says Valensi. “It took me some time to figure out how my voice sounds most natural, and to think about what I wanted to say.”

In his earliest writing sessions, Valensi gravitated toward more aggressive, riff-driven songs like the menacing “Unnatural,” whose breakneck tempo approaches speed metal velocity. The heavy, hazy “Broken Bones” -- inspired by a motorcycle accident that left the guitarist hospitalized for two weeks -- counterbalances its massively sludgy bottom end with Valensi’s surprisingly effortless falsetto. But as he continued demoing songs, Valensi found himself exploring other sonic territories, indulging his long held love of 70s power-pop and 80s new wave on tracks like the bright, catchy “Ways To Fake It” and the dub-tinged “One Track Mind.”

As the songs progressed, Valensi invited a few trusted musician friends to join the nascent project, and to contribute as songwriters. In addition to Valensi on guitar and vocals, CRX includes bassist Jon Safley, keyboardist/vocalist Richie Follin, drummer Ralph Alexander, and guitarist Darian Zahedi. “Once we were all in a room together, it got collaborative pretty quickly,” Valensi says, noting that about half of New Skin’s ten tracks are cowrites with the band.

After demoing several songs, Valensi reached out to Queens of the Stone-Age’s Josh Homme, for feedback on the tracks and advice regarding producers who might be right for the band. It quickly became apparent that there was no better person for the job than Homme himself. “He was really enthusiastic about the demos,” says Valensi. “There were even specific things he loved from the demos so much that we ended up including them on the album, which was very much a Josh decision.”

New Skin, CRX’s debut album, was recorded at Homme’s Pink Duck Studios in Burbank, with work wrapping up in early 2016. And even as this year marks the fifteenth anniversary of The Strokes first LP, it represents the beginning of a promising new chapter for Valensi. “One of the coolest things for me is that I began making this record as a vehicle to get onstage,” he says, “but along the way, it started to feel like we were working on something more special than that. I’m excited to be singing and having a lot of fun with it, and I’m really enjoying the feeling of having to work hard to win people over. It’s like being a kid again -- like everything is new and kind of scary but irresistibly fun, too.”
Streets of Laredo - (Set time: 9:00 PM)
Streets of Laredo


The title track on Streets of Laredo’s new album, WILD, essentially sums up their attitude since starting the band in Auckland almost five years ago. It’s a gorgeous, soul-stirring ballad with a haunting trumpet line, buttery harmonies, and a chorus that goes: “They call us wild / Let’s show them wild.”

“It’s about how ridiculous you have to be to hang in there with music, against all the good, logical advice people will give you,” says Dave Gibson, who formed the band with his younger brother Dan after they bonded over records like John Lennon and Yoko Ono’s “Give Peace A Chance” and Paul Simon’s “Graceland.” “Trying to make a career in music is scary and there’s zero security involved,” Dave continues. “And fantastic things will happen, but you really have to be borderline crazy to keep doing it. ‘Wild’ does a great job of encapsulating what that’s like.” Singer and percussionist Sarahjane Gibson says “Wild” began as a song to Dave about their life together (the two are married), but developed into an anthem for anyone who needs encouragement to chase their dreams. “”Wild’ is about being more daring,” says Sarahjane. “If you’re gonna take a big risk, you need to go all in.”

When the Gibsons relocated from New Zealand to New York City back in 2012, it took a major leap of faith on their part. They had only played one gig and demoed a few songs, but the newborn project incited such a genuine spark of inspiration that they all felt a bold move was in order. “When we moved to the U.S., Streets of Laredo was really just an idea,” says Dave, who is the band’s drummer and -- along with Dan, Sarahjane and guitarist Cameron Deyell -- one of its principal songwriters. “We were like, cool, let’s start from scratch in a really big town. And I like to think that the naivete and boldness of that move has really paid dividends for us.”

It undoubtedly has: In the four years since they made a new home for themselves in Brooklyn’s Bushwick neighborhood, Streets of Laredo has developed from an idea to a brainstorm to an exciting new reality for the now six-piece band. They released a critically embraced debut full-length, Volume I & II, in October 2014, and have toured North America with artists from Shakey Graves to Kaiser Chiefs to Albert Hammond, Jr., as well as bringing their rousing blend of gospel-tinged folk and psychedelic Americana to receptive audiences at festivals including Bonnaroo and Governor’s Ball.

The band started writing the batch of songs for their second studio album while they were still on the road in support of their debut, and recorded the first series of demos in early 2015. Although they had taken a traditional approach to their debut, writing on acoustic instruments and recording with minimal studio manipulation, Streets of Laredo saw this new one as an opportunity to experiment. “The first album, we tried to limit our choices to organic-sounding and acoustic-sounding instruments, and songs that could be expressed very simply in a live, unplugged setting,” says Dave. “This time, we explored the use of synthesizers a lot more -- especially Dan, who experimented the most with using samples and unusual noises that ended up becoming part of the songwriting process. There’s a quite brutal synthesizer line in ‘99.9%’ that wouldn’t have been an option on our first record.”

Another technique the band used to refresh their perspective was to start a song using sampled instruments, and then transpose the part to acoustic guitar for the recording. Says Dave: “Your fingers go to real different places on piano than guitar, so it’s a way of fighting muscle memory and familiar patterns.”

Once they had amassed a series of demos they were excited about, Streets of Laredo recruited esteemed producer John Agnello. Fans of Agnello’s deft touch on albums by Kurt Vile, Sonic Youth and Dinosaur Jr., the band began sharing demos with the producer early on, making refinements based on his input as they moved from preproduction in Brooklyn to three weeks recording at Dreamland Studios in upstate New York. “John definitely influenced our sound,” says Dave, who admired Agnello’s knack for capturing relaxed, natural-sounding performances. “He respects the take and if it’s got a few glitches in it, so be it. He was really good at helping us feel super comfortable and be less academic about things in the studio.”

Indeed there is a newfound confidence running throughout WILD -- from the title track and “99.9%” to the eerily catchy “Silly Bones” and a sweet, lilting tune called “Doesn’t Even Bother Me,” which Sarahjane describes as “this beautiful sentiment about not feeling like you need to be in the mix all the time in NYC, but finding a way to live a happy, normal life with your family.” She continues: “We have an ideal situation, where we can do this and it doesn’t take us away from each other. When we tour and play it feels like we’re living a good life together and fulfilling our dreams. The trick is remembering to find the magic in the moment.”

Streets of Laredo are:
Daniel Gibson - Vocals, Electric & Acoustic Guitar
Dave Gibson - Drummer, Backing Vocals
Sarahjane Gibson - Vocals, Percussion
Cameron Deyell- Electric Guitars, Backing Vocals
with
Sean McMahon - Bass, Backing Vocals
Andrew McGovern - Trumpet, Synth, Percussion
The Gloomies - (Set time: 8:00 PM)
The Gloomies


Listen here: soundcloud.com/thrillmerecords/sets/the-gloomies-blackout-ep
Buzz band of the week – NME
“A cross between Warpaint’s Joshua tree adventures running headfirst
into Kevin Parker’s mind-trip.” – DIY Mag
Following 2015 debut single “LSD,” The Gloomies are proud to announce the release of their first EP. The Blackout EP finds the band in a very different state of mind, trading the sun- dappled Southern California beaches for the vast, barren expanses of the desert. Lead single “Bleached Out” perfectly captures the band’s newfound spirit—as ominously emblematic of the old West as tumbleweeds at dusk or a shuttered saloon at the edge of a ghost town. “A lot of friends who heard ‘LSD’ first might be surprised by Blackout,” explains lead singer Andy Craig. “But it was important to me that these songs come out now and together on this record. It felt right.” Since the release of “LSD,”
Venue Information:
U Street Music Hall
1115 U Street NW
Washington, DC, 20009
http://www.ustreetmusichall.com/