Alkaline Trio

Alkaline Trio

The Smoking Popes, Dead Country

Sat, July 23, 2011

7:00 pm

The Glass House

Pomona, CA

$23.00 - $25.00

Alkaline Trio
Alkaline Trio
Formed by ex-Jerkwater and Traitors drummer Matt Skiba (vocals/guitar), Glenn Porter (drums/vocals) -- formerly of 88 Fingers Louie -- and Rob Doran (bass/vocals), Alkaline Trio was brought together in 1997 by heartbreak, angst, and the companionship of drinking. They issued the For Your Lungs Only EP just prior to Doran's departure in late 1997, later releasing Sundials the following year on Johann's Face Records. Slapstick's Dan Andriano entered on bass, adding a complementary voice and songwriting style to Skiba's that would become the group's signature dynamic. The three then started making a name for themselves all throughout the Midwest with their emotion-fueled, angst-ridden, dark pop-punk. With this lineup in full force, all while Skiba and Porter were working as bike messengers full-time, their first full-length, Goddamnit!, was released on Asian Man in 1998 to the praise of a following who related to their heartbreak tales and anti-cop rants.

Both Maybe I'll Catch Fire and a self-titled singles collection followed in early 1999. The new millennium also included a series of changes: Glenn Porter exited in early 2000 and ex-Smoking Popes drummer Mike Felumlee made Alkaline Trio a three-piece again. From Here to Infirmary followed on Vagrant in spring 2001 and was met with only lukewarm fan response. But a split EP released by Jade Tree the next year found the Trio in top form again alongside Hot Water Music, both bands contributing original tracks and covers of each other's songs. Good Mourning was released two years later, and the lineup by now included new drummer Derek Grant (ex-Suicide Machines, Thoughts of Ionesco). Good Mourning did well, grazing the Billboard charts and scoring Alkaline Trio spots on late-night TV and summer tours. Crimson followed in 2005 and continued the band's streak. Touring persisted over the summer, both as a headliner and in support of My Chemical Romance. A spring 2006 run (with openers Against Me!) delighted devout fans from early on with a set that mostly contained tunes from initial releases, including an entire run-through of the fan-favorite Goddamnit!. ~ Mike DaRonco, All Music Guide
The Smoking Popes
The Smoking Popes
Occasionally a band comes along that inadvertently casts a shadow on music fans and fellow musicians that lingers long after they have played their last show. Smoking Popes are that band, possessing a legion of fans (many of whom are too young to have seen them live) and the outspoken praise of music luminaries like Morrissey, Fall Out Boy and Alkaline Trio. Wielding such musical influence after almost a decade of obscurity is remarkable, and their live reunion CD/DVD is perfect proof that their sparkling lyricism and ineffable charm is still intact.

Smoking Popes have been a staple in the punk and indie rock scenes since the 1990's, helping shape an entire generation of music fans and writing the book for Chicago's indie rock scene. "After Naked Raygun, Chicago was the Smoking Popes," says Pete Wentz of Fall Out Boy. "They were Alkaline Trio before Alkaline Trio, they were Fall Out Boy before Fall Out Boy. This band is one of the reasons that Fall Out Boy even exists."

Smoking Popes first burst onto the scene in 1991 and released several albums on various local labels. They signed to Capitol Records in 1995 and re-released Born To Quit¸ one of Smoking Popes landmark albums, to an even larger fan base gained by touring with bands like Green Day, Jimmy Eat World, and Goo Goo Dolls. Devoted fans and newcomers welcomed the record with open arms: their first single, "Need You Around," quickly became a favorite on Chicago's Q101 and Los Angeles' KROQ, with both stations putting it in heavy rotation. Praise from SPIN, Alternative Press, Rolling Stone and Billboard arrived with the re-release and later that year, "Need You Around" was also featured in the hit movie Clueless. Musical icon Morrissey raved: "Did you ever hear Born To Quit? It's by the Smoking Popes. I thought that album was extraordinary, the most lovable thing I'd heard in years".

In 1997, the Smoking Popes released Destination Failure, which many consider to be their defining masterpiece. This album challenged the idea of what a pop punk band could do, with songwriting that didn't always adhere to verse-chorus-verse progression and lyrics that told tales of love and longing with heartbreaking details. Smoking Popes were one of the first artists to wrap love--both its fragile beginnings and devastating endings--in a comforting blanket of bouncy drumbeats and bombastic power chords.

To the shock of many, Smoking Popes decided to throw in the towel on December 19, 1998, and go on an indefinite hiatus, but their die-hard fan base and underground popularity never faltered. And although the band, whose original lineup included brothers Eli, Josh and Matt Caterer and drummer Mike Felumlee, released the last of their three full-length albums over seven years ago, their sound is alive and well in music today because of the people and bands that they touched. Matt Skiba, vocalist of Alkaline Trio, said: "The Smoking Popes were a good band that only wrote good songs. They have always been a big influence on Alkaline Trio and are a huge reason a lot of us started bands in the first place."

After years passing by with little or no mention of another official Smoking Popes show, rumors started flying around Chicago in the Fall of 2005 that the band would be performing at the Flower 15 Festival. Sure enough, a once--in-a-lifetime sold out reunion show at Chicago's Metro on November 11, 2005 took place and sparked a resurgence of Smoking Popes fans, leaving the crowd yearning for new material. This highly anticipated performance (featuring the unveiling of new drummer Rob Kellenberger alongside the Caterer brothers) was videotaped and recorded and will be released as a CD/DVD on February 28th. Vocalist Josh Caterer is thrilled with the release plans, saying, "We're so excited to be working with Victory. Since they're based in Chicago, we'll really be able to work closely with them. I think it's a great situation for the band."

With the release of their new live CD/DVD, Smoking Popes At Metro, the Smoking Popes announce a North American headlining tour with support from Bayside, who's Acoustic CD/DVD is in stores the same day. The tour runs from February 22nd to March 12 kicking off in St. Louis and closing out with two nights at the esteemed Metro in Chicago. This is the Smoking Popes first US tour in over seven years.

The resurrection of the Smoking Popes is now complete, with tour dates and a new album. Welcome back, guys.
Dead Country
Dead Country
There is a fertile range of musical moments that lays the foundation for the powerful, driving rock made by this band of four called Dead Country. Nick Long, singer, guitarist and California native, felt the tug toward music at the age of six, leading to the formation of his first band by the time he was eleven. Gravitating toward the music of Jawbreaker, Fugazi, Nirvana and Rites of Spring, the sound that forms Dead Country’s original, hard-hitting rock holds traces of those influences, but only as a jumping off point.

Dead Country came together in late 2008 after Nick returned from Switzerland where he’d been living. “I didn’t think twice about coming back to Los Angeles to start a band. It made complete sense to me,” he says about the pulling together of guitarist Jonny Black, whom he’s known since art class at Santa Barbara High School, and bassist Patrick Solem. Right before leaving to play some shows in 2009 with Sunny Day Real Estate, they brought drummer Jarrod Alexander on board.

Now, with the imminent release of the band’s debut EP, recorded at Studio 606 in Los Angeles, which is the Foo Fighters studio, Dead Country can rest assured that the energy pumping from every song will without a doubt move listeners to dive straight into this pool of sound with nary a backward glance. The four tracks: “Euro Thrash,” “The Shade,” “Satori In Luzern,” and “Sea Change,” each, in their own arresting way, move immediately into overdrive, harnessing adrenaline along the way and flying straight into the stratosphere. It’s a great ride, but mind the lyrics as well because along the way a peek into some hearts and minds is guaranteed.

With this kind of forward movement ongoing, the question posed in “Satori in Luzern,” might continue to hang in the air: “What does the word home mean these days, anyway?” For Dead Country, home could be where the heart of the music is. And, in their case, that’s a very choice place to be.

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Venue Information:
The Glass House
200 W. Second St
Pomona, CA, 91766
http://www.theglasshouse.us/