Mar 6, 2014
Door Time: 7:00 PM
Presented By: Channel 93.3

Day: Thursday, March 6, 2014
Door Time: 7:00 PM
Age: All Ages
Advance Ticket Price: $13
Day Of Show Price: $15
Buy Tickets

Middle Class Rut
Middle Class Rut play a visceral brand of alternative rock that echoes the intensity of Jane’s Addiction and Refused, the pummeling backbone of Rage Against The Machine and the anthemic post-punk core of The Foo Fighters.

Only in their mid-20s, Middle Class Rut, consisting of Zack Lopez (guitar/vocals) and Sean Stockham (drums/vocals), are already veteran musicians; both guys were core members of Leisure, which was signed to DreamWorks back in 2000 when Sean and Zack were just in their early teens. After Leisure disbanded several years later, Zack and Sean returned to their hometown of Sacramento, California. Hunkering down in their homegrown studio, they started jamming and writing music together. After penning more than 60 songs, their new project, Middle Class Rut, was officially born in December 2006.

Brick + Mortar
Brick + MortarJohn Tacon and Brandon Asraf have truly been building a movement. Spreading a message of empathy, positivity, and self motivation… The two artists have been playing gritty, bright yet sinister, witty alternative pop for inspired audiences throughout the country. John Tacon started by playing in a few short lived bands. He suggested his friend, Brandon Asraf, pick up an instrument. He chose the bass guitar and it not only offered distraction, it changed the course of his life. While Tacon’s upbringing was reasonably normal, Asraf, on the other hand grew up "like wolves" amid five siblings in a New Jersey household headed by a conman father. Dad's schemes ultimately tore the family apart. "Mom didn't take everything that happened the best," he says. But you can learn more about that in VICE’s article: “My Buddy’s Dad Was a Blood Diamond Smuggler”. Google it.

Asraf and Tacon jammed together for many years instrumentally before deciding to try writing songs. Asraf was initially concerned about his voice, but like with everything else, his confidence grew alongside his mastery. After giving their project its name in 2008, they followed in 2010 with Brick + Mortar’s first EP, 7 Years in the Mystic Room. It captured some buzz and, after lots of touring, the Bangs EP followed in 2013. For the past 2 years,Brick + Mortar have been criss-crossing the continent, playing their energetic anthems of empowerment. The band has given the two best friends an outlet to share their beliefs with the masses. Brandon says, “Music gave me a sense of value. I realized I could tell a story and express myself. It's positive. I'm meeting these people in the outside world that are making me feel like I can be the part of something positive on Earth, instead of being destined to this scumbag existence.”

Coming from the wrong side of the tracks, Asraf knew what Janis Joplin meant about the freedom of having nothing left to lose. "I was just a poor kid growing up. I didn't have an identity. I wasn't really good at anything," says Asraf. "I didn't have a fear of failing or of dying or of any of that, because I figure that was just what was going to happen anyway. Because of my life at the time, I just didn't give a fuck." The two have started assembling a following of believers. People who can relate to where they are coming from. If the songs weren’t catchy enough, the authenticity of the artists behind the music is relatable on so many levels.

Brick + Mortar is an escape for both the listeners and creators alike. The honesty of songs on “Dropped” can be heard July 17th. This release is the first time Brick + Mortar are truly free to do things their way. They are taking control of their future, and doing all the things the label would never let them do. They can’t wait for you to hear the new songs, and experience the live shows they will bring to you. Every song on the record will have a music video. They already have released the sleek sci-fi video for “Move To The Ocean” which was directed by Asraf’s brother Corey, and stars his youngest brother, EJ. This communal hand’s on approach is powered by the fans, because it’s all for them. “We are the band that only exists because of you. The "Dropped EP" is for anyone who ever believed in Brick + Mortar. Thanks for believing in us."


Dinosaur Pile Up
Dinosaur Pile Up 
Dinosaur Pile-Up’s Matt Bigland knew exactly where he was heading when he started the Britrock outfit’s second album. “I wanted this album to make you feel something,” he says, “good, bad, whatever. I wanted it to drag whatever was inside of me kicking and screaming and dump it on the tape, so that whoever’s listening to it can feel the same. I wanted this album to kick you in the face.”
Impressive talk. But as is suggested in the record’s title, ‘Nature Nurture’, sometimes the forces around you can have ideas of their own, and the journey will take you to places you had barely imagined. To recap, Dinosaur Pile-Up broke out of the fervent Leeds rock scene at the end of last decade, their debut album ‘Growing Pains’ inviting favourable comparisons to the cream of 90s US college rock, and touring with likes of Pixies, Feeder, Cage The Elephant and Twin Atlantic. They quickly became one of the hottest-tipped of a new generation of UK rock acts, and the latest incumbent of the ‘grunge revival’ at the hands of a media hungry for one. Bigland had written and recorded ‘Growing Pains’ himself, but touring had turned the outfit into a ‘proper’ band, albeit one with something of a revolving door policy.
And after two years in the road in support of ‘Growing Pains’ that door spun faster on Matt than ever before, with drummer Mike Sheils and bassist Johnny Seymour deciding to leave the band within days of each other, mere days before sessions were due to start.
“It did feel like a weird break-up,” he remembers, “because with Mike especially, it wasn’t like he did anything wrong. Being in band is hard, I understood that. For a while after I was so down, but it was either I did the record on my own or I didn’t do the record. And I had to do the record. So I just went and did it.”
After an intense six-weeks relearning all the other instruments, the now reluctant polymath went into Rockfield Studio in Monmouth and the Courtyard in Oxford with producer Ian Davenport (Band Of Skulls, The Duke Spirit) to do something he had already done in an entirely new way. Matt learned that “Ian likes to feel the music, which is quite an interesting point of view. I always just think, ‘well how does it sound’ whereas he’s like ‘how does that make you feel when you’re playing it, and if it doesn’t make you feel something then you should probably change it’.”
An intense period, of both creativity and self-discovery led eventually to ‘Nature Nurture’, a record that builds on the crisp, euphoric power-pop of ‘Growing Pains’, but paints it in broader colours and a wider emotional range, from the brazen Main Stage pop bluster of lead single ‘Arizona Waiting’, through the Kinks-infused psyche of ‘Summer Girl’, to the robotic crunch of ‘White T-Shirt And Jeans’. While retaining what made the rock world fall for them in the first place, it revels in the rich history of British pop from the sixties and seventies.
As proud as he was of ‘Growing Pains’, the clue was maybe in the title, and this is the realisation of a grander vision. “This time, I saw everything on a bigger scale. I wanted people to connect with these songs. I didn’t see crowds of kids in shitty basement clubs listening to this album. I saw thousands of kids all losing their shit at the main stage of some festival or something, all feeling the same thing at once.”
And that title? “It felt like a nice place to take it from ‘Growing Pains’ and I like the fact that it’s a question of, ‘is this how it’s meant to be? Or do you try and change it because that’s how you think it should be?’ For some reason it seemed to fit my situation where I always end up doing stuff on my own. Should I be trying to change something, or is that just what I’m meant to be?”
Getting the record made certainly forced Matt to confront a couple of demons. The title track, he says, was in a roundabout way inspired by Marlon Brando’s character in Apocalypse Now. As he explains: “He’s gone from the height of this controlled, tamed way of being, to the most far-out, bare human instinct he can find. He’s gotten to grips with weird character that was under everything else, and he was that person all along – it was just hidden under all these layers. That’s feels relevant to what this album is about for me.”
“I suppose that’s what the album’s about, being that person that’s under all that other crap. I feel like people are always living in these boxes that they think they should be, when they’re not really like that at all.”
So this record’s unlikely gestation just goes to underline the lessons in that journey, and in the contradiction of its title. At the end, there is the revelation that what you find within yourself is probably going to be okay.
Dinosaur Pile-Up now emerge with one of the brightest, most bruising rock records of 2013. To give the story an extra sweet twist in the tail, actually hearing the record made Mike rethink things once again and is now back, fully paid-up and more committed than ever. After a period of adversity, Dinosaur Pile-Up are a team once again facing a brighter tomorrow. “Making the album, things felt very on the edge,” nods Matt, “but that only had the effect of making the songs come out more real, and alive. It’s a REAL guitar record, I couldn’t be more proud of it.” 
Get ready to be kicked in the face all over again.