City Club Spring Tour 2017
Tue, February 21, 2017
Doors: 7:30 pm / Show: 8:30 pm
This event is 21 and over
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Cult Records is proud to present City Club, the new long player from California scuzz rockers The Growlers. Produced by Cult label head (and frontman for The Strokes) Julian Casablancas in tandem with Grammy-winning engineer Shawn Everett (Alabama Shakes, Weezer), the album is a massive step forward for the band, showcasing a richer sound and focused, anthemic songwriting.
From the disco skronk of title track “City Club” to the William Onyeabor-inspired Afrogroove of “I’ll Be Around,” the record marks a twist on their Beach Goth sonics. It’s still a swirl of reggae, punk, ragged country, and twangy psychedelia, but now with prominent synthesizers, danceable beats and some serious anthems. “Less surf, more synth,” in the words of the band’s guitarist and music director Matt Taylor.
Things have definitely changed since The Growlers’ last record, Chinese Fountain, released in 2014. Famed director P.T. Anderson cast them in his 2014 film Inherent Vice, in an unforgettable Last Supper-esque pizza party scene that became part of the film’s visual signature. They’ve toured the world multiple times and channeled that energy into their annual Beach Goth festival located in their backyard of Orange County. With a lineup this year that boasts arguably the coolest bill of any of its competitors featuring Bon Iver, Justice, King Krule, Patti Smith, James Blake, TLC among others, the festival will attract 18,000 in attendance with The Growlers headlining both nights. Fan favorites indeed.
But back to City Club. High in the hills of Topanga Canyon, California, the City Club demos began as loops on loops, with Matt inspired by his recent forays into the catalogs of weirdo geniuses like Haruomi Hosono, Dwight Twilley and Todd Rundgren. Singer and lyricist Brooks Nielsen then layered on vocal tracks and melodies.
“I was really into Afrofunk when we made this record,” says Brooks, “and a lot of English 70s punk I listened to as a kid, particularly when Jamaica was mixing in with all the punk kids.” The band brought the works-in-progress to Shawn Everett’s studio in downtown Los Angeles. Production guidance came from Julian, and the record soon took on a new shape.
And what about the name, City Club? It’s definitely real. Located directly across the street from Shawn’s studio, City Club is where the band spent copious amounts of downtime: between takes, before tracking, after hours. It’s on the album cover, with stunning photography by Pamela Littky, and in the beautiful gatefold design by Warren Fu (Daft Punk, Mark Ronson), featuring a cast of characters pulled from the back room bar, guest appearances from the folks that haunted the making of the record.
The future is looking very bright for The Growlers. New audiences, new exposure, new sounds, new noise. And now with City Club, the beach may be in the distance, but the goth still lingers. It’s a night ride into the depths of Los Angeles, a damaged rear view that rewards with every listen, on the car stereo, in the club, at the festival. Light one up; pour one out. It’s City Club.
The four actual best friends—Emily Nokes (vocals, tambourine), Eric Randall (guitar), Lelah Maupin (drums), and Bree McKenna (bass)—came together in their teens and early baby twenties and coalesced into a band eight years ago, and you can feel that they’ve built both their lives, and their sound, together. Hanging out with Tacocat and listening to Tacocat are remarkably similar experiences, like the best party you’ve ever been to, where, instead of jostling for social position, everyone just wants to eat candy and talk about Sassy Magazine, sci-fi, cultural dynamic shifts, and bad experiences with men.
Tacocat’s third studio album, Lost Time (an X-Files reference, doy), is their first with producer Erik Blood. “I would describe him generally as a beautiful wizard,” Nokes said, “who, in our opinion, took the album to the next level. Wizard level.” Blood’s sounds are wide and expansive, bringing a fullness to the band’s familiar sparkling snarl. The Tacocat of Lost Time are triumphantly youthful but also plainspoken and wise, as catchy as they are substantive. “Men Explain Things to Me” eviscerates male condescension with sarcastic surf guitar. On “The Internet,” they swat away trolls with an imperiousness so satisfying you want to transmogrify it into a sheetcake and devour it: “Your place is so low/Human mosquito.”
One of feminism’s biggest hurdles has always been that it isn’t allowed to be fun. Tacocat gives that notion precisely the credence that it deserves, ignoring it altogether and making fun, funny, unselfconscious pop songs about the shit they’re genuinely obsessing or groaning over: Plan B, night swimming, high school horse girls (“they know the different breeds of all their favorite steeds!”), the bridge-and-tunnel bros who turn their neighborhood into a toilet every weekend. And, eight years in, Tacocat have built something bigger than themselves. They’ve fostered a feminist punk scene in Seattle so fertile it’s going national and rendering the notion of the “girl band” even more laughable than it already was. There are no “girl bands” in Seattle anymore. There are just bands and everyone else. “Women,” Nokes jokes. “They’re just like us!”
130 N. Central Ave.
Phoenix, AZ, 85004