The Bowery Ballroom
Miniature Tigers

Miniature Tigers

Geographer, The Chain Gang of 1974, SPEAK

Sun, March 25, 2012

Doors: 6:30 pm / Show: 7:30 pm

The Bowery Ballroom

New York, NY

$13 advance / $15 day of show

This event is 18 and over

Miniature Tigers
Miniature Tigers
Miniature Tigers' sound was forged in the bedroom of frontman Charlie Brand, only to quickly outgrow the space, with the band soon finding itself on stage, in the studio and signed to Phoenix's Modern Art Records in short order. Brand's lyrics – a mix of deeply personal insights and playful references to the disparate cultural artifacts that have informed his existence – and effortlessly constructed indie-pop arrangements have made fans in his native Phoenix and beyond. The fans stretch to Los Angeles, where Brand reconnected with drummer, collaborator and fellow charter member of the band Rick Schaier while living in Hollywood, and far beyond thanks to the Internet, which it seems people are into these days.

Miniature Tigers' debut album "Tell it to the Volcano" runs the lyrical gamut, taking inspiration from and referencing TV's Lost (which rates a Dharma Initiative sticker on Brand's acoustic) as easily as it probes the joy and heartbreak of Charlie's own life, while managing not to take itself too seriously. Brand wrote the album while on the lam – not from the law, but rather from a relationship he described as "brutal." He left Phoenix to clear his head, landing in Los Angeles and collaborating with his friend Rick to complete the long-gestating album. It was his catharsis – with cannibals and volcanoes stepping in for the real-world problems that had both beset and inspired him. In the end the album represents Charlie's effort to codify, examine, and ultimately move past a 2-year stretch of his life.

Charlie and Rick are joined in their live incarnation by friends and collaborators Lou Kummerer on bass and Lawrence Hearn on lead guitar and keyboards, for performances that seem to give equal time to playing songs and intra-band joking. They aim for a controlled chaos aesthetic that eschews "auto-pilot" at all costs.

In an effort to further confound the expectations of those around the band, they chose to have their video directed by someone who had never helmed one before…or at least never an authorized music video. The band tapped "Yacht Rock" creator JD Ryznar to direct their video for Cannibal Queen in the hopes he would recreate the magic of his wildly popular Internet video series. Ryznar quickly assimilated the band's aesthetic and turned in a video equal parts "Weird Science" and "Frankenstein," to the band's delight.
Geographer
Geographer
"Some of the best pop this city has to offer." --The Bay Bridged

"Layers of bubbling synths and winding guitars and cellos, and Mike Deni's haunting vocals ride above the electro-acoustic fracas wonderfully. Simply stunning." --KQED Mix Tape

"One of Three Undiscovered Bands You Need to Hear Now." --SPIN
The Chain Gang of 1974
The Chain Gang of 1974
"My brothers and I were surrounded by music growing up," explains Kamtin Mohager, the shape-shifting singer/multi-instrumentalist behind the Chain Gang of 1974. "Not Beatles albums or anything like that; more like the Persian records our parents played all the time. And when we got older, it was up to us to discover everything." Born in San Jose and raised in Hawaii, Mohager spent his first 13 years obsessing over inline hockey and the idea of being drafted by the NHL one day. A series of life-changing events were set in motion once Mohager's family moved to Colorado, however. The first of which involved the final scene from Real Genius—quite possibly Val Kilmer's finest hour—and its penultimate ‘popcorn song', a.k.a. "Everybody Rules the World." "I love ‘80s music, but not typical new-wave stuff," says Mohager. "Like I'm way into Tears For Fears and Talk Talk, the other side of the spectrum, really." That's abundantly clear on White Guts, a record that's nearly as restless as Chain Gang's previous collection of early recordings, Fantastic Nostalgic. The way Mohager sees it, his first proper release was "all over the place, from a piano ballad to songs that sound like Black Rebel Motorcycle Club, Primal Scream or Justice." White Guts, on the other hand, funnels three years of instrument-swapping, sample-splicing experience into a lean, focused listen. So while "Stop!" and the rather epic "Hold On" hint at everything from LCD Soundsystem to Talking Heads, they make perfect sense in the context of deep cuts like the synth-flecked "Don't Walk Away" and bass-guided "Matter of Time," shimmering power ballads that could have been on the soundtrack of Sixteen Candles or Pretty in Pink. What sets the Chain Gang of 1974 apart from other Reagan-era revivalists is Mohager's innate sense of rhythm, a skill he acquired at an early age. And we're not just talking about his parents' punchy, groove-riding record collection. We're talking about family gatherings and traditions that taught Mohager how to make a crowd of cool kids uncross their arms and dance like there's pistols pointed at their feet. "Everyone lets loose at our shows," says Mohager. "It's a party, man. If only I had a dollar for every time someone bum-rushed the stage or grabbed one of our instruments." Things are bound to get worse, too, as his live band—a quartet that's a far cry from Mohager's original iPod/bass setup—spends the next six months spreading the Chain Gang gospel far beyond its Rocky Mountain beginnings. Or as the man behind every last beat puts it, "I'm letting the music just be, and if something's meant to happen, it's meant to happen."
SPEAK
SPEAK
Forever questing for innovation, SPEAK invoke timeless melodies in energetic, synth-laden anthems.

Frontman Troupe Gammage has been recording music since age 11. Mesmerized by the compositions in his favorite video games, he started creating his own using rudimentary computer software. Developing his sound through his study of electronic music and observation of his musician parents (Ernie Gammage and Christine Albert) and the Motown collection at home, Troupe released his first EP at age 16. He went on to release two more albums online garnering over 25,000 downloads to date. Gammage spent a year in University of Southern California's music composition program before moving to Austin to pursue video game composition and voice acting.

After co-founding his own production company and gaining solid footing in the business through work on games for Playstation, XBox, Wii, and PC, Troupe has shifted his focus to pop powerhouse SPEAK. The band met through mutual friends in 2008, rising from the remnants of electro-pop band Jupiter-4. With Gammage join University of Texas students Nick Hurt (guitar) Joey Delahoussaye (bass) and Jake Stewart (drums). Hurt and Delahoussaye are guitar performance majors.

Since then, SPEAK has signed to Playing in Traffic Records and recorded their debut EP with producer Chris "Frenchie" Smith (JET, Dandy Warhols). Through Smith, Troupe landed a gig recording keys for JET's new album Shaka Rock.

The band's debut album EP, "Hear Here" has garnered serious attention, receiving highest 4-star honors from the Austin Chronicle, and great reviews across the board. Recently SPEAK was named Best New Band by the Austin Music Awards.

What people are saying about "Hear Here"
Austin Chronicle (4/4 stars) "[Hear Here is] poised to change the musical landscape…crank up the volume: The future just got a lot brighter"
AV Club (B+) "Smooth electronic seduction, spiked with a little venom"
Austinist "swimming in synth and innovative pop melodies"
Venue Information:
The Bowery Ballroom
6 Delancey St
New York, NY, 10002
http://www.boweryballroom.com/