A very special engagement featuring never before or rarely performed early material 1990-1995 (Eccsame The Photon Band, In The Presence of Nothing, & more)
Featuring Kurt Heasley with / musical director Don De Vore and:
James Richardson (MGMT)
Will Berman (MGMT)
Matt Werth (RVNG Intl. founder)
Alex Craig (Limited, Ducktails, Big Troubles)
"Dead Heavens came to me while watching a film called An American Hippie In Israel," says front man and guitarist Walter Schreifels. "In the film the aforementioned American Hippie collects a group of like minded flower children from around Tel Aviv. They cram into a convertible for a drive to the sea and pick out an uninhabited island to begin a new "free" society. They lose their raft, the waters around the island are shark infested, there's no drinkable water or food save a single lamb which the hippies ultimately fight to the death for--their heaven dead yet the lamb survives. Our band is like the lamb, a lamb that grows into a goat, with horns."
The early sparks of the Dead Heavens' sound began on a Schreifels solo, with Thomas and Aguilar as the backing band. They were obsessing over Cream's first album Fresh Cream and MBV, My Bloody Valentine's both miasmic yet blissful follow up to Loveless. Aguilar also introduced them to the psych beauty of White Fence on that tour, which resonated with Schreifels, who was in the mood for heavier music, guitar solos, and a big rock feeling after a recent Quicksand tour.
Upon returning to NYC, Aguilar reacquainted Thomas and Schreifels with musician, painter, engineer and dude who came up with the title Use Your Illusion, Paul Kostabi, who had previously played in White Zombie and Psychotica.
"I knew Paul from his days with White Zombie, but hadn't seen him in years and didn't know he was recording," Schreifels said. "Turns out he was in possession of the same 16-track reel-to-reel I had recorded Gorilla Biscuits' Start Today on back in '89, so it was a perfect fit."
They began recording at Kostabi's home studio in Piermont, New York with his massive collection of '70s recording reels from The James Gang, Sabbath, and Hendrix, spinning in between takes.
"Those recordings really inspired our sound," Schreifels said of Kostabi's analog archive. "We began to see ourselves in the context of the Vietnam War."
Eventually Kostabi joined Dead Heavens, which had morphed mid-recording from a project into an actual band, changing the sound dramatically. Heavier and dual guitar leads, more sonic possibilities. Whether they're connecting the sounds of the psychedelic '70s or channeling the now, Dead Heavens are sound tracking their exploration and as drummer Drew Thomas mentions, "What the world needs now is for more people to take psychedelic drugs." Dead Heavens is launched into the world to succeed where the hippies failed.
Since their inception, Dead Heavens has released three 7" singles through various labels and has toured the country numerous times.
The promise of L.A. may well lie in Tennis System, who have thundered their way through their adopted city with a reverb-drenched ferocity that has, in short order, made the East Coast transplants the city’s band to watch.
One listen is all it takes to comprehend why: Tennis System are masters of unhinged, lo-fi psychedelia, laced with the inescapably pop DNA of Jesus and Mary Chain, Nirvana and Ride. Behind the sweat-drenched performances, behind the Orange amps and squalling anthems is a coolly leather-clad trio, composed of front man Matty Taylor, drummer Hector Gomez, and bassist Zach Bilson. Arriving at the current lineup, however, was spirit quest that took Tennis System from one coast to the other: It was in gritty Washington, D.C. that a young Taylor steeped like tea in the music of Fugazi and Bad Brains, Black Tambourine and Nation of Ulysses. He decamped for Los Angeles, where denizens Gomez and Bilson joined the band, propelling the band forward as a full-fledged L.A. band.
Though Tennis System has shared bills with the likes of Ty Segall, Wavves, Japandroids, Pains of Being Pure at Heart, Mark Gardner and Beach Fossils, and worked with Jeff Zeigler of Uniform Recording (Kurt Vile, War on Drugs, Nothing) and Fred Kevorkian (White Stripes, Pavement, Sonic Youth, the National) since its founding in 2009, life on the best coast has only served to raise its profile: In the past year, crowds at Filter Magazine’s Culture Collide festival, Austin Psych Fest, L.A.’s iconic Part-Time Punks showcase and South by Southwest have begun to bear witness to Tennis System’s slash-and-burn live shows.
After 2011’s much blogged-about self-released album, “Teenagers” (and its stunner of a single, “Hey We Tried”), the band returns in the fall of 2014 with “Technicolour Blind,” the appropriately named, heady fever-dream of a new album that has been a year in the making for Tennis System. Its tracks, including “Technicolour Blind” “Memories & Broken Dreams” and the sparkling, anthemic “Dead Honey” are melodic departures from the gritty, fuzz-washed tunes of yore; rather, Los Angeles life, with its thrilling beauty and starkly menacing underbelly, has left Tennis System sun-bleached and wary, and left their music imbued with the peculiar patina of a rough-and-tumble circumstance. The guitars still squeal, but listen closely: Taylor’s lyricism bears unexpected wisdom and woe. Recorded with Ulysses Noriega (The Wedding Present, Ben Folds, The Offspring) mixed by Drew Fisher (The Melvins, Bleached, Babies) and mastered by John Greenham (Ice Cube, Aesop Rock, Chuck Prophet), “Technicolour Blind” is poised to be Tennis System’s breakout effort, even if fans knew it all along.