XPN Welcomes: Leagues

XPN Welcomes: Leagues

Ex Cops, Goodnight Lights

Fri, February 22, 2013

Doors: 8:30 pm / Show: 9:30 pm


This event is 21 and over

LEAGUES is Thad Cockrell (lead vocal), Tyler Burkum (guitar), Mike Simons (bass) and Jeremy Lutito (drums).

B E G I N N I N G.
In 2008, Simons and Cockrell met in Raleigh, North Carolina where Simons had begun playing bass for Cockrell when he had shows around town. They soon began writing together and eventually talked of starting a band. Cockrell mentioned that his first choice for a drummer would be acquaintance and Nashville native Jeremy Lutito, having seen him play a few years early and proclaiming, "if I ever start a band, that guy is my guy." In similar fashion, Simons voiced his choice for a guitar player would be Minnesota-based Tyler Burkum based solely on the experience of working with Burkum on a project eight years prior.

On a trip to Nashville in January 2010, Cockrell reached out to Lutito and floated the idea of starting a band and related the vision he and Simons shared. When he brought up the idea of Burkum as a potential guitar player, Lutito promptly started laughing. He then relayed that he had been playing with Burkum in a band as hired guns for the past two years and that they had always talked about starting a band.

S H O W I N G U P.
In March of 2010, after what can only be described as a serendipitous start, the foursome convened in Nashville, Tennessee and walked into a studio together for the first time not knowing what to expect. From that first session, whatever was going on in the room was decidedly more than just jamming. Instead it sounded like something was trying to elbow its way into the room; the sound of something trying to become - if that makes any sense. In the air there was a collective spirit of "let's show up and see what happens." Lucky for listeners, something happened and they've been showing up ever since.

Deciding that they would set aside conventional wisdom, the foursome put everything they had and pledged what they didn't yet have to this band and these songs that were being born. Everybody wins or everybody loses. They continued to meet in Nashville to write and play for a few days at a time every 6 weeks or so throughout 2010. This past December, Leagues began self producing 10 songs (three of which make up the self-titled EP) assisted by the engineering and mixing of Vance Powell and with friend Marshall Altman producing vocals.

T H E M U S I C.
The members of LEAGUES have been around long enough to not be naïve, but have also managed to hold what they do with the right amount of reverence and wonder. They know that in order for music to connect in this age of segmentation and uber-fragmented music landscapes that it is going to take something just short of a miracle. They admit that they must rely on others to catch the vision or to put it in the fashion of a typical southern colloquialism, "it's going to take a lot of water to make this thing float."

Leagues wants to connect with people. The way they see it, the music is as much audiences as it is the bands. While they obviously are making music that they love, they also have the listener's pleasure and joy in mind. Ultimately, they would like their music to transcend the fractures in popular music and invite everyone to engage with the songs and take ownership of them.

"My favorite music connects people and engages you to participate," says Cockrell. "Look at folk music, those songs got passed down because it was something people could sing together."

That's your invitation. Bring your secret self and come sing with the band.
Ex Cops
Ex Cops
Other Music Recording Co.'s first release of 2013 comes from the label's very first signing, Ex Cops, whose debut single launched the imprint last April. Formed by Brian Harding (formerly of Hymns) and Amalie Bruun (formerly of Minks), the Brooklyn band was born in 2011, issuing a short-run, homespun CD-EP of hazy, lo-fi recordings featuring Harding's opaque bedroom-pop songwriting juxtaposed with the duo's sun-kissed harmonies. Two of the tracks, "You Are a Lion, I Am a Lamb" b/w "The Millionaire," were soon released to the world on vinyl as OM-001, and the pair continued to write new songs while simultaneously playing more live shows, now working as a proper five-piece rock band, with the addition of good friends Kai Kennedy on lead guitar, Leif Young Huckman on bass, and Sam Bair on the drums. Keeping a handful of Ex Cops' early sessions in place, the newly expanded lineup took to the studio to record this full-length with John Siket (Blonde Redhead, Yo La Tengo, Sonic Youth, etc.) sitting in the production chair, the resulting True Hallucinations a mind-altering pop pill that maintains the intimate mood of the original group's sound, but now presented in widescreen Technicolor.

Hardingʼs songs are effortlessly catchy, built from a timeless blend of gentle, somnambulant harmonies, chiming guitars, and loose swinging rhythms. You can detect influences ranging from vintage British and New Zealand indie pop (imagine the Chills covering Nick Lowe during "James"), to Factory Records atmospherics ("You Are a Lion, I Am a Lamb"), and closer to home, a little Velvets/Feelies jangle ("Broken Chinese Chairz"), along with a good dose of classic power-pop and the guitar-heavy sound of Teenage Fanclub ("Ken," "Separator"). Yet in spite of this list of influences and precursors, Ex Copsʼ music is very much their own, sounding at once both classic and modern, their sugary pop songs enshrouded in a unique psychedelic haze. Coming in at just over 30 minutes, the album never overstays its welcome, but living up to its name, True Hallucinations will linger in your head, making for a pop trip that you'll return to again and again.
Goodnight Lights
Goodnight Lights
Formed in the summer of 2007, Goodnight Lights is a Philadelphia-based quintet including: Michael Schraeger (guitar and vocals), Faith Charlton (keyboard and vocals), Ian Charlton (guitar and vocals), Jonah Delso (bass and vocals), and Michael Ziegler (drums). The band’s diverse, yet cohesive sound draws wide comparisons to many of the band's influences, old and new alike.

Goodnight Lights recently released their third full-length entitled As Far As The Moon. All of their releases can be found at http://www.goodnight-lights.com.

"Goodnight Lights continue to sharpen its musical voice with well crafted songwriting, sparkling harmonies, smart melodies and excellent guitar playing..." –Bruce Warren, WXPN & The Key Music Blog

"Remind me a bit of The Arcade Fire... with the backup/gang choruses/shouts... I have a difficult time pinning down the sound (that’s a good thing)." –Matthew Berlyant, NYC rock magazine, "The Big Takeover"

"Some of my favorite bands were finally smashed together in one. Perhaps the feeling of anticipation was loaded in a familiar sound with a twist... I couldn't put my finger directly on it, but I knew I liked it. The influences of this band are inadvertently represented in the tracks on the album. Some of those influences include The Velvet Underground, The Pixies, The Stooges, Radiohead and The Arcade Fire. Goodnight Lights concocts a sound that channels these influences in a versatile yet original way. Innovative." –Jennifer Koch, Origivation Magazine
Venue Information:
MilkBoy Philly
1100 Chestnut Street
Philadelphia, PA, 19107