THE CHAIN GANG OF 1974 / ZAK WATERS

THE CHAIN GANG OF 1974 / ZAK WATERS

EMPIRES

Wed, July 16, 2014

Doors: 7:00 pm / Show: 8:00 pm

$12.00 - $14.00

Tickets Available at the Door

This event is 16 and over

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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."
ZAK WATERS
ZAK WATERS
Triple threat Zak Waters always leaves a mark. Ever since he first formally began performing in high school, the Los Angeles singer, songwriter, and producer never failed to make a lasting impression on his audience, and it's always three-pronged. Unlike his contemporaries. He can do it all from constructing a track to writing the lyrics to performing it live with his band or in a DJ set.
However, he's always been driving his own music. In 2011, he broke on to the scene with his independent debut EP, New Normal. He served as both the featured writer and singer on Madeon's hit dance single "The City," which hit #1 on Hype Machine and peaked at #4 on the Billboard Dance Chart, where it stayed for nine months. Meanwhile, his single with Candyland, "Not Coming Down," topped the Beatport charts as #1 track for two weeks. He's performed on AXS Live, Last Call With Carson Daly, and on KIIS FM. Meanwhile, he's not only been personally sought out by Flo Rida and Benny Benassi for their upcoming 2014 tracks, but also by the likes of legendary songwriter Diane Warren and Atlantic Records artist Francisco for his production talents. He's produced official remixes alongside Benny Benassi, R3hab, Pharrel Williams for All-American Rejects, Adam Lambert, and Foxy Shazam Moreover, famed Los Angeles venue The Satellite in Silver L ake tapped him for a high-profile residency as well in September 2013.
His impact is about to expand immensely with the release of his forthcoming full-length debut album, Lip Service—available exclusively on Spotify via a unique deal in September 2013. Shimmying between soulful funk savoir faire and fresh dance floor-ready pop, he cultivates an immediately seductive, soaring, and shimmering style of his own.
He puts it best though, "My music is definitely meant to make people dance. I like to think of it as disco at its core. There are elements of EDM and R&B at the same time. You could call it neo-funk-pop. I'll take that as mine."
His personal panache punctuates the first single "Penelope." The song tells a cheeky little tale that's as vivid as it is vivacious.
" I kept listening to the track and going back to a vision of a young kid obsessed with his baby sitter and wondering where she's at now," he explains. "I think we all had that babysitter. My friend's sitter was so hot. She was 'Penelope' for me. Now, you wonder, 'Would she look at me differently now that I'm grown up?'"
Elsewhere, "Dear John" featuring Audra Mae is a smart rumination on breaking up, while "Over You" examines the some darker moments post-relationship. Waters tapes into real tangible emotion, extending beyond the feel good pop."
There's one pervasive thread throughout. "It's all about wanting to have fun," he concludes. "The majority of my songs are upbeat. They're meant to be the soundtrack to somebody's wild night. I love when somebody tells me I made it onto their workout or sex mix. If I can encapsulate a time for the listener, I feel like I will never be forgotten."
EMPIRES
EMPIRES
Empires have emerged from the deep freeze of Chicago with a collection of tunes imbued with a thick-skinned Midwestern charm. "Orphan" – the band's upcoming album on Chop Shop / Island Records has producer John Congleton (St. Vincent, The Black Angels, Explosions in the Sky) at the helm, perfectly capturing a band in their truest form. Empires are out on the road this winter & spring – with stops at SXSW and various festivals – introducing songs from the new album, including the debut track 'How Good Does It Feel'.
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