the Donkeys w/ Two Sheds, The Pesos

the Donkeys w/ Two Sheds, The Pesos

Two Sheds, The Pesos

Fri · August 12, 2016

8:00 pm

$8.00 - $10.00

This event is 21 and over

the Donkeys
the Donkeys
As we watched the Donkeys perform one of the first of their nearly 150 shows in support of 2014's Ride The Black Wave, on the clattery rooftop stage of the aptly named SXSW venue Cheers Shot Bar, Craig Finn (he of literate-rock luminaries The Hold Steady) turned to me and said something on the order of "you can just feel that they've played with each other since high school…they've got that thing, and you just can't get it otherwise." That thing, an elusive, intuitive musical hive-mindedness informs every note the acclaimed San Diego quartet ever play, live or on record, but is especially present on Midnight Palms, the mini-album due for release February 12th on Easy Sound.

Tracked largely live-in-the-studio with veteran producer, longtime friend, and fellow traveler Thom Monahan (Vetiver, Fruit Bats, Devendra Banhart), Midnight Palmsoozes with the sticky, syrupy energy of a band fresh off the road and "in rare form," as the expression goes. Recorded as it was at the end of one of the bands blitzkrieg road runs (which might see the band playing as many as 28 shows in 29 days), the collection's lived-in live feel should surprise few.

The core founding trio of Tim Denardo, Anthony Lukens, and Sam Sprague drive the proceedings. Drummer Sprague alternately (and effortlessly) sets a lock-step driving pace, as on album opener "Hurt Somebody," a bouncy girl-group groove ("Day by Day"), or a lazy gallop, as on the languid "Star Bird," which the drummer also sings. Meanwhile, bassist Denardo falls easily into any of those pockets, and takes his own lead vocal turn on "Down the Line," a dusty roots-pop tune as laid back as the men playing it. Lukens, of course, provides the by-turns warm, slippery, punchy and liquid keyboard lines that are the album's bedrock, while lending his direct, earnest vocals to three of the album's five tunes.

The fourth Donkey on Midnight Palms is The Hold Steady's Steve Selvidge, stepping in after the (amiable) departure of long-time guitarist Jesse Gulati. Selvidge hopped on stage with the Donkeys that night at Cheers Shot Bar and would end up joining the band for a fair number of those 150 RTBW shows. His pointed, tasteful leads are peppered throughout Midnight Palms, most notably on the searing "Hold On To You."

In all, the Donkeys have crafted in the Midnight Palms mini-album a fine, half-sized document of their singular sound. At once accessible, adventurous, nostalgic, and progressive, it can only be the Donkeys.
Two Sheds
Two Sheds
Caitlin is a loyal Californian, and Californians are always willing to honor a dare. In 2005, her husband Johnny from the beloved band Far dared her to write songs to match the beauty of her voice. The songs she wrote were good enough to be recorded by her friend Robert Cheek at the Hangar studio in Sacramento, with Johnny and Rusty Miller (Jackpot, Jason Lytle, Kelly Stoltz) filling out what would become the band Two Sheds. That album, Strange Ammunition, was self released 2006. They followed with an EP, released by Filter Records in 2007, and spent the next few years touring. In 2010, Caitlin took a hiatus from Two Sheds to join Release the Sunbird, the solo project of Rogue Wave frontman Zach Rogue, and had the opportunity to share stages with Peter, Bjorn & John, Death Cab for Cutie, and the Flaming Lips. Two Sheds resumed when Caitlin and Johnny moved to Los Angeles in 2012. Caitlin was duty-bound to respond to another dare, this time a challenge from a friend to write twenty songs in one day. Caitlin took that dare three different days, in fact, and ended up with enough solid songs to record a new album with Johnny and drummer Josh Barnhart (Release the Sunbird, Port O'Brien, Sparrows Gate). The resulting album, Assembling, was engineered by Eli Thomson (Delta Spirit, Richard Swift, Everest) at New Monkey Studio in Van Nuys, CA (Elliott Smith's former studio). Tracking was performed mostly live over a 5-day session to capture the songs with the same immediacy with which they were written. Two Sheds' music takes the tender and direct pop mindset of someone like Liz Phair straight to the top floor. Caitlin's voice may remind listeners of Kristen Hersh or Mazzy Star, sounding like she's weeping in the sad songs and smiling in the happy songs. The band takes the California rock-soul of comrades like Mother Hips or 90s indie wizards Pavement, driving to the essence of a song in the shortest path possible. They are pushing themselves to dig down to the still-genuine heart of rock and roll, where true love still resides, away from the false promises of the searchlights. They will dare you to not be enamored.
The Pesos
631 903 0869
Venue Information:
The Hi Hat
5043 York Blvd
Los Angeles, CA, 90042