Army Navy: The Last Place

Army Navy first appeared on the indie pop music scene back in 2008 with their debut self titled album and recently played at The Roxy this past May. Now the Los Angeles based group is back with the release of their sophomore album “The Last Place”. With personal heartbreak as the main topic of choice, you may expect the drum beats and guitars to carry a pretty melancholic tone. However, Army Navy delivers upbeat tracks that make the stories of breakup sound a lot more quirkier than usual.

With opening track “Last Legs”, spinning guitar riffs and rock driven drums take the front stage, and only features a mere moment of acoustic guitar before the track explodes with frontman Justin Kennedy’s vocals. Quirky piano, quick fingered bass, and in sync percussions support Kennedy on “Ode to Janice” as he details the bitterness surrounding a relationship gone sour with his former flame.

“I think it’s gonna happen” is another track that’s executed with hard-hitting drums from start to finish and is joined with looping guitar riffs. Things don’t stay steady as the chorus blows up with even more resounding drums and unwavering harmonies while the guitars go on a fiasco of their own.

With “Wonderland to Waterloo”, the flair of the previous track settles as Army Navy take things down a notch with whiny guitars and steady percussions as Kennedy continues to pour his heart out through soft-spoken vocals and heartfelt lyrics.

Distorted guitars and serene vocals open up the track “Open your Eyes”, but things change pace and before you know it, the chorus takes everything a step further with soaring harmonies and show off guitar work that Army Navy has never displayed before.

Closing track “Pastoral” is a six minute ballad that keeps the mid- tempo, guitar-driven and percussion-blaring formula that the majority of the tracks have, and here Kennedy blares out for the final time just how many little pieces his heart was shattered into, before piano and nonchalant whistling help close the curtain on a pretty vivid album.

Pop-infectious grooves and guitar-driven tracks make up a narrative about a man’s journey with the sad reality of a doomed relationship. Of course, you would never guess that with the upbeat tempo and quirky performance every track offers. Army Navy takes the rough reality of post-breakup woes and makes feeling bad, not so bad after all.

Check out their track “The Long Goodbye” below!
The Long Goodbye – Army Navy by Army Navy

Stephanie Gomez-Roxy Contributor

Art + Music = MUSEing

Art + Music = MUSEing at LACMA w/ Saint Motel & The Silent Comedy
7/7/2011
By: Trina Green

Ladies and gentlemen, the summer is here…upon us like a fine sheen of sweat on our sexy skin. You like that visual? Yeah, us too.

It’s official: museums are fun! Especially when there’s a summer music series involved. Oh yes, it’s a beautiful thing here in LA because it’s an opportunity to celebrate visual art and auditory tunes, things that many of us love above and beyond reason. Thursday night kicked off the Los Angeles County Museum of Art Muse Concert Series in conjunction with the Tim Burton exhibit (holy vroom, vroom Batman!) and it was a hella blast.

With a stage set in front of the lit and luminous piece “Urban Light” by Chris Burden, Muse paid homage to art and the thriving and lively music scene of Southern California. One museum, one stage, two bad ass bands equaled bringing some high quality and unique versions of common genres to new eyes and ears. Saint Motel and The Silent Comedy just jumped off their co-headlining Summer Sweat Tour and stop #3 was here at LACMA.

Folk music has its place in the world and, more often than, not tends to soothe the spirit rather than raise the roof. Enter the San Diego quartet The Silent Comedy who are Joshua (vocals/bass), Jeremiah Zimmerman (piano/guitar/vocals), Chad Lee (drums/percussion), and Justin Buchanan (banjo/mandolin/guitar) who are all about kicking your musical ass with their incredible, must-be-seen-to-be-believed live show where they tell tales of the human condition and make your soul and body move in the process. It’s folk and it’s rock and it’s one of the best (and freshly unique) things to come on the music scene in years. Ever seen a dude head bang with a banjo? It’s epic on a whole other level. They were accompanied by the live painting from artist Mike Maxwell who prettied up Justin’s keyboard base. Now The Silent Comedy had a healthy number of fans in tow at LACMA and a fair crowd when their set kicked off, but approximately 1 1/2 songs in and that “fair” crowd grew deep with fascinated folks sucked into their sound, their feel, and retro aesthetic they project. That’s just how irresistible The Silent Comedy is and how they roll. And a finer dressed bunch of good-looking guys, you’d be hard pressed to find.

But wait, there’s more!

LA has no shortage of really good bands to choose from and Saint Motel sits high on the “Best” list and the ladies love them. Love them! They are AJ Jackson (guitar and vocals), Aaron Sharp (lead guitar), Dak Lerdamornpong (bass) and Greg Erwin (drums), all former film students and it was more than appropriate that they be a part of the inaugural Muse concert series because the nature of their powerhouse music and fiercely electric live shows is highly artistic an stimulating. Even though they were sans the full package and impact of their usual background imagery, they still created a sonic landscape that’s as visual as it is audible. Kicking off their set with the shamelessly pop nod towards hedonism “Do Everything Now”, the hands started clapping, the feet started dancing, and the museum was once again rocking. These Saint Motel guys are young bucks but they’re creativity and intelligence show through their badass musicianship and unconventional song structures. We dig what they do and even have to tip them for boldly going where not everyone dares to go: covering a song by The Who. The majority of the room may not have known the acid trip Saint Motel slipped under their tongue, but it was a playful and damned good version of “A Quick One While He’s Away” and if you felt even the faintest urge to do a guitar windmill, well then here’s a “m/” for you!

Good times, boys and girls.

Check the photos by Genie Sanchez:


The Roxy at LACMA

The Roxy is jumping into the art world with music! On July 7, LACMA & The Roxy present MUSE Concert Series featuring Saint Motel & The Silent Comedy.

The bands will be playing in front of Chris Burden’s Urban Light that you have, no doubt, seen while driving down Wilshire Blvd.

The Silent Comedy live experience will be alongside live painter Mike Maxwell.

Saint Motel – Puzzle Pieces
SAINT MOTEL – Puzzle Pieces by saintmotel

The Silent Comedy – Gasoline
Gasoline by The Silent Comedy

There is a $25 ticket that will, not only, get you access to this awesome show but the brand new Tim Burton exhibit as well! For more ticket information click here

Judgment Day Q&A

THEROXYONSUNSET.COM EXCLUSIVE INTERVIEW
WITH A/J JACKSON OF SAINT MOTEL
By: Brent X Mendoza

It’s the final countdown! That’s right, take heed all you good and decent people, because the end of days is upon us, and we’re going out with a bang! Our good friends Saint Motel are “ringing in the rapture” this Judgment Day, Saturday, May 21, on stage at The Roxy Theatre.

Not sure what the hell we’re talking about? Well, to shed light on this show of biblical proportions, Saint Motel front man A/J Jackson phoned The Roxy offices directly from his doomsday Winnebago to spread “the good news.” Here’s what he had to say…

So for those people who haven’t yet heard, what’s up with this whole judgment day/rapture thing?

Well, according to specific groups of people, in particular Family Radio, judgment day is this Saturday, May 21… supposedly it’s the anniversary of Noah’s Ark, and there are enough proofs in the Bible to guarantee it 100 percent.

We first found these people (Project Caravan) in Washington D.C. in December, and then again in New York, and then again in L.A., and we just thought it was too interesting not to get involved with them.

We decided to throw kind of a celebration to bring in the end of the world; cause it feels like one of the biggest historic… like a really well organized apocalyptic moments, since sort of the whole Y2K thing.

I just love when people think the world is going to end. It’s always kind of funny, cause you can never really tell them they’re wrong…

And the band actually traveled around caravanning with these “judgment day” messengers?

A little bit, yes. They’re coming back to L.A., and we’re actually going to have one of them hosting the show on Saturday.

Yeah, we got to hang out with some of them… I interviewed some of them; got their take on a few things; discovered some interesting details like, a lot of them don’t know what time of day the world is going to end. Some people think it’s going to be cyclical, and it’s going to be from where the International Date Line begins and it’s going to go around the world in increments. Some people think 6 p.m. I’m not really sure why…

And one other really interesting thing, it’s already written who’s going to go “up” and who’s going to go “down.” So they’re telling you that you’re going to die, but it doesn’t really matter. There’s nothing you can do at this point to be saved.

So, it’s just sort of confusing to me, why they are then spending all this money on this advertising campaign, if it’s already been decided. But according to Brother Mike, who runs, www.may-212011.com, he says, that the act of warning people helps make “them” saved. So I guess it’s the act of getting the word out that is a righteous deed.

So has the band had any sort of negative reaction from these “doomsdayers?” I mean, I’m assuming the members you’ve been speaking too don’t really know what you’re doing is “tongue-in-cheek?”

Our experience has been that they don’t really care, because we are giving them more awareness; and their whole goal is to get the word out… So we’re helping them with that.

But we’ve had some negative reactions from our fans, and friends, and families who think that we are serious. And some people are legitimately scared that the world is going to end, and they don’t think it’s something to celebrate.

So yeah, it hasn’t been the easiest concept, but definitely one of the more fun ones because it is kind of dangerous and highly charged… but it’s also ridiculous cause we’re not making fun of religion, or Christianity, or the Bible. We’re making fun of people, that in my mind, kind of misinterpret, or interpret things in a way that is ridiculous… but also somewhat threatening to people. I mean, they’re telling everyone that they’re going to die! Which is just so off base! And without much evidence, I mean unless you believe that they really have decoded the Bible. It deserves to be made fun of, and it deserves to be pointed out. It’s offensive to a lot of my Christian friends too…

They’re offending everybody, Christians, non-Christians, every other religion… atheists, and I think it’s kinda become… I mean, the only way to really deal with it is to think it’s funny; and you can’t take it seriously. And if they are passionate about it, “good for them,” as long as, they aren’t harming anyone else, you don’t have to really listen to them.

So when judgment day comes, where will the members of Saint Motel be going? Up or down?

We’re kind of split I think. Half the band kind of thinks the world will end; half the band thinks it won’t. So I’d say maybe a couple members will be going up and a couple members will be going down.

But according to Brother Mike again, who I interviewed, nobody knows if they are saved or not… So who knows? We’ll see. Nobody knows… except for God.

Has the band taken any precautions, made any final preparations, just in case May 21 is “the end of days?”

Well, we’ve been trying to shoot, finish one last music video before it all ends. We shot the music video out at the beach today, and got one last look at the waves. So that was nice…

Dak (bassist) talked to his family in Thailand to make sure and say “hello,” and/or “goodbye,” depending on how you look at it… Sharp (guitarist Aaron Sharp) is just trying to get better soon, he got kind of sick this week so he’s resting… and Greg (drummer Greg Erwin)… he fully doesn’t believe the world is going to end; he thinks it’s stupid, so he hasn’t done anything to prepare.

And this Saturday, what can we expect live at the show? How far are you going carry this concept?

We’re actually going to be trying out some new visuals this time, which should be cool. We’ve also got a doomsday clock counting down the minutes left, and if we hit midnight that means they’re wrong! So we’ll see!

Also, we’ve got Reverend Childs hosting, of Project Caravan; we’ve got a special guest for the encore, and we’ve got some special covers, that you know, have to do with the celebration…

And then, we made these “rapture travel kits” for those people that have VIP tickets. So we’re making those, and some other fun stuff people get for their journey into the afterlife… also a photo booth, and lots of drink specials.

Finally, assuming the rapture does come to pass, and the show abruptly comes to an end, is there any sort of refund policy?

If the world doesn’t end… then that’ll be pretty cool. No refunds.

And if the world does end, we’ll give everyone refunds. Guaranteed… by the Bible.

————————————–

98.7 FM, LA Weekly, and God present Judgment Day with Saint Motel, Vanaprasta, The Hundred Days, and Queen Caveat this Saturday, May 21. Doors open at 8 p.m.

VIP options include seating + Rapture Kits! For more info click here.
Tickets are $13.50 and available via Ticketweb and The Roxy box office.

Prepare for Judgment Day

Saint Motel is making their way back to The Roxy on May 21, 2011 for Judgment Day.

We know you’ve seen the billboards around town warning everyone of our impending doom like this one:

So, the way we, 98.7fm, LA Weekly, and God, see it if we’re going down, we’re doing it together with Saint Motel rocking the stage. After all, the Bible guarantees it!

Opening the night will be Vanaprasta & The Hundred Days!

Get ready to get awesome for the “last” time! Tickets are on sale now from The Roxy box office at 310-278-9457 and online with Ticketweb.

SXSW Round Up

This year, The Roxy packed up and went to Austin for our biggest year at SXSW. The 2011 AUSTINROX, presented by MiO, featured two nights at the Rusty Spurs with some of the biggest acts around including Neon Trees, Fitz and the Tantrums, AWOLNATION, Lenka and more.

Before day one even began, we were handing out band survival kits with ChinaShop and Fox. The bands were so stoked to get some awesome swag including shirts, magazines, Red Bull, condoms, koozies, guitar picks, MiO liquid water enhancer, and just about everything they would need on the road.

Night one had a line around the block hours before doors. By the time 7:30 rolled around, people flooded in and stayed for the entire night. The Tender Box opened the main stage and Olin & the Moon in the lounge. Vanaprasta warmed up the crowd just in time for everyone to lose it during AWOLNATION. Night one featured one of our new favorites, The Silent Comedy, who killed it in the lounge. We also had amazing sets from, the legendary, Linda Perry’s new band Deep Dark Robot, Brite Futures and many others. By the time night one ended, we couldn’t believe we had another day to go all over again, but little did we know, night two would be even more out of control than the first.

Andy Grammer opened the main room and we had very special guest, Nick Jonas, hanging to watch! The amazing heartfelt, Lenka, took the stage after Andy and got the dance party good & ready for Fitz and the Tantrums. Fitz was quite possibly, THE band to see at SXSW. They got the crowd sweaty and moving. If you weren’t dancing at least a little bit during this set, you probably didn’t have a pulse.

Neon Trees was the most anticipated band of the whole show and they went off without a hitch. The room had barely calmed down after Fitz when they took the stage and sent the audience into a tizzy. We got a chance to hang out with them before their set backstage and you can check the photos here. Saint Motel was a quick fill-in for Semi Precious Weapons and we couldn’t have had a better sub than one of our favorite LA bands. Wicker closed the party with a bang and awesome dance party.

The MiO and Popchips ladies were in the house providing everyone with deliciously flavored water and chips for days. Check out what everyone did with the Popchips photobooth here. We were streaming live on Ustream and Hipstamatic even showed up to feature night 2!

Big, big thanks is due to Swinghouse Studios for working their butts off producing the night, Wavaflow Studios for doing an amazing job filming both days, and our amazing sponsors MiO (if you haven’t already do yourself a favor and checkout their hilarious videos with Sassy Gay Friend), Popchips, and WoWee One.

Check out photos by the Sunset Strip’s, Genie Sanchez.

For the full set of photos click here.

Top 20 of 2010

For the past few weeks on our Tumblr, we’ve been counting down the Top 20 Roxy bands of 2010. We chose local bands that blown up over the past year and have played the Roxy at least once (in most cases more) in 2010. Our list started with a bit over 100 bands and kept narrowing it down until we reached our Top 20.

Here’s who we have so far:
20-16
20. Love & A .38
19. Cisco Adler and The Pigeons
18. 100 Monkeys
17. J*DaVeY
16. Audible Mainframe

15-11
15. Pour Habit
14. John West
13. Assemble the Skyline
12. Ke$ha
11. Hyper Crush

10-6
10. New Kingdom
9. Juke Kartel
8. Wicker
7. Tomorrow’s Bad Seeds
6. The Cataracs with Dev

We came to our Top 5 and couldn’t put them in order so we’re leaving it up to you. To vote for your favorite band tweet “The #1 @TheRoxy band of 2010 is ______ !#Roxy20”

Here are your options

Far East Movement @fareastmovement

Nikki & Rich @nikkiandrich

Saint Motel @saintmotel

Crash Kings @crash_kings

Nico Vega @nicovega

Take your picks and choose wisely! The Top 5 will be announced on Friday. Vote away, amigos!

——-
Voting has ended! The top Roxy band of 2010 is NICO VEGA! Check out the list here.

Spooky Good Witch Hunt

We were all so excited about The Witch Hunt this past Friday with Nico Vega & Saint Motel that we’re bringing you the show from a few different angles. Check it out.

SAINT MOTEL
By Taylor Van Arsdale

The veils between the worlds were thin October 29 when Saint Motel took the stage just days before All Hallows Eve for a ritual Witch Hunt of fun, frenzy and musical festivities.

This packed show presented by 98.7 FM also featured opening act, Queen Caveat, Imagine Dragons and co-headliner Nico Vega.

Saint Motel; AJ Jackson (guitar and vocals), A Sharp (lead guitar), Dak Lerdamornpong (bass) and Greg Erwin (drums) kicked off their set with a rousing new number which got fans riled up. Sharp, clad in a large witches hat, then bid the crowd, “Happy Halloween!” and admitted he was feeling “very positive energy.” Good cheer shouldn’t come as a surprise since the band just booked a tour of the Pacific Northwest with co-headliner Nico Vega and Imagine Dragons. They are taking the crazy energy they’ve been consistently bringing to their local gigs on the road. Lookout Northwestern U.S. you’re in for a treat.

Fans, decked out in outrageous costumes, were lined up early and holding steady. Fortunately, since Jackson and Sharp share a filmic background, every Saint Motel show has an arousing array of visuals displayed on a big screen behind the band.

The boys rolled out several new tunes, including the sexy, heart-thumping “Funny Brain.” Then Jackson asked the crowd, “Whose got candy?” Half the crowd raised their hands. “Who wants candy?” The other half raised theirs. “Looks like we’re evenly rationed,” responded Jackson, before launching into Donovan’s “Season Of The Witch.”

They played several songs from their EP, “ForPlay”—the name of which can be taken in many different ways, but the reality is these guys are for…‘play.’ They like to have fun on stage. Jackson writhes on the floor, jumps on and off of Erwin’s drum kit, Erwin tosses sticks into the crowd, rises and claps his hands, as do Lerdamornpong, Jackson and Sharp—prompting the audience to explode in a sedulous frenzy. There’s no quelling it. Saint Motel’s high-octane love fest of music is contagious.

Saint Motel is the type of band you could see every night; each show a kinetic, auditory explosion; surprisingly unexpected, wildly enticing and always the perfect blend of long lasting musical flavors.

www.saintmotel.com

Photos: Taylor Van Arsdale

Nico Vega
by The Roxy

Nico Vega took the stage with a fury last Friday night. The curtain rose to see the band in full Witch Hunt garb and lead singer, Aja Volkman, possessed. Behind the band, an amazing old and petrified olive tree lurks as the backdrop. Nooses hung to represent the theme of the night and Nico Vega most definitely paid respects to those who were persecuted for what they believed.

The band was a full powerhouse for the entire set playing a mix of old favorites and amazing new songs. We’re dying to get our hands (ears) on the new tracks that rocked the crowd on October 29.

Nico Vega’s constant interaction with each other was infectious to the rest of the audience. As spooky good as they were (are), a real sense of playfulness filled the air. The comradery the band brought out in the fans was spectacular. It’s not often LA crowds get together to enjoy a band like they did for Nico Vega but for it to happen at The Roxy means even more to us here.

They are no strangers to The Roxy having played here multiple times in the past. Aja Volkman, Rich Koehler (guitarist), and Dan Epand (drums) keep their live shows tight and always bring their best to the stage. This night was no exception.

As fans clapped along in full costume to songs they may or may not have known, the night rapidly came to an end. It’s shows like this that you never want to end and leave you singing the songs for days after. We went home listening to all the bands in the car and, if you were there, you probably did too.


For more on NICO VEGA, check out our friend Trina Green’s sweet write up.

Costume Party Photos by Brent X. Mendoza

For all the Witch Hunt photo booth pictures click here

We’re On The Witch Hunt

October 29, 2010, four amazing bands take the stage. Nico Vega, Saint Motel, Imagine Dragons, and Queen Caveat. These bands are no strangers to The Roxy Theatre and come in as some of our faves.
The theme of the night is The Witch Hunt. The bands are honoring people who died for what they believed in and are encouraging YOU, yes you, to dress up in the likes of early American witch hunts or as someone who has persecuted for what they believed in. Talk about standing up for your morals, this is great!

This show is, in fact, so good that it needed at trailer.

Check it out:

Nico Vega’s latest “Million Years”

Saint Motel “Butch”

Imagine Dragons “America”

Queen Caveat – “Let It Fall”

Tickets are $13.50 and will be available at the door!

SSMF Memories

The Sunset Strip Music Festival still resonates over a month later. It took place August 26-28, 2010 and included all the legendary spots of The Sunset Strip and then some. The memories that were created that weekend are ones that will stay with us for years to come. The goosebumps we felt singing along with The Smashing Pumpkins, the undeniable need to jump on stage during Semi Precious Weapons, the urge to throw your fist in the air when Slash and Fergie did “Paradise City.” All these things we can’t push out of our minds, but really, who’s trying to?

The community this festival provided was remarkable. Everyone was there for the music and for each other. We all wanted to be a part of something bigger and for that weekend, we made history.

Watch this video, share your favorite memory and a random comment will win two tickets to Nico Vega and Saint Motel on October 29.

Sunset Strip Music Festival 2010 from Sunset Strip on Vimeo.

Yeehaw! We’re Heading To Texas

The famed ROXY THEATRE on Los Angeles’ Sunset Strip is once again packing up and heading east to Austin for the third annual AUSTINROX music showcase. Returning again this year to Rusty Spurs (405 East 7th Street in Austin), The Roxy is bringing along some of the finest musicians from Los Angeles to entertain Thursday, March 18.
Kicking off the party at AUSTINROX are the Crash Kings, pop rockers whose “infectious grooves and hooks” mean “big things lie on the road ahead for this trio.” (Creative Loafing, 1/20/10). Also taking the stage is self-described “rock, blues, French pop” group Carney; nine-member Orgone whose soulful, funky beats are sure to keep the party going late into the night, showcasing the talents of their members who’ve recorded with Alicia Keys, Estelle, Jennifer Hudson and many more; LA’s new indie rock darlings Saint Motel who are known for their energetic and uniquely themed shows which push boundaries theatrically and musically; She Wants Revenge, a duo whose music proudly defies genres and takes influence from Depeche Mode, David Bowie and Sonic Youth among others; and experimental crunkers The Glitch Mob, also slated to perform at this year’s Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival. (Credit: MSO PR)
SXSW 2007

8:00 – The Crash Kings- http://www.myspace.com/crashkings

8:45 – Carney http://www.myspace.com/carneytheband

9:30 – Orgone http://www.myspace.com/orgone

10:15 – Saint Motel http://www.myspace.com/saintmotel

11:05 – She Wants Revenge http://www.myspace.com/shewantsrevenge

12:05am Street Sweeper Social Club http:??www.myspace.com/streetsweepersocialclub

1:00am – Glitch Mob http://www.myspace.com/theglitchmob

Saint Motel Takes Us To The Prom

Saint Motel February 13, 2010

Saint Motel are one of our favorite bands making their way onto the Roxy scene! We are suckers for anything with a theme, and lucky for us – they feel the same way. This time around, they take us to their very own Zombie Prom on the heals of Vantentine’s day. They are the ultimate date – so join us for romantically scary drink specials and costumes!!
Click here for the best video ever!

Black and White Motel

Saint Motel have become known for their incredible live shows, and the buzz has gotten bigger and bigger over the past few months. Coming off of their just finished residency at Spaceland that boasted lines around the building and unreal performances, we are proud to bring you Saint Motel’s The BLACK & WHITE Show presented by KROQ Locals Only on SATURDAY NOVEMBER 7. This one will feature mind bending black and white video projections around the venue, $5 black & white drinks specials, and additional music from the amazing Rumspringa, Red Wire Messenger (formerly The Cheat) and more. As Metromix put it, “Saint Motel never fail to put on a show that’s a treat for the senses.” This one should go off. Tickets on sale now so grab them before they’re gone.