Archive for the Albums Category

This Album is in the Can

Posted in Albums, Shows on November 1, 2016 by thelightsout


When life hands you lemons, you make lemonade, but when life hands you hops, you make beer. When life hands you a guitar, you make music. And when life hands you the opportunity to partner with one of the finest craft breweries anywhere to release that music on an actual beer, well, you leap through that wormhole, fall all the way down that rabbit hole, and blast all the way out the other side into a reality where sudsy visions of smooth drinkability mesh seamlessly with fever dreams of enraptured faces melting to the music of The Lights Out. That astonishing reality is the one in which we all, including you, dear reader, happily find ourselves now.

In conjunction with our friends at Aeronaut Brewing, for the first time in history, a studio album will be released on a can of beer. Sure, we thought about vinyl, but ultimately decided to take the road less traveled by. Beer is a cooler format, for one thing, at least if you’re drinking American style. We find that our rocking sounds extremely good at around 35 degrees fahrenheit and tastes great with the speakers cranked. Best served and enjoyed with heart firmly on sleeve, T.R.I.P. does not care about being coy, or pretending to check your phone in a crowd, or ironic distance. T.R.I.P. wants you to enjoy yourself with the abandon and purity of heart that you had when your world was brand new! Like the first ladybug to ever land on your arm on a balmy July afternoon. Like the first night in your new apartment in the big city. Like it’s a rom-com and you and your newly found soulmate just met cute at Brooklyn Boulders (where we will pre-release this beer record on November 12). A national digital release will follow on February 1, and you can pre-order it now.

The Lights Out became sensitized to the truth of parallel realities somewhere back in time, and we are here from an alternate dimension to report back that everything not forbidden is mandatory. In the multiverse, you are all your dreams and nightmares realized, and thwarted, and every shade in between. Your free will is your ability to see these alternatives and choose among them which universe you will occupy, moment by moment. When we are together in the music, we are in the space between possibilities, where myriad experiences kaleidoscope out from the wondrous and magical moment known as the present. The beer fuels your trip through the multiverse. The album is the soundtrack to the journey. The journey is always and forever just beginning.


On Fire

Posted in Albums with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , on February 29, 2012 by thelightsout

We’ve been holed up for the last month or so, trying to get the poison out. Don’t get me wrong, it can be a sublime experience making music, but if you ask anyone who does it on the regular, they’re going to know exactly what I mean by that. It was a busy fall, in which we spent some time driving around the Eastern Seaboard in support of “Primetime,” seeing this and that, like that guy with a shiner getting arrested in a Portland Denny’s at four in the morning (where we washed up stranded, because the hotel sold out literally two minutes before we arrived and we needed somewhere to stay warm until the sun came up). He was so calm and reasonable about it, too. I guess the rage must have blown over, because by the time the cops got there he was basically expecting them. He just finished his coffee, then got up and got in the back of the car to head to jail. Matt went out to sleep in the sub zero van, the rest of us picked over our breakfast burritos and held the coffee cups to our solar plexi in an attempt to get our core temperatures up. What was I saying? Oh yeah, getting the poison out. Sorry Denny’s! I gotta have love because the waitresses were so kind and let us hang out until sunup, then they found a plastic bottle so we could fill the radiator to make it back home for our tour closer in Boston. But that omelet was, shall we say, merely rented.

Anyway, the thing that keeps us interested is writing new stuff. It’s not long before I start to feel like I’m in The Lights Out tribute band if we aren’t forging ahead, and I know the guys feel the same. So once we got off the road everyone took a collective breath and decided to set a deadline for ourselves. We booked time at Mad Oak in Allston with board wizard Benny Grotto (now operating on a mixing console once used by Robert Plant, among others), marking the first time in the 10 or so records I’ve been a part of that I’ve returned anywhere. And after this second round, I gotta tell you it’s looking pretty good to head back for thirds as soon as the next bunch ripens. At the time though, it didn’t feel like we were quite ready, so there was pressure to make sure we showed up prepared. For a band like ours, that means parsing the details back and forth quite a bit: nailing down tempos, deciding which chord goes in that little turnaround before the solo, shaping the right keyboard patches, figuring out how it’s going to work live versus on record. Some of the lyrics were written hours before they were cut. Some of these songs have been years in the making, some fell out of the sky in 10 minutes. Most fell somewhere in the middle of those extremes, and there was a lot of push and pull between competing visions for both parts and songs. But the end result was hitting the studio as oiled as it gets, and at least in my case, just a little bit pissed off and aggressive in the right way.

On the day we went in to record, the sun let loose its largest series of solar flares in nearly a decade, which continued the whole month we were there, in an event called the “solar maximum.” For an album named, “On Fire,” that is some alignment.

Even though nobody really listens to a record all the way through anymore, and even though I believe the song to be the logical nuclear unit of what a band does, it still seems to make sense to make and record songs in batches, and that opens the door to overarching themes that, intentional or not, tie the batch together. At the very least, they were all finished over a block of time, and we were experiencing life in a way that was unique to that chapter. In the case of “On Fire,” the songs reflect a lot of turmoil: whether in love or drugs, or standing up for yourself, or deciding the best course for that day is retreat. I don’t think it’s a happy record, but I’m happy to say it’s our best one yet. We added Adam to the roster of lead singers as he stepped up for a number, and Jesse kept it going with one of his own. Adam’s decision to add keys to our sound worked out better than any of us could have foreseen, as he evolved in one short month from lead guitarist to band colorist. Matt just keeps laying down one secret weapon after another. I mostly hear what everyone is doing in the jam space, but it’s always a real treat to sit in the control booth and hear the bass singled out, realizing all over again what a monster you’ve got rumbling around in the basement while you’re screaming from the rooftop. The Jackettes swooped in to grace us with their amazing voices, and we got some brogasmic background vocals from Dan from OldJack, Rick from I, Pistol, the incomparable Jason Dunn of Dirty Bombs and The Luxury (welcome back guys!) and Phil Fleming from WMFO. Thanks y’all! It meant a lot to us, and it definitely improved things to have you there.

So today we’re tweaking the mixes — on leap day, no less — which will be very minor tweaks because Benny f#@king NAILED it. Then we’ll master this weekend. Then we’ll sit back and listen once as fans, give ourselves the chills and feel that sense of accomplishment. And then we’ll put it away and move on to the next one.

“On Fire” press buzz:

Take a tour through “On Fire”:

Own “On Fire”:

Always Ready to Go

Posted in Albums, Shows with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on January 3, 2011 by thelightsout

There’s a dude getting ready to get in the van and rock.  As she sees him off, his woman implores him to remember to keep her in his heart while he’s out on the trail.  He spends his time when not on the road in a state of not-so-secret disdain for his day job, dreaming about the day he can leave it all behind forever.  Elsewhere, there’s s hungry young gun trying to make his bones as a press photographer in the big city, looking for an in to the stars, hearing from his editor what it’s going to take to get the shot.  And out on the wild rock and roll road, the first guy doesn’t take long to fall off the wagon in several senses and leave her after all, ’cause he’s just got to be free to live it all the way!  He’s not too politic about it either, although he did take the trouble to say it in a song.

Meanwhile, just above the atmosphere, just above our ability to detect, there’s a ship full of creatures who followed our radio transmissions back to us from a very long way away.  They first picked up the opening credits of I Love Lucy, with that satin heart and Ricky’s band tearing through the theme song, and they followed the trail all the way up through Mary Tyler Moore, to Roseanne, to Jersey Shore.  At which point, deeming us unready, they retreated for at least the next thousand years, to watch and wait…

…while the fence posts fly by and the rumble strip keeps him awake in the driver’s seat.  It’s still another six hours to Philly, to play to thirty people if they’re lucky.  Then New York, DC, Baltimore, Richmond, then back in time for work on Monday.  Yesterday was her birthday, but he doesn’t feel right about calling her anymore, especially not since the blowout over that last drinking and dialing fiasco.  And on top of that, it turns out that hot bartender in Cincinnati has a thing for touring bands, emphasis on the plural.  Ouch!  Underneath his cool, he thought they might have been more to each other, but it looks like he thought wrong.  She was witheringly unconcerned about it, too.  Enylise would have never done that to him.  It’s too late for that now, though.  But you can’t let it show, you gotta be hard, you’re on your way, man, buck up!  Still, that little devil desire sitting on his left shoulder really did a number this time.

After enough times through the circuit, cities all blend together into colored streaks of neon and sodium glaring against the rainy windshield as the wipers keep the beat.  He got close, but the peak happened two years ago.  It’s becoming impossible to deny anymore; the draw has been going down for awhile, and the fire in his belly is sputtering, too.  But what next?  Time to be a man and make amends if he can.  Even if it’s too late, at least he can tell her he finally knows what it means to have something real.  Maybe that will be enough to win her back.  Will it?

That is the CliffsNotes version of our quasi-concept record, “Primetime,” released at 12:01 on 1/1/11.  To the best of my knowledge, we at least share the distinction of being the first band to hold a record release on 1/1/11 in the history of earth, although I suppose someone could have put out a gramophone 100 years ago.  Ah man, someone probably did.  Well then, the first release of 2011 anyway, and the curious numbers on the calendar line up nicely with the title of the record: 2011 is a prime number.  So is eleven, the number of songs on the record, and of course, the number our amps go to.  These little synchronicities are what make life interesting for us, and we’re all very happy that New Year’s Eve just happened to fall on Friday night this year.  We want to thank Church for continuing to treat us so well and for providing a great stage to have a party with everyone!  Our friends and show openers Apple Betty cheekily exhorted us to go to Tennessee, to go to Alaska, to replace that TP roll when you use the last square, I mean it’s not hard, ok?!  The Upper Crust was a revelation of tight, AC/DC punch and powered wig aplomb tied to aristocratic disdain.  JustBill outdid himself as usual with great camera work, both video and still, and Joe Turner surprised us with by stepping in last minute with a laptop full of projection imagery to kick things over to the next visual gear.  These guys really helped make it a show and not just a gig, if you know what I mean.  Thanks, dudes!

We also have to shout out to Boston Music Awards “Producer Of The Year” Benny Grotto (Aerosmith, The Dresden Dolls) and Mad Oak Studios for delivering what I think is a superb sounding record.  The experience of recording it could fill another blog, but I’ll just say it was the smoothest ride, best sounds and most fun I’ve ever had in a recording studio.  I hope you’ll agree that Benny did a great job of getting that live urgency out of us, a notoriously tricky thing to accomplish in the petri dish of a tracking room.  We can’t recommend these guys highly enough.

So now what?  Well, it’s time to go out and play our record about playing out, and try not to live through some of the worse moments our protagonist brought upon himself.  We could be writing our own future, or we could be living vicariously through an imaginary guy as we take a less toxic and parallel track and keep the rest of our lives together while logging those road miles.  Or both.  Or neither.  But it’s been immensely satisfying, and gratifying to make.  We’re looking forward to seeing you soon, wherever you are, to find out if we tickled your rocking bone. (Don’t be dirty, you know what I mean.)  See you out on the trail!

Own a copy of “Primetime”:

Take a YouTube tour through “Primetime”:

“Primetime” Buzz:

AOL Music

US Airways Magazine

The Music Slut

  • “Premiere: ‘Primetime,’ The Lights Out”
    • A theme record about the pursuit of fame: why we do it, what we gain and lose while we’re working toward it, how it can be earned or stolen, the business of building up and tearing down celebrity, and wondering what “making it” means in this day and age

New England Cable News

The Boston Globe

The Weekly Dig

The Phoenix

The Deli Magazine

Ryan’s Smashing Life

  • “For Those About to Rock”
    • In the top 5 live rock bands in New England…devoted to their art, improving with each new release…at the core of the scene…value to that longevity…better than ever…2011 promises to be the rock band’s best year to date

Boston Band Crush

  • “C.D. On Songs: The Lights Out – ‘Primetime'”
    • Full of happening…whirls around you…mobile rhythms punctuating splashes of bright, melodic guitar…fuel for your stomp-tastic dance moves…thumps out like an accelerated heartbeat……total power saturation

Syracuse Post-Standard

Syracuse New Times

  • “Rockin’ The Relay”
    • A meticulously produced collection of heavy guitar grooves, memorable melodies and soaring harmonies

Albany Times-Union

  • “At Valentines”
    • The aggressive record is called “Primetime,” and they are ready for it

Playground Boston

Exploit Boston!

The Noise

Ride a Rock Pony

Posted in Albums, Shows with tags , , , , , , , , , , , on September 12, 2010 by thelightsout

Free t-shirt, guest list plus one to our next club gig (November 19 at TT’s) and a copy of Rock Pony to the first person to correctly identify what album title this blog (and Rock Pony itself) is tipping its cap to. I’ll give you a hint; it’s a solo record from one of the most famous singers of one of the most famous bands in history, and like our cover (as always, designed by the freakshow-level talent Jesse James) it also features a centaur on the cover. That should be plenty for any self respecting music geek, so let the guessing commence.

TLO has been cleaning house. Several months back, we had the opportunity to record four songs for free at Boston University’s CDIA over in Waltham. Our good friend, Graeme Hall, (from Moki, Matt’s old band / AKA co-lead singer for Bang Camaro / AKA a great guy) was studying recording and production, and had a project where he needed a band to come in and do some stuff. Since Graeme is a capital fellow who is deep into the scene, and since it afforded us an opportunity to record for free in a state-of-the-art studio, we naturally jumped at the chance. So we hauled our gear to Waltham and cut four songs in record time, very late at night, fueled by latin american food. Well, we’re happy to report that Graeme got an A on the project. We thought that might be the end of things, but you know, he did get that A for a reason; these tracks sound really good! We’ve been sitting on them for a long time, waiting for them to ripen and fall off the branch. That time is now. Because there’s a new full length coming very soon, we felt like this was the ideal time to tease the world with four previously unreleased songs, including two rarities that almost never get played live. So Graeme did a little tweaking to get them ready for release and we dropped it on the world September 11, 2010, on the same night as our good friends and comrades-in-arms Muy Cansado released their excellent new record, Love and Fear, to a sold out Middle East Up. After a summer of drifting, vacationing, recording, and not much rehearsing, this was an excellent way for us to jump back in with both feet. And to prove that we can carry the headlining spot and keep the crowd there and excited, which is exactly what happened, so thank you all who showed up and stayed late, which was pretty much everyone who came through the door. I know we’re all party people here, but still, midnight is not really headlining; it’s playing last. Headlining is when your opener hit the stage at seven thirty and you hit it at nine. Regardless, the crowd stayed and made it much more of a headlining at midnight situation. We did our best to bring the requisite energy to bear on the situation, and we needed every bit of it to follow the excellent bands in front of us. Starting with The Press from NYC, a three-singer math rockish indie twang type act from Brooklyn. It was my first time seeing them and they caught me a bit off guard with all the different writing styles in one band, but as their set went on, they really won me over with their range and energy. Next up, Sidewalk Driver, hands down one of my favorite bands in Boston. Picture a bald guy in Ace Frehley silver platform boots, a Liberace cape, a little top hat rakishly perched on his glistening dome, and a voice suspiciously close to Cee-Lo (GREAT cover of Fuck You, guys!). And then picture him fronting a crack band playing tight, cult movie rock. These dudes, and one dudette rocking the guitar, are the perfect house band for the Rocky Horror Picture Show.

Muy Cansado. This was their night, and we were happy to be on board in support for their strong new release. Love and Fear gives you more of the Pixies inflected, sneak-up-on-your-limbic-system-and-stick-in-there-before-you-know-it songs that made this trio quietly stick out on their debut, Stars and Garters. They don’t dress fancy and they don’t shoot glitter cannons into the crowd at select moments (neither do we; that’s Sidewalk Driver), but the songs get in and they stay in, and they have range. I still say they need to cover “The Future’s So Bright (I Gotta Wear Shades)” by Timbuk 3. C’mon guys that song screams Muy Cansado! The sound is anything but “very tired.” I like the irony. The crowd loved ’em, and they did us the courtesy of being a tough act to follow, which always juices me. So we did our best, and to hear everyone tell, it was good enough to round out a phenomenal cross section of what Boston has to offer, sprinkled in with a little Brooklyn for good measure. It ought to be  a crime to have this much fun, but it happens every night of the week somewhere in the world, so it’s an ordinary crime. But they haven’t outlawed it yet (although they did their best by raising the drinking age to 21), so we’re going to keep on pillaging. See you in Philly and Cincinnati, where we ride the Rock Pony to the MidPoint Music Festival along with Spacehog, Surfer Blood, Best Coast, Holy Fuck, Phantogram and Ted Leo!

Buy a hard copy of Rock Pony:

Buy a digital copy of Rock Pony:

Date the Pony (RIP):

Rock Pony in Billboard: