Archive for the Shows Category

This Album is in the Can

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

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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.

Austin, We Achieved Liftoff!

Posted in Shows with tags on March 20, 2013 by thelightsout

Well, as predicted, nothing has changed. We flew down to SXSW in four separate planes (that’s just how it worked out, it ain’t no thing), stayed in one room together, got amazingly, tragically wrecked (at least I did), played one of the best sets we’ve ever unleashed on an audience, hit the town in full light-up Luchador regalia, reconnected with some old friends and made a few new ones, and came back in four separate planes, and life is the same as it was a week ago.

Except…except…something is a little different in me. It took a lot of money out of our pockets, and now we can say we did it. The experience, though…that is something that can’t be translated, except in language. So I’ll give it a shot.

I always knew that the shows themselves weren’t going to be an issue. We have worked very hard over the course of years to build ourselves into what we consider a legitimate contender. Not that we’ll ever get our shot, but that doesn’t matter much. The odds are astronomically long for all of us, you included. The main thing is to literally get out of hell through the act of creation, to paraphrase Antoine Marie Joseph Artaud. So that’s what we do: chase peak experiences when we play live, attempt to create timeless artifacts when we record and have more fun than the average bear. It is extremely satisfying to say we achieved our peak experience onstage. Berklee College of Music was so kind to have us down to showcase our talents in Brush Park, and I daresay we validated their faith in us and then some. I’ve said it many times now; if you can hook the bartender, bouncer, soundguy/woman, or server, you’ve done it right. They’ve seen everything, and only that which truly stands up to the rigors of realtime live testing will cut through the clutter to such a person. Believe me; I’ve bounced before, and almost everything that came through that club wasn’t even particularly bad. It was just nondescript. So that is why it made us all so happy to hear yet again that the bartenders (who couldn’t see us from where they were kicking ass pouring drinks), mentioned, “those guys were great.” They’re like canaries in a coalmine, only in reverse, because they’re alerting us all to what actually works. Everyone else who doesn’t see 20 bands a week can get caught up in their own tastes if they want, but when it’s immersion time, certain truths become apparent. Namely: try to look like you’re enjoying it up there! Learn your instruments well. If you’re Adam, run offstage to the (free!) oyster bar, get an oyster (Pre-shucked. This is show business, man; we actually think about details like this.), run back to the stage, shoot it down, toss the shell and without missing a beat, rip into a beast of a guitar solo. Rock and roll! And most importantly for anyone writing songs: REALLY write songs. That is the great separator. You can get a sound and fool people for awhile, but if you don’t have good songs, it won’t last. Conversely, if you have good songs, that is enough, even if they never wind up paying for a jet ski.

It’s hard to judge Austin by SXSW. It was just mayhem up and down, like being in our rehearsal building, except outdoors, with glorious cacophony spilling into the street from every door and all the hipsters emptied out from every city with a music scene to congregate on 6th Street. As for the locals, my first impression was a really warm one, and it didn’t change as the week drew on. For one thing, Southern manners are better than they are in New England, as are the bloody marys. We ate brunch at Zax, which was amazing. The waiter looked at Heather, who was down for a couple days to catch the show, and said, “I’ll start with you ma’am.” It’s a simple thing, really, but I’ve never seen that happen before in these parts in all my years. And the bloody mary was bloody good indeed, all celery and pickled okra and garlic and pepper and olives. It was a salad in a cup dressed in a nice vodka vinaigrette. Then a whole lot of walking back over the bridge to hit the shows. And that’s the other thing; most of what I saw was pretty freaking good! Some high points: the dirty, dirty psychedelic soul of Monophonics, immediately followed by the melancholic and sublime Dawes in a record store parking lot. When they got to “A Little Bit of Everything,” I actually started tearing up. And when I said so to Adam, he was all, “I’m really glad I’m wearing these sunglasses right now, duke!” Heh heh. We all call each other duke. A story from another post. Just to be there in the presence of that kind of power, and to be moved that deeply, was a gift. The phenomenal acoustic afterparty at The Chicago House that Richard Bouchard and Dan Nicklin put together for the Boston contingency was one of the high points, not just of the trip, but of my musical life. And I do mean acoustic; no mics, no amps, no drums, nowhere to plug anything in at all. Didn’t matter. We all showed each other that if the apocalypse comes, we will still be able to make music! Boston really does have a lot of fine talent kicking around, and not all of it was even in Austin by a long stretch.

Luchadores! We put a little of Jesse’s mad scientist ingenuity out on display just to see what would happen. Well, let me tell you, that sh#t works everywhere, not just at Burning Man. We estimate getting our pictures taken at least 500 times that we knew of, and maybe 2,000 more or so that didn’t come and pose with us. I’m just sorry nobody got a pic of me busker bombing a street percussion ensemble in my light up thunderchicken luchador outfit. I snuck in behind them and just jumped on the empty drum and started going for it. It was all over in 20 seconds, but aside from the bombing part, I did not douche up their jam. I was on it! Then four quick eighth note triplet flams (Berklee!) and boom! Out of there before they even figured out how to react. Aaahahahahaa!

Matty’s cousin in Philadelphia’s The Cold Fronts is a great kid, and I gotta have love for anyone pulling out Maxine Nightingale’s “Right Back Where We Started From.” All of a sudden, I’m back seeing the Hanson Brothers wrap foil around their knuckles and asking player coach Reggie Dunlop if he wants any. Adam’s buddy, Perry, from The Sharp Things and Good Cop, treated us to the gut-punch soul of The Dynamites Featuring Charles Walker. And it was equally great to hang with his (and now our) friends Travis and Natasha, who couldn’t have been sweeter and better as they got us out to Frank for hot dogs, poutine, and yes indeed, more beers.

Somewhere in all that, I took too much. Too much heat, too much beer, too much food, too little sleep equals too many trips to the porcelain god that last night. No sleep before getting up at 3:30 a.m. to make our way to the airport. I include this as a high point. At the time, not so much, but it’s a lot funnier now that the stomach bug (Not a hangover; this was only a three-beer-day for me. Well within my factory specs.) has gone. The gospel band at Stubb’s while I was waiting to pick up BBQ for us all was just the right thing for a sore head and a happy heart.

So how did it change me? Well, in the way that Burning Man showed me how much further out the visual edge is, South By softened me back up to the beauty of good music through shear volume of it. For that, we all want to thank Berklee once again. Me, especially. For the first rate musical education, for the opportunity to show it off and for the ridiculous tomfoolery it afforded us. We all gotta get older (eventually), but we can party like rock stars until the very day we die. At least, WE can. How about you?

South By TLO!!

Posted in Shows with tags , on February 13, 2013 by thelightsout

It won’t get us signed. It won’t make us famous. It won’t line our pockets (in fact, it will do the opposite). But you know what? WhatEVAAAAH! Because this is the year we finally shoot the SXSW can off our proverbial fence! Notch our bedpost. Feather our cap. Burnish our credentials. And of course, represent Boston properly! Our plan is to demonstrate that, even though they say everything is bigger in Texas, The Lights Out know a thing or two about rocking big up north, too.

Yesterday we learned we’d been selected to perform at the Official Berklee SXSW Party, and it’s still sinking in that we’re going to the premier music conference on Earth. One thing I can say for sure is that Berklee is the gift that keeps on givin’! My Berklee diploma got us a place in line to earn a ticket to this particular dance, but honestly, I don’t think a rehearsal, gig, recording session or late-night less-than-temperate composition binge has gone by without my conscious accessing of the foundation poured into me at Berzerklee. And unconsciously it’s there all the time. How many times have I bitten my lip so as to avoid uttering out loud, “No dude, you need to use a mixolydian flat 9 sharp 9 flat 13 scale over that V7/6?” Or, “Diatonic harmony is so played out. Modal interchange is the new hotness.” Let’s just say if I had a nickel for every bite, I’d be a good deal wealthier than your average musician. Berklee was the place where I realized that I better get cracking once I saw the phenomenal talents all around me, some of whom are at a world class level. It doesn’t take but one improvisation lab to understand that it might be a good idea to start practicing a good bit harder than you have been. So in a way, this show will be a kind of homecoming, a chance to tip my cap to the place that opened a lot of musical adventure to me. The guys are pretty stoked too, because while I already said what we can safely expect NOT to happen, we are all expecting some things TO happen:

  1. We will play this show with all our might and wiles.
  2. Some number of people will be genuinely blown away, which, considering how many excellent acts are going to be plying their trade at SXSW, is saying something.
  3. We will watch and cheer on our talented fellow Berklee showcasers The Field Effect, Holiday Mountain, Rebecca Loebe, Bear Language, Red Oblivion, Chloë Sunshine, Air Traffic ControllerDavid Stewart Jr. and Melissa Ferrick, who you can hear on Berklee’s 2013 Party Sampler. Congratulations, guys! We’re excited to play with you: some for the first time, some for a return engagement.
  4. We intend to ourselves be blown away at least several times by stumbling upon random bands who are quietly (so to speak) going about their business of kicking ass in the world. Then joining forces with them for more ass-kicking down the road.
  5. We are going to get drunk. Very drunk. But we’re not driving anywhere, so relax!
  6. We’re going to make friends.
  7. Some unforseen ridiculousness will happen to us, and we will incorporate it into our mythology. Like that time we got lost trying to get to White Castle and wound up in the middle of a massive police sting at 3 a.m. while they tried to determine if the gear in the back of the van was actually a stolen ATM. It wasn’t. But you haven’t lived until you’ve been surrounded by four staties flashing their cherries and shining white lights down your eye sockets. Good times!

So once again, thank you Berklee! For the first rate musical education, and for the opportunity to show off what a Berklee boy can do. Gird your loins and prepare!

TLO SXSW PRESS

  • Live High Five: Interview with Matt King from THE LIGHTS OUT; Heading to @SXSW for Berkelee Showcase in March!
    • “A pop-rock beer-drinkin’ mayhem machine”
  • Berklee Groove: Q&A with Berklee Grad Rishava Green, Frontman of The Lights Out
    • “The best parts in music feel like they are discovered rather than composed, so listen to find parts instead of working to write them.”

Hallo’Queen

Posted in Shows on October 5, 2012 by thelightsout

You gave us a fourth consecutive sellout…and everything that gooooes with it. I thank you all!

Hallo’Queen was the best Halloween show we have ever done, and it wasn’t just because we made mincemeat of some very challenging material. We had a lot of help from our friends in I, Pistol as Nirvana. Who knew they would pretty much nail it to the wall like they did? Rick took the stage in a trademark cardigan sweater over a homemade Flipper t-shirt, Cobain approved stubble and whine and channeled the man himself from beyond the grave. Stoops rocks out like the Jaws poster every time he takes a stage, and this night was no different. Legs spread, tattooed feet a-tappin’, neck veins a-poppin’ as he looks up at the mic like it’s a chum spill on the surface of the water and sings his ass off. And John flailed around in true Grohl glorious fashion. A pleasure to watch, and a pleasure to listen to, as the packed room amply affirmed.

We had a lot of help from our friends The Field Effect as Weezer. Unlike many Halloween shows where it seems the bands want to give you an education in the deep cuts of their favorite semi-obscure artist (however worthy that artist usually is, and let’s face it, most don’t get enough recognition. I get it.), we subscribe to the notion of Halloween show as a chance to get a bunch of people into the room to party to a bunch of songs they know and love all the words to by heart. The Field Effect did a superlative job running with this idea, and we all got to pound our fists in the air and sing along to Hash Pipe, Beverly Hills, Buddy Holly, The Sweater Song and many others as they stuck every landing all night long. In the right pair of glasses, Doug cuts an amazing likeness to Rivers Cuomo, and Annie in vampire fangs and white fright contacts was about as hot as the center of the sun while never missing a note. Nick and Adam rumbled and wailed. Just solid, solid work by the whole band.

We had a lot of help from our friends Sidewalk Driver as Spinal Tap. From Tad taking the stage as David St. Hubbins in a cellophane pod that wouldn’t open up, to the little tiny Stonehenge being lowered onto the stage at the end of a broom handle, to the crack band hitting every note, to Tad’s amazingly consistent British accent, these guys and girls are one of the most fun and best bands around at any time of year.

Then there was us. Halloween for us is a chance to give ourselves a month-long master class in some legendary act or another every year. It’s a great way to stay fresh and also to stretch in new ways. For example, our groove quotient went way up after Zombie Michael Jackson last year, and now it’s basically a regular occurrence to see asses shaking when we play. ZMJ is a big part of that. This year I think we really cranked up our vocal harmonizing as a result of having to figure out and nail the opening section of Bohemian Rhapsody alone. Yeah, we did it! And I mean, we really DID it right. When we first sang it and got it right in rehearsal, we gave ourselves the chills, and I’m not too modest to say we actually played the middle part live. Even Queen did never did that! As Adam said, when we got done playing that it was like we kicked a field goal from the fifty yard line, and the room let us know it went through the uprights. I’m going to go ahead and give Adam a shout-out as MVP on this one, for pulling triple duty on guitar and keys and vocals (on Stone Cold Crazy!). Jesse nailed his vocal turn on Don’t Stop Me Now and kept us all dancing all night with his immaculate Roger Taylor drumming. Matt owned the crowd on We Will Rock You while I went back and changed from the catsuit into something even more ridiculous for We Are the Champions. We also played Fat Bottomed Girls, Killer Queen, Tie Your Mother Down (I saw Bouchard as The Spirit singing every word right along with me!), Under Pressure (with David Bowie!) Crazy Little Thing Called Love, Another One Bites the Dust, and some interstitial teases of Flash to keep it moving along.

We had a great deal of help from you, if you were there. Thanks! It is one of our points of pride that we put on one of the premier Halloween parties in Boston, but it’s only a party if people show up. Thanks for showing up and singing along and shaking your fists and shaking your asses and making us and all the bands that night feel special. It was a bed of roses, a pleasure cruise!


PRESS:


SHOW ANNOUNCEMENT:

NEWS RELEASE
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

MEDIA CONTACT
Bianca Rawson
(727) 543-0107 / bianca@aritchbrand.com

 

BOSTON’S KINGS OF HALLOWEEN TAKE QUEEN

“CITY IN CHECKMATE” (SAYS KENT BROCKMAN)

The year 2012 seems to be the Year of Mercury. With a new biography, an Angry Birds character and now a movie in the works, there’s more Freddie around today than in the 20 years since Wayne and Garth brought headbanging to the masses.

This Halloween, Boston arena rockers The Lights Out  are raising his shiny half-microphone stand scepter skyward – or at least as high as a Fenway ceiling.

Having built a reputation on their stadium-sized shows in small clubs, Queen was their tribute choice, in a Boston Halloween tradition stretching back many years. “In 2009, we bald-wig’d Phil Collins,” said bassist Matt King, who will be playing the part of John Deacon. “In 2010, we bearded Madonna. In 2011 we teamed up with Chef Jasper White to zombie Michael Jackson. But we knew 2012 was going to be Queen before our sequin-gloved hands even touched our instruments….heh.”

The 2012 Hallo’Queen show will fluff up the crowd, with Freddie Mercury stick-on mustaches for all. It will even feature a surprise appearance by a glittery Boston rocker, playing David Bowie.

“The Lights Out are Boston’s Kings of Halloween,” said Dan Millen, the show’s promoter. “Their last three Halloween shows have sold out Church with a line down the block, and have become the center of many a Bostonian’s Halloween party calendar.”

The band threw itself into prepping for this year’s performance, beginning Queen rehearsals as far back as August, between tour dates and writing material for a follow-up album to 2012’s “On Fire.”

Ever obsessed with detail, The Lights Out are putting everything under the magnifying glass for their performance – literally. Guitarist Adam Ritchie, who will be playing Brian May, visited a rare coin shop to purchase a sixpence: the out-of-circulation British coin May uses as a guitar pick. “I asked them if they had something on the more utilitarian side than the rare side, and walked out with a 110-year-old sixpence that plays great and leaves my fingertips dusty with silvery bits of King Edward VII’s head.” said Ritchie.

“We have four solid singers in this band,” said drummer Jesse James, who will be glamming it up as Roger Taylor. “For songs like Bohemian Rhapsody, we isolated and assigned each of the vocal harmonies to its best-fitting band member. Then they all lined up and soccer-kicked me in the balls.”

“Our Halloween shows are like our annual master classes,” said singer Rishava Green, a Berklee-trained musician who will strut around in a Freddie Mercury harlequin cat suit with the chest cut out, preening a rich, velvety coat of untamed man hair.

The Lights Out bring Freddie back to life at Church (69 Kilmarnock Street) on Saturday, October 27, along with Sidewalk Driver as Spinal Tap, The Field Effect as Weezer, and I, Pistol as Nirvana. The show begins at 9:00 p.m., is 21+, $10 in advance and $12 at the door.

For more information, visit the show’s Facebook page, tickets pageThe Lights Out website or contact Bianca Rawson at (727) 543-0107 / bianca@aritchbrand.com .

 

ABOUT THE LIGHTS OUT:

The future is looking bright for Boston-based rock quartet THE LIGHTS OUT. Since forming in 2005, the band has showcased at music conferences from CMJ to MidPoint, released two albums and three EPs, placed songs on MTV, appeared in Billboard and sweated out enough High Life to fill the Carrier Dome. The band released its third full-length album, “On Fire,” this summer. For more, visit www.thelightsout.com.

Hallo'Queen Flier

TLO Gets Kinky, Doesn’t Get In Fistfight

Posted in Shows with tags , , on February 26, 2011 by thelightsout

…because if you only know one thing about those kooky Kinks, you know Ray and Dave didn’t get on so well. That can happen when one of you is a very talented musician and the other is a bona fide lyric genius force of nature. We fight a lot nicer than those guys, since we’re saving the real aggression for the time we have to punch our way out of town and not look back until we hit the county line. Here’s how we became the great, forgotten Kinks for a night.

One time at the famed Rock n Roll Social at the Model Cafe, Adam and I were speaking with our good buddy and protean talent, Brendan Boogie about his cover up series of shows. Brendan has had bands come together to do everything from Fleetwood Mac to lord-knows-what, just by way of keeping the scene interesting for ourselves and the people who love it. Anyway, as the booze flowed along with the conversation the talk turned to doing a British Invasion night. So right away, you’ve got the Beatles, the Stones and the Who. Oh yeah, and that other band that always seems to draw the short straw. I can’t remember whether it was Adam or I who first suggested it; probably we both caught the same wave, but one or the other of us said, “We’ll do it if we get to be the Kinks.” BAM! Done. So all the sudden we’re curating a deep body of work, trying to pick among the gems, both the hits and the deep cuts, and realizing that we jumped in up to our necks without really thinking about what it would entail to do these songs justice. But we had several things going for us right off the bat: one, we actually feel a kinship to their musical sensibilities; two, there’s not a lot of big orchestration type business to get around anywhere, and three, everyone we told was like, “Oh my god, that’s going to be great! Nobody ever does the Kinks.” And four, I think these guys hold up exceptionally well in today’s hipster-soaked metascene, where everyone knows it all and nobody can be surprised or impressed. Flying relatively under the radar, the Kinks hit that sweet spot of stuff you know, stuff you wish you knew, and stuff you didn’t realize you knew, but damn, they do that one too? And that one! And THAT one!

The show went down in the basement of the Lizard Lounge in Cambridge, one of the best intimate rooms in the area. Four bands, four British Invaders. Right off the bat, The New Million Box nailed the meticulous craft and sweet, sweet harmonies of John and Paul and George and Ringo. They stuck to the early years, which I thought was a great move both because that’s the real invasion material, and also because early Beatles always gets short shrift in favor of Sgt. Pepper onward. And also, how are you going to pull off the second half of Abbey Road with less than twenty players? Whatever the case, they acquitted themselves very well, and the crowd let ’em know.

Next up was The Guilded Splinters as the Who, and let me tell ya, that dude leaks charisma. Ink on arms, porkpie hat on head, crazy-ass sideburns springing off his cheeks like wizard eyebrows, and a whiskey soaked voice that pinned the Daltry growl to the Townsend whine without ever losing itself in either.

Our buddies in Muy Cansado grabbed the baton and ran with it, doing some spot-on renditions of classic Stones, again from their lean-and-hungry days (meaning there was no Harlem Shuffle, thank you Jeezus). Of particular note was the powerhouse guest vocal turn by Leesa Coyne on Gimme Shelter. So it’s “grape murder, it’s just a shot away, it’s just a shot away”? You learn something new every day!

By the time we hit the stage, the capacity crowd was amply warmed up, and I’m pleased to say we wound ’em up even further. We kicked it off with You Really Got Me, moved through Brainwashed, Sunny Afternoon, Father Christmas, Waterloo Sunset and Victoria (both featuring Adam Ritchie on vox!), Village Green Preservation Society, Lola (of course), Picture Book, Tired of Waiting, Dead End Street and back to All Day And All Of The Night (which is pretty much You Really Got Me, so we had to split them up in the set). I’m probably forgetting one, but you get the idea. In hindsight, the thing that really sticks out for me about the Kinks is just how varied and diverse their output was, all the while being held together by the drop-dead brilliant wit of Ray Davies’ lyrics. It was a humbling reminder to get busy plumbing my imagination, and not to be afraid of getting weird, or pissed off, or both. And now we’ve got just a few more sick covers to bust out at parties and jam sessions, or if the crowd is throwing beer at the chicken wire in front of the stage.

Read music writer Jim Sullivan’s in-depth interview and show feature here.

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

Mandonna comes

Posted in Shows with tags , , , , , , on November 2, 2010 by thelightsout

but once in a lifetime.  You either read about it, were there or you heard about it.  We’re still recovering from it.  For those outside Boston, the way it works is every Halloween, many of the bands in this town take advantage of the occasion to dress up as another band and do a set of their material, just for one night.  In a world where your last release is fresh for all of six or seven minutes, it takes a certain amount of commitment to the spirit of the last pagan holdover holiday to stop writing and pushing for a month to get ready with costumes and 10 other songs that you wouldn’t ordinarily be caught dead playing.  Well, we never cared too much about being that cool, so it was with aplomb, tongues in cheek and socks in bras that we decided this was the year to cover Madonna.  But not just any old Madonna, FOUR different iterations of Madonna.  And since we’re dudes, we decided to grow out some beard action just to round out the looks.  Hence, Mandonna!  I became “Desperately Seeking Susan” Mandonna, Adam transmogrified into “Blond Ambition” (a.k.a. “cone tit bra”) Mandonna, Matt, our Halloween expert, horrified as “Like a Virgin Mandonna,” and Jesse slutted it up as “Like a Prayer Mandonna.”

Speaking only for me, this was the first time I’ve ever been in drag, and ladies, I have an entirely new level of respect for the time, expense and pain of making yourself pretty.  Well, at least prettier than I was before, whatever that means.  But holy crap, what a ritual!  First of all, fishnet tights don’t last very long.  Two wearings, in fact.  But my gams have never felt so supported, encased as they were like two sinewy sausages.  Because the skirt was short, I gained a quick appreciation for the bunny dip.  It’s just not the same when your junk hangs out by mistake and you happen to be a dude.  Guys are all lumpy down there; it ruins the illusion.

We’ve done a couple of these things now, and our rules of thumb are simple: it has to be an artist with enough hits for everyone to sing along to, and the visual appeal has to be there.  Otherwise, why dress up?  Madge offered us the opportunity for a deep catalog of great songs, which it turns out most everyone in the sold-out club, Church, knew by heart, and a lot of different awesome looks to choose from.  And the opportunity to dress like  a chick!  As a raging hetero who long ago came to terms with his latent homosexual tendencies (it turns out they’re latent), it’s the kind of thing where it helps to have an excuse like Halloween to do without inviting the ridicule of your friends and the horror of your family.  Not that I’m agin’ it, you understand.  If you wanna sing out, sing out, and if you wanna cross dress, cross dress.  I think Cat Stevens said that once, before that near drowning in the ocean incident that turned him into Yusuf.  Although he was pretty good at the Rally to Restore Sanity from what I hear.

So anyway, in addition to us, we had our good friends The Luxury in towels and face cream as The Go-Go’s, and Midatlantic as Lady Gaga.  “Guys Doing Girls” was the unofficial billing, and these ladies killed it dead, and the crowd of freaks and naughty nurses, pirates, rock stars, Colonel Sanders(!), et al showed their appreciation in spades.  By the time it was our turn, everyone was good and loose on Saturday night in costume, and when the opening riff of Material Girl first came out of Adamdonna’s axe (we went without keys), the crowd ERUPTED, and I knew it was going to be sublime.  And so it was.  Mattdonna writhed around the stage for Like a Virgin while Adamdonna took over on Bass, then Adamdonna did his best Vogue dance, which was disconcertingly good.  On the last “vogue” the crowd did the delay for us by chanting it over and over.  Brilliant audience participation!  Jessedonna killed it on Like a Prayer, in keeping with his look for the night.  We rocked Papa Don’t Preach like a draggy Bon Jovi who thought they wrote it themselves, replete with fist banging breakdown in the middle.  I heard a lot about that one later.  When it was over we hightailed it over to JustBill’s to rage until Dawn (although I cut out at 4:30, still respectable I think).  All Saint’s day broke over some bloodshot eyes and ringing ears, but we’ll do it again in a bloody heartbeat because Halloween rocks in Boston like nowhere else on earth!  Or even in the darkest chambers of hell.