This event is 21 and over
$18.00 – General Admission (Advance)
$20.00 – General Admission (Door)
*plus applicable service fees
Tickets available at The Independent box office (628 Divisadero, SF) with no service charge
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Once and Future Band
Joel Robinow (keyboards/guitar/vocals), Raj Ojha (drums/recording engineer), Eli Eckert (bass/guitar/vocals) and Raze Regal (guitar) have been confidantes and conspirators for over a decade, collaborating in Drunk Horse, Howlin Rain, East Bay Grease and many other projects. They have convened as “Once and Future Band” with the purpose of performing and recording Joel’s massive library of songs before they are lost to the ages after the Great Hard Drive Crash of ’12.
“In the vapor trail of “How Does It Make You Feel” you can smell the burnt ozone of a seventies-full-orchestra-nebula-pop-odyssey, the flakes floating down and landing on you like snow and giving you the grave-chills…the ash of a masterpiece pop song. Once and Future Band: this incredibly accomplished cabal of total prog wizards has circled the earth, but then, these are the accomplished gentlemen of many former pursuits (the formidable Drunk Horse among them) and all of them comets themselves. The very mid 70s vibe at work here surpasses pastiche, and crests that lovely anachronistic conceptual peak: a fully realized and meticulously arranged psych record, meant to be listened to from top to bottom, with the lights down low and in a comfy chair perhaps, or while gazing out the window of your life pod. A Dark Side of the Moon feel, with shades of early Yes’s technicality, a dash of Steely Dan’s vocal prowess and effortless sheen, and some seriously outsized hooks that call to mind the mighty ELO, Le Orme and yes, even the unsinkable Queen powered on Brian May’s tape echo jet fuel and sequined power cells…this is a head record in the classic sense but we swear to The Dark One that you will be trapped and infected by the pop-parasite. That it is largely self-produced (with tracking/engineering on three of the songs by Phil Manley at El Studio) makes it all the more jaw dropping. We didn’t realize how much we needed Once and Future Band in our life, but now that they’re here we can’t get them out of our brains or off of our stereo. Making prog cool again, again, and then slightly more complicatedly, again.” – Castle Face Records
Mark Stoermer’s Filthy Apes and Lions
Las Vegas with its harsh desert terrain doesn’t seem a fertile enough place to be the breeding ground of anything much, but when translated from its Latinate origins ‘Las Vegas’ transposes to become ‘The Meadows’. It was these meadows that spawned the always colorful and oftentimes confusing city of Sin that holds itself up, a bastion in the centre of the barrenness that surrounds it. It goes without saying then that as a by-product of this miraculous appearance of life in the most unlikely of places musician Mark Stoermer has always been up against the odds and has an inherent knack of beating them too.
Without many local heroes to aspire to, Stoermer looked back in time and to the British Isles for inspiration and it came in droves. From The Beatles and Led Zeppelin to Pink Floyd’s Syd Barrett and the inimitable Bowie, music became a way for Stoermer to escape the hustle of the Strip, leading to him holing himself up in a murky garage to write songs instead of frequenting the ever-glittering clubs and casinos.
It was this love of music that brought about a catalyst that set in motion a chain of events that is still going on today. After joining a then little-known local band called The Killers who catapulted to stardom in the mid-2000s, Stoermer went on to produce Aussie foursome Howling Bells’ third album; toured with The Smashing Pumpkins as bass player; and wrote, produced and released three solo albums— the first of which, Another Life, was released in 2011; the second, Dark Arts, in August 2016; and the latest, Filthy Apes and Lions, in August this year.
The inspiration for his LP3 came at the end of Dark Arts, while writing the song “Blood and Guts.” This opened new doors for him lyrically and conceptually, bringing him into the territory of psychedelic rock-opera. One album rolled into the next. Surrounding himself with producers/friends/engineers David Hopkins and Robert Root (the same team he had enlisted for his LP2), Stoermer envisioned his own story of a surrealistic apocalyptic fantasy based in a zoo. This gave birth to the title track of the album. Off and on, from late 2016 to spring of 2017, it took roughly 6 weeks in the studio to write, record, and produce the album. This was accomplished while Stoermer was simultaneously writing and recording for the upcoming Killer’s LP5, to be released this Fall.
Stoermer increasingly takes risks from album to album, while capturing more of a feeling of “letting go.” Projecting more of a sense of enjoyment in the process of songwriting itself, Filthy Apes and Lions is a departure from Dark Arts, yet at the same time, a natural extension of it.