Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Street Eaters, The Groggs, Landlord, & Moon Eater @ The Blue Lagoon Wednesday November 30th

Wednesday November 30th 2011

Street Eaters
Melodramatic Popular Song

Street Eaters, a band formed around the concept of the absolute minimum number of compromises, is the fierce combination of Megan March and John No. Born in Berkeley & Oakland and calling the East Bay their home for their entire lives, the influence of the 90's punk scene weighs strongly on their sound. The band chews up its punk, riot grrrl and DIY influences/idols and spits out a joyous noise with characteristics of each, yet not quite resembling any. Meeting through Berkeley's notorious 924 Gilman St Project, March and No found themselves drawn to each other, both in their music and their personal lives. Though strictly romantic at the beginning, they held the same goals and aesthetics in terms of playing in a band with political leanings coupled with buzzing musical energy. Pausing from No's slot as the frontman for the Fleshies+Triclops! and March's seat behind the kit in Before The Fall+Neverending Party, Street Eaters began working on their earliest material. They quickly developed their voice by sharing the writing duties 50/50, call and response, sharing the mic; there are no silent partners in this band!

The Groggs
Garage Rock
Santa Cruz

THE GROGGS are the trusted garage rock power trio of Santa Cruz, CA. NOW AVAILABLE : The Groggs' "3D" A 4-Song 7" EP including Digital Download and 3D Glasses! Order now @ thegroggs.com
"A very excellent band" - RVCA.com

"A return to good ol' dingy, hard hitting rock & roll for all the hungry purists" - Good Times Santa Cruz

"Scuzz Rock Luminaries" - Metro Santa Cruz

Formed in 2008, this shaggy local trio continues to electrify venues alongside the likes of the Black Lips and Kid Congo Powers; but don’t think for a second the Groggs are rock stars. “We have no false aspirations to ‘make it,’” says singer Keith Thompson, “‘Make it’ all the time, I say.” With this motto in hand, the Groggs deliver a staggering blast of new garage rock, with hints of punk and power-pop sing-alongs, all wrapped up in a gritty package for a classic sound that spans decades. With openers from Olympia, Western Hymn, Wednesday promises to be a true experience in the lost art of rock ’n’ roll with steady beats and audience interaction—giving anyone in earshot a sense that the show is less about the bands and more about everyone leaving with a good time; just as the gods intended.


Since its inception, the hard-hitting garage rock trio known as the Groggs has given new hope to the Santa Cruz music scene. Lead singer and guitarist Keith Thompson's slightly surfish licks blend beautifully with punch-packing power chords and grungy, soulful singing. All the while, he struts onstage with more swagger than a rooster in the hen house, backed up by the bountiful bass rifts of Ryan Allbaugh. Justin Ward rounds out the group, hammering away on the skins and keeping the beat for the infectiously catchy yet dingy tunes. Overall, the Groggs are a band to be reckoned with, and they put on a show not to be missed. Crepe Place; $5; 9pm. (Brian Harker)


The Groggs
Working-Class Heroes

It’s 6:30 p.m. and I feel out of place hitting up the Blue Lagoon so early. Its black walls and empty stage stand quiet as red lights pulsate overhead in the vacant band room, flickering hints of what will come alive later in the evening. I’m sitting at a table as Keith Thompson, the sound engineer, speedily preps the room for the night’s concert. Finally, irked by the quiet, he puts on The Seeds’ “Satisfy You” as background music for our chat about his own band that’s riled up the very room we’re in many times over, the Groggs.
“It’s working class,” Thompson says of the Groggs’ sound, after joining me with a can of Pabst nestled in his hand, his Golden Boots T-shirt peeking out from his denim jacket. “Most people can relate to it. If we showed up at a veterans’ VFW bar we could probably not get killed.” The singer adds, “It’s not about how intellectual we are, it’s about how we can connect, write kick-ass songs and get everyone pumped and moving.”

Having quaked stages alongside Bob Log III, Kid Congo Powers and the Black Lips, the Groggs have stepped up as one of Santa Cruz’s premier rock acts, delivering on a promise of classic rock and big-hit songwriting based around basic chords. Thompson may claim an aversion to over-intellectualizing art rockers, but don’t be fooled: the Groggs don’t lack introspection. Along with gritty, high-adrenaline garage rock and plenty of nods to ’70s guitar punches and punk rock, the trio delves into country and soul influences (think Townes Van Zandt and the Byrds) and current crowd favorites include some nearly-shoegaze-infused pop rock ballads.

“We want to show that everyone should have a band in Santa Cruz—even the guy who cuts my hair can have a band. There’s no line or distinction between who can play.”
—Keith Thompson, The Groggs

Throughout our conversation, Thompson affectionately refers to his girlfriend and primary source of inspiration, Luxury Sweets bassist Rachael MacKenzie Chavez, as “my chick,” and Groggs bassist Ryan Allbaugh as “my bro,” and the 27-year-old talks about his songwriting intentions with the same unabashed candor and casual confidence.

“We’re trying to unite the reverb-drenched Wall of Sound with classic songwriting and punk energy,” the frontman says of the band’s upcoming debut album, recorded at Compound Recordings where Thompson labored as an intern in exchange for studio time. “I hope it’s a great rock record. Like one for the ages, to put on the shelf next to your Clash and Ramones records. You could put on the Ramones’ Rocket to Russia and then you could put on our album and draw a line to it.”

Twenty minutes into our talk, Allbaugh rushes in. Sporting long hair and a black Pestilence hoodie, the bassist’s death metal background is obvious. Apologizing for being late due to a water pipe bursting on River Street, Allbaugh’s darkness seems to end with his attire. Smiley and lighthearted, the Chico native chimes in to describe his rising band with Thompson and drummer Justin Ward as “unpretentious and enjoyable and a little in your face—old fashioned bar rock in the best sense of the term.” Then he laughs with an afterthought, “Well, maybe we don’t want to emphasize the beer too much!”

“We don’t play to any specific class or social group,” Thompson states. “It’s something to bring all those people together. We want to show that everyone should have a band in Santa Cruz—even the guy who cuts my hair can have a band. There’s no line or distinction between who can play.” Allbaugh agrees, “Yeah, why not? It’s just fun.”
So what’s next for the Groggs in their searing rock plight for the everyman?
“We’re going to attempt another West Coast tour
in the spring once we have the record out,” Thompson says. “That’s if we can get our van to smog—which is not looking good.”
For more information on The Groggs, check out myspace.com/thegroggs.

The Groggs
Written by Linda Koffman
Tuesday, 20 January 2009 - gtweekly.com

"The purists of the local rock scene"
Having a MySpace is a necessity for every band these days. Having a MySpace without any music on it will likely get a band nowhere. Unless you’re The Groggs. Peruse their site and you’ll find show dates, plenty of retro black and white photos, and a quirky little bio that so insightfully begins, “Many years ago, three men were born.” Music for a quick listen? Nope. “I’m kind of a purist,” explains singer and sound engineer Keith Thompson about the curious absence of tunes, “I want it to sound like the nuggets of the psychedelic ’60s. In the meantime, through the local network, we’ve been doing all right.” More than all right, the trio has found its niche playing heavy, wall-trembling shows for audiences of all kinds. Thompson, formerly of psych outfit El Sonido, started the band with visions of Gram Parsons and Townes Van Zandt in mind. That plan was soon ditched, and they’ve instead been procuring a set encompassing stoner rock, grinding punk, and the softened edges of power pop—with some Billy Bragg and Sam Cooke thrown in. They’re as accessible as that initial country rock, but as fiercely adrenaline-rousing as Raging Bull. “The origin was that we were going to be the sweethearts of the rodeo, but then we realized that might be a little limiting,” the singer reflects. “So far we get the hipsters diggin’ us, the old folks diggin’ us, and it’s pretty cool.” More like sweethearts of the corner store, the band’s hoping to cement a grassroots sponsorship from their infamous namesake—The Grog Shop, which he calls “a notoriously dingy liquor store that we’re so proud of.” Tacking on that extra ‘g’ as a nod to The Troggs, the threesome pays homage to its neighborhood beverage outlet, and may soon just sport the store’s T-shirts onstage in exchange for, yep, that DIY rock gold: beer. “We’re happy to pay for our beer in the meantime, but it’d definitely be nice to save a little money that way,” the frontman muses with hope. And, if we’re lucky, those savings will lead to some official recordings for the rest of us.

Rock and Roll
San Francisco

Moon Eater
Rock and Roll
Santa Cruz

Formed in 2011, MOON EATER is a four-piece rock band with a larger-than-life, lightning bolt-up-your-ass sound. Hailing from the sandy shores of Santa Cruz, California, they deliver no fuss, capital “R” Rock ‘n Roll with sharply interwoven guitar lines, muscular rhythms and a natural melodic sense. MOON EATER keeps it fresh and original with a tasty mix of bombastic 1970's guitar rock, garage-influenced punk and some heavy-riffing down-pick damage. What else would you expect from a bunch of mutant audiophiles with esoteric and wide-ranging tastes, who are still cavemen when it comes to apeshit volume and big drums? All members of the band are longtime mainstays of the Bay Area punk music scene, seasoned vets who lay down some serious hot pipe.

The Blue Lagoon
923 Pacific Avenue
Santa Cruz, CA 95060
Doors at 9:00
Show @ 9:30


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