Jukebox the Ghost with Matt Pond

The Echo & 88.5 KCSN Present

Jukebox the Ghost with Matt Pond

Matt Pond, The Lighthouse & The Whaler

Thu, February 28, 2013

7:00 pm

Echoplex

Los Angeles, CA

$12.00 - $14.00

This event is all ages

**Tickets purchased on day of show at the door will have $1 facility fee applied **

Jukebox the Ghost
Jukebox the Ghost
Jukebox the Ghost’s third album Safe Travels marks a period in the band’s that’s steeped in change, both personally and professionally. Relationships dissolved and crumbled. Loved ones passed on. The band themselves relocated from Philadelphia to New York City and played over 200 shows since the release of their last album in 2010. In the midst of so much change, the band spent months in the studio creating what would become “Safe Travels”, a record that represents a shift in the band’s creative trajectory.

“It felt like the music was finally growing with us — Songs that relate to who we are as people right now, not who we were when we were 19 or 20,” Siegel said. “This record is more heartfelt; part of that came from not worrying about exactly what kind of music we were supposed to be making and instead just working on songs that felt genuine and natural at the time.”

Safe Travels, at its core, represents three people going through universal life changes – A way of coping with how quickly things can turn around, for good and bad. And though it’s clear their sound and outlook have matured to addressing some darker subject material, their brand of upbeat pop still remains intact.

“We’ve always been the kind of band that juxtaposes darker lyrics with upbeat music, but this record feels a little more personal,” Thornewill said. “In the grand scheme of things, it’s certainly not a downer record but you need pain to get joy, and joy to get pain; they’re inseparable.”

Bolstered by an appearance on the Late Show with David Letterman, an appearance at Lollapalooza, and extended opening tours with Ben Folds, Guster, Adam Green and Jack’s Mannequin, the band has acquired an incredibly loyal (and sometimes rabid) fanbase since the release of 2008’s “Let Live and Let Ghosts”. Over the years, Jukebox the Ghost has maintained a tour schedule that most bands would balk at, playing over 150 shows a year and becoming a well-oiled, high energy live band. This summer, the band embarks on their biggest headline tour to date after performing at Bonnaroo on the album’s release weekend — Their Bowery Ballroom show in June has already sold out two months in advance.

“Safe Travels” also marks the first time that the band had been afforded unlimited studio time. The sessions took place in Brooklyn, with their friend Dan Romer (Ingrid Michaelson, Jenny Owens Young) producing and engineering. The result is a collection of 13 songs that finds the band maturing both musically and lyrically. The band was also able to work with a string section for the first time, which gave Thornewill the chance to flex his compositional skills and formal classical training.

They’d be the first to admit that their previous two records had a charming, “hyperactive” quality about them, but you don’t get that sense here. There’s a balance between the peppy piano pop of songs like the album’s upbeat opener “Somebody”, the bouncy synth-pop of “Oh, Emily” and the radio-ready drama of “Don’t Let Me Fall Behind” to more poignant, contemplative songs in the album’s second half that represent the band’s desire to travel into new sonic territory.

“In the past Ben and Tommy sometimes wrote from various fictional perspectives” says drummer Jesse Kristin, “but the songs on this album feel closer, more personal, and steeped in actual life experiences.”

This creative shift is best exemplified by “Dead,” “Adulthood,” “Ghosts in Empty Houses,” and “The Spiritual” – songs that deal with death and mortality head on, with an immediacy that was masked on previous albums.

“Adulthood” was initially a difficult song for Thornewill to perform. Written before his grandfather’s death from lung cancer, the line “In my lungs I still feel young” was painfully prophetic and the overall message that “from adulthood, no one survives” became all too real. “Dead” approaches a similar theme with understated elegance. The song begins with Siegel’s innocent, boyish croon over a ghostly drone and builds into a climax with post-rock ferocity entirely new to the band’s catalogue.

“Even though we’re tackling some difficult themes this go-round, we’re still a band that wants people to feel good,” said Tommy. “We’re the same upbeat band we’ve always been, but we’re firm believers that pop music can have depth.”

Ask Brooklyn’s Jukebox the Ghost why their third album is called ”Safe Travels,” on a surface level, it’s likely they’ll tell you about a song by Austin’s Red Hunter, who performs as Peter and the Wolf. The song, from his 2006 album ”Lightness” became something of a mantra for the band. ”Since we’re always in new cities and away from the people we love, that song really hit home for us,” said Ben. “It was a song that represented saying goodbye.”

On “Safe Travels”, Jukebox the Ghost manages to contrast these darker themes with the same optimistic sound and a familiar sense of youthfulness that stays true to their core.
Matt Pond
Matt Pond
Matt Pond has already accomplished what few rarely do. A career musician with a die-hard following that continues to grow with each album, and a resume that includes the title song for a motion picture soundtrack, a long running Starbucks holiday commercial with a hook that's always stuck in our heads, selling over 100,000 albums to date; his success is matched only by his prolific outpouring of talent. But Matt takes those things with a grain of salt, in 'Lives' he shows us what's really important.
'Lives' is an upbeat antidote to the pessimistic shift in the collective consciousness. It's an ode to the bittersweet reality that we are human, we are finite, and we are flawed. But in each song on this album, Matt Pond sources the beauty in all of it, even when it's not pretty, and delivers an indie rock album that's brimming with authenticity; Pond captures the sentiment perfectly in "Starlet": 'I know I know there's so much I don't know'. The album's first single "Love to Get Used", is a notably playful departure from what we've seen before. "Let's hang on to abandon and hope we lose control" Pond insists in the uptempo indie-pop track, "to be out in the open baby and let go of the ropes".
The Lighthouse & The Whaler
The Lighthouse & The Whaler
The Lighthouse and the Whaler is a band from Cleveland, Ohio, though its name alludes to the waters off the coast of Massachusetts. Inspired by a theme from Moby Dick, the band’s name alone is enough to make underpaid Literature teachers beam with pride.

It all started with two musicians -- Aaron Smith and Michael LoPresti -- who decided to collaborate in a field one sunny afternoon because that seemed nicer than playing in a basement. By the end of the day they had written their first song. They gave it a profound name: "The Field Song." When it was selected for a Paste Sampler CD, Aaron and Michael decided to make a proper run at it.

The Lighthouse and the Whaler released a four-song EP in 2008 and a self-titled/produced/released album in 2009. Two songs from that album -- "White Days" and "Under Mountain, Under Ground" -- found their way to TV and radio. With more fans to play for, The Lighthouse and the Whaler hit the road and toured across America. Somewhere between Boston and Seattle, the band picked up three new members -- Matthew, Mark and Steve – thereafter, fulfilling the prophesy that was to be five young men stuffed in a forest green Chevy Venture, searching for open ears and loyal hearts.

Here is what most band bios won't tell you:
Michael LoPresti studied literature and theology in college but rushed home after graduation to become a musician. Michael is the voice of the band and his head is filled with wayward melodies one could chase for days. He wears boat shoes, jean cut-offs and flannel shirts all year round. Michael is a web designer and has approximately two dance moves. Put a chick flick on mute and he will make up hilarious new dialogue to go along with the picture.
Aaron Smith is self-taught on the violin, guitar and keys. He is a skeptic, searching for each perfect note as it passes. Aaron has deadpan wit and incredibly white teeth. He eats Chia seeds and dried prunes to stay healthy on the road. Aaron is acutely aware of subtle details and often finds himself lost in his thoughts for long periods of time. He is a gentle giant, but is self-conscious about his height. And yes, he is single.

Matthew LoPresti was on his way to becoming a professional soccer player but left the pitch to join The Lighthouse and the Whaler. Matthew is a percussionist and puts the passion and heart into the songs. He has a nice smile and often requires extra space on stage to accommodate his raw emotion. Matthew tells loud jokes because it makes everyone laugh more. He thinks LeBron James is a traitor and is dogmatic on the subject.
Mark Poro was a solo artist who wanted some company. He plays mandolin, violin, guitar, piano and glockenspiel, but has yet to master the triangle. Mark is a lover of the poignant and sincere, and fills each song with his pure spirit. He secretly likes to be silly, especially in serious situations. Mark is perpetually training for a marathon and has blue eyes that would remind a sailor of a calm day at sea. Mark Poro is not his real name.

Steve Diaz is originally from Virginia and met Mark at a music conservatory on Martha's Vineyard. He moved to Ohio to become a Whaler, but otherwise would have probably become a farmer. Steve is a born composer and adds contrast and depth to the music with a seasoned subtlety. Steve can grow a glorious reddish-brown beard, which he credits to his unique ancestry. He writes music to maintain his sanity. Steve is not homeless, though he sometimes looks it.
The Lighthouse and the Whaler plays indie-folk-pop and does not believe that genre labels tell you anything you need to know about a band. It has nevertheless caught the attention of MTV, Fuse, FILTER, Spinner, Under the Radar and other media outlets that cater to indie-folk-pop music fans.

The Lighthouse and the Whaler has performed at venues like House of Blues, Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, Rockwood Music Hall and SXSW, though its favorite show to date took place in the attic of an old bookstore. The band has also shared stages with Sufjan Stevens, The Temper Trap and The Dodos, and shared blankets while sleeping in its donated mini-van, inappropriately named Rihanna.
John Richards of KEXP called The Lighthouse and the Whaler his new favorite band. He may be the smartest man on the planet.
Venue Information:
Echoplex
1822 W. Sunset Blvd
The Echoplex is located below The Echo, enter through the alley at 1154 Glendale Blvd
Los Angeles, CA, 90026