Bruiser Queen

Kickstand Productions Presents!

Bruiser Queen

Natalie Grace Alford, The Gunshy

Wed, May 31, 2017

Doors: 7:30 pm / Show: 8:00 pm

Downstairs

$8.00

Tickets Available at the Door

This event is 17 and over

Bruiser Queen
Bruiser Queen
"Instead of a bit of lyric, most often what came to me first when writing this material was the melody," confesses singer/guitarist Morgan Nusbaum of her St. Louis-based reverb-drenched garage pop duo, Bruiser Queen's new album, Sweet Static. What's clear here, in the band's sophomore presentation - and their first since recently signing to Boxing Clever Records - is her masterful dedication to melody and structure.

Dreamy album opener, "Tiny Heart Attack," charms listeners with the band's signature trademark: Nusbaum's potent Corin Tucker meets 60's girl group top-of-the-lung howl; but the band's true ace is her dynamic guitar style. "One of the challenges unique to being a guitar/drums duo is filling out the spectrum of sound normally covered by several instruments on stage," she says. No such limits existed in the studio, where she crafted twinkling guitars and harmonies to depths of overdriven layers of bass, organ, and piano. "Working with Harry in his Memphis recording studio was such an incredible experience, where every instrument was within arm's reach."

While 2012's debut Swears set forth Bruiser Queen's bold mission statement with bouncy 3-minute sing-along anthems for the Nation of Oohs and Whoa-Ohs, Sweet Static asserts that rules were meant to be broken - or at least bent. That's not to say Nusbaum, along with drummer Jason Potter, have thrown out the reverbial baby with the murky Mississippi River bathwater - they haven't. It's clear with tracks like "On The Radio," "Invisible Girl," and "Save Me" that the band's still just as sweet, but it's lush mid-tempo haunting entries like "Girls Like Me" and "Some Girl's Ghost" that demonstrate their willingness to expand upon themes and static structures.

Bruiser Queen is the collaborative effort of singer/guitarist, Morgan Nusbaum, and drummer Jason Potter. Formed in 2010, the garage rock and roll duo began winning over the Midwest in 2012 with the release of their first full-length album titled Swears, which preceded the highly praised In Your Room 7"/EP in 2013 via Certified PR Records. The title track, "In Your Room," was named "Best Local Single of the Past 12 Months" by the Riverfront Times and was a winner on the 2013 Village Voice Pazz and Jop Singles Chart. Sweet Static's "On The Radio" and "Some Girl's Ghost" were winners in 2014.

In the span of six years, Bruiser Queen has been voted "Best Rock Band" (2016 and 2015) and "Best Garage Band" (2014) according to the RFT Music Awards Readers Poll, ranked at #36 on the KDHX Top Album Spins of 2012 Chart, and has filled supporting slots for artists including Best Coast, Wanda Jackson, Polyphonic Spree, Ex Hex, Corin Tucker Band, and Those Darlins. They have also featured in music festivals including Loufest, Middle of the Map, Savannah Stopover, Valley of the Vapors, Mile of Music, and True/False.
Natalie Grace Alford
Natalie Grace Alford
Natalie Grace Alford is a singer-songwriter from Chicago.
The Gunshy
The Gunshy
Matt Arbogast, who we know on record as The Gunshy, has had a lot of time to confront himself during his countless hours touring the country alone in his car. In his triumphant song The Darling Days, Arbogast relates a conversation he has with himself as an old man, who, upon taking what he's learned from experience and a weathered life, he reminds our narrator of one essential thing: 'stay young.'

I Gave Too Much Time to the Wine embodies this mindset - serving as both a set of vibrant new material and as a collection of the EPs released throughout his career, it's an audio document taking stock of what's come before while still pushing forward into new, and unexplored territory. Shades and elements from his whole range of releases color the sounds found here - his spare and isolated acoustic work with its emphasis on his threadbare lyrical diary, his melodic and understated compositions, and his euphoric horn-laden full band all find a home here, showcasing the wide spectrum of his songwriting talents.

For the first time, Arbogast's range of textures and themes is fully splayed out. It bridges both the intensely intimate writing found on his early records (2002's To Remember/To Forget and 2004's No Man's Blues) with the storytelling and evocative, lyrical scene-setting from both 2005's Souls and his critically acclaimed 2007 release There's No Love in this War, which told his grandfather's story during WWII through musical adaptation of letters home from the Front. Brass instrumentation and gorgeous harmony vocals find a place at the forefront of his new material as his writing is ever-honed with time. Arbogast's songs find him sharply exploring a life on the road and the role of music in our lives, the dynamics of love and songwriting, and meditations on a life lived simply. He also delivers a stunning reading of excellent-but-unheralded songwriter Andrew Bryant's I Won't Forget It.

Besides the new work that opens this album, also included are the out of print small-pressing EPs that have appeared briefly between The Gunshy's larger records - transitional works, shorter story arcs, but in some ways even more immediate and direct that their longer brethren. Nowhere will you find Arbogast's singing voice more restrained and melodic than on My Home It Shall No Longer Be the Sea (recorded in 2006), nor will you find him more openly candid than on What Will They Speak of You When You're Gone? (recorded in 2004). This is a exceptional collection - a perfect starting point for those new to the recorded works of The Gunshy, a solid collection of new material for the initiated, and a valuable opportunity for fans who missed those fantastic eps when they were briefly available. In straddling the line between what's come before and blazing a trail for what's to follow, this proves to be an essential release.
Venue Information:
Downstairs
2011 W. North Ave.
Chicago, IL, 60647