Front Porch Lights / Great Expectations / The Bell Beat / Brae

Thu, Sep 21, 2017 @ 8:00 pm to 2:00am

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Thursday, September 21 / 8pm doors, 9pm music / $8
Front Porch Lights (Indie rock/Americana)
Great Expectations (Rock’n’roll)
The Bell Beat (Indie rock)
Brae (Indie/Americana/Pop)

Front Porch Lights is an indie rock 5-piece from Cleveland, Ohio. The band weaves airy, folk influences with the grit of their Rust Belt roots to create a listener experience both lively and emotional. Frontman Conor Standish’s poignant vocals and penetrative lyricism invoke a striking nostalgia, which The Wild Honey Pie described as “the kind of mid-tempo Americana that we’ve been sorely missing.” The band worked with Jim Stewart (Welshly Arms, Lighthouse and The Whaler) to produce sophomore EP Go On Ahead, released in the summer of 2017.

Front Porch Lights is fronted by Conor Standish, formerly of The Burning River Ramblers. In 2015, after an eventful 5-year run with his first group, Standish sought stylistic variation. He conducted a creative crowdfunding campaign, revolving largely around entertaining stunts performed in his underwear, to initiate a new project. With money earned, Standish traveled to Oakland to produce a new EP with Dave Young at Tiny Telephone Studios. Alumni of the reputed space include Death Cab for Cutie, tUnE-yArDs, Sleater-Kinney, Sun Kil Moon and many more.

There, Standish drew as much upon popular alternative influences like Ryan Adams, The Black Keys and Kings of Leon as he did a Midwestern upbringing. The result was a sound both infectiously catchy and strikingly heartfelt. It wasn’t until he returned home that he labeled the project Front Porch Lights, to honor the childhood home his family was, at the time, leaving.

When embarking upon a second EP, Standish favored a more collaborative process than that he’d known in Oakland. Bandmates Sean Keating, John Doyle, Dillon Devito and Joey David collectively contributed to Go On Ahead, solidifying the cohesive shape it took as well as the band as a consistent whole.

Front Porch Lights’ thoughtfully selected moniker mirrors an audible appreciation for simplicity, serenity and human connection in their sound. The five-piece provides an ambient and emotionally evocative experience, well-textured with a tasteful nostalgia that shifts as seamlessly as the Midwestern seasons it summons. This is music made for outdoor listening, on evenings illuminated by nothing but the band’s namesake.

Great Expectations: Brandon, Austin, and Billy making some songs. For fans of Owen, Death Cab For Cutie, and Rob Zombone.

The Bell Beat is a Detroit based rock band founded and fronted by vocalist and multi-instrumentalist, Randy Bishop. The band began in July 2003. The Bell Beat released their debut album The Carrot Chase in July 2007 (while named “Sh! The Octopus”). This was followed by Our Manderley in January of 2011 (under the moniker “The Bell Beat”).

“Sliding through any of [The Bell Beat’s] shimmering pop twirls is like having every tastebud tinged with a different delectable indie-rock sensibility from the past decade. Tight, chopping, [Sea and Cake-ish] change-up drums. New Pornographer’s unabashed effervescence (combined with barbed/quirky lyricism). Sepita-toned daydreams and disarmingly intricate guitar solos stitched between cooed-out boy-girl vocals, […] one conjures the inevitable Belle & Sebastian-type chamber pop.” – Jeff Milo (Real Detroit Weekly / Deep Cutz)

Brae: Opportunity, new beginnings, and fresh perspective, were things that propelled Brandon Husken from the back of the stage sitting behind the drums to standing behind the drums up front. Brandon ‘Brae” Husken spent years as a drummer in Michigan’s music scene before growing weary from yet another failed musical endeavor. That’s when he decided to change his musical direction and began songwriting and composing music in a more personal setting. Songs began to flow, which turned the idea of beginning a solo career into a reality. Recruiting friends from other MI. based bands such as The American Secrets, Dale Earnhardt Jr. Jr. and others, to record and perform; Brae released Catch You In The End in Oct. of 2008 and followed that with Eating At The World in March of 2011. Having experimented with various approaches on creating the live show, some which have consisted of Husken playing only acoustic guitar and singing, to adding percussion instruments around him, to the eventual transformation which finds him standing in the front of the stage while playing a full drum kit and singing, experimentation has found the ideal solution that best fits this journey man percussionist. However, stability in a band line up continued to change, but was expected, until early spring of 2011. The band now consists of, Adam Serruys (acoustic/electric), Jason Warnke (keyboards), Jon Sheard (electric guitar) and Takashi Iio (bass). Plugging away together Brae has found a different level of stability and commitment, which prompted Husken to explore the idea of a more collaborative effort in song writing. The aforementioned musicians were recruited to help finish off what is set to be the third album entitled “Another Time and Place” and becomes the first Brae record to be recorded in more of a traditional band setting. While the vision and direction of Brae continues to be funneled through Husken, it is certainly clear that the band performing with him has facilitated it.