1131 S. Broad Street,
Philadelphia, PA 19147



The Space Merchants, Easy Creatures

Fri, January 23, 2015

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

The Boot & Saddle

Philadelphia, PA


This event is 21 and over

There are times in life when we all feel like the Universe is sending us a sign. And that’s exactly how Jay Laughlin, Philadelphia music scene veteran, felt when a fire ripped through his band's (JJL) practice space claiming all their musical gear one dark night in February of 2014. At first, it felt like a sign that maybe he should consider giving up his passion — and stop pouring his heart, soul, time and energy into making and playing music.

Fortunately, there was a second sign from the Universe. As the smoke slowly cleared, a massive wave of support rolled in. Family, friends, fans and the community made their feelings known by providing funds, lending equipment, organizing benefits, and showering the band with no small amount of emotional support and encouragement. It felt like proof positive that JJL should rebuild and re-focus. And that’s exactly what they have done — emerging triumphantly with The Tiger E.P., their 6-song debut 12-inch, in hand.

As a songwriter, Jay has returned to his roots in a way. It’s evident that the devastating fire stirred up emotions and triggered memories that rekindled his love of playing heavy music. He is once again making music that celebrates the raw power of the artists that originally inspired him to start playing drums and guitar when he was barely a teenager... metal bands like Iron Maiden, Dio, Judas Priest, Slayer, as well as, hardcore bands like Minor Threat and The Bad Brains.

JJL amps up the “power” of the traditional power trio, with Jay on guitar and vocals (Lenola, Like A Fox, Turning Point), his long-time drummer Pete Girgenti on drums (Like A Fox) and new member Derek Zglenski (Belgrade) rounding out the group on bass. The Tiger E.P. boasts loud metallic riffs, spidery melodies, bombastic drums and fluid bass runs. The music is both intricate and concise, balancing the frenetic energy and immediacy of rock n' roll with the musicianship and bombast of heavy metal. In short, JJL have songs that stick in your head no matter how hard you bang it.
The Space Merchants
The Space Merchants
Aqualamb Records presents its next release: the self-titled, debut album by The Space Merchants, out June 9th.

A self-proclaimed "country band traveling through space," The Space Merchants drive, jangle, and twang their way through sweet, haunting jams, as majestic as they are minimal. Theirs is a lo-fi psych experience, befitting of interstellar exploration as well as lonely highway trucking.

Naming The Velvet Underground, Black Sabbath, and Bobbie Gentry as musical inspirations, and mining the realms of science fiction, religion and myth in their lyrics, the co-ed Brooklyn band marries backporch Americana with brain-blowing transcendence, a juxtaposition they themselves sum up as "like Johnny Cash explaining current theories in astrophysics."

On perfectly composed songs like "One Cut Like the Moon" and "Mainline the Sun," female and male voices intertwine in rich harmonies over bluesy guitar- and organ-driven rock. The instrumentation is classic, the song structures are tried and true – The Space Merchants follow a recipe that has been working since the birth of rock n' roll, yet these are songs that seduce, abduct, and lead guided tours of other worlds.

Stream or download "One Cut Like the Moon," exclusively via Magnet Magazine, here.

The Space Merchants was recorded with two engineers at two locations: with Aaron Bastinelli at Converse Rubber Tracks in Brooklyn, NY (where he has also engineered and mixed recordings by The Hold Steady and Kurt Vile), and with Josh Meakim, a member of A Sunny Day in Glasgow, at the Sex Dungeon in Philadelphia, PA. The album was mixed by The Space Merchants' own Michael Guggino, and mastered by Josh Bonati (Psychic Ills, Pharmakon).

The dazzling/dizzying cover art is by Braulio Amado, whose work has graced the covers of The New York Times Magazine and Bloomberg Businessweek.

While they sound as if they were born playing these songs, the 'Merchants are in fact a new band and this is their debut. Drummer Carter Logan is a longtime collaborator of filmmaker Jim Jarmusch and currently plays with Jarmusch in the band SQÜRL. Bassist/vocalist Aileen Brophy was formerly in an X-Ray Spex cover band with Brian Viglione of Dresden Dolls and Violent Femmes.

The Space Merchants is Aqualamb Records' second release of the year, following the acclaimed debut by Hiram-Maxim. Founded by Brooklyn graphic designers Eric Palmerlee and Johnathan Swafford, Aqualamb specializes in releasing albums in book form – in lieu of standard LP or CD packaging, they design and print 100-page books containing art, liner notes, and download code. Of Aqualamb Records, Steel for Brains founder Jonathan Dickwrote recently, "In the spirit of labels like Hydra Head or Sacred Bones, Brooklyn's Aqualamb Records was born from the desire to place as much value on the aesthetic of a physical release as the music itself."
Easy Creatures
Easy Creatures is a rock band from Philadelphia, PA.

Shane Evans-Voice
Joe Konrad-Bass
Mark McKinney-Guitar
... Joey Simpers-Guitar
Jeff Tirabassi-Drums

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Easy Creatures is a new melodic post-hardcore band from Philly made up of some of Delaware's most notorious transplants to the big city. The group includes members of Walleye, Blackthroat, Railhed and The Bad Luck 13 Riot Extravaganza.

After years of fronting more aggressive acts singer Shane Evans has returned to his roots, eschewing mayhem for melody. His clean, emotive vocals – a cross betwee...n Shawn Brown and Greg Dulli -- drive an angular and tight band of veterans who still have the zeal of kids making their first album.

With an approach reminiscent of Samiam and early Jawbox, Easy Creatures have a consummate Delaware "run-off" sound – an amalgamation of the music from surrounding cities like D.C., Philly, New York and Baltimore – topped off with the angst that comes from living nowhere and everywhere all at once.
Venue Information:
The Boot & Saddle
1131 S. Broad Street
Philadelphia, PA, 19147