SATELLITE NIGHTS with DWNTWN, Deluka, Scouts, Yell For Help, $2 drink specials from 7-9pm


SATELLITE NIGHTS with DWNTWN, Deluka, Scouts, Yell For Help, $2 drink specials from 7-9pm

Mon, January 6, 2014

Doors: 12:30 pm / Show: 9:00 pm (event ends at 2:00 am)

The Satellite

Los Angeles, CA


This event is 21 and over

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The world of pop music is littered with stories of awkward beginnings, but in the case of Los Angeles synth pop outfit DWNTWN, the meeting of founding members Jamie Leffler and Robert Cepeda takes uncomfortable beginnings to a whole new level. “I was dating Robert’s brother,” explains Leffler. “And then when he and I broke up I pretty much immediately started a band with Robert.” The band, which initially started as a heartbroken lark back in 2010, eventually became a full-time pursuit. Over the course of four years Leffler and Cepeda went from recording twee folk experiments into their iPhones to making resplendent indie-pop that sounds as warm and intoxicating as the city they both call home. They first made waves after appearing on two different Kitsune compilations—“See My Eyes” appeared on Kistune America and “Move Me” (a collab with Giraffage and Jhameel) on Kitsune America 2. Both tracks subsequently charted at #2 on Hype Machine. Eventually expanding from a duo to playing live as a four-piece—releasing a handful of singles and two excellent EPs (Cowboys and The Red Room) in the process—the band have grown from shy bedroom recordists and reluctant performers into a formidable pop outfit (logging time on the road with the likes of Capital Cities and Gold Fields). On the band’s new EP, the self-titled DWNTWN, their music comes into even sharper focus—heartfelt daydreams distilled into pitch-perfect 3-minute confections. The kind of music made for late-night makeouts, winsome self-reflection, or better yet—endless sun-filled drives with the top down.
“The way we write music has developed a lot over the years,” say Leffler. “We always begin with a melody and an acoustic guitar, so the songs—at their core—are very inspired by folk music that we love, stuff like The Carter Family and Johnny Cash. What changes them into something else is the way Robert builds on them, layering instruments and electronics. Our process is trial and error, but mostly it’s try everything. This new EP is kind of evidence of that. On earlier releases essentially everything was electronic, but this time we’ve brought in all these live instruments—more guitars and drums and piano.”

“We never wanted to be a boy/girl duo, we always wanted to be a band which over time has changed the way we sound,” says Cepeda. “Thinking about the way we can play this music live actually affected the way we write.”
The four songs on the DWNTWN EP—the follow up to 2012’s self-released The Red Room—represent a quantum leap forward for the band and present a lovely soft-focus statement of intent. The EP’s first single, “Til Tomorrow” (whose recently-premiered video features the band playing songs, taking shots, and building literal houses of cards in what a appears to be an empty LA bar) is the sort of jangly, pop gem that wouldn’t sound out of place on an old Phoenix or St. Etienne record. Breezy but far from slight, the tracks on DWNTWN manage to weave music a much broader sonic palette. “Missing You,”—a song that addresses the passing of Leffler’s grandfather--is one of the only songs in recent memory to make the marriage of synths, handclaps, and a banjo sound like the most natural thing in the world.  Elsewhere, tracks like “Skins” and “Blankets” employ the kind of seamless production and breathless vocals (not to mention heavenly synth-scapes that could have drifted off of a long-long Tangerine Dream single) that make DWNTWN a truly sanguine listening experience—feather light electro-pop melodies with just the right amount of emotional kick.

While the tracks on DWNTWN represent a musical leap forward for the band, they also boast a sizable emotional leap as well. No longer content to focus primarily on romantic dramas and “boy and girl problems” in her songs, Leffler’s lyrics on the new EP risk a kind of personal and emotional intimacy never before heard in the band’s music. Nowhere is this more evident than on “Heroine”—a song about the passing of Leffler’s father Howie Epstein, the legendary former bass player of Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers. The track is a kind of emotional reimagining of Leffler’s relationship with her father in which she asks/sings: My father was a man of the road / He drove a lot of nights / And he died alone. The song, which seeks to reconcile what actually happened to her father with what possibly could have been, is among the most wrenching things the band has ever recorded. “My father passed away from a heroin overdose when I was a child,” says Leffler. “I was only a kid when it happened, but at the time I think maybe I was the only person who might have been able to change things, the only person who might have been able to convince him to change. I was just a kid though and I didn’t have the words at that time. This song is kind of my way of addressing that. I want to be able to talk about this part of my life in an honest way, which is something I’ve never really done before.”
Given the expanded scope of DWNTWN—and given the fact that the band recently signed with Jullian Records, a new independent label distributed by Sony RED—it’s easy to imagine that the remainder of 2014 will be a very busy one for DWNTWN. Though Leffler and Cepeda are excited to take their show on the road, Leffler admits that the band is still happiest at home in LA simply working on music. “The more we can be on the road, the better,” says Leffler, “But we are homebodies by nature. Friends are like; You guys should go out more! and I’m always like, We probably should, but we’re inevitably just gonna stay home and work on music. A typical Saturday night out in LA might sound exciting, but more than likely we’re just in our house working on songs and drinking some whiskey.”
Turning Landscapes into Soundscapes - Stranger Than Fiction.

"We kept driving through these amazing, panoramic landscapes that were beyond anything we'd ever seen," says Innocenti, of their first US tour. "That can't help but have an effect on you, especially when you're experiencing it first hand, for the first time."
'Stranger Than Fiction' is Deluka's upcoming release following their agitated electro-rock album 'You Are The Night'. A heaving mass of foreboding beats, brooding basslines and sultry vocals; their latest release sounds as heavy as the skies it was written under.
To bring space and span to the sound they've created, they enlisted the help of noted producer Dan the Automator (Gorillaz, Kasabian, Dr. Octagon), and set about refining the songs that will comprise their sonically-addictive second US album. "Dan brings a whole other level to the tracks," says Kovacs of their recent session in San Francisco. "If I listen to the tracks that I've done of ours, then listen to his, I definitely hear a similarity, but just a whole different scope."
In the time the band has spent traversing oceans and continents, simultaneously refining their unique compound of searing guitar lines and expansive beats, nothing had impacted them quite like the American West. Roused by the expanses they encountered, Deluka set about making an album as epic as the rock formations of Utah, and the sky over Colorado. Nowhere is that more evident than on "Stranger Than Fiction." Innocenti's vocals approach like a storm, giving way to jagged, driving guitars, keeping pace as she spins a tale of the space between people. "That was the one song I knew I wanted to make," Kovacs says, "As big as a desert sky, deliberately and unapologetically over-the-top", "like turning landscapes into soundscapes" agreed Innocenti. "Born From a Broken Heart" is as much a mission statement as a song, with Innocenti's vocals at once barbed and vulnerable. With an infectious melody threaded through guitar lines taut as tendons, Innocenti reimagines the notion of a broken heart, seeing it not as terminal, but as regenerative.
But before this latest effort or the many before it, their story reaches years into the past, when a 15-year-old Ellie Innocenti played a show at the Jug of Ale, and Kris Kovacs sought her out after it. "I saw this small girl onstage, and then this huge voice came out of her," Kovacs recalls of his initial impression. Up until that point, Kovacs had immersed himself in the world of bedroom recording, from layering sounds into a boombox that he'd been given at Christmas as a child, to computer-based recording, a harbinger of the massive sonic textures he would weave throughout Deluka's records. It was one of these sound collages that he passed to Innocenti, a ten-minute loop of Kovacs' creation that he asked her to write something to. She came back two days later with the first Deluka song – only neither of them knew it at the time. "We were just kids hanging out," says Innocenti, though she recalls feeling on the edge of something else. "A lot was unsaid," she says of that first interaction. "A look in the eye, and I think we both knew what we wanted to achieve – we were quietly scheming a scheme."
None of the members could predict the role the Jug of Ale would play in the band's origin, as sooner or later, they would all meet there. "That venue got us educated. It was a place to discover, to develop our own sound," says Innocenti. Of the most important discoveries made at the Jug of Ale was: one another – each member has seen the others in various outfits, essentially conducting years-long vetting process to arrive at Deluka's present line-up.
Just as the physical space of the Jug of Ale played a role in the band's formation, a certain placefulness would become central to the creation of Born From a Broken Heart. For a year, the band lived out of their van touring their first album You Are The Night. That album, created after the band relocated to New York on the twin successes of their song "Sleep Is Impossible" being featured in Grand Theft Auto and their subsequent record deal, was mired in electronic compression – the likely effect of attempting to navigate through the concrete canyons of the city.
Listening back, Innocenti and Kovacs can't help but hear a different band. "We hadn't found our sound," says Kovacs of their previous album. "We've learned a lot since then." Their latest album is the sum of hours and miles spent on stages and roads, refined by years of effort and innate talent. Stranger Than Fiction is a sonic almanac, the aural map of a band who went deep into the west and came back themselves.
SCOUTS began when Morgan and Jerrod started writing songs in their bedrooms as a fun creative outlet in 2011. The two met in 2010 when Jerrod was called upon to produce Morgan's band's EP and they quickly found that they were a musical match made in post-punk purgatory. Now two years later after countless late night jam sessions between video games and junk food binging, what they've turned out is speaker blasting, sugary sweet songs with heavy beats and soaring hooks.
Jerrod is no stranger to the music universe. He has multiple multi-platinum singles (Adele, Gavin Degraw, The Lonely Island, Serena Ryder) as well as Grammy, Juno and Emmy nominations. He also is one of the original members and co-founders of the worldly successful band OneRepublic. With his experience providing the power and Morgan's vocals steering, the Scouts wheels are in full motion. Enter Brennan Strawn and Frank Alva (Monarch, Tapioca and the Flea), completing the four piece that is Scouts. These boys seem eager to make their mark quickly through the ear drums of every bored kid, dude and mom out there in cyberspace.
Yell for Help
Yell for Help
Free download of the EP here:
Venue Information:
The Satellite
1717 Silverlake Blvd
Los Angeles, CA, 90027