The Relationship (ft. Brian Bell) – Tickets – Beat Kitchen – Chicago, IL – February 19th, 2017

The Relationship (ft. Brian Bell)

Kickstand Productions Presents!

The Relationship (ft. Brian Bell)

Warbly Jets

Sun, February 19, 2017

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


Tickets at the Door

This event is 21 and over

The Relationship (ft. Brian Bell)
The Relationship (ft. Brian Bell)
It's 2015 and rock n’ roll is more alive than ever. That means it's time for the Relationship to step back into the spotlight with a new single, Oh Allen, scheduled for release on Burger Records, and an album’s worth of new songs ready for their live set.

Founded in 2006 by guitarist/singer Brian Bell and lead guitarist Nate Shaw, the Relationship has called on some friends to fill out a new rhythm section: bassist Jon LaRue, an L.A. native and songwriting partner with Strokes co-founder Albert Hammond Jr. just returned from New York City, and New Jersey transplant Anthony Burulcich, the drummer for Morrissey and the Bravery, who was just settling back down from a long stretch of touring.

This re-energized Relationship matches Bell’s preternatural pop precision with Shaw’s famously incandescent lead guitar work. The result is a vital re-evolution of a sound born from bands like the Kinks, Cheap Trick, the Clash and more. In other words, it’s a new take on absolutely classic rock ’n’ roll.

It’s no coincidence that one of Bell’s earliest memories is holding his parents’ hands on his way to see Elvis make his comeback in the ’70s. “‘Teddy Bear’ was my favorite song,” he says. “I was 4 years old—of course it would be!” Meanwhile, Shaw, the son of an artist, was probably the youngest kid in the early Orange County punk scene, learning about fundamental bands like the Dead Kennedys and Crime at age 9 and growing up to play guitar in the mythic Electric Cool Aide with Anton Newcombe, future founder of the Brian Jonestown Massacre.

When Shaw and Bell met, the connection was instant. Tennessee-bred Bell had just graduated from music school in Hollywood, wrangling a job in the campus cafeteria to ensure he had the means to stay and play music in L.A. Shaw had just started as a student at the same school, hoping to refine his raw, natural guitar talent with a dose of academic theory. They’d both grown up in their own D.I.Y. music scenes, and they both recognized something special in each other. Shaw was wearing a Chameleons UK shirt, Bell was wearing a Butthole Surfers shirt, and within 60 seconds of conversation, they’d practically started the band. “What time do you get off work?” Shaw asked. “We should jam.”

That was the genesis of the Relationship, says Shaw—a name they picked because … well, everything is a relationship, isn’t it? They found out fast that they had the best possible chemistry. “He’s the salt, I’m the pepper!” laughs Shaw. “He’s the McCartney and I’m the Lennon—that’s the idea!’”

Or, to put it another way, Bell’s got the scholarship and composition chops to pull off complex melodies and counterpoint harmonies, while Shaw is the homegrown guitar natural plugged right into the source of rock ’n’ roll. Together, they can push each other to places they’d never have discovered alone, and that gives the Relationship songs that are somehow smart but simple— or effortless but complex, or modern but classic—all at the same time.

The first incarnation of the Relationship was a Bell-Shaw songwriting partnership, with the idea of seeding songs to other musicians. The idea was to treat rock ’n’ roll like the art form it is—the highest art form ever, says Shaw—by applying passion and discipline in equal measure. But the plan changed when they started playing. “Once we got into it,” laughs Bell, “we were like, ‘I don’t wanna give this song to anyone! Let’s put a band together!’”

They wrote dozens of songs in between their other musical responsibilities, determined to keep the Relationship alive. By 2008, they’d mixed a self-titled debut album. But that’s when the bottom dropped out of the music industry—“A real fall-of-Babylon situation,” says Shaw, which sapped the momentum they’d built up when it was released on their own Golden State label in 2010.

Turns out they were just ahead of their time, however. Fast-forward four years into an unexpected rock n’ roll resurrection—courtesy in large part to Burger Records, the outta-nowhere Orange County label that first conquered the world with cassettes. Suddenly, a new generation was deeply in love with the exact kind of music that first inspired Bell and Shaw. Here was the welcome return of the from-the-heart D.I.Y. rock n’ roll music they’d always wanted to make. “This was exactly what I was talking about when I was 18,” says Shaw.

Their Burger single is just a glimpse of what the Relationship have ready, combining LaRue and Burulcich’s cosmopolitan New York City aesthetic with Bell and Shaw’s original rock-as-high-art concept, and then soaking it in Southern California sunshine. A-side “Oh Allen” is a storming Big Star-meets-the-Beat rocker with a heart-tugging piano break—a bittersweet ode to the path not taken—while B-side “Young Temptations” is a gloriously hooky autobiography supercharged with a stadium-ready chorus and wry literary lyrics. As Bell says, “I want things to excite me / I got to break this routine!”

They’ve got a full new album almost ready, says Bell, cut to analog tape (of course) at L.A.’s storied studio the Village, where everyone from Weezer to the Beach Boys to Neil Young found a home to craft their hits. The theme, says Bell, is youth—not just the energy and irrepressible drive that come from being young and playing rock ’n’ roll guitar, but the romance and melancholy and tragedy-turned-triumph that happen when a band decides to make the music their way, no matter what.

Getting the girl (or not getting the girl), writing the hook, singing something that really means something, and never giving up what you wanted that first day you decided to make a band—that’s the story of the Relationship now, explains Bell, in song and spirit both. And you’ll hear it on the first song on that Burger single. “We’re tipping our hat to those dreamers out there,” he says. “The ones that are still going for it.”
Warbly Jets
Warbly Jets
Ask Julien O'neill how Warbly Jets fits into LA's music scene and he'll have a simple answer for you: They don't. They exist out there in the ether—caught somewhere in between yesterday and today, where massive rock 'n' roll melodies brush up against skittish breakbeats, swoon-worthy strings, and laser-guided synth lines.

"A lot of LA bands are hung up on what used to be," explains the keyboardist, "and refuse to realize how forward-thinking music can be when you embrace modernity. We have no interest in writing something solely indebted to paisley and teardrop guitars."

"I love all the people here," adds singer/guitarist Samuel Shea. "That being said, I'm not a big fan of the '60s psych resurgence happening in LA right now. Our goal has always been to blend our influences from the past with today's technology instead of just recreating the jangly guitar music that was perfected by countless bands five decades ago. This hasn't necessarily given us the most obvious fast track, but we never gave a damn about being a scene band when we moved here anyway."

They couldn't afford to, really. With little to no money, circumstances led them to several months of couch-surfing, at one point when they finally secured a lockout production space in Venice, Samuel and Julien had no choice but to stay at a questionable motel nearby and begin to chip away. Another studio setback in San Diego left the two searching for housing back in LA while, perhaps more importantly, searching for the right space to record the band's first official cuts. The process was far from perfect.

"There were quite a few moments of slogging through shit" says O'neill, "but there were also some very lucky breaks in the end." Chief among them: the additions of Justin Goings on drums and Dan Gerbang on bass.

They've certainly needed the support at times; aside from the typical growing pains all bands experience, Shea was in a bad motorbike accident last year that left him with a fractured wrist and forearm. And while he felt "completely defeated" at first, "wondering if I would ever be able to play an instrument again," Shea was ultimately able to heal with the help of music, crafting vocal melodies and lyrics with Gerbang as the pair produced "Alive" – a tune that is appropriately now their debut single.

"It's been a great development to be able to share writing duties and produce as much as we possibly can with this group," says O'neill. Finding inspiration in downtown LA's Ultrasound Studios, the quartet dynamic and individual determination has seen the band hit it's stride recently with a slew of key performances in the Los Angeles area and growing label interest, all the while crafting a larger studio endeavor that isn't necessarily in the flow of their contemporaries.

Willing this project into existence, "Alive" is essentially a collective self-affirmation that aspiring to create in the face of all circumstances–internal or external–is the artist's most vital role. In hindsight, there was never really any question for Shea and company, but the journey so far has certainly yielded plenty of new answers.

Warbly Jets debut single is streaming now.
Venue Information:
Beat Kitchen
2100 West Belmont Avenue
Chicago, IL, 60618

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