Empress Hotel to Release Debut EP


Right now is a really exciting time for pop and rock music in New Orleans and Empress Hotel is a prime example. The group comprised of six young yet seasoned musicians is an offshoot from other bands that came before it, fellow forgers of an indie movement in the Jazz capital of the world.

Brothers Ryan and Eric Rogers on guitar and drums as well as Leo DeJesus on precussion/synth/vocals come from popular bands on the younger generation’s radar in New Orleans, like Antenna Inn and The City Life among others, and lead singer/guitarist Micah McKee founded local favorite Silent Cinema in 2002 which can be held responsible for other spinoff bands from its members, like Big History – a sexy new electronic emphasized band. The main point being, anything coming from this group of guys (and girls: Julie Williams plays keys and sings for Empress Hotel) which also includes Portland transplant Patrick Hodgkins on bass is going to be good.

“Bells Ring” is their recently released single to be included on the self-titled debut EP slated to drop in March on Park the Van Records. Whether it’s the shrill Cassio keys, the doo-woppy back up vocals or the lyrical imagery of not letting it (life?) pass by, the track instills a sense of nostalgia and envy all for an older era, childhood and even pastimes never experienced.  

The drawn out, robust lead vocals that harkens The Walkmen’s Hamilton Leithauser, the steady, momentous drums and the bells that ring through the chorus also give the song a triumphant slant.

And don’t overlook “Here Comes the New Challenger” which can be found on the band’s Myspace page. The song is utterly cool with a Who-esque synth intro, inebriating lyrics and McKee and Williams’ vocal harmonies that are beyond charming.    

Empress Hotel On Tour:
Dec 18 – Park the Van Holiday Soirée at HiHo Lounge – New Orleans, LA
Dec 31 – OpenHouse Music Presents: NYE, The Throwdown (Studio 3 Warehouse) – New Orleans, LA
Jan 21 – The BottleTree – Birmingham, AL
Jan 27 – Lola’s Saloon –  Fort Worth, TX
Jan 28 – Ghost Room – Austin, TX
Jan 29 – Artmosphere – Lafayette, LA
Feb 19 – Blue Nile (Krewe du Vieux) w/ Big History and Booty Trove – New Orleans, LA
Feb 22 – 5 Spot – Nashville, TN
Feb 23 – Tea Bazaar – Charlottesville, VA
Feb 25 – Rock Shop – Brooklyn, NY
Mar 2 – Iota Club and Cafe – Arlington, VA (DC Area)
Mar 5 – Alabama Music Box – Mobile, AL
Mar – SXSW 2011 – Austin, TX

The Spinto Band *The Mercury Lounge, NYC* 7-17-2009

It was truly a treat this weekend to attend the New York City show of the Spinto Band who was doing a 4 date mini tour, also know to their fans as ‘The Freakend’. Along for the ride were The Swims, And The Moneynotes, and Big Bang TV. A killer lineup.

I’ve been to a few Spinto shows in my day and the level of energy onstage is always incredible, but on Friday at the Mercury Lounge, the band brought it up to a whole new level. We’re talking astonishing. This had to be the best show I have attended in the past five years, or quite frankily, possibly ever. The room was packed with people ready to dance and it was at least 85 degrees in there. So warm the band was sweating before they got onto the stage.

The Spintos ripped through about 16 songs and somehow brought the energy up with every song. They even invited three fans onstage to dance to ‘Oh Mandy’ which was by far one of the coolest things I’ve seen. Nick Krill and Tom Hughes always deliver on the vocals and the combination of the two fit perfectly back and fourth on stage. The rest of the Spintos, Jon Eaton, Joey Hobson, Jeff Hobson and Sam Hughes hold it all down, never missing a note. From the sounds of ‘Later On’  to ‘Direct to Helmet’ this was surely a night to remember. Hopefully there will be another Freakend in the near future.

The Setlist:
Cat’s Pajamas (listed as ‘Cat’s Shams’)
Brown Boxes
Summer Grof
Vivian, Don’t
Mountains
They All Laughed
Later On
Brazil
Direct to Helmet
The Black Flag (listed as ‘Blag Flak’)
Japan is an Island
Oh Mandy
Pumpkins and Paisley
Late
Encore Included:
Needlepoint and don’t quote me on this, but I believe Crack the Whip. They were not written on the setlist as the band discussed the encore songs on the side of the stage.

TONS OF MORE PHOTOS AFTER THE JUMP

WATCH LIVE VIDEOS FROM THE MERCURY SHOW

‘OH MANDY’

‘LATER ON’

‘BRAZIL’ (CLIP)