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ROB STOKES
with Bottled Up, North by North and Tosser

Songbyrd Presents
Downstairs, All Ages


DOORS: 7:00 PM // SHOW: 8:00 PM

$10 / $12
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Songbyrd Presents

Friday January 4, 2018

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Ask Rob Stokes how he learned to write such topsy-turvy, achy-breaky love songs, and he’ll explain how he got his start in an acid-jazz troupe that once landed a gig playing fusion inside a Pittsburgh grocery store. After that, things got weird. Stokes moved to the District for college and into a Foggy Bottom group house, where he could host psychedelic jam sessions (he’d play the drums) and throw DIY rap shows (he’d befriend the rappers and, before long, was producing their tracks).

All of these musical adventures quietly saturate “Live at the Heartbreak Hotel,” an album of fluid, polyglot pop spiked with splashes of “Tropicalia, bossa [nova], blues, punk and no-wave,” the 25-year-old says. But, Stokes says, he never set out to make genre-punch. He’s more interested in mood, and he cultivates it by inviting his collaborators to score the little vignettes that pop into his head.

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Bottled Up is a DC rock and roll quartet founded in Oakland, CA. Rooted in new-wave, 70's rock, and punk ethos. Sad songs w/ joyous performances.

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Rock 'n' roll road-warriors North by North wear their Midwestern charm on their sleeve. All artwork is beautifully designed by the band to compliment their heavily textured blend of '70s psychedelia and lo-fi pop-infused garage rock. Much of the work helps guide listeners through the narratives and secrets that are buried in the music.

Their latest release, Last Days of Magic, is a Stephen King-inspired, femme-fatale-filled concept album that investigates the space where science-fiction and mysticism meet modern society.

And while Chicago will always be home, North by North has set out on the life-adventure of The Never-Ending Tour--performing over 300 shows since early 2017, and showing no signs of stopping. Along the way, North by North has had the fantastic opportunity to share the stage with bands including Tegan & Sara, Sheer Mag, The Pack A.D., iamdynamite, and more.

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Tosser released their self-titled debut EP back in November 2017 and they released a follow-up EP this summer called Lures. Led by vocalist Eric Zidar, the band’s new idiosyncratic effort shifts from melodic lo-fi rock to noisy shoegaze pop across its six tracks. The songs yearn with urgency, frankness and angst and the distortion nicely mimics the narrator’s often muddy predicament.