The Bowery Presents
Black Lips

Black Lips

Davila 666, Xray Eyeballs, DJ Jonathan Toubin

Sat, October 29, 2011

Doors: 6:00 pm / Show: 7:00 pm

Webster Hall

New York, NY

$20.00

This event is 18 and over

Black Lips
Black Lips
The story of the Black Lips began in Dunwoody, Georgia, a quiet, conservative suburb of Atlanta, in the year 1999. Born of a mutual love of Link Wray, The Stooges, and The Ramones, and sealed through a shared dedication to defiance, the band formed after childhood friends Jared Swilley and Cole Alexander were kicked out of Dunwoody High for separate, yet equally bad, behavior. The former classmates took their love of music and restless energy and channeled it into their newly found free time, and joined by friends Ben Eberbaugh and Joe Bradley, the Black Lips started playing shows around Atlanta, at house parties and bars. They spent this time honing their sound -- garage rock infused with blues, psychedelia, and punk, plus a healthy dose of reckless abandon -- and released their first 7-inch, "Ain't Coming Back," in 2002 on Die Slaughterhouse records (named in homage to the flophouse den they called home). Shortly before the band was set to head out on their first ever national tour, Eberbaugh was tragically killed by a drunk driver. Devastated but determined to carry on in Eberbaugh's honor, the Black Lips hit the road as a trio just a few days later.

It's been 15 years, but that passionate dedication to touring has never left the band. The Black Lips have released eight full-length albums since that first tour, and have traveled the country and the world extensively, making a name for themselves as an electrifying, must-see live act. It helps that the same mischievous spirit that helped speed up their exit from the educational system is still very much alive, thriving in its new environment on stage, resplendent with punk rock theatrics and miscellaneous bodily fluids, amongst other things. The band's energy and unique "flower punk" sound helped them build a rabid fan base, and after releasing their first two albums through Bomp!, they put out the critically celebrated Let It Bloom on In The Red records. This record garnered the Black Lips features in Spin and Rolling Stone, and they were soon signed to Vice Records, subsequently releasing Los Valientos Del Mundo Nuevo, an ambitious album recorded live at a bar in Tijuana, Mexico, in February of 2007.

In their decade-long tenure with Vice, the Black Lips have evolved from wildly crooning over fuzzy, raucous music at house shows full of kids to wildly crooning over fuzzy, raucous music at international festivals in front of thousands of fans. They have toured consistently, with their zeal for travel taking them all over the world, and not without some international adventure: In 2009 the Black Lips went on their first (and last) tour of India, playing shows in Bangalore and Mumbai before chaos struck in Chennai after the band ditched their toned-down presence in favor of classic Black Lips capers, including some not so well received Lips-locking. After the same sex smooching and also Alexander baring his butt to the rowdy crowd, the tour's sponsors pulled out and the band was nearly jailed, their passports confiscated by the disgruntled promoters. According to Swilley: "The first few shows, we were being really reserved because we didn't want to offend anyone, but they kept telling us to do what we wanted...I guess "do whatever you want" didn't include kissing each other, and I think Cole mooned the crowd, which is a huge no-no. We had to physically wrestle our passports back from the promoters. It was the scariest 15 hours of my life, but we got out of there." The band ended up taking a 200 mile cab ride to the next province and hopped a flight to Berlin, narrowly escaping Indian prison.

Undeterred, the band jumped at the chance to become the first Western punk band to tour another notoriously conservative continent, the Middle East, just a few years later. Why? "It was important for a number of reasons," Swilley says of the tour. "We've always wanted to push boundaries of where we go. Plus, a lot of people told us we couldn't do it, and anytime someone tells us we can't do something, then we kind of have to. We have O.D.D, oppositional defiance disorder." This time, their shows went off without a hitch, and Black Lips played shows for crowds in Jordan, Cyprus, Egypt, Lebanon, Iraqi Kurdistan, and the United Arab Emirates in 2011 in support of that year's release of their record Arabia Mountain, produced by Mark Ronson. The title was actually a reference to a mountain in Georgia, but that didn't stop the Lips from playing the record all over the Middle East, to enthused fans and without causing any further international incidents. "Everyone was really nervous about us going there, but it really went off without a hitch," adds Swilley. The band also hasn't abandoned plans to become the first rock band to play on all seven continents, hoping to hit their last remaining one, Antarctica in the near future, and disregarding Metallica's claim of this achievement: "Just when we were securing the funding, Metallica sniped us. They took a boat, probably a gold plated Versace boat, down there. But they actually didn't play on land, and they didn't play with amps, so technically they haven't played Antarctica. Metallica hasn't beat us yet."

For their ninth studio album, the Black Lips have teamed up with Sean Lennon, who got on board to produce Satan's graffiti or god's art? in 2016. The Black Lips had formerly worked with Lennon on Arabia Mountain, where Lennon played theramin on several tracks. The band moved up to Lennon's studio compound on a remote farm in upstate New York, and spent several months living and breathing the new record. This removal from the outside world, plus the return of beloved early guitarist Jack Hines and the exciting addition of new members Oakley Munson on drums and Zumi Rosow (the first female Black Lip) on saxophone, infused the project with a focused, intoxicating liveliness, similar to the spirit that had brought the Black Lips to life in the first place, way back in 1999. Only this time, the band is drawing from nearly two decades of experience and musicianship, and the newness is tethered by familiarity: Munson is a longtime friend of the band, and Rosow has been playing live with the Black Lips for several years now. There's even a dash of kismet: unbeknownst to the band, after being off the grid for some time, Munson had just recently moved to a cabin a short distance away from Lennon's compound, and the first time his phone ever rang after he plugged into the wall, Alexander was on the other end, asking him to play.

All of this excitement and immersion created the perfect storm for the Black Lips' most musically evolved album to date. "It was a really beautiful experience. We were very far from civilization, and we were all living at the studio. We weren't going home to our own beds every night; that was our whole world, 100% of the time," says Swilley of the experience. "Making this record was the most wonderful few months of my life. It was by far my favorite time recording an album so far...It was just magic." The Black Lips were joined by Saul Adamczewski of Fat White Family, who helped co-produce the record with Lennon, plus another rather magical guest: Yoko Ono. "She's very cosmic," Swilley says of the celebrated artist and musician, who makes an appearance on a few of the tracks. The final product is urgent and thoughtful, reflecting the growth the Black Lips have experienced since bursting onto the scene (once or twice quite literally on fire), but it's also true to their original blistering, careening take on rock n' roll: fuzzy, dirty, and rife with three and four part harmonies. Satan's graffiti or god's art? proves that while they may have grown up a bit and changed a few things around, the Black Lips are still as creatively unhinged and exhilarating as ever.

Satan's graffiti or god's art? is out May 5th, 2017 on Vice Records.
Davila 666
Davila 666
Describing themselves as like "Menudo on drugs," San Juan, Puerto Rico's Davila 666 combine Stooges-like garage rock fire with the occasional sugary pop melody. The seven -- not six, surprisingly -- Davilas include singer/tambourine player Sir Charles, multi-instrumentalist AJ, guitarists/vocalists Miss Davila and Johnny Otis, drummer/guitarist/vocalist San Pablo, percussionist/vocalist Panda, and guitarist/drummer/vocalist Gigi. Their theatrical live show -- which includes themes, props, costumes, and dancers -- won them fans in the States when they toured with the Black Lips and the King Khan & BBQ Show. Davila 666's self-titled U.S. debut was released in summer 2008 via In the Red Records. ~ Heather Phares, All Music Guide
Xray Eyeballs
Xray Eyeballs
Xray Eyeballs began as the brainchild of guitarist O.J. San Felipe and bassist Carly Rabalais, who, after founding Brooklyn garage-rock juggernaut Golden Triangle (Hardly Art), sought a release that would sate both their sweet-toothed desires and their darker impulses, like a candy-coated Vicodin. Like their musical antecedents The Jesus and Mary Chain and The Velvet Underground, Xray Eyeballs creates a world of their own. Low-lifes, night-walkers, pill-riders, and other sordid characters stalk the band’s New York City streets and their songs compel you to follow them until you find the peace of a night redeemed in the morning light.
On “Splendor Squalor,” Xray Eyeballs’ second full-length on Kanine Records, refracted rays of that redemptive light shine through the band's eerie musical haze. The band evolves to more sophisticated songwriting and adventurous arrangement, while retaining the spark and energy of their raw early material, a progression that recalls Wire's "154" and The Cure's "Pornography." The addition of Sarah Baldwin (The Girls at Dawn, Fergus & Geronimo) on drums and Liz Lohse (Heaven, Runaway Suns) on guitar and synths expands the band's sonic possibilities with lush vocal harmonies, unique musical counterpoints and inspired songwriting contributions. Xray Eyeballs' new lineup deftly maneuvers from unctuous drones to punk rave-ups and new-wave bangers with a confidence and melodic sensibility that illuminates the splendor in the squalor.
The needle drops on “Four” and you find yourself enthused with the will to cross the dance floor and talk to that crush your friends warned you about. “I’m feeling alright,” San Felipe sings. You believe him and feel alright, too. The bass throbs with Factory-style control as “X” sends you oscillating wildly in a lovers’ power struggle: "I control you/ You control me." It’s 6 AM and you’re sitting on a couch between two guys who either wish they were Lou Reed and Alan Vega or actually are Lou Reed and Alan Vega. You shouldn’t have taken that last anything of anything. “Syrup,” featuring Christiana Key (Cult of Youth, Zola Jesus) on violin, wafts into the room and suddenly that time between last call and pancakes make sense.
Xray Eyeballs fully realizes their vision of "Splendor Squalor" live: skater kids donning the band’s signature “Ghost Girl” t-shirt bounce off the walls; the oldest punks in the world reluctantly acknowledge the validity of something new; hands typically stuffed in the pockets of skin-tight jeans wave in the air like they just don’t care; record nerds dance as if nobody’s blogging; goths smile. The band's undeniable energy brings the shadows in the darkness to life. These creatures bear witness to San Felipe’s blatant disregard for his physical well-being as the enraptured frontman, refusing to acknowledge the limitations of both stage and gravity, bounds recklessly around the crowd and dangles perilously from the ceiling, a provocation for the audience to match the band’s enthusiasm. Driven to seduce as many as possible into their world, Xray Eyeballs have toured across the country numerous times on their own, consistently delivering the show everyone will be talking about the next day.
DJ Jonathan Toubin
DJ Jonathan Toubin
On a random Saturday in a random club in a random city, you will find Jonathan Toubin behind two turntables, effortlessly transitioning between roughly a hundred records that no one in the room has previously heard, but everyone loves. The room is a cavern of sweaty, undulating limbs, dancing vigorously to hours of Toubin’s raw and exquisite 1960s soul and R&B 45s. We could be in Brooklyn. Or Los Angeles. Or London. Or Gambier, Ohio. Or Sao Paulo, Brazil.

Drawn to analog sound, raw blues-based post-war rock and soul, uncommon flaming tracks, and the physical craftsmanship of spinning records, Toubin and his parties stand in direct opposition to the slick pop mp3s that dominate contemporary nightlife. Nonetheless, this underdog DJ and his uniquely fun alternative to the usual regularly appear at major festivals, major rock concerts, upscale hotels, at ivy league colleges, and other surprising places worldwide.

Despite these increasingly prestigious gigs, Jonathan Toubin remains best known as the DJ, producer, and mastermind of the legendary underground New York Night Train parties that shattered the face of nightlife in Brooklyn in the 2000s and inspired new night culture everywhere. In only eight years, Toubin has spent over 1,800 nights throwing and/or spinning parties around the globe: early rock and roll hops, Exploding Plastic Inevitable-inspired Happenings, instructional multimedia dance craze get-downs, 1960s foreign language discotheques, juke joint blues dances, punk and rock bar nights, seedy illegal after hours, all-ages warehouse jams, and elaborate haunted houses. Though the parties typically feature only Toubin and sometimes his guest DJs, they also often include visuals, décor, performance art, go go dancers, live performances by acts like Mac DeMarco, Thee Oh Sees, and Charles Bradley, and… in the case of the world’s most popular soul party, the New York Night Train Soul Clap and Dance-Off,… dance contests!

Jonathan Toubin conceived New York Night Train as a web site and record label focused on the work of his friend and hero Kid Congo Powers (Cramps, Gun Club, Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds, etc). The first NYNT parties were record release and SXSW parties for the label’s acts. He threw his first two dance parties for Ian Svenonius (Make-Up) and Calvin Johnson (Beat Happening) at their request. These events resulted in a DJ invitation from a bartender friend at the Lower East Side’s Motor City Bar. While he meant only one Wednesday, Toubin thought they asked him to do a weekly party! The packed-out nights did so well that the legendary rock bar kept him onboard permanently – for over 250 nights until its closure. Within a few months Toubin had more gig requests than he could play, began spinning dance parties, and quit his day jobs. 2007 saw the introduction of larger more elaborate shindigs like the monthly Soul Clap and Dance-Off and Happenings at Glasslands Gallery. By 2008 New York Night Train was a nightly party – boasting an unprecedented six weekly DJ residencies at six venues, presenting at least a couple of rock shows a week, and hitting the road for the first time. In 2009 Panache Booking began taking the Claps and Happenings into an international arena where no 45 DJ party has gone before.

On December 8, 2011, near the conclusion of the Jonathan Toubin’s most prolific year to date, the DJ’s life nearly ended when a runaway cab crashed through his Portland, Oregon hotel room and crushed him in bed. Thanks to good luck, good doctors, hard work, and benefits across the United States with Yeah Yeah Yeahs, Margaret Cho, Ty Segall, and dozens of others, by mid-2012 Toubin tip-toed back into life and to work. He has since managed to not only reclaim his DJ skills and rebuild his nightlife empire – but also to surpass his past work on nearly every level. The last couple of years have found the Toubin and the Clap in venues around the US, Europe, South America, and Australia and at dozens of major festivals everywhere – including SXSW (where it is the only dance party with its own official night – annually!), Bonnaroo, Pitchfork, Fun Fun Fun, and even Lincoln Center’s Midsummer Night Swing even devoted an entire evening to Toubin and his Clap!

The dawn of 2015 finds Jonathan Toubin at his capacity weekly downtown institution Shakin’ All Over Under Sideways Down at Home Sweet Home, the Soul Clap and Dance-Off monthly at Brooklyn Bowl, and regularly touring worldwide. Burger Records released two of his mixes and Norton Records is currently releasing his first two vinyl comps – Souvenirs of the Soul Clap Vol 1 and 2. All aboard the night train!

“Jonathan is pretty much the only DJ we actually like.” —VICE Magazine, 2014

“Jonathan Toubin is New York rock and soul DJ who plays his collection of original 45rpm records to packed dance floors all over the world.” —Outlook, BBC World Service, 2014

“The long-running Soul Clap remains one of the sweatiest dance parties to be experienced in New York City. Fueled by his rare and raucous 45s collection, DJ Jonathan Toubin draws on raw soul and the most feral strains of rock ‘n’ roll from the early 1960s to power the nights.” —Wall Street Journal, 2014

“The world’s PREMIER soul DJ – on 45, no less – no party is complete without a little Toubin.” —MTV.com’s Bonarroo Festival preview, 2014

“Particularly chic… one of the most popular spinners in Williamsburg and the founder of the New York Night Train dance parties. His fare is already cleaner and more appreciative of American pop music history than much of the rest…” —NY Times, 2013

“The most-liked man in the soul music scene” —Rolling Stone, 2012
Venue Information:
Webster Hall
125 East 11th Street
New York, NY, 10003
http://www.websterhall.com/