Tuesday, January, 29 2019
Zero Mile Presents:
ABOUT• All Ages Welcome
• Vinyl is a general admission, standing room venue
• Tickets available online via Ticketalternative.com or without ticket fees in person at the Center Stage Box Office, M-F, 11-6. Online sales end at 6pm on day of show
VIP Package Details:
• attend a private, 2-4 song performance, followed by a brief Q&A
• take a photo with the band via the band's Step & Repeat
• early access to the venue & to browse MAGIC GIANT's upcycled merch
Coming off of a blazing set at Coachella, with Billboard singling them out as one of "10 Awesome Bands" playing this year's massive fest, and LA Weekly calling them "Cool as Folk," LA-based MAGIC GIANT has been thrilling growing crowds at every stop along its 70-city North American and European tour, celebrating the release of its debut album In The Wind (Concord Records) and its acoustic album counterpart.
With appearances on the Today Show and in Rolling Stone as one of "10 Artists You Need to Know," the group has toured with acts ranging from The Revivalists to Mike Posner; played shows with bands such as The Lumineers, Mumford & Sons, X Ambassadors, Vance Joy, and Foster the People; performed to thousands at festivals ranging from Firefly in Delaware to Electric Forest in Michigan; and was recently tapped as one of the bands to join headliner Bruno Mars at Bottlerock in Napa this spring.
DuJour has proclaimed Magic Giant "the most festive band in the festival circuit, quickly becoming a must-see." Its style has been described by NPR as "upbeat, passionate indie-folk" and by Billboard as inspiring "mass dance-alongs." Its initial single "Set on Fire" broke the top 25 on the US Alternative chart and top 5 on Spotify's US Viral chart; its current single "Window" leaped into the Top 40 on Billboard's Hot AC and Adult Pop charts; and the new acoustic album debuted in the iTunes Alternative top 25.
The trio, comprised of Austin (lead vocals), Zambricki (viola, banjo, harmonica), and Zang (acoustic guitar, cello) weaves together a musical quilt of alternative, pop, and folk on its LP, uniquely recorded from their solar-powered mobile recording studio while traveling throughout the US.
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Inside a Redwood tree off the coast of California; within a tunnel by Snoqualmie Pass; on an airstrip in Marble, Colorado; in a wild daisy field near Crested Butte -- these are just a few of the places Los Angeles trio, Magic Giant, recorded its debut album, aptly titled, In the Wind (Washington Square/Razor & Tie). Austin Bisnow (lead vocals), Zambricki Li (banjo, violin, harmonica), and Zang (acoustic guitar, cello) welcomed nature into the fold as their unofficial fourth member.
"It was fate," recalls Zambricki. "We were scheduled to play all these festivals -- Electric Forest, Wanderlust, Lightning in a Bottle -- that just so happened to be in really beautiful parts of the country." During Spring 2016, the boys bought a shuttle bus, converted it into a solar-powered mobile recording studio, added a California King on hydraulics, and fondly named her Queen Elizabeth. "There were spaces of time between shows where we could get creative," explains Zang. "Using the bus to power microphones, we recorded outside -- literally In The Wind -- across North America."
"Living in the city, it's easy to forget how enchanting the road can be," Zang adds. "We recorded anywhere and everywhere. There were no ceilings or limits to what we could capture."
Just before Magic Giant hit the road, their single "Set on Fire" began heating up. Independently released, it went from their studio to #4 on Spotify's US Viral 50, landing the three-piece a deal with Washington Square. Climbing into the top 25 on Billboard's US Alternative chart, Rolling Stone named Magic Giant one of 10 artists to watch and called "Set on Fire" the "perfect music festival fare."
After performing the song on the Today Show as Elvis Duran's Artist of the Month, Kathie Lee Gifford exclaimed, "What a unique sound -- oh my gosh!" It became a favorite on Los Angeles radio, with the single hitting #1 on KROQ's Locals Only, and the band becoming ALT 98.7's Artist in Residence. Billboard claimed, "With a joyful live show the band is inspiring mass dance-alongs," while NPR wrote, "Magic Giant captures the energy and spirit of the past few waves of upbeat, passionate indie-folk."
Magic Giant represents the union of three distinct, dynamic, and diverse artistic voices. Since his childhood in Washington, D.C., Austin obsessively pursued his love of songwriting. He studied classical composition and then went on to write songs with artists ranging from John Legend to David Guetta. New Jersey native Zambricki got hit by a car in junior high, fell into a coma, and once he woke, miraculously learned violin in 4 days through a rare brain trauma reorganization now known as Acquired Savant Syndrome: "If I could go back, I'd throw myself in front of the car," Zambricki chuckles. Later on he began writing and one of his first songs was featured in the Sundance-awarded film Paper Heart. Born and raised in Los Angeles to Persian immigrants, Zang learned upright bass in grade school before picking up guitar and studying dance. He caught the attention of Austin and Zambricki when they came across online videos of him salsa dancing and were instantly hooked.
The three are an unlikely match, but their magnetic chemistry can get any crowd moving, from a sold out show at the legendary Troubadour to a sunset music or yoga festival audience. The group has recently toured with bands such as The Revivalists, Atlas Genius, Beats Antique and Mike Posner.
In The Wind threads together a musical cartography of alternative, pop, and folk. The instrumentation includes (get ready...) orchestral drums, banjo, trumpet, saxophone, harmonica, synthesizers, electric bass, cello, viola, violin, dobro, lap steel, mandolin, and more as the musical and lyrical palettes prove equally vibrant.
"We use whatever instruments are best for the song," says Austin. "Lyrically, when we get together to write," adds Zang, "it's different from what we would have imagined individually. That's the beauty of co-writing -- we become one unique voice we may never have found on our own."
The road eventually took the band to Atlanta, where they met up with producer Ben Allen to help glue the body of work together. Returning home to their converted 1940's bomb-shelter studio, The Bunker, Magic Giant put the finishing touches on their debut record. Austin leaves us with, "When people hear our music or experience a show, we want to bring out the most uninhibited version of themselves.
“When I wrote ‘Fire Alarm,’ I decided then and there to quit my day job and focus solely on music,” says Castlecomer frontman Bede Kennedy. “That song marked this cathartic moment where I really put a stake in the ground and committed to going all in. For the next twelve months, I did nothing but write for nine hours a day, every single day.”
Kennedy clearly sensed he was on to something special with “Fire Alarm,” but little did he know he’d just written the tune that would lead the Sydney rockers halfway around the world and propel them from local favorites to international breakout stars. With its driving beat and earworm of a melody, “Fire Alarm” was a runaway hit on Spotify, where it reached #6 on the Global Viral chart and racked up more than five million streams. The band garnered airplay everywhere from Australia’s legendary alternative music station, Triple J to LA’s KROQ to SiriusXM’s ALT Nation and drew comparisons to The Strokes and Daft Punk, with Rolling Stone Australia praising their “amalgamation of emotion and unashamed catchiness.” The band played more than 500 shows and festival dates Down Under, building up a devoted fanbase and honing their set into a concentrated blast of pure energy and ecstasy. By the time they got to SXSW in 2017, Castlecomer was ready to take America by storm.
“We didn’t know anybody in the industry,” says Bede, “but we felt confident that if we had the opportunity to get onstage in front of a lot of people, that would be enough. We played eight shows in three days and just tore it up. From those gigs, we got management, a record deal, publishing, and a booking agent. We’re like the poster boys for what you can still achieve at South by Southwest.”
Castlecomer has never been lacking when it comes to drive and ambition, and their tenacious belief in the potential of their band goes all the way back to its earliest days. Consisting of four cousins and a close childhood friend, the group began playing live during their teenage years and took their band name from a plaque mounted outside their grandfather’s house, one they later found out referenced the Irish village his family had emigrated from. Much like the band’s music, their name possesses deep personal meaning while still retaining an air of evocative mystery, hinting at places they’ve never been but still somehow course through their veins.
Australia’s in their blood, too, and Sydney will always be home, but after signing with Concord Records, the band took a leap of faith in early 2018 and moved to Nashville.
“We wanted to live in a 24/7 music community,” says Kennedy. “As soon we arrived, we discovered that there was live music happening from 1pm onwards in every bloody corner of the place. It was exactly what we needed.”
Despite their newfound love for Music City, Castlecomer won’t be spending too much time there this year considering the already-extensive headline and festival dates lined up behind their
track, “Move.” Recorded with producer Adrian Breakspear (Gang of Youths) and mastered by GRAMMY-winner Joe LaPorta (The Weeknd, The Killers, Foo Fighters), the track is a funky dance jam that pairs Kennedy’s silky-smooth vocals with a disco-tinged arrangement that’s pure 1970’s bliss.
Such is the contagious energy of Castlecomer. One listen and you’re hooked, sucked into their rapturous world of angular guitars and hypnotizing grooves. With a sound this meticulous and infectious, it’s hard to believe that the band hasn’t even released their debut LP yet, but these singles are only the tip of the iceberg from a group that’s doggedly determined to fulfill every bit of their seemingly limitless potential. It’s already been a wild ride, but Castlecomer is just getting started.
Castlecomer is: Bede – vocals Tommy – guitar Neely – keyboards Joe – bass Patch – drums