Is there ever a night when your favorite band was playing at the same time as the biggest party on campus? Both events sound amazing, but sadly you cannot split yourself in two and go to both.
But with local band Saint Motel and its themed concert nights, you no longer have to decide between a thrilling concert and a classy party.
That all-too-familiar dilemma vanished on Saturday night when headliner Saint Motel threw a black-and-white themed concert at The Roxy with fellow Los Angeles bands Army Navy, Red Arrow Messenger and Rumspringa.
This is not the first costumed event, however, that Saint Motel has planned. The band recently finished a residency at Spaceland in Silver Lake, where its concert themes each Monday included sci-fi, erotica, experimental and slasher. These free performances garnered widespread attention for the band, but how could they not? The erotica night even boasted drag queens and exotic dancers.
After its Spaceland residency, Saint Motel kicked off its first nationwide tour, which ended at New York’s CMJ Music Marathon & Film Festival last week.
On the tour, the band members had their tour van broken into in Chicago.
“We got everything robbed: iPods, instruments, laptops and even dirty laundry. But Chicago police is looking [to make] justice,” said AJ Jackson, the band’s lead vocalist and guitarist.
Saint Motel’s band members met in film school during the summer of 2007 and noticed that they not only had similar interests when it came to movies, but when it came to music as well. This translated marvelously into the band’s musical career and its philosophy of blending the two art forms: Saint Motel provides a music video for every song it releases.
“Music is still the main emphasis of the band … We enjoy doing videos, but we definitely prefer working on our songs and playing gigs,” Jackson explained.
As popular as Saint Motel has been in the LA music scene — and for all its talent and personality — it’s strange to see the band still unsigned. The band, however, has released a debut EP, Forplay, which includes six tracks and their respective videos.
All six tracks illustrate the accessible pop-rock sound Saint Motel is all about. “Eat Your Heart Out,” the first song on the EP, is very reminiscent of The Who’s “Who Are You,” a timeless classic sadly introduced to newer generations only as the theme song of the original CSI.
“Butch” and “To My Enemies” sound happier and overly theatrical, yet entertaining, like songs we heard on the earlier Strokes records — very catchy hooks combined with a friendly voice that invites sing-alongs. “To My Enemies” and “Pity Party” remind us that when The Beatles or Simon and Garfunkel get mixed in a new blender, they always have a way of sounding fresh — kind of what Ezra Koenig and Vampire Weekend did in 2008.
Saint Motel proves that the goals of cinema and music are the same: to entertain. How could it not be memorable to see a great new band in a more intimate show and go to a black-and-white party at the same time?