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Posts Tagged ‘Sleeper Agent’
10 Oct
2012

Sleeper Agent premiered their new music video for “That’s My Baby” yesterday on IFC.com. The video features the band’s Alex Kandel and Tony Smith performing the song at a karaoke bar with almost too real backdrop. Directed by singer/guitarist Tony Smith, the video’s inspiration “came from a lack of sleep and too much time away from home” said Smith. “I wanted it to be dreamlike; something that’s relatively normal but seems ‘off’.”

Sleeper Agent is currently working on the follow-up to their heralded debut album Celabrasion (out now on Mom + Pop Music). The band will return to the studio with producer Jay Joyce (Cage The Elephant, Eric Church, The Wallflowers) to record their highly anticipated sophomore album.

02 Oct
2012

If you happened to go to the superb Starry Nights Festival, not only did you miss great sets from Cage The Elephant, Portugal. The Man and Manchester Orchestra but also some brand new songs from one of our favorite bands Sleeper Agent. The band’s been busy writing a ton of new songs to record for the follow-up to their album Celabrasion. We wouldn’t expect the album out till the spring but if you were in Bowling Green this weekend, you witnessed the new song “Be Brave.” We think that it’ll be one of the singles (yeah, we’re cocky and calling it right now!).

Anyways, watch the fan shot video below:

17 Jul
2012


Starry Nights Music + Arts Festival returns for another great year in beautiful Bowling Green, Kentucky, September 28 & 29, 2012. The two-day, two-stage festival will feature a diverse lineup including Cage the Elephant, Portugal. The Man, Manchester Orchestra, Mimosa, Justin Townes Earle, The Whigs and Sleeper Agent, among many others.

“We chose bands and DJ’s that move us, and that we thought would fit with the vibe of the festival,” says Cage The Elephant frontman, Matthew Shultz. “Starry Nights is about getting everyone together for a good time – It’s definitely about the music, but also, art, games, and just being out there under the stars.”

The vital Kentucky music scene is where Cage got their start, and preserving that opportunity for other local acts is a top priority. To that end, the festival has reserved a handful of slots for local bands. More information on that will follow.

Starry Nights Music + Arts Festival takes place September 28 & 29, 2012 just outside of Bowling Green, KY at Ballance Farms.
Tickets are $45 including fees and camping.

Tickets will go on-sale on July 20th at 10:00 AM Eastern at www.starrynightsfestival.com
Follow the festival on facebook https://www.facebook.com/starryfest and twitter https://twitter.com/starrynights for the latest information.

2012 Lineup:
Cage The Elephant
Portugal. The Man
Manchester Orchestra
MiMOSA
Justin Townes Earle
The Whigs
Sleeper Agent
Moon Taxi
JEFF The Brotherhood
Margot & The Nuclear So and So’s
Morning Teleportation
Wild Belle
Space Capone
PUJOL
The Kingston Springs
Five Knives
Bad Cop

Cage The Elephant: www.cagetheelephant.com
Hailed as “…one of rock’s best young bands,” by Rolling Stone, Cage The Elephant had a successful 2011 with the release of their album Thank You Happy Birthday, a wildly-successful headlining North American tour and their critically acclaimed fall dates with the Foo Fighters. Their debut self-titled album was just certified gold by the RIAA and their current sophomore album Thank You Happy Birthday (RCA Records) has garnered the band rave reviews from the likes of Rolling Stone, New York Times, LA Times, USA Today, Entertainment Weekly, People and Alternative Press who heralded it “one of the best rock albums of the year.” With performances on The Late Show with David Letterman and Jimmy Kimmel Live!, it’s easy to see why Rolling Stone named Cage The Elephant “one of rock’s best young bands” and Thank You Happy Birthday as one of the best albums 2011.

C3 Presents • www.c3presents.com
C3 Presents creates, books, markets and produces live experiences, concerts, and private events. C3 is the force behind Austin City Limits Music Festival in Austin, Texas and Lollapalooza in Chicago. Other events in the C3 portfolio include the Austin FOOD & WINE Festival, Orion Music + More, Wanderlust Festival, Lollapalooza Brazil, Lollapalooza Chile, and Big Day Out Australia. C3 books and promotes more than 1,000 concerts in arenas, theaters, casinos, and clubs across the US annually, making it the third-largest promoter in the country. In addition to event production and booking, C3 manages the careers of select artists.

06 Jun
2012

By Matt Arena

At first thought, garage rock in an arena might not sound like the greatest idea. Arena rock has traditionally incorporated big sounds, accompanied with over the top, expensive production pieces. Blaring lights, pyrotechnics, and stage pieces with a price tag that would make Tony Stark sweat are the norm. But lately bands have been changing that. Acts with more stripped down sounds have been able to book arenas and do it with considerably less production. This leads to less produced shows, with that feeling of spontaneity and intimacy that you’d find in a small club. That’s exactly what Weezer were able to convey at Mohegan Sun Arena. Admittedly, the venue has a capacity that’s considerably less than most arenas, but if anything that’s a bonus. Capturing the feel of a massive space while playing inside one that’s technically smaller is no easy feat. Both visually and audibly, Weezer did exactly that. They’re not the type of band to spend millions on an extravagant stage with elaborate stage design and musically restricting visuals. Which made the show that much more enjoyable.

First on stage for the night was the Kentucky grown band, Sleeper Agent. Hailing from the very same city that gave us Cage the Elephant, these guys (and gal) put out one of the best albums you could find last year and have been touring relentlessly ever since. Having seen Sleeper Agent in venues ranging from dimly lit bars to 2000+ capacity clubs, it was a totally different experience hearing them in an arena. As is, their sound takes new life when performing live, not only because of the boundless energy emanating from the band itself but the sheer volume that’s added to the music. This was increased tenfold at Mohegan Sun Arena. Tracks like ‘Young Blood’ had the seats literally shaking, thanks in large part to the booming basslines of Lee Williams. Nearly every track’s sound took on a new life, the guitar chords screaming louder, the drum beats pounding harder, the vocals echoing stronger; all resulting in a much richer, fuller sound. Coming from playing garages and tiny bars in Bowling Green, KY to a 10,000 seater in Connecticut, it was clear that Sleeper Agent made a new step forward in their career. Playing almost every track off their 2011 debut Celebrasion, the infectious vibes teeming from the stage without a doubt struck a chord with the audience.

Having a nearly packed crowd by the time they hit the stage, something not too common for the support band, they took full advantage and had the crowd feeling it very early on in the set. Of course with tracks like ‘Bottomed Out’, ‘Force a Smile’, and ‘Proper Taste’ starting off the set, it’s easy to see how. Even the somewhat slower tracks like ‘That’s My Baby’ (which they’re currently working on the video for) and their unique cover of the xx’s ‘VCR’ had the audience enthralled. The work of vocal duo Tony Smith (also guitarist) and Alex Kandel flowed together perfectly, both playing off and complimenting each other in deeper ways than before. Highlights of the set without a doubt were the band’s latest single ‘Get Burned’, which they recently performed on Jimmy Fallon, and the closing track ‘Be My Monster.’ The latter of which seemed to bring us the very best of every band member. From the very start the guitar work is layered wonderfully thanks to guitarist Josh Martin, which is nearly overpowered by the synth skills of renaissance man Scott Gardner, who also beats wildly on a single snare drum during the song’s breakdown. Speaking of said breakdown, it’s almost always the single best part of any Sleeper Agent gig. The band is usually pretty active across the stage as is, but during this Caribbean rock jam that would have Rastafarians and indie kids alike rocking out they were absolutely free, with drummer Justin Wilson’s hair a yellow blur as Gardner leaped to smash on his tall cymbal. Though it’s part of the song, it felt more like an impromptu jam, with the entire band completely loose and carefree. The nerves of playing to such a large crowd (if they were there any) were nonexistent, as they band played an incredible set. Even though they come from garage rock and house party beginnings, it’s clear that Sleeper Agent are headed for an arena crowd they can call their own.

After a quick changeover, Weezer took the stage. Touting nothing besides a large, illuminated, hanging fixture of the band’s logo, they ripped through a set packed with hit after hit. Starting off with favorites like ‘My Name is Jonas’ and ‘Troublemaker’, the audience was into it very early on. Singing along loudly and jumping like crazy people, the crowd was clearly feeding off the raw energy the band exerted from the stage. To try and list every hit they played would be nearly impossible as nearly every track they played was instantly recognizable, and this is coming from somewhat of a casual fan. Usually when seeing a band whose entire catalogue you’re not extremely familiar with there’s always a handful of songs you won’t know. Not the case here. Track after track was a hit, evidence by the crowd’s intense cheering merely seconds into every song. Of course some tracks were absolute standouts, ‘(If You’re Wondering If I Want You To) I Want You To, ‘Hash Pipe’, and ‘Dope Nose’ just to name a few. The unmistakable riffs to each song all got instant screams from the audience and their irresistibly catchy choruses were impossible not to sing along to. Though they’ve been at it for nearly 20 years now, the youthful energy of front man Rivers Cuomo (sporting his trademark khakis and cardigan) jumping around the stage like a madman and proving that nerds can be rock stars too. Playing in his home state, Rivers gave thanks to the hometown crowd, constantly leaning over the barricade into the crowd and even jumping down off the stage just to get closer to fans. Weezer too sounded amazing in an arena, and though bassist Scott Shriner seemed to have some technical problems, the band sounded impeccable.

Of course Weezer show wouldn’t be the same without some unlikely (and slightly goofy) covers. This time it was ‘I Think We’re Alone Now’ by Tommy James & The Shondells and Poison’s ‘Talk Dirty to Me.’ Both of them played extremely well, not only taking on that special Weezer sound but also being well-known enough that the audience didn’t miss a beat. ‘Talk Dirty to Me’ was played as part of the encore, along with ‘Say it Ain’t So,’ a song combination that seemed to dispel the usual “leave after the main set” people in the crowd. It’s rare where the entire crowd sticks around for the entire show, but when a band is playing as good as Weezer did, it’s easy to understand why. It’s refreshing to see a band play when not in support of a specific album. There were no “ugh here’s a new song” moments that tend to happen at shows, instead Weezer cranked out hit after hit during the 90 minute set at Mohegan Sun. They were there simply to put on a stellar rock show and to show that you don’t need an expensive stage rig to blow the roof off an arena.

08 Apr
2012


By Michel Dussack

As New York City’s legendary Irving Plaza began to fill after a good but forgettable performance by The Dig (there was nothing wrong with their set, but nothing that particularly struck me either) really only one thought was on my mind at the time. Why were Sleeper Agent, an alternative rock band with loads of distortion and feedback opening for Ben Kweller, who long ago switched from a more alternative style to a radio friendly pop rock style? Either way, the band was here and as usual, they delivered a blistering set that encompassed eleven of the twelve songs on their debut album ‘Celabrasion’ that impressed a crowd that was reluctant to do anything other than applaud. Even vocalists Alex Kandel and Tony Smith jumping into the photo pit and screaming lyrics in the faces didn’t seem to wake the sleepy crowd, though it wasn’t due to lack talent or great songs. If anything, I’d go as far as saying that the crowds that Kweller attract aren’t used to some of the activities that go along with Sleeper Agent’s heavier brand of rock like moshing or even just jumping up and down. This trend continued during his own set, causing me to question whether or not anyone was even enjoying the show.

After a brief set change, Ben Kweller stepped on to the stage with a three piece backing band, though it was clear even from the lighting that he is the true star of the performance. Bright spotlights shone on Kweller as he ripped through a twenty-one song set that encompassed six studio albums, while his backing members had to settle for dark blue and purple lights on them. As expected, the highest number of tracks from any album were from his new album ‘Go Fly A Kite’, though unlike some artists, this wasn’t a show were new songs were forced on an audience and occasionally broken up by older fan favorites. In fact, no fewer than eight songs were at least a decade old, including the now impossible to find EP ‘Freak Out, It’s Ben Kweller’. Fans throughout the packed venue sang along with songs old and new as Kweller shredded on guitar and piano throughout the night.

When Kweller walked of the stage after a stunning performance of a clear favorite ‘In Other Words’, it was obvious they crowd would not be letting him return without a proper and lengthy encore. When he returned, he treated his dedicated fans to four additional songs – first two tracks off his 2002 album ‘Sha Sha’ which longtime fans certainly appreciated. He went more current with ‘Fight’ next and saved a true gem of his catalogue ‘Penny on the Train Track’ for last, which the audience went nuts for. This is an artist who gives his all at every performance, and while to someone more used to an audience showing their appreciation by moshing and crowd surfing (that’s me)it may have seemed the crowd wasn’t giving anything back. But upon a closer inspection, it’s clear that this crowd loved every second of this fantastic performance.


23 Mar
2012

Sleeper Agent made their television debut with “Get Burned” on Late Night with Jimmy Fallon.

Watch the video below and pick up their album Celabrasion on iTunes, Amazon MP3, CD

19 Mar
2012

Ben Kweller is back with a brand new album, Go Fly A Kite, out now on the Noise Company. To support the album, Ben is kicking off a headline tour this week with Sleeper Agent and The Dig. On Saturday, they play Live Nation’s Irving Plaza in New York City. We’re super excited to be giving away a pair of tickets to this show!

Just email us tapcontests@gmail.com (with the subject: I WANNA SEE BEN KWELLER!) with your name and we’ll email you back if you win! (Winner must be at least 16 years of age with valid photo ID). If you don’t wanna wait for the giveaway to end, you can pick up tickets now at http://www.livenation.com/event/0000478DE8B9B3DA

Ben Kweller with Sleeper Agent and The Dig
Saturday March 24, 2012
Irving Plaza
17 Irving Place
New York, NY 10003
Tickets: $18

09 Mar
2012

By Cassandra Paiva

The line outside of Lupo’s was full of fans already donning Fun. apparel. Earlier that day, Fun. did a signing at the local FYE. The line was out the door and around the corner. The crowd was most definitely a Fun. crowd (no pun intended).

The show, which was originally supposed to be at The Met, about 15 minutes away in Pawtucket, was moved to Lupo’s due to high demand and a need for a larger venue. Sleeper Agent were added to Fun.’s tour only a few weeks prior to the start. Sleeper Agent are no strangers to Providence, having played WBRU’s Summer Concert Series and Sweet Potato Ball and putting on a hell of a show while chugging more Narragansett than they could drink each time. Even though most of the crowd was there for Fun., Sleeper Agent had a few devotees in tow.

Bassist Lee Williams even joked that they were just grungy kids from Kentucky and no one even knew who they were and that people would ask ‘wait, who were the opening band?’ Despite this, the band delivered and the audience reacted positively. They decided to try and change up the setlist about half an hour before they went on, and having seen them twice before, it was a refreshing change.

They started with an even more stripped down intro to “Love Blood” before completely rocking out on the chorus. The stage was already partially preset for Fun., so the band seemed a little bit squished and restricted to the small area. (Six wild kids who don’t stand still on stage, especially lead singer Alex Kandel, confined to one area was almost saddening for me to watch.) However, despite the small area, they made the best of it and carried on with “Force A Smile.” At this point, the crowd was starting to realize what kind of music Sleeper Agent plays, and starting getting into it, swaying and head nodding.

Surprisingly, the people in the back of Lupo’s were cheering louder than those in the front. Whether or not these people were the Sleeper Agent devotees I mentioned earlier, I have no idea, but after a while the cheers starting coming from the front too, especially during “Bottomed Out” and Alex’s powerful “wah, ah, ah, i-e” part after the bridge. She then gave a, “We love Providence so much” before kicking off “Proper Taste,” which started a small mosh pit just off center of the crowd. Yea, maybe some of them were the devotees, since they were the ones dancing almost the whole time. That and I think I saw them at Sweet Potato Ball too.

“Shuga Cane” and the pit must have created some more excitement, because the people in the front row started really getting into it. Keyboardist Scott Gardner was on the floor head banging with a tambourine, hair all wild and free. Alex even leaned over closer to the front row. This lead into “Get It Daddy,” which most of the audience must have said, “Oh yea, I know this song,” because everyone was dancing or jumping by this point. Scott got the crowd even more jazzed by breaking out a hand held metal drum and jamming out on the stage’s side walk out. (fun fact: Scott used to be Sleeper Agent’s drummer in their beginning stages). While it wasn’t as crazy as the crowds at the previous Providence shows, it was pretty awesome for a show they were opening.

“Some White Blinds,” the band’s self-proclaimed climax of their set, followed and Lee’s ginger hair and beard (they don’t call him Grizzlee for nothing) hardly stood still as he head banged pretty much the whole time. Even though they call the previous song the set’s climax, second single “Get Burned” was probably just as exciting. Alex promoted the new video (which hometown friend, and Cage the Elephant frontman Matt Shultz directed) before preparing an eruption of energy. She and lead singer guitarist Tony Smith did their usual thing where they share one microphone and rock out, as if almost fighting for the mic. They even started a sing-a-long on the “on and on and on” chorus.

A slow, quiet instrumental started, and whilst having the audience’s attention, Alex thanked the crowd again, thanked BRU for the show and for introducing them to Gansett (they took a case on tour, seriously, look at their Twitter), and thanked Fun. for being great tour mates. That’s the great thing about this band, they’re not cocky, but they’re not entirely too humble either. They give thanks where thanks are needed and they know how to put on a show with confidence. Then, that low key instrumental turned into “That’s My Baby,” which started to lose the non-fans in the crowd. The fans were singing along and half way through those annoying concert couples were holding and hugging each other.

Continuing the slower theme, “Far and Wide” followed. Instead of the usual echo, they did some other kind of autotune-ish sound or loop track on the “wide.” Not knowing the song, most of the audience thought the break down was the end and started clapping before the final few chords. As usual (and my personal favorite), they ended with “Be My Monster.” This is where the band broke all the rules. Scott took the keyboard off its stand and started bashing at the keys. Alex decided that the small stage was too small and jumped over the barrier to the front row of the audience. The bridge part brought out a dance party both on stage and in the pit, until the instruments built up faster and faster to an explosive end.

Ending their set, the band took a picture for their Twitter and Facebook, thanked the crowd again, and ran off stage. After the show, they all went to the merch table to sign posters and take pictures. The line by their table was pretty long, which leads me to believe that the audience really did like them, and most likely remember their name. Overall, the band was extremely energetic and played a killer set. The crowd, on the other hand, could have been better, but, hey, it’s not their headlining tour. And even still, they play to their audience like everyone matters (or maybe that the haters DON’T matter?) and they seem to win over even more fans, so it’s a win-win.

(All photos ©timsiekiera2012)


08 Feb
2012

Sleeper Agent just premiered their video for “Get Burned” over at mtvU. The song is the second single off of Celabrasion. The band’s about to hit the road again first up with fun. and then with Ben Kweller. The band also was just announced as part of the Hangout Fest in May. Check out the full dates below the video:

2/25 – afterHOURS at Northeastern University – Boston, MA
2/26 – The Haunt – Ithaca, NY
2/29 – Higher Ground – Burlington, VT^
3/1 – The Met – Pawtucket, RI^
3/2 – Recher Theatre – Townson, MD^
3/3 – Cat’s Cradle – Carrboro, NC^
3/7 – State Theatre – St. Petersburg, FL^
3/8 – Beacham Theatre – Orlando, FL^
3/9 – Center Stage – Atlanta, GA^
3/10 – Workplay Theater – Birmingham, AL^
3/12 – Juanita’s – Little Rock, AR ^
3/20 – Wadsworth Atheneum, Museum of Art – Hartford, CT*
3/21 – Union Transfer – Philadelphia, PA*
3/23 – Paradise Rock Club – Boston, MA*
3/24 – Irving Plaza – New York, NY*
3/26 – The Basement – Columbus, OH*
3/27 – High Noon Saloon – Madison, WI*
3/28 РFine Line Music Caf̩ РMinneapolis, MN*
3/30 – Off Broadway – St. Louis, MO*
3/31 – Lincoln Hall – Chicago, IL*
4/1 – Mercury Lounge – Nashville, TN*
4/15 – Coachella Valley Music & Arts Festival – Indio, CA
4/22 – Coachella Valley Music & Arts Festival – Indio, CA
4/26 – Great American Music Hall – San Francisco, CA*
4/27 – Wonder Ballroom – Portland, OR*
4/28 – Neumo’s – Seattle, WA*
4/30 – In The Venue – Salt Lake City, UT*
5/1 – Bluebird Theater – Denver, CO*
5/18 – Hangout Music Fest – Gulf Shore PublicBeach – Gulf Shores, AL

^Support dates w/ Fun.
*Support dates w/ Ben Kweller

30 Jan
2012


mom+pop music’s Sleeper Agent today announced live U.S. dates this spring supporting fun. The run of dates will kick off on February 29th at Higher Ground in Burlington, VT and wrap up in Little Rock, AR on March 11th at Juanita’s. Shortly after, the band will hit the road supporting Ben Kweller through April. The Bowling Green, KY natives and Rolling Stone “Band To Watch” will also perform both weekends of the Coachella Valley Music & Arts Festival on April 15th and 22nd.

Released on September 27th, Sleeper Agent’s riotous debut album Celabrasion (Buy Link) quickly garnered immediate features and stellar reviews from the blogosphere straight to the top of the national music media. The band toured nonstop last year and will continue to do the same in 2012.

Sleeper Agent craft hook-laden scuzzy garage-pop rooted in both soul and Southern rock. Citing the musical influence of The Strokes, The Pixies, T-Rex, and Jay Reatard, the band describes their music as akin to “The Ronettes on speed.” “We just want people to listen to the music and have fun,” says guitarist and vocalist Tony “Tutone” Smith.

Early champions of the album, SPIN Magazine, described the album as, “A dozen deliriously catchy gems… the sound of high fives and Makers Mark spilling from the speakers.” Celabrasion was produced by Jay Joyce (Cage The Elephant, The Whigs) and reflects the easy camaraderie in the band.

In December, the band premiered a new song, “Not Never,” produced by Courtney Taylor of The Dandy Warhols in the latest installment of Nike Sportswear’s video series, ALWAYS ON, featuring WNBA star Lindsey Harding. Sleeper Agent wrote the song exclusively for the series. Fans can download the free MP3 here: http://tinyurl.com/6u5d27l.

Recently deemed “Buzzworthy” by MTV and “Rookies of The Year” by Rolling Stone, Sleeper Agent is Tony “Tutone” Smith (guitar/vocals), Alex “Kidd” Kandel (vocals), Justin “Keyser” Wilson (drums), Lee “Grizzlee” Williams (bass) Scott “Saga” Gardner (keyboard) and Josh “Junior” Martin (guitars).

Sleeper Agent Live Dates

2/29 – Higher Ground – Burlington, VT^
3/1 – The Met – Pawtucket, RI^
3/2 – Recher Theatre – Townson, MD^
3/3 – Cat’s Cradle – Carrboro, NC^
3/7 – State Theatre – St. Petersburg, FL^
3/8 – Beacham Theatre – Orlando, FL^
3/9 – Center Stage – Atlanta, GA^
3/10 – Workplay Theater – Birmingham, AL^
3/11 – Juanita’s – Little Rock, AR ^
3/20 – Wadsworth Atheneum, Museum of Art – Hartford, CT*
3/21 – Union Transfer – Philadelphia, PA*
3/23 – Paradise Rock Club – Boston, MA*
3/24 – Irving Plaza – New York, NY*
3/26 – The Basement – Columbus, OH*
3/27 – High Noon Saloon – Madison, WI*
3/28 РFine Line Music Caf̩ РMinneapolis, MN*
3/30 – Off Broadway – St. Louis, MO*
3/31 – Lincoln Hall – Chicago, IL*
4/1 – Mercury Lounge – Nashville, TN*
4/15 – Coachella Valley Music & Arts Festival – Indio, CA
4/22 – Coachella Valley Music & Arts Festival – Indio, CA
4/26 – Great American Music Hall – San Francisco, CA*
4/27 – Wonder Ballroom – Portland, OR*
4/28 – Neumo’s – Seattle, WA*
4/30 – In The Venue – Salt Lake City, UT*
5/1 – Bluebird Theater – Denver, CO*

^Support dates w/ Fun.
*Support dates w/ Ben Kweller