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Arts Calendar / December 1 / Clubs
20:00 AJR (USA)
Formed in 2005, New York City-based indie pop trio AJR mix barbershop harmonies, electronic music, and other styles into their eclectic sound. AJR feature the talents of the Met brothers, Adam (vocals/bass), Jack (vocals/guitar), and Ryan (guitar/piano/vocals), who grew up in New York and got their start busking around the city, covering songs by such bands as Fun., Vampire Weekend, and the Beach Boys. A link to one of the band's videos caught the ear of Australian pop singer Sia Furler, whose manager put the band in contact with former Columbia president Steve Greenberg. Greenberg then signed on as AJR's manager, and in 2013 the trio released their debut independent single "I'm Ready." Well-received, the single peaked at number 27 on the Billboard Mainstream Top 40 chart, and appeared on an initial EP as well as the band's 2015 full-length debut album, Living Room. The single "Weak" followed in 2016, reaching number eight on the U.S. Billboard Dance Club chart and achieving platinum status. It was included on AJR's sophomore full-length, 2017's The Click, which also featured the single "Drama" and the track "Sober Up" with Weezer's Rivers Cuomo. Following an expanded deluxe edition of The Click in 2018, the brothers returned in early 2019 with the bouncy "100 Bad Days" single. Another single -- titled "Birthday Party" -- followed in March 2019. Both tracks were included on third LP Neotheater, which arrived the following month.
19:00 Mono (Japan)
Japanese experimental rock group Mono came together in 2000, choosing to forgo vocals and concentrate instead on atmospheric, classical-inspired rock music. They have crafted a dynamic, shapeshifting sound that lends itself to long compositions, delivered in varying ranges of dynamics, replete with improvisation, restraint, and an energy that bridges post-rock and heavy metal energy. Their recordings walk the line between spacious atmospherics, a lush yet delicate beauty, and overdriven, de-tuned raw power. Early recordings such as 2004's Walking Cloud and Deep Red Sky, Flag Fluttered and the Sun Shined, relied on the contrast of various tensions in soaring rock that explored margins in the same way that Godspeed! You Black Emperor and Explosions in the Sky do. Two years later, on Palmless Prayer/Mass Murder Refrain, they began collaborating with World's End Girlfriend (aka Katsuhiko Maeda), an underground Japanese producer, mixologist, and multi-instrumentalist. They also enlisted a string section, chorus, a classical pianist, and a jazz saxophonist as part and parcel of their attack. These collaborations only grew, culminating in 2012's acclaimed For My Parents. In 2014 they pared their sound back to the quartet on two simultaneously recorded and issued albums, Rays of Darkness and Last Dawn. After the tour for 2016's Requiem for Hell, they underwent their first personnel change a year later as original drummer Yasunori Takada left the group for personal reasons and was permanently replaced for their 20th anniversary recording, 2019's Nowhere Now Here, by American drummer Dahm Majuri Cipolla.
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