Check In The Dark
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Check In The Dark

Los Angeles, California, United States | Established. Jan 01, 2007 | SELF | AFTRA

Los Angeles, California, United States | SELF | AFTRA
Established on Jan, 2007
Band Rock Folk

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Leighton Meester is abandoning her dance-princess roots for country music. The track for her forthcoming flick "Country Strong" has hit the Internet, and it showcases Meester's vocal abilities.

The track, "Words I Couldn't Say," is a breakup ballad that could easily appear on a Taylor Swift album. It's Meester's only song on the film's soundtrack. On it she laments losing a love after not being able to express her feelings for that person. "What do I do now that you're gone? No backup plan/ No second chance/ No one else to blame," she sings on the chorus. "All I can hear in the silence that remains/ Are the words I couldn't say."

Meester previously released several singles, one with Cobra Starship ("Good Girls Go Bad") and two songs of her own, the Robin Thicke duet "Somebody to Love" and the club-ready "Your Love Is a Drug." But it seems that Meester is abandoning that vibe for her still-in-the-works solo album.

"I took this trip to L.A. and I've been working with a band called Check in the Dark, and I've just been writing for the last six months, like a totally different sound," she told MTV News at the Hollywood Awards Gala. "I've also been really inspired by 'Country Strong,' the movie we're celebrating. I've just been having fun and writing from my heart, so hopefully I'll be able to let some people hear it soon."

While it might be a while before fans hear her new music, the "Gossip Girl" star gave more indication of what's to come by revealing her key influences. "You know, I guess I could just tell you what my influences are. I love Neil Young and Joni Mitchell, that style of music, and as far as songwriting I think that's where my heart is," she said. "So that's sort of the strength of the music." - MTV News


This acoustic jam’s older influences accompany clanging bells, drums and high-stringed guitar picking. Soothing vocals and extremely tight instrumentals really do make this a “Complicated Lullaby.” - cmj.com


Thursday, March 19, 2009
Taylor Hicks Rocks Roxy
Many folks in the world believe that once you win American Idol, that the road is paved with gold and roses for Katherine McPhee to gleefully dance along barefoot...even though she didn't win. But the Ruben Studdards of the world will tell you that sometimes all that glitters may not be so golden as was the case with Taylor Hicks at the Roxy Theatre.

Don't get me wrong, Taylor Hicks definitely has an underrated show. His performance was very enjoyable, his musicianship and the musicianship of his band was nothing but professional. Unfortunately the half-filled room were the only ones to appreciate it.

Hicks seemed to have a hard time drawing at the Roxy. Although, audience members, some of whom came as far away as South Carolina or Canada, were prepared, rationalizing that Hicks is not a mainstream pop candy and is an acquired taste. One woman went so far as to explicitly explain to me why he doesn't photograph well.

His performance was not bolstered by his opener, Candace Devine, whose voice kept giving out when she tried to belt the high notes, thereby coloring her singing as a gravely blues performance instead of an all-out singing sensation. Devine's performance was good, but in a lounge act kind of quality, whereby opening for what could arguably be considered a national act may be still too far out of reach. As well, nobody but nobody seemed to know who she was, and it didn't seem to lift the draw any.

Hicks is currently starring in the local off-Broadway production of Grease at the Pantages Theatre, and this performance probably helped ticket sales there, as everyone was talking about Hicks in Grease. Nevertheless, the late 40s to early 50s crowd isn't the type to pad a draw in the long run, so Hicks may have an uphill battle if he tries to play larger venues, or venues without a bar less than 100 feet from the stage. Most of the audience wasn't from Los Angeles, and even the local radio station My 100 FM (I think), just gave out stickers to random people and then bailed 20 minutes before doors, showing their lackluster support for this American Idol winner.

Taylor Hicks isn't so much an acquired taste as he's a much better sell in the south and midwest. We happen to appreciate his mix of country western and blues/southern rock and makes for a good sountrack to drinking and pool shooting. But to try to bottle the AI lightning and re-engineer history may be much more a task of Sisyphus than something based in reality.

Taylor Hicks did have fans in the multitude of badly-behaving photographers who showed up to photograph Hicks. Their red carpet pap tactics of disrespectfully pushing through the crowds of paying and non-paying folks didn't fly with the gauntlet of women at the front line, as many of them were barked back about 3 rows or physically threatened to move. Even at one point, a tall photographer pushed his way into the front row from the stage and decided to shoot while ducking after being subtly threatened by a male in the crowd.

There were some people who were angry with the way the show was put on, as many who paid the $35 price tag met some who paid nothing as a pair of websites began giving away tickets (just pay that dandy service fee) late in the day. Ostensibly, this was a late-game attempt to make the room look full, but it just seemed to have failed.

A bright spot of the night was the nonchalant opener Check In The Dark, whose bluesy, melodic soft-southern country-pop/rock was a welcome and surprising blend of notes in a Dave Matthews kind of way, which made for an actually pleasant and competent opening band (you know, because most openers usually are blatantly retarded). Bragging how they dropped an album in Japan and immediately sold 500 copies, they may be onto something in the short-term, as Check In The Dark snakecharmed the room just enough to dodge the usual scathing apathy that Los Angeles is so well known for. - The Sunset Spotlight


Discography

Self Titled CD - 2007
Japan Import - 2009

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Bio

Check in the Dark blends tasty acoustic grooves and psychedelic folk like a smooth aged scotch. With hauntingly soothing vocals, free-flowing guitar lines, and complete professionals driving the backbeat, this band is a must watch.

Check in the Dark formed in Hollywood CA , and have been creating original music and playing the LA scene and the southwest area of the country. They have performed at the Sunset Strip's Viper Room, Roxy Theater, House of Blues, Slims in San Francisco and recently sold out The Troubadour opening for, and supporting as backing band, Music and Film Star Leighton Meester. Members of the band have shared the stage with names such as John Scofield, Oteil Burbridge, and Ziggy Marley. Drummer, Eli Hludzik has traveled the world sharing stages with the likes of Mike Clark, The Dave Wood Trio, Charles Evans and the Language Of, Dakota, and Ray's Music Exchange. Etienne Franc, the groups bassist, toured Europe as the bassist for OPM opening for Everlast in several countries.

As a compliment to their outstanding musicianship and folk inspired vocals, the band has a well rounded selection of original material. Check offers a nice combination of "radio friendly" songs, and at the same time the ability to jam out for extended periods of a song. Check in the Dark has shared the stage with:

Tim Reynolds(Dave Matthews, TR3)
Taylor Hicks
Stokholm Syndrome (members of Widespread Panic, Primus, Gov't Mule, Jerry Joseph and the Jackmormons)
Nels Cline (Wilco)
Pronto (members of Wilco)
Leo Nocentelli (The Meters)
Orgone
The New Mastersounds
The Dirty Dozen Brass Band
The Rebirth Brass Band
New Monsoon
Big Organ Trio
These United States

...and many more national acts.

Check in the Dark was also just featured on the 2007 season of the Liftetime Channel's series "Side Order Of Life".

Check in the Dark was just featured nationally on Fox Sports radio.

On 3/18/2009 Check released thier self titled CD in Japan through Grey Dogs Records. The album made the Tower Records Top 50 Rock/Pop CD's more multiple weeks.

CITD has recently sold out shows in Hollywood at World Famous Trobadour and The Hotel Cafe with Leighton Meester with whom they are recording and writing for her forthcoming album.

CITD Released their sophomore album titled THE GAME in 2013

www.checkinthedarkmusic.com







Band Members