Gaza Strip
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Gaza Strip

Band Rock Pop


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"Gaza Strip: Featured Artist"

We got a chance to see Gaza Strip playing live at Fenderskirts. They were just one of five bands that night, but they still managed to stick out. Distorted guitars kick you back to the grunge days, but the bass player gets to do some work out side of just the root notes, which is a nice departure. The vocals can be described as the lovechild of Frank Black, Kurt Cobain, and Fred Schneider videotaping. The visual that just popped into your head might be unpleasent, but the sound Gaza Strip manages to conjur up is not. Self-described, according to their myspace profile, Rock, Alternative, Comedy, the band plays some crowd favorites such as "No Illegals=No Burritos" and "MasturbationLoveSong". For their covers, the band goes all the way back to The Doors with an amazing performance of an often overlooked would-be classic "5 and 1", as well as paying homage to another rock/comedy group with The Bloodhound Gang's "The Roof is on Fire".
The energy this band puts out is addictive, not one to shout and scream for a band, as I tend to be a quiet observer, I found my voice quite hoarse the next day. These guys know how to put on a show. Do yourself a favor and catch them at The Rialto Theatre on June 15th at 6:00 for the Fox 11 Music Melee where Gaza Strip has made it to the finals and a chance to win a VW Bug. (Sweet.) If you miss the Rialto gig due to bad health, stupidity, or aardvarks, you can catch them again at Fenderskirts, June 22nd at 8:00.
- The Scene Az

"Gaza Strip Going To the Rialto! An Unsigned Band in Tucson, Arizona"

Upon walking into Fenderskirts, in Tucson, Arizona, my mind wandered to my days of bar hopping and drunken adventures.
I have long since left that behind, but as I walked in I felt right at home in the atmosphere. With the exception
of the lack of smoke, it was just as I remember. Bartender behind the bar trying to fill the orders of many people at
various stages of drunkenness. Neon lights, loud music, scantily clad young women looking their best and men staring at
the women's best. My husband had pulled me along to see what was in his words, a great band. Not that he was biased or
anything. It was only his co-worker/friend who happened to be in the band. So, I did a little looking around as everyone
said their hellos and listened to the band currently on the stage area. The diminutive area set aside for the night's
entertainment was just that, small. As the band onstage screamed on and on, I took a look at the people who were in
attendance. Not many were actually paying attention to the gentlemen on the stage. The few that were paying attention
were standing with beer in hand, doing a slacker version of headbanging and trying to scream along. The bar seemed empty,
as people kept escaping outside to smoke a cigarette or talk on cell phones. As the band stopped playing, Gaza Strip went
to set up their gear and get things ready for their turn in the spotlight. After a few minutes of setup and locating all
of their gear, the band took the stage and hit us with a great cover of The Doors classic "5 to 1". Next, we got a couple
of originals, which included, "Jenny", "A Day without a Mexican", "Life" and "Suffer". They ended their set with
"People who Died" by Jim Carroll. The show was funny at times to the point that I had to be careful not to spit my drink
on the poor suckers who stood in front of me. And the really interesting thing was that the place seemed to have been
invaded by tons of singing, screaming Gaza Strip fans. I left Fenderskirts singing "A Day without a Mexican" and thanking
my hubby for a great find.My next mission was to see about an interview. It seems that not only are the guys of the band
funny and genuinely great guys but also okay with giving interviews to strange little people they probably don't remember
meeting. The members of the band are: Levi Misner from Schuyler, Nebraska on the drums and vocals, Keith Lamott from Tucson,
Arizona on Guitars and vocals, Geremy Cady from Chicago, Illinois on the guitar and vocals and Dan Brelsford from Phoenix,
Arizona on bass and vocals. Gaza Strip was formed in the year 2005 with Geremy and Keith starting things off with writing.
Later that year, Dan and Levi joined the mix. No one person writes songs for the band. They all slap their own thing down
on each song. Keith Lamott was with the band a mere month before our government decided he needed to go over to Iraq and get
himself injured by an IED. He came back sporting a Purple Heart for his troubles. And Levi Misner had never played drums before
he met up with the rest of Gaza Strip. He got a grand total of three months to learn basic drumming and the whole of the Gaza Strip
song list before the first show. He did an amazing job by all accounts. Gaza Strip recently submitted their video to Tucson
T.V. Fox 11's music melee competition for a battle of the bands. In order to make it into the final showcase, Gaza Strip had
to get fans, friends and anyone who would do so, to go and vote for their video. They campaigned like they were running for
president and were voted into the final five to play at the historic Rialto. They will get their first song televised on
Fox 11. The Grand Prize is a 2007 VW Bug and a fully televised show. The show on June 15, 2007 will determine who wins the
Grand Prize. If they win, they plan to sell the VW Bug to get money together for a demo recording. I noticed that before the
show at Fenderskirts, they were right out there with the crowd, listening to the music, talking to fans and posing for pictures.
They like their Yager bombs before each show and at least a case of beer while practicing. They have a very loyal following.
One only has to stop by their MySpace page to see the comments from their new and long-time fans. These guys really surprised me.
They are truly awesometastic live. These guys are fun, energetic and can rock your world. Their headline on MySpace reads
"We Suck....You'd Love Us!" The headline should read "We Rock....You'd Love Us!" I, for one, will be there at the Rialto on
June 15th to cheer on the great concoction that is Gaza Strip!

- Associated Content

"CD release: Gaza Strip"

“We will rock your grandma,” Geremy Cady says through a cloud of cigarette smoke.

And he means it. Cady plays guitar for local band Gaza Strip and says their fan base ranges from your run-of-the-mill teenager with a good fake ID to, yes, even grandmothers.

The band’s sound is as eclectic as their fan base, with such influences as Nirvana and the Doors and laugh-out-loud lyrics that bring to mind an early Sublime. All members lend vocals to the album and each writes music, with Cady and guitar player Keith Lamott contributing most of the lyrics. Songs are all over the map; they discuss themselves, their fans and various abstract concepts like “rednecks,” on the album, which has no apparent theme.

“We have the coolest fans around,” brags bass player Brian James.

“We have a lot of hot girls, but no stalkers,” Lamott chimes in.

In fact, it was Gaza Strip’s fans who named the band’s first album, “It’s All About the Lincolns,” which sees official release Nov. 11 and will be on sale for just $5 at a CD release party at O’Malley’s.

Members of the band—Cady, James, Lamott and drummer Levi Misner (who bears an uncanny resemblance to Adrien Brody)—chose four to five names they liked and drew the winner out of a hat.

“We picked the name because that was our budget,” jokes James, who wore sunglasses and a constant mischievous grin throughout the interview at A Shot In the Dark Café.

James’ self-deprecating humor is indicative of his fellow band mates’ belief in never taking themselves too seriously. (Cady has been known to wear a New Kids on the Block T-shirt during gigs.)

Even their band name is a bit of a joke to them. While Gaza Strip may sound political, the moniker was suggested to them by a fellow musician who said, "'You have a Jew (Misner) and a soldier (Lamott) in your band. . . . You should be the Gaza Strip,’" Cady says.

The name stuck, he continues, because the band thought it was funny, it’s always in the news and “we really never thought we’d get out of the bedroom with this (the band).”

The tattooed, chain-smoking, wisecracking players, while not political, are humble, appreciative and completely relatable: They all work steady jobs to support their entirely self-funded band. Those jobs (along with wives, girlfriends, fiancees and children) leave little time for rehearsing, so Sundays are reserved for practice.

“It’s our day of worship and we worship the god of rock,” Cady deadpans.

If they prayed to their god of rock for financial assistance, their requests fell on deaf ears. A lack of money kept the band from recording an album for the last three and a half years. (Gaza Strip was formed in 2004, with James joining them in 2007).

“All the local recording studios wanted rock-star-type money,” Cady says. “I mean, do I look like Def Leppard?”

Gaza Strip eventually made the album (in Tucson, recorded by Jim Lowell) with help from various gigs everywhere from The Pima County Fair to the Rialto Theatre.

Virtually the only Tucson venue they haven’t played is Club Congress, but that’s a bit of a sore subject.

“I’m on this personal quest to play (Club Congress) and they are refusing to let me,” jokes Cady while his bandmates laugh. “Even if I’m like 70 and I’m playing the triangle, I’m going to play in Congress. It’s just a status thing.”

“I hope we get the gig just so you’ll shut up about it,” Misner shoots back.

Club Congress gig or not, Gaza Strip has built up a respectable local following that they would love to translate to a national level.

“We just bring a massive amount of energy,” Cady says. “If we can afford it, we’d love to do a small tour and release more albums.”

- Tucson Citizen


A couple of years ago, I caught a gig by a then-new local band called Gaza Strip and wrote briefly about it in these pages. "Gaza Strip have obviously studied their Nirvana and Pixies textbooks," I wrote, "but seem to have skipped the chapters about incorporating hooks into their songs."
Ouch. Since then, the band--Keith Lamott (guitar, vocals), Geremy Cady (guitar, vocals), Brian James (bass, vocals) and Levi Misner (drums, vocals)--seem to have amassed a decent local fan base and have won runner-up in a few local battles of the bands. They've also recorded their debut album, All About the Lincolns, which will be feted this week at a CD-release party.

First things first: In the age of Pro Tools, when just about anyone can produce a decent-sounding album in their bedroom, Lincolns sounds pretty rough. There was a time, in the '90s and prior, when a self-produced local album was expected to sound like this, but those days are no more. On, then, to the music.

The album starts with "Orgy Rave," a self-mocking pseudo-rap celebration of the Tucson music scene, and of Gaza Strip themselves. "Pleased to meet you, we're the Gaza Strip / You probably never heard of us, we're easy to forget," the song begins, before logging the members' superhero skills and explaining how local bands are going to fulfill their plot to take over the world--or at least the music industry. It falls squarely into feel-good party-jam territory, and it is fun enough as a goof.

"Ophelia," which follows, fares even better. It's a propulsive ditty that swipes the riff from Blondie's "One Way or Another" to fine effect and incorporates a nifty bit of doo-wop to boot; it's one of the album's best songs. "Jenny" apes '70s hard blues-rock along the lines of Foghat (with a bit of Appetite for Destruction tossed in), inane lyrics and all: "Feels so right, you know it can't be wrong / Makin' love to you from the dusk until the dawn."

But "Suffer" is just plain awful. The verses, "sung" in a voice that sounds an awful lot like Jello Biafra's, describe a girl who's into kinky stuff, and it's not clear if it's supposed to be disturbing or funny--especially given the dichotomy between the earnest-sounding, grunge-y chorus and the silly lyrics about picking up said girl in "an overpriced Seattle-based coffee shop." "Redneck Gold" would seem to be a parody of a Kid Rock joint, as it documents a guy who lives in his pickup truck and uses his penis to shut up his "bitch," and opens with the lyrics "I love your / big-ass titties." Problem is, it doesn't work very well as parody, because it's not funny.

By the time we get to the relatively earnest "Want You to Know," with its surf-y guitar, I'm just plain confused. What, exactly, are Gaza Strip trying to be? Are they a rock band that just happens to have a few funny songs? Are they a comedy-rock act that keeps it real every once in a while? It occurs to me that maybe they're trying to emulate Ween, who are able to accurately mimic music styles so effortlessly from song to song that they earn the right to be earnest every once in a while. But there's only one Ween for a reason--it's really hard to do what they do, and they're awfully great at it. At least on All About the Lincolns, Gaza Strip have moved past ripping off Nirvana and the Pixies. Now if they could just figure out who they are--or at least make it a bit more apparent to the listener.

Gaza Strip celebrate the release of All About the Lincolns with a CD-release party at O'Malley's, 247 N. Fourth Ave., on Friday, Nov. 14. Rock Sauce and Alien Jane open at 8 p.m. Cover is $5. For more information, call 623-8600.

- Tucson Weekly


2005: Self titled 4 song demo, 2008: All About the Lincolns



It starts in the scorching deserts of Iraq, where Keith Lamott served in the US Army. When not on missions, he spent his free time writing songs on a donated acoustic guitar. One day on a mission an IED exploded near the transport vehicle Keith was riding in. He sustained partial deafness, injuries, and shrapnel down the entire right side of his body, and lost a very good friend. He gained, however, a new resolve to live life to the absolute fullest. Due to his injuries Keith was honorbly discharged and released back to the States with a purple heart. Upon his return, he quickly contacted friend and fellow musician, Geremy Cady, shared the songs he had written in Iraq, and Gaza Strip was born. Another mutual friend, Levi Misner, after hearing what Keith and Geremy were creating, liked it so much he immediatly obtained a set of drums and began teaching himself how to play them. He was a fast learner, and after a few tries with a few different bassist, the band settled on the perfect fit with Dan Brelsford. Since the conception of Gaza Strip, the band has played out non stop since 2005, securing gigs at every venue in Tucson, averaging at least 1 or 2 shows a month. They have continued to build a large local following with every show. They were finalists and winners in several Battle of the Bands, featured in several student indie films, and subjects of several local articles. In 2008 they self released their long anticipated full length album "All About The Lincolns" with a small printing of 500. Within 6 months, it sold out. Now, having completely conqured Tucson, and gearing up to go back into the studio for their second album, the band can see only the best and brightest future ahead.