The Kickstand Band
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The Kickstand Band

Los Angeles, CA | Established. Jan 01, 2011 | SELF

Los Angeles, CA | SELF
Established on Jan, 2011
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"The Kickstand Band "Cut'Em Lose" EP"

Another modern power pop band with a great sound, The Kickstand Band is from Detroit, Michigan with a good back catalog of excellent music that deserves to be heard. “How It Feels” has a confident fuzz rhythm and layered guitar melodies.The leads, Gordon Smith and Allison Young give us some great harmonies on “Next To Me.” Young goes solo on “Regret You” and her sweetness shines through on the chorus. This “yet-to-be-discovered” band is making its music available at a “name-your-price” point, so take advantage of the musical goodness! - Powerpopaholic


"The Kickstand Band are Parked in Summer with "In The Sun!" (Premiere Play)"

...“In the Sun” is The Kickstand Band’s second, self-released EP, following their 2014 extended play installment titled, “Summer Means Fun.” A five track release slightly longer than the last, “In the Sun” is not out for filler but all (well nearly,) in for fun. Collectively, this EP reflects rays of happy-go-lucky character from much of surf, jangle and power pop’s current, staple canon. Vivian Girls, Best Coast, Weezer, Wolf Alice and (unsurprisingly) NXNE stage-mates, Alvvays, (Young’s vocal delivery has moments that echo a timbre strikingly complementary to that of Molly Rankin), each shine through at varying moments and in varying ways –much like the sun shining on a long strip of beach... - Throw the Dice and Play Nice


"Show 471: The Best Albums of 2014"

The end of the year is nigh! Jim and Greg look back at the Best Albums of 2014 and hear some picks from listeners. - Sound Opinions WBEZ Chicago


"Full Album Stream: The Kickstand Band, Puppy Love"

The Kickstand Band hails from Detroit, a town known for its contributions to the Motown, garage rock and punk genres. On their new single “Let’s Get Bored,” the group swirls all three into the same tune, winding up with a two-and-a-half minute blast of power chords, boy-girl harmonies and enough sugary hooks to spoil your Thanksgiving appetite.

But if you’re hungry enough for seconds, the Kickstand Band just released a full-length album, Puppy Love, whose cover shot is amazingly awkward and pretty awesome. We’re streaming the full thing here at American Songwriter.

“I’ve always liked stories of bands trying to piece together an album by renting studio time here and there, skipping around town with their master tapes tucked under their arms like luggage,” said bandmate Gordon Smith. “There was always something very romantic about that image, as opposed to a band just living in a studio, diligently working on the album like it’s any other job. “Puppy Love” falls into that first category of album-making. It was born in a studio, grew up in a basement, lived in a bedroom for a while, then another basement and finally made it back into a different studio for its final touches. As it turns out, of course, this is a somewhat less romantic process when you’re the band going through it, skipping around town, hard drive in hand like weird future luggage.”

He added, “A nice, unintended consequence of making the record piecemeal was the ability for the songs to breathe and change shape if they wanted to. Even though the process took longer than we’d hoped, elements to songs we’d been playing for years had a chance to materialize. Listening to the same recording through dozens of different speakers over many months has a way of familiarizing you with every angle of it, instead of just what it sounds and feels like in the control room.” - American Song Writer


"EXCLUSIVE Premier: The Kickstand Band (video) “Still Thinking of You Tonight” January 28, 2013"

The Kickstand Band’s guitarist/singer Gordon Smith found out about the inherently stressful challenges of “video shoots” back in 10th grade when he attempted a musical re-imagining Robocop in the gallant role of Don Quixote.



So it’s been more than ten years since the songwriter got in front of a camera. He, with Allison Young on bass/vocals and Anthony Kanakri on drums, just got out from in front of microphones in their home recording space – producing their debut full length Puppy Love – love at first listen for anyone inclined to throwback surf-pop boogies with rhythms needling up into the indie-punk speedometers.
Let’s not have any grand love stories or windmill-piercing cybornetic police/knights belting ballads, let’s keep it simple.
One shot. One shot only… with…lots of panning, lots of costume changes……lots of lights… wait… …lots of bodies bustilng around… …lots of different instruments… glitter-storm…a duck? The shoot for their single, “Still Thinking Of You Tonight,” got unintentionally complicated rather quickly. But basements breed clutter organically, so why fight it?



Smiths’ brother was originally going to direct…until he moved toL.A.”So, I went out and bought a (relatively) cheap camera and got some editing software and watched a TON of youtube tutorials to learn how to use it,” Smith says. “The internet is amazing for that kind of thing.”
Our scene: Allison’s basement, (also: Kickstand rehearsal HQ), interior, night time? Filmed on the day of Dally in the Alley actually. As our scene of general good time chaos and rock party frivolity passes back and forth and back and forth-again, we sort of crescendo with a gratuitious beercan shotgunning scene. (“How else could we get ten people into our basement for a video shoot?”)



Like Robocop of La Mancha, Smith says, this shoot was equally stressful…still enjoyable, though, considering it was a new experience.



“It ain’t exactly a pristine, DSLR affair, but I like how we could throw something like this together with some duct tape, a basement and 2 cases of Genesse.”



Puppy Love is available now on SubSprawl/Quack Media. Smith said that, firstly, everyone whose heard it has dug it and that’s assuring, but that secondly, all the writers out there summing the thing up have actually done an okay job in his eyes.



That’s irksome in a somewhat good way. “Maybe I didn’t do enough towards providing a good amount of complex-musical-’stuff’ for them to sink their teeth into…”



We don’t need every album to be Bish Bosch… “Still…” might likely still be stuck in your head after you’ve long left this blog post… - Detroit Metrotimes


"The Untitled Interview #217: Starring The Kickstand Band"

A few months back, I stumbled across The Kickstand Band when they played a show with some local band friends. I was intrigued by the Detroit duo's self-proclaimed "Future Time Travel Basement Rock," and must confess that I quite enjoyed their set.

I managed to coerce both Allison and Gordon into answering some questions, the answers to which you can read below. See what Weezer, Wheatus, and Brady, Nebraska mean to the world of The Kickstand Band! Be sure to check these two out, and go see 'em if they happen to visit your town in the coming year.

Fuzzy Logic: How do you do?
The Kickstand Band: Very carefully.

FL: What was the last song you listened to?
TKB: Some guy just sang "Love Lockdown" on The Voice. We don't watch The Voice all the time. Just when we're waiting to watch the Republican Debate.

FL: Playing music is:
TKB: Gonna pay the bills someday goddammit.

FL: What album most made you realize you wanted to make music?
Allison Young: Weezer - Blue Album.

Gordon Smith: Weird Al - Another One Rides the Bus.

FL: Beatles or Stones?
TKB: Uggggh such a loaded question. Are we at a party? Don't put the Beatles on during a party.

FL: What’s your first music memory?
GS: My grandpa playing piano whenever we went to his apartment.

AY: My mom playing Joni Mitchell while cooking.

FL: Top 5 albums (of now, of this week, of ever):
GS: In no particular order,
Dean Martin - Swingin' Down Yonder
ELO - A New World Record
Judas Priest - Screaming for Vengeance
Weezer - Pinkerton
Lightning Love - November Birthday

AY:
B-52's - The B-52's
Lightning Love - November Birthday
Weezer - Pinkerton
Hall and Oates - Private Eyes
Nick Guilder - City Nights

FL: Favorite music-related movie?
TKB: That Thing You Do.

FL: Half-full or half-empty?
TKB: Violently swinging from one to the other every hour or two.

FL: What's the first thing you think when you wake up in the morning?
AY: "You're a rich girl, and you've gone too far
'Cause you know it don't matter anyway"

GS: "Fuck."

FL: Little-known Kickstand Band fact?
TKB: We once played Brady, Nebraska. Population: 304. It went well!

FL: The greatest record store in the world is:
TKB: The internet, probably. :(

FL: What was your first show?
TKB: Halloween Basement Party! We played three songs, including "Teenage Dirtbag" by Wheatus.

FL: Your boots were made for:
TKB: Food service jobs.

FL: Shaken or stirred?
TKB: Stirred, I feel so guilty making anyone do that Bar Rescue shake-n-smile thing.

FL: What’s the longest flight you’ve ever been on, and where to?
TKB: El Paso, working on the Jessica Hernadez and the Delta's album (Secret Evil).

FL: If you weren't in a band you'd be?
TKB: In an orchestra.

FL: If you were so inclined, whom would you form a tribute band in honor of?
TKB: We did a tribute band of the B-52's for Halloween and it changed our lives. We've also thought about doing Johnny Cash and June Carter.

FL: Best song ever written?
TKB: "Just What I Needed" - The Cars.

The Kickstand Band...

As a movie: Independence Day.

As a drink: Pickleback, hold the whiskey.

As a weather event: SUNNY.

As an obscure vintage LP: Switched on Bach.

As a moment in history: Last Thursday.

As a denomination of currency: 20 bitcoins.

As a place in Washington, DC: Einstein Statue!

As a video game/character therein: Skate from Streets of Rage 2. Killer soundtrack.

As a work of literature: Frog and Toad are Friends.

As a historical figure: The Terminator.

As a campaign promise: Fries before guys. - Fuzzy Logic


"Kickstand & Deliver - Like the Cramps and the Beach Boys trashed on Boone's Farm"

By Brett Callwood
The Kickstand Band record release party is with Lightning Love and the Deadbeat Beat on Saturday, Nov. 10, at PJ's Lager House, 1254 Michigan Ave., Detroit; 313-961-4668.

There's nothing like being in on a secret, especially when it's a really exciting secret that is well worth knowing. Earlier this year, at the Blowout festival, the Kickstand Band performed in front of a sparse crowd at the Mars Bar at midnight. The three 25-year-olds (singer and guitarist Gordon Smith, singer and bassist Allison Young, and drummer Anthony Kanakri) didn't take the occasion for granted; they strolled out and laid waste to the little bar and the few attendees with their hook-heavy pop-rock.
The guys have received some of the best schooling in town. Smith has played with Eddie Baranek in the Sights as well as with Jessica Hernandez in her Deltas, while Young has performed for a good while with Mick Bassett & the Marthas. The three peeps know that, here in Detroit, you have to bring your A-game to every show and leave every inch of yourself on every stage. The crowds, no matter how small, demand nothing less.
The Kickstand Band's first show was just two years ago, on Halloween. "Allison and I had been in a lot of bands together," says Smith. "We always listened to music driving to and from the shows, and we had a lot of things in common. Weezer's Blue Album and stuff like that. In the back of my mind, I was thinking that it'd be so cool to have a band with her. I wanted to write fun, short songs."
Short and fun they are. The songs usually clock in at two-and-a-half minutes or less. Smith and Young harmonize in a trashy, almost haphazard rock 'n' roll way that is both raw and sweet. Lyrically, they recall early Beatles with the simple, oft-repeated lines about relationships that don't get too deep ("I wonder why as hard as I try / I'm still thinking of you tonight / What can I say to take it away / I'm still thinking of you tonight" — from (surprise!) "Still Thinking of You Tonight").
And there's a surfy element that is instantly infectious. Think the '50s punkabilly of the Cramps and the breezy pop brilliance of the Beach Boys, all mixed up in a Boone's Farm warehouse. "We're a three-piece and we try to keep the music within the realm of possibility," Smith says. "Short and sweet. There's not much lavish stuff that we can do. Simple music."
The Kickstand Band is based in the actual city of Detroit (as opposed to a suburb), and Young believes that this is to their benefit. "I think it affects the music," she says. "I live in a shared house and, in the city, we can get away with a bit more. In fact, a lot more. Friends' bands practice here that don't even live here. It's inspiring, being in the mix with your friends and like-minded people. Being surrounded by musical people and musical things. You can do that in the suburbs, but the Lager House is less than a mile from my house. I'm not at the Lager House all the time, but it does make things easy."
Smith agrees that his band is in exactly the right place. "It seems to me like this is a healthy time for Detroit bands," he says. "The Sights are on a big worldwide tour with Tenacious D, Jessica Hernandez is doing great things, Lightning Love's new album is amazing, Dale Earnhardt Jr. Jr. is doing great too. There are a lot of good things happening now. Maybe nobody's making a ton of money, but they're making waves."
Still, this is a particularly rough time for bands everywhere. An ever-increasing number of venues struggle to fill (or even half-fill) rooms, and an overload of information on the 'net means that online event invitations can get lost amid masses of junk. So how do bands drag people out to their shows?
"People still come out," says Smith. "We were just at the Halloween show at the Crofoot last night and it was almost unbearable, there were so many people there. People still come out. I can't whine and complain that people won't come out to see music because obviously they will. You have to sweeten the deal a little bit. For our album release show, we're trying to make it like an ice-cream social. I know that's a bit gimmicky, but we're new at this anyway. I don't know if ice cream pairs well with excessive drinking."
Hmmm. Offering ice cream may not be a long-term solution for anyone, although the ingenuity, the ability to think outside of the box, is probably important. The ability to use social media certainly is key, though Smith says that bands and musicians can't stick their music in one place and hope for the best. "If your album is streaming live one day, the very next day it could be that nobody is listening to it," he says. "It's literally yesterday's news. - Detroit Metrotimes


"The Kickstand Band - Still Thinking of You"

Detroit’s The Kickstand Band have this whole power-pop thing down. Quite simply, “Still Thinking Of You” is a damn good track. Lush boy-girl harmonies and big riffs that sound deliciously vintage. It’s a throwback in style, but a refreshing change from the overly-electronic scene that today’s music world seems immersed in. - We All Want Someone To Shout For


"Kickstand Band Tape Release"

[The] Kickstand Band...are certainly pop - but more the realized paradigm of indie-rock ideals: delectably melodious, toe-tapping, and hooks so catchy they could yank you off your chair, yet rendered a more caustic sheen of blurred, jangled riffage and tinged with a keyed-up air, propelled forward by antsy rhythms.


Moments of their tunes may flirt with that almost-cutesy, daydreamy, surfy pop that's been mined by Best Coast types...but their edges are rougher, their tones explicitly less syrupy...in fact, that guitar's wrung to a tinnier/less-reverb-soaked, twangy gnarl, blurring by in fits reminiscent of post-punk pioneers like Wire. The drums facilitate a perfect middle ground between the tribal one-two punch of punk ("I Don't Care") to the more waltzy, shuffling style of pop/rock ("Baby Pictures") and that wavy bass struts with enough pizazz of it's own...think, not-quite-a-Pixies-thing, no no...but, almost, sometimes like a Young Marble Giants' type groove (free of any languor). Add all that to the immortal charm of well-matched boy/girl harmonized duets and their ability to weave indellible melodies.
- Deep Cutz


Discography

"Summer Means Fun" - EP, Gold Tapes
"Puppy Love" - LP, Suburban Sprawl 
"Disarm the Settlers Vol. 1" - Split EP with Ryan Allen & His Extra Arms, Five Three Dial Tone Records
"Kitty Cat Sessions" - EP, Gold Tapes


Photos

Bio

Born in a Detroit basement on Halloween, The Kickstand Band has been steadily taking over the lives of Gordon Smith and Allison Young since 2011. Despite it's ominous origins, the band's music radiates happily melancholic harmonies and guitars that peek through a summery haze of reverb. Raised on the brazen power pop that surrounded the early 2000's as well as the golden oldies that consistently poured out of the radio on road trips up-north, Smith & Young were drawn to Detroit by the echoes of the garage rock boom.


After settling into the city, they assembled their debut album Puppy Love, a bright-and-shiny collection of sticky hooks and surfy aspirations. Followed by three quick releases - the Summer Means Fun EP, In the Sun EP, and Summer Dream EP - all perpetually looking toward summer, with many of the songs produced in the service of providing a dose of escapism from neverending midwest winters and post-liberal arts degree woes. There’s "A little bit of soul. A little bit of blues. A little bit of Surf guitar," according to theonlymagicleftisart.com, "This band's got it all."

 

Desperate to tour but hard up for a road-ready drummer, the band was inspired by one of their favorite artists, Colleen Green, to head out with a drum machine providing the backbeats and they engineered a secondhand lamp-light-show to complement their energetic set.

 

Now residing in a city where the summer never ends, Los Angeles, their second full length album is set to be released later this year marking the 7 year anniversary of The Kickstand Band’s inception. Their new music goes hand in hand with their live performances - simple and sublime. In a matter of minutes, it takes you back to summer camp and leaves you there.

Band Members