This Friday, March 29th, one of Memphis' newest music venues, 1372 Overton Park, will host a fund-raiser for itself featuring a pair of top-notch local hard rock/metal bands, Tanks and Heavy Eyes. All proceeds from the show will help defray the costs of operating and renovating the space.
In its current incarnation under the leadership of local musicians Nick Pyland and Matt Qualls, as well as close friend Emil Orth, 1372 Overton Park started as a D.I.Y. show space and art gallery back in November. Since then, Qualls estimates they've thrown 10 to 15 events.
"The turnouts have been great. People are very respectful of the rules of the place, and everyone is very enthusiastic too," Qualls says. "To have people I've never met tell me they love the place goes a long way."
For those who think the address rings a bell, there's a reason for that. Lucero named its 2009 album after the location, which was the band's home base for several years. The address has also served as the epicenter for the Memphis hardcore group His Hero Is Gone and, most recently, the office space of local independent label Fat Sandwich Records.
"This strong lineage is the reason why we named it 1372 Overton Park," Qualls says.
Years of punk-rock wear on the space have created quite a challenge for the new proprietors, who have invested time, money, and sweat equity into cleaning up and restoring the premises.
"1372 was in really bad shape when we first got the keys, but through the help of friends we have turned it around and we are continuing to do so extensively," Pyland says. "Plenty of our money goes into the rejuvenation of the building."
Looking beyond Friday's benefit show, all three of 1372 Overton Park's primary operators have big plans for further improvements to the space, which is also Qualls' home. But the music and art will always be the trio's primary focus.
"Honestly, we just want to have fun and keep promoting Memphis music," Orth says.
For more information or booking inquiries, contact the 1372 Overton Park crew at firstname.lastname@example.org.
On March 30th, local instrumental space-rock quintet Glorie will unveil its latest effort, an excellent new EP titled Falling.
Falling is the follow-up to the band's equally deft eponymous debut, which turned heads both locally and overseas after its release in 2011 — albeit to somewhat mixed results.
"Yeah, it was used for some hip clothing line in Japan. Never got paid for that one," says Jason Paxton, the group's founder and keyboard/vibraphone player.
"We got screwed by the Japanese commercial people," adds Glorie multi-instrumentalist Jonathan Kirkscey.
International licensing incidents aside, the band found the response to the first record to be promising and decided to return to the studio to begin work on a second release last summer. Combining home-recorded elements with tracks cut at Ardent Studios with producer/engineer Jeff Powell (within the same songs, no less), the band managed to piece together a collection of new material that expands on the spooky melodies and hypnotic rhythms that the band has thrived on since its inception, but it still feels fresh.
"I'm really impressed with the record after taking some time away from it. I think we hit all the goals we intended to hit when we made it," Paxton says. "Musically, I feel that the songwriting is a little more mature and a little more emotional. The first record still has plenty of emotion, I just feel I didn't hold back as much on Falling. I also feel like we learned a lot as a band from the first record. Mistakes that were made on the last record were corrected on the second."
Falling's success may also owe something to the band's seemingly increased collaborative dynamics. On Glorie, the band was essentially Paxton's baby, but two of Falling's five tracks were composed by Kirkscey this time around.
"Bringing a different voice into the mix changes things up," says Kirkscey, who is also a cellist in the Memphis Symphony Orchestra. "We made a conscious choice to make this record more about the string section."
Saturday's release show at the new Crosstown Arts space (422 N. Cleveland) will be a typically grand and "Glorie-esque" (for lack of a better word) affair. In addition to the band's performance being accompanied by the usual art-house film projections, local visual artist/musician Alex Warble will be debuting a new collection, and local bands Fast Planet and the Oxford Icebergs will round out the night's entertainment.
After Saturday, however, the notoriously intense and meticulous Paxton has only one goal in mind.
"Letting my brain decompress," he says.
Tanks and Heavy Eyes
Friday, March 29th, 1372 Overton Park
Glorie with Fast Planet, the Oxford Icebergs, and an art exhibit from Alex Warble
Saturday, March 30th, 10 p.m., Crosstown Arts (422 N. Cleveland), $10 cover (includes a free CD)