Me First and the Gimme Gimmes

Presented by Fifthwheel & Relaxd

Me First and the Gimme Gimmes

Together Pangea

Wed, May 10, 2017

7:00 pm

Pub Rock

Scottsdale, AZ

$22

Sold Out

Me First and the Gimme Gimmes
In that mythical era known as the 90’s, five brave young men emerged from the legendary halls of some of the mightiest bands on Fat Wreck Chords with a single mission: make all the rest of these dildo punk bands covering popular songs obsolete. They crowned themselves Me First and the Gimme Gimmes and the world rejoiced. Now, seven records, scores of singles and nearly a thousand years later, having tackled every genre under the sun, the bold young knaves known colloquially as the Gimmes have ridden their success hard, and decayed into desiccated, old divas. Yet, the diva, she is immortal. And thus, imbued with the old-world, Mystic Pizza-esque swagger of Cher, the modern pop-art sensibility of Lady Gaga and the enthusiasm-for-drug-consumption of Whitney Houston, Me First and the Gimme Gimmes have returned from their beauty rest, busting out of their sequined gowns, and throwing vases at their assistants in order to present you with their latest opus, entitled Are We Not Men? We Are Diva!, slated to be released on May 13, 2014 on none other than Fat Wreck Chords. And you’d best believe, whether because of their tantrums or their virtuosity, once you hear these fat ladies sing, there’s not gonna be a dry eye in the house.

For the uninitiated, Me First and the Gimme Gimmes consist of Lagwagon frontman Joey Cape on the guitar, Shiflett brother (and Foo Fighter) Chris Shiflett on the other guitar, Lagwagon drummer and Fat Wreck utility superhero Dave Raun on the skins, and are rounded out by Fat Wreck-head-honcho/NOFX main-dude Fat Mike, and incomparable crooner Spike Slawson. Together, Me First and the Gimme Gimmes—an outfit that has always operated more like a beer-hall Pussycat Dolls than a regular mortal band—contain so much hot air, so much pomp, so much attitude, that it’s a wonder that these guys can still manage to pull their five individual tour buses into the same parking lot, put their differences aside and belt out the ballads without clawing each other’s eyes out. But they do, for the love of the fans, the music, and of course, the applause.

In the past, The Gimmes have tackled such disparate genres as Motown, country, show tunes and even Japanese pop (sung in real live Japanese!) but none of that enabled them to truly soar as high above the eagles as they desired, feeling the wind of other, lesser bands beneath their wings. So this time, the Fat (Wreck) Five decided to take on the un-take-on-able and hit us with cuts from the likes of Celine (gasp!) Christina (Sigh!) and Paula Abdul (oh no you di’int!) among others. And as Spike’s baritone somehow manages to make Whitney Houston’s (Dolly Parton-penned) Theme Song To The Bodyguard EVEN MORE EPIC, you will be moved to tears. You will find joy. You will shake in your very skin as the music of these divas gently takes you by the hand and shows you how to love again. AND! You’ll buy tickets to see ‘em on tour.

Because that’s right folks! Nothing says ‘diva’ like coming to your town to bask in the torrential, gushing blasts of your love, and the Gimmes will be hitting the entire world in support of Are We Not Men? We Are Diva!, except maybe Mike, who’s such a diva that he’s got substitutes on hand! So grab those flowers off of your grandma’s grave and head out now, to check out Me First and the Gimme Gimmes on wax and in your town, before these five outrageous harpies either kill each other or wind up as a Vegas destination act, bloated, high on pills and… uh, nevermind that last part. Just go see em, eh? It’s a helluva time.
Together Pangea
William Keegan: guitar, vocals * Danny Bengston: bass * Erik Jimenez: drums

together PANGEA do rock ‘n’ roll as it was meant to be – raw, unpredictable, and probably dangerous, but also blazing with intelligence, emotion, and edgy experimentation. The Los Angeles-based trio made their bones as purveyors of post-millennial punk, but with their third full-length release – and Harvest Records debut – BADILLAC, they pay their debt to the supersonic 90s rock that first inspired them. The band has not sacrificed a spurt of precious energy, instead integrating nuance and dynamic momentum to songs like “No Way Out” and the undeniably badass title track. The volcanic riffs and massive melodies are matched by an equally provocative lyrical stance, with songs like “Sick Shit” and the album-closing “Where The Night Ends” casting an acerbic eye over the wreckage of the party they helped start – it’s 3am and the drunken fun has given way to sexual panic, anxiety and self-doubt. Slightly stoned but by no means slack, BADILLAC reveals together PANGEA to be both confident and surprisingly committed, their audacious ambition already impossible to contain.

“It might be confusing for people, assuming we’re like this garage punk band and then hearing this record,” says singer/songwriter/guitarist William Keegan. “But we really don’t want to get trapped at all.”

Keegan first started writing and recording in his Santa Clarita bedroom, his teenage tapes eventually coming to full flower with the aid of bassist Danny Bengston and drummer Erik Jimenez. Known then simply as Pangea, the band played countless beer blasts in and around CalArts, their boozy mayhem and breakneck pop hooks quickly earning them frenzied crowds throughout the Southern California DIY scene and beyond. A string of seven-inches, cassettes, and LPs – including 2011’s ace second album, LIVING DUMMY, released by Burger Records and The Smell’s Olfactory label – followed, as did gigs alongside a veritable who’s-who of like-minded rockers, including Ty Segall, Mikal Cronin, Wavves, and The Black Lips (not to mention 2013’s epic “Burgerama Caravan of Stars” US tour).

BADILLAC was recorded with their longtime producer/engineer Andrew Schubert over three intensive sessions at his Tarzana studio, their roster augmented by second guitarist Cory Hanson (of the electronic pop outfit, W-H-I-T-E). While many bands in their position would have simply continued banging out the party punk, together PANGEA decided to throw a curveball at themselves and their fervent fanbase.

“We wrote like 30 plus songs for this record,” Bengston says, “half of which have the same punky bubblegum vibe of our last record. Then we had this other batch of songs, a little more melancholy, a little heavier, a little darker. I think in the end we just decided to try to not make the same record twice.”

“When I write, there are certain songs that I feel fit the band,” Keegan says, “and then there are songs where it doesn’t feel like they fit. At some point, I was like, maybe we should try some of the songs that don’t necessarily fit. Because I realized that they do fit – they’re just different.”

Though Keegan cites such unexpected heroes as Pete Seeger and 21st Century K Records artists like Little Wings and the Microphones, he fully fesses up to BADILLAC’s most primal inspirations. Indeed, songs like “Why” and the cello-laced “No Way Out” fuse classic post punk ambivalence with fist-pumping stadium rock, their neurotic hooks, throat-rending vocals, and fat, distorted riffs hearkening back to the glory days of the alternative nation.

“To me, the album is so obviously influenced by the shit that I was listening to when I was 16,” Keegan says. “Growing up in the 90s, all that stuff – Nirvana, Smashing Pumpkins, Weezer. It wasn’t conscious, the album just sounds like that. It feels like that music is etched in deeper that music I’ve listened to as an adult. For whatever reason, the music you listened to when you’re confused and young gets in deeper than anything you might listen to later.”

BADILLAC also sees together PANGEA stepping away from their association with a much-hyped scene they believe too often revels in its own idiocy, Keegan’s wry lyrics pushing both their music and subject matter towards unsettling themes of impotence, fear, ennui, and detachment.

“We think less and less about how we fit into this garage punk scene that we never even technically felt a part of,” Keegan says. “We just kinda get lumped into that. I’m not really stoked on what a lot of those bands are saying, there’s a lot of misogyny and stuff I’m not into.”

Like any angst-ridden tunesmith worth his salt, Keegan also directs his gaze inwards, coming to turns with his own cynical view of relationships on songs like the mordant “Offer,” their cracked melodies and jaundiced skepticism fueled by his recent romantic struggles.

“I went through a really difficult relationship where we were breaking up every three months for four years,” he says. “At the end of it, I was just like, “This is never gonna work.’ It was pretty intense and I think that informs a lot of the songs on the album.

“It’s kinda funny,” he adds. “As soon as we finished this record, we broke up for good.”

BADILLAC will drive together PANGEA through 2014, their imminent plans essentially consisting of touring until they drop. Nevertheless, the band finds themselves in the unprecedented position of having to ponder the future.

“We’ve been discussing where the next record is gonna go,” Bengston says, “we still haven’t put our finger on it yet.”

“It’s weird,” Keegan says, “because we never had to have those formal discussions, like, ‘What should the next record sound like?’ It’s always been pretty natural. Hopefully that’s what’ll end up happening again.”
November 2013
Venue Information:
Pub Rock
8005 East Roosevelt Street
Scottsdale, AZ, 85257
http://www.pubrocklive.com/