Adding pedal steel to a track almost always makes things sound better. This track is no exception. “Leave on the Light” is Bleeker & co.’ first true foray into alt-country domain, although they’ve beat around the metaphorical bush for quite some time, and it’s a doozy. As Bleeker tells us, “the name is sort of a pun, a tribute to Levon Helm.”
The song comes from their new LP “How Far Away” out May 28, 2013 on Woodsist.
While Alex Bleeker spends his days as the bassist in popular indie rock band Real Estate, he also moonlights as the guitarist and frontman in his own band, Alex Bleeker and the Freaks, which takes more from Crazy Horse, the Grateful Dead and Little Wings than The Feelies or Yo La Tengo. Over the past several years, Bleeker has performed sporadic shows in New York and Brooklyn either solo or with a rotating cast of musicians that has, at times, included members of Real Estate. During that time he also released a 7″ and an EP on Underwater Peoples, and will now release his debut full-length, titled How Far Away, on Woodsist in the Spring of this year. Stream “Don’t Look Down,” the lead track on the album, below.
How Far Away comes out May 28 on Woodsist.
Catch Alex Bleeker and the Freaks alongside Quilt and Weyes Blood at our show this Sunday at Glasslands Gallery. RSVP.
The next DGB event is a very special one. Alex Bleeker & the Freaks, Quilt and Weyes Blood will come together on February 17 for a show at Glasslands Gallery in Williamsburg, Brooklyn. Drippy Eye Projections will be providing visuals and I’ll be providing some tunes before and after each set. Come dance and partake in a night of jam-filled fun. RSVP here.
Purchase tickets via Ticket Fly.
On Thursday night, Real Estate bassist Alex Bleeker performed at The Glasslands with a new band of Freaks. The group jammed heavily and debuted several new songs, including the one called “Our Song” featured in the video below. The song sounds more Real Estate-y than most of Bleeker’s solo material, but still has his trademark Crazy Horse/jamband feel to it. Bleeker and the Freaks recently signed to Domino records and will be hitting the road next month on their first national tour. Check out the full list of tour dates below.
Head over to Jambands.com to read my interview with the Phish-loving bassist.
Alex Bleeker & the Freaks’ August Tour
August 8 Brooklyn, NY—Monster Island Basement
August 9 Philadelphia, PA—Danger Danger Gallery
August 10 Washington, DC—Subterranean A
August 11 Charlottesville, VA—Venue TBA
August 12 Durham, NC—The Layabout
August 13 Atlanta, GA—529
August 14 Athens, GA—Farm 255
August 15 Oxford, MS—Cats Purring Dude Ranch
August 16 Nashville, TN—Grimey’s Records Instore
August 18 Baltimore, MD—Venue TBA
August 20 North Hampton, NH—Runnymede Farm
By now, you’ve probably heard of the New Jersey born indie-psych band Real Estate—whether it be through the various videos and statements I’ve posted supporting them, the Pithfork-sized buzz that follows them around or the house music leaving Phish’s performance at DCU Center on November 27, 2010 (listen to “Suburban Dogs” here). But, it’s less likely that you’ve delved some of their side-projects. So allow me to introduce to you, Alex Bleeker and The Freaks.
Alex Bleeker plays bass in Real Estate, but in his side project Alex Bleeker and the Freaks, he is the principal songwriter and rhythm guitarist. The band features a rotating cast of supporting musicians that often includes members of Real Estate, or other closely-related groups. Departing from the indie-psych sound in his primary outfit, Bleeker takes the Freaks into fuzzed out Crazyhorse-ish, Grateful Dead-esque terriroty. As he told me in a recent interview for Jambands.com:
“I think I’m the member of Real Estate that has the biggest jam background. So probably my side project, just by nature of the fact that I’m the lead songwriter, is going to be the most jammy, in a way…I’ve said in multiple other interviews that some of the first psychedelic and most experimental music I’ve ever heard were spacey jams at live Phish shows that taught me to open my ears and be patient and listen to music like that.”
Stream the opening track on The Freaks’ album “Summer” > “Epilogue” (yes, he records studio segues) along with Bleeker’s homage to the Dead, “Dead On,” below. Also, check out a live video of the Freaks performing the above mentioned segue at a show in their home state of New Jersey.
“Summer” > “Epilogue“