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Amigo the Devil

with Adrian H and The Wounds, The Mutineers

February 22

9:00 pm

$10 Adv / $12 DOS

Doors at 8:30 | 21 & Over only with valid photo ID

RSVP on Facebook

ABOUT AMIGO THE DEVIL–

If you never met him, you might mistake Amigo the Devil for a monster. The 25-year-old murderfolk maudit’s most popular song is called “Perfect Wife.” With gallows humor to make Marshall Mathers wince, it details gruesome spousal abuse that escalates until the wife rifle-blasts her husband.

Two other beloved anthems are “Dahmer Does Hollywood” and “The Reluse,” which was originally titled, “Ed Gein.” The latter opens this month’s self-released Diggers EP by loosely sketching the necrophiliac Wisconsin serial killer who once made a belt out of human nipples. Think Johnny Cash at his blackest, mixed with Father John Misty, if he exhumed graves at Hollywood Forever Cemetery.

“Everyone has morbid thoughts, but there’s a very large gap between having insanely sick thoughts and actually doing them,” says the Miami-raised Devil, born Danny Kiranos. “But these people exist, and I’m fascinated by them. I’m sure as hell never gonna know what it feels like.”

If you saw the Devil from a distance, his heavily tattooed appearance could confirm your most sinister expectations. He has beefy, butcher’s forearms and a keg-shaped upper body. But if you look closer, many tattoos are jokes: There’s God with an iPod, drinking a beer and thinking about breasts; bees on his knees; and sad dinosaurs crying with the bubble quote, “God doesn’t believe in us.” Several are devoted to horror movies. The rest are “just bullshit.”

This morbid sensibility has run through all his creative endeavors. He first came to L.A. at 18 to make horror films at the Los Angeles Film School. But after an impromptu cocaine and whiskey binge on the morning of orientation, he quit by noon, and instead enrolled in a local culinary school.

After graduation, he moved to San Francisco to get a job at a brewery. Growing up in Florida, he’d dabbled in metal and hardcore bands, but nothing took off like the Devil.

“One day I was bored and drunk and picked up a banjo. ‘Perfect Wife’ came out immediately,” he says.

He put that first song and several subsequent others on MySpace. Feedback was unanimously positive, but music stayed a hobby as the Devil pursued a master’s degree in brewing, attending schools in Chicago and Berlin. He eventually moved to Orlando to open his Cassadaga Brewing, named after the Florida town deemed “The Psychic Capital of the World.” Each beer was named after a famous murder victim.

Between stints in San Diego and Orlando, the Devil recorded his debut EP, Manimals, which sold 2,000 copies almost entirely via word-of-mouth. No label, no booking agent, not even a website.

By the end of 2011, his cult’s strength convinced him to sell his brewing equipment, trade his car in for a van and move back west.

Amigo the Devil has since split his time between L.A. and San Diego, recording Diggers at Sunset Lodge Studios in Silver Lake and playing shows across the country. Fans have ranged from the tattooed and savage to well-heeled 40-year-olds to frat bros. The only similarity is that they all sing along.

Just three tracks, Diggers displays why the Devil is far more than a folkie with a dark side. There’s a sepulchral beauty, acid wit and ingenious arrangements. Both his larynx and his lyrics make him one of the most unique voices in music — even if he sticks only to songs of the doomed.

“The best moments for Amigo have been when I felt the worst, just hung over, terrible situations. It’s not heartbroken stuff but when I feel like shit,” the Devil laughs. “There’s a weird perception: Some people think I just sit at home drinking whiskey all day and beating the shit out of things — which is true.”

ABOUT ADRIAN H AND THE WOUNDS–

ADRIAN H AND THE WOUNDS are your post-goth storytellers. ADRIAN H emerged from Texas and soon moved to northwest of USA, namely Portland, Oregon, to realize his vision together with THE WOUNDS. The immediate reference of their dark, brooding music with lyrics of great narrative power and poetic bent draw to mind references such as NICK CAVE, GARY NUMAN, LOU REED, but they are eclectic enough to keep on with this referencing further on and it would be better and more exact just to say that they’ve blended and absorbed all and out came their own superb poignant dark-wave style. Adrian H and The Wounds have a sound that is sinfully soulful and reminiscent of a night in a darkroom full of hallucinations, secrets and song. Adrian’s voice and lyrics cut like a straight edge. He evokes impassioned stories of tragic love, lost faith and twisted taboos.

ABOUT THE MUTINEERS–

Singer and guitarist Brian Mathusek has roamed from East to West and many places in-between. Along the way, he has gathered stories of hope and fear, love and loss. If there is one constant theme throughout Mathusek’s songwriting, it’s an openness and honesty that comes straight from the heart. He began performing his early songs as a solo artist, but when lifelong friend Michael Astudillo joined in on acoustic guitar and then later his not-yet wife Merry Young picked up the drums, The Mutineers were born.

The trio’s first EP, Tidal Wave (2008), was well received on the West Coast with radio play on a few stations in California and Oregon. It wasn’t long before they began to share stages with such artists as Langhorne Slim, The Devil Makes Three, The Reverend Peyton’s Big Damn Band and The Tallest Man on Earth. Their second EP, Nihilisteria (2009), soon followed, revealing a more dynamic, slightly heavier sound, reminiscent of bands like X, The B-52s, The Pogues, and The Velvet Underground. In 2011, Terry Luna joined the band on stand-up bass and they recorded From the Dirge to the Dance, an eight-song album that more fully explored the musical and vocal range of the newly expanded four-piece sound. Lyrically, songs like “Home” have a healthy dose of cynicism, while “Can’t Quit” shows hope and determination. And of course, it wouldn’t be The Mutineers without a strong spirit of rebellion against the powers-that-be (“Hell No”).

In the years that followed, the band built a loyal following in their home base of Santa Barbara, CA, and expanded their tour route to include stops in Las Vegas, Oregon, Idaho, Utah and a short string of shows in New York and New Jersey. They played to bigger crowds and most memorably shared stages with The White Buffalo, Murder By Death and Larry and His Flask. In 2013, the band returned to its original three-piece lineup and continued playing in Southern California, frequently touring up the West Coast to Portland, Oregon. Brian and Merry got married after a 15-year courtship and Michael became a bar owner, opening Seven Bar & Kitchen in Santa Barbara. In October of 2014, however, The Mutineers suffered a serious blow with the tragic loss of founding member, best friend and guitarist Michael. “It’s been difficult to pick up the pieces. It is very hard to hear some of our songs without Michael’s presence, not to mention the enormous vacancy left by his larger-than-life personality and boundless optimism,” said Mathusek.

Brian and Merry returned to Merry’s home state of Oregon and currently reside in Southeast Portland where they continue making music and running their graphic design and screen printing business, Mutiny Studios. Now performing as a duo, they’ve honed their harmonies, tightened up their sound, built a bed in their van, and have been busy playing shows all over Oregon and California. They recently released a new album, Live at B-Side and plan to follow up that release with more tour dates in 2017.

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