Miniature Tigers Tour w/Dear & The Headlights, Lenka

Miniature Tigers - photos by Brandon Lee- for the Grateful Web

Miniature Tigers' sound was forged in the bedroom of frontman Charlie Brand, only to quickly outgrow the space, with the band soon finding itself on stage, in the studio and signed to Phoenix's Modern Art Records in short order. Brand's lyrics – a mix of deeply personal insights and playful references to the disparate cultural artifacts that have informed his existence – and effortlessly constructed indie-pop arrangements have made fans in his native Phoenix and beyond. They stretch to Los Angeles, where he reconnected with drummer, collaborator and fellow charter member of the band Rick Schaier while living in Hollywood, and far beyond thanks to the Internet, which it seems people are into these days.

Miniature Tigers' debut album "Tell it to the Volcano" runs the lyrical gamut, taking inspiration from and referencing TV's Lost (which rates a Dharma Initiative sticker on Brand's acoustic) as easily as it probes the joy and heartbreak of Charlie's own life, while managing not to take itself too seriously. Brand wrote the album while on the lam – not from the law, but rather from a relationship he described as "brutal." He left Phoenix to clear his head, landing in Los Angeles and collaborating with his friend Rick to complete the long-gestating album. It was his catharsis – with cannibals and volcanoes stepping in for the real-world problems that had both beset and inspired him. In the end the album represents Charlie's effort to codify, examine, and ultimately move past a 2-year stretch of his life.

Charlie and Rick are joined in their live incarnation by friends and collaborators Lou Kummerer on bass and Lawrence Hearn on lead guitar and keyboards, for performances that seem to give equal time to playing songs and intra-band joking. They aim for a controlled chaos aesthetic that eschews "auto-pilot" at all costs.

In an effort to further confound the expectations of those around the band, they chose to have their video directed by someone who had never helmed one before…or at least never an authorized music video. The band tapped "Yacht Rock" creator JD Ryznar to direct their video for Cannibal Queen in the hopes he would recreate the magic of his wildly popular Internet video series. Ryznar quickly assimilated the band's aesthetic and turned in a video equal parts "Weird Science" and "Frankenstein," to the band's delight.

"Tell it to the Volcano" is currently available on iTunes, as well as a limited-edition letterpressed CD package and on vinyl at shows and via the band's web site. They'll be touring through the winter of 2009, when the album will find its way to stores through an official retail release.

Tour Dates:
With Lenka
1/15/09    Thu    San Francisco    CA    The Independent
1/16/09    Fri    Modesto    CA    Modesto Virtual
1/17/09    Sat    Santa Barbara    CA    SoHo

With Dear & The Headlights
2/24/09   Tue    Los Angeles       CA    Knitting Factory
2/25/09   Wed    Anaheim           CA    Chain Reaction
2/26/09   Thu    Modesto           CA    Modesto Virtual
2/27/09   Fri    San Francisco     CA    Bottom of the Hill
2/28/09   Sat    Orangevale        CA    Boardwalk
3/1/09    Sun    Portland          OR    Satyricon
3/2/09    Mon    Seattle           WA    El Corazon       
3/4/09    Wed    Boise             ID    The Venue
3/5/09    Thu    Salt Lake City    UT    Avalon Theatre       
3/7/09    Sat    Denver            CO    Marquis Theatre
3/8/09    Sun    Omaha             NE    Sokol Underground   
3/10/09   Tue    Minneapolis       MN    Triple Rock
3/11/09   Wed    Iowa City         IA    Picador
3/12/09   Thu    Chicago           IL    Reggie's Rock Club
3/13/09   Fri    Columbia          MO    Mojo's
3/14/09   Sat    Tulsa             OK    The Marquee
3/15/09   Sun    Dallas            TX    The Door       
3/17/09   Tue    San Antonio       TX    Rock Bottom Bar       

3/19/09   Thu    Austin            TX    Jackalope

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