Union Transfer


Stars Apart

Stars Apart

Joey Sweeney & The Neon Grease, The Justines

Wed, November 22, 2017

Doors: 7:30 pm / Show: 8:00 pm

The Boot & Saddle

Philadelphia, PA


This event is 21 and over

Stars Apart
Stars Apart
Simply put, Stars Apart is true to form with the elements of real rock & roll….great melodies, power, and feel mixed with captivating hooks with riffs that drive the band’s own unique rock sound. Fostered from the seeds of post punk and retro alternative, the band’s influences are present in their music, yet originality is very evident when listening to Stars Apart. The band features polished and insightful songwriting that punches through each note with guitars, drums, and vocals guiding the sound and energy.
Based out of the NJ/Philadelphia area, Stars Apart is made up of stalwart local players; Mike DeCastro on vocals/guitar/keys, James Becker on guitar/vocals, Brian Wilkinson on bass and Rob Martin on drums. The 2nd full length record from Stars Apart Under The Bunker, released in late 2016, captures a sensationally produced snapshot of the band reaching a high mark with their sound. Stars Apart is playing live to support this highly anticipated release.
Joey Sweeney & The Neon Grease
After his last album — 2013’s string-laden Long Hair, his first solo effort since disbanding The Trouble With Sweeney — Joey Sweeney found himself obsessed with a certain aesthetic, half-remembered from childhood, the product of images and sounds that gave him his first impressions of night in the city. It was a mashup of memory and media, where lost TV commercials brushed up against his earliest recollections of the people around him, some lost, some as steady as rocks in uncertain times. After falling into every manner of YouTube and musical wormhole, one night, he sat down and began to write:

“I want to talk to you about a time when men in their 30s roamed the streets of a dilapidated America, where endless downtown blue neon cast light upon dirty wet sidewalks filled with fresh depravity. And these men that co-existed with it all, somehow seeing in the streets and the freedom they offered, a second chance.”

This began a book-length exploration into this aesthetic called Divorce Rock, which he’s still working on. But soon enough, the same obsession crept into the music he was making, too, and when it came time to write and record new material, he refashioned his band into that sonic image. He replaced lead guitar with Kevin Bohannon’s saxophone. Alan Carroll’s Hammond B3 became omnipresent. And Jared Styles’ root bass playing turned into lockstep with Alec Meltzer’s drums, resulting in something that was tough yet emotional, and hopefully elegant in its grit. Along the way, Sweeney connected with old friends Elk City, whereupon Ray Ketchem engineered the sessions and Renee LoBue lent her backing vocals to most of the tracks.

Drawing inspiration from sources as disparate as 1970s Philly nightlife folklore and Denis Johnson’s The Incognito Lounge, Joey Sweeney & The Neon Grease present as a living micro-history of redemption amidst sleaze. In here, chiming 80s 12-string guitars, classic rock sax solos and rainy bedroom Velvet Underground listening sessions all blend together. In these songs are little stories of triumph over dirty circumstance and grace under pressure, with the friendship of an urban family “street band” woven throughout. They’re little tales of hard-won glory. In “Baptized in Vibe,” Sweeney sings, “Everybody except me knew I would survive.”

The bag may get greasy as hell, but the bottom never falls out.
The Justines
Doug Bailey, John Rickman, Jenny Higgins
Venue Information:
The Boot & Saddle
1131 S. Broad Street
Philadelphia, PA, 19147