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Event Archive - HAR MAR SUPERSTAR, Sex with Strangers, Looks to kill

Sun. October 13th 2013 The Cobalt (No Minors)
$10 adv / $12 door
Tickets at:
“I’d travel to the edge of the earth to hear that man sing.”
— SF Weekly

“He’s a singular performer who struts with enviable assurance; his confident swagger fills the room.”
— Metro

The Cobalt is proud to host the sweaty, sexy, widely acclaimed live show of Har Mar Superstar as he tours in support of his latest album, Bye Bye 17. Released by Cult Records (a label owned by Julian Casablancas of the Strokes), the new album by the former NME Magazine 'Rock & Roll Man of the Year' hones a pure, vintage R&B sound, channeling the legendary, outrageous Har Mar showmanship into the stylings of James Brown, Otis Redding and Sam Cooke. This dedicated performer has a voice and personality for the ages.

♥♥♥ Har Mar Superstar ♥♥♥

♥♥♥ Sex With Strangers ♥♥♥

♥♥♥ Looks to Kill ♥♥♥



COVER: $10 (adv) / $12 (door)

Bye Bye 17, the new album from acclaimed singer, songwriter and performer Har Mar Superstar (aka Sean Tillmann), is currently out on Cult Records. Already receiving widespread critical praise, BULLETT calls the album, “impossibly groovy and infectious,” while KCRW asserts, “I’d call the album a guilty pleasure but I don’t feel guilty at all. It’s just packed full of hooks.” Additionally, of the album’s first single, “Lady, You Shot Me,” Death + Taxes declares, “Har Mar Superstar returns with the song of his career,” while MTV Buzzworthy calls it a “Buzzworthy Obsession.”

Of asking him to join the label, Cult Records founder Julian Casablancas notes, “First time I saw Sean was at the Mercury Lounge years back, and I was blown away by his voice, his confidence and his showmanship. When he recently played me his new record, I felt it was something we could help make truly great. He’s the man with the golden voice, and we’re excited to try and turn people on to that fact… Like the dude himself, the record’s just tough, sad, hilarious and rad.”

Written in New York City, the 10-song album was recorded at co-producer Jim Eno‘s (Spoon) Austin studio with a full live band. Focusing this time more on his voice, Tillmann says, “I was listening to a lot of Otis Redding and Sam Cooke at the time, and I’ve always been obsessed with those guys… ‘Restless Leg,’ ‘We Don’t Sleep,’ ‘Prisoner’ and ‘Rhythm Bruises’ came out of people playing together. But the rest were just like me in a room, gettin’ weird, by myself.” See below for full track-listing.

Tillmann named his flamboyant alter-ego after the Har Mar mall in suburban St. Paul, MN where he spent his youth watching movies and writing songs about passers-by in the food court. Tillman explains, “Har Mar Superstar used to be a different person. It used to be my excuse to get away with the more fantastic things in life… It was easier to get onstage as this other guy and be outrageous and have it be glorified. I guess the confidence I got from being Har Mar Superstar translated into my real life, so now we’re one and the same.”

BUILT in the shadows of rain-covered Vancouver, Sex With Strangers was founded in 2007 by inimitable front-man Hatch Benedict and mysterious bassist Magnus Magnum.

The two band-mates first met in 1995 during the formation of the Vancouver-based “crust-core” band Harvey Switched. The 5-member post-punk outfit toured and recorded several EP’s in the late ‘90s, most notably the critically acclaimed EP “2001 – A Rock Odyssey”, which was co-produced by The New Pornographers’ bassist John Collins.

After a three year hiatus, Hatch and Magnus reunited and set forth in a new musical direction, sporadically writing and recording material with established producer Mark Henning (Pure, Combine the Victorious). In early 2007, former Harvey Switched guitarist Wedge Beavers and singer/fashion designer Isabelle “Bobbie” Dunlop would join the band to lend their talents to this suddenly expanding project. Featuring the internet-buzz single “Dance Police”, the newly named Sex With Strangers released their debut EP “A Future Tragedy” in the Spring of that year.

Inspired by the initial reaction to the new project, SWS headed back into the studio with Mark Henning to work on their first full-length recording, a concept album titled “The Modern Seduction”. The album earned critical acclaim in their hometown of Vancouver and beyond – notably, SPIN Magazine, which named SWS one of “7 Undiscovered Bands Worth a Listen” to from around the world.

In 2009, the line-up was expanded to include live drummer Dallas Archangel. The band quickly gained a reputation for their unpredictable, feverish and interactive live show, which continues to activate audiences everywhere today.

2009 also saw the release of their second full-length “The Tokyo Steel”, which would continue the post-apocalyptic story that was introduced on “The Modern Seduction”. The album garnered the band showcases at SXSW in both 2010 and 2011, thanks in part to the singles/videos “New City Anthem” and “We Want the Fire” – both of which have appeared on MuchMusic in Canada. In addition, the album helped earn SWS a spot in BC’s esteemed Peak Performance Project.

To complete the “robot-rock” trilogy of albums, Sex With Strangers released “Frontier Justice”. The new record marked a departure from the earlier records’ predominantly electronic feel, utilizing a live drummer for the first time and placing a greater emphasis on heavy bass and keyboard grooves that are reminiscent of the band’s earlier, post-punk influences.

Following the release of Frontier Justice, SWS recruited Alexis Young for a series of shows, which led to her joining the band full-time. Originally brought on to play keyboards, Alexis proved to have a unique voice and solid song-writing abilities which would soon add a distinctive flavour to the band’s sound.

In early 2012, the band began the process of writing their latest album “Behaviours”. Unlike previous efforts, all band members contributed ideas and parts to the writing process this time around, resulting in the sonic equivalent of a Swiss army knife. The album showcases the male/female counter vocals that the band had experimented with in earlier albums, while at the same time stretching the boundaries of the band’s earlier “dance rock” sound. The video for the first single “Times Electric” has already garnered airplay on MuchMusic in Canada.

Electro-rock artist Looks To Kill suckles electro-sweetness and then surprises you with a pure rock sucker punch. LTK is anthemic and hooky, Katie's vocals contrast sweet innocence and then dose you with a hint of wicked, Joan Jett-style. With influences from eighties rock, rap, dubstep and pop, and it's this diversity that reflects in LTK's songs.


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Sex with Strangers (New Wave)

Rising from the shadows of rain-covered Vancouver, Sex With Strangers are the sonic equivalent of a Swiss army knife, drawing on a wide variety of influences ranging from new wave, to post-punk, to dance rock. Although the band revels in the exploration of a wide variety of genres, SWS has managed to create their own unique sound, highlighted by ro... more info