Experiencing something of a second wind, LA’s Rooney, now effectively a solo vehicle for frontman Robert Schwartzman, are set to return to return to town June 28 for a performance at The High Watt, less than a year after their first Music City show in ages, itself part of a run in support of their first album in six years. The alt rockers are making up for lost time, however, with a new EP, El Cortez, set to drop in July, and for their Nashville return, they’re bringing along site faves Run River North and nabbing some local support from That’s My Kid. If you want to feel both nostalgia for their early ’00s beginnings while looking towards Rooney’s future, you can still grab tickets right here, and read on for more about the show below!
Though their genesis traces all the way back to their 1999 high school band origins, LA rockers Rooney made their broader introduction in the early ’00s, appearing on popular TV show The O.C., touring on Lollapalooza and in support of big names like Weezer and The Strokes, and finding a positive wave of initial buzz thanks to their eponymous debut and singles like “Blueside,” “If It Were up to Me,” and “I’m Shakin.” Discovered after strong early demos and buzzy hometown performances, and promptly scooped up by Geffen, Rooney’s ascent seemed swift in the public eye, and the ensuing years would see lots of prominent film and television placements, and a string of great records, perfecting their nostalgic, catchy blend of ’80s pop, British Invasion, and alt rock influences. Though their lineup shifted here and there, Rooney mostly identified as a proper band for many years, though one led by frontman and principal songwriter Robert Schwartzman (brother of actor and musician Jason Schwartzman). Sometime in six year gap between their last album and last year’s new fourth full-length Washed Away, however, Schwartzman opted to pursue Rooney more as a solo project, recruiting a new crop of studio musicians and backing players, to craft what marks the group’s most inspired, retro, and pleasantly poppy batch of songs in years. Continuing his newfound prolific streak, Robert already has new music on the way, with a forthcoming EP, El Cortez, set to arrive July 28 (hear new single “Second Chances” below). Back to being an indie affair, Rooney are still going strong for the love of the music, and, more than a decade and a half in, are still a fun, eclectic, and inspiring site to behold.
RUN RIVER NORTH
Hailing from the Los Angeles area and originally called Monsters Calling Home, indie rockers Run River North have the distinction of all being Korean-American, a heritage that had more influence on their earlier works, which also harbored a more folk rock affinity. Since their eponymous debut in 2014, the band, who have long been our our radar, have become the go-to opener for a variety of diverse and acclaimed acts, a testament to their musical versatility, and with 2016 sophomore effort Drinking from a Salt Pond, they drifted further from their folk origins, embracing a more ambitious alt and indie sound, employing diverse instrumentation and musical polish. A dynamic and commendable live force, honed by years of nonstop touring, the group most recently released a new EP called Superstitions, and in their latest return to Nashville, a well-suited match for Rooney, we’re as excited as ever to see them in action.
THAT’S MY KID
Providing local support, groovy, psych-rock trio That’s My Kid are fast becoming one of Nashville’s top bands to watch, impressing us with each new release and hypnotic live outing. Over the past couple of years, the buzzy band made a strong first impression with their self-titled, debut EP, and followed it up last fall with even better new effort Day Dreamer, becoming an integral part of the local scene (and our Acme showcase) and a lauded live force along the way. Well-suited to kick things off, they’re one great reason to show up early.
Rooney, Run River North, and That’s My Kid will perform tonight, June 28 at The High Watt. The show is 18+, begins at 8 p.m. (doors at 7 p.m.), and tickets are available to purchase for $20.