SCHED* SXSW 2011 has ended
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Gospel Claws

Gospel Claws are an American rock band based in Tempe, Arizona. Their music has been described as “rambling desert-pop”, “uber-catchy indie pop”, and even “Jan & Dean on cough syrup”. But no matter how one chooses to describe this band, the fact is that singer Joel Marquard “… always delivers.” Admittedly, that last quote is simultaneously referencing Marquard’s music and his day job as a FedEx driver. After leaving Dear and the Headlights in 2007, he hooked up with longtime friend Sloan Walters. The two songwriters eventually recruited some other friends, John Mulhern and Scott Hall, for a rhythm section. Wesley Hilsabeck, who Marquard hooked up with via his delivery route one day, rounds out the lineup on second guitar. Gospel Claws released an EP and a couple extra tracks via compilations and a split 7” with fellow Arizona boys What Laura Says. They honed their live act in the downtown Phoenix art scene opening for national that rolled through town like Cage the Elephant, No Age, Portugal. The Man, The Besnard Lakes, and Deer Tick. The Phoenix NewTimes nominated Gospel Claws for “Best Indie Band” in 2009 and Music Editor Martin Cizmar called the EP “one of my favorite local records of the year.” With the release of their debut LP C-L-A-W-S in October 2010, Gospel Claws solidified their sound and gained traction at press and radio. The album was recorded mostly live with producer Bob Hoag (The Format, Joel Plaskett, Dear and the Headlights) his studio, Flying Blanket Recording. These recording sessions with no click track or extensive over-dubbing showcased a band that had become surprisingly tight and polished, but had enough soul to spread their “gospel” and enough raw energy to still be called “claws.” The album charted well at college and specialty radio, with 5 weeks in top 100 chart position on CMJ200 and 4 weeks on FMQB’s Submodern charts, the album peaking at #2 and single “Walk me Down” at #6. MagnetMagazine, Faronheit, Largehearted Boy, We All Want Someone to Shout for, and many other blogs featured multiple MP3s from C-L-A-W-S giving the song “Avenues” a solid run on We Are Hunted on emerging song and artist charts. The band was featured in a “Best of What’s Next” feature from Paste and the song “Walk Me Down” was featured on NPR’s All Songs Considered. A review from Death + Taxes called C-L-A-W-S “one of the year’s most unforgettable albums.” Gospel Claws will be heading to Austin, TX this March for an official showcase at SXSW along with some day party appearances. They headed back to the studio last month to record a new single “I can, I will,” which will be released digitally March 1st. Director Benjamin Bates created a music video for “Summer Nights Lakeside” from Marquard’s vintage 8mm family films and is currently shooting another video with the band for C-L-A-W-S epic slow jam “Greeley Estates.”

My Artists Sessions

Thursday, March 17

9:00pm CDT