Motel Beds To Make Athens Stop This Friday

By: ,
Posted on:

< < Back to

Motel Beds (photo provided)

While it's tempting to say "you snooze, you lose" when referring to Motel Beds, the truth is you'll be kicking yourself if you miss this Friday's show at Central Venue.

The critically acclaimed Dayton band, currently in the midst of a Midwest tour, is stopping in Athens on Sept. 12 for a gig with local bands Unmonumental and Nightstalker.

Motel Beds' power pop sound–full of catchy guitar riffs, sweet harmonies and driving rhythms–owes much to acts like Big Star, Emitt Rhodes and the Flamin' Groovies, with a bit of early '70s Stones-swagger.

With 11 self-released albums to their name, their latest, These Are the Days Gone By, is their first on Dayton-based Misra Records. The 12-track collection features highlights and hidden gems from the band's past work, including a cover of Matthew Sweet's 1991 hit "I've Been Waiting" and a guest appearance from The Breeders' Kelley Deal on "Tropics of the Sand."

"It's a compilation of songs from our previous albums, with a couple of rarities and little treats thrown in," said bassist Tod Weidner, who gives credit to mastering engineer Carl Saff (Guided by Voices, Dinosaur Jr.) for the record's cohesive sound. "It really does feel like an album of all-new material. The oldest song on this record, "Skymade Suit," dates back to the very first Motel Beds release, Hasta Mañana. It's about a decade old."

When the band recently signed to Misra, label manager Leo Deluca suggested they put together a compilation to get a new audience acquainted with their music. Since signing, the band has moved from a DIY ethos to working with a company that takes care of the day-to-day details. According to Weidner, the biggest change is the release schedule.

"There's a strategy to how a label releases its records, whereas in the past we'd just put an album out when we were finished with it," he explained. "We're taking advantage of the extra time we have available to really hone the new songs. We're recording multiple versions, trying to get the magic take. The slower pace felt a little strange at first, but we're enjoying the change."

Weidner joined the band in 2010, nine years after the original lineup formed. While he doesn't have many details on the band's early days, he did have some insight to the group's seedy-sounding moniker.

"I know the band name came from one of the guys asking our friend Kim to name the grossest thing she could think of," he said. "And the rest, as they say, is history."

As the Motel Beds have grown as a band, so have their audience. On this tour, concertgoers have been more receptive and seem very familiar with the material. But it's taking the group a little while to get used to that level of fandom, according to Weidner.

"It's unsettling, in the best possible way," he said.

With an extensive catalog of songs to choose from, Weidner said the band likes to change things up from night-to-night. No set list is the same, which keeps both band and audience on their respective toes.

Find out what the band has in store this Friday at 8 p.m. For more information, visit Central Venue's Facebook page.