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Second time’s a charm

Low Volts celebrates album release with an end-of-the-world party at The Casbah

By Logan Broyles | SDUN Reporter

After his debut record “Twist Shake Grind Break” earned him a couple San Diego Music Awards (SDMA) and some serious buzz, Los Angeles-native Tim Lowman of Low Volts had to pull out all the stops for his follow-up.

Low Volts’ first full-length album, titled “OH MY STARS,” will hits stores on Tuesday, Dec. 11, and copies will be available at the album release party held at The Casbah on the Maya-predicted last day of existence, also known as Dec. 21.

Low Volts’ ‘OH MY STARS’ will be available Tuesday, Dec. 11. (Photo by Ian Kasnoff)

Clearly Lowman is not worried about the Maya calendar’s doom ruining his party, or maybe he just loves The Casbah so much that he decided to go out the best way he knew how: while rocking his guitar on stage.

“It’s the end of the Mayan calendar, which some say is the end of the world,” Lowman said. “Why not go down at The Casbah?”

The one-man act continues to evolve, with Lowman playing bass, keyboard, and electric and acoustic guitar all at the same time.

“I’d say the new album is more rock ‘n’ roll than the blues-ier debut record,” he said. “There’s still a ton of low and heavy slide-guitar, but it’s done in a more progressive way.”

“OH MY STARS” tells the story of a growing musician that is not afraid to mix things up, drink too much or pour his soul out on tracks that focus on love, loss and stabbing himself in the heart to solve his relationship woes.

The album is clearly the creation of someone that has a deep respect and connection to the legends of rock and roll’s past. Throughout the album, there are traces of everything from Buddy Holly to Bruce Springsteen on tracks “Can’t Deny” and “Crippled Cat,” and Lowman does his best impression of Elvis on the more raw and soulful track, “Bloody Knuckles and a Hickey.”

“I really just write what comes to me,” he said. “The only guidelines I used were: one, can I pull this off on stage as a one-man act, and two, does it maintain a timeless, authentic sound?”

Lowman is a firm believer in not tinkering with a proven method. For the first record he played all of the instruments and incorporated only a few overdubs, using the most basic and raw sounds he could think of, like chains and garbage cans for drums.

“I’m still so proud of the debut record that I didn’t want to change the format too much,” he said. “I had Mike Butler produce, engineer and mix … just like the first record, and I wrote, sang and played every instrument on both records.”

The simplicity makes it easier for him to translate his music to the stage, since Lowman essentially plays every single instrument. During live shows he is occasionally joined by some female friends to play tambourine, or just rattle some chains to add to the junkyard style that Lowman is going for with his music.

Lowman anticipates “epic performances” by his party’s opening acts Dirty Sirens, L.A.-based electro-rave duo Restavrant and local rockers Grand Tarantula.

Serra High School alum and former members of the band Hot Like A Robot, Grand Tarantula won Best New Artist at the 2010 SDMA’s with the release of their debut album “I’m Not Gonna Let You Go.” The band will soon be heading back to the studio to put together their second record, and will use the Dec. 21 show to test new material.

“We’re just getting into the studio to record for a new release, set for spring 2013,” said Jordan Clark, lead singer of Grand Tarantula. “We’re really exited for people to hear our new material. We’ll be playing a couple new songs at the show.”

Buy advance tickets to the album release party, and Lowman will sign a copy of the “OH MY STARS” for you at the show. Tickets are $10 in advance, and $12 at the door. The Casbah is located at 2501 Kettner Blvd. For more information and tickets visit casbahmusic.com or call 619-232-4355.

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