The Return of Secret Stages: A Three Show Mini-Preview

Healing Power and Holy Youth are but two of the many Secret Stages 2013 bands who will be playing Birmingham this month.

Healing Power and Holy Youth are but two of the many Secret Stages 2013 bands who will be playing Birmingham this month.

It’s been over a month since Secret Stages 2013 happened, and we’re starting to see acts from its lineup show up on the stages of Birmingham. Tonight and tomorrow, Bottletree is hosting shows featuring or entirely made up of acts that played this year’s fest. Then later this month, The Nick has Lazer/Wulf, who were a big, loud metallic hit at Secret Stages, along with Future Primitives and Glories. Here’s a few more details and links for you:

TONIGHT – Wednesday, Sept. 11th

Bottletree Cafe
9pm / $8

Holy Youth / Healing Power / Looksy

Holy Youth

“Holy Youth is a four-piece dream punk band from Montevallo, AL. They started playing live in April 2012, and they released a self-titled EP on Happenin Records in early 2013. They have played support sets with The Fresh and Onlys, Cheap Times, and Natural Child. Currently, Holy Youth is planning to release their first full-length and tour the east coast in fall 2013.”
— Holy Youth bio

Healing Power

“Suddenly and mysteriously transfigured into Healing Power, the Cincinnati foursome entertained at Chicago’s Schubas for about an hour, providing a positive, if occasionally bizarre punctuation mark…”
— Craig Bechtel (Pop ‘stache)


Looksy was one the bands that I discovered at this years fest, and am glad to see them return so soon. They are giving their new EP away for free, so no excuses for not picking it up.

“Hard-driving garage sound with stops and starts that keep things sonically interesting; Ingram’s voice, an original with hints of Jack White; powerful guitar chops; pure rock songs.”
— Wellington Riverbottom

TOMORROW – Thursday, Sept. 12th

Bottletree Cafe
9pm / $12

Homeboy Sandman / Open Mike Eagle / Random aka Megan Ran / Chriss Fogg / Lovelight the Messenger / DJ Tanner

Homeboy Sandman

“Sandman stands up tall already against some of his label mates, blending a similar sort of style in which he likes to exhibit his intelligence and authoritarian disregard in full flow; much like Guilty Simpson or MED do. The flow on offer here ties knots in conventional logic and zigzags from topic to topic with fleet feet and impressive dexterity…”
— Joe Wilde (

Open Mike Eagle

“You ever see that scene in one of those Star Trek movies when they put that bug in the dude’s space helmet and goes in his ear and eats his brain? Mike’s kinda like that. He’ll never overwhelm you with layers of chanted choruses or overbearing hooks. He’s more Deltron 3030 asking if he got the part. He will eat your brain.”
— Matt Sullivan (Impose Magazine)

Random aka Megan Ran

“Random is best known for his critically-acclaimed, very serious, very politically and spiritually aware release The Call, but Mega Ran is a much lighter piece of work, put together as a 20th anniversary tribute to Mega Man…Random weaves the old game music into his beats quite expertly (he produced most of the tracks on the album himself), and his lyrics are both funny and clever. He fits in a lot of geek references (and not just to Mega Man), but also manages to give the story – robots fighting robots in the future – a very cool, contemporary, real-life context.”
— Phillyist

Chris Fogg

“Chris Fogg is an artist born and raised in Birmingham, Alabama. Learning to play the drums and violin in elementary school, Fogg showed a natural interest and skill in music. Upon enrolling at the University of Birmingham, Alabama he founded the collective District ph(IVE) and pursued a career as an artist/producer. His sound is combination of eclectic beats, humor ladened lyrics, spiritual overtones with positive messages. His biggest influences are MF Doom, Lupe Fiasco, Gil Scott Heron, Yasiin Bey, Damon Albarn, and J Dilla.”
— Chris Fogg bio

Lovelight the Messenger

Lovelight the Messenger was one of the surprise hits of Secret Stages. His first show ever was on the Friday night LOBOTOMIX stage, and by all accounts, he was one of the best things to grace that stage all weekend. If you missed it, this is your second chance. Also, check out our interview with Lovelight the Messenger here.

Thursday, Sept. 26th

The Nick
9pm / $12

Future Primitives / Lazer/Wulf / Glories

Future Primitives

“The anarchistic post-Apocalyptic rock that is “Future Primitives” manifested back in 2006. In 2008 they self released “Pin a Medal on the Sons of Pinson”, best described as raw garage psych rock. Based out of Birmingham Alabama, this psychedelic tribe works their freak power magic to invoke the soul and dissolve the ego.”
— Future Primitives bio


“To say Lazer/Wulf is on point is an understatement—the band functioned as one cohesive entity, blasting through complex riffs and melting the faces off anyone within earshot. It was as if the high-speed funk-rock thrash had literally enraptured the entire audience and pulled each individual forward on an invisible string. With each song, the intensity grew and even the most jaded and pretentious of audience members could not help but drop their jaws, if only momentarily. The brief silence following the set was an appropriate response to the performance. When the universe aligns and a band pulls off that kind of flawless and crisp congruity, there are really no words.”
— Carrie Dagenhard (Flagpole Magazine)


“You never get a second chance to make a first impression. Glories seems well aware of this adage, and Merrilee Challiss’ cover art is what drew us to this disc in the first place. As a quintet, this Birmingham, Alabama band already has an edge on its competition, and its music is as good as its cover, or even more so.”

About Sam George

Sam George is editor-in-chief of You Hear This, and the former editor of, BHAM.FM, and Birmingham Weekly. He is also a contributing writer at Weld for Birmingham and B-Metro magazine.