Many Wilmington residents will spend this Valentine’s Day going out to dinner or catching a movie with their significant others. Those looking for an exciting, less-traditional way to spend the holiday of love can dance to the upbeat rock music of The Lonely Teardrops, who will perform at Satellite Bar and Lounge come Saturday. While their name may seem melancholic, the band will rock through a dynamic style to uplift any spirit.
“We combine multiple genres to create our sound,” the band’s front woman, Katie Teardrops, explains. “There are undertones pulled from ‘60s girl groups, surf music, early American garage rock, the wild go-go dance music, bump ‘n’ grind stripper music, and soul well.”
Originally formed by Teardrops, her love for R&B, rock ‘n’ roll and soul music was influenced by her family members singing together to popular female groups like The Shirelles. Teardrops started her musical endeavors at the ripe age of six, when she wrote her first song on an airplane. From there she played in her school’s band and sang in their chorus. At 16 she started taking guitar lessons, and her brother, a fellow musician, gave her all his music equipment to get started.
As an adult, Teardrops came into her own as a musician from playing in various bands such as The Strap-ons, The Pimps and The Curfew Breakers. She mainly toured through Virginia.
Crash LaResh, the band’s drummer, first explored his musical interests at an early age, too. He quips he started playing the drums approximately a week after his birth. Yet, his music career took off while he drummed for the Flat Duo Jets, Dex Romweber’s band, for 13 years.
After Teardrops’ run ended as lead guitarist for The Strap-ons, she moved to Richmond, VA, to begin a solo career. She attracted the attention of LaResh. The musicians randomly met each other at a house party in Norfolk; LaResh accompanied Teardrops’ singing during a spontaneous living-room jam session. The two realized their talents combined resonated a sound worth exploring.
Their performance was videotaped and released on the Internet, which attracted the attention of New Musical Express Magazine (NME), renowned media on the garage-rock circuit. The video of Teardrops and LaResh was featured on the magazine’s website. Eventually, the duo joined forces permanently.
Their first official performance as The Lonely Teardrops was at Cogan’s Instant Art Bar in Norfolk, for the after-party for the VEER Magazine Norfolk Music Awards. The duo opened for the special reunion of LaResh and his former partner, Dex Romweber. LaResh ended up performing for both bands that night.
“The direction of the music being played evolved quickly into the ‘wiggalicious post-mod’ rock ‘n’ roll party grenade that it is today,” Teardrops explains.
Today, The Lonely Teardrops seemingly can’t get enough of performing together. They’ve toured throughout the mid-Atlantic region, as well as through New York City, D.C. and Nashville. They maintains a certain style, using colorful lighting to get the crowd pumped. Dressed in their costumes, handmade by Teardrops herself, the duo performs fan favorites, including “Surfin’ Monkey,” “Cosmo’s Go-Go” and “Muchacho.” Life experiences often dictate their songs. For instance, Doggie” is about Teardrops attempting to care for a friend’s dog, as it ran amok through her house.
“You will see a live show unlike anything you have ever seen before,” Teardrops promises of her upcoming Satellite gig. “You will see a roomful of even the most hardcore wallflowers riled into a wiggle-driven frenzy, trust me.”
It won’t be Teardrops and LaResh’s first time to the Port City, either. They have friends who live here, and appreciate the huge support of local musicians, such as Travis Burdick of Doctor Gone Records LLC, a local record company based in Carolina Beach, NC. Burdick recruits bands from out of town to add to the musical scene.
“The guys at Doctor Gone Records are like rock n’ roll family to us,” Teardrops says. “We have played many shows on the road together with them. … There are so many great bands [in Wilmington], and the people who live, work, and go to school there need to get out and experience it. It’s a great scene and it deserves to be appreciated fully fore how incredibly fun it is.”
In the near future, The Lonely Teardrops plan to release their new 7’’ record, featuring Deadly Lo-Fi (Burdick’s band with local musician Seth Moody) and Dexter Romweber. Produced by Jett Plastic Recordings, the record is set to debut this spring, and more will follow.
“It includes two songs that The Lonely Teardrops, Deadly Lo Fi, and Dexter Romweber all perform together, like some kind of super group,” Teardrops divulges. “The 45 is a release on Jett Plastic Recordings, but there will be a major acknowledgement on it to Doctor Gone Records, as it wouldn’t have happened without their help. It is the plan of the Lonely Teardrops to release our first full length LP on Doctor Gone Records upon its completion.”
They also plan to play in Europe, where they have been given the opportunity to tour through the Garage Rock Circuit Festival. To hear The Lonely Teardrops perform live, head over to Satellite Bar and Lounge this Valentine’s Day. As the duo would suggest, audience members should come prepared to “wiggle till they drop.”
The Lonely Teardrops
Opening act: DJ Doctor Gone Mad
Satellite Bar and Lounge
120 Greenfield Street
Saturday, Feb. 14, 9 p.m.