Zopa & The Mystery Lights ~ Grass Cannon

Ages 21 and up
Friday, August 19
Doors: 8pm Show: 9pm

*All events are 21+ valid ID required for entry*
8 PM Doors
9 PM Show

ZOPA is Elijah Amitin, Michael Imperioli, and Olmo Tighe. The three-part New York indie-rock band is ZOPA, “patience” in Tibetan. And also the middle word of Michael’s Buddhist name: Konchog Zopa Sonam.

“When you lose your patience, you lose your love.” Garchen Rinpoche

The trio’s story is one of chance connections, tracing to ’83 when at age 17, Imperoli began “kicking it in the city,” choosing the arts over college. It was a fertile time in NY to explore theater, art, music— still connected to the late ’60s early ’70s underground scene that largely informed Imperioli’s artistic consciousness. That same year, Amitin and Tighe were born. Amitin grew up going to Latin music clubs with his father Mike Amitin who was a salsa musician in the golden era of the New York Latin music scene. Tighe comes from an avant-garde art background, who at age 14, handed Amitin a Shuggie Otis record and has continued to expand Amitin’s musical horizons. Amitin and Tighe played music together in high school in the early aughts, Amitin on bass and Tighe on drums.

In ‘91 Tighe and Imperioli shared the screen in Postcards from America, fifteen years later Imperioli heard Tighe was a drummer, and years after that, headed to The Strand where Tighe worked and “scooped him up” to be the drummer in his new band. They’re family now. Tighe married Imperioli’s cousin. Tighe invited Amitin along for their first practice session and the day before, Amitin ran into Michael on the street by chance greeting him with; “I’m playing with you tomorrow.”

“What’s even more serendipitous is that they are two of the best human beings I have ever had the privilege of knowing. Our first practice was in February of 2006 in NYC, our first gig was in June of that year at Cabaret Maxime in Lisbon and our first record was released in the infamous Summer of 2020. Along the way we did tons of shows in NYC, played on bills with the likes of Robert Pollard, David Johanson, Tommy Stinson, Walter Lure, Jesse Malin and Richard Butler, did an East coast tour of America, a few gigs in L.A. and returned once to Lisbon. It feels like we are just getting started.” – Imperioli

In covering Lou Reed’s “Ocean” and “Heroin” ZOPA’s sound taps into a collective nostalgic past, echoing the transcendent spaces of New York punk rock’n’roll. Relying on analog technology and minimal overdubbing for their production, their vintage sound takes center stage in live performance and recordings.

Originally from the small town of Salinas, California and now based in NYC, The Mystery Lights’ live shows gradually became the stuff of legend as the quintet won their following one fan at a time in dives from Brooklyn to the Bowery. The Lights’ sound has evolved into a fuzz-fueled hopped-up 21st Century take on 60s garage pebbles, and artful 70s punk, that is all their own.

Grass Cannon is a far out band born in Philadelphia, PA. The establishment of a team culture, a methodical way of living and being, rather than a certain sound: the Grass Cannon way is laid back and low pressure, not fooled by time or space, doing it for the love of it.