Listening Party: King Tut, Secret Lives and STRUT

Opening the Listening Party this week is newish local act King Tut. The duo of Mark Boyd and Drew Veres claim to be in the “experimental psychedelic rock” vein, but there’s actually a lot more going on in their songs than the weird noodling you might expect from that description. Their range goes from bittersweet acoustic folk on songs like “Hello Mariana” to slightly ambient on “Early Macintosh.” They bring it all together on “What You’re After,” which is our suggested starting track.

Next, we have Secret Lives of the Freemasons, one of the handful of local rock acts to find success on the national level. Although the majority of group’s work has been in the “emocore” or “screamo” subgenre of metal (or punk, depending on who you ask), demos from their upcoming concept album The Weekend Warriors show that the group’s sound—and localist Brien Worsham’s voice—has matured into something much more complex. We suggest starting with “Mascara.”

And lastly, we have local ska/punk/jam/funk/hip-hop group STRUT. Stylistically speaking, the group hasn’t changed much since their early days performing jammy, ska-inspired funk for the Emerald Lounge set; but what they lack in innovation, they make up for in sheer style. In other words, they’ve become really good at making extremely groovy songs. We suggest starting with “Before You Left.” (Or, if you’re feeling more like an upbeat ska-inspired song, “Wagon Wheel.”)

Now, it’s your turn. Tell us your thoughts on these groups by posting into the comment fields below. This is your chance to be the music reviewer, so praise and pan as you see fit.

— Steve Shanafelt, A&E editor


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7 thoughts on “Listening Party: King Tut, Secret Lives and STRUT

  1. I always thought that Secret Lives of the Freemasons had one of the coolest band names I’ve ever seen, but for some reason I never got around to hearing them until just now. I like what I’m hearing. A lot.

    Thanks, Steve! I think I just became their oldest fan.

  2. STRUT aren’t exactly my cup of tea, but there’s no denying that they’re a talented lot. I had to turn my computer speakers off by the time I got around to sampling King Tut, so I’ll have to get back to you on them…

  3. Just an update: It looks like King Tut has pulled down both “Hello Mariana” and “Early Macintosh” since I wrote the blog yesterday afternoon, but the suggested track is still up.

  4. I just wanted to let people here know that all our songs are available for free if people just send us an email with, well, their email so we can, I guess, email the attachments. We promise not to spam. But we send out about 20 songs. The reason we changed around some of the songs on our site when we found out we’d be featured was that almost all the stuff up was our electronic music, and we just wanted to show a wider range of our style.

    Thanks again for listening. We just moved here from Cleveland, Ohio to take the year off and play music so we’ll hopefully be playing shows soon. If you want to see what we sound like live, scroll down on our page and check out the video. It’s an old video and an old song but we still do it live.

    Sorry that was so long-winded, but yeah, hit us up at for some free demos.



  5. King Tut: Although the new songs sound good, it’s kind of a shame that you took down “Hello Mariana.” I liked that one quite a bit.

  6. Kari

    Strut and Secret Lives both have nice energy–something that seems hard to find these days when everybody wants to be all moody. They fall just shy of being new favorites mostly because I don’t dig the lead vocal styles OR the fact that the lead vocals are so high in the mix. I know it’s the “way” these days, but I still don’t like it. I really like King Tut and hope to hear them live soon!

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