Shiny Toy Guns

For those of you looking to have a somewhat alternative Valentine's Day celebration, head over to the Little Rock River Market and check out what is slated to be a stellar performance by veteran electroclash rockers the Shiny Toy Guns.

The Grammy-nominated group has joined forces with the super-chill reggae group Dirty Heads for the Alice 107 Presents: Tour Odyssey stop at Juanita's in the heart of downtown Little Rock.

It's all happening-- a unique blend of ska punk from the Heads and electronic rock of the Guns-- tonight (Feb. 14) on Valentine's Day.

We had a few minutes to talk via phone to Jeremy Dawson, the founder and keyboardist of the Shiny Toy Guns, and we were able to get down the roots of the Los Angeles-based band, what it's newest album really means and what fans can expect from tonight's performance.

The Shiny Toys Guns were founded by Dawson in 2002 and vocalist and guitarist Chad Petree after discovering how powerful a duo electronic and rock music can be, crediting major bands' of the '90s like Blur, EMF and Jesus Jones as major influences in this music combo.

After working together on a number of small projects, the duo brough vocalist Carah Faye Charnow on board, as well as drummer Mikey Martin.

The group really took off in California through social media-- MySpace-- and released their first album We Are Pilots that included the popular tracks "Le Disko" (and my personal favorite) and "Don't Cry Out."

After several years, one album, Season of Poison and numerous band hardships, the group has returned bigger and better than ever with a very strong, very personal album.

The new album, III-- the first album in close to four years-- is an excellent example of the band refining its signature electronic sound with a supreme selection of true-to-the-heart songs that deal with love and loss. And what is amazing what really inspired the name of the album.

"It took three years to make and three writers to create [it]," Dawson said. "That's why we decided to call it III."

The melodic track "If I Lost You" and topsy turvy electronic tune "Somewhere to Hide" are a couple to watch out for. We're hoping they make the killer setlist tonight!

Dawson is excited about returning to the capital city after playing here more than six years ago. This especially rings true for Charnow, who he said loves barbeque-- of course, a favorite staple among Arkansans.

And as for the show, Dawson won't exactly divulge what the set list will consist of, but he said people should expect a true spectacle.

"People don't say 'I'm going to hear a show,'" he said. "They say 'I'm going to see a show." In other words, it's not just the rockin' music that will keep people entertained, but what goes along with it-- the lights, lasers, smoke, you name it, in the Shiny Toys Guns' case.

They're going to take it to the next level, he said.

"We're going to make it a show."

Doors will open at 8 p.m. and the show starts at 9 p.m. Advance tickets are $19 and it's $23 at the door.

Call Juanita's at (501) 372-1228 for more information about the show and check out a little preview of the groups' songs below.