July Talk at Bardot in Hollywood. It’s a school night!
July Talk broke my dry spell and answered all my wildest live show fantasies…
Jumping into the crowd, face slapping, white tank top with boob outlines is the perfect formula for the best performance ever. It’s fan girl time… I’m buying the record and making sure I go to a show in Canada (ROADTRIP… Hint Hint my birthday is coming up)!
Bands, Booze, & Broil at Cinema Bar
In the Valley Below at The Echo
It’s Memorial Day and the last night of their May Residency.
I first saw In the Valley Below in 2013 at Bardot in Hollywood. It went down in my books as one of my top favorite shows. The line-up featured many of my favorite musicians/bands (The Peach Kings, Run River North, and Meg Myers) but I never heard of In the Valley Below before. They had me at, “I’ve been working on my knees baby that’s alright”, the first lyric of ‘Peaches’, a song that has been remixed by many. Since then they’ve been on my ‘Most Played’ ITunes playlist. Over a year later, I’m stoked to catch their headlining show at The Echo.
The boys all in suspenders stepped on stage with the fog machine in full effect. Angela in a Stevie Nicks on Little House on the Prairie get up (long white pioneer style dress and black top hat) emerges, the music starts and time begins to slip away. When I first saw her style I was actually inspired to purchase my own white floor length dress. The dress turned out to be more bohemian than conservative and it didn’t quite work out on my short stature. She creates a distinct repertoire to her style with porcelain skin, dark hair and lips. Angela’s crystal blue eyes command your attention and could possibly take your soul. Her slow measured movements enhances the chilling effect of her voice. When you think your lost in a love affair or ‘Medicine Pocket’, Jeffrey rips on his guitar bringing you back to the present to feel the moment. The contrast between Angela’s melodic process and Jeffrey’s free spirited movements were theatrical but passionate. At the end of the show Jeffrey thanks the crowd by connecting us all together to this particular moment pronouncing, “We are all in the valley below…”. I felt like their performance put me through a roller coaster ride. A ride like Space Mountain at Disneyland (minus Disney), where you’re in a created space of another dimension for a short period of time. I had to get their German shipped vinyl record of unreleased songs. What can I say I like spending my time by escaping time with music.
Haunted Summer at the Church on York.
I’ve been long awaiting the cosmic duo of Haunted Summer. Bridgette Moody and John Seasons of Haunted Summer both divorced their previous bands to marry and find a new love in music. Their new EP, “Something In the Water”, display the loss of the old ball and chain but only to emerge lighter and stronger.
Their songs provoke nostalgic flashbacks of hot summer moments. The kind of moments that change the course of life; having your first kiss or realizing the realities of life. I’d like to describe their music as ‘moody’ ‘seasons’ (see what I did there), specifically the weather in Southern California. Mother Nature tends to do her own thing in Southern California but always returns to a happy place of sunshine. The music produces a sense of being underwater and feeling the sun shining through.
Their performance was on the I got high or I’m high on life side, probably both. Highland Park is their hometown, meaning their friends and family in attendance constitutes comfort and usually results in no limitations. Their performance was boundless; electronic equipment being picked up during the song’s climax and cued hand movements. I really enjoy experiencing musicians in a limitless state because it creates such uniqueness to the show. I’ve never been to Highland Park before and didn’t realize it was a huge overflow of hipsters from nearby gentrified cities. The familiarity of hipster characters in a totally new environment created a weird déjà vu vibe for me. The venue is an actual church located in between two residential houses. The church pews were removed creating an open standing area in front of the stage. However, the standing area created awkward space allowing the attendees to stand sporadically lessening their listening experience. The frazzled doorman and designated areas to stand on the front lawn were also unfortunate course of events. I would of liked to have seen them in a smaller venue.
Rare performance by Hymn de Lune at Harvard and Stone.
Hymn de Lune shut me up in mid-sentence with a friend whom I shushed because they began by harmonizing a tune. Their melodic sound calmed the crowd and the gentle falsetto vocals spread energy around the room. Ry Cumings taps his heart space pulling out simple, compelling lyrics. The lyrics posses a potency that remain in the air after awhile (‘…trying to keep the wolf inside my secret…’, ‘..hiding underwater in my head…’)
Their movement as a band are not really cohesive but certainly not in a bad way because essentially in the end the music speaks as a whole. Anyways, Harvard & Stone’s stage is not an ideal space for a full band. The lead singer and bassist were crammed on one side of the stage that was covered overhead by a balcony. The modern industrial decor of the bar makes up for the misused space of the stage. After the show I found out this band is just a side project for all members of the band. Which explains the incohesion and total randomness of the band members’ appearances. This is my first encounter of disconnect between band members’ appearances. Appearance shouldn’t matter in music or anywhere and don’t to most but it definitely excites and enhances my experience as an avid fashion lover (or visual learner). For me the whole package of an artist is interesting, not just seeing/hearing their art but experiencing that person fully. These guys visually looked like they picked each other up randomly some day driving down the streets of LA. It was like California cool, Hobo chic, and Tennessee waltz all jamming together.
I feel very lucky I caught their “annual” show. I hope they can find more time for this band because I’ve had their songs on repeat for the past 2 weeks.
Privet Earth at Molly Malones.
The self described Blitz Rock of Privet Earth is introducing itself to Los Angeles. Privet meaning Hello in Russian is exactly what Ivan Smirnov, lead singer of Privet Earth, is exactly trying to say to world. This band blew me out of Los Angeles and back last Friday night. I was happy to be thrown off from the usual indie vibes and into another dimension with Privet Earth. This band brought presence to what a lot of people come to Los Angeles for; a break, a dream.. High with energy, Ivan’s stage presence resembled Freddie Mercury but with way less hair. I couldn’t stop wondering if this was for real. I’m convinced the drummer was a cheerleader in her past life. None the less, Privet Earth is a great addition to the Los Angeles music scene.
Super low key show in the sketchy warehouse district of LA. Coffee whiskey, James Bond, rocking horse,
Wet & Reckless.
Outfit Inspiration for tonight’s show @ NAUB
St.Patrick’s Day at Bardot in Hollywood.
If Harry Styles went in a new direction or to Australia…
Monday night was packed with bands with their passports and a common melancholy sound. 3 out of the 5 bands I saw were from other parts of the world (Ireland, Denmark, Australia) probably stopping by after SXSW.
It was Tim Bettinson’s, frontman for Vancouver Sleep Clinic, first time in Los Angeles and he already stirred up fans like Harry Styles. The 17 year old from Brisbane lulled the crowd into a relaxed state with falsetto vocals and an ambient folk style similar to James Blake. Although it probably actually was a school night for Bettinson, the journey his songs convey would make you think twice before asking to borrow his math homework. Debuting his EP, The Winter, I’d say is self explanatory through the name of the band, the name of the EP, and the title of the songs. His music transports me to that special place everyone has for solitude and self reflection whether it be in Vancouver or in your bed. Recovering from a recent conflict in my present life, I was reminded of the magical healing powers music can have on me. Music brings me clarity and hope when others cannot. Since I’ve never really been religious, music would be the closet thing as going to church every week or praying every night for me. I think I can understand the crazy obsessed fans of musicians because for some they’ve become god (e.g. Deadheads, Beliebers)
The only disappointment of the night was not seeing a dance fight between Harry Styles and “DJ” Joe Jonas.
Outfit Inspiration for Monday night’s show at the Bardot in Hollywood.