Posts tagged ‘lucero’

November 26, 2014

Live Music Addict : Soko, Lucero & Kurt Vile

live music review soko lucero and kurt vile

I’ve spoiled myself with live music these past two weeks. I had purchased tickets to Lucero and Kurt Vile back in September, but when I saw the listing for Soko’s Bootleg show on Tumblr, I immediately purchased tickets.

Soko was a mixture of poetry and punk. Her energy infectious and sassy attitude charming. Razing the sound guy up in the rafters of the venue, her arms wide open with a request to turn up the volume. Childlike but stylistically mature, Soko’s vulnerability onstage is refreshing when female artists can at times look over rehearsed. At one point she invited ladies in the audience to jump on stage for , “I thought I was an Alien”.  As I hate to live with what-if’s, I maneuvered to the stage to dance. Once on stage, she started instructing girls to follow suite at take off their tops. Yes, Soko had freed the nipples. Considering the tech environment we live in, my bare chest was not something I wanted stored on a strangers cell phone, so I inched my way towards bailing from the stage. But fortunately while still onstage, Soko began the song and a handful of girls remained to dance with our tops on. This was a smaller group than those with their tops off, but us squares stuck together.  Although this was a unique aspect of her show, I don’t want it to be a defining moment of the night. It only illustrates the energy and influence Soko has on her fans, creating an intimate environment like everyone is a dear friend and these are some songs she just wrote taken from her diary. Making confessions in her French accent to the audience of who songs may be about, or forgetting the words, as her own emotional memories are brought to the surface through her lyrics and fans feed the singer her next verse.  Before running to the car, Soko was standing outside, and gently interrupting her conversation I told her I thought she was beautiful and authentic, because there are no two better words to describe this musical artist.

Fast forward four days and I’m in Echo Park ready to be transported back to Memphis while listening to Lucero. Anxious and on a mission to tell the members of Lucero about meeting Dave Cousar, I mustered the courage to approach guitarist Brian Venable and piano/accordion player Rick Steff. They were both incredibly kind, and Brian took note of my Muscle Shoals t-shirt. I had to show my southern pride! This was my sixth time seeing Lucero, but Bowerbird’s first. Every show I’ll inch myself as close to the stage as possible and swoon, hanging onto every word Ben Nichols sings.  This show was no exception. Lucero was the only band that played that night, starting the show with slower songs and then playing sad songs with a bit more electricity in the second half. It’s quite an accomplishment when not only does a band have enough strong material to fill 3 hours, but the fans watching love and can sing-a-long to every second of it. Far from a self-indulgent performance, a Lucero show makes you feel like you’re at someone’s backyard house party. Fans sent shots to the stage for Ben and the band to drink. Whiskey shot after whiskey shot, Ben was forced to admit he had to do a few songs before the liquor really kicked in. It’s more fun to be at a Lucero show then to ever read about one, so next time they are in your city go! They practically tour 300 days out of the year. Also don’t ever request Darby’s Song – there is a very strong reason not to, and you can click this link to find out why.

Finally I finished my musical fortnight with Kurt Vile. I had seen him at Coachella a few years ago.  Sitting on the plush polo field, the sun was setting and I listened to “In my Baby’s Arms” thinking of how much I wished Bowerbird was there to watch Kurt Vile with me. I was at Coachella working, and he was back in Los Angeles. Since that Coachella set, seeing Kurt Vile with my man has been on my musical bucket list. This time together we got to see him perform at an equally impressive but incredibly more intimate venue, the First Unitarian Church in Koreatown. I’ve seen Mark Kozelek and Iron & Wine at this venue and it’s by far one of my favorites in LA, except for that fact it puts me to sleep. The comfortable seats and amazing acoustics of slow and sentimental songs lulls me to sleep. My heavy head springing up towards the end of songs, and my one squinty eye revolting against the ultimate micro-nap. This by no means is a reflection of the actual performers, only that I really am an 80 year old woman trapped inside a 20 something body; and that it doesn’t help that these artist are on my Siesta Pandora station.

Back to Kurt Vile, he is a humble musician who lets his music speak for him. I imagine him as the rocker nerd in High School, with long hair and wearing his sister’s jeans, scribbling songs and chords in his chemistry notebook. He performs like it’s just him and the band on stage, dudes (and the one female drummer during the encore) jamming out for fun and we’re just lucky enough to witness it. Although he has grown to be a household name among the Pitchfork devotees, there is no ego on stage. Changing guitars between each song Kurt Vile approaches his microphone and adjust his gear like an eager teenager playing his first big show. The songs weren’t flawless, but they also weren’t coming out of a pre-recorded track either. The whole point of a live show is to experience the music you enjoy streaming or playing on vinyl in a new way, not to hear exactly what was perfectly recorded and mixed. Aside from begging my mind to not be so tired, the Kurt Vile show was everything I had hoped for down to the hand holding with Bowerbird. 

Extremely proud of this photo of Kurt Vile.

Kurt Vile Live Show Red Bull Sound Select

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October 15, 2014

TN: Back to Memphis…

road trip Memphis

Memphis is the hometown to one of my favorite bands of all time, Lucero. They were the first band I ever saw by myself, and if my heart had a soundtrack it would be comprised of Lucero songs. I made it a mission of mine to visit 1372 Overton Park, not only the title of an album but an actual address in Memphis. Lucero’s musical roots in Memphis, it’s where the band lived and wrote music for years. A loft on top of a Thrift Store, taking a picture with the door to 1372 was my little piece of Lucero memorabilia. I asked the Sun Records tour guide what was near 1372 Overton Park, as I was a huge Lucero fan, and she lit up with the familiarity of talking about a wonderful mutual friend.  A few of the members had played on her own record. She recommended a few bars, but told us the place to go that night to potentially run into Lucero members was Buccaneer. A friend of Lucero and fellow musician, Dave Cuosar was playing at 11pm. I was completely committed to seeing this local act, and till then we filled our time with local Memphis finds.

We chose to experience the delicious ribs at Central BBQ. Their hot BBQ sauce still teases my phantom senses. The meat fell off the bone, but wasn’t too dry, only around the blackened edges that gave it an extra smoky flavor. Next we went to Beale Street. The tourist trap of Memphis. Its neon signs draw the out-of-towners like a moth to the flame. But once on it, aside from the jazz and blue grass music that fills the air outside stuffy bars, it is a dead street. We left just as soon as we arrived, walking up and down it once, and then hoping back in the car.

Beal Street Memphis

On ward we went to one of the other bars our Sun Tour guide suggested, we came across Overton Square. A colorful street lined with restaurants and bars, the buildings were really interesting. A mixture between the old and new, most of them had to either been built or renovated within the last ten years. Maintaining the structures charm and a certain amount of character most modern establishments’ lack. We pulled over to explore, stopping inside Boscos, a Tennessee brewing company. Enjoying a flight, we overheard two college students discussing their Knoxville campus. Sharing that the campus was socially segregated, and how some of their friends don’t know how to talk to black people. I was stunned, my ear glued to the conversation. I can’t fathom the idea of not knowing how to talk to someone because of their skin color. Language barrier yes, but a different ethnic background… it was my first real taste of the stereo-typical south everyone warns you about. This same person then went on to discuss how they didn’t care for Jewish people. Let’s just all agree, that as a society we should look at people as an individual and not respond to someone based on a skewed idea of a group of people.

memphis overton square

After the flight we headed to First Avenue which was one of the first venues Lucero played at. It was a pretty mellow night, and we took a seat at the bar. Watching the baseball game on the TV, those sitting at the counter bonded over a singer on the screen wearing a bizarre parade float styled hat upon her head.  Soaking in the vibe, when I told the bartender we were there as I was informed Lucero got their start there, he handed me an old guitar pick. “This could be from them, or perhaps another band, one thing for certain it’s old.” He went on to say how members of Lucero still come in, and the bassist was across the street at a different bar the night before.

Then on to the Buck, a dive bar located inside a yellow house. It was filled with cigarette smoke and illuminated with red lights. Set up on an area that was clearly designated for bands, but hardly a stage, was one guitar and a stack of amps. Arriving ten minutes till the show, we ordered drinks, took a seat and watched Dave come out of the shadows and take his seat next to the guitar. That night we got one of the best shows I’ve seen in 2014.  Dave Cousar is an artist with the guitar. He plays in a way that I’ve never heard before, making the guitar cry and wine, vibrate beneath his fingertips. An abstract painting of folk and rock, he is what Bob Dylan should be. I made up a story in my head that Dave and Dylan were at the same festival or audition, and by some random accident Dave couldn’t go on, letting Dylan take the stage and the slot for that sound. I think Dave is a little younger than Dylan, but man did his voice just weave through notes rising and falling. Mid-set he paused, and aside from my enjoyment of the music I was getting really sleepy. We told Dave how much we loved his set and he humbly thanked us, even gave me his own I just saw the guys in Lucero story.

dave cousar memphis

That night I didn’t see any of the members of Lucero, but I met them through Memphis. I began to gain a better sense of the band through friends, acquaintances, the musicians they play with for fun. Driving up and down the same streets they do, and talking with the same friendly faces they know to be familiar. If I wasn’t going to see Lucero live in Memphis, that night was the best I could have asked for. I look forward to name dropping Dave to Ben at The Echo in November.

July 8, 2014

#SOTD June Playlist

June flew by! I celebrated my 2 year anniversary with my dream boat boyfriend. He made me a gourmet steak dinner and bought 15 year old Macallen Scotch. (oh yeah its true love)

IMG_20140610_195440

Also in June I celebrated the birthday of my teenage best friend. A friendship that began in an acting class and has lasted over 10 years is quite the accomplishment.  Then my sister brought into the world niece number 2, a sweet as pie little darling baby. I took on a new freelance client. And have you ever had a fresh strawberry donut? I never had till this past month! So yeah, June was not boring or slow by any means. How is it already the 8th of July?  I have some playlist catch up to do.

Well here were the musical highlights of June!

My favorite stay cool, blue toned, lounge music with slow motion smiling faces of beautiful people is New Navy. The band is from Sydney, Australia and their disheveled  hair with well styled blazers makes momentary elevator tunes sound modern and summer time champagne toast ready.

song of the day new navy

 

Are you like me and miss a good band that plays a mean guitar and bangs it out on their drums. Tired of another indie rock pop group that sounds like a FUN or FOSTER THE PEOPLE remix. Oh and doesn’t sound surf wave, or stoner, or like they are stuck in their garage.  It’s a tall order but I think I found the band for you… New Madrid! Based in Georgia,  I’ve been discovering lately that the state houses a lot of great non-country sounding bands.

Oh Rico Gagliano from Dinner Party Download gave me a brunch suggestion…

dinner party download food

I ended the month with the song Texas and Tennessee from my hands down favorite band, Lucero. They never stops touring or playing, and I would LOVE to catch them play in Memphis, Nashville, Louisville… you get the idea. I’ve seen Lucero more than I can count on one hand. But never in their own habitat, which I imagine is just anywhere in the south.  On June 30, I got some news that I could have taken badly and thrown my plans into a tail spin. Instead I’m embracing the change, as I will see Texas and Tennessee!

 

June 14, 2014

Weekday Roundup!

I started off this week with a 2 year anniversary! My boyfriend and I hit the 2 year mark, which is  pretty surprising as before him, my dating life had a 30 day expiration date.

He prepared an amazing prime rib-eye steak dinner and bought me the most amazing candle. I love candles, but I’m particular about the scents and unfortunately most of them tend to make my throat itch after being burned.  Knowing how picky I am, the fact he picked the perfect scent all on his own…well that means we are soul mates, right? Plus no allergic reaction after being burned!

sydney hale candle grapefruit and orange

Sydney Hale C0. – Grapefruit + Orange  Candle 

I also made some progress on planning the road trip, oh yeah I’m planning a roadtrip…but more details about that later. I’m a whiskey, bourbon, scotch drinker. The boy even bought a 15 year old scotch to celebrate our anniversary. So I’m excited to  say say I discovered there is a Whiskey Museum in Kentucky! Also there is a bourbon tour, where you visit all the distilleries in Kentucky. I swear in my past life I was an aspiring country sing who died of a broken heart.

whiskey bottle Mary Kate McDevitt

DesignInspiration

And since I am planning an epic road trip that means I am committed to cut my spending and save money. Do you ever find when you start trying to save money, you come across a million items you must own. Followed by the craziest explanations and justifications for why that item has to be in your life.  This backpack from Filson is one of those items. Fortunantly at $290 it makes it easier for me to just say no. But seriously I’d look adorable wearing this in Colorado or down in Texas. Just imagine me trotting along with my moleskin and disposable camera… a girl can dream.

filson rucksack

Filson Rucksack 

Finally I saw this makeup tutorial on Alex Chung. I have expressed my love for her before, and not just because she is perfection personified, but she has a personality to boot! Warning watching a nearly flawless women have makeup applied to her…god damn…oh yeah that f*d up my self esteem.  Had to hold myself back from purchasing the nude lipstick mentioned in the video, it was $5.50 and that is just money I don’t have to waste. If you are brave enough…ugh….

But like all things in life, comparing yourself to others is quickest path down personal dissatisfaction and depression. So I leave you and end my week with this image!

don't compare yourself art

Comparison is the Thief of Joy – Art Print

Wishing you a fantabulous weekend!