VUNDABAR MAKE THEIR WAY TO THE CITY OF ANGELS AND TOME CRUISES

music, Uncategorized

Written by Yvonne Villasenor

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Photo by Cailtin McCann

Three-piece rock band, Vundabar, started with the sole intent of playing for fun – four years later, they are playing shows where their fans can have fun too.

For those who don’t know, “vundabar” is a German word that translates to “wonderful” and if I could describe the L.A. show in one word it would be “vundabar” Ha-ha.

I had never been to Non Plus Ultra, but the venue was once a warehouse and in its current state, seems to be a great place for upcoming bands to play at. It was a really laid back environment, filled with more people than I expected and some sick projections to give it a psychedelic vibe. Even the famous singer-songwriter, Ryan Adams, was there to check out the new talent. I could not believe it – I had to Google “Ryan Adams” on my phone to ensure it was him…Needless to say, I am not used to the Los Angeles scene.

There was a homeless man who came to party at the show and as he was walking in, he enthusiastically yelled, “it’s just rock and roll!” I was unable to get his name, but he danced and smiled watching the bands play and was certainly a favorite among the crowd. He came up to me outside minutes before interviewing the guys and the information I was able to get from him was that he was a veteran who immigrated to the United States and loved it much more than where he grew up despite his current struggles.

Brandon Hagen, singer of Vundabar, humorously introduced the band.

“We’re Vundabar, we’re playing a sold out show at The Echoplex tonight…it’s gonna be a good time.”

SUCKER: Okay, so I’m sure you guys get this a lot, but is there any reason why you picked “vundabar” for your band name? Why a German word?

VUNDABAR: There’s no reason at all, we just kind of decided on it.

SUCKER: What’s your favorite part about touring?

VUNDABAR: “Seeing new faces, meeting new people, making new experiences…We saw Tom Cruise,” Hagen said.

Each of the guys told me about seeing Tom Cruise on Sunset Boulevard and how they had a joke about “Tome Cruises.”

SUCKER: What’s the worst part of touring?

VUNDABAR: Being tired. Showering isn’t the easiest task while on the road and we try to make sure we shower every other day.

Sucker wanted to know what bands the guys were anticipating on hearing albums from.

SUCKER: Which band’s upcoming album are you guys looking forward to?

VUNDABAR: “That’s a really good question…I’d have to say Protomartyr,” Hagen said.

Drummer, Drew McDonald, and bassist, Grayson Kirtland, responded with “Thee Oh Sees and Crag Mask.”

SUCKER: Where do you get ideas for your music videos? They’re so eccentric and entertaining to watch.

VUNDABAR: From movies, seeing people on the street and everyday things I find funny.

SUCKER: What place aside from your hometown feels like home?

VUNDABAR: That’s also a really good question… I’d have to say Richmond, Virginia and Philly.

SUCKER: Do you have designated time to write music or do you write music whenever?

VUNDABAR: It happens when it happens. We’ll just play in general. You might even say we’re currently working on something.

SUCKER: Where do you get your ideas for your songs?

VUNDABAR: Shit that happens, movies, personal experiences and a lot is observational.

SUCKER: What are your favorite songs to play live?

VUNDABAR: Worn / Wander, Voodoo and Ash in the Sun. They give me a lot of room to dance around and act dumb.

NOTE: I also discovered here that they aren’t really fond of their most popular tune, Holy Toledo.

“I don’t know why people like that song so much,” Hagen laughed. “We have better songs.”

SUCKER: Where are some places you really want to play a show?

VUNDABAR: The U.K., Portland and Brazil.

The boys concluded the interview by mentioning how they’d nominate a radio personality if they weren’t able to vote for Bernie Sanders this election and how they were excited to see more Tome Cruises and play their upcoming shows in San Francisco, California + Boulder, Colorado.

Minutes later, they were on stage headlining the show. They played a good amount of songs off each off their albums Gawk and Antics. It didn’t matter whether you had heard every single one of their songs or hadn’t heard a single one up until they played live – the crowd had a great time. After Vundabar played their final song, many fans yelled “Holy Toledo” in hopes that they would play it, and unfortunately for them, their wishes were not granted.

Be on the lookout for new music coming from these guys. You don’t want to miss out.

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Wild Nothing Makes the Constellation Room ‘Paradise’ for a Night

music, Uncategorized

By Yvonne Villasenor

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After four long years of listening to Wild Nothing, I was finally able to see them perform live at none other than in The Constellation Room at The Observatory in Santa Ana, Calif. on April 21, 2016.

The five member group was founded by singer/song-writer, Jack Tatum, in 2009. Tatum is accompanied by Jeff Haley on bass, Nathan Goodman on guitar, Jeremiah Johnson on drums and Kevin Knight on keyboards.

Personally, it was an emotionally striking night for me. Wild Nothing’s music represents all that is loved and all that is lost – it has been there for me while falling madly in love as well as during the times when I lost it all.

After a rather lengthy intermission filled with Prince’s greatest hits, Wild Nothing came onto the stage.

The crowd roared as soon as the lights dimmed. Tatum grabbed his guitar and the beginning of “To Know You” off their new record, Life of Pause, began. This left everyone around me (or at least, the drunk girls spilling their PBR everywhere) dancing and cheering. He played another song off the new record called “A Woman’s Wisdom.”

They next played “Nocturne” – a personal favorite (I’m talkin’ top five favorite songs of all time here…) and others were excited to hear it too.

Soon enough, most of the room was singing along, “you can have me, you can have me all.”

Although I was highly anticipating on hearing a couple songs off the Golden Haze and Empty Estate E.P.s and Gemini, I was definitely not disappointed with the set list.

Because To Know You was released only two months ago, their set list consisted of many songs off the record (“Alien,” “Lady Blue,” “Love Underneath My Thumb,” “TV Queen” and “Reichpop.”) The rest were off of the band’s 2012 album, Nocturne (“Paradise,” “Only Heather” and “The Blue Dress”)
One song I was pleasantly surprised to hear was “Summer Holiday” since it was an oldie, but of course, a goodie off Gemini.

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Following “Love Underneath My Thumb,” Tatum raised his cup and told the rest of those who had one to raise it for Prince.

“For the one and fucking only, Prince. Goddammit. I’m gonna miss him so much,” Tatum said.

After playing “Reichpop,” Wild Nothing thanked everyone for showing up and walked off stage.

Most of the crowd stuck around and chanted “one more song” for a few minutes. The room began to become quieter, and that’s when Wild Nothing came back to announce they would play a few more songs.

Everyone began nodding their heads and dancing as they began their encore with “Japanese Alice.”

They next played “Life of Pause” – another favorite of mine off the new record.

The repeated line “how can we want love?” made me reflect on any romantic interests I’ve ever had throughout my lifetime and only made me hope that it made the couples being lovey dovey in front of me uncomfortable too.

Wild Nothing ended their set with perhaps one of their most melancholy tunes, “Shadow,” and had the whole crowd singing along (and hopefully teary-eyed like me…)

Tatum thanked the crowd once again and the lights in the room turned on, indicating the show was indeed over.

I was glum over it ending, but at the same time, so happy that after waiting for so long, I was finally able to see one of my favorite bands play live. It was a surreal experience.

Wild Nothing’s world tour started April 20 and they will be touring in the states until May 20 – catch them live if they’re playing near you and be sure to check out their new album, Life Of Pause.

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BURGER TAKES OVER THE WORLD

music, Uncategorized

A Conversation with Sean Bohrman, Burger Records Co-Founder

By Yvonne Villasenor

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What started out as a local record label is now making a global impression in the world of music.

Burger Records is an independent record label that was created in 2007 by Sean Bohrman and Lee Rickard. In 2009, both Bohrman and Brian Flores decided to open a record store in Fullerton, California and have changed the music scene ever since.

While on tour with his band, Thee Makeout Party!, Bohrman got the idea to release albums aside from his own on cassette while at Kirby’s Beer Store in Kansas.

It was then Burger was born.

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“When we started, there were no distribution companies carrying cassettes, no one really cared about cassettes, but we kept doing it and doing it…” Bohrman said.

Before they knew it, they had released 900 releases out on cassette and had pressed 400,000 cassettes over the time span of nine years.

“Their [Burger’s] DIY mentality and the fact that they started small is really inspiring. It shows that anyone can make it happen no matter how weird or different your music is,” Chelsea Brown of dreampop band, Summer Twins, said in an earlier interview with Sucker Magazine.

Burger has started a revolution in the music scene and has gathered a large fan base, from art school kids to goths, punks, greasers, Tumblr kids and hip dads.

One of the biggest festivals in Orange County, known as Burgerama, has been held every year since 2011 and has been successful in selling thousands of tickets, attracting fans from not just Southern California, but all over the states as well. They also throw other festivals such as Burger-A-Go-Go, Burgermania, Burger Boogaloo and the Burger Caravan of Stars. They have provided more shows for bands to play and have put the O.C. local music scene back on the map after so many years of it being inactive.

You could say they put more “unity” in “community.”

“They took a giant leap for freak kind,” Jessie Jones, solo artist and singer of Feeding people, said.

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Now that Burger is so well-known, even on a global scale, Burger is dealing with a thousand different bands – meaning there is a lot of work to be done. Bohrman has maintained the exhausting schedule of 11 a.m. to 4 a.m. every day for years and describes himself as a “workaholic” and “obsessive compulsive person” – it’s no wonder as to how Burger has been able to accomplish so much over the years.

There are thousands of releases Burger has put out, whether it is new music or re-issued like T.S.O.L., Adolescents and Built To Spill to name a few. Legends like Iggy Pop, Dave Grohl, Beck, Weezer and Kim Gordon have shown Burger recognition and have even collaborated with them. Some popular artists who have released music through Burger consist of FIDLAR, The Growlers, Ryan Adams, together PANGEA, Ty Segall, King Tuff, Black Lips, The Orwells, Nobunny, Thee Oh Sees and Hunx and his Punx. Of course Burger has helped their fellow local Southern California musicians like The Lovely Bad Things, Jessie Jones, Summer Twins, DABBLE, Cosmonauts, MELTED and The Side Eyes gain more exposure as well.

When asked what differentiates Burger from other record labels, The Side Eyes responded, “Their true love for putting out music they actually like, rather than trying to make money off of what’s currently popular.”

With such a rapidly growing fan base, Burger is looking to expand.

After opening Gnarburger in Los Angeles last year, Bohrman is planning to open another store in the San Francisco Bay Area and relocate their current store to somewhere bigger and better hopefully in the near future.

Last year, Japan had a Burger pop up store for most of the year. Bohrman flew over and cut the ribbon on it its first day. Burger has also just licensed its logo to a Japanese company who will make their shirts in bulk.

They are also planning festivals in the UK, Spain, Chile, Morocco, Buenos Aires, Peru and Mecca in the near future. (Prepare yourselves, international Burger fans!)

It’s no doubt that Burger has made a worldwide impact and there is no sign of their influence and progress stopping any time soon.

“We are totally obsessed with Burger, and it’s all we do and all we think about. My whole life is Burger…This our legacy – what we’ll be remembered for when we’re dead. That’s the most important part to me. Cementing our place in music history,” Bohrman said.