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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What You Call Love, Baby I Call Hell

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A Conversation with Lindsey Troy and Julie Edwards of Deap Vally

By Madison Killian

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Deap Vally and Wolfmother at The Showbox, Seattle

I’m sitting backstage at The Showbox in Seattle across from Pikes Place Market. The walls are a shiny valentine’s day red, the couches are purple velvet. As I stared at the band sitting in front of me, it was apparent that there was going to be no beating around the bush, they had nothing to hide. Sitting atop the purple throne was a fresh-faced brunette in a tattered black t-shirt, wielding a crochet needle. Directly next to her is a stunning blonde with wild curls, holding a contraption up to her breast, pumping.

I interviewed Deap Vally on March 31st before their show in Seattle opening up for Wolfmother. After shaking Julie’s left hand (her right hand was occupied…) and Lindsey had set aside her yarn ball- I realized that this was the most rock ‘n roll thing I could possibly witness in my lifetime.

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Photo by Rebekkah Drake

Sucker: How are the two of you enjoying Seattle?

Lindsey: We went yarn shopping. I’m stoked because I have two half done hats, and I didn’t have the yarn to finish them.

Sucker: How’s touring with Wolfmother been?

Julie: Good.

Lindsey: They’re killer, great guys.

Sucker: Were you fans of Wolfmother before the tour?

Both: Oh, yeah. Yeah.

Sucker: What’s a band that you’ve toured with that’s really inspired you/ been an honor to share a stage with?

Julie: Queens of the Stone Age and Yeah Yeah Yeahs for sure.

Sucker: Yeah, last time I talked to you guys you mentioned being big fans of the Yeah Yeah Yeahs.

Lindsey: Well, yeah and then, I mean, Nick [Zinner, of the Yeah Yeah Yeahs] ended up producing our new record. I learned a lot from him. He’s a good guy.

Sucker: You guys have a new album, is there a release date at all?

Julie: It’ll be coming out around the Fall.

Lindsey: Not that release dates stay true anyways…

Sucker: Out of curiosity… What makes a release date so ever-changing when the album is basically done?

Julie: Yeah, so the albums done… But we haven’t signed on the dotted line with our label yet. So, you know… At this exact moment in time, there can’t technically be a release date.

Sucker: What is the hardest song for you to play live?

Lindsey: There’s a new song on the record that we haven’t played live yet, cause it’s like, really fuckin’ hard for me to do. We just have to practice it. In a weird way, a lot of our songs- we’ve been able to play with a minimal amount of practicing. We have this new song that we love- it’s great. We don’t record live and all at once- we do some multi-tracking. And we wrote the vocals after the music was written; I think when you write vocals like that, it’s harder to learn how to sing and play at the same time. Whatever you write and play at the same time is going to be natural.

Julie: We just have to rehearse it. Another one from the first record is “Woman of Intention.” That one’s hard for me. Maybe it isn’t still hard, but it was hard the first couple of years. It would just like, wear me out, it was really exhausting.

Lindsey: We just never knew how that song ended. The ending was just an eternal question mark. *looks at Julie* remember? *Lindsay sings a few ending “oohs”*

Julie: *laughs*

Sucker: If you guys weren’t musicians, what would you be doing?

Julie: I would be a psychologist. I’d probably go back to school for that.

Lindsey: Maybe a writer or filmmaker/ actor. Or a live drawing model. I like the idea of being one of those naked models for a drawing class. Iggy Pop just did that!

Sucker: How do you handle juggling your personal life and touring? Like… Julie, you’re breast pumping right now. How do you factor it all in?

Lindsey: It’s how she gets pumped up!

Julie: Right now [Lindsey’s] boyfriend is on tour with us because he’s documenting the tour- so that’s perfect. She has her personal life here with us. In the past, my husband has tour managed and come on tour for a little bit. When we were at South By Southwest my baby was there. It’s tricky, because when you’re on tour you’re in the little bubble of the tour family. Life continues on without you back home. Everyone you know continues to have their lives together and your life doesn’t really advance with everybody back home.

Lindsey: Restaurants close, new restaurants open. That’s the wildest part. It’s like watching a time-lapse video when you go back to your neighborhood and your favorite restaurant is closing and a new douche-y bar is opening up.

Julie: I think the thing that’s closest to what touring musicians do is military deployment or oil-rig jobs, or long haul fishing.

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Suddenly a mess of  dark hair appeared next to me, and a warm smile greets the three of us. Ian Peres, the bassist and keyboardist for Wolfmother stumbled in on our conversation. *************************************************************************************************

Ian: How do you guys know each other?

Julie: We’re doing an interview!

Ian: Oh! I’m so sorry…

Lindsey: *To Ian* How was your night? You got hammered, it was awesome.

Ian: Yeah…

Lindsey: That’s what you gotta do, man.

Ian: Portland was good to me. It was good… to US.

Sucker: What’d you guys do in Portland?

Lindsey: We stayed with my cousin. We got to stay there for two nights! She has a nice big house- with a full fridge, fresh eggs from his chicken… really nice. You know? It was a luxury for us. We kept it pretty mellow. These guys *gestures to Ian* got to party a bit more.

Ian: I’m a bit more hardcore. I went straight to ground control and played video games for a couple hours.

Sucker: When was the last time you guys played Seattle?

Julie: We played here a year ago, opening for Marilyn Manson.

Lindsey: That was a trip. I played bass with White Lung- my friend’s punk band- over the summer, and we played a couple shows in Seattle as well.

Sucker: What are you guys like on tour? Do you do a lot of partying?

Julie: We’re pretty mellow…

Sucker: Has that changed throughout the course of your band?

Julie: There was one tour we had where I feel like we really went for it. Most of them aren’t like that. You really need a stamina to party like that when you’re travelling. I know I don’t have it…

Lindsey: She’s also been married… Like, I was single for a long time and I was partying more than her- which isn’t really saying much.

Julie: If you drank a beer right now, you’d be partying harder than I do.

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(I supress the urge to tell her that I, in fact, drank half a bottle of wine before this interview to calm my nerves)

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Photo by Bryan Sheffield

Lindsey: You know, we have the nights that we let loose. You just can’t do it every night- I’ll get sick.

Julie: Yeah, also Lindsay really has to protect her voice when we’re on really long tours. Alcohol doesn’t always really lend itself to that.

Lindsey: Also, when you’re stuck in a van all day… you don’t want to have a hangover. It’s not great.

Julie: These guys [Wolfmother]… they’re in a bus. So, the bus drives all night, and they wake up in the city. I think that environment lends itself to… doing whatever the fuck.

Lindsey: And don’t get me wrong, there are nights we’ve partied really hard. I partied really hard the night before we went to Auschwitz. They party there. All the people were showing us a really good time. They drink a lot of vodka and stuff. The next day I was like… trainwrecked. I was not happy, and it was pouring rain. I couldn’t face it. Julie went, (To Auschwitz) and the rest of our crew went. I just felt like a piece of shit.

Sucker: What’s the first thing you guys are going to do when you get home from tour?

Lindsey: I’ll probably have some girl time with my L.A. bestie. I’ve known her for like 7 years.

Julie: Hug my little baby. She’s at home with daddy and grandparents.

Julie proceeds to lean forward and show me not only adorable photos, but videos of her infant daughter. I remain composed, but just barely.

Sucker: How old is she?

Julie: She’s almost 4 months.

Sucker: Have you already planned out which instrument she’s going to play?

Julie: She’s going to be a figure skater.

Keep in mind, during this entire part of the conversation, a video of Julie’s daughter laughing at an electronic whoopee cushion is playing in the background.

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Photo by John Moffat

Julie ended up having that beer and announcing to the crowd “I don’t have to breastfeed until tour is over!”

After some face melting guitar riffs and eardrum perforating drum solos, Lindsey’s icy stare locked onto the crowd while she began to chant “I am not ashamed of my rage.”

Deap Vally had taken Seattle by the throat. The band finished up the show and walked offstage to roars of applause.

After the set, I decided to do some recon in the ladies room (where else?) What I found was complete mayhem.

“What was that band’s name?!”

“They were so good. The singer was fucking amazing!”

“I’m going to buy a CD and a t-shirt… they’re my new favorite band”

By the throat.

As for the band- you can keep up with them

As for the band- be sure to check out their latest release Royal Jelly, and if you haven’t already- check out our last interview with the band where they talk Nick Zinner, the band’s formation, and more…

Elbow to the Face

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What happened when I saw Basement with Turnstile, Defeater & Colleen Green at the Analog Café and Theater in Portland, OR

By Dylan Conner

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We arrived at the Analog towards the beginning of Colleen Green’s set. The small, yet growing, crowd swaying to her laid back surf rock sound while she was alone onstage, guitar in hand and sunglasses on. Green provided a perfect “warm up” for the rest of the chaos to come. Melodic hardcore band Defeater, from Massachusetts, was up next and by then the crowd had shifted from small clusters to a large room of people, half of them forming a large circle pit. The band was high energy and a complete shift from the calm performance of Colleen Green to loud guitar riffs and powerhouse vocals. I actually got a chance to speak with Green after her set! “I really enjoy Portland!” she said, “…this tour has been great.”

Up next was Maryland hardcore band, Turnstile. Now this band was one I have been looking forward to seeing and they met my expectations perfectly. The crowd was in full motion and between dodging the massive circle pit and crowd-surfers, and even an elbow to the face, I was able to get close enough to see the band entirely. You could tell how passionate they were about their performance, and not only that, you could tell how much the crowd absolutely came alive during their set. Everyone in the room knew the words, one song in particular, “Drop” off their latest album “Nonstop Feeling” seemed to get the crowd going the most. If you ever get the chance and want to see an excellent band, regardless if you’re into “punk rock” or not, I would buy a ticket to see Turnstile because they fucking rule.

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Basement by Harley Pethybridge

Last to perform was Basement from London. Now I may be biased due to the fact that I have been dying to see them live since they reformed their band, but this band puts on an absolutely incredible show. They opened with one of their older songs titled “Whole” off their album “colourmeinkindness” and you could see the crowd absolutely go crazy as they sang along. Basement also played a lot of songs of their latest album “Promise Everything.” I would definitely go give that a listen if you like anything that has to do with rock or grunge music.

Overall, the performances last night were incredible. It is not always common to truly enjoy all bands on that big of a tour. One fan told me that it was “her first time seeing a show like this” and that she “feels like she’s been missing out on the ‘scene.” However, on the negative end, I wish this show had been done at a better venue. For those who have not been to the Analog Café and Lounge, it is a tiny attic-like room above a bar. Now, this sounds like it would work in theory, but get a room full of sweaty dudes body slamming each other and a stage that’s only a step off the ground, you’re going to run into some minor complications. For one, the ceiling was so low that it was a legitimate hazard to the crowd-surfers and stage divers… or “step divers” as I would call them. Security had to make an announcement not to knock into the sprinkler pipes.

Now, for a less rowdy show this venue would be fine. In fact, it is fine, I saw another show there not too long ago and I was happy with the sound quality. Unfortunately that’s about it. Sound quality is definitely a majorly important factor, but the Analog didn’t seem to even have that in the bag last night. A few times during Basement’s set, the guitars cut out and made for a couple long, awkward pauses. “Honestly, despite all the technical issues, Basement made up for it by performing so well” says Oregon State student Taylor Alvarez. The band did a fantastic job improvising during those times, however you would think that by the last and most anticipated band the venue would have gotten it together by then.

That being said… The Analog is by no means is a “bad venue”, however, I think that booking agents should be saving their rowdier bands for venues that are better equipped.

Check out a newer Basement song, “Aquasun” below… and while you’re at it check out our interview with Colleen Green from a few months back.

STRFKR Just Wants to Have Fun

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Concert Review – Santa Ana, California (2/11/16)

By Yvonne Villasenor

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After taking a break from touring for nearly three years, indie rock/synthpop band, STRFKR, is officially back on the road this winter. After seeing them once before during their fall 2013 tour, I was looking forward to seeing what they had in store this time around.