The Happy Children, Early Eyes, Why Not, and Snake Posse @ The Paperhouse 1/14

This was my first show at The Paperhouse, and it’s definitely going to be a hard one to top. Dozens of sweaty kids piled into that tiny basement that reeked of smoke and maybe some other not-so-great decisions, but everyone was smiling. Literally. Everyone.

Unfortunately I missed the majority of Snake Posse’s set, and spent their last three songs trying to push my way to the front of the crowd. From what I heard, the little bit of attention I was paying them, they sounded good; I really liked “Baby Cryin'”. For sure a band to keep eyes and ears peeled for, I’d like to see them do a full set someday.

After parting the sea of a crowd “religion style” in order for the transition of band members and instruments to go smoother, it was Why Not’s turn on stage. By this time I had secured a spot beneath one of the hanging speakers in order to be able to shoot. The first time I reviewed Early Eyes on here, I had written “YOUNGINS” in my notes, but I have now seen just how incorrect I was. Why Not is made up of true youngins, all still in high school, and I have to say they’re much cooler than any bands I knew from my own high school years.

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The crowd was really into Why Not and about halfway through their set, during “Guided Meditation,” a mosh pit burst out so violently, that the first two-ish rows of people came tumbling onto the stage in a big ol’ heap. After a slight pause to pick each other up and a few cautionary notes about being respectful of other people while in the crowd so that nobody gets hurt, the show was back on.

They had the crowd singing along eagerly to the last song; “All of my time in your arms it feels good!” Why Not’s sound reminded me a bit of a local band I knew from my year in FL, Recurrent, but happier and dancier (now that I’m listening to both of them, I don’t really understand my comparison of the two at all really, but whatever). The band left the stage with a “Thank you SO MUCH! SO MUCH!” and on came the next.

Early Eyes was up after, and even though I loved everything about this show, they were definitely the highlight of my night. They came out strong with some crowd favorites, but when Jake said “we’re gonna do a cover for ya. Do you like The Cure?”, and proceeded with a version of “Close To Me,” I was sold. Early Eyes has my heart now, and they can keep it. :’)

Sometimes I don’t like having the responsibility of taking photos and notes at shows, but then sometimes being up in the front or on the sidelines at shows you notice and hear little bits and pieces from the band playing that most people don’t. There were a lot of those during this show, including an under-the-breathe, “shut up. G-d damn,” inadvertently directed to some fans that were talking over the band while they were trying to make an announcement; I just thought it was funny.

They invited some girls on stage, conducted a basement-wide rendition of “Happy Birthday,” and had someone in the front row holding Henry’s mic up during the remainder of the set. Early Eyes closed with the riot rousing little track, “Vape Juice.” The whole room was bouncing, but I’m not going to lie, I was still happily thinking about The Cure cover.

THE HAPPY CHILDREN! Now they’re quite the trip and it was obvious that the vast majority of the crowd was there to see them. By the middle of their second song, “Honest Boy,” a new group of people had made their way to the front. Unlike the other bands, The Happy Children didn’t make any sort of mention in regards to moshing and dancing, and seemed to encourage it which was so fun!

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The basement somehow became even more packed than it was, and for as little head space as there was, I was gladly surprised at how hard everyone in the audience was going. The Happy Children had the entire house chanting during “Sentimental” which hands down is my favorite of their songs. During the bridge, the guys kind of calm down on stage and seem to become real conscious of the environment, all while the sound builds bigger and bigger, and there’s just something about that that I really love.

The Happy Children ended the night with “Hail Mexico” during which a girl fell from the audience onto Caleb’s pedals and messed something up. After some stalling, they were back in business, and even from my spot holed up next to the stage, I feel confident saying that not a single person was standing still.

Thank you to everyone for being so kind and fun and for sharing your art and making that space so great; I’m so thankful to be lucky enough to share this with you all. 🙂

 

 

 

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Ayvah, Juniper Douglas, and Good Luck Finding Iris @ 7th St Entry 1/5/17

Young people! Art! Music! Love! It’s all so important, and this show really had it all. The three up and coming local acts thrived in the energy the crowd brought, leaving everyone happy hearted and thoughtful; smiles all around. Apart from mosh pits, which I’ve explained my love for before, I also love watching friends being friends with each other. I love their interactions and inside jokes and their laughter. I love seeing happy people being happy with other people they really care about, and that is exactly what this show was. Subaquatic Records successfully hosted another beautiful night, filling the room with a sense of community like no other.

First up that night was Good Luck Finding Iris. Now I’ve only really seen them around social media, but had never gave them a wholehearted listen, and boy do I regret that decision. The second their lead singer, Michaela Stein, sang the first line of their first song, I hate to over-exaggerate, but I was reborn. This band is honestly so extremely talented and it’s been awhile since I’ve had such a positive experience in seeing a band I hadn’t listened to before. From the encouraging sounds the audience was making throughout the majority of their set, I wasn’t the only one feeling this way.

When Good Luck Finding Iris played their only released single,”Color Me”, the girl behind me screamed “@ SPOTIFY” to her friend (this same girl also yelled “I’m soooo gay” when Michaela took off her jacket which made me laugh to myself). There were quite a few more songs that the crowd lovingly sang along to. The band ended their set with a major fan-favorite “Christopher Robin”, and the band was nothing but smiles. A great beginning to this night. *Please take the time to go watch this video of Good Luck Finding Iris performing “Trovato”for Radio K so that you can understand too. Also you can listen and download more of their tracks here!

Up next was Juniper Douglas.I was really, really looking forward to seeing them after attending their live performance piece, In The Garden of Clay, back in the fall. I spoke with Juniper Douglas before the show asking what we were to expect of their set that night, and they replied with, “not really sure. . . We have some actors, and we haven’t rehearsed in this space before, so we’ll see!”

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I was beyond enthralled with their piece that night. A big performance with silence, lights (or a lack there of), screaming, dancing, a tape recorder, and gorgeous, floaty, atmospheric music to accompany the entire being. The sounds reminded me a bit of Explosions in the Sky, or This Will Destroy You. Jake Luppen of Hippo Campus played guitar with them, and in the middle of the set they faded into a live rendition of “Wood Rose”. I don’t want to give everything away, because I sense this strange, thought-provoking mystery shrouding Juniper Douglas that I want to protect, and it’s really just something that you need to be there to experience in person.

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As Juniper Douglas’s piece came to a close that night, all I could think was “god, I want more.” I definitely don’t think that everyone in the crowd was feeling it like I was, it wasn’t for everyone, but at the same time I think it’s important that everyone there saw and experienced it. There is evidently so much love and passion that went into every bit of it. Nobody in attendance that night will ever, ever forget it. *Juniper Douglas is bit up in the air right now as for future plans and events, except for a Radio K performance in March, so stay tuned for that and check out the music video for “Wood Rose” again!

And last on the bill that night was Ayvah, oh goodness Ayvah. I’ve been meaning to see them for so long now, and it was just kind of perfect how it all worked out. SO MUCH SOUL. Like, so. much. The smoothness and soulfulness of everything was so intense I literally wrote in my notes, “this makes me want to write so much nicer, they deserve it.” being that my notes are usually chicken scratch. Ayvah is such a talented group of young people so enthusiastic about what the are doing, their happiness is intoxicating. The guys from the band Early Eyes were front row and jamming so hard, it was difficult to decide between watching the band, or watching them.

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There was a bit of an instrumental break in the middle when lead vocalist, Ava McFarlane, joined the Early Eyes boys in their dancing right at the front. Local musician and photographer, Lee Tran, popped on stage to play sax with the band for a bit. After Ava jumped back on stage for a few more songs, they closed the night with one of their most popular tracks, “Lay Down For Me”, the crowd ardently clapping along. With an cry of “I love you Ayvah!” and a reply of, “love you too! Thanks for coming out, have a dope night!” the show was over.

I want to thank all the artists for making this such a pretty night filled with everything good. And another thank you to the ever-gracious Zeke at Subaquatic Records for having me again, it means a lot and if it isn’t evident already, haha, I enjoyed myself, so thank you. Check out more photos below because this has been one of my favorite shows ever to shoot  🙂 🙂

The Happy Children and Early Eyes @ Triple Rock Social Club 12/29

Well kids, I’m not really sure where to start this piece, there were lots of things that happened and it was such a good show. I’m trying to refrain from making this a long post due to time constraints plus also personal laziness because I woke up way too early for work this morning and need a nap, so we’ll keep things short and sweet.

First and foremost, thanks to The Happy Children for having me despite an immense amount of list issues within the past week. The band started strong and finished even stronger, playing tracks off their latest release, Small Talk, with a few new ones here and there. The Happy Children have an evidently fervent fan base that has much crossover with local favs Hippo Campus. Also, please go check out the music video for “Honest Boy“; it makes me nostalgic for memories that I don’t even have. Great job, guys.

Closing the show that night was Early Eyes, a band I hadn’t ever heard before, but have been told great things about. I was blown away and how much I loved their funk- influenced indie rock tunes. Their whole set I kept thinking of a certain fellow Amerilady, Abigail, who taught me to appreciate funk and soul music more than I did in years past; thanks Abi :*

The highlight of the night was probably when The Happy Children joined Early Eyes on stage, mid-song, in their underwear, dancing. It resulted in Caleb climbing the drum kit and mooning the audience, revealing a temporary sharpie tattoo of “The Happy Children” scribbled on his left cheek. Weird as it seems, the crowd was into it; everyone was having fun.

Here are some random notebook dumps followed by a full album of photos that I’m really proud of, enjoy!

  • Chanting “Judah had a stroke!”
  • Half these kids can’t mosh…
  • Caleb throws Judah
  • YOUNGINS’
  • Teenagers are the best ❤ ❤ ❤
  • “Tomorrow” is gonna f*** some kids up one day