Q-Pup’s new album Peaceful Night

This album is unconventional to say the least, but it has all the best qualities of experimental electronic music and bedroom-folk, with a good dose of some heavy distortion. Eighteen short songs spanning a mere 34 minutes may seem like it would be an easy listen, but Q-Pup’s new album Peaceful Night demands the listener’s attention and their emotion.

As I was giving this album a first listen, I noticed five different versions of the same song, scattered throughout, “Peaceful Night.” The whole No. 1-5 variety deal is evocative of Arcade Fire – but when I say different, I mean very different. If it weren’t for the lyrics, you wouldn’t know they were all versions of the same song.

Slower, more intentional songs like “Holiday, Holiday” had me seeing sad, indie movie montages of friends hanging out and loving each other and just being friends. But then “Quiet” jumps in immediately after, disrupting those head-scenes, but not necessarily in a bad way, just in a way that lets you know it’s time to move on.

The album is available tomorrow on Subaquatic Records and is absolutely worth taking the time to listen to intentionally. Whether you need to focus in, or tune out for a little while, let Peaceful Night be the soundtrack.

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Evenings // Austin Lombardo

Evenings is the perfect soundtrack for a Friday night, whether it be 2 hours or 12.

 Subaquatic Records presents Evenings.
A chopped and screwed, 8-track collage of psychedelia recorded entirely in his living room, Austin Lombardo (The Everett Interpretation) invites listeners into his home. His living room being cluttered mess of tape machines, Keeping Up With The Kardashians DVDs, pizza boxes and Soft Machine vinyls in place of feng shui.
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Instead of burying what some may consider recording blemishes Lombardo embraces the analog recordings, warts and all. This allows for the project to flow as a mix of brain droppings while still maintaining a singular voice throughout.
Evenings is the perfect soundtrack for a Friday night, whether it be 2 hours or 12.

[words provided by Subaquatic Records]

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

 

 

 

Juniper Douglas presents: In the Garden of Clay

I had really no idea what I was in for when I agreed to cover the new, local, multimedia project Juniper Douglas’s debut live concept album/theater piece. After experiencing the performance last Friday, things make more sense, but I also was left wondering a lot, and it was definitely nothing like I expected it to have been.

They sent me their first single, “Wood Rose”, that they just recently released and the accompanying music video, which was really cool. They had Jake Luppen (Hippo Campus) and Neil Weir (Magic Castles, Posh Lost, Flavor Crystals) over at Blue Bell Knoll on the production end of things. The song reminded me a bit of “lover’s carvings” by Bibio mixed with a little of that Hippo Campus flair, fitting as they list Bibio as one of their sound influences, along with Unknown Mortal Instruments and Whitney.

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Quick little note on the video: I’d just like to say that there is a scene during the first chorus that is absolutely beautiful. Noah, the main character from the theater piece as I later found out, is running through a field and it’s very Wes Anderson-y with the wide shot, and I just really really love that.

As for the actual live theater piece/concept album, it was a bit confusing at parts, but I think that was the point; they wanted people to think. They began the show by telling the audience to “take a seat, and take a look.” They took you into the brain of a girl named Noah who was wildly imaginative. The journey she goes on through seemingly her consciousness and unconsciousness is in order to try and figure out who she is, what she wants to be, how she is going to get there.

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Noah gets stuck trying to explain the concept of time early on in the performance, and struggles with time moving too fast for her to keep up throughout the rest of the show. She ultimately seems to fall into the monotony of life, with the most fitting, yet heartbreaking end scene. Don’t get me wrong here, it wasn’t all as sad as I’m making it out to be. It was incredibly creative and well thought out, and there actually was a lot of humor in the script, which the crowd reacted very well to.

Somebody said of the performance that it was “like a high school play, but self aware.” I agree with this to a point because the crowd seemed to be filled with parents and family and friends of the cast and musicians, but that is something I love. I love friends who aggressively support each other, and that was absolutely apparent during the show; those parents should be proud. 

The band played the score live throughout the performance, and all the artists were incredibly talented in every aspect of the production. I was a little confused at first, thinking that there would be more traditional songs, like the one they sent to me; there really wasn’t, though the music was still pretty and creatively made in certain scenes. (I recall a microphone held up to a bucket of water during the waterfall scene). After seeing the live show, and then going back to the music video, I put together the pieces; the video seems to be a trailer, if you will, for the live show.

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I asked Jake Luppen, one of the producers of their single “Wood Rose” about his time working with the project. He gave me a little insight on the process and timelines as well as the following praise for Juniper Douglas: “There’s nothing like the project happening in the cities right now. Zeke and Yvonne are two of the most creative people I know. I’m excited to see where the project goes from here.”

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At first I didn’t have any idea of what to even make of the performance, but after some time, I’ve made up my mind. All in all, it was a really cool experience, I’m glad I went, and I definitely walked away from it thinking; it still has me thinking, and I think that that’s a good thing.  —

You can catch Juniper Douglas on social media here, here, and here. And listen to their new single on Spotify and Soundcloud, and watch the music video here. Photo credits go to the talented Casey Carlson; check out more of his work here!