"I started making music in the summer of 2016, right before my sophomore year of college. This was about a year after picked up a close friend’s Gibson SG in 2015 and fell in love with the beautiful art behind how to play a guitar. I remember having this feeling in my gut like there was something deep inside that had been waiting to come back.
I’m really not sure what led me to making my own music, but in hindsight, I guess my inner angst had been waiting for an outlet to mask itself with.
I’ve always felt the most comfortable behind a guitar since I started playing in 2015, and to this day, I’m not sure that anything gives me more satisfaction than an axe plugged into an amp pushing out creamy creamy sonic waves.
I really consider myself more of a composer than a guitar player. I put all the instruments together like sausage and hash browns to create the sounds in my head at night, record a quick mix, throw down an ass master, then voilà, we have a song. For live stuff, I just teach my friends the different parts and we groove it out. That’s really what music is about in my mind. Add along failed relationships, girls… girls, and the inner depressive stress of wrapping up college, and you get Sleepy Dog."
Sophie Strauss is a musician from Los Angeles. At 24 years old, Sophie’s music is both warm and biting. She juxtaposes lush synths against sharp, organic percussion and her intimate vocals that bring you into her tense, glistening world. She is aggressively opinionated, girly, queer, shameless, and self-deprecating and her songwriting is as comfortable with discomfort as she is.
Instagram + Twitter: @sophielstrauss
"I'm an artist from Glendale, California. I have my friends to thank for constantly inspiring and encouraging me to make art. I play in bands like Super Lunch, Plumber, Whaja Dew, Chocolate Dungeon and Bury Your Face in My Neck Nose and All. I also have solo music that I release in split albums with 1,361 Kodak moments called bearhug33. I also really get my rocks off by drawing, writing poetry, making videos, and making anything I can add a personal element to it. Love is really important and I'm scared of going completely insane. My dog max is ten years old."
Cheridomingo consists of 4 guys from Simi Valley, CA. They really enjoy writing music that gives them goosebumps. Cheridomingo is an emo/indie rock band with a sound inspired by My Chem/Movements/Death Cab. They've been a band for 2 years now, and put out their first record Feelings in May of 2018.
Thank you for taking the time to interview with me today. Your band is simply amazing. A true work of Art.
Let’s start with your name.
How did you come up with the name Night Powers?
We started calling ourselves “Night Paints”, but it didn't land well when we mentioned it to friends - people kept mishearing it, which is never good for a band name. We had already begun developing our sound and liked the idea of channeling the darkness, but giving it some oomph. So we landed on Night Powers. Plus, we had already gotten matching “NP” tattoos, so we needed to stick with those letters. (From Inbar. Rob, we got those tattoos to remember our mantra: NO PROBLEM aka Never Apologize)
Being from New York how has It influenced your band and the kind of music that you make today?
We all love New York City, both emotionally and, in a way, professionally (if you Google us you will see what we mean). Lots of people move to New York to make music but now most of us have actually been here a long time, so the grime and chaos has really seeped in at this point. Night Powers is not really connected musically to typical New York City rock traditions (Velvet Underground, Glam, Punk, CBGBs, Disco, Post-punk revival etc) but we think we draw a lot of inspiration from the glamour, sexiness, stories, spectacle and diversity of the tribes, art, vice and nightlife that are always a part of New York City.
With such difference sounds from all of you I’m so curious, How did you find each other?
Rob and Inbar met in grad school at Columbia University in 2007. We had been talking about playing music for a while, but we only finally got started about 6 years ago after a heated debate one night about if you could actually play music in New York. The next day, Rob emailed Inbar and they had their first practice within the week with Inbar on keys and Rob on drums. We decided early on that we wanted dual male and female vocals and we went through a few iterations before the lineup on our first album. We landed on the current version of the band about two years ago. Gabe and Rob had known each other for a while so he joined to play bass. Soon after Dan joined to play drums and then we closed it out when Nat joined. (Dan left for the West Coast once our album was released and we recently replaced him with Steve, who we love dearly.)
It seems like each of you hold a artistic background tell me more about this as how it’s impacted you all as a band today.
Absolutely. We have a range of backgrounds ranging from DIY creative to formal art training to writing to digital media. Natalie is constantly delving into new digital expression and is kind of a craft-McGyver. Inbar was always in art, woodshop, and writing classes as a kid so now she does everything from sew her own dresses to embroidery to professional cartography. Gabriel formally studied studio art and graphic design. Steve has done digital creative and writing for years. Rob has played in bands since his teens and had some jack of all trades tech stints, picking up some of the tricks that went into making the album cover. He also did a bit of acting and screenwriting too. And we all have a shared passion for cinema across a range of genres including silent film, noir, horror, and black comedy. In fact, before the holidays, we’re all getting together for a screening of the original Suspiria. It’s the mixture of our different visual, performance, and sonic sensibilities that come together to create a sound and aesthetic that is rather eclectic. It’s hard to pin us down.
a player who consistently hits for power, especially home runs and doubles.
…which is kinda funny considering the songs are about people constantly striking out.
"Often you'll be told to 'never look back' - but during a time of post-grad self doubt and being disillusioned with my band, heading home seemed like a very viable option. Shortly thereafter, Slugger was born - inspired by small-town mellow-drama and a close knit social circle, substance fueled house parties and the many 'mornings after'. These songs are the stolen diary entries of a suburban population: the kids that broke out the bubble and the adults that never left."
Formed in 2013 the Grinning Ghosts set out to be the Velvet Underground of the 90’s. Thomas and Daryl attended the same elementary school where they were instructed in music by a man that played an ewok in Return of the Jedi (1983). They have multiple releases with Burger Records and have opened for Together Pangea, Plague Vendor, Peach Kelli Pop, Jurassic Shark, and Post Life. Grinning Ghosts have toured extensively, playing festivals like SXSW. They are currently releasing a series of EPs followed by a full length album.
"The story of this LP’s creation is the story of a labored, painful process; it being largely the result of compromises and disappointments accrued over the course of at least three years, but really much longer than that, I think. Perhaps this even stretches the entire friendships of us who’ve made it.
Most all the songs included in the album’s final track listing (Funeral and Don’t Want Me being the only exceptions, I believe) were songs that were floating around at the time we released our first record, “Yesterday, Tomorrow” in 2015. We had a pool of songs leftover and left off of that record—songs that didn’t fit in for whatever reason, and that we could not see fitting in with our perceived future—but still, they were songs we liked. And so, it was decided that before moving onto our ambitious second record (and the accompanying development in aesthetic and perspective that this would surely necessitate), we should record and put out some of these stockpiled songs while it still sort of made sense for us to put them out. Three years later this has somewhat come to pass.
It is not inaccurate to say that Youth on the Rack is an album of b-sides. From a pool of about 50 songs written before Yesterday (all of us being songwriters), and a couple written after, we selected and recorded approximately 33 songs. It took approximately three week-long-clusters of recording sessions (more or less) spaced out over two years to complete this. Studio time was intermittent due to lack of money and scheduling problems. These issues were further compounded by complications in our personal and interpersonal relationships.
Since the early days of the album’s planing, I thought of Youth as a triple album with a loose concept tying it together. This proved to become more true in the process of its completion as the record grew to become more about us, in addition to all the prior meanings it had been imbued with. Its songs were selected, sequenced, and recorded with that in mind. And with the hope that the entire thing would work together to convey a larger sentiment, and that the sum total of its parts would be greater than any individual component."
Youth on the Rack is fundamentally a break up album. Breaking up with girlfriends. Breaking up with rock and roll. Breaking up the band. Breaking up as friends. Breaking up as self.
Las Ritas consists of Alan on Vox, Freddy and Cain on Guitars, Bryan on Bass, and Jose on drums. The band started off following the surf punk trend, but has since moved on to sound more inspired by New Wave music of the 80's and Post-Punk, and Garage Rock. They play bright 7th chords, based progressions over pounding surfy drum beats with emotional bellowing vocals. They say the Buttertones are their favorite band in the LA scene at the moment and is one of their local inspirations.
Beverage, also known as Cosmic Beverage, is an indie-rock band formed in San Diego by Alec Young the primary songwriter. Beverage’s self-produced debut EP: Late Summer pt 1 is avaible on almost all streaming platforms including Spotify, bandcamp, and Apple Music. Alec records the music as a five piece, and Beverage’s live band is active as a four piece. The second EP, Late Summer pt. 2 will be available sometime around Summer 2019. Catch Beverage performing in San Diego live at venues, and house shows including their own house show venue: Paradise Dojo, located near National City.
Instagram: @thecosmicbeverage + @paradise_dojo
Even upon first listen, RunHideFight was already preaching to the choir. I am a long lost Brother JT fan, (Creatures of the Golden Dawn and The Original Sins) but my fandom is largely based on his solo record Off Blue from 2004, which I played practically on a loop, for months on end, about ten years ago, and I'm still not over it. JT is a completely singular talent, and even that feels like an understatement. RunHideFight’s front woman, Geeta Dalal Simons, (formerly of Rockula and Swisher) would no doubt agree, as she mentioned her shared admiration of JT’s music, way before he became her bandmate. I found this out in one of our slightly elusive Instagram conversations, before I finally had the good fortune to meet her in person at their live show last weekend. They kicked off the set with “He’s a Jerk”, the A-side of their debut single on Hidden Volume Records and it’s a completely fun cathartic release, especially live, and proved to be a total crowd rouser. The song starts out with Geeta, delivering her dramatic, yet cooled over spoken-sung lyric:
“I used to know this guy,
He had the fastest cars,
and the nicest guitars.
He had a house in France
and some very fancy rock pants
But you know something???
He was a JERK!!”
Then comes the scream. It’s half Wanda Jackson, & a definite nod to some of her 1960’s female predecessors, from Girls In The Garage. Mix in a little Donita Sparks styled shit-list attitude, and you can begin to get the feel of it. She does this cool scream thing pretty consistently on other tracks as well, and while fans will likely notice her foxcore vocal stylings most, I am stuck on the Wanda factor, which she told me is intentional, on her part. It was actually the first thing I noticed in her vocal affect, so I was thrilled to find out that she too, is a Wanda Jackson fan. Drummer John Kois and bass player Christine Weiser certainly play more than their fair share in all of this garage goodness. Christine, formerly from the band Mae Pang, is a rock veteran herself. She feels auspiciously like the band’s ax playing designated driver, with her unfettered stage presence, though she’s a seriously hard driving force for their sound, with her heavy, impending-doom bass lines. Drummer John Kois, a Philadelphia native (from Marah and Three 4 Tens) loves certain metal bands, and that feels present in the power of his drumming style. He clearly loves a wide range of music though, and happens to have the chops to pull from whatever style he wants, just like everyone else in this band.
Now, about the B side of this single. Although both sides of the single are penned by Simons, this side has actually become my favorite. “Because I Love You” is a really catchy jam and a half, all grrrrrrl power, and rhyme scheme, it’s got a well written hook that sticks, so don’t be surprised if you find yourself singing along. But maybe, like me, instead of the vocals you'll be doing the 60’s sitar sounds, because this groove has got em'! It wasn't much surprise to hear that local hero Chris Dipinto, self taught luthier, and owner of Dipinto's Guitar Shop in Philadelphia, made Geeta's dream team double necked 24 string, half guitar, half sitar, checker boarded beauty. The sitar sounds from the “Geetar” sound really great on “Because I Love You” and perhaps it’s because Geeta, being Indian American, is more than versed in understanding how the legacy of her heritage and the sitar itself, have played into lots of the best garage and psychedelic music of the 60’s.
Your idea of kicking it old-school might be the 60’s or the 90’s, and either way, RunHideFight has got you covered. Think Wanda Jackson with heavy-hitter lyrics and killer guitars. And judging from the strong start of the singles, we will likely be lucky enough to hear much more from them.
- Lisa Taglialavore
Hailing from the serene spaces of Inglewood, CA, Muti-instrumentalist, Billy Azurdia, returns to the armor of his Moniker, Jane Astronaut. The South Bay based artist sonically pulsates between warm melodies and melodramatic lines of longing. Taking elements from 90s alt rock, 60s brit rock, and early 2000’s indie, Jane Astronaut drips in bliss and heartache.
d0lls is a psychedelic rock/pop band from Los Angeles, CA. Female vocalist Tulasi Rainn, head song writer Richard Ray and drummer James Bockelman have teamed together to bring sexy trippy songs to your ear drums.
d0lls has two singles out on all platforms, featuring guest performances by members of De Lux on guitar and synth. They have a new single, Imperfect on the way
Audio miraJ is a non-binary experimental trip hop music producer and audio engineer originally from Chicago, but is now based near Los Angeles. At 17, miraJ began to experiment with music using a cheap tablet as a midi across a wifi connection to control a D.A.W. At 21 they still remain entirely self taught. miraJ first performed in authentic intimate spaces, such as basement benefit shows and other venues in the DIY scene in Chicago. Now, they are exploring new opportunities in the West Coast. miraJ takes inspiration from various genres but primarily draws from soul, electronic, and hip - hop music. Some of miraj's favorites include; Flying Lotus, ICYTWAT, J Dilla, Daft Punk, Oshi, and many more. miraJ experiments with blending natural sounding hip hop kicks and snares with trap hats and elements, over uniquely modulated synths, sampled instruments and deep bass lines to give complex layers and interesting dynamics to tracks. You will always hear the reverb in a miraJ track. This reverb and miraJ's toying with panning give a feeling of space and ambience. This aids in the immersion of the listener in the music. miraJ does not often personally write lyrics for their productions because they find the endless ways their music can be interpreted as a part of the listening experience. miraJ believes that the ability to openly interpret music significantly adds to their personal listening experience and is a catalyst for collaboration. miraJ's musical goal is to inspire listeners to consider the unrecognized, to encourage thought and introspection. miraJ wants their music to make you think, the meaning of their creations is for you to decide.
Katrin Paucz is 18 years old and a Vienna based singer/songwriter. She records and mixes all her songs at home in her room, which gives Katrin the most creative freedom.
J. Burd, from Long Beach California, consists of three brothers and a revolving door of friends. They have released 2 LPs and 1 EP since releasing their first single in 2014. Their music has been described as psychedelic, blues, garage, bedroom, experimental, pop, and probably more. Their new album titled “Ruk’u Yaya” is out today (January 4th, 2019) on limited vinyl + streaming on Spotify and all digital platforms via Baby Carrot Records. Cover art painted by the band’s great grandmother Rosalie Triplett (1918-2000). Center label plumeria by Brice Burtness.
“This one was recorded in the bedroom with lots of love. Dedicated to my grandfather Titus Van Zanten (1922-2018)."
WEEP WAVE was formed in 2016 in Seattle, WA where the band quickly became known for their lo-fi recordings, flashy shows, DIY attitude and strange noises. WEEP WAVE is Dylan Fuentes (Guitar/Vocals/Drums), Colton Harold (Synth/Guitar/Drums), Dylan Trujillo (Bass). On January 11th WEEP WAVE is releasing their first Full-Length album titled "S.A.D." on 12" colored vinyl and booking a 2 month tour out to SXSW to promote it. Ernie Ball just premiered the music video for their new single "A Breakup Song"
"Weep Wave should win the award of “biggest hustle” in the scene. In the past year and a half since they’ve been in Seattle, they’ve played nearly every venue in the city plus multiple mini-tours around the Northwest, have massively grown their social media following, and have stuck with their DIY aesthetic of making all their own merch, logos, flyers, and videos. While they might be consummate professionals with their hustle, their live shows are raw, energetic, fun, and a little goofy.” - KEXP
2013 was the year Brian Hernandez, Gizmo Zepeda, and Arsenio Otero decided to finish what they had started and more importantly, have fun. Under the Melodic Hardcore banner, and with influences of BLOOD HAS BEEN SHED and MISERY SIGNALS, the three sought to combine their love of scratchy off timing riffing with the more streamlined layers of indie rock. That combination added with the not so metal name Little Debbie and the Moonpies, Has led to many a confused looks from audiences and bands alike. In 2016, the band added Sean Burgess to guitar and clumsily volunteered for their first mini tour with Chrysalis, a fun and eye opening experience into a much bigger world. Now with 2018’s release of their first EP, THIS IS THE BEST THAT WE CAN DO, look forward to see what lies ahead for LDMP.
"We're The Mumfees, a currently two-man band inspired by older sounds and soundtracks, performed with modern equipment and techniques. Our influences range from Nancy Sinatra, Os Mutantes, The Make-up to Boards of Canada. It's been really hard for us to label ourselves with a genre, as with each new project we've done this year our tastes and inspirations have changed, and we are often left with a hodge-podge wherein each influence has left its mark. We as a band are very drawn to narrative and visuals, and want to soundtrack the scene we've driven you to. "
Surf Punk Indie band VLUSH was formed late 2017 in Escondido, California. In January of 2018 they hit the studio and released their first single, Melancholy, with the help of Rey Guandulain who recorded and mastered the song. At the time, the band consisted only of four members, having the singer playing drums until new drummer, Teon Lê, joined the group, which finalized and completed their set. After playing a few shows they released their second single, Violet Dreams, in early July. Both songs are the perfect examples of how their sound switches between an anger filled powerhouse, to a more subtle and tranquil state.
Their aggressive and energetic live performances make them stand out and make even the weariest of listeners, tap along to their tunes. The band will be opening up for Tropa Mágica early December and hope to play even bigger shows by the new year.
A post-punk, dream pop inspired project with DIY lo-fi production formed by J. Javier in Lancaster, CA 2011. Features various members/musicians in performance and on recordings.
Born in Paris from American and French parents, Seulitude has been living in Montreal, Canada for the past 4 years. His first song was released independently on November 14th 2018 and from that moment on, he will be releasing one song every week on Wednesday nights, for 16 consecutive weeks. It's 16 for a dark reason that even he doesn't know.
Seulitude is a francophone/anglophone bilingual artist and his songs reflect that, sometimes even mixing both languages ("Man"'s last verse is in french). He is releasing one French and one English song alternatively, which represents well the flipping of identity that happens when one grows up with two languages.
The style of music has been described as experimental, folk-ish, punk, indie and many other things. Seulitude isn't scared to experiment, to mix auto tune and raw recordings, and dirty acoustic guitar with synths.
Cruel Reflections was started in a UCLA dorm room by Julio Cesar Francisco and Garcia-Solares early-2017. Longtime friend, Satchel Solis, joined the band shortly after. They quickly hit the studio to release their freshman album “One Year”. The band brings back sounds from late-70’s and early-80’s post-punk with a splash of new wave. They will also be releasing their first EP titled "Bonus Tracks" on December 1st, 2018.
Dog Particle is an alternative rock band from the San Fernando Valley in Los Angeles, California. Starting in 2016, they take influences from a wide range of genres including bands such as Nirvana, Lightning Bolt, Smashing Pumpkins, Death From Above 1979, The Microphones, Radiohead, and Red Fang. Dog Particle performs loud, energetic punk sets as well as laid-back acoustic sets. Jake Dougherty on Vocals and Guitar, Hektor Martinez on Bass Guitar, Christian Lincoln on Drums