Julia Massey and her band, The Five Finger Discount, are a fundamentally upbeat bunch.
From the funky opening beats of her album, Is There Room For Me?, to her charming, falsetto-infused songs about aliens, it’s clear that Ms. Massey is a one-of-a-kind traveler on the indie circuit.
Originally from the mid-Atlantic states, Massey is now based out of Seattle, and her self-applied “Cosmic Folk-Rock” genre accurately portrays the city’s crunchier side. Reminiscent at times of Pink Floyd, The Wallflowers, and just good old fashioned George Clinton — but with a more fabulous set of pipes — Massey’s music makes it inevitable that she’d put on a great show.
You’ll get to find out for yourself when Julia Massey & the Five Finger Discount play Brick by Brick on March 13. Tourmates The Jesus Rehab and San Diego’s 2 Bit Radio will open. In anticipation of the show, Julia Massey sent us a list of her influences; check it out below.
Poetic Memory: Julia Massey
10. Fake Bears: Our bassist, Geoff, does most of our graphic design work, and he’s developed this theme with big, round-faced, emotionless bears that just cracks us up. I’ve attached an example of a bear that is scared because it’s in the woods with some other real bears.
9. High-fiving: A lot of people have mixed feelings about this. The members of our band are not those people. Dom, our drummer, has been high-fiving for years, and we’ve all picked up on it. We like to attempt to high-five everyone at our shows at least once if we can help it. Even if it makes some folks uncomfortable.
8. Michael Franti: The best show that I ever saw in my life was when Spearhead played for free in the little Colorado town where I was living. Michael Franti had me and over a thousand of my closest friends jumping up and down yelling “Let go of remote control!” Since then, I’ve been hooked, and luckily our band agrees. We play a lot of them on our roadtrips (otherwise known as tours).
7. Carl Sagan: His Pale Blue Dot speech still gets us every time. Geoff has been a lifelong fan of Sagan, but Dom and I got into him after obsessing over the movie “Contact.” Every once in a while, Geoff and I will randomly say “I’m OK to go, I’m OK to go, I’m OK to go…” until we are whispering it.
6. Third Place Pub: This is the band’s favorite bar in Seattle, and Dom’s second home. We basically feel like we’re in the show “Cheers,” but all of the regulars are a lot less messed up and dramatic. They play our record in there sometimes, and it makes us feel famous. They also have Old Rasputin on tap, and the best falafel sandwich I’ve ever had. To make matters even better, The Glass Notes, Great Um, and The Jesus Rehab (our favorite local bands) happen to hang out there all the time, too. We consider it our HQ.
5. Making fun of “Miracles” by ICP: I didn’t believe this video when I first saw it, but now that I’ve seen it more than once, I do believe that it exists. Anyone whose lyrics include “F*cking magnets, how do they work?” wins on some level in my book. And, as Geoff put it, we actually DO know how magnets work…
4. Seattle: Geoff is from here, and he likes it enough to stay, but Dom and I moved out here because of Pearl Jam and the thriving music scene. It’s about as dreary as you can imagine during the winter months, but when the clouds part — even for just a moment at the end of a day — and you can see the Cascades and Olympics from your bike ride, you wonder if you died and went to heaven (I’m sure there’s an ICP song about that feeling).
3. Pancake Parties: All of us love pancakes, and Jared, Dom’s brother (front man for The Jesus Rehab) starting a co-op with local musicians in our area, that consists of hosting a music show once a month in our neighborhood at the local coffee shop (The Monkey Grind). It’s all ages, never charges a cover, and serves free pancakes. What’s more, the audience is as polite as they come, and all of the acts always say, “Wow, that was really fun.”
2. Starring in our own music videos: Well, there’s only one official one to date, but we’re really proud of ourselves and our friend Andrew for putting it together. Check out “Aghadoe” if you like “Half Baked” and “Lord of the Rings” (above).