Valentine’s Day is upon us, citizens. Couples across the nation perform the kabuki theater of obligatory romantic gestures, and non-couples will hunch over their OkCupid profiles in despair. But you? You will transcend. You will survive. You have the Owl and Bear podcast. Continue reading…
When your music is described as a cross between the Shangri-Las and Black Sabbath, chances are you’ve struck upon a pretty interesting sound. But there’s much more to Kissing Cousins than those two bands. Hailing from Los Angeles, the all-girl group concocts churning mixtures of pitch-black atmosphere and driving rhythms that draw upon an array of musical, literary, and cinematic influences.
Sonically, the four-piece sounds like PJ Harvey on a cranky day, complete with surging factory beats and half-sung, half-spoken words that often maketh murder. Their lyrics are influenced by Southern Gothic writers like William Faulkner and Flannery O’Connor, both of whom heavily influenced frontwoman Bray Heywood during her childhood in Alabama.
There’s even some David Lynch (see the bible-spouting, Eric Stoltz-starring video for “Don’t Look Back,” off the band’s debut album, Pillar of Salt) and Cinemax-style exploitation (as in the new video for “You Bring Me Down,” which finds the girls being sent to prison and generally kicking the crap out of each other) thrown into the mix. Continue reading…
With a name like a doggy treat and wearing an awesome pair of clogs, Scout Niblett took the stage at Bar Pink on Sunday in front of a few dozen people. To me it was satisfying to see that the singer, mousy and demure, actually does look and act like a “Scout Niblett,” if anyone ever could. Continue reading
Plagued by demons? Don’t worry about it. Is your immortal soul in need of saving? We’ve got just the thing. Do you enjoy the pairing of “magnificently mournful” musicians? We’ve got you covered there too.
Highland Park songstress Jonneine Zapata will be on hand to exorcise your demons this Saturday, September 12th, at the Casbah. Lending a hand for the night’s rites will be former Screaming Trees front man Mark Lanegan, backed by the UK’s divine Soulsavers.
Zapata combines the pacing of Low with the grittiness of P.J. Harvey (with whom Lanegan has recorded, to much acclaim), to create a style as beautiful as it is intense. She’s relatively new to the music scene; she’s been writing for several years, but only got serious in November 2008. It didn’t take long for her to make a name for herself, though, and she just released an album, Cast the Demons Out. For a sample, check out the track “Good Looking” (MP3).
In addition to Mark Lanegan’s work with the Screaming Trees, he has released a slew of solo albums, including 2004’s terrific Bubblegum. Of late, he is best known for his collaborations, which include duets with Belle & Sebastian’s Isobel Campbell, his Gutter Twins album with the Twilight Singers’ Greg Dulli, and two records with Soulsavers, the UK-based production team with whom he’s currently touring. They’re here to support Broken, their latest effort together.
Blending gritty melancholia with morose wisdom, Jonneine Zapata and Lanegan are pretty much kindred spirits, which makes their Casbah appearance seem so promising.
Even if you’re going just to see Lanegan—who rarely plays anywhere, let alone San Diego—be sure to get there early to catch Ms. Zapata. With any luck, there will be duets. We’ll be there to report the results and sip on some Jameson holy water.
Full list of Soulsavers/Lanegan/Zapata tour dates after the jump. Continue reading
L.A.-based Kissing Cousins, an “all female sepulchral counter-pop” band led by Heather Bray Heywood, began with a few modest EPs. Since then, they’ve had a song featured on Nip/Tuck and recorded a full-length album, Pillar of Salt. Kissing Cousins recorded Pillar live to tape—a rarity in today’s mostly digital landscape—with the help of Richard Swift. The band used Wilco’s old TASCAM 8-track to record the album, bestowing a second life upon the piece of equipment that has produced some of Wilco’s greatest songs. Kissing Cousins definitely do the machine justice.
Music videos for Pillar are in the works, and the vinyl will be released in July (see tour dates below). For samples, check out “In Too Deep” from Pillar, as well as “Deathhouse“, Heywood’s personal favorite song from the album.
After the jump: 10 bands that influenced Heywood’s songwriting “in some shape or form.” Continue reading