The Wild Reeds

The Wild Reeds (10:15 PM)

Brother Grand (9:15 PM)

Kera & The Lesbians (8:30 PM)

Sat, August 9, 2014

8:00 pm

Adv Tix $12.00 / Day of Show Tix $15.00

Tickets at the Door

This event is all ages

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The Wild Reeds - (Set time: 10:15 PM)
The Wild Reeds
The Wild Reeds are a band led by women, and that matters. Not a sister band, not a girl group, but a band fronted by three women, all talented singers, songwriters, and multi-instrumentalists in their own right: Kinsey Lee, Mackenzie Howe, and Sharon Silva, with drummer Nick Jones and bass player Nick Phakpiseth providing the Los Angeles-based band’s rhythmic foundation. Like a harmony at its euphoric best, the leads’ powerful — and powerfully distinct — voices merge to form a sound that can only be The Wild Reeds. On their third LP, Cheers, the band comes together to create an ode to the joys and pains of camaraderie.

The Wild Reeds’ previous LPs, Blind and Brave (2014) and The World We Built (2017), and EPs, Best Wishes (2016) and New Ways To Die (2018), caught press attention from outlets including NPR Music (including a Tiny Desk Concert), Billboard, Rolling Stone Country, Noisey, and Garden & Gun, in addition to radio play from influential stations like KEXP and KCRW. And now arrives Cheers: a career highlight achieved by giving each writer considerable latitude, in the end creating a singular work out of three striking songwriting voices.

On Cheers, Lee, Howe, and Silva leaned into their differences for the first time, giving one another unprecedented amounts of freedom to execute their own songs. Each was allowed room to pursue her vision, while always leaving an open door for the other members to step in and collaborate. “We decided to explore our individuality,” says Howe. “It was a scary thing for us, because when you have three writers, you often have to do your best to tame your differences and come to some sort of agreement writing-wise, sonically, stylistically. It was the first time we said, ‘Screw that, why don’t we just record the songs the way they should be done?’”

For all the exploration on Cheers, the result is still tight and cohesive. The album makes room for infectious sing-along anthems (opening track “Moving Target”), tinges of R&B (“Lose My Mind”), lilting ‘60s pop-rock waltzes that build to resounding finishes (“Cheers,” “Get Better”), haunting balladry (“Run and Hide,” “My Name”), and even a gloriously hook-heavy track Lee sheepishly admits started as a tongue-in-cheek pop punk throwback (“P.S. Nevermind”). Every song sounds fresh, but all of them sound like The Wild Reeds. “For me, it felt no holds barred, limitless, like I could step up to the plate,” Silva says. “The record feels very communal, and that’s part of the reason we called it ‘Cheers.’ It felt like, ‘Hey, we’re all in this together and we’re all focusing on what we’re getting better at.’ We could let go of what we’re supposed to sound like and all reach a higher potential.”

Cheers was born out of a strange and painful time, full of tough break-ups, family deaths, and discord within the band itself. The 13 songs are snapshots from that upheaval, touching on illness, therapy, heartbreak and disconnection from three perspectives. Some of Cheers’ sunniest songs contain the darkest undercurrents, and The Wild Reeds don’t shy away from sadness or open endings. The album creates beauty out of contradictions: It finds community in individuality, tenderness in confrontation, joy in the midst of grief and pain. Threaded throughout is a deep sense of gratitude for the band itself, and the songs became a way for the members to talk to each other — an intimate language that was at times contentious, but in the end, healing. Silva explains, “When Mack first showed us the song ‘Get Better,’ I was just walking back after an argument at practice. I came back in, she played us the song, and I sat on the floor and played the guitar line that’s in the chorus…We just sat there and we played it and it was so soft and gentle, and it was exactly what I needed. I’ve always felt that way about the girls’ songs, and that’s what keeps the wheels rolling for me.”

“We’re really confrontational in our band, in a good way,” Lee says. “A lot of bands have fallen apart without even having a conversation. When you’re ‘married’ to five different people for 10 years, things come up that you need to discuss with each other. I think we’re all really good at challenging each other to grow and keep coming back to a place of love.” Ultimately Cheers is hopeful, celebratory, and communal; life can break your heart, but friends can mend it. The Wild Reeds’ trials have only strengthened their commitment to each other, and resulted in their strongest and most unified record to date.
Brother Grand - (Set time: 9:15 PM)
Brother Grand
California based Brother Grand blends Psychedelic-Folk Rock with a twist of Film-score Soul. With an emphasis on engaging live performances, Brother Grand pushes the limits without breaking the ties. Not just a mere duo, Brother Grand expands their message through the use of live looping, a rhodes piano, chaotic string textures, thunderous drumming, and heartfelt vocal harmonies. Whether stripped down to acoustic guitar & upright bass, or surfing an electric wall of sound, Brother Grand always delivers with passion, honesty and presence.
Kera & The Lesbians - (Set time: 8:30 PM)
Kera & The Lesbians
Kera and the Lesbians, hailing from San Diego and currently residing in Los Angeles, lovingly refer to their musical style as 'bipolar folk'. Bipolar in the sense that in one song drummer Michael will pound his drums, expelling his demons with sheer force, while Kera croons and screams and serenades, enchanting all within earshot. Eamon's guitar playing is reminiscent of sleepy desert afternoons, spent on porches accompanied by the smell of leather and aging wood, while Phil's bass lines get the crowd moving and grooving. The lyrics more literally embody the band's polarity, telling tales of anxiety, friendship, insanity and ill-fated love, from Kera's very unique point of view.

This is a band to see live. Kera's passion is tangible, at times bringing the crowd to tears, but most consistently keeping a dancing crowd completely enraptured, hanging onto every word her very expressive being has to sing. She brings heaps of charm to the set, with her joking between songs and her Elvis-like dance moves, it's obvious that she and the whole band live for this. Their range has allowed them to perform with a diverse list of acts including Devendra Banhart, Best Coast, and Crystal Castles.
The band has a definite DIY work ethic, having self released two EPs, and their first debut "YEAR 23" released on Lolipop Records. They also do their own booking and artwork internally. Their newest release "Year 23"' is a manic story covering one of Kera's most aggravating habits and instilling in the listener a mounting feeling of tension that it mercifully relieves, while still giving a taste of the madness of obsession.
Venue Information:
Troubadour
9081 Santa Monica Blvd
Los Angeles, CA, 90069
http://www.troubadour.com/

All lineups and times subject to change