Kan Wakan

Kan Wakan (9:30 PM)

Niia (8:30 PM)

Tue, December 9, 2014

8:00 pm

Adv Tix $12.00 / Day of Show Tix $14.00

Tickets available @ doors (8pm)---CASH ONLY

This event is all ages

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Kan Wakan - (Set time: 9:30 PM)
Kan Wakan
Kan Wakan arrive with a striking breadth of vision that immediately places them among modern pop’s most beguiling and inventive new artists. The Los Angeles-based group’s extraordinary self-titled debut EP introduced their ornate and enveloping amalgam of psychedelic soul, post rock, electronica, noir jazz, 60s soundtrack stylings, and orchestral pop, all reshaped and rearranged to create something both startlingly original and utterly contemporary.

“KAN WAKAN” – which heralds the band’s full-length debut, entitled “MOVING ON,” arriving everywhere June 2014 – is highlighted by “Forever Found,” and first single, “Like I Need You,” which has already been championed by the ever-influential public radio station, KCRW, as well as by LA Weekly, which recently named Kan Wakan among the “Los Angeles Bands About To Blow Up.”

Kan Wakan emerged in early 2012, the musical brainchild of composer/producer/multi-instrumentalist Gueorgui I. Linev. The Bulgarian-born musician originally set out to create solely instrumental music inspired by his lifelong passion for classical minimalism, but the involvement of chanteuse Kristianne Bautista and producer/guitarist Peter Potyondy rapidly saw the project grow in both scope and purpose.

“Initially the project began as an outlet for me to perform some of my bedroom instrumental ideas with a small chamber ensemble comprised of strings, brass and percussion” Linev says, “At one point it felt natural to me to introduce guitars, keyboard and drums into the mix, and around this time is when I met with Peter and Kristianne. It took a very natural course as we spent the next year or so experimenting together and more like minded musicians came into the mix.”

As the core group built upon a truly variegated palette of influences, common musical themes began to manifest, including a epic but cinematic deep soul approach inspired by such icons as Bill Withers and Nina Simone. “Forever Found” – the band’s first fully fleshed track – proved the aural template from which Kan Wakan lit out on their exploration of what Linev refers to as “the juxtaposition of song and symphony.”

At the forefront is Bautista’s powerful, provocative voice – described by Linev as not unlike “the lead instrument in an orchestra” – which conveys remarkable levels of romantic nuance and human complexity to songs like the mysterious “Moving On.” With a name inspired by the word in Tagalog (Kristianne’s native language) for interstellar/outer space, “Kalawakan,” the trio was abetted with various players live, all of whom help bring the bold sonic vision to full fruition.

“Many roots of ideas are inspired by moving picture and fiction. A lot of arrangement ideas usually start with a quick sentiment, and develop viscerally undocumented over some time before I feel comfortable enough writing them down.”

Kan Wakan’s opening demos earned them well-deserved attention, including significant airplay on the one and only KCRW. Having made an instantaneous impact, the band then spent the better part of 2013 recording at studios around the greater Los Angeles area. Produced by Linev (aka Crooked Waters), co-produced by Potyondy and multiple GRAMMY® Award-winning producer/engineer Darrell Thorp (Radiohead, Beck, Air, Gnarls Barkley) and Mixed by GRAMMY® Award-winning engineer Tom Elmhirst (Adele, Florence and the Machine, The Black Keys, Arcade Fire, Amy Winehouse) the sessions were adorned with sumptuous strings performed by the Metamorphosis Chamber Orchestra and conducted by Linev’s beloved uncle, Bulgarian Virtuosi Chamber Orchestra music director/conductor Stefan Linev.

“We wanted to put no limits on what we were setting out to do,” Linev says. “We tried to put as much of ourselves on the record as possible so that we can look back on it as a real and honest statement of who we were in that moment, both musically and spiritually.”
Niia - (Set time: 8:30 PM)
Introducing Niia, a talent as unique and mysterious as her name. Niia’s music has been described as horror soul, dream pop and future jazz. It’s a bit like an amalgam of Carly Simon, Massive Attack, and Sadé. She has a sultry R&B trip-hop vibe, underlain with shadowy synth progressions that evoke Kid A-era Radiohead. “I sometimes feel I’m a jazz singer in a spaceship,” Niia says. She has a chilling presence; her songs stay with you, haunt you even.

Niia Bertino, pronounced “Nye-a” is twenty-five. She has the carriage of a Bertolucci ingénue and the shyness of a schoolgirl. Her Italian-born mother is a classical pianist and from a very young age, Niia has been too. Her aesthetic also comes from a childhood steeped in the cinema of her motherland, from Argento to Scorsese to The Sopranos. “I love a good, bloody film,” she says and its heroines, “Strong, beautiful women who embraced emotion… femmes fatales with secrets.” At her Catholic girls’ school near Boston, she was a “total music nerd,” cutting math to hide out in the chapel and play Debussy and Rachmaninoff. By the age of thirteen, she was fronting an off-campus jazz trio. She applied and was accepted to several top conservatories yet instead Niia followed in misfit footsteps and moved to New York City.

Between jazz vocal classes while enrolled at the New School, teenage Niia toured a recording studio and happened to meet its owner, Wyclef Jean. As soon as he heard her sing, Clef took her under his wing. Guest spots on his world tour and hit single “Sweetest Girl (Dollar Bill)” followed. Although A&R execs took notice the 19-year-old aspiring singer refused the interest of major-label CEOs looking to create the next Avril or Christina. Niia didn’t want to be the next anything. Her heroes, Nina Simone, Björk and Fiona Apple create sensitive, complicated music. Niia’s sound and image couldn’t be manufactured. “Just had to come from me,” she says. “People thought I was crazy, but I wouldn’t have it any other way.”

She decided instead to take some time off to focus on writing, to experience life and love in New York. The city grew to love her as Niia has become something of a downtown cult hero; singing as a special guest at the underground theatre sensation Sleep No More and hosting a recurring night of James Bond theme-song covers. It’s an evening complete with a 14-piece backing orchestra, black-tie dress code and girls in gold serving martinis.

Coincidently Niia has been recording her debut LP in Los Angeles. Where she’s not sure she could live since “nobody there wears black” she says. Her debut will be released later this year. Niia is recording in the studio of a kindred spirit, the equally mysterious Robin Hannibal of Rhye and Quadron. “I want you to feel like you’re in another place. The play on what’s real and what’s not real is interesting to me,” she says. Her writing is as influenced by visuals as it is by music keeping cinema in mind with her writing.

“I’m really afraid to be in the music industry, deep down,” she says. “I was thinking about Whitney Houston and Amy Winehouse… my fear is giving in too much, losing myself and falling apart like some of my vocal idols. Some artists change so drastically to be famous.” Recently Niia discussed her own personal struggle with stage fright and the intimate connection made between an artist and audience in her Ted Talk “Beauty Overcomes Fear”. In a time where we are accustomed to knowing everything about an artist, she asks for listeners to “respect that connection”. For Niia “the most important and private connection made between an artist and audience is through their music.” Over the course of an evolutionary process she has overcome her fear. Niia is ready to launch her career on her own terms. While simultaneously, accept the chaos of imminent fame.
Venue Information:
9081 Santa Monica Blvd
Los Angeles, CA, 90069

All lineups and times subject to change