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Night Nail, Bonfire Beach, Haunted Summer At Los Globos, Sunday April 27th 2014


Haunted Summer

Several young bands were opening the night that David J, of Bauhaus and Love & Rockets fame, was headlining at Los Globos on Sunday night. I am not sure to understand why promoters and show bookers expect people to hang around after 1 am on a Sunday night, but all I can say is that the evening turned out to be a long night of music, but it was good music, so every one should have stayed and skipped the bedtime.

I said young bands because they don’t seem to have already left a big trace on the internet while their Facebook page is very recent. Night Nail was first and they were riding the dark wave with synth, guitars, bass and the appropriate haircuts. Their music was certainly inspired of the 80s, part new wave part shoegazing but often growing into a big full sound, ambitious and empowering with groovy developments. With this glaucous ambiance and lugubrious-morose-detached vocals, I can understand why they were perfect to open for one of the founders of Bauhaus, but I was even hearing some Depeche Mode in a more goth sense of the term. Singer-guitarist Brandon Robert, who kept his sunglasses on, put the cord of his mic around his neck at one point, as if he had some suicide envy… they were a bit mysterious, with songs titles such as ‘Tigers in Heaven’, or ‘Slaves to Reset’, ‘Modern Fluxus’, and that’s always a good thing for a band.

Next was Bonfire Beach, fronted by badass Dexy Valentine, and I am probably not the first one who is going to compare them to Black Rebel Motorcycle Club? That was the first band name that crossed my mind, and they had a bit of Brian Jonestown Massacre’s psychedelia too, which are not bad references to begin with. The quartet had an aggressive, layered, dark and bluesy sound, which was fitting their black leather jackets and dark sunglasses, and I was totally digging it. Rebellious enough to match the classics, trippy but not druggy, there is already a strong buzz around them, and I totally see why they were recently listed among the ’10 LA bands who will blow up in 2014′ by the LA Weekly.

Haunted Summer, fronted by husband and wife John Seasons and Bridgette Moody, was a total change of atmosphere, and I guess their moniker is a good start to introduce their pastoral, kaleidoscopic music. Actually, I was rather feeling springtime than summer, and no I am not playing with the last name of John, who was previously in the band Seasons! Their keyboard-guitar-electronics songs was a bit like a collaboration between Youth Lagoon and Panda Bear and Bridgette’s ethereal but sweet vocals were floating through these sprawling and strange soundscapes. There was sometimes nostalgia (‘this song is about the 90s’, they said at one point) sometimes more agitation, and if many of their dreamy-pop songs were relaxing and carrying a sort of abandon, some others were exploding into a complex and chaotic cascade of keyboards and electronics with freak-out vocals. Their glittery songs didn’t seem to follow any known constructions and they dedicated their last one to people who ‘want to be free in life’, with John Seasons rolling his back on stage with this weird electronic musical instrument called theremin… Weirdness can lead to some beautiful things, and the band is searching for an harmony between the two through their summery compositions. They have released an EP, ‘Something in the Water’, that John nicely gave to me,… and I still have to listen to it!

Pictures of the show here.

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