The Holdfast Rifle Company is slowly but surely winning over the hearts of Santa Barbara musicophiles, and rightly so. But who knew country music could be this cool?
Years ago, I sure didn't. I grew up in the foothills of Northern California, where each town has a smaller and more hillbilly neighboring town to make fun of. Growing up, you could always be happy that you didn't have to live there; as such I carefully avoided all things country, from music to cowboy boots to camping, wary of being identified with anything remotely hick-ish. As a teenager, I took great interest in folk music, and later even alt-country, but I always steered clear of country western.
This, then, is the story of my evolution. This is the story of me falling hard in love with someone from one of those littler hick towns.
Back in February we invited folks from the So Simple Records crew to peform some live electronic music for One Night Music. Ted Nava, WMX, Harro, and Hate Parade made their way to the One Night Music studio in downtown Santa Barbara joined by a group of supporters and fans. That night we had nearly 20 people packed into the tiny bedroom studio for an intimate session of music that is normally played at lively parties. The contrast between the energetic music and the laid back environment made for a unique experience.
My previous blog post featured WMX from this same night playing 8-bit music on his Game Boy. The video below features Ted Nava performing a nearly 20 minute long song on his laptop. The software he's using is Ableton Live.
So Simple Records is a collective of electronic music artists based out of Isla Vista, California - a bi-polar sleepy beach-side town by day, crazy college party town by night. Many of the members of So Simple Records are students at the University of California Santa Barbara (UCSB) who spend many-a-night performing live electronic music to eager college co-eds.
Read the full blog to see all 7 videos and download all the audio tracks.
"When I call you up, you say what's up and I say 'I don't know, I don't know, I don't know, I don't know.'"
'Twas a lovely July day in San Francisco. I was staying with my lovely Ildiko in the heart of the mission and a stone's throw from the Pirate Cat Radio Cafe, the unlicensed community airwaves that are home to the voices of anarchists like Diamond Dave and out-of-control music enthusiasts such as One Night Music's own Elia Vargas. If you are fortunate enough to take a step into the Pirate Cat Radio Cafe, you will be treated to vegan donuts, the freshest cup of coffee you've tasted in weeks, and general sense of community. If you are in the mood for eavesdropping, your ear will surely fall upon the ramblings of the latest anarchist opinions eminating from the corner table, and if you have a curious eye, you are welcomed to watch a live radio broadcast in the works through the large studio windows that seperate the auditory magic from the ear-piercing espresso machine.
Elia was contributing his time in the studio at Pirate Cat, so I thought I would stop by to say hi and to use his computer. Santa Barbara band Backpack was in San Francisco to play a show later that night. It turns out that the current DJ was in need of a live music guest. So Elia called up Backpack and invited them to stop by Pirate Cat to grace the cafe/studio/airwaves with an impromptu performance. I happened to have my handheld Vado HD handy, and this is what I caught.
A full One Night Music session featuring Backpack will come to One Night Music in the coming months! Keep an eye out!
Lucky Dragons is Luke Fischbeck and Sarah Rara. Luke likes toys. A step aside from his shows (he played at Biko Garage on November 12, 2008), he visited UCSB to give a workshop in the class "Image and Sound" in the College of Creative Studies on April 16th, 2009. Lucky Dragons makes participatory electronic shaman beats. Dancy sometimes? - yes, very much so. A small group of people gathered around an odd assortment of rocks, dried bean pods, drift wood, wires, circuit distributors, a PA and a projector and silently Luke began shaking things, adjusting knobs and distributing objects to members of the circle. Soon the projector was flickering odd images of textured goop and flowers while rocks were reverberating soundscape modulated by the distance from the circuit systems. A truly sonic space of cooperative random participation of touching, stoning, and shaking had evolved.
Following the performance/collaboration there was a Q & A, and discussion, consisting of Inuit Throat singing YouTube videos and 90s participatory artists. Luke described the construction of his music making system, both physical and digital elements. He uses Max MSP to define the environment and tune the sound input from the external concoction of stuffs and music objects. Lucky Dragons is not an empty spectacle either. The long time evolution of the project is rooted in a desire to create interactive, social, and cooperative art that is nothing short of fun. It is about aesthetics, as the way in which things should or ought to be, versus politics, as the way in which things are. It is cultural collaboration, it is ritual, it is sonic and breaks down artist-audience barriers of participation and performance, and did I mention that it is fun?
Revisit, revisit, replay (I have indeed already mentioned PRE)-
On March 25th, at the Pink Mailbox in Isla Vista, SBDIY hosted a show of the old school and a bit of the new school. Fresh out of this year's South by Southwest, The Mae Shi (San Diego) headlined over Pre (England), and the legendary Homosexuals. I used to live at the Pink Mailbox and SBDIY is filled to the brim with good people, and so One Night Music had a sort of experiment with filming in non-controlled settings. Its not quite a One Night Music session, but we brought it right to your face. Here is a small sample, the show was nuts.
Watch the last song on the video, it is worth it…
Here's the digits:
They said they were from Australia. Those liars. Those sweet, sweet demon-noise liars. They are called Pre, and they are from London. Fresh off, or particularly wound up, after South by Southwest the loud noise made its way out West, and on March 25, particularly to Isla Vista. They came along with The Mai Shi, and it just so happened that The Homosexuals were around too. It was a show. The Pink Mailbox was white noise and dark noise-pop. I posted up in the mush, and my toes tap tap tapped there way around.
Continue reading for more videos from the show.
Three of my favorite people in my life packed together in a car to drive from San Francisco to Santa Barbara for the One Night Music Valentine’s Day Launch Party on Saturday, February 14th, 2009. Needless to say that when my brother tried to coax me to the park with him and my great friend Mike Ballan and my girlfriend Ildiko that evening for a glass of wine and a round of bocce ball, I couldn’t say no. We walked to the park together laughing, smiling, and talking about the activities yet to transpire for the evening. At the park we shared a toast and began a game. It was amid this air of friendship that I interrupted them: “I have to get home to set up.” It was time for business, not fun and games.
Setting up for a One Night Music session is not something to be taken lightly. Sure there are easier sessions than others to produce. A single singer songwriter is going to be easier to set up and record than a guitar, two vocals, a Wurlitzer, and a drum kit in my tiny bedroom studio. The only predictable factor in this comparison, however, is the amount of time each will take to set up. The latter will take longer, obviously.
However, most of the other factors for each session are completely unique to the individual session. Each session has its own character and intricacies that must be addressed anew, without precondition to how it should be approached. It’s in this mindset that I feel each One Night Music session will be produced with the integrity that each individual artist’s music deserves.
The Valentine's Day One Night Music launch party is happening right now with about 25 of our friends at our studio in Santa Barbara, a new music venue where we've been recording local artists for the past two months.
To help launch One Night Music and make the night one to remember, we've invited Michael Conway and Adam Bianchi to record live sessions in front of our friends for an intimate living room concert. These will be the first two sessions recorded outside of the normal studio and in front of a larger audience, something that we are looking forward to doing more often.
Right now Adam Bianchi is wrapping up his set of four songs. Here's a short preview of the session recorded a few minutes ago. We'll have the full, high quality session up in about two weeks.
Mike Conway, featuring cellist Betsy Wise, just kicked off our One Night Music launch party with some stunningly beautiful songs. Here is a clip of Michael performing tonight. The full set will be posted in high quality audio and video to our website in about two weeks.