Biko Co-op in Isla Vista, CA is a meeting point of artists, a melting pot of east and west, and a haven for creative expression. It is an all-purpose community space for radical meetings, music, art exhibitions and dance, run by house members and the community. On April 15th, 2009 the northwest upstairs bedroom of the Co-op, too, became a venue of creativity. It was here that Liz Isenberg found herself performing a session for One Night Music during a tour across the country with fellow musician Omnivore, who performed a session shortly after. Liz sat atop the bed in the colorful room of my dear friend Kate. "We're all in bed in Santa Barbara," she said, and then her intimate rhythms of neighbor's morning coos cooled the space like lemonade and strawberries.
The room, plastered with bold reds and bright blues hiding relics of thirty plus years of inhabitants, was the perfect location for Liz's acoustic messages to cut through the visual experience on the sleepy afternoon. There is a certain spotlight to detail behind the lyricism of Liz Isenberg and a microscopic subjectivity in her titillating charisma. Her songs offer openness and simultaneously block out everything but her stories. The melodic timing of words such as, "we've got carpenter ants/stay the hell away," symbolize the coming together and building of two separate lives - or the inevitable destruction.
Liz Isenberg grew up in the suburbs of D.C. where she studied the classical string bass. She began writing songs during the peak of her teen angst years by teaching herself to play guitar. After attending Hampshire College in Amherst, Massachusetts to study sound art and experimental music, she found herself living in Providence, Rhode Island where she currently resides. Of her music Liz tells us, "I'd like to think I am a folk or pop artist with a background in sound. I try to write honest, personal lyrics with pretty, interesting melodies and chords - ones that are delicate, vulnerable, a little sad, but beautiful too."
Biko Co-op has been a good friend to One Night Music, providing a positive building spot for creative sounds. The Liz Isenberg session continues the tradition of recording musicians in complementary environments, surrounded by supportive community.
Recorded in Biko Co-op, Santa Barbara, CA on April 15, 2009.