First things first: A couple of album reviews from local bands:
The Blueflowers - Stealing The Moon
The Blueflowers have this swooning, twanged-out, heart-thumping sound, the kind of bittersweet balladry that stops bar chatter, turns heads, tames savage beasts and dims the party lights for a rustling, reverb-soaked rumination. You sip this kinda sound, slow, let it warm you up.
It breathes, it sways, it stirs...
The trilling vibrato of those airy/achy vocals, the exquisite wheeze and rumble of organs under shimmering surfy guitars, the hay-fluttered breeze of acoustic strums and the distant rolling thunder of bass and drums all around you. This is an album that seems to open things up, push walls away, slide sheets of stars across your eyes; those warm, rich, layered tones as complex and plainly beautiful in their melodic alignment as some idyllic desert night, softly glowing and a bit chilly, stung with errant sand pebbles and a few cathartic cacti, but musing and motivating.
Surrender to "folk-noir." The Blueflowers are releasing this album a couple Saturdays from now and it'll be your last chance to see them for a while...
There's a video attached to this article for "Hole of Sorrow" (a single from their album Stealing The Moon).
Fawn - Coastlines
What's a word I could find for Fawn's debut album? 'Effervescent' surges to the tip of my tongue.
This is aerodynamic rock, set to soar; its rhythms coax to sway, slam or slide, its grooves hook almost instantly, its guitars growl out this tightly wound timbre that bends and lifts upwards like fibrous poll-vaults into the sun-blazed blueness of summer skies and you barrel-roll over to these wavy melodies breathlessly belted by mellifluously matched dual boy-girl harmonization.
You'll feel flares of seminal 90s indie rock, sure: fuzzed-out grooves, spindly/nervy guitars, punchy marches and subtle dashes of spacey/ambient feedback furling the tail of this fiery comet. But with the minds of four musicians who've mused upon atmospheric/experimental folk-pop, mathy-space-punk, garage-scuffed electro-rock and sweet, spastic indie-shreds -all coming together after 10 years of running and ricocheting on the scene, the sum of Coastlines parts paints a more retrospective portrait. Yes, tons of fun and freewheeling hooks, but not lacking in heart; indeed, tinged with a vibe of: we've been there, yes, we've tried that, indeed, let's just find what feels right...and ride it.
More on The Loving Touch:
"We're inches away from having a fantastic sound system in there," said WAB co-owner Chris Johnston concerning the Loving Touch.
The plan is to bolster the pool hall adjacent to the WAB into a first-rate live music room, featuring "worthy bands every Thursday night."
This is something I've been waiting for for a while, noting the considerably enthusiastic turn-outs for a range of eclectic musical programming that's been filling the albeit unconventional space sporadically since the first DIY Street Fair five years ago, (i.e. Duenseday Revues and In The Forest DJ nights).
Johnston admits, it won' be your typical "live room," sliding in a stage and sacrificing three or four coin-operated pool tables every week coupled with the acoustical challenges for a space that wasn't originally designed for live music, "but that will make for some interesting performances."
Two weeks prior, Johnston and the WAB staff celebrated 15 years with a blowout of discounted beer and special events like live music and art installations. "There's not been anything I've ever been involved in that I could truly take sole credit for," Johnston emphasized, "and the things I'm most proud of, (such as W.A.B.), have always turned out to be the most group-driven."
The basic concept for the Loving Touch / the Emory and the W.A.B. is to affect a "community spot" - the endurance of all three being credited, Johnston said, to the growth of Ferndale's community spirit.
"We couldn't be a place for musicians to hang out if there weren't musicians around. We couldn't be a place for community-minded people to get together if they weren't around. And if there weren't people who believed in what we are doing, we wouldn't still be here 15 years later," he said.
Looking back on said 15 years, Johnston nodded with great appreciation to the "personal sacrifices made by so many people I care deeply about mean a lot to me, and I feel indebted to them to make the WAB continuously better. There is a lot of history in this building. Not only for me but for so many others. I want to see it continue to be a place that people will come back to and be proud to introduce to their friends and families."