Thanks to everyone who came out to support Lady Brain Present's inaugural community gathering featuring music from Jean Mann and Lindsay White! It was a lovely day and we felt so lucky to share it with you. Our next community gathering takes place May 11 at La Galeria Michel, and will showcase music from Lady Brain members Corina Rose Collective, Gaby Aparicio trio, The Banduvloons, Becca Jay trio, and Lizabeth Yandel. More info/RSVP here..
Mayyyyy we interest you in some local music/art happenings around town featuring our very own Lady Brain members?
Tuesday, May 7 - Jessica Lerner at Soda Bar
Hosted by The Local Music, this Soda Bar lineup features Lady Brain member Jessica Lerner, as well as womxn-fronted bands Retra and Wargirl. $5 Cover, 8:30pm. More info/tix here.
Friday, May 10 - Ren Daversa at Porters at the Pyramid
Ren Daversa will be performing a free, solo acoustic set of originals from her album Saltwater to support William Dorsett's Solo Art Show at Porters at the Pyramid in Miramar. Half of all art sales will go to Rady Children's Hospital in San Diego.
Saturday, May 11 - Lindsay White at Poway Library
North County friends, join Lindsay White for this free songwriter showcase from 2-3pm at Poway Library.
Saturday, May 11 - SDCCU North Park Festival of Arts
This unique and vibrant neighborhood festival brings out over 40,000 people from all over San Diego County to celebrate and enjoy live music, art, crafts, delicious food and some of San Diego’s top Craft Beers.
-Julia Sage and The Bad Hombres: 3pm, Grim Ave Stage
-Miki Vale: 4pm, Main Stage
Saturday, May 11 - Lady Brain Presents: Pre Mother's Day Celebration of Womxn
Our next community gathering is a pre-Mother's Day special, celebrating ALL Womxn! Join us at La Galeria Michel in Barrio Logan for music from Lizabeth Yandel (solo), Gaby Aparicio (trio), Becca Jay (trio) ft. Paige Miller, The Banduvloons ft. Karina Frost and KC Deichler), and Corina Rose Collective. $10 Donation goest directly to artists. Other instructions: BYOB and wear bright colors to help us celebrate Womxn! More info.
Sunday, May 12 - Lizzie Wann at Spacebar Cafe & Wine Bistro Presents
Lizzie Wann will be the featured reader at the 2nd Sunday-Jihmye Poetry Open Mic at Spacebar Cafe & Wine Bistro in La Mesa. The open mic event runs from 3-5:30pm. Poets are allotted 7 minutes, musicians 2 songs or 10 minutes on the mic.
Saturday, May 25 - Tori Roze and the Hot Mess at Riviera Supper Club
Head to La Mesa's Riviera Supper Club to enjoy dinner, drinks, and a free, all ages, full band show from Tori Roze and the Hot Mess, playing 9pm-12am.
This edition of Boss Ladies is brought to you by member Unison Colthurst, who reviews Ren Daversa's debut album Saltwater.
In her debut solo album, Ren Daversa has unleashed a decade of songwriting craft and music studies into a refreshing musical getaway. With catchy melodies and playful guitar riffs, there is an undeniable buoyancy to Saltwater that will lift your mood with every track.
Currently Ren lives in San Diego, but she grew up on a small island on the East Coast. The ocean has always been a big part of her life, and with the first track, “Oceans of You,” Ren combines her love of the ocean with her love for singing and songwriting. This track greets the listener with waves of pop vocal harmonies that gently wash over the melody, achieving automatic earworm status.
Ren is no stranger to the recording studio, and even though she admits finding herself in complete control for the first time was both totally exciting and overwhelming, the finished product is well worth it. This project started out as a four song EP recorded at Grey Brick Recording Studio in Lemon Grove with engineer extraordinaire, Peter Duff, but it kept growing until a full album was born. Take the third track, “Cut and Dried.” Ren wrote this piece for a songwriting challenge. It was originally a simple acoustic song, but every time she played it, she heard it with a full band and strings. Once in the studio, she experimented with sounds and gave the song the breathing room it needed to change and morph. This song is now one that Ren is most proud of, and her best songwriting effort to date.
With the sixth track “Firelight,” Ren is able to transport us to the magical beach bonfire with her picturesque lyrics. She urges the listener to feel that magic through her descending counter melodies and layers of vocal harmonies, then artfully pulls back to just her voice with a beautiful stripped down finale.
Rounding out the album, Ren finishes with a humorous self-portrait entitled “Type A,” featuring her signature peppermint vocals and catchy lyrics that you’ll be singing all day. (Once you get “Oceans of You” out of your head, that is).
Ren shows no signs of slowing down. She is in the throws of promoting this album, playing with her band Wicked Cool, and currently working on a four-song EP set for release after the summer. “I am going for a more stripped down acoustic and vocal sound," she says. “But the one thing I have learned about recording is to stay open-minded and not get too attached to the parts. It is always important to have a game plan when you go into the studio to record, but I really try to just follow where the music leads me.”
Boss Ladies is back! Each article in this series is written by a member about a member. This week, Jules Stewart reviews Baggage Claim, the latest release from Tori Roze and the Hot Mess.
San Diego band Tori Roze and the Hot Mess have been playing and recording music together for over a decade, and it shows. Their latest album, Baggage Claim (July 2018), oozes with the fluidity and cohesiveness only veteran bands can nail down. The attention to detail throughout the album is mind-boggling; instrumentation and sounds change significantly from start to finish and song structure perfectly suits each track as genres bend and melt together. Not once did it feel like an instrument or lyric was out of place. That is a stunning accomplishment for any ensemble to pull off, but for this talented six-piece act, it speaks to their unified, selfless pursuit of serving the music.
With a heavy groove from the jump, “Trust Love” sets the tone for the album. I love that even with a wide array of available sounds, the band chooses restraint and starts with the “good bones” house flippers on those home renovation shows always look for: special guest Tim “Figgster” Newton on drums and Harley Magsino on bass lay down a solid spine that gradually gets built upon as the song progresses. The backing vocals (tracked by both Tori and her mom, Lee Clark) bring layers on layers of depth, effectively setting my expectations sky-high for the rest of the album.
The sultry bossa nova feel of “Show Me” matches the open seduction of the lyrics, but there’s so much more to it. Rather than sticking to a mellow bossa groove, somehow the band gets to lay down fire without distracting from the heart of the song, a feat that is spectacularly hard to do well. Oh there’s a tasteful, jazzy flute solo? You win, officially. As a drummer, I’m taking notes on uncompromising feel from special guest Julien Cantelm.
“Ride The Wave” settles into the most relaxed moment of the album while somehow gaining emotional momentum. The arrangement doesn’t overcomplicate the point; stripped instrumentation lets the listener focus on the message, which I hear as a much-needed call to loosen the heck up and let life move as it will. I was impressed with Tori's voice in the previous two tracks, but this is where I started to fall in love. Gorgeous guitar (from John Alexander) compliments the vocals and provides a lazy river for the listener to float down. Oh tremolo, take me home.
Raise your hand if you’ve ever experienced a moment of indecision that feels like the weight of the world rests on it. “Oh Lord, Please” is a plea for a little wisdom in that moment, and as the band comes in, I get all the guidance I need. The arrangement is particularly intentional and powerful here and the breakdown section makes me want to lean farther into my headphones.
“Slow Down” is a super-smooth flex of the diversity, instrumentation, and raw groove of this band. The bridge is smoother than Marvin Gaye, each dynamic swell toying with my emotions.
“Irish Coffee” hits hard with a definite and surprising nod to reggae but with a heavy dose of jazz’s more complex melodic structure. Rhythmic stops give breathing room to the vocals, which are impressive and powerful in moments but relaxed and fluid in others. Killer brass from Jordan Morita (trombone) provides an unpredictable and delightful blending of genres.
Watch out, jazz cats. In “My Life,” the repeating theme of sabotaging a boldy self-built life hits home among odd time signatures accented by drummer Charles Weller and non-standard chord progressions. I’m usually not blown away musically and emotionally connected to a song at the same time. How did you do that? Really, how? Listen, I didn’t think I was signing up for a therapy session right now, but “can’t live in my past if this gonna last” gives me a little dose of conviction in “Hiccup.” Hit me with a trombone solo and I’m pretty much crying. I’ve been on a healing journey through this song, and as a note to my exes, “I’ll forgive you when you forgive me.”
When “Just Say No” starts, I can just hear the sound of DJs everywhere hustling to snag the opening groove. This song might have the most infectiously catchy horn line since “Superstition.” When that screaming flute run pulls the song into another key/dimension/universe, I just about lose my mind. In the end, I like a good best friend song...or a good “I’m in love with you but don’t realize it” song, whichever.
Finally, “Smells Like Teen Spirit” made me stop what I was doing. As a native Seattleite who (shhhhh, don’t tell anyone) isn’t crazy about Nirvana, I might be now. This cover does justice to the original while giving a completely new life to the song. I like the original more now because this cover made me appreciate the value of the song by framing it in a groovy, full, refreshing context. Guest drummer Rashaad Graham really drives the bus home. All my friends that hated me because I didn’t like Nirvana are saying thank you.
My head didn’t stop bobbing once while listening to this album. It’s a masterpiece of groove, heart, and stank, start to finish. Featuring a host of guest musicians in addition to the ultra-talented band, these tracks are a collaborative labor of love. To nobody’s surprise, Baggage Claim was nominated for Best Pop Album at the 2019 San Diego Music Awards. You’re going to want to check this out.
Find Baggage Claim:
iTunes - Amazon - Spotify
Meet the Writer: Jules Stewart
Our Lady Brain blog writers work on a volunteer basis in support of their fellow members. If you enjoyed this article, please consider making a small donation to Jules via Venmo, which will help support her creative endeavors.
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