Thank you to George Varga and the San Diego Union Tribune for this great coverage of our first annual Lady Brain Fest! We appreciate the love for local/indie musicians in this roundup of big name touring talent. Read the full article here and don't forget to purchase your pre-sale tickets before prices go up at the door!
Thanks to our friends at 88.5FM for helping us promote our upcoming Lady Brain Fest on their blog! Read the full feature here, and discover new music from Lindsay White, Gaby Aparicio, Tori Roze and the Hot Mess, and Astra Kelly. Pre-sale tickets are available now - purchase yours from any participating member or online here.
Thanks to Bart Mendoza at Local Umbrella Media for covering our upcoming Lady Brain Fest on July 7 at Heritage Ranch in Encinitas, sponsored in partnership with Listen Local Radio!
Read the full article here! Don't forget to grab your tickets from a performing member or online - all pre-sale $ goes directly to our artists!
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.
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.
Welcome to Boss Ladies, a blog series dedicated entirely toward featuring and promoting our talented Lady Brian Members and their creative work. Keeping with our mission of collaboration and service, each article in this series is written by a member about a member. We encourage you to discover and support not only the subject of each review, but also the writer! Today's Boss Ladies review features the latest release from CalAmity (featuring Lady Brain podcast host Cathryn Beeks), written by Tori Roze.
CalAmity is a San Diego-based all-female band made up of local folk/Americana all-stars Cathryn Beeks (ukulele, vocals), Nisha Catron (guitar, harmonica, vocals), Marcia Claire (bass, vocals), Kristen Cusato (cajon), and Jules Whelpton (violin). One of the hardest working women in the San Diego music scene for over at least the last fifteen years, Beeks tapped into her finely tuned DIY skills to film, direct, and star alongside bandmates in the newest music video for their song “After All.” With her incredibly diverse skill set in hand and a talented band to boot, this visual homage to a lesser-known historical location is a lovely display of not just Beeks's ideas, but CalAmity’s pure heart and soul.
According to Beeks, “This song is about The Teten Farm House, an exhibit at the San Dieguito Heritage Museum. The home was built in 1892 by Olivenhain colonist, Fred Teten.” The scene opens with a charming black and white photo and the ominous sound of crows cawing, hinting at a rustic time and place that was once the everyday norm. Fast forward to the present day and you’re immediately transported to a gracefully cohesive narrative tying the two time periods together: same place, different time.
The song begins with violin, guitar, bass, cajon and a ukulele. A three-part vocal harmony reminiscent of The Dixie Chicks (but with way more rock-and-roll grit under their fingernails) carries the tune through the choruses, creating a solid wall of sound to tell this unique tale. Catron oscillates between acoustic guitar, harmonica,
and vocals, creating a lullaby-like calmness to the music that sounds as if we have entered into a proper Oh Brother, Where Art Thou soundtrack. Now the mood is perfectly set. Welcome to the Teten Farm House at Heritage Ranch in Encinitas, CA.
The lighting is absolutely lovely: warm and cool sentiments signify when one is nostalgically recalling the past versus the present, while candlelight recalls those that are no longer here. It works seamlessly. Visually there is a ritualistic witchy-ness to it all – a discernible Stevie Nicks vibe that mysteriously and immediately draws you in.
After we have met our ranch care-takers, Mary Lou and John Binkinz (who are descendants of the original settlers), CalAmity suddenly appears – five strong women sitting ephemerally with their instruments. They are dream-like pillars of herstory representing the people who once lived in the house where they filmed. The video continually moves throughout the ranch dwelling with all five members of the band floating in and out of the scene. Quiet, secretive, and reverent – the detailed connectivity to feminine energy is honored in abundance.
Astoundingly thoughtful and intentional, Beek’s cinematography is meant to give you a warm hug, emanating the sense of being let into the band’s space of self-reflection. The “nurturers and care-takers” of the world are shown in pink lighting and white vintage lace. White gloves are strewn about the wooden dresser nestled alongside classical monochromatic family photos. There is a delicate continuity sewing together the fabric of this miniature film.
As CalAmity “comes and goes” from shot to shot, it signifies the impermanence of our own being and the prospect of someday no longer being able to tell our own stories. There is a bittersweet tug at the heart strings when one considers no longer physically, but spiritually inhabiting a space. The lyrics reinforce that disposition:
The Museum lights ain’t on tonight / It’s giving me such a fright
After all, after all, after all the folks are gone
Fred built this place in 1893 /I feel him here, same as you and me
After all, after all, after all it's still his home
Everything has memories / Each one tells a tale.
If you listen you will hear / If they want to tell
Walking ‘round this place at night / Singing ‘spirits go to the light
After all, after all, there's sanctuary in these walls
This song and video stand as CalAmity’s personal museum time capsule. And now it serves as a historical time-marker for both the band and Teten Farm House. Their vision is clear: everything has a story that should be
excavated, acknowledged, and celebrated. It inspires you to want to go and take a tour of the
Teten Farm House for yourself just to soak up its roots.
Since the video’s January release, CalAmity has been on a “studio tour," trading promo videos of San Diego studios/producers in exchange for a song – a system of creative exchange helping to truly build a solid local music community. “After All" was recorded by Marti Amadao of AmadoMusic, while other tunes were recorded with Jeff Berkley, Maria Connors, Josquin Despres, and Sven Erik Seaholm. The band plans on releasing a new song/video every six to eight weeks, so be on the lookout via YouTube and Soundcloud.
Don't miss the opportunity to see them live (in the space where the video was filmed!) on July 7 for the first annual Lady Brain Fest at Heritage Ranch - details coming soon!
Meet the Writer: Tori Roze
Our Lady Brain blog writers volunteer their time in support of their fellow members. If you enjoyed this article, please consider patronizing Tori's online store to help support her creative endeavors as well.
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