Posts Tagged ‘Carina Round

08
May
12

I stumbled In On Slow Motion Addict to find Myself in the Middle of Tigermending

I stumbled upon Carina Round through an invitation from my friend Karen Sundell. She was partnering with Heidi Margot Richman for Carina’s EPK and showcase at Bordello’s for the release of Slowmotion Addict. I had come from Helms Bakery in Culver City in a sustained rush to capture this moment with this raven haired beauty with a bob hair cut, knit cap and Flapper-ish inspired gear holding the stage down with presence, grace and rare talent. I walked in ready to capture the moment with my new smart phone with snippets of low quality video and photos. Carina was crooning Downslow, a mix of Betty Boop, Mazzy Star and PJ Harvey. I was a smitten kitten! Soon, I was huddled near Karen and Heidi while we all riffed on her sound. Bordello’s provided an intimate environment for this showcase/press junket/debut of Carina’s latest work, Slow Motion Addict. Lina Lecaro from the LA Weekly was in attendance with whoever represented The LA Times and People Magazine. There were yummy treats and delicious beverages provided making the event special and chic. After a polished lively set from Carina and crew, they joined us. Her, they and we were chumming about and we were all offered introductions to one another that was then followed by a video interview of Carina by Karen and Heidi for her EPK. She was a complete doll: all bright eyed and lively; so very excited for her new release. I have to say I became a fan!

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Over the last 5 years Carina has taken up roots here in Los Angeles to establish herself as a force in the Singer Songwriter genre. She regularly sells out Hotel Cafe. She hooked up with Maynard Keenan of Tool to become a foundational part of Puscifer‘s sound. At the same time she found time to release an EP called Things You Should Know. To add to it all this she formed an Alternative Country band with Justin Rutledge, Dan Burns and Zac Rae called Early Winter. So it appears with that much talent she finds herself with many fingers into lots of different pies!

Carina has effectively grown, morphed and recreated herself to emerged with a new sense of maturity and confidence that has delivered to us her new offering, Tigermending. The album is a powerful force that embraces dark and bracing themes with lush dense soundscapes that both challenge and delights the listener. It’s an impressive work that bares repeated listenings to completely grasp the direction and concept driving it. It isn’t as bleak as The Cure‘s Pornography but it is as dense and upon many listenings Tigermending has the effect like The Beat‘s Wha’ppen? had on me when I first encountered it. Both Pornography and Wha’ ppen? were watershed and defining recording that built both bands reprutations.  Both served up powerful driving messages that infect your soul. This is the kind of company Carina Round’s Tigermending finds itself in from many listenings.

With the release of Tigermending Carina wasted no time in bringing her live performance of the new album to those of us here on the west coast before she heads out on the road with Puscifer later this year. I caught her second public show at The Satellite in Silverlake. She had a show the night before in my old stomping grounds in San Diego at The Casbah. This night she was accompanied by Sam Stewart, son of Dave Stewart & Siobhan Fahey, and Claire Acey, both of Nightmare and the Cat, singer/songwriter Sierra Swan is the daughter the singer/songwriter Billy Swan, Matt McJunkins of A Perfect Circle and Zack Rae Keyboardist for Gnarls Barkley and Alanis Morisette. It was quite a stunning group of talent in one intimate club! This all explained the line I found outside The Satellite at 9PM. Not customarily the time for lines start outside this club in Silverlake.

The night kicked off with High Duchess a two piece in the mold of The White Stripes laid out a solid opening set. Then they were followed by the keyboard rich Anna Wayland, who is reminiscent of a more emotionally charged variation of Berlin who beefed up the crowd with their own fan base. Aaron Lariviere of Walking Sleep jump started my brain with the Berlin reference.  Then the room changed dramatically as both Matt McJunkins and Billy Howerdel of A Perfect Circle who acoustically preformed two songs as Child or The Child, before Carina and her band occupied the stage. The crowd was mesmerized in a static formation for this short set. The set was so short that I couldn’t weasel my way in for a good shot. After all I was there for a riveting performance of Tigermending.

It wasn’t long before Carina took the stage with the above mentioned indeviduals taking their spots to light into the new album. She started with, what I consider the bracing, Pick Up The Phone. I believe these feelings I have are generated by the many times I expected to get one of those unexpected “Pick Up The Phone” messages through out my life. Soon, her song The Last Time found it place on stage with the entry of Sierra Swan, who joined Claire Acey on backing vocals for this song only. Both songs are mid-tempo numbers with dryly treated lead vocals. But The Last Time connects on some level using influences from Maynard Keenan in its drive and rhythm. Likely, a gift picked up by working with Maynard. The interlude drops from the original theme musically, near the end of the song, where you find youself swirling in Sierra Swan and Claire Acey’s backing vocals. The sound of these women conjures up the ghostly feelings you get when listening to The Bulgarian State Radio & Television Female Choir. That 30 seconds adds immense magic to the song before you’re hurdle back to earth, to be picked up by the mid-tempo drive the drums and bass provides bringing you back to the song’s course, then landing you effortlessly at the end. Carina pick you up once again Girl and the Ghost. I with found that Girl and the Ghost was vastly more optimistic and youthfully engaging structually, closer to fanciful, whimsical and boldly day dreamy, with a hint of pathos as it draws you in firing up the imagination. Mind you, the fans were focused and intrenched by this time. They had their spots and I was trying to find mine. Set Fire created a distant woeful feel combined with say, a quasi prophetic/psychedelic Siouxie and the Banshees aire to the song ala Kaleidescope. By this time I was able to push to the deepest part of the crowd where I wound up close to stage center. Weird Dream is oddly funky and arty in that David Bowie way, of say, Yassassin or Red Sails. The crowd was tightening as Carina and the band were finishing the set with The Secret Of Drowning. The Secret Of Drowning reminds me of being engulfed murky blue shades that are forced open with Carina’s vocal driving through opacity like  shards and shafts of light pouring around the listeners ears, who were  at this moment all were transfixed in those moments adding us a soft landing to the set. Soon the show came to its end. Carina’s fans at this sold out show responded with cheers and whistles as all from the stage filed quietly to the back room of The Satellite. And while the show was over there was plenty of time for everyone there to drop by, say hi and get a hug from Carina. I sauntered to the  table in the back for the meet and greet. I wanted to say hi and wish Carina my best. We shared a few laughs but I was a wee bit on the tired side, so I didn’t linger. It was a riveting show with some of the most talented musician in Los Angeles. Carina was completely on her game for this show! I can say from all the shows I’ve witnessed I can tell she has a new command and presence I haven’t seen before. She leaves you overwhelmed and transfixed. Carina is no longer playing the Pop music game, but she’s decided to gift her fans with an experience. It’s a fortunate incident for any and all who have a chance to witness it. Carina will be touring throughout the summer. You’ll all have your chance to witness the phenomenon for yourselves.

09
Oct
11

Culture Collide Blowing Up the International Indie and Alternative Music Scenes in Silver Lake: Saturday

After making a late night and an early morning of it crunching a blog, sifting through, optimizing photos and making concert video I met up with Sandra at Taix. It was considerate of Sandra to save a place for me at Taix’s bar. We had just missed the Swedish showcase because we were running late. Thus missing the complementary Swedish beers. We caught up on the latest and discussed the upcoming line up for the next 2 days at Cultural Collide . Lanksies had a false start, which we found startling and funny. Then finally The Lanksies jumped in with their French version of Brit Pop: like Bloc Party, Adam Ant, XTC and Blur. It was hella fun! They were clever talented musicians that wrapped everything in a smirk and a wink. It was also very fun to hear the lead singer talk English with a slight French accent with an even heavier Scottish brogue. His pronunciation cause major confusion between Sandra and myself in the midst of our deducing Lanksies’ point of origin, even though they were introduced to be from France.  They gave a lot of bang for the buck. The closing song was a funny ditty called Client Eastwood is Dead. It was a snappy performance that made them memorable.

I headed over to the Methodist Church to catch my ole pal Carina Round who was supported by the amazing keyboardist Zac Rae. I love to hear her sing. She has such a beautiful and powerful voice. Her song writing and her composition are always superb. She was in fine voice this night; although, Zac had a buzz in one of the processors of his keyboard affects that was more distracting to them than the crowd in the church. It was an acoustic set with electric piano. Her fans were entranced and eating up the whole thing. She finished her set with Back Seat. It’s truly one of her most beautiful songs. She asked everyone to sing along. Then everyone joined in. I find that Back Seat is a powerfully sweet and sentimental that I choke up on it every time I sing a long. It was a great closer. I went up and got my free hug and briefly chatted. She had fans a waiting and who am I to stand in their way. Keep you eyes open for the upcoming Puscifer tour of which Carina will be an essential part of Puscifer’s show.

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Then I was off to Descartes a Kant. I had no idea what to expect. Woa, was I in for a surprise! The easiest way to describe them would be to compare them to The Plastics meeting The Tubes. They mix Doo Wop, orchestral mayhem, avant garde performance art and theatrics. I was bamboozle, flummoxed, befuddled by their colorful stage antics. The girls in the band through glitter on the crowd and sprayed eveyone in the audience with sudsy stuff while they pantomimed pouting, rage, surprise, horror, evny, wicked joy and revenge with all the mellow drama that could be mustard by three overly emotive gals. At times it was a drowning oral cacophony assault similar to the Locust with hyper amounts of estrogen poured on it. I found them thrilling, enthralling and hilarious! They had us by the balls and they were squeezing them tighter and smirking! There whole set was like listening to Gang of Four‘s He’s Send In The Army tied to a laugh. They are a must see performance on anybody’s book.

I then hunted up and down Sunset looking for the elusive space called 826LA. I was lucky enough to receive misdirection many times. But then I struck gold finding You Say France and I Whistle from Sweden. They were a mix of Love Is All, Weekend and Everything But The Girl with one exception, the male singer sounded like Robert Smith. So I would imagine when he sang I listening to Love Is All with Robert Smith would joining in for harmony at pivotal points in the sings. Odd,  but not repulsive, just odd. They had 3 singers two keyboards, a bass, a guitar and drums laying some smooth tasty Pop down with a little edge. I enjoyed the set and the crowd kept close and focused in this tight space as the music pumped out. It wasn’t a dramatic end to the evening, as I had hoped for, by finally seeing Isobel Campbell after 3 year of waiting. It was still a fabulously relaxing thing to do at the end of a long day of running around Silver lake.

01
Jul
11

Sunset Junction Media Mixer: Gala Extraordinaire!

After 2 music showcases and a trip to Oakland I had to have a moment to gather myself for rest and reflection before a huge and significant event that celebrates, dominates and defines the Eastsider’s sensibilities and lifestyle choices like no other event:   SUNSET JUNCTIONWhile Sunset Junction may polarize those who are pro-or-con, there is nothing on the “Eastside” that so clearly defines our hopes and dreams more than The Junction. Sunset Junction clearly celebrates diversity by creating commonality between us all, as it has for the last 30 plus years.  My first Sunset Junction was way back in 1986 with the focus on local, alternative and ethnic musicand lifestyles.  It was The Junction that offered openness to us all by bringing together the Latin and Gay communitiesamong others, to celebrate the amazing cultural richness of an amazing and picturesque part of Los Angeles.  I have fond memories of seeing Dezz Cadena announcing the bands year-after-year and hanging out backstage with Candye KanePatrick Mata’s The Legendary Wrong People & Kommunity FKThe Muffs, Luis Güereña of  Tijuana No and the legendary Pete Shelley of The Buzzcocks.  The Junction holds great meaning to me and to manymany others too.  These are all very rich and wonderful memories deeply engraved in the community from years past.  They include all the delicious Queens like TanjaJohnny and the many others who “Brought it!” with flair and drag-a-licious marvelousness every year in late August!!  For years The Junction became a home for Punks and Alternative types like myself, who blended in well with the Latin and Gay communities.  It gave us all a forum of self-expression and creative individualism on the streets, when no one else would have bothered todo so.  This is enough of a legacy for me to hold on to, one that revitalizes the Eastside community as no other entity could.  However, even more important to remember is the year-round, community outreach and good works provided by Sunset Junction founder/organizer Micheal McKinley and his team.  Proceeds from the annual event benefit the less privileged of our community, while continuing to promote understanding and tolerance among such adiverse population.
With this in mind, there has been an upswing of interest focusing on Sunset Junction over the last couple of years.  The shift has moved it beyond the spread of misinformation and negativity, while ushering in an exciting  “rebirth  to a whole new generation as we approach its   31st Anniversary.  I was fortunate enough to observe this new push and believe as never before that the best is yet to come An important indication of this renewal was clearly signified with Sunset Junction’s 2011 Media Mixer last Wednesday at Silverlake landmark El Cid Part of the buzz started when it was announced that El Cid is partnering with Sunset Junction to present a SixthStage called “Locals Only”  that features home grown talent.  Three snaps, it’s on!  Essentially this mixer brought together a whole new synergy for The Junctionby illuminating all of the marvelous talent in our community that wewill be sharing this year at El Cid.  The mixer demonstrated how The Junction is an important player in fortifying, building and maintaining the Eastside community, hands down.
I arrived at El Cid promptly at 7PM to start the photographic work in documenting this milestone event.  I arrived in the golden light of  the late afternoon sun, ready to knock out hundreds of shots of local personalities, community leaders, and established and emerging local musical artists. The patio was serene as I walked in to see Sunset Junction’s Micheal McKinleyThe Hotel Cafe’s Marko Shafer, El Cid’s Julianna Young and The Satellite’sJennifer Tefftthe team responsible for producing this year’s music and entertainment. They were prepping for the necessary photos opps, as a sea of photographers surrounded them.  The table to my right was set with a redtablecloth along with tons of goodies to eat, for the crowd that would soon descend to this historic site.  Besides the food, there was an Open Bar – to further promote the good vibes and celebration for this special evening.   The MediaMixer also showcased the Eastside’s wide reservoir of talent, including well received performances by Left Over Cuties and Peg Leg Love.  This allowed the media to get an advance preview of what the team had in store for this years festival.   Thanks to Karen Sundell from Rogers & Cowan (a fellow eastsider), whose deft planning skills supremely provided the necessary touch of elegance that made El Cid totally ready to party!

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Some of the first folks to celebrate were Steve Chagollan of VarietyHarlan Lansky of Seany RecordsAndy Sternberg of LAistTanja Laden of Flavor Pill and Brick Walh of LA Weekly, Andrea Dominack of LA WeeklyKevin Bronson of Buzzbands, Jessica Wedemeyer  of People Magazine, Jose Martinez of Venice Magazine, Abigail Parsons of Young Hollywood/Central Talent booking, Ronna Bronstein-Trumfio of Kingsize Sound Labs, reps from CBS Radio, The Huffington Post and a wide assortment of tastemaker/bloggers in support of the event.  The artists, musicians and personalities in attendance were many and that included, Stuart Johnson, Shirli McAllen, Ryan Feves and Mike Bolger of Leftover Cuties, Marie Hall, Daven Hall and Jasmine Ash of Oh Darling, Travis Moore, Ilir Zeneli and Henry Lopez of Peg Leg LoveDJ Morgan Page, Nicole Eva Emery, Summer Spiro and Ruby Spiro of Ruby Summer, Jacob Maltinsky, Adam Kurtz, Sean Johnson and Maria DeLuca of The Damselles, Kate Flannery, Aaron Finley, Erik Desiderio, Steve-Z Brenner and Andrew Van Baal of Big Dick,  Mike Hopkins, John Graney and Jake Gideon of The Californian, Nick Sandler, Mike Goldman, Matt Schwartz and Drew Beck of Chasing Kings, Matthew Teardrop and Katya Arce of Manhattan Murder Mystery, Steven Scott and Brian Canning of Shadow Shadow Shade, Alex Staniloff, Geoffrey Halliday and Sean Hess of HandsGraham FinkJimmy James and Calixto Hernandez of Barrio Tiger Holly Conlan, Carina RoundDan Burns and Zack Rae of Early Winter, Betty Kelly of Martha and the Vandellas, Bob Lee and Jon Wahl from ClawhammerMike Fong, East Area Director for Los Angeles City for Mayor AntonioVillaraigosa, Native Wayne representing Indie 103.1 and Kat Corbett representing KROQ.  On a side note, the Black Lips crashed the party, to hang out in the courtyard and soak up the radiating afterglow.  Surely, there weremany more in attendance, but your eyes and my eyes would suffer from fatigue in viewing a longer list.

The atmosphere was more than gregarious:  it was a blend of class reunion, a shindig, a hootenanny, a POB (Part Out Of  Bounds)  as we all mingled, greeted, got to know, laughed, shared storiesnoshed from the fine dining spreadset before us and bellied up to El Cid’s comfy open bar.  The craziness had gone on for hours and would have done justice to El Cid builder D.W. Griffin’s classic Hollywood standards.  It was Ten-ish when Team Sunset Junctionthat is: Micheal McKinley Julianna Young Jennifer Tefft and Marko Shafer took the stage to make announcements regarding this year’s Sunset Junction and to take questions from the audience.   Michealwas channeling the excitement he’s held for years about The Junction to an extremely engaged audience.  Micheal is a huge fan of Motown Soul, so he couldn’t hold back his excitement as he exuberantly introduced everyone to Betty Kelly of Martha and the Vandellas to a loud round of applause.  It was a sweet and classic moment as Betty rose to receive some much deserved praise and recognition.  This was also near the time Micheal and Juliannaannounced the news that El Cid would host local music artists as the the Sixth Stage of Sunset Junction.  There was crowd pleasing cheers from the audience.  There were a few more announcements, including the “Win A Slot”at Sunset Junction contest, in which bands compete to win a much-coveted performance slot this years festival.   For more details, please visit www.sunsetjunction.org. Micheal then opened up the stage for Leftover Cuties and Peg Leg Love to perform and close out the mixer.

Leftover Cuties performed first, bringing a hipster vibe to the El Cid stage that was reminiscent of bands like Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros or Amanda Jo Williams,with a Freak Folk sound that went over well with all attending. Then it was Peg Leg Love’s turn. Peg Leg Love rocked the house with some hard-driving blues/garage oriented rock.  They occupied the stage for nearly 45 minutes delivering power to their hot licks and kicks kind of sound.  Soon, I drifted out in the courtyard to cool off and take a break.  I saw Zack Rae (keyboardist Alanis Morissette, Carina Round and Early Winter) first and then Carina Round near the stairs.  It had been months and it was great to see her!  We visited for nearly a half hour.  I learned that she has been very busy and that’s why I and others in our circle haven’t heard a peep from her for the last few months.  She’s been traveling, has been deep in the recording process for her new CD, and regularly gigging with Early Winter,  a band she sings with on the side.

It was nearing the witching hour and the party had thinned.  I was finally able to kibitz with Karen on how stunningly the mixer had turned out.  There were a lot of  great things that had transpired that evening because of her very capable handling of the landmark event, in a landmark space.  That evening at El Cid demonstrated a most favorable precursor to this year mighty Sunset Junction Street Fair and concert event.  The mixer highlighted how stunning and innovative this year’s musical line-up is becoming and really got everyone pumped and excited for this year’s much-anticipated event.  I predict it’s going to close out this Eastside summer with an appropriate bang, thatcan only lift the bar that much higher for every other party or event for the rest of the year!




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