Welcome to The Listening Station, The Eastsider’s dose of must-listens from local bands. Get to know your community by getting to know the music they are making. Feel free to let us know what Eastside bands or performers – in any genre- you are listening to by sending an email to [email protected] Follow Eastsider Music on Twitter for more stories and sounds from the Eastside music scene.
“Hey Love” – Miner
Gold pans. Sieves. Picks. Check. Check. Check. The music of Miner might be one part 1849-er homestead hymn, one part hootenanny, but Miner is also the bandmates’ last name. The folk- indie rock band is virtually a family affair, comprised of Silver Lake husband and wife Justin and Kate Miner, along with Justin’s brother and cousin, and rounded out by two friends. The familial joviality is hard to ignore and is what makes Miner so infectious. “Hey Love” is the best display of their riotous, foot-stomping sonic exclamation. Justin Miner’s voice is rich, stirring, and echoes for days, trailing from one verse into the next. – Marni Epstein
“La Negra” – La Santa Cecilia
La Santa Cecilia is a Boyle Heights sextet with musical inspirations as diverse as the city of Los Angeles itself. Latino influences are at its core, utilizing bossa novas and rumbas, and fusing them with the likes of rock, jazz, and even commemorating Boyle Heights’ history as one of the city’s oldest Jewish neighborhoods, with a dose of klezmer. “La Negra” is a soulful stew of L.A.’s musical heritage bolstered by vocalist Marisoul’s commanding presence and ability to accentuate both bold notes and those softer, sustained runs as well. You can catch La Santa Cecilia live this Friday June 21 downtown at the Figat7th summer festival. – Marni Epstein
“Pb2” – Bunnies & Kitties
What Bunnies and Kitties, a disarming name for sure, brings to the folk genre is a dosage of Donavan-esque trills, wilting notes that cling to our sweaters like plant stickers. The voice behind Bunnies And Kitties is Rafael Bustamante from Highland Park, sometimes folks, other times multifarious in his stresses and emphasis. There are moments of silly antics that loop around Bustamante’s guitar playing, though those occasions blend with the rich evocations of friendship and late-night conversations, of love and longing, the two attitudes mixing like rich red ink in water.
Bustamante is not all doom and gloom, what with his track ‘Pb2’ that runs through the gamut of quotes from the cult-class movie “The Princess Bride”, he giving life to the exposition of the story and slowing things down when he needs to dwell on the more important bits, like the infamous line, “Hello, My Name is Inigo Montoya, you killed my father, prepare to die.” – Nathan Solis
Marni Epstein is a freelance writer and music journalist who has also worked in both the film and digital media industries.Nathan Solis is a Highland Park resident who writes about and photographs the L.A. music scene. You can find more of Solis stories, reviews and photos at Smashed Chair.
Follow Eastsider Music on Twitter for more stories and sounds from the Eastside music scene.