Friday, October 28, 2016

Now Playing @ The Listening Station: Deap Vally, Heller Keller & Quetzal

By Marni Epstein & Nathan Solis

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]

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“Bad for my Body” – Deap Vally

We’ve lost track of time haven’t we? It’s the ’70s, it’s the future; Deap Vally are commingling bass and guitar like they’re going out of style. It’s heavy stuff, rattling the cranium and other nerve centers in the brain, reminding of The Dead Weather, of big hair rock-and-roll that our cool uncles listened to, those bold gestures airbrushed on the sides of vans.

The story goes that guitarist Lindsey Troy met drummer Julie Edwards at a needlepoint class in Silver Lake and decided that there were not enough blues/garage duos in the world. Now they travel the globe sending people on time traveling adventures or at the least making people dance. – Nathan Solis

“Grandma’s House” – Heller Keller

When listening to Heller Keller one receives a sugar high similar to the pernicious nature of Fruity Pebbles. It’s a noisy affair, the school band acting up when the band teacher steps out for a smoke break. The school bully wants to beat them up and secretly wants to hang out with them. Heller Keller have dubbed themselves zoocore – think two punk bands playing at once, the garbage pail kids in this corner, the meditations of an acid jazz ensemble opposite. They call the 818 area code home base, but frequent Pehrspace, The Smell and other local venues. – Nathan Solis

“Imaginaries” – Quetzal

East L.A.’s Quetzal is pushing the boundaries of traditional Chicano rock. Their kaleidoscopic Los Angeles sound of Mexican and Afro-Cuban rhythms harnesses a jet-like propulsion. But beyond the sheer catchiness of their sound, songwriter and vocalist Martha Gonzalez is looking to push social change with her music. Gonzalez’s lyrics are steeped in Chicano feminist theory. But before you think I’m just getting all Women & Women First Bookstore on you, listen to Gonzalez on “Imaginaries.” Based on the idea of manifesting an imaginary slot for oneself to fit in when everything that is real and tangible is being stripped away, at its heart, “Imaginaries” is really a universal concept to be embraced by everyone in the margins. – Marni Epstein

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.

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