Now Playing @ The Listening Station: Blackwater Jukebox; La Sera & MOTION CNTRL

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]

“10,000 Wild Miles (Back to TN)” – Blackwater Jukebox

“There’s gold in them thar hills … well, the Echo Park hills!” Though mildly different from the famous phrase spoken by Dr. M. F. Stephenson, this is perhaps the perfect utterance to sum up the quirky machination that is Blackwater Jukebox. Primarily the workings of Geordie McElroy a journeyman field music archivist, taxidermist, and now, most comfortably, a man assuming the role of Appalachia-meets-electro-pop musician.

Geordie mines his interests in history and field work for the subject matter of “10,000 Wild Miles (Back to TN)”. The lyrics of which come from the backchannels of the Hancock County Public Library in Sneedville, TN from a World War I era letter written by a local boy fighting abroad. The letter had initially made its way from Saintes-Maries-de-La-Mer, France all the way to a farm in Sneedville, marking the proverbial ‘10,000 miles.’ A weary banjo strums the soldier’s homesick tale set against the opposingly triumphant marching beat and begs the question: Did this soldier ever reach the greasy rocks of his Eastern Tennessee home? – Marni Epstein

“Please Be My Third Eye” – La Sera

Damning the mines, La Sera barrel their ship toward the shore with a brand of punk meets pop. Katie Goodman, the captain of La Sera, intones with a prayer like manner, sometimes softly, other times stoically. In her spare time Goodman plays with Brooklyn’s Vivian Girls, and now perches herself in Los Angeles.

Earlier La Sera was ethereal, a throwback to a harmonious ’90s pop flavor. Now a bit more grounded, Goodman sounds comfortable with the world’s surrender to her sound. La Sera plays The Echo with Julie Ruin September 19. – Nathan Solis

“Rollowing Shadow” – MOTION CNTRL

From here it looks like shapes dancing on the lake, a double dutch with neon ropes. The duo known as MOTION CNTRL command a dance vibe steeped in outlines drawn from Miami Vice rundown hovels, monuments to a bygone era, repurposed, now serving up haunting mixes. Breathy statements collide with synths, “What it feels like to be a girl, all alone in this scary world,” the electronic buzz building all around. Allyce Engelson’s vocals bring a frailty to producer Luke Mertz’ arrangements, their narrative playing out in a million montages, all the years passing by and still it’s just a few degrees separate from before, only now the players are different. MOTION CNTRL call Los Angeles home and play The Mint tonight. – Nathan Solis

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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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