Psychedelicious: A Conversation with L.A. Jeff
By Kevin Hong ’15
Earlier this semester, I had the pleasure of interviewing Nico Schwalbe, guitarist and lead singer of the band L.A. Jeff. We met at Café Gato Rojo to discuss psychedelia, Harvardiana, and miscellanea. The following is a transcription of the parts of our conversation I deemed blog-appropriate. You can hear L.A. Jeff live this Saturday, October 19, 9 pm, at 21 South Street. – Kevin Hong ’15Kevin Hong: Where are you guys from?Nico Schwalbe: I was actually born in L.A., but I grew up in France. Parker is from here, Will is from NorCal, Sam is from England and Saman is from New York, but his family is from Iran. So we’re really from all over the place, which is somewhat unusual since bands so often form in these local microcosms.KH: What was your previous band name?NS: Lunar Volk, which is the name of our EP now.
House of the Mountain Goats
By Natasha Sarna '18
If you listen to their tracks on Spotify, lyrics aside, the Mountain Goats (historically) sound almost exactly like a mixture of those names on the “related artists” list; Neutral Milk Hotel, The Thermals, The Magnetic Fields, Okkervil River, etc. Their sound is cohesive, the music comforting in a way NMH or Beirut are, and not to get personal but they were all I listened to freshman year during my first big depressive episode. The band is, to put it simply, relatable and easy to enjoy- even if and maybe because sometimes it’s all blended together in a folk-jazz-indie kombucha mix. But their tour's House of Blues gig last Monday night (led by front man Darnielle and opened by Mothers) absolutely shattered any expectations I had- and only, somehow, in ways that had me wondering why I don’t listen more.
Jenny O. and The Solars
By Natasha Sarna '18
I’m gonna preface this write-up with a clarification, of sorts; something I’ve been taking for granted but never bothered to articulate (before now). Unless I say otherwise – and it’d take a productive imagination to think up any relevant scenario(s) – these bits are reviewing specific gigs; not the group, band, whatever you want to call it, that’s performing outside of how they present at the gig and how that jives with prior exposure. Before any of the reviews, if I haven’t already, I listen to relevant discographies, but unless I wanna take a God-like stance on “getting” the dynamics of a group from one measly gig (let me assure you I do not, don’t think my rabbi would be down w that anyway) these reviews are just reviews of the gigs they purport to cover. EOM. Having prefaced this then, I have to say that Monday night was not a great gig.