A 90s vibe and Sleater-kinney-esque tremolos. That’s probably the best way in a nutshell to describe the Shondes new LP The Garden.
The Brooklyn quartet just released their second full-length album The Garden in September. They’re embarking on a national tour this month.The Shondes state that Judaism and political activity are greatly put into their music.
The title track, “The Garden”, opens the album to the energy and violin riffs that is to follow. The violin swings in for a surprise at the end. Throughout every song, there is that sense of urgency and a calling to speak out for your political beliefs.
For me, the standout track of the entire album was “Running In My Sleep.” The second track of the album with the word “running” in it. The other being “Running Out of Time” with the violin riffing through it all. Usually, the top songs or hit songs are within the first three or four tracks. Why I like “Running in My Sleep” is because it’s surprising. It comes as a nice gem towards the end of the album and the back-up vocals add softness to the overall sound.
I would enjoy hearing more diversity between songs. They stick closely to the traditional rock set up, but they do experiment with other sounds like the melodica in “Nights Like These.” One thing they do well is remain consistent in each track. The lead vocals never lose their power or fade. Each song comes with energy. In the Riot Grrrl era, no doubt The Shondes would be a major contender and favorite in the field.
Well I’ve made my way back east. I was so hoping to update more but my lack of a smartphone/internet access really put a damper in my plans. I have many stories to tell and photos to share! There are some more photos up on the blog now. Also, keep your eye out on Baa Ram Ewe’s Facebook page and our tumblr for even more photos.
The drive from San Francisco to L.A. was beautiful…..but long. We drove down the Pacific Coast highway through Big Sur. One thing I would do differently is spend a little less time in the car. Seriously every part of that road is gorgeous. It was amazing to drive through most of California. The landscapes are so different from each other. One minutes it’s towering Redwoods, the next jaw-dropping cliffs, and the next beautiful sunny beaches!
We finally got to southern California on Saturday. First stop of course was my favorite gluten-free, vegan bakery Babycakes. Basically if my brain was in the form of a bakery, it would be this place. So delicious!
That’s me at Babycakes …L.A. location!
The Long Beach show went well! Thank you to the Long Beach Riot Grrrls! A lot of talented ladies performed! You should definitely check out all the bands that played: Ingenue, Iris , Potential Lunatics , and The Aquadolls. Ingenue was awesome and so kind to let us borrow their drum set.
Going down the West Coast will always be an amazing memory. The scenery is breathtaking pretty much the whole way down. I’ve been asked which of the cities was my favorite. As my sister said, it is hard because each city is so different. If I were to pick, it is between Seattle and San Francisco. I really wish I could have spent more time in SF because there is so much to explore! Much to my sister’s dismay I kept singing the Full House theme whilst in the city but not the part with actual words. Oh no, I couldn’t resist the boo da bop ba badow (or something like that).
Anyways, the Pacific side of the country is one to be seen for sure! I’m so grateful to all my friends and family that helped me to travel west and have a wonderful tourcation! Thanks everybody!!
Sorry for the lack of updates. It’s been crazy! I left Portland on Tuesday for a lovely 10 hour drive to San Francisco. It took pretty much two days (we made a lot of stops…) but I saw the most amazing Redwoods, went to a Fairytale Theme Park, hung out with some Alpacas, climbed in treehouses during the golden hour, and just had a pretty rad time. We got to San Francisco just at sunset and drove into the city via the Golden Gate bridge. It honestly felt like a movie. That bridge..that whole city really is just so iconic.
I wish I’ve been able to update more. I’m learning tour life…and internet access isn’t predictable. Though it really makes you live in the moment ,ya know?
We played a great show last night at a place called the Pink House in San Francisco. I’m in love with that city. Seriously, every street you turn onto is so beautiful. The first night there we stayed with our friend/traveling buddy Dawn’s friends house (that makes sense right? one of Dawn’s friends…). We went up on the roof to catch the sunset and you could see the Golden Gate from their apartment. Such a beautiful moment check it out!
Rooftop sunset times
Now we are somewhere in central California and are heading down to Long Beach this loverly Saturday. We have a show there through the Long Beach Riot Grrrls. Here is the facebook event link !https://www.facebook.com/events/205498902931574/ Tell your friends to come! Or if you live out here come!!! There’s a pot luck before it and it’s free!!
I have so many photos to show you all and many more stories to tell. I definitely will be writing more in the coming week and post-tour about all the amazing adventures and shows I’ve had. California is such a great state to be in. Pumped for the next show!!!
Welp I left Seattle yesterday. I’m missing it so much. Today is officially the 4th day of my tourcation, but it feels like I’ve been gone forever. It’s nice to lose tract of time for a bit.
Before we headed south to Portland, we went east to Roslyn, WA. My sister is really into the 90s TV series Northern Exposure. I’ve never watched it. It’s set in Alaska but they actually filmed some of it in Roslyn. It felt like an old West Town! So beautiful! Check it out!
We drove down to Olympia and saw Sleater-Kinney Road!!!! As we were walking about, we got a call to play a show in Portland in two hours. I’ve never played a show with such short notice and we were two hours away! So we raced down. I was so nervous because we had such little time to prepare and felt a bit anxious through the set. Apparently, it didn’t show. Either we played a great set or people in Portland are super nice (maybe both?), but everyone gave us such nice compliments. The venue was called the Record Room. The show was the tape release of Nucular Aminals–a nice sounding band with nice people! Busy Scissors played right before us and they sounded pretty rad too!
I’m posting a series of photos on LBB’s tumblr and also my band’s tumblr in the morning! I’ve taken like 47,000 photos! Gosh the Pacific NW is just so beautiful. Be on the lookout! I’ll post a link to this post when the photos are up!!
Ttyl, LYLAS, HAGs -Maura
UPDATE: Photos are up yo!! http://ladybangbeat.tumblr.com/
Baa Ram Ewe// West Coast Tour Diary
Hey folks! I’d like to welcome you to my little West Coast tour blog! For those readers who might not know my name, I’m Maura! I write and blog for Lady.Bang.Beat. Additionally, I play keyboards in a band, Baa Ram Ewe, with my sister Meghan in Philly.
We decided to go on a West Coast tour/vacation/roadtrip. A TOURCATION!! We’re starting north and working our way south to L.A. I’m in Seattle right now. We’re not playing any shows here though (it’s more on the vacay side right now).
I love Seattle so much! I’ve discovered so many great places and many new bands. Check out these two all lady bands. One is called La Luz that our friends here played for us. I’m a surfer and love those beach vibes they have! Another is an all-female Ramones cover band called the Dee Dees .
I also went to the Experience Music Project Museum today. It was really awesome! There’s a pretty cool exhibit on Nirvana and a lot of the 90s bands to come out of the Pacific NW. I’ll post some more photos of it tomorrow (or today? what time zone is it anyway?). I enjoyed the sound lab area where you can play a variety of electronic and acoustic instruments. We rehearsed one of our songs in a “jam room.” Fun times! I’ll be posting lots more soon so stay tuned!
Attia made a trip to PA a few months back to record an On The Hill session for Kettle Pot Tracks. Here she performs her song BTC from her latest EP, Luxurious Cornersreleased this year onearSnake. The session is the result of a warm space, great production, and creative people. Take a moment to support this great project so they can grow and continue bringing creative minds together! You can also download the rest of the tracks from Attia’s session, here! Enjoy!
Montreal’s Braids returns with a new track and a 12″ due out on June 11th. The three are now signed with Arbutus Records and can prove that this is no Native Speaker. The new direction reminds of a less nightmarish Crystal Castles and takes you to a place that feels like the soundtrack for an old movie set in the future. A little dark but none the less the electronic ambient track is good and I’m excited for their new work. Pre-order their new album here or read our previous interview with lead singer Raphael Standell-Preston.
My music: I’m currently playing in Le Butcherettes, Gothic Tropic, James Supercave, CLEAR PLASTIC, and JAN.
My sound is: very weird. I’ve had people tell me that I play stuff that normally wouldn’t work with anything else but somehow I manage to fit it in at the right moments. I’m usually pretty loud because I used to just practice to really loud music or amp up the metronome, but I was also learning to play jazz at the same time so it’s a mixture of the two. I have a big problem with ghost notes, I just can’t get enough of them.
It’s rare an artist can some incorporate old in a way that is so new. Stephanie Nilles does just that with her latest album Takes a Big Ship. Released last September, the record features a number of songs all in a New Orleans jazz vibe. Nilles calls the city home, though originally from Chicago. She embraces her current residence into the music.
This album really is whimsical jazz. She’s having fun. The song titles, like “canadians are from canada,” give you a little smirk just reading them. She has a voice that is like tin pan alley meets the 21st century. It has the old qualities while sounding new and refreshing.
The album starts out with, “Transistor,” a song with a fast-paced organ riff that is dizzying but not in a bad way. The second song, “Give Me a Pigfoot, (& a bottle of beer),” is an old timey piano-driven tune. The modern is incorporated simply in the title of the song, “#,”. (How would you # that album name on Twitter?) The drums at the intro and outro really pack power. The song ends with a surprising strings riff giving it a bit of a darker feel.
At its heart, this is New Orleans jazz but many other genres seep their way into the mix. Old worlds meet new ones with this album, and she has such a unique, unforgettable voice that’ll be singing in your head long after listening to the songs.
Last night, after the Ladies Rock Camp Showcase, Attia and I saw Lianne La Havas at World Cafe Live. The UK soul singer’s debut album Is Your Love Big Enough? was nominated for this year’s Mercury Prize and was just named iTunes’ ‘Album of the Year’. The show was sold out and absolutely incredible! She was flawless in every way. Her voice leaps into your heart, her guitar playing is never overly complicated and is always beautifully arranged. She played everything we wanted to hear, tracks from “Is Your Love Big Enough” and my personal favorite, a cover of “Weird Fishes/Arpeggi”. To put it simply Lianne La Havas is fantastic, proving to be a natural talent with unlimited potential whose charisma is matched only by her musical fierceness.