Nik West, bassist extraordinaire, makes funk as vibrant and colorful as her purple mohawk. Born in Phoenix, Arizona, West has been plucking strings and taking names since the age of thirteen. Her professional career name-drops like it’s going out of style; she’s worked with Prince, Macy Gray and John Mayer just to name a few. The bass-guitarist is notorious for her kinetic live performance; if the groovy funk doesn’t get you on your feet her wild-man energy and mid-air splits just might. West’s latest release “Purple Unicorn” is out at the end of the month and it promises to be just as smooth and groovy as her previous work. She dropped past Studio 1A to showcase some of her stuff. Check out the full session below!
Texan native Bill Baird has been making music for for nearly two decades and has proved himself a bit of a moveable feast. The prolific musician has his finger in just about every pie out there; he is a former member of Sound Team, created experimental music under the moniker Sunset, and made a name for himself as a film scorer, artist and inventor. After working in experimental art sounds for several years Baird returned to his first love; simple, beautiful music. Since then he has released a handful of albums each with a touch of that artistic flare; Summer is Gone came along with a custom website that would create a unique version of the album for each visitor. His latest releases, two samplers Easy Machines and Baby Blue Abyss, are designed to work as a pair; morning and evening records. True to form the tracks are lovely and delicate; reflective psych-folk that shimmers and charms. Bill Baird brought his unique sonic sensibility to Studio 1A. Check out the full session below!
– Georgina Cook
Bedouine means nomad, wanderer, and it is a fitting title for Azniv Korkejian, who has covered a lot of physical, and emotional, ground in her time. Born in Aleppo, Syria she spent her childhood in Saudi Arabia, before moving to America where she city-hopped until landing solidly in LA. All this movement has given Bedouine a travel-motivated minimalism, in both her life and folk music. Her self-titled debut release may be thick with strings, and at times rather sonically ornate, but it retains a lilting intimacy in Bedouine’s mesmerizing voice. The album is held together by her serene narrations and is relentless in its emotional intensity. This is most obvious in the fluttering anxiety of “Summer Cold” written following the news of the unrest in Aleppo. The song concludes with found-sound samples recorded at her grandmother’s home; a world now lost to her. This track is a vividly personal testament to the depth of Bedouine’s songwriting. This may be her first studio effort, but the album is so completely mature and effortlessly charming it listens like the work of a seasoned professional. Bedouine brought her ethereal sound to Studio 1A. Check out the full session below!
– Georgina Cook
Canadian roots rock outfit Current Swell work hard and play harder. Formed in Victoria, BC in 2005 the four piece group built up a grassroots following along the West Coast by playing house shows, beaches and just about anywhere else they could get an amp and a drum kit. In the decade since they’ve gained a loyal following and honed their eclectic sound; pulling from indie, blues, surf and reggae to make a very special kind of rock. The outfit’s latest release When to Talk and When to Listen was produced by grammy-award winner Jacquire King, a collaboration that saw the band double-down on their commitment to totally honest, emotionally wrought story-telling. The record is a carefully curated examination of the human condition. Particularly gut wrenching is titular track written by Dave Lang while awaiting both the birth of his first child, and watching the slow deterioration of his father-in-law. It is an album of rich songwriting and vibrant musicianship; rock n’ roll at its finest. The boys came past Studio 1A to showcase some of their favorite tracks. Check out the full session below, then go and see them for yourself!
– Georgina Cook
LOLA: Local Opera Local Artists is opening their new show in August. It marks a new idea in opera and storytelling; A choreographed chamber opera pastiche of art songs by Fauré, Schubert, Boulenger, and more. This operatic concept was created by LOLA artistic director, Rebecca Herman.We Might Be Struck By Lightning follows two women as they explore themes of love, loss, depression, and redemption in their lives.
LOLA is community supported and a donation-based organisation that is committed to making great works of art and preserving opera in the community! We Might Be Struck By Lightning will run August 18-20 and August 25-27. All performances will be at the Mexican American Cultural Center. Find your Tickets here!