I want throw a Halloween party. A party draped in cheetah, tiki gods, skeletons, lava laps, costumes, twister, rum and beer. The soundtrack would be The Growlers.
The Growlers are a low-fi, 60’s rock and roll, Tarantino sunset gathering of weird cool. They take me back to the days where my parents were very active in the performance arts community in a theatre across the street from the Dresden in the 90’s where the after hours were full of trannies and black lipstick. The Growlers are dingy, playful and dark. Their production is old school and authentic yet still contemporary. They’ve opened up for both the Black Keys and Devendra Banhart along with many others in that realm.
Parker Ainsworth has the voice of a man whose lived many lives in one lifetime. He’s a mystic wandering bard.
I first met Parker at a house party in Silverlake. He was fresh to LA from Austin, Texas. Super handsome, quiet with a hint of mischief. This house was full of my favorite musicians that frequent the LA scene and many were passing the guitar and sharing songs. The guitar landed in the hands of Mr. Ainsworth and my jaded LA mind thought, “oh this good looking guy is going to have a soft voice that only sings honey soaked songs about love, I’ve seen ‘em all”…but no I was wrong. Parker’s music and voice have the depth and rust of an old wishing well. You can hear the Texan smoke in his voice and his finger picking should be studied. He’s a painter with words and palette is plentiful. I was a fan in an instant.
Meet Le Blorr (Bastard Love Child of Rock n Roll). A haunting, psychedelic blues indie duo consisting of Chris Hess (guitar/vocals) and Adam (Drums). Correction...Chris goes under the name Cookie Sugarhips and Adam is Hot Damm.
The NoHo Arts District dot come staff decided to search for people who make "NOHO RAD." We know many super snazzy and uber talented folks and wanted to share that with our readers. This week we selected the NoHo Band "Starfire" and interviewed Dairenn Lombard, leader and manager of the group.
Kelly's Lot was one of the first local NoHo bands to rise to main stream popularity. Back in 2002, Kelly Zirbes was determined to live her passion of being a lead singer in a blues band. She was also committed to helping the NoHo community by playing for free at all of the NoHo Festivals. She played at every charity function and believed you could build a community through music and all of the arts in the district. She is no longer in NoHo but I think it is important to acknowledge the creative, cool people that lived and played in NoHo in the early days. In those days, we didn't have shiney new buildings and lots of corporate owned businesses. We had "soul"...Eagles' Coffee House, Ragtime Cowboy Vintage clothing, Vavoom punk gear and a lot of 'Mom and Pop" artsy stores. Progress has brought us a new NoHo that has come alive with young, creative, ambitious artists who will take the district to the next step.....One thing hasn't changed is our 21 steadfast, wonderful Theatres.
Finding Great Bands in NoHo Arts District
There are hundreds of bands that rehearse/record at the more than 50 recording studios in the North Hollywood area. It is no wonder why North Hollywood is called the "West Coast Capital of Recording & Rehearsal Studios."
North Hollywood has great freeway access and a subway. Amp Rehearsal Studio is like a magnet drawing great local bands to the area. I asked several bands there why they liked Amps... they have all the backline gear so you just need to bring your instruments and not lug your amp and the drums. One interesting couple "Wing and Hollow" told me a lot of rehearsal places they have been to are dirty and the equipment is old. Having a clean and reliable rehearsal spot is an advantage to getting your set prepped and working out new Ideas. I decided to interview this duo who had a lot of great things to say about NOHO.
So how did "Wing and Hollow get started?
Haven: Jill and I met in the summer of 2005. Jill had just moved to LA and I was working as a bartender at a neighborhood pub. She came in with a friend one night and after a few drinks, we got to talking and our first conversation ever was about music. We both have a passion for listening to music, as well as performing. I found out she was a classically trained vocalist, whereas I am a self-taught guitarist and writer. We are two people from two very different worlds (I grew up in New Hampshire, Jill in Kansas), that fell in love with each other, and also found a musical partnership in the process.
Describe your sound.
Haven: Our music has been described as folk/indie rock.
What makes your sound unique?
Haven: As well as the story of us, which in itself is unique (husband/wife duo), our songwriting process is unique as well. I am not a lyricist or a singer, and Jill is not a guitarist, so we need each other. The combination of Jill's poetry in lyricism and my guitar melodies create the songs.
What venues have you played?
Haven: We have performed all over LA over the past few years. A few notable spots are Hotel Cafe, Molly Malone's, Room 5, Genghis Cohen and we will be performing at a few spots in New England in a couple weeks, which we are really excited about. We can't wait to go on the road and play all over!
Tell us about your new EP?
Haven: The album which we are currently in the process of recording, is more of an EP, five songs. We are constantly writing and re-writing new tunes, so we felt it was time to give them a home on "North of Nowhere." This EP in particular has a more hopeful tone than our past record. We are always inspired by our surroundings, our family and friends. The air in which we were inspired to write these songs came from a dreamy, positive place. This record feels great to perform, and we hope it will feel great to groove to as well!
What advice do you give to vocalists/songwriters/musicians just starting out?
Haven: The best advice we can give is just to keep writing. I write every day. Even if I only have a few spare minutes, I grab the guitar and see what comes out. Jill is constantly jotting down ideas, lyrics, phrases that pop in to her head, therefore when I have a melody that I've been messing around with, she has a wealth of poetry and ideas to draw from in order to create the song together. Be inspired by everything around you. Don't limit yourself to just a single genre, branch out.
Where do you and Jill see yourselves in five years?
We have very high aspirations for the future. Our goals are to have many MANY more people experience Wing and Hollow. We hope to have written more records and to be performing all over the world, spreading our music to as many people as possible.