Interview: The Brian Jonestown Massacre

Posted in Uncategorized on April 7, 2014 by lefauconrouge


Great update!

Originally posted on berlinbeat:

Anton Newcombe - Photo courtesy of Anton Newcombe Anton Newcombe – Photo courtesy of Anton Newcombe

As Anton Newcombe approaches two and a half decades of musical creation, the difference between him, his predecessors, and his contemporaries couldn’t be clearer – he is a juggernaut of the music world. There are very few musicians in the halls of time who can boast a discography as extensive or as absolute as The Brian Jonestown Massacre — even fewer still living, and perhaps none at all who remain just as dynamic, principled in their music, and honest with their freshest breath.

With Newcombe at the helm, BJM has hitherto released 14 albums and a whole bag of EPs, and tirelessly played concerts all over the world, though most notably all this has been accomplished outside of the mainstream record label paradigm. Here is a band that has put out so many records that it is as challenging to enumerate them all as it is…

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New business

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , on March 24, 2014 by lefauconrouge




Posted in indie rock, Seattle, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , on October 20, 2008 by lefauconrouge

Know what really gets a party bouncing off the walls?! Bumpin’ some Wallpaper! Signed with Seattle’s legendary K Records in spring of 2008, Wallpaper will release their new album with a show you’ll want to mark on your calendars, November 8th at The Comet. Wallpaper offers danceable diversity wrapped in a high energy garage pop rock sound born of influences like Pavement, The Pixies, and Weezer. Brothers Derek and Spencer Kelley along with Steve Potter, deliver fast paced jump up and down songs with puckish charm, enthusiasm, and a whole lot of energy.

The trio began playing in 2004 with Spencer and Steve, joined later by Derek on lead vocals. After listening to their first recording made as Appliqué, they heard a lot they wanted to change and stripped it down. Their sound became more raw ala The Breeders and Violent Femmes. They must have done something very right because renowned musician, DJ, producer, founding figure of the DIY independent music movement, and record label owner Calvin Johnson happened to be one of the seven attendees at The Sunset in late April of this year and really dug their sound. “Kurt Cobain’s only tattoo was of the K Records shield, you know.” Derek fills me in. I did NOT know that! Calvin and the boys exchanged 45’s and EP’s and three months later Wallpaper was signed to K Records alongside the likes of Modest Mouse, IQU, Dub Narcotic Sound System, and Yacht. Wallpaper’s short, fast, shooting star-like rise to musical success in Seattle is supported by a great fan base of youngsters who like to dance and rock out.

So why, you may wonder, is Wallpaper secretly blacklisted from playing all ages venues? Why would these three very adorable and talented musicians be blacklisted from playing at all-ages venues? The answer? Myspace drama. Myspace drama which led to false accusations directed at one of the members of Wallpaper which led to further slander and subsequent cancellations of shows as well as refusals to book Wallpaper at all ages venues. Because of one vindictive Vera Project volunteer, the tyrannical blacklisting of Wallpaper runs amuck within a small circle of misled friends who volunteer at all-ages venues in the Seattle area. As a result, Wallpaper’s 18 and under fans have to settle for waiting outside 21 and over shows to say hello and listen from the street. Can anyone say scandal?

“Is it really fair to allow the volunteers of Vera Project or any organization act out their own personal vendettas at the expense of the organization itself and the public that it is meant to serve? We can’t play at any all ages venues because of one volunteer who has slandered us on false pretenses. We don’t even know what to do about it.” says Spencer.

“Yeah…. we are OVER hipsters.” says Steve. They all nod in unison agreement.

Unwitting targets of Capitol Hill hipster politics, heroes of the teen dance scene, newcomers and favorites at Calvin Johnson’s K Records and darlings of Seattle underground pop,
I present- Wallpaper. Find them October 11th at Mars Bar and November 8th for their CD release party at The Comet and get the dish on their latest online drama at Steve, Derek, and Spencer are very charming and full of playful, positive energy which, comes through in their music. Wallpaper is a breath of fresh air and if you’ve been looking for some new tunes to dance in your socks to, look no further.

Written and photographed by January Fieldz

Photo editing by Adele Clark

D-List Magazine, Seattle, WA.
October 2008

Hypatia Lake

Posted in Music with tags , , , , , on September 3, 2008 by lefauconrouge

I’m on the phone with Lance Watkins, mastermind and lead singer of Hypatia Lake, checking in to see how their West Coast tour is going. He tells me they are currently huddled around a lantern and a loaf of Italian bread, in San Simeon State park in California after playing killer shows in San Francisco, Long Beach, and Los Angeles. Their new album, Angels and Demons, Space and Time, is being hailed as one of the most transcendental and skillfully produced albums in the experimental psychedelic rock genre. Released by Reverb Records and recorded/engineered by Scott Colburn (Arcade Fire, Animal Collective, Sun City Girls), Hypatia Lake’s intimate and eclectic songs are truly a psychedelic masterpiece.

With Randall Skrasek on guitar and back-up vocals, Shane Browning on bass and back-up vocals, Dave Foley on drums, occasionally joined by Sky Lynn on back-up vocals/percussion, and Lance Watkins- lead guitar/vocals and songwriter; together they weave a fairytale of music about the fictional place of Hypatia Lake and the make-believe characters contained therein. Inspired by The Point, a fable by American songwriter and musician Harry Nilsson, Lance conceptionalized the town of Hypatia Lake and brings it to life with the help of his bandmates. The name Hypatia comes from ancient Greece, Hypatia of Alexandria born between AD 350 and 370, a Greek scholar from Alexandria in Egypt, considered the first notable woman in mathematics, who also taught philosophy and astronomy. Not surprisingly, Hypatia Lake’s lyrics incorporate philosphy, metaphysics, and esoteric themes. When listening to their music, your ears are not only delighted and stimulated by the variety of dreamy sounds that come through, your mind is simultaneously aroused and enlivened by the depth of thought and information of the lyrics. This is intelligent, well-written music with an unstructured ambient soul and a satisfying palette of sounds ranging from neo-folk to shoegaze to true Seattle rock. The mind-sweeping trancy effects of their music are punctuated satisfyingly with interludes of heart swelling guitar solos that keep you awake and pumped without jarring you out of your senses. Most shoegaze bands will put you to sleep while other hard/indie rock bands sing songs that make you feel angry or depressed with noise that hits you like a car crash. Hypatia Lake seamlessly blends the best of the best along with a healthy dose of the unexpected.

Their live shows are complete with their very own visual projectionist, Ben Jones. It is a total package. Even if you don’t typically listen to psychedlic rock and find youself at dance clubs on the weekends- you should really give this a try. It’s a very stimulating experience and a complete departure from the usual. This is not your typical self-absorbed, self-pitying Seattle rock band making a play for a big break. They are saturated with pure creativity and experiment with sound and thought for its own sake- it is very rejuvenating and inspiring to be present at one of their lives shows. Hypatia Lake sets themselves apart not only through the quality of their sound but, also through the selfless, fun-loving character of their presence.

You can catch them at The Comet, September 26th with Spirit Vine and Rocking Horse People. Until then, you can read about their adventures from tour, like the phantom deer that they saw bounding across a huge San Fransican cemetary last week, on their myspace page or at Hypatia Lake deserves the spotlight they are in. Theirs is a sound that has been cultivated with alot of care and thought over the last 8 years and they deliver with a purity and rawness that every music lover can appreciate. Hypatia Lake’s soul is the last unicorn of Seattle rock. Satisfy your curiousity and check them out! Their live show is reward you deserve.

Written and photographed by January Fieldz

D-List Magazine, September 2008

An Evening with Westin Glass

Posted in Music, seattle indie rock, Uncategorized with tags , on August 23, 2008 by lefauconrouge

Westin Glass

The car careened around the corners of the dark city streets and in reply to my question, Mr. Glass merely turned again. Dark curly hair and handsome, the talented singer/song writer of The Reformation, former drummer for both Model Photographer and Say Hi and current beat-masta for The Thermals smiled as he said, “I think we’re almost there.” We parked and then exited the car.

“No, I meant about the magazines. You and the three bands you are in were all written about in a bunch recently, like Rolling Stone, Filter magazine, The New York Times, SPIN. The Stranger did a feature on you as The Reformation last year; I remember thinking…How’s that feel?” We walked through Capitol Hill towards the club. Damp streets and dusky skies, the traffic was just enough to keep you from sleepwalking through the intersection. I looked at him with a gleam in my eye, for we both knew this was my first time ever doing an interview.

With a deep grin he replied as we crossed the street, “Say Hi’s new record, The Wishes And The Glitch, was recently reviewed in Rolling Stone and Spin, among many other publications.  ‘Sophisticated psyche-tinged indie rock … an eclectic collection of blissed out, bass and synth-heavy ruminations’ is what Rolling Stone had to say about it. Filter wrote about Model Photographer and mentioned the other two bands I’m in: The Reformation and Say Hi. So yeah, that was pretty cool. That’s the first time I’ve ever been talked about in such a big magazine.” He smiles with sincere and innocent charm.

We find our way to the Capitol Club and climb the stairs to the lounge, laid rich with Indian satin cushions and tiny candles all over the sand colored walls. Delicate tin lanterns threw intricate, beautiful patterns of light into the corners’ shadows. I ordered a glass of wine and began fiddling with my new Polaroid camera. “Be prepared. I am gonna use this, you know.” I looked at him all smiles. “So what’s on the horizon for you? You’re in three bands and they’re all going somewhere. You are obviously the common denominator. That’s a lot of balls up in the air. What if you had to choose?”

There was a pause in his reply. Ordering a Corona with a thoughtful look, he turned and answered with a deep vibrancy in his voice, “Wow. That’s a good question… I just take it one day at a time. Right now, I’ve got Say Hi’s tour which includes a performance at SXSW. We return to Seattle in April for a live performance on KEXP and the Sasquatch Festival. Model Photographer is doing well despite the fact that Alex Rose plays keys in Minus the Bear and I am on tour more and more often with Say Hi. Alex and I first began as “Bum Out Patrol” back in Albuquerque, NM. We would take turns singing and playing different instruments. After moving to Seattle we began playing together again with me on drums and Alex on guitar and vocals. Model Photographer was born. I’m very excited to be putting out a second album as The Reformation, however. Ultimately, expressing my thoughts and ideas through songwriting that I love best.”

We sipped our drinks and gazed around the room, looking out onto the balcony through the high glass windows where the city lights glimmered. The skyline majestic and dressed modern, we strolled outside and took in the cool night air, the starry city sky… I stood holding the Polaroid and said, “Stop. Stay there.”

He turned and looked at me smiling.

“The first Polaroid. We clinked our glasses in a toast to celebrate the irony of the first picture taken on a newly bought camera that was sentenced to a life of extinction by Kodak less than a month ago. C’est la vie…

Westin looked at me smiling in earnest. “Touring. Let’s start by saying touring with Say Hi is very different than touring with The Reformation. Sometimes you have a few luxuries but yes, it can be very tough. Tough in all kinds of ways, including on romantic relationships…. but in the end, there is nothing I’d rather be doing than playing music. I can’t imagine what I would do with myself if I couldn’t play music all the time. I love it more than anything.”

I remembered suddenly, “Yes, actually one moment especially captures that spirit and dedication for me, which was last summer when you played as Revival Revival. You guys playing in the summer sun last year at the Cascade’s Block Party. Man, that was for real! The crowd was loving it! I was actually interviewed by the Seattle Times about the crime rate and homeless demographic in the neighborhood at one point and you were just having a ball with it all.”

“Yeah, that was great thank-you. What a day! Yeah, that was probably the best show Revival Revival ever gave. We just had so much fun playing the songs of Credence Clearwater Revival, it was purely a labor of love. We just had a great time performing throughout the summer of 2007 and gave our grand finale performance in September at the S.S. Marie Antoinette. It was a fun time.”

We took our second round of drinks and the Polaroid camera downstairs to the empty dining rooms. The exotic Indian décor and seductive lighting made the perfect backdrop for the photos… As the flash went off, we continued to chat between sips of wine and beer.

“Stand by that lantern…”

Find Westin at,

Written and photographed by January Fieldz

The New World of New Vintage

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , on August 23, 2008 by lefauconrouge

New Vintage

“Hops shortage you say? I had no idea. Really? Tell me more.” Sidetracked near the coat check, I stopped, captured in conversation by this idea. Talk of hops at a wine event? But why not mention her fair cousin, Beer? The young man leaned forward, pushing up his light gold frame glasses and said, “Crop damage actually. It’s hard to get at the moment and local breweries are going under. You can check it out online.” No way… the hop crop got creamed? That can only mean we’ll have to make more wine! Luckily, here we are at the “New Vintage” wine event put on by the Washington State Wine Commission in the very hip W Hotel in downtown Seattle. And by we, I mean Jeff Dorenbush, 22 year old business manager for Mutineer Magazine: easy on the eyes, quick on the trigger. And me? Standing fresh faced and fire-eyed at 6’3 in black patent leather heels, a silky new jet black dress and long black, wavy hair with bangs. Tonight, these hot pink lips are smiling because I, love love love wine…. and therefore find myself eclipsed into a hip, hedonistic wine lovers seventh Heaven. KEXP DJ Derek Mezzone is deejaying in a ballroom where swarms of twenty-thirty somethings dressed for cocktail hour buzz about. Scores of wine reps from Washington’s finest vineyards give samples of wine, walking freely and pouring liberally. Seattle’s best chefs and restaurants represent by passing one elegant appetizer creation of their making- works of art in every way. The wine… it was everywhere and tape recorder in hand, sip after sip after sip, I began to talk with everyone!

“So what do you guys think of the event so far?” I asked two girls, a blonde and brunette who were engaged in animated conversation. They turned to face me in slow motion, deer in headlights, open mouth smiling, wine glasses cocked out, one in each hand. I allayed their surprise by waving my rockin’ press badge. “See? I’m Danielle Gibeson, reporter for Mutineer Magazine. We’re doing a piece on this event. Actually, can we get your picture? With the wine.” The women snap to attention, all smiles. Jeff takes a few pictures which attract the attention of the wine reps. They circle like thirsty vultures and I, catching their eye bear into their souls with a look of such longing, I could have been crossing long miles of desert. Yet, I soon learn a mere eye flutter will fill my glass with wine. “Winthrop, Syrah”. How romantic. Can’t you just see the dusky mountain skyline? “Natural Slice Vineyards. Pinot Grigio.” One sip sends you into a golden summer, running through fields of wheat like a child. “Marysville winery, try the Merlot.” And we all just naturally laughed together, enjoying and talking about our wine. The brunette dressed in all white began to say, “It is really packed though. Last year the venue was better I think. It was bigger. It was at Qwest field last year.”

“Oh, really?” I had no idea what else to say because the idea of a wine event at Qwest field sounds vulgar and horrid to me and because this was my first real wine event of any scale. There must have been about 500 people moving around, drinking wine, dancing, eating out in the main ballroom, or lounging on the gigantic velvet chaises and furniture in a more quiet L-shaped room walled with dark glass which overlooked 4th Avenue.

The blonde chimed in, “Yeah, last year was not this crowded. But, the food is amazing.” On cue a waiter swings by carrying a tray of sashimi scallops covered in a miso vinaigrette, topped with wasabi aioli and presented on a sea shell. Absolutely exquisite!! We all gasp with appreciation and empty our glasses.

“Fantastic! Cheers to empty glasses! Time for more wine!”

Bingo! A tall wine rep in his mid-fifties wearing a dark flowered shirt and khakis appears almost instantaneously. Jeff moves around into position for the next shot and begins to focus on the camera on him. I push out my tape recorder towards his mouth and hit play.

“Tell me about your wine.”

All eyes on the rep, holding out a fanciful Hawaiian style labeled wine bottle. “My name is Phil Kline of Natural Slice Vineyards. I’ve had a 26 acre parcel of land my whole adult life but in 2002 I had a mid-life crisis and instead of buying a Harley, I got into the wine business. I have the highest elevation in Washington, situated in West Yakima. Snow just got off my land only last week. But, I don’t make the wine, I grow the grapes. I let someone who really knows what they’re doing to make the wine. But we make a very nice Riesling and Syrah. This is our Pinot Grigio.” He pours us all a glass. The wine is a sparkling pale gold and is very aromatic. Citrus and pear open with a light floral note. The taste is light and pleasing, subtle and sweet, enlivened with a spirit of good cheer, if not by the very sun itself! Just at that moment a woman with long red hair in a purple cocktail dress strode towards us with a look of intention. She stopped directly in front of Phil, “We heard you have good white wine. Would you come with me to our table over here? We need some good white.”

We all sung the wine’s praises and bid each other adieu with a final toast. I turned to Jeff, “Let’s eat. You have to try this stuff and we can take pictures of the chefs!” People hum around the edge of the room where Seattle’s up and coming chefs stand ready at tables, displaying their bounty. A French chef in a fedora dances around to the loud hip hop. His table is filled with miniature cups of peach mousse covered with a citrus gelee’. The centerpiece is a large ice sculpture of the letter D, also wearing a fedora. He speaks with a thick French accent, dancing from foot to foot as he presents the clear cuplet filled with pale fluffy crème. “Eat this… It is made from organic Washington summer peaches. It tastes like summer in winter. The citrus gelee’ adds an extra touch of summer with a light lemon zest to compliment the peach mousse.” The tiny spoonful nearly brings a tear to my eye. It tastes like innocence itself. Fresh, pure, simple… I was transported back to my childhood farm in Virginia where my grandmother and I had planted peach trees together. Endless baskets of peaches, heavy with sweet hot juice. We ran out of ways to eat them. The chef got a call on his cell and I was struck by how strange it was to see him and his red-lit ice sculpture wearing matching hats, side by side. I motioned for Jeff to get a picture, but the fleet footed Frenchman caught on and made a dash for the hall.

“Jeff, you have to try this. It’s amazing. Give me the camera.” Shaking off the nostalgia, I took the camera and danced in place to M.I.A. as Jeff tried the magical mousse. People were starting to loosen up. The laughter was louder. More single girls were showing up in pairs. The dance floor was a vortex of movement populated with silver pants and strapless dresses.

I detected a lack of wine in my glass. “So what does being a Washington Wine Ambassador actually mean?” Back at the tasting table — empty wine glass in one hand, tape recorder in the other — I held both out across the bar. The communications director for the Washington State Wine Commission was holding a bottle of local Syrah.

“It means you are basically learning and teaching everything you can about wine. You get to go on tours of all the local wineries and get to taste all the different wines. We sponsor and host lots of wine-focused events like this one and Taste of Seattle. Just promoting and enjoying wine culture.” She poured me a glass while I stood there stunned. Was this Heaven? Why have I never seen this world before?

“I want to be a Wine Ambassador! That sounds like fun!” The camera flash went off, mirroring the flashes of awestruck realization in my brain. This was a major discovery. This Washington wine world could be the next utopia. Walks down long rows of sun drenched grape vines on weekends spent touring beautiful countryside. Wine tasting mixed with city parties and elegant events showcasing the best bottles in the state?! I have reached the promise land!! DJ Mezzone was now reverberating the two story glass windows which showcased falling evening rain and high winds. My blood felt hot, happy, and whirling around. I prepared to interview more attendees, and crossing the lounge, I was stopped short for the third time by the same gentleman. He was slightly infatuated and persistent and I felt weird to be complimented so lavishly on the job and in front of Jeff. The conversation rounded the corner after I lied and said I had a boyfriend. That brought us to the topic of organic raspberries. Namely, he is a grower and gifted me a glass of his organic raspberry wine which was pure, sweet, and sunlit with Elysian Fields of organic raspberries…

Utopian, indeed.

-January Fieldz

The Black Angels

Posted in Austin, TX with tags , , , , , on August 23, 2008 by lefauconrouge

Dearly Beloved we are gathered here today….

The Black Angels and The Warlocks graced Seattle with two sold out shows, back to back, Wednesday night at Neumo’s for the benefit of Noise for the Needy. There was some serious love in the room for these two bands- for good reason. Directions To See a Ghost is the second album The Black Angels have released through local indie label Light in The Attic Records and their haunting lyrics and psychedelic drone really play to the times. This is no jam band, folks. The music is meant to infiltrate your mind and stir you up inside with lyrics of war, self-obsession, death, corruption, and more war. Not exactly dinner party music but when you combine a full house of savvy music lovers, a stage full of sexy Austin musicians, a projectionist and live freestyle artist, and “Native American drone roll” coming out of 8 ft speakers…. you not only have a concert; you have a transformative portal of thought-sound. Listening becomes an experience of being swept out to sea by a big, dark storm that forces you into a re-evaluation. Your daily existence stands trial and in the tidal wave of their sound, you are torn apart but left feeling re-focused.

Singer Alex Maas has an undeniably potent stage presence without a trace of the cold pretension that so often alienates a crowd from a popular band. Perhaps that is why The Black Angels are not merely popular, but well-loved. He moves from full bodied singing to playing guitar to hitting the keys to peddle pressing with a certain kind of energy that makes you think of Jim Morrison meets Sitting Bull, pure intent meets poetry. Or maybe it is guitarist Christian Bland’s transcendental string fingering against Adam Demetri’s 16foot 16mm film projections and psychedelic oils. One lady less this year, Christian takes over the drone machine for former member Jennifer Raines. Meanwhile, blonde rebel beauty Stephanie Bailey keeps the beat and holds down the drums like a warrior while Kyle Hunt switches it up with percussion, bass, and guitar. Nate Ryan is not to be ignored on bass.

There was a deeper resonance that emerged from the set that somehow spoke to their growth as band. After their recent European tour and now on yet another mammoth North American tour, it goes without saying that they’ve earned a few belt notches in the experience department. That being said- the synergy between them as they often switched up instruments, taking turns with the drums or backup vocals, lent a kind of new light to their stage presence. By the end of their encore, it was without question that The Black Angels are beloved of Seattle. And I would like to thank them and all the bands that played for Noise for the Needy concerts.

From Seattle, with love.

Full Stage Black Angels
Full Stage Black Angels
Alex Maas of Black Angels
Alex Maas of The Black Angels
Black Angels
written by January Fieldz

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