A sizable crowd of people, many clad in red and blue UA apparel, dominated the early evening at Sky Bar this past Thursday night. It was the NCAA Sweet 16 Tournament and the place was packed. Bands scheduled early had to wait until the game—that saw Arizona lose to Xavier—concluded or risk riot.
The crowd thinned, many left bummed, after the defeat. But for those who stayed, the night was just beginning to unveil delights.
Louise Le Hir
Local chanteuse Louise Le Hir took stage first. The natural performer sang like a siren, danced, and bounced a tambourine off her hip. Along with her ace band—Joel Crocco on guitar, bassist Gabe Hostetler and drummer Adan Martinez Kee—they offered an impassioned set of their country-tinged French dreampop.
Le Hir later updated us on what they’re up to:
“We are recording with Matt [Rendon] on an ongoing basis,” she said. “Once we get Kill Pretty
out properly we'll have our third record ready.”
Is there a working title for the album and how does this new recording differ from Kill Pretty?
“No title, yet. But yeah, we are going in a different direction so far with the sound.”
See Louise Le Hir Saturday, April 8 at Owls Club, 236 S Scott Avenue with Tele Novella (from Austin, TX).
The Mission Creeps
Founded in 2006—inspired by old horror flicks, Link Wray, The Dead Kennedys, and dark and otherworldly shit that may or may not have taken root during the African diaspora that brought voodoo to New Orleans … Tucson vets The Mission Creeps, in all of their pallidness, were next.
Drenched in ’verb, twang and feedback—provided by guitarist James Arr and his Gretsch Electromatic and the incessant drumming of George “Of The Jungle Beat” Palenzuela—The Mission Creeps unleashed a fury. They recently added saxophonist Adrian “The Graverobber” Daley to bolster the sound. And no one rocks harder than bassist Miss Frankie Stein, and that’s saying a lot—bending backwards and striking chiropractor-flinching poses—she pounded and rounded out the foundation that led the band to the edge of chaos.
The Mission Creeps said post-show that they’re finishing up mixing songs recorded in May at Wavelab: “We're working towards releasing an EP, on the 4th of July, called Welcome to the Murder
, Stein said. “Some parts have more wiggle, some a tad more naked sophistry,” Arr added.
The Blind Suns
After performing at SXSW, en route for shows in California, French band The Blind Suns made a stop in The Old Pueblo and closed the night with a white-hot post-mod set.
The Blind Suns have released three albums, the latest is 2016’s I Can Sea You
. We were intrigued so the band’s singer/guitarist Dorota Kuszewska answered a couple questions:
What is that sound of yours?
“We're inspired by surf rock, oldies like Dick Dale, The Surfaris, Wanda Jackson, Johnny Kid and The Pirates (we covered "Shakin' All Over”) and some psychedelic/shoegaze stuff like The Raveonettes, Mazzy Star or The Jesus and Mary Chain. We mix sweet, pop melodies with dirty arrangements. Oh, and we love reverb!”
“We all live in Angers, France, situated between Paris and Brittany, two hours drive from the Atlantic Ocean. Romain Lejeune [lead guitarist/vocals] and Jérémy Mondolfo [drums/machines] are French, but I originally come from Poland and have been living in France for ten years now.”
When did you form?
“We released our first album in October 2014. The Blind Suns was basically just a studio project. We were all playing in different bands and had a couple of spare songs that we decided to release as the Baltic Waves album but didn't really expect anything of it. It's been three years now that it became our main band.”
Any SXSW highlights?
“Definitely Hotel Vegas where we played our official showcase. We played on the Volstead stage [classic vintage cocktail lounge] and had some amazing liquid light show projected on us. We also played at Electric Church, Kitty Cohen's for the French Pool Party, Butterfly Bar and at Cheers' Rooftop for [a daily online viral music show] Balcony TV.”
“We're working on our second album. We've also created a label/booking agency—Wild Valley that we're trying to develop in France and abroad. We'd like to focus on promoting our music by touring around the world. And come back to the USA for a bigger tour again, hopefully next year.”
The naysayers proclaiming that rock ’n’ roll is dead can sod off. It was alive and kickin’ on a chill spring night at Sky Bar.