Some bands have epic, long careers. Some bands burn bright and fizzle quickly. Some bands build a career nibbling at the edges: consistent, successful, influential, but never quite becoming household names despite their cult following. Dinosaur Jr. is a band like that.
Oakland is a hard place — always has been and ever will stay such, because the Bay, as they say, is the quintessence of the modern concrete jungle, churning up a bone meal Darwinism of jacked-up nasty that suffers no goons.
Ever been to one of those shows where you’re blinded by glow sticks, your body won’t stop buzzing because the bass is so loud, and you come out so sweaty on the other side you’d think someone threw you into a bucket of saltwater? No? Well now’s your chance.
Living in the Northwest you grow accustomed to rain, cool breezes and gray skies — but also the opposite — sun and blue and warmth. The truth of this place is that nothing is permanent and there is always change, both in the weather and the geography.
Beach House does not want you to think about their music, they want you to feel it. “At the end of the day when you hear our music, I hope the analytical side shuts down and you feel it more,” Victoria Legrand (lead vocals, keyboard) says.
If you want an idea of how prolific composer John Williams is, consider this: By the time he wrote the music for Star Wars in the mid ’70s, he had already composed scores for 45 films (11 had earned Academy Awards nominations, two had won Oscars).
There’s a possibly apocryphal story that an American in Paris, George Gershwin, once asked one of his idols, the great 20th-century French composer Maurice Ravel, for music lessons. Ravel is said to have politely declined.
Although “back to school” commercials are in heavy rotation, let us forget about notebooks and football games for one brief moment and concentrate on sweet, fleeting summer. For it is only in summer that you can dance until you work up a sweat outdoors under the stars at the Cuthbert Amphitheater.
If five beach bums tried to surf their way to the classic California rock sound (The Doors, The Byrds, etc.) but instead got lost in a cloud of pot smoke and found themselves at a goth house party, you would end up with something like The Growlers.
Purists will say shoegaze only existed for a very short period of time, mostly in England, but iterations of it can be found at nearly every music festival today. Brooklyn’s School of Seven Bells is a perfect example.