Veiny Hands, Brainstory
200 W. Second St
Pomona, CA, 91766
Doors 7:00 PM / Show 8:00 PM
This event is all ages
For most, a brush with death would be cause for retreat, reflection,
and reluctance, but Seattle band La Luz found something different in it: resilience. Having survived a high-speed highway collision shortly after releasing their 2013 debut LP It’s Alive, La Luz, despite lasting trauma, returned to touring with a frequency and tirelessness that put their peers to shame. Over the past year-and-a-half of performing, the band arrived at a greater awareness of their music’s ability to whip eager crowds into a frenzy. In response, frontwoman Shana Cleveland’s guitar solos took on a more unhinged quality. The basslines (from newly-installed member Lena Simon) became more lithe and elastic. Stage-dives and crowd-surfing grew to be as indelible a part of the La Luz live experience as their onstage doo-wop-indebted dance moves.
When it came time to record Weirdo Shrine, their second album—due out August 7th—the goal was to capture the band’s restless live energy and commit it to tape. In early 2015, Cleveland and Co. adjourned to a surf shop in San Dimas, California where, with the help of producer/engineer Ty Segall, they realized this vision. Tracking most of the album live in shared quarters, La Luz chose to leave in any happy accidents and spur-of-the-moment flourishes that occurred while recording. Cleveland’s newly fuzzed-up guitar solos—which now incorporated the influence of Japanese Eleki players in addition to the twang of American surf and country—were juxtaposed against the group’s most angelic four-part harmonies to date. The organs of Alice Sandahl and the drumming of Marian Li Pino were granted extra heft and dimension. Thematically, Cleveland channeled Washingtonian poet Richard Brautigan on “You Disappear” and “Oranges,” and sought inspiration from Charles Burns’ Seattle-set graphic novel Black Hole.
The resulting album is a natural evolution of the band’s self-styled
“surf noir” sound—a rawer, turbo-charged sequel that charts themes of loneliness, infatuation, obsession and death across eleven tracks, from the opening credits siren song of “Sleep Till They Die” to the widescreen, receding-skyline send-off of “Oranges” and its bittersweet epilogue, “True Love Knows.”
In describing Weirdo Shrine, Segall remarked that it gave him a vision of a “world…burning with colors [he’d] never seen, like mauve that is living.” In “Oranges,” the Brautigan poem which inspired the aforementioned track of the same name, the poet writes of a surreal “orange wind / that glows from your footsteps.” These hue-based allusions are apt: the sound of La Luz is (appropriately) vibrant, and alive with a kaleidoscopic passion. Weirdo Shrine finds them at their most saturated and cinematic.
Veiny Hands is one of those bands that just step out of the darkness and immediately blow your face off. In just a small amount of time their music and impact has reached so many different places and has grasped the attention of some of today's most notorious bands. They have been constantly evolving since day one. Mixing different music styles of garage, new wave, krautrock and surf to create their own dark, mesmerizing sound. Rod Olfo (Lead Guitar) and Jasmine Deja (Bass Guitar) team up as songwriters and force your heart to erupt with nostalgia as they combine their clever riffs and shove the words down your throat. While Brie (drums) and Tina (keys) keep you driven and steady hypnotized on the path of each song.
Since opening for The Growlers at their fourth show, Veiny Hands has had the pleasure of sharing the stage with other notable bands; La Luz, Shannon and the Clams Jacuzzi Boys, Death Valley Girls, Broncho, LA Witch, Colleen Green, TV Girl and more… Veiny Hands has released their own 7 inch Vinyl and an EP with BUFU records.
They are due to release a full length vinyl in Spring 2017
Brainstory is a tale of brothers bounded by blood, by fate, and a small town with nothing to do. Brothers brought together by some unknown magic that would set them free to create, to sing, and to play a music of the soul. To open a window of truth in a world of auto-tuned hamburger egos. To forever be pushing long hair out of their eyes as they explore the cosmos beyond the hot, dusty, world in which they’ve dwelled. And what a universe it is. One part Jazz and one part Psychedelia, with a whole lotta Soul put in the middle. Add some Hendrix and Mayfield, some Bossa, and some afro-latin groove and you’ve got the right idea. Pure fun-love-exploration music.
Their story begins in the long lost lands of the San Bernardino Valley, in the twilight zone known as Rialto, California: A hot, arid, dusty, wasteland of boredom and dirty trash-filled empty lots, which could’ve only given rise to the backyard punk jams of the boy’s teenage youth. Through Punk and skateboarding, brothers Kevin and Tony Martin found liberation from the monotony. But soon a hunger for more would grip the boys—for they grew up in a rich musical world far beyond that of the hardcore punk they admired. As long as they could remember, they were surrounded by their father’s soulful gospel expressions as a popular lead vocalist in the church. Every Sunday was a lesson in soul bearing performance. Frequent weekend visits to Grandma’s house also were important in shaping their musical destinies. As an avid Jazz and R&B fan, Grandpa Juan played the likes of Duke Ellington, Louis Jordan, Johnny Hodges, Count Basie and other 30’s and 40’s artists both on the turntable and on his tenor/alto sax. Swinging was the key lesson. Thus naturally, Jazz, folk, soul, and psychedelia would soon make a feast upon the brothers’ souls. “Bitches Brew (the Miles Davis album) was a big one for me”, says brother Tony. “All my life I had lived with a hunger for imagination and adventure. After listening to this album here was everything I craved, crafted in sound. After that first listen, I knew I wanted to be a musician.” In their early years, it was normal to hear the Doors blasting out of one room and Coltrane out of another. Sometimes it was Bob Dylan and Monk butting heads. Or Mingus and Smokey. There was always an eclectic set of ideas, melodies, and sounds. College and girlfriends may have separated them for a while but the calling was always there. It just wasn’t the right time. Many bands, gigs, and demo-recordings later, the final piece would be found to unite the brothers at last.
Tired of the small music scene in the IE, Tony set his sights on the San Francisco Bay area, where he honed his upright bass jazz chops for 2 ½ years. It was during this time apart that Kevin, also tired of the limited opportunities around him, had a vision. “I was so disillusioned with being a guitarist in other bands, playing the same small town gigs over and over. I knew there was something more.” With the encouragement of long time friends Chicano Batman, Kevin had the idea of creating his own project. Thus, Brainstory was born.
Originally an acoustic guitar duo the band grew into a full piece outfit with the return of Tony and the addition of longtime jazz trio member Eric Hagstrom. Armed with a renewed love for the electric jazz sounds of their inspiration, the trio of destiny was now complete. The work on the new EP ‘Brainstory Presents: A Natural Phantasm’ began in 2012.
Now finished and to be released on the Chicano Batman love-child, El Relleno Records, the EP turns out to be a musical revelation. It all starts off in the far away Miles Davis grooves of “The Sunrise” and takes us on a journey into the sounds of the inner and outer cosmos. ‘The First Yesterday’ is a bossa inspired existential anthem that never lets go of the groove. It’s lyrics twist and turn through visions of galactic atmospheres to the deep, inner contemplations of modern man. ‘A Wonderful Why’s refreshed styling tours through bop swing, late 60’s funk, and afro-cuban tumbao. The track’s fiery syncopations swing heavy with a colorful tinge of surf-rock. The ‘ballad’ of the EP, ‘Olde Valley’, is an ode to the land that borned these brothers. The luscious vocal harmonies wash over the soul with the grace of nature’s infinite beauty. “The song serves to remind humanity of the supreme reality of nature”, explains Tony, the writer of the song. As we come to the end of the “Natural Phantasm”, we find ourselves in ‘The Future’, an uptempo rocker that entices the listener to move their body to the song’s post-apocalyptic tenor of the world at large. The adventurous odyssey of the tune’s diverse soundscape launches the album to its zenith. Conclusively, the boys say goodbye with ‘The Sunset’, a spacey companion piece to ‘The Sunrise’ that delivers a definitive epilogue to the EP’s astronomical-sonic expressions.
It is said that the eye is the window of the soul. This is eye-music. Music of the body, the mind, the spirit, and the earth. Tales of nature, ectascy, of darkness and light. Excursions in rhythm, melody, harmony; taking you to the pinnacle of the open-blue sky, and back down to the ground of the raw earth of each listener’s humble beginning. Stripped down funk, jazz improvisation, and spacious vocal harmony seek to take the listener to a place of expansion, a place of dancing, liberation, and love. This is our music. This is our memorandum. This is the story of our brains.