Strikewalker Entertainment Presents
Vanaprasta, Coo Coo Birds
1710 Mission Street
San Francisco, CA, 94103
Doors 8:00 PM / Show 9:00 PM
This event is 18 and over
A simple internet search for the energetic San Francisco quartet Solwave will tell you the number one thing you need to know about the band, and it will tell you over and over…YOU MUST SEE THEM LIVE. Not because their recordings are not equally as impressive, as a glance through those reviews will tell you the same. When Solwave is on stage, it’s impossible not to get swept away by the combination of chemistry, sheer talent and songs filled with soul, blues, new wave, and undeniable rock n' roll dance beats. All of this mixed with the flow of energy from the audience is not only what sets the band apart but is what makes their fans continue to come back for more.
Starting out as a trio of childhood friends, the band was initially formed back in grade school with front man Joe Collins and brothers Danny and Tommy Ferdon. With Joe initially behind the drums, Danny on bass and Tommy on guitar, the three spent countless hours jamming together as they honed their individual crafts. As life went on, Joe would be the first to leave for college at UC Berkeley. It was during
his freshman year that he realized music was his number one passion and headed back to the city where he stepped out from behind the drum kit and started to focus on vocals and the piano. Just as naturally as both came to him, he started writing songs and rapidly began to fill a catalog of songs that would later become Solwave staples. Joe attempted to play with other local musicians when Danny headed off to Indiana State and Tommy finished his senior year of high school. Similar to Joe’s college experience, Danny eventually transferred from Indiana to the University of San Francisco, where his younger brother accepted admission as well and the band was reunited. With Joe’s new role as front man, SOLWAVE posted a Craigslist ad for a new drummer, which was quickly answered by Moise Seri whose skills and obvious strong work ethic fit right in line with the squad.
A basement rehearsal space in San Francisco’s Tenderloin District became the stomping ground for the reunited and reinvigorated SOLWAVE and the next few years would bring hard work, dedication, struggles, victories, live performances and a rehearsal diet of four times per week. Once the band had fully trained Seri on their catalogue of songs, they began applying the same tenacity and creativity behind rehearsing to their business. It was the unique decision to giveaway self recorded cds at shows in the early days that has furthered fans connections with the songs and made the energy between the audience and the band that much more intense at a SOLWAVE show.
Upon hitting the local circuit, the group quickly checked off their wish list of venues as their hometown crowd grew larger with every gig played. At the start of 2012 SOLWAVE began expanding the circumference of their live shows from their hometown of San Francisco to land them on the regular west coast touring circuit from San Diego to Seattle, starting in local bars and working their way into music halls, including The Independent, Doug Fir Lounge, SLO Brew, Moe's Alley, SOHO Music Club, Hotel Cafe, The Mint, and more. By forging strong relationships with promoters, bookers, and bands, the group continues to raise the bar and are now requested to return to the cities and venues for repeat performances. Averaging more than 100 shows in the last year, a pinnacle moment came in May 2013 when they sold out legendary SF venue, The Independent. With a 500 person capacity, the room was no longer filled with just friends and family, proving the bands hard work was beginning to pay off.
Keeping up with their steady incline SOLWAVE have teamed up with Producer, Gordon Raphael (The Strokes, Regina Spektor) and Mixer, Tim Palmer (Pearl Jam, U2) for their latest EP, The End of the Beginning. The team is already a winning one with the single release and video for the upbeat and soulful, “I Won’t Wait” to nothing but rave reviews. “Leo” and “Follow” showcase the bands rare ability to create danceable rock songs; while “Lost and Found” pays homage to the group’s classic rock and blues influences. In true SOLWAVE form, they somehow seamlessly switch gears to the psychobilly rock tune, “Devil In My Head” proving they leave no genre untouched without skipping a beat in between. All five songs effortlessly cross genres while managing to form the cohesive collection that makes up The End of the Beginning, delivering the signature yet always evolving, SOLWAVE sound.
Vanaprasta knows where rock music has been, and the Los Angeles quintet knows where it wants to take it. "Someplace mystical," singer Steven Wilkin says, "where there's arena-sized sound."
In less than three years, Wilkin, bassist Taylor Brown, drummer Ben Smiley and guitarists Collin Desha and Cameron Dmytryk have circumnavigated the nebulous L.A. indie-rock universe, releasing an EP, teasing with a couple of singles and turning in enough neck-snapping live performances to give Angelenos whiplash from Silver Lake to the Sunset Strip.
Finally, after three forays into the studio, Vanaprasta unveils Healthy Geometry (out Nov. 1, 2011), a forward-thinking, galactic-sounding debut that draws from the indie, experimental, psychedelic and R&B worlds to shape music that is at once visceral and visionary. Critics have name-checked the Killers (LA Weekly), Kings of Leon (Consequence of Sound) and Mew (Buzz Bands LA), but Healthy Geometry‟s broad dynamic also finds antecedents in the work of Pink Floyd, Radiohead, Muse, Modest Mouse and Black Sabbath.
"For a while, we called our sound 'guitarwave,' and the guys joke around that it should be 'Indie Rock Guitar Hero' or 'Epic Karaoke,'" Wilkin says with a smile. "But whatever it is, I‟m glad we had the patience to find the best way to capture it, and to cultivate who we are as a band."
And who is Vanaprasta? It is five technicians from divergent backgrounds (with equally broad tastes) who comingled in L.A.'s musical melting pot in 2008. From their first jam session, the mixing of molecules in the room generated an energy that was palpable, and end result of that night was, Vanaprasta.
The key ingredients in the quintet's stew are the colliding guitars of Dmytryk, a former punk-rock kid from Oregon, and Desha, a native Hawaiian with a foundation in slack key guitar, which wrestle atop powerful, shape-shifting rhythms from Brown and Smiley. Wilkin's balletic tenor (he was a child opera singer in Utah) holds the mold together.
The band's stadium sound illuminates themes ranging from the highly emotional to the dauntingly intellectual. Vanaprasta (whose name derives
from the Sanskrit word for a forest-dweller who has given up much of his worldly possessions) is fascinated with numerology, geometry and patterns, and what any or all them might mean in a world seemingly ruled by inefficacy and chaos.
Healthy Geometry was produced and mixed by Dave Schiffman, who recorded the band using mostly live takes with minimal overdubbing. It was mastered by Howie Weinberg, who kudoed the band on what he heard. "Working with Dave was super smooth," Wilkin says. "He came out and saw us live, and basically we let him run with his interpretation of our live show.
Healthy Geometry, which can‟t be categorized into any particular genre but stands on its own as a complete body of work, encapsulates all the different moving parts and ingredients that make up Vanaprasta.
Coo Coo Birds
Discovered living in an former Convent in the Hayes Valley of San Francisco in 2012, the Coo Coo Birds have done much to re-define the meaning of modern holy life since they first started making music in unison. Noted for causing spiritual awakening in the members of their congregation; the band's live performances are considered by many- even by those outside of the occult- to be a religious experience. Abandoning modern conveniences for a more corporal connection with the Divine, the group is rumored to have recorded their prayers using ancient methods; including magnetic tapes, and primitive amplification. Witnesses to the groups public ceremonies have reported seeing band members storing their ceremonial objects in Gentleman's Clubs after use, and have claimed to have heard sounds previously considered extinct on earth at some regional gatherings. Scientist have yet to confirm this, but cite the bands debut LP-"Don't Bring Your Boyfriends"- as evidence of the phenomenon's possibility.