The Satellite presents
Historian (record release party), Bell Gardens, Modern TIme Machines
1717 Silverlake Blvd
Los Angeles, CA, 90027
Doors 8:30 PM / Show 9:00 PM (event ends at 2:00 AM)
This event is 21 and over
“Shelf Life”, the debut album from Historian, aka Chris Karman, is an album many years in the making. Excited with the limitless possibilities of modern recording, Karman was determined to craft music that would envelop the listener in layers of interwoven beauty. Add to this his love for spacey sounds and quietly reflective nature and you have the basis for what is Historian; it’s music that is tailor made for the nocturnal headphone listening experience or the long night drive. What was originally a private outlet for his introverted ruminations in time developed into an uncompromising style he’s chosen to share with the outside world. For Karman, music is the freedom to put as much sound onto a track as feasible - or completely ignore verses and choruses; it’s experimentation to present any combination imaginable. At it’s core, Historian is about striking that balance between the creative, the contained and the chaotic - with beautiful music as a result.
“Hypnotically entwining – and at times completely disregarding – traditional song structures, Karman sits calmly on the edge between creative containment and cathartic release.”
-Beats Per Minute NY
“It’s all peculiarly dissonant, but even with warped melodies and fuzzy reverb, Historian’s music
still aims to do the most important thing — tell you a story”
-Buzz Bands LA
Bell Gardens began with just two friends (Kenneth James Gibson and Brian McBride) over many late nights talking and playing for each other the songs that have inspired them over the years. Songs such as the Beach Boy’s Cuddle Up, Jack Nitzsche’s We Have to Stay, and even a Bobby Vinton song or two, seemed to make sense of their lives at the time. Even when the duo first thought about making music together, Skeeter Davis’s End of the World was unanimously chosen as a piece that the duo would aspire to properly cover.
When Brian traveled to Europe in the Fall of 2007 to tour for Stars of the Lid’s And The Refinement of the Decline, Kenneth had sent him some demos of some tracks he had been working on. While Brian sat in the van awaiting his next performance, he starred out at the European countryside studying the Gibson’s tracks and other songs that he had loved for some time but wanted a better understanding of why. Occasionally before the beginning of a performance, Brian would turn to these recordings. Upon returning from tour, recording for the duo began.
Initial recordings found Kenneth and Brian trying to stay faithful to a time period in which songs had been recorded. Wanting to experiment in what they believed to be a classic type of sound, the two used mainly live instrumentation, thinking about what was available in studios from the 50s to the mid 70s. Pre-set software sounds were rejected for their own recording of pianos, strings and horns. Even the sounds of the strings were often recorded flat in an attempt to preserve both room sounds and the natural sound of the instrument. If you were to ask Kenneth and Brian about the process of recording, they would probably say that the music they’re making in Bell Gardens is more “experimental” for them than their previous work.
A search for Kenneth James Gibson in the Discogs.com database, will turn up eight or more different monikers, from the California dream noise rock project of the middle 90s, Furry Things to his current techno artisanry as [a]pendics.shuffle. Brian McBride is better known as one half of the nocturnal lullaby giants, Stars of the Lid.
The EP Hangups Need Company by Bell Gardens is loosely based on a sense of “pop” from another time. Although pop is what you could call it, there is still a sense of restraint and unhurried beauty here combined with a sense of heady beds of weirdness. The LA Weekly describes it like this: “It’s gorgeous, rapturous pop balladry with candy-coated Beach Boys falsettos and pre-afro-Phil Spector production. It’s weightless with gravitas. Gibson might be the techno flavor du jour, but this is the stuff that will mark his place. I found him.”
Modern Time Machines
Modern Time Machines' blend of shoegaze space rock textures combined with noise pop sensibilities has drawn comparisons to Silversun Pickups and Sonic Youth, yet they craft their own unique, distinctive brand of music. They combine '60s psychedelia, boy/girl vocal harmonies, feedback-laced love songs and yes, time travel, into a riotous melange of beautiful noise.
The band made their national TV debut on Adult Swim in 2012 with a live performance on the cult hit The Eric Andre Show, and their music has received strong support from the major Los Angeles radio station KROQ 106.7FM. Modern Time Machines was recently featured in the Silver Lake music scene documentary “Pass the Music” alongside bands Happy Hollows, Airborne Toxic Event, and Henry Clay People. Their music has also regularly aired internationally in a major Japanese TV advertising campaign for the Meisui Tei hotel resort.
After recording their initial set of songs with producer Josiah Mazzaschi in 2010, the band's first single “Dweeb” began receiving regular airplay on Los Angeles radio station KROQ 106.7FM. Continually refining their sound, the band garnered noteworthy praise for its shows, playing LA venues such as Spaceland and The Echo alongside acts including Superhumanoids, Light FM, Nightmare Air, and Letting Up Despite Great Faults, as well as touring Austin, TX for the 2011 SXSW music fest.
Modern Time Machines' debut full-length album “Continuity Girl” was released in 2012. Co-produced by Josiah Mazzaschi (Jesus & Mary Chain, Deap Vally, Let's Go Sailing), and Steven Rhodes (Silversun Pickups, Darker My Love), “Continuity Girl” envelops the listener in frenzied, layered guitar/ string soundscapes, and catchy, bittersweet vocal textures.
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