The Echo Presents
Monday Night Residency - Healing Gems
Oozelles, Billy Changer, Grave Flowers Bongo Band, DJ Bertiii
1822 W Sunset Blvd
Los Angeles, California, 90026
This event is 21 and over
Welcome to the world of Healing Gems, a space-age, exotic-psych, Latin-infused six-piece whose sound, although inspired and influenced by the past, is very much embedded in the here and now. Their delicate blend of Latin, jazz and tropicalia pivots around bossa nova beats and fanciful free-flowing melodies offering songs of sunshine and merriment.
A 6-piece mini-orchestra consisting of Edgar, Trish, Eduardo, Jared, Michael, and Xochi, Healing Gems are a psychedelic band, but not in the yoga posing, incense burning, sanctimonious kind of way. They’re a drink of LSD-tainted punch at a small town dance. A pot brownie picnic at a community park. Scratchy bargain basement records that still surge fire. The type of band one might listen to while traversing a hot desert landscape with rainbow-laden sun showers pouring down upon your skin. No drugs required.
From The Third Man Catalog Los Angeles supergroup Oozelles play weirdo punk rock with delightful saxophone and bongo accents, reminiscent of the Birthday Party boiling in a Death Valley heat or the Flesh Eaters experimenting with DC go-go tunes. Their live show is droll and nervy and danceable, and an essential sight to see.
Billy Changer has the name of the everyman in a Philip K. Dick story, and like the everyman in a Philip K. Dick story, there may be something special about him—something powerful even—that he neither knows about nor fully controls. This self-titled LP—originally one side of a split tape with Corners bandmate and frontman Tracy Bryant—is an understandably uneven listen. It was put together more from experiences that transformed into songs than as a plotted album, so you can’t ever be sure what’s coming next. Maybe an experiment: “Black Angel,” like the very early Spacemen 3 when they couldn’t quite keep their heads held up, with intently reverent subway-sound Velvet Underground guitar. Maybe a scene from a movie never made: instrumental “Chiller” is strange and a stand-out for it, a song with vibes so heavy it needed like an actual vibraphone. It’s urgent, nervous, even menacing—a walk alone as headlights flash off your back. Or maybe a deep one like “Sweet Time,” a Daniel Johnston heartbroke valentine with loose-as-hell Sticky Fingers production. Side two is where the album starts to dissolve into itself, where the songs can’t quite hold to each other and Changer brings out the slide guitar to show just how slidey everything can be. By closer “You’re My Girl,” we’re in a Flies On Sherbert waking dream with a song so loose it’s suddenly all around you. What makes this album far different from the usual “I made this!” autobio recordings are the vast wells of tension and want and id within—and the way the songs drift uneasily above them, sometimes warping and distorting in ways you’d never expect. “Band of Brothers” seems like it must just be about a night out with friends … but there is something staggeringly desperate and even tragic happening there, too. It’s like a song from a car going off a cliff—a snapshot of the instant just before moving forward becomes falling down. If there’s a Joy Divison influence at work here, it comes in three places: the lockstep rhythm at the second half of the resolute “Island Fever,” the razor’s-edge production precision and then these stark and fearless moments at the precipice. Changer always brings you back, but I wonder if that’s even scarier—he does know the edge is there, right?”
Grave Flowers Bongo Band
Grave Flowers Bongo Band is an LA based psych-folk group that started early 2018. While under the influence of Sam Gopal, Charles Manson, and Tyrannosaurus Rex they created a freaky folk acoustic outfit. They recorded their debut album a month after forming the group. The LP was titled ‘Flower Pot”
“The L.A. band whips up a psych-folk froth that brings to mind Fresh Maggots a young Bolan’s T. Rex before he found moniker brevity and cocaine. There’s definitely a beard of stars at work here... Perhaps they’ve pushed out to the Canyon and beyond for an off-kilter psych soup that’s built from the static transmissions of Gary Higgins, Sam Gopal, Trees, and John Peel favorites Tractor. Like the best psych-folk this one’s wobbled off its axis and sticks around to delight all the way through.” - Andy (Raven Sings The Blues)