Blue Sky Black Death, Rituals of Mine (FKA Sister Crayon)

Blue Sky Black Death

Blue Sky Black Death is an accomplished West Coast production duo. Their sound transforms the raw into the refined through technically building layers that exceed the boundaries of any one particular musical genre. Often a single track will involve a violin, cello, keyboard, and guitar mixed with live vocals and abstract samples. Every song compiles and manipulates to make the music engage on several levels, and each album surpasses the next in expectation thus creating surprise. Their name borrowed from the skydiving term, beauty before death, mirrors their longevity and ability to bring back to life, dead and forgotten dimensions.

BSBD has received praise from such publications as Pitchfork, The Fader, Complex, Forbes, LA Times, Spin, XXL Magazine, Stereogum, Rock Sound, The Source, Noisey, Wired Magazine, Prefix Magazine, URB, The Fox Is Black, Pigeons and Planes, Passion of the Weiss, Hypetrak, Pop Matters, and more, and their music has led them to receive world wide recognition.

Rituals of Mine (FKA Sister Crayon)

Everyone experiences pain in life. But there are a precious few who know how to turn it into something truly beautiful.

Growing up in the rougher neighborhoods of Sacramento, music was always a refuge for Terra Lopez. But it wasn’t until a period of quiet isolation in Long Beach after high school that she first began to write and perform her own songs, armed only with a loop pedal, a classical guitar and her haunting voice. Music was no longer just an escape, but a way of processing and sharing her pain with the world.

Around this time, Lopez wrote a letter to a close friend after a night of drinking. When she awoke the next morning, she noticed that she had inexplicably signed the letter “Sister Crayon.” The name seemed to fit perfectly with the new electronically driven songs she would soon develop with Dani Fernandez (beats/programming) and Jeffrey LaTour (keyboards/guitar).

If Sister Crayon’s songs reflect the hurt and melancholy of the human experience, their performances represent the inevitable catharsis. The band’s live show is an explosion of passion and sound, a plea for the audience to unleash their own troubles into the ether.

After releasing their debut album Bellow in February on Manimal Vinyl Records, the band toured relentlessly with acts including The Album Leaf and El Ten Eleven. They will remain on the road for much of 2012 while continuing to work on material for a new album.

Drew Englander, also known as Real Magic, got his start in early 2011 when he recorded “No Things Left,” an experiment in which he layered his somber and heartfelt croon over a whirlwind of grimey electronics and breakneck rhythms. It was to be a jumping off point for Englander, as he continued to delve into the capabilities of his voice and songwriting.

His music incorporates a diverse scope of styles, from classical composers to singer/songwriters to beat-makers and experimenters old and new. What distinguishes this singer/producer from his sample-and-effects laden contemporaries is the surprising range and character of his vocals, which are featured prominently in the mix to create a sense of genuine humanity often absent from electronic music. Englander’s melancholy voice sits atop carefully arranged compositions of synthesizers, strings, guitars and twittering drum machines, leading the way through a soundscape that is dark and brooding, yet hopeful and triumphant.

Real Magic's two releases, the No Things Left EP in 2011 and debut album Deep Breathing in 2013, received much praise from critics and bloggers, earning him features in Stereogum, Brooklyn Vegan, Death + Taxes and many more. As of late, Englander has been polishing his energetic live show, opening for the likes of YACHT, Bonobo, School of Seven Bells and Blue Sky Black Death, along with performances at festivals such as CMJ, Kaleidoscope, Symbiosis, SUNY Purchase’s Fall Fest, Goldrush and Westword Music Showcase.

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