The Soft White Sixties (10pm set time), Nature Girl, Virginia Reed

The Soft White Sixties

San Francisco's The Soft White Sixties are a hard-driving, original rock and roll band that delivers R&B grooves and pop hooks with the transformative power of raw soul.

"Maximum R&B is what was used to describe The Who back in their prime, and Bay Area boys The Soft White Sixties are prime candidates to take that description as their own...the quintet are laying down a sinfully soulful rock sound that always goes down smooth."
- Andrew Pohl, Noise Pop

"Attendees who bump the seminal Nuggets garage rock compilations might suggest that a concoction of fun-loving, acid-tinged soul and bluesy guitar-rock co-indicates, on paper, gleefully chaotic and uneven musicianship. Perish the thought: the Sixties mold their muse into a modern soul-rock machine via a tight performance unencumbered by the large accompanying volumes of booze...Beyond the swamp-rock odes and sunny psychedelic blues, these guys were obviously having fun getting their work done."
- Mike Orne, SF Weekly

Virginia Reed

When the band Virginia Reed played The Viper Room in March, you knew they were on their way to something big. But that’s not their style to act cocksure and brash. The only thing Keith Hendriksen (founder/songwriter/vocalist/guitar/organ player) will say is that the whole experience “was”.

As is much about Virginia Reed. Starting with the name. While some bands pick their names from Parisian fashion magazines (Depeche Mode), Keith chose the ghostly figure of the unseen neighbor across the road from his grandparents’ house in the valley. Years later, at an estate sale, he had a strange psychological jolt of déjà vu. There was a 1940s portrait of a family’s matriarch who had passed away. Unlike the usual garb worn to sit for a portrait in oils, she was wearing a cowboy hat. “That’s her – that’s Virginia Reed,” said Keith to himself and he used the painting to inspire the cover of the band’s debut album, She Is The Horse (2009).

And now to the music: it’s a searing indictment of the devastating effects of love, obsession or worse. While there’s inventive digital mastery involved, there’s also a serious love of the power of the guitar. These are used to great effect in the track, “Banshee Feast,” on the new album, Animals, with a wall of sound of multi-layered vocals and obscure effects against a barrage of guitars like the early stuff by My Bloody Valentine. It’s raw and glorious.

When asked to explain Banshee Feast Keith paused for a long time behind his Ray-Bans on a deceptively sunny day in Silver Lake and then said, “It’s about sirens, dangerous but beautiful who look appealing but really want to tear you to shreds.” Enough said.

“Funeral Heart,” another track from Animals, has a similar dark and brooding history. At the end of a relationship, Keith locked himself away in the studio for two weeks to write out what had gone wrong. The tearing of the heart has an echoing quality last seen in Dead Can Dance’s rendition of Tim Buckley’s “Song To The Siren.”

Nature Girl

From the whimsical shudder of LA's systemic utter.



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