Rock Bands of L.A.

Interesting bands search to find their musical vortex. It could be the Crossroads in Mississippi? Perhaps it’s in big cities like Los Angeles, London, N.Y.C., Austin or Nashville.
The neo-psychedelic moment happens to be in Portland, OR. . I have a sincere love of Portland since I’ve been there so many times on business and pleasure. Great food , art and has of course rich music roots.
The movie by Gus Van Sant,  “ Drug Store Cowboy” really showed the city as I always saw it. Not the drug contact, rather the romance that film provided about how bohemian the city really is.
I owe a lot of it to Dandy Warhols’, Zia McCabe being the musical maestro/mastermind of Portland.
This time a band SexyWaterSpiders  (for ease I’ll refer to them a SWS) are pursuing musical ground that hasn’t been imitated since the days of Captain Beefheart and his Magic Band. The Beefheart featured “The Captain”, Don Glen Vliet as vocalist and centerpiece of the band. Vliet died in 2010 of multiple sclerosis but left a legacy of “beat poetry” put to music. His music puzzled and disturbed most rock listeners but he left a legacy as one of rocks avant-guard visionaries.   In addition, Captain Beefheart was an accomplished painter. The album “Trout Mask Replica” was ranked # 58 by Rolling Stone’s top 500 rock albums of all time. As I wrote earlier Vliet was an accomplished artist and received many accolades for his work. His paintings were never dull and his work was often called “post-impressionist-modern”.
My interview with members China Starshine and Parsely Phoenix proved that bands are not adhering to the methods of doing business of the “Old School”. They are extremely proficient on how they develop their fan base and they play their hearts out so as to broaden their base. Plus, major use of the internet connection appears to be their best marketing tool. They have no problem connecting “one on one” with their disciples.
They grew up in Christian households which when they got older they rejected. Their musical acumen of the past is unfortunately limited compared to other artists.
Today they are festooned with many alternatives, which range from religion to politics.
I found them overtly suspicious and defiant of the system. They feel that Sir Paul McCartney murdered Michael Jackson while Brian Jones untimely death was a conspiracy devised by the other members of the Rolling Stones.  They included other convoluted reasons of deceit for John Lennon’s and George Harrison’s passing while they spoke to me. Makes good for campfire banter.
You’d think that they’ve done a lot of drugs but when questioned they denied it.
The band met in August of 2007 Venice, CA. in, the same “vortex” where Jim Morrison and Ray Manzarek of The Doors had met and traded stories of poetry and music. Perhaps history just repeats itself when it comes to the synergy of artistic meetings.
Frankly they are a quirky band. However, their music is quite sophisticated and lyrically they are reciting “back-beat” poetry. Almost using wordage famous from beat writers from back in the 60’s; like Charles Bukowski, Hunter Thompson, William J. Burroughs and Jack Kerouac.  Their fave movies are the “Lion King” and “Aladdin”; which I presume was from their generations’ popularity and their parent’s censorship of entertainment. Yet Parsley Parsley stated his first concert was Primus, mine was Jimi Hendrix Experience which changed my life forever.
Their knowledge of their surroundings resonates of being different yet cognoscente of backbeat art. Their juxtaposition of words almost reminds me of my discussions with Jerry Garcia from the Grateful Dead. Honestly, it made absolutely no sense.
They have a compulsion to visit and perhaps perform at Area 51 in Nevada.  I’ve made that trek before and there’s nothing their but barren desert. So let it be.
Musically my favorite song is Black Gold, which epitomizes their diversity. This Video montage really shows their musical diversity. If they had a dream come true they would perform at every psychic vortex in the world.
Support their first nationwide tour by contributing to their IndieGoGo campaign at
All donations are greatly appreciated and you’ll be thanked with super sicky, tight prizes. Including a free download of their most recent and blessed recording Kenny Geezus just for visiting the site, I just love that song and it doesn’t sound like anything they write.
Navigate to this website and you will grasp the musical insights of S.W.S.
Listen the SexyWaterSpiders’ first full length album Black Gold at and enjoy true alternative music.
Jeff Laufer @ 20.08.2012