If the peace and love hippie ethos was still a thing, local act Próxima Parada would be at the forefront of the movement. Their music—according to the band—promotes "introspection, vulnerability, human connection, and a hell of a lot of joy," and judging from the five singles they've put out over the past year that make up part of their new 12-track album, Second Brother, they're on a mission to make you feel all the feels.
- Photo Courtesy Of Carolyn Eicher
- JOY BOYS Próxima Parada—(left to right) Kevin Middlekauff, Nick Larson, Aaron Kroeger, and Josh Collins—play an album release party for Second Brother, on Nov. 6, at SLO Brew Rock.
This Saturday, Nov. 6, Próxima Parada plays an album release show at SLO Brew Rock, with Rainbow Girls and The Charities opening (7 p.m.; all ages; $15 at slobrew.com). Then in December, they embark on an East Coast tour that will take them through the Carolinas, Georgia, Alabama, Tennessee, and on up to Washington, D.C., the latter of which needs all the peace and love it can get.
The band started in 2012—four Cal Poly students with a desire to connect their community through music. They've had a couple of personnel changes through the years, but their mission remains the same. Nick Larson (vocals, keys, guitar), Kevin Middlekauff (bass), Josh Collins (guitar), and Aaron Kroeger (drums) want to make you feel good! During the SLO Brew show, they'll expand to an eight-piece.
This is also their first album with some guest vocals. "Feeling Nothing" features Million Miles, who also co-wrote. "So many stories scribbled in this book/ Some of them tales and some of them the truth/ Can't tell if I'm in the ocean or standing by the shore/ So shook// I wanna be everything all at once/ I wanna be strong with a soft touch/ I wanna be perfect on all fronts/ But I end up feeling lost/ I end up feeling nothing."
OK, I guess not all the songs are uppers, and on "A Peace Of Their Own," with guest vocalists Aankha Neal and Tamina Johnson-Lawson, they take on the BLM movement and the blindness to it from so many white folks. "Sunday morning, wishing you joy/ Sunday morning, thinking 'bout Floyd/ Old leaves have fallen to make room for more// Hard to understand the problem/ When all we see is blue skies/ Hard to fall on shattered glass/ While throwing stones from the outside/ No greater loss than closing our eyes/ Is there really peace if everybody can't seem/ To get a peace of their own?"
There's a lot to think about through the album, but a lot of the songs are unadulterated joy, like "Dreaming Out Loud": "I've been sending all my dreams to the clouds/ Now they're getting heavy/ I'm gonna keep dreaming out loud/ 'Til they fill up to the levee// I can't believe that I still have hands/ God damn, I'm lucky/ So I'm gonna keep putting my pen to the pad/ And not worry about the money."
Numbskull and Good Medicine Presents
I'll just get this right out of the way: Charlie Crockett, my current favorite country artist, is returning next Thursday, Nov. 11, this time to the Alex Madonna Expo Center. His show a couple of months ago at BarrelHouse Brewing was off-the-hook amazing, and this time he's coming back with another killer up-and-coming artist, Joshua Ray Walker. I'm too dignified to squeal like a schoolgirl over this show, but trust me, it's happening on the inside (6 p.m.; all ages; $30 presale plus fees at eventbrite.com or $35 at the door). Crockett's got a new album, Music City USA, as does Walker, See You Next Time. This one's not to be missed!
Also this week from Numbskull and Good Medicine, see Journey Unauthorized—"The most authentic rendition of Journey on the planet!" according to the band—at The Siren on Friday, Nov. 6 (8 p.m.; 21-and-older; $20 presale plus fees at eventbrite.com or $25 at the door).
Country star Justin Moore, with special guest Doc Oliver, plays the Alex Madonna Expo Center on Saturday, Nov. 7 (6 p.m.; all ages; $42 plus fees at eventbrite.com). Moore's a real hitmaker! "Small Town USA," "If Heaven Wasn't So Far Away," "Lettin' the Night Roll," "You Look Like You Need a Drink," "Somebody Else Will," "The Ones That Didn't Make It Back Home," and "Why We Drink" all hit No. 1!
Singer-songwriters Matt Costa and David Ramirez share the bill at The Siren on Sunday, Nov. 8 (7 p.m.; 21-and-older; $20 presale plus fees at eventbrite.com or $25 at the door). Costa's touring in support of his sixth album, Yellow Coat. Ramirez is also touring in support of his sixth, Backslider.
Australian electronic producer duo Flight Facilities plays Wednesday, Nov. 10 (7 p.m.; 18-and-older; $23 to $28 plus fees, or $35 day of show at fremontslo.com). The pair, who also perform as Hugo & Jimmy, started remixing songs in 2009 before beginning to craft their own original material.
Country rocker Reckless Kelly plays next Thursday, Nov. 11 (9 p.m.; all ages; $22 plus fees or $24 day of show). Led by brothers Willy (vocals, guitars, harmonium, percussion, harmonica) and Cody Braun (fiddle, mandolin, tenor guitar, harmonica, vocals), the band has been at it since 1997. They're touring in support of their pandemic album, American Jackpot/American Girls (2020).
More music ...
Multi-instrumentalist A-Mac presents his live looping experience on Saturday, Nov. 6, at Frog and Peach (21-and-older) presenting reggae, hip-hop, and jam rock.
Unfinished Business plays The Siren on Saturday, Nov. 6 (8 p.m.; 21-and-older; $10). This show—the band's second The Lost Tapes album release party—will feature Bill Wolf on drums, Mike Dias on bass, Stan Harrison on keys, and Ed Miller on guitar, featuring Miller's original '60s-style songs like "It Changed My Life," "Guy Magnet ('65 El Camino)," and "Find You A Girl." "We'll also be playing a healthy dose of '60s hits by The Beatles, The Rolling Stones, The Beach Boys, Creedence Clearwater Revival, The Monkees, Buffalo Springfield, Santana, The Doors, and more," Miller said. Δ
Contact Senior Staff Writer Glen Starkey at [email protected].