Deck yourselves in your most dapper Don Draper duds and head to Luna Red this Saturday, July 29, for the release of Waiting, The Tipsy Gypsies' new 11-track album (8 p.m.; 21-and-older; $20 at eventbrite.com). The evening, billed as Mad & Tipsy, promises to be a classy night of music starting with opening act Brass Mash. Your admission also includes paella and free swag! Luna Red will be offering a one-night-only cocktail called The Tipsy Gypsy!
- Photo Courtesy Of The Tipsy Gypsies
- CLASS ACT The Tipsy Gypsies—(left to right) Brian Lanzone, Allan Dick, Hilary Langdon, Daryl VanDruff, and Forrestt Williams—play an album release party for Waiting, on July 29, at Luna Red.
Everything about the new album is classy, from the packaging, sound quality, musicianship, and songs. The cover depicts a moody monochromatic shot of lead singer Hilary Langdon under lamplight near the SLO train station.
"Our album cover was inspired by some Blue Note album covers: Sonny Rollins' Vol. 2, Coltrane's Blue Train, or Bill Evans' Undercurrent," Langdon said via email. "We also plan on releasing a short run of vinyl in the coming months, and we liked the thought of that shot on an album cover."
On Waiting, the band's sound has expanded beyond Django Reinhardt-style gypsy jazz. "To Keep" sounds like earnest straight-up folk pop, "Getting' Ready" is an instrumental (with some haunting "woo ooo" vocal gymnastics) that would be right at home on a Quentin Tarantino soundtrack, and the title track "Waiting" has a doo-wop feel like a Grease soundtrack outtake. There's some perfectly chosen covers—Tom Waits' "Jockey Full of Bourbon," Johnny Stimson's "So Good," and local gal Reese Galido's "Don't Waste Your Time"—as well as two songs with a guest lyricist and a really great pre-war blues-style closer called "Like He Do."
The album is tied together more by the band's signature instrumentation and sound than genre this time around. How did they decide on the music?
"We've been widening our tastes lately, and getting excited about all the good music out there," guitarist Forrestt Williams explained via email. "I love gypsy jazz, and still play regularly with other groups, but our sound has morphed into a broad combination of our influences, all mixed up, while retaining our 'sound.' Like, for instance, while playing at Live Oak [Music Festival] recently, and playing with other musicians at the late night camp jams, it was obvious to us that the core musicality of our group is cross-genre. And a big part of the credit goes to the band—Daryl VanDruff (drums), Brian Lanzone (bass), Allan Dick (violin), and Reese Galido (backup vocals)—a great lineup of musicians that gel really well live and help define our sound. And Reese Galido wrote a song for us with us specifically in mind that works great for our sound!"
"I suppose the album represents change," Langdon said. "We've been waiting for this album for a long time. Right after we started recording Waiting my boyfriend was diagnosed with cancer, and then Forrestt got married and we just had to put the album on hold for a while. That actually gave us some time to write a couple of more songs! Our album started out as a short four to five song EP. 'To Keep' and 'Waiting' came pretty fluidly after I had been listening to a lot of Gary Clark Jr. and Leon Bridges. They came naturally. Usually it takes at least a few days to write a song; these ones came out in a couple of hours, and then Forrestt came in with some dynamic ideas when it came to breaks and bridges."
Most of the songs were co-written by Langdon and Williams, but on two they brought in a guest lyricist, Sharaya Olmeda.
"Sharaya is my wife!" Williams said. "She's a published poet, and when we needed more songs to record, Hilary asked her to write us some lyrics. She had not tried her hand at writing song lyrics before, but sat down and wrote both songs, 'Flood' and 'Drought,' in one evening. We loved the words, so Hilary and I sat down and wrote music to accompany them. Sharaya is the best, and I love her like crazy!"
It's a great album! Langdon's voice has never sounded better, especially on "Waiting." It's got a bell-like quality with amazing control.
"Thank you for the compliment," she wrote. "I've been working on my vocal control :)"
It also shows in her "woo ooo" vocals on "Getting' Ready."
"That song's the brainchild of Forrestt," Langdon said. "He explained that when his wife is getting ready to go out and he's already good to go, he picks up his guitar and starts playing this song while he waits. I added some simple vocal parts; we decided that lyrics on the song weren't necessary and it was more eerie without. We were definitely going for a Tarantino vibe there.
"The covers we recorded are a couple of our favorites that we play," Langdon continued. "I heard the Johnny Stimson song 'So Good' and knew we could just make it awesome with our own twist, and I think 'Jockey' came about when an old friend was challenging us to cover a Tom Waits song, saying that it was impossible to make it good."
They proved that old friend wrong. Langdon's handling of Waits' episodic, imagistic lyrics give the song a wholly different feeling.
"'Like He Do' came with me playing with minimal bass and drumbeats," Langdon said of their pre-war blues closer. "I love harmonies, so I try to write songs around them. I love simple and powerful songs. I think I have Nina Simone to thank for that. Simple arrangements, bare bones bass and drum beats, and raw vocals inspire me. Harmonies also. I love a good a cappella harmony."
Looks like I'm going to have to pull my suit out of the closet because I don't want to miss this party. See you Saturday night!
The Fixx is in
- Photo Courtesy Of The Fixx
- SAVED BY ZERO British New Wave act The Fixx plays a Good Medicine Presents show at Presqu'ile Winery on July 28.
British New Wave act The Fixx brings their synth sounds and angular guitar riffs to Presqu'ile Winery this Friday, July 28, for a Good Medicine Presents show (doors at 5:30 p.m.; all ages; $26 presale at ticketfly.com or $30 at the door).
"One Thing Leads to Another," "Saved by Zero," "Red Skies," "Are We Ourselves"—the band's recorded some iconic songs and rose to fame along with MTV. Amazingly, the band is still recording, most recently 2012's Beautiful Friction, their 10th studio album.
Singer Cy Curnin said in press materials, "There's a theme that traces through The Fixx. Our catalogue is connected; our viewpoint as a collective has always been socially driven. With the internet, things sped up, and we were able to get feedback quicker and became closer with our fan base. We've been so thankful to hear from people who let us know our music made a difference in their life. It made us realize we had a sense of responsibility to our audience, that our work as a band was unfinished."
Good Medicine Presents also hosts Thee Commons at Tooth & Nail Winery on Friday, July 28 (6 p.m.; all ages; free). The psychedelic cumbia-punk quartet formed in 2012 in East LA.
End of the Fair
- Photo Courtesy Of Frankie Valli
- THE VOICE Sixties hitmaker Frankie Valli plays the California Mid-State Fair on July 28.
There are only a few more days of the 2017 California Mid-State Fair. It'll probably be a madhouse up there this Thursday, July 27, because of the Garth Brooks and Trisha Yearwood shows (7:30 and 10:30 p.m.; all ages; $79.98), but unless you already have tickets or are willing to drop a small fortune on a scalper, you're not going. That same night you can see The Beatles tribute act The Fab Four on the Fort Frontier Stage (6:30 and 8:30 p.m.; all ages; free).
On Friday, July 28, Frankie Valli & The Four Seasons with special guest Three Martini Lunch play Chumash Grandstand Stage (7 p.m.; all ages; $26 to $46 available at midstatefair.com). Valli's known for classics such as "Big Girls Don't Cry," "Walk Like a Man," "Rag Doll," and "Can't Take My Eyes Off You." Country act Restless Heart plays the Fort Frontier Stage (6:30 and 8:30 p.m.; all ages; free) that same evening.
On Saturday, July 29, see an ABBA tribute act on the Fort Frontier Stage (6:30 and 8:30 p.m.; all ages; free). ABBA the Concert features The Visitors.
The fair closes this year on Sunday, July 30, with a performance by Mariachi Reyna De Los Angeles (6:30 and 8:30 p.m.; all ages; free), America's first all-female professional mariachi group.
Vina's back in action
- Photo Courtesy Of Jiro Schneider
- A FIRE INSIDE Hard rocking AFI plays Vina Robles Amphitheatre on Aug. 2.
After taking a break to let the Mid-State Fair enjoy its two weeks in the spotlight, Vina Robles Amphitheatre is resuming its concert season this week starting with AFI (A Fire Inside) playing on Wednesday, Aug. 2, with Circa Survive and special guest Citizen (7 p.m.; all ages; $29 to $40 at vinaroblesamphitheatre.com). AFI is touring in support of The Blood Album, which hit No. 1 on Billboard's Alternative and Hard Rock Albums Charts and No. 5 on The Billboard 200. Their single "Aurelia" is a huge hit!
A tribute to Jim
- Photo Courtesy Of Jim Conroy
- MAN, MYTH, LEGEND Songwriters at Play is paying tribute to Cambria singer-songwriter, actor, and author Jim Conroy, on July 29, in the Steynberg Gallery.
Local singer-songwriter, actor, and author Jim Conroy is getting the star treatment this Saturday, July 29, at the Steynberg Gallery, when Songwriters at Play hosts a tribute to Jim Conroy (7 p.m.; all ages; $15 tickets at brownpapertickets.com).
"To my amazement and delight, Songwriters at Play has decided to do a tribute to yours truly. We have assembled a stellar cast of my favorite artists and friends to do the show," Jim said. "Jill Knight, Inga Swearingen, Bob and Wendy, Julia and Brett Mitchell, and others will cover my songs from 1970 to the present. What an interesting pleasure for me to sift back through time and come up with songs for these great artists to do, and then sit back and listen to them interpret. It will be a one time only, and I'm going to enjoy it as much as possible."
The cowboy way
- Photo Courtesy Of Dave Stamey
- ROOTIN'AND TOOTIN' Amazing Western singer-songwriter and raconteur Dave Stamey plays a fundraiser at the DANA Cultural Center on July 29.
Amazing Western singer-songwriter, storyteller, and all around gentleman Dave Stamey plays Nipomo's DANA Cultural Center fundraiser this Saturday, July 29 (gates at 2:30 p.m.; show at 4:30; all ages; $45).
There'll also be a barbecue dinner prepared by the Nipomo Men's Club, a silent auction, a raffle, and a no-host bar. The center "provides a unique destination to understand life in the California Rancho era and to discover the stories of those who left their footprints on the land throughout time. The Dana Adobe, and the 130 acres of preserved land, engage the visitor in the site's ecological and cultural history and reveals how actions over time shape our future," according to their website.
Stamey is a six-time Entertainer of the Year, six-time Male Performer of the Year, and five-time Songwriter of the Year by the Western Music Association, and received the Will Rogers Award from the Academy of Western Artists. He's a great entertainer!
More music ...
- Photo Courtesy Of The Glides
- ESCAPING THE HEAT! Phoenix alt-rockers The Glides play Sweet Springs Saloon on July 28.
Judging from their name and photo, The Glides look like they should be a Chicago-style or jump blues band, but instead they're alt-rockers with a retro style. On "Go Go Go" they deliver a Ramones-like pop punk number. "One Time" is more of bluesy boogie, and their lead singer Travis Kenny has a big voice like Meatloaf! Hailing from Phoenix, they'll roll through Sweet Springs Saloon on Friday, July 28 (9 p.m.; 21-and-older). The Glides have reached No. 2 on the Reverbnation Phoenix alternative charts and remain consistently in the top five.
Check out Grim Slippers, a San Diego-based funky alt-rock trio playing the Frog and Peach on Saturday, July 29. They're laying down some deep, psychedelic grooves on their self-titled album.
- Photo Courtesy Of Anne Hall
- SILKY Anne Hall & The Remarkables bring their jazz, soul, and R&B to Frog and Peach on Aug. 2.
Anne Hall & The Remarkables play the Frog and Peach Pub on Wednesday, Aug. 2, showcasing their newest album Wonderful, which mixes jazz, soul, and R&B. Hall's got an amazing voice!
Sweet Springs Saloon gets sweeter
Los Osos music and cocktail fans will have something to celebrate come early October. That's when ASH Management, which owns Creeky Tiki, McCarthy's Irish Pub, the Frog and Peach, Milestone Tavern, Shell Beach Brewhouse, and five other SLO County watering holes, will reopen Sweet Springs Saloon, which they're buying in mid-August.
After an extensive cleaning and the addition of some windows to "brighten the place up," according to ASH's Bill Hales, the venerated Los Osos bar will reopen with an upgraded cocktail menu and a recommitment to live music. Hales said they'll do some in-house booking as well as continue to work with promoters like Numbskull and Good Medicine Presents.
"We absolutely are going to be bringing entertainment back, more so than they're doing now," Hales added. "We're friends with Todd [Newman] from Good Medicine."
Patrons can even expect some food selections since the bar is equipped with small commercial kitchen.
"First and foremost the place needs a little bit of love put back into it," Hales said. "There are a lot of young professionals or young families in Los Osos who don't necessarily want to drive back to SLO, so we'll upgrade the cocktail programs to something more contemporary."
Don't worry, old timers. You can still get a Jack & Coke. ASH also plans to reinvigorate some of Sweet Springs' old traditions such as the annual Bloody Mary contest.
"We may even bring back the Doorman Competition, which I won two years in a row back in the late-'80s," Hales said.
The Cal Poly grad worked his way through college while working at Bull's Tavern, another ASH property.
The Newties return!
All right, musicians and songwriters, the ninth annual New Times Music Awards begins soliciting entries this week (See page 5 for the rules and entry form)! The deadline to turn in entries is Monday, Aug. 21, at 5 p.m. There's also a youth category this year, so you kids get to work, and good luck! Hopefully you'll be playing the awards show at the Fremont Theater on Friday, Nov. 3! Δ