February 05 2013

Desert Nights with Midnight Pine, Kristin Diable, and Heavy Guilt

Los Angeles-Standard Sounds

It’s time for another fantastic music filled Wednesday at The Standard, Hollywood’s Desert Nights. At Desert Nights the weather is warm, the drinks are cool, and vibe is chill. So, sit back, relax, and enjoy!

Midnight Pine: The Midnight Pine is the soundtrack to a solitary desert drive beneath a crescent moon. Lead by the haunting voice of siren Shelbi Bennett, the Pine is haunting, hypnotic dynamic and beautiful. On their debut record they are backed by members of the Heavy Guilt and the Black Sands. The album wanders through ghost towns of morose psychedelia, brooding folk and triumphant pop. To keep the focus on the vocals there are no drums, just found objects. Chains, saw blades, utensils and short wave radios are layered to keep a subtle driving percussion pushing the songs forward. The debut is a tremendous effort of serene nonchalance and moody atmospheres. Live the band can conjure pin drop attention and harrowing moves in dynamic.

Kristin Diable: Kristin Diable's set is a mix of ballads, heart-breakers and travelin’ tunes in a lamentation of love and sex and hope and dreams. Kristin’s full-throated bluesy vocals invite loose comparison to fellow Louisianan Lucinda Williams...Prepare to soak up her unhurried phrasings while she savors each note with luxuriant sultry power and a dreamy abstracted quality. Each beautifully conveyed line spills forth from her lips like sweet strawberry wine. Everything she embodies screams of a time since passed and her music is the perfect example - her 60's Folk/Blues/Soul influence is immediately distinguishable. Kristin is a resplendent story-teller without fault, every song is like a hammer-blow to your senses, evoking images of Louisiana traditions and tales. You can take the girl out of the South but you can't take the South out of the girl. Kristin Diable is a blend of rootsy rock stirred with spoonfuls of folk, soul and blues and sung with passion and fervor.

Heavy Guilt: The Heavy Guilt is the embodiment of rock n roll. Six musicians from varying backgrounds coming together to resolve their influences beneath the red lights of the stage. Erik Canzona, the gravel voiced singer, belts with heart, passion and abandon. His voice is timeless and nuanced and yet through some miracle of timing, this is his first band. Drummer Jenny Merullo, a recent arrival to San Diego via Boston, was a craigslist find who could not have been a better fit, she plays hard and dynamic and melts your heart with endearing harmonies. Sean Martin and Jason Littlefield had been playing jazz together for years, shedding and getting their chops sharpened, they bring the infinite palette of virtuosity to paint with. Josh Rice adds vintage keyboard tones from soul's greatest years, bringing flurries of Fender Rhodes and Hammond swells to the mix. Alfred Howard provides lyrics and a volcanic pocket of contagious energy on stage. He plays found objects like chains, bottle caps, bells, a circuit bent radio, sheet metal and sand paper, he may be riffling through your dumpster or haggling at your yardsale right now. Somehow these six divergent backgrounds and personalities create something that is fresh yet familiar. It is a sweaty driving catharsis, a train of thought bulldozing across the tracks of rural America, it is a road map through the emotive wilderness, it is a collage put together by time worn hands, it is the sound and rhythm of a saturated city, it is the direction you take after last call, it is The Heavy Guilt.

What is Desert Nights?

Desert Nights is a weekly gathering at The Standard, Hollywood, hosted by KCRW’s DJ Valida. Every Wednesday, Valida curates three acoustic musical acts to perform a set in the Cactus Lounge. The vibe is warm and intimate, evoking an impromptu jam in a musician’s living room. The music begins at 7:30pm, it’s always free and always a good time. Guaranteed.