My 2019 Favorite Live Bands!

Howdy Friends!

 

I wanted to share with you some of my stand out favorite bands I played with in 2019. There are so many great bands I shared the stage with this year, but these ones really impressed me.  They are bands that kill it live and they also happen to all feature slaying drummers (suprise! Lol.) Go check them out, you won’t be disappointed.

 

The Pats Pats

The Pats Pats made an epic overseas trek from their hometown of Tokyo Japan to play Los Angeles in October.  It was their first time here and they did not disappoint.  Cute, fierce and catchy, they wowed a Halloween house show over-packed with excited new fans.  The main members are Akiko on guitar and Midori on bass, with both on vocals. They have a rotating cast of top notch drum mates, bringing hard hitting Kotarods with them on this trip.  They write solid rocking pop songs about love, girl time, and donuts.

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Fox Medicine 

Towards the end of 2019 I played 2 shows with Portland based noise rock band Fox Medicine. This dynamic duo describes themselves as “Bubblegum doom,” and that is pretty accurate. Full toned guitar lines that dance around between sludge and rock meld with dominant drums that can both keep the groove and impress with fast fills that fit the songs perfectly. All this under the charmingly aggressive vocals of guitarist Nee make for a one of a kind sound experience.

 

 

Fatty Cakes and The Puff Pastries

Fatty Cakes and The Puff Pastries take the term “girl band” to a whole new level, showcasing ferocious full on female force. They have a fun and playful vibe but are not afraid to call people out on their shit. Each member is a powerful presence, and combined they are an unstoppable force. Fronted by Fatty Cakes, who plays an electric ukulele, the group commands your attention through-out their whole set. The vocals can be catchy and harmonious, but there is always the presence of punk rock attitude.

 

 

Conan Nuetron and The Secret Friends

Charismatic front man Conan Nuetron put together a talented cast of musicians that brought some very heavy rock to Los Angeles.  He writes songs that are catchy yet complex, and  pure rock n roll.  His live show is filled with enthusiasm and intensity.

 

Duderella

You all need to experience the immense wall of sound that is Duderella. You would never guess that this band is a 2 piece.  They embellish on the stoner rock sound by spicing it up with their own unique flare and lots of sass. Wild drumming and thunderous bass explode from the stage when Duderella starts to play.

 

All Souls

All Souls combine memorizing guitar riffs, haunting vocals, and roaring drums to create a dark sound and omnipotent presence that lingers with you long after they exit the stage.  The 4 veterans of rock that make up All Souls have been progressing quickly, opening up for bands such as Tool, The Jesus Lizard, and Melvins.

I can’t wait to see what bands 2020 brings my way!

Why am I REALLY in Los Angeles….Gay Bear vs. Detective.

What kind of a world do we live in when a single prank phone call is considered an act of terrorism, resulting in a 4 month investigation by detectives?

I am talking, of course, about my own life.  Seriously.  I am the person that was harassed by detectives, threatened with terrorist charges, and subpoenaed by the assistant district attorney because someone, not me, made a prank call from my cell phone.

It all has to do with Sioux City’s selfish and closed minded city council.  A couple of years ago, the state of Iowa legalized gay marriage.  This upset the conservative, rigidly Christian, city council.  They made slanderous remarks about homosexuals and wasted tax payer money to exclude sexual orientation from the cities list of groups protected against discrimination.  They made the public statement that even though you legally could be gay and get married in Sioux City, the city does not approve or welcome you.

So, one of those councilmen received an anonymous voicemail.  The message was a man saying something about being a bear and gay anal sex.

It may not have been an appropriate voicemail, but certainly not an act of terrorism, on the part of the prank caller or the innocent person whose phone was used.

Yet there I was, in an interrogation room with a detective trying to play the “good cop” mind game, pretending that he thought the whole thing was stupid, and asking me questions that shouldn’t matter to the law, such as “What are your views on gay marriage,” and “Do you know what a bear is?”

He played the voicemail back to me off a poor quality handheld tape recorder, and I tried my best not to laugh; how was I supposed to take this serious? [Seriously?] He demanded that I tell him who the voice belonged to, and I honestly didn’t recognize the dude’s voice. I told him I wasn’t sure who did it but I might have an idea.  He said I better find out and get him the man’s name.

So I left the station and went about life as normal.  That is until about two weeks later when he called me back, asking why I haven’t called him with the person’s name.  I told him I didn’t know who did it, and that is when he threatened me.

“This is a very serious, Mindee.  If you do not help us find the person who made this call, you will be charged with aiding and abetting, and terrorism,” he threatened.

[Wait….Seriously?]

I went to a lawyer.  I told him the whole situation and he just laughed, telling me that I have nothing to worry about. I did nothing wrong and they are just trying to get information out of me.  This was a big relief, and once again I went back to life as normal.

Then, about two months later, I get a call from the detective.  He needed to meet up with me to serve me subpoena papers.

[Wait…. what the FUCK]

Back to the lawyer I go, who is in comical disbelief at seeing me again, and that the subpoena is being heard by the assistant district attorney, someone who usually only hears the most heinous of criminal cases.

The day of the subpoena, I entered a small room with my lawyer, the detective, and the assistant district attorney [And that note taking lady].  For almost two hours they probe into my personal life, getting the names of all my friends, where I work, what bands I am in, and questioning my personal beliefs.  They accused me of lying, and saying it’s not possible that I don’t know who did this. [Hey, I got a lot of friends, most of them slowly going insane, thanks to you Sioux City .]

They ask me how I could tell the detective that I might know who did it, but now I have no idea, and I respond with “Well, I thought I knew which of my friends would find this funny, but it turns out everyone thinks this is hilarious.”

This upset the detective, who responded by screaming “Anal sex is NOT FUNNY Miss Jorgensen!”  [OH MAN! Torture! , do you KNOW how hard it is not to laugh in that situation. This was REALITY man…] My lawyer later assured me that I am allowed to think anal sex is funny if I want- it’s a basic freedom the law can’t take away. [HA!]

Of course, it didn’t end after the subpoena.  The detective went to a show and began questioning my friends and band mates.  I felt harassed and violated.  I decided I could no longer live in this ass backwards city, put in my two weeks at work, and promptly moved to Los Angeles. I assumed that the LAPD has real crime to worry about other than a single prank call that jokingly accuses a homophobic of being gay..Image

NUBS

Here is a little profile piece I wrote about a local staple of the Los Angeles underground music scene.  Written for a school project last spring.

Nubs- The Unsung Hero

By Mindee Jorgensen

You will never see Nubs up on the stage.  He has stage fright and hates being in front of people.  Yet almost every night he is out and about, hiding backstage at a show somewhere in Los Angeles.  He might be carrying a guitar amp, or putting together a drum set.  Sometimes he is setting up PA or testing sound levels.  It’s just what he does, and he has been doing it a long time.

“I’m a geek and [music] is what I got into.  I have a really bad phobia of being watched, and I don’t want to go on stage, but I have to do something.  I may as well put my brain to use,” Nubs said. “I got into helping bands so that they could actually start on time and play as long as their supposed to. It’s practical.”

Nubs, whose real name is Neil Gutmacher, has been helping bands set up since 1986.  He started by helping his friend’s band Fire Hose move gear, and ended up being their stage hand for 7 years.  Since then he has helped numerous bands and ran sound at many shows.

Yet there is more to Nubs than meets the eye.  This stocky man who is always seen in a band tee shirt, shorts, and a baseball cap has two college degrees, a BS in Physics and a BS in Math.  By day he does quality assurance, testing midi keyboards for bugs.  He has only gone on the road with a band once because he is always busy working, unable to leave town.  And it wasn’t music that brought him to California, it was his degrees.

“My first job was for Hughes Aircraft.  I built transformers for radar systems and classified projects” he said.

Some of the projects he worked on were the F14, F18, and Star Wars.  One classified project he worked on would go up to an enemy spy satellite and shoot it with an electrical bolt, frying the circuitry and knocking out the satellite.

The MX missile was another major project he was a part of.  The MX missile had 8 nuclear war heads on it, and could destroy 8 separate towns.  He worked on the transformer for the guidance system.

Working on classified projects and nuclear war heads didn’t seem unusual to Nubs.  “I didn’t think anything special of what I was working on.  It was just a job, my first after college,” he says.

He did find a way to bring his work the punk scene though.  He used to save spare parts that were going to get thrown away and hide them at shows and after parties to see if anyone would find them.

Nubs remains modest despite all he does in life and for the music scene, saying “I’m nobody special.  I’m not a band.  They deserve recognition, not me.  They are trying to get somewhere, I’m not.”