Uptown’s musicians are fervent and fabulous
By Erin Goss | SDUN Reporter
It’s time to brush up on your music knowledge—no, not the songs that MTV would play if it still aired music videos instead of “16 and Pregnant” marathons, but local music. Uptown’s local music scene is fervent and fabulous. So, let’s take a listen.
Blackout Party is much like you would imagine—a good time but thankfully without the backlash of a hangover. Fusing elements of rock, country and folk, Blackout Party lets loose at its live shows like no one is watching (although trust me that’s not the case). Just drop in on one of its monthly shows at the Riviera Supper Club in La Mesa and you will see that the rock ’n’ roll bar is anything but empty. In fact, expect to stand shoulder to shoulder by the time Blackout Party reaches its finale, playing a blended rock ballad of crowd favorites ‘All My Friends’ and ‘Bottom of the Sea.’ Guaranteed every hanging light fixture in the place will be swinging as the guitarists make themselves comfortable atop the bar for a monumental exit that will be difficult to forget—barring an incidental blackout of course.
For more information, visit: blackoutpartymusic.com.
Tim Lowman, the one-man wonder behind Low Volts, cites Elvis Presley as one of his greatest influences. And while Low Volts’ music echoes the happy go lucky tunes of swinging early rock, the band has an edginess that could put Elvis’ once controversial hips to shame. With a penchant for motorcycles and darkness, Tim Lowman is able to sheathe tales of heartbreak in bouncy ’50s melodies. Pretty soon you’ll be singing the woeful lyrics to ‘Blame it on the Breakup’—“I need a good excuse for this alcohol abuse so I blame it on the breakup”—with a smile like a sales rep. for Budweiser.
Moreover, Lowman is the one and only Low Volt. The musician tackles the role of frontman while singing, playing slide guitar and pounding up a storm on his tambourine laden kick drum, and he looks pretty badass while doing so. Alas Elvis, it’s time to relinquish your throne; there’s a new king in town.
For more information, visit: youtube.com/user/lowvolts.
TV Girl may be a new band but it’s accomplished something few veteran musicians have: a good review on Pitchfork, the holy grail of indie music. Almost overnight, the indie pop band (which was basically started out of boredom by friends Trung Ngo and Brad Petering) found its way to the coveted and notoriously pretentious music site Pitchfork. There it received an outpouring of accolades. After that, word of the burgeoning music project spread, though not surprisingly. North Park-based TV Girl does what few modern musicians can—actually build on your favorite old songs without hacking them into shameful remnants of their former glory.
Ngo credits the band’s ability to combine the best of modern technology and mentality with the nostalgic appeal of old melodies.
“There’s something to be said about technology now—what’s available today versus 30 years ago. It’s kind of a natural progression of music making for us” Ngo explains. “I guess you could call it innovation.”
For more information, visit facebook.com/#!/tvgirlz.
If you’re looking for something a little more intense, hardcore outfit Marsupials is your answer. The energy infused four piece started forming earlier this year with roommates Jimmy Armbrust (formerly of Rats Eyes) and David Robles tracking late night living room demos.
“He’d come home from work around the same time as me…typically 1 am. We’d usually start with a bass riff or drum pattern and move on from there. After a couple of months of those drunken jam sessions we had
enough songs for an EP” explains Robles.
The duo then took the music to the next level, adding a singer and drummer. Utilizing the benefits of technology, Marsupials recorded all of the instruments individually and actually played its first live show on the Web. While the group will continue to post videos of its performances, you can see the band playing live at venues throughout Uptown. Expect a wild show with a powerful ferocity not normally associated with cute
and fuzzy marsupials. These are marsupials are on steroids.
For more information, visit: youtube.com/user/YeOldeBarrioTest.