at Thee Parkside

Time: 8:00pm     Day: Wednesday     Ages: 21+ Ages     Price: $8
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Grass Widow - Formed in 2007, local trio Grass Widow quickly built a devout following for their unique songwriting and DIY ethos, a combination amplified by the simultaneity of their intense focus and pastoral, almost airy harmonies. After releasing a self-titled LP and additional EP in 2009 -- both to much acclaim -- the band's Past Time was released by prominent indie label Kill Rock Stars last year. Only ten months later, Grass Widow has created its own label, H-L-R. Dubbed "phenoms" and hyped by The New Yorker on more than one occasion, the self-proclaimed "melodic, post-punk influenced" Grass Widow is attracting a lot of attention. Crawdaddy! Magazine's Howard Wyman points out that "Rarely does an evolving, still-coagulating talent emerge so suddenly and with such clear intent." This attention is somewhat unorthodox considering the band's internal focus. All largely self-taught musicians, the trio focuses on their own personal needs for expression rather than the creation of a product or audience. "We don't give much weight to what people expect from us," says drummer Lillian Maring. "When we write songs, the subject matter is personal to each of us and we combine our ideas on a certain topic and flesh out a theme that we agree on... We write these songs for us, and then we share them."

Cold Showers - Confidence isn't always born of experience, as seen by the forceful debut by Los Angeles based band Cold Showers. In their first studio effort, they have developed a sensibility and style melding many musical influences, creating a uniquely progressive sound; there is no limp hesitancy here. A perfect representation of the essence of early 1980s post-punk, Highlands pays homage to the early 80's post punk paired with a sonic exploration closer to something like Neu!. Undercut with an aural quality midway between legendary L.A. proto punk bands Gun Club and X, all integral bases are covered. The strongest parts bring to mind the specifics of the UK synthesizer movement of the late 1970's and 80's; reminiscent of the strident, minimal cuts of Section 25, droning rhythms of Joy Division and relentless vocal qualities of A Certain Ratio, these songs are both a reflection of their strengths and interests.

Dunes are a new band from a couple of longtime LA punkers; Kate Hall of Mika Miko and Stephanie Chan of Finally Punk. This new thing Dunes is doing is full of sky and space and dreams and, well, lo-fi punk too. But this is bigger than that. When I listen to Dunes, I get a strange feeling, no, an exciting URGE. Should I tell you my urge? No? Ok, I will anyway. When I listen to Dunes I wish to immediately drop out from these concrete gum-grimed streets and find the easiest mass-transit way to the nearest open field. And should I ever find this field from a train route or a bus route, I'd know just what to do when I got there. I'd sit back on a small plot of lush grass, preferably in a spot directly below an old oak tree (Maple would do just fine, too). And on my little plot of lushness, I'll attach wires to my ears, and out of those wires will come the music of Dunes. And only when fully accompanied by these dream tones, will I lie back and turn my eyes to the sky. I'll glance up at the mighty blue, but my focus will forever be on the white. I'll trek the movements of these gentle white clouds, as they morph from wispy to powdery to something strong and cumulous. And all these morphing and changing clouds would ultimately converge together, directly below the sun and above my Oak tree (or Maple). And out of this newly formed alliance of huge whiteness, cities of condensation would slowly begin to take shape, breezily breaking apart from its center to create new forms, forms resembling tall skyscrapers and soiled roads and claustrophobic gridlock. And as I gaze at the temporary urban maze made by a cloud that shifts and redefines and reinvents a new city with every slight breeze, I think I see something sublime. But it doesn't last long; the breeze turns steady and stronger and the new cloud city pulls away from each other, buildings and roads separating and dissolving into weak streams of low flying solitary mist. Gone. Yet throughout this witnessed spectacle, I am removed from the calm to chaos to calm again. I'm removed because I am down here on a lush plot of grass under an old oak tree (or Maple) listening to dream-y lo-fi anti-intensity of Dunes... when I really should be at work.

Petals is a new project featuring Seth Bogart of Hunx & His Punx and Jess from Brilliant Colors.