Local bands Jenny O., In the Valley Below, and Body Parts as well as sets by KCRW DJ Travis Holcombe, oversized games, live wild animals, cocktails, craft making, a balloon artist, nighttime activities in Noah’s Ark, and screenings of Dr. Seuss’ The 5,000 Fingers of Dr. T—that is what we can offer if you join us Friday, August 30 for our end-of-the-summer extravaganza, Into the Night: The Wild Side! For a little insight into the three local bands who will be performing, members of our Programs Department discuss the band they’re most excited about bringing to the Skirball:
When I saw Jenny O. perform at The Echo back in March of this year, along with Harriet (who performed at the Skirball on July 12), the chatting, mingling audience (including myself) was immediately captivated. Jenny has a surprisingly demure yet powerful stage presence, and her band has a warm, old-timey sound that is reminiscent of The Beach Boys and Harry Nilsson, whom Jenny O. cites as her greatest influences. Her latest album, Automechanic (featuring accompaniment by Jake Blanton of The Killers), is full of deeply personal lyrics and interesting harmonies that are a testament to her artistic growth since her 2011 EP, Home. I’m really excited to see the band perform at the Skirball, and am looking forward to hearing some of my favorites like “Automechanic” and “Well OK Honey” live!
—Kasia Gondek, Program Coordinator
I cannot remember how I found In the Valley Below. It might have been one of those Bands-You-Ought-to-Have-Heard lists, or maybe a friend or colleague recommended them. But ever since I played their first EP, I’ve been describing them as my new favorite band. It started with the catchy pop melody of their single “Peaches.” But closer listening reveals that the band is onto something much larger than pure pop. Their lyrics are a kind of American Gothic that feels almost like a marriage of Carl Sandburg and Fleetwood Mac. Songs like “Hymnal,” with the lyric “I wish I’d found you sooner / I could have loved you longer,” typify their dark and poetic understanding of loves that burn bright and quick. With a new album on Capitol due out next week, I expect that audiences are going to be spending sonic hours In the Valley Below.
—Jordan Peimer, VP, Programs
The first time I saw Body Parts perform was for a stripped-down session in a stranger’s living room in Culver City. The audience had all gathered in this makeshift performance space a few hours earlier, and minutes into Body Parts’ set, we were mesmerized. The L.A.-based quartet, led by vocalist and songwriter Ryder Bach, makes catchy synth-pop with a brain. Bach’s heady and introspective lyrics are layered over slick, highly danceable beats, aided by the vocal harmonizing of bandmate Alina Cutrono. The band’s debut album, Fire Dream, comes out October 29 on Father/Daughter Records, and already they have previewed a great single, “Unavoidable Things.” Get to the Skirball early to catch their excellent live show for yourself.
—Daniel Soto, Program Assistant
The summer may be over, but good live music events are not. Don’t miss this wild campus-wide event!