Live Sound: Easy Love

Live Sound

By : Thorn in R’side

9/2/16 - Easy Love @  Mission Tobacco Lounge

    This reformulation of the Summer Twins is a refreshing new take on the group’s sound, with the drummer of that group stepping into the front of the band writing songs, singing lead, and playing rhythm guitar. Even with the $10 cover for this night, MTL was full of people, and everyone came right up to the stage for this set to move and bob along with the songs.

    Easy Love throws out the same quality of tone and precision that Summer Twins brings, and while there is still definite 50’s and 60’s pop rock inspirations, this group has more of a garage rock feel and a more tripped out sound. None of the songs were particularly fast or hard, but retained a heavy and full quality the entire time, with each song building up into some dreamy and captivating moments that were laid across the crowd by the beautiful and high ranged vocal melodies.

    The entire set itself had a great arc throughout, holding the crowd in their hands and manipulating the energy in room, doing so with limited direct crowd interaction and instead letting their sound speak, really showing how much experience this group has being on the stage. None of the members in the group ever launch out into wild solos or instrumentation, and the songs themselves don’t have a lot of complexity in their structure, but they give their fans what they are looking for while writing solid and catching songs which is easy to tell they love themselves.

    Easy Love is definitely going to make it’s own distinct mark on the scene, and it is a refreshing new take on the sounds that these musicians have to offer. 


More on Easy Love Here and on Mission Tobacco Lounge Here

Live Sound: Hunter Lavender

Live Sound

By : Thorn in R’side

8/6/16 - Hunter Lavender @ Back to the Grind

This new addition to the IE music scene brought some wild jams and laid out the schematics of their unique sound for this Nick Bahula benefit show at the Grind. The three piece, bass, drums, and guitar, slid through their whole set playing songs full of funk and soul filling the room with a sonic force which nobody in the room could deny the feeling of, or would even want to.

The vocalist of the group sent out smooth falsetto melodies that softly drifted over the top of the super tight and groovy tunes being thumped out of some incredibly solid instrument tones. The drummer of the group who plays in many other IE projects, does not play with very much swing as part of his signature style, which is uncharacteristic for a funky and soulful sound, but at the same time gives this group one more edge for them to wedge out their own slice of original sound. On top of their beats,
the bass and guitar player have created some really great effect pedal sounds, the bass making use of a great auto-wah filter like on old Parliament Funkadelic records, and the guitarist using great chorus, octave, and tweaked out delay effects in order to take the typical soul sound and send it into the stratosphere in a way which no other bands have dared to achieve.

The room full of people, which got more and more crowded as the set went on, were closing their eyes and bobbing their heads along just as deep into the sound as the band was. This was a great night for an even better cause, and there couldn’t have been a better band to close out the night, as this is a live band that will always well up indescribable feelings in your heart leaving you fully satiated and yet ready for more. Hunter Lavender is probably the best new thing in town and if you get a chance, make sure to be there for their musical magic. 


More on Hunter Lavender Here and Back to the Grind Here

Also if you are interested in helping a great IE artist in need, Nick Bahula, go Here

Live Sound: Heavy Door

Live Sound

By : Thorn in R’side

7/24/16 - Heavy Door @ Shadowplay Sundays

This was a small crowd night for Pixels and Shadowplay Sundays, and Heavy Door did not seem to mind at all, powering through the night as hard as they could. The classic drums, bass, guitar three piece kicked out rock and roll mixed with an 80’s sound which confounded at first, but their awesomeness overwhelmed any doubts or confusion a listener might of had.

These guys have been playing with many bands in Riverside through the years and it shows, the bass player and drummer were as locked in as could be, and the guitarist would punctuate the jams during his leads while using some whacked out wild effects. Though the crowd was small, they definitely had some die hard fans in attendance and everyone was absolutely captivated, and it did not hurt that the band had great rapport, making jokes and bringing the crowd along with them through the set, clearly very comfortable on stage.

Throughout the set they played many short songs in rapid fire succession, all of them full of energy , giving the show an almost punk rock feel utilizing a different sound. None of their songs carried too much complexity though the point of the group is not to be flashy, but to rock out and have a good time with everyone ready to listen. Overall, Heavy Door is a band that anyone interested in local Riverside music must see, and whatever the size of the crowd or the energy in the room, they will put on a great show.

More on Heavy Door Here and Shadowplay Sundays Here



Live Sound: Family Of Light

Live Sound

By : Thorn in R’side

7/15/16 -Family of Light @ Back to the Grind


Family of Light has been playing all over the IE for some time now, and you can count on them bringing their all every single time. Closing out the night at Back to the Grind to a full crowd, this six piece group comprised of drums, bass, two guitars, synth, and the wild card sax, flute, and percussion player, played an hour of heavy hitting rock-roll-funky-psychedelic-blues magic. The mood in the room was mellow, with tables set up in place of a dance floor, and the crowd comprised of old and young was ready to sit back and really soak in the impressively arranged tunes the band was slinging into the air. With so much sound being produced by this large group, it is no small feat that the sound never got muddied up and washed out, allowing for each and every tasty lick to pierce
through. The whole group was super tight and together and at the same time they always carry a definite jam band feel, with awesome guitar and wind instrument leads guiding the ship, carried by the waves of the groovy bass and super solid drums. Throughout the show the singers would trade lead for different songs, and at one point the bassist traded with one of the guitarists, giving an entire different feel to each of their songs from different points in the sound. Throughout the show there was a fun and friendly vibe from everyone in the room, which is hard to believe didn’t bleed into the streets of Riverside that night, which makes sense as Family of Light bring as much energy and spirit to the stage as any group could.

More on Family of Light Here and Back to the Grind Here

Live Sound: Shinobi Ghost

Live Sound

By : Thorn in R’side

7/3/16 - Shinobi Ghost @ Shadowplay Sundays

This Independence Day eve found Shadowplay Sundays at Pixels ringing out with atypical sounds thanks to Shinobi Ghost, a seven piece hailing from all over the Inland Empire. Following the hip-hop stylings of Taylor Karras, who brought the room down, Shinobi Ghost kept the party going, bringing old and young to the dance floor. The irresistibly groovy sonic waves emanating off the stage were a jazzy jumble, with funk, soul, R&B, and latin vibes mixed into their own batch of modern flavors, likely inspired by the groups BADBADNOTGOOD and Hiatus Kaiyote. Solid funky dance rhythms came thumping out of the bass and drums while the guitar and keys blended wonderfully shaped melodies together, with the sax jumping in to add that extra jazzy spice. The female vocalist and co-front of the band sung out smoothly and soulfully, throwing the band’s energy off the stage and into the crowd, aided by her energetic and charismatic rapping cohort splicing in rhymes and adding a little choppiness to the glassy lyrical waters she poured out. While none of the instrumentation was particularly flashy or out-front, each member of the group knew exactly how to fit their sound layers in, reaching an envelopment of tonal beauty. While the crowd was definitely imbued with the energy to dance, there was nobody moving more than the singers on stage, leading by example or maybe just having an incredible time with their own music, either way to an infectious effect. This is definitely not the typical venue for this kind of music, but Shinobi Ghost brought the audience out of their normal listening and left them hungry for more. Look for this group at any upcoming local shows, as it is a guaranteed good time.


More on Shinobi Ghost Here and Shadowplay Sundays Here


Live Sound: Hello Penelope

Live Sound

By : Thorn in R’side

9/3/16 - Hello Penelope @ The Vault

This group blew the night away with their slamming set as the crowd filed into The Vault, captivating everyone within earshot and setting the mood for everyone to enjoy their drinks and move along with the bands. The group was super tight and together, both in their music playing and in their on stage vibes, as their solid tones reverberated through the beautiful brick concert hall that is the back patio of The Vault. The five piece, drums, bass, synth, and guitars, were super animated in their playing, not afraid to slam their bodies or their instruments around the stage for the sake of lifting up the energy of the moment, at the same time maintaining fantastic control of their playing. The singer does not have the prettiest voice, but his energy and enthusiasm was so fully overwhelming that he carried the crowd along with everything that they were trying to do musically. Each of Hello Penelope’s songs were super dynamic and well crafted, full of tempo changes, beautiful harmonic interplay, and soul grabbing energy swells, carried by something of a pop-rock style with elements of psychedelia and punk. Each song in the set was unique from the last, full of slower softer sounds and fast and heavy jams, and could just as easily make a great album as it did a show. It was clear that each member of the band has a great time playing together, and their dynamic energy really grabbed everyone in the crowd and held it until the last note. Hello Penelope is a hidden gem in the IE, and any show they are playing is definitely worth seeing, as long as they are still here sharing their incredible tunes with all of us.

More on Hello Penelope Here and The Vault Here

Live Sound: Bedroom Talk

Live Sound

By : Thorn in R’side

6/26/16 - Bedroom Talk @ Shadowplay Sundays

Performing with 11ty (eleventy) at Pixels weekly Shadowplay Sundays, Bedroom Talk brought a great time to a big Sunday crowd. Fronted by probably the best rock vocalist in Riverside, this four piece has been a favorite in the IE for some time, playing stages all over the area with venues hungry to have them back again. On this outing, the band brought a slew of heavy hitting songs and a lot of energy, jumping all over and around Pixels’ small stage, pulling the crowd and themselves out of the mundane and into the moment. Even with all of their rocking out you could not ask for a tighter band than Bedroom Talk, playing each of their beautifully written songs with ease, with all of them blasting out their great instrument tones. By the end of the set they brought it down into some of their ballads, closing the evening with the crowd demanding an encore with which they settled the room as the night came to a close. Though they are definitely an alternative driven rock band pushed by powerful and wide open vocals, they have something in each song that will satisfy a variety of tastes. It can be hard trying to own a room on a Sunday in Riverside, but these four humble guys slammed it, as they are just trying to have a good time and bring smiles to the faces of those in the crowd, friends and strangers alike.


More on Bedroom Talk Here and Shadowplay Sundays Here