Sunday, March 11, 2012

The Electric Hearts Play March 12 at The Nick

The Electric Hearts

By Lee Waites
I had a little phone interview with Jessica Breanne of The Electric Hearts yesterday. They're coming to The Nick Monday the 12th. Right now, that's tomorrow. So I said I would introduce them.

I'll start by saying Jessica has one hell of a voice. I've heard her compared to a whole bunch of people. I liken her to Shingai Shoniwa of The Noisettes myself. But as usual, I recommend you just watch the video at the end and make it up for yourself.

The Electric hearts are definitely a type of Blues. I say "a type" because the sound slips in and out of several different genres. But it retains a Blues base that is unmistakable.

Jessica was a pleasure to talk to, even calling me sir the whole time. She exuded a Southern charm and politeness that reflects all the good things about our culture. I'm assuming by the videos and several comments she made, she also knows how to have a "good ole' time." I believe they'll be hitting the town after the show. So any recommendations on where to go, throw out their way. I told them they need to go to Marty's for sure. They are hitting the road back to her home state of Texas the next day, "for a little South by Southwest (SXSW.)"

They've opened for the Alabama Shakes. Jessica says that she was so glad to meet some other performers on the road that seemed to have a real genuine attitude. "Some bands had this attitude about themselves, like how they were really cool. But the Alabama Shakes were really nice people. It was really refreshing to be around them. They were just, like, Southern nice people." said Jessica.  "I'm from Texas. So I miss the small town mentality of being nice to everyone."

All the sweet crap aside. When you watch her sing you're not thinking sweet. She belts the hell out of the lyrics. For one Valentine's show, Apocalyptic Love, they had a video of Carrie playing on a screen in the background. And the music for that show was anything but sweet.

The band has been together for two years. They released an album not long ago when they were still known as Jessica Breanne and the Electric Hearts if anyone is in a buying mood.

The band is Jessica Breanne -vocals, Matt Johanson - bass, Sam Stewart - guitar, Mike Odmark - keys/guitar and Stephen Smith - drums. 

Welcome to Birmingham guys. Have a great show!

Thursday, March 1, 2012

The Devil Makes Three

By Lee Waites

I like to consider Pete Bernhard, of The Devil Makes Three to be a very close friend of mine. We have the kind of relationship where we can really open up to one another. I want to fill you all in on how cool he is, show you the real Pete, the one I feel I know. I don't know how much of our conversations would be appropriate to share with you. I have to be careful. Because even though I feel like he and I are really great friends. I think he might consider me just some guy he met on the phone a few days ago. He can take a while to warm up to people. Pete is just like that.

Pete is the front man for The Devil Makes Three. He does the talking. He will be the one pictured front and center holding a jackalope. Cooper McBean, shown cradling the Earth, and Pete were the first two members of the band to play together. I normally wouldn't consider this an important fact. It might be important if you realize that Lucia was the third member of the band. Think it through. It's numerology. They're trying to tell us something.

Pete took some time from his day off to chat with me and answer some of my notoriously ridiculous questions. I think he only did it because we're so close. In fact, I'm not sure why his publicity people wanted him to talk to me. I know for a fact they read some of my other stuff. Yet they seemed eager to set up the interview.

I asked Pete about the strange power they seem to have over their fans. I assumed it was some sort of voodoo, that they were casting a spell to make the audience gyrate and scream. I personally loved the music. But when you're dealing with an entity as powerful as Lucia, you have to question exactly what is happening sometimes. He claims there is no black magic involved, that it's just the music. But I wonder. Even the numerous videos of fans covering The Devil Makes Three songs have an air of questionable intent. Are they worshiping, in some drunken, drug addled frenzy? Many of the videos contain open use of alcohol and drugs. All contain jubilant, swaying minions, lost in their cultish communion.

Pete said they're just having fun.

The mist of Lucia's spell has woven itself into every aspect of their music. You can't seem to pin them down. Are they bluegrass? One minute you might think so. Then it changes. You feel transported to the likes of ragtime, country, rockabilly, etc... "This can't be right" you say to yourself. "Momma, you warned me. I knew I should have paid more attention in Sunday school." But it's too late. You might as well order a whisky and get to dancing. Put your tennis shoes under the bed it's time to go.

Pete agrees drinking and having fun is part of their show. "We really want our fans to understand it's OK to get into the show, kind of like a Rock audience would. We want to approach the show in a different way. Y'know where a lot of bluegrass or folk shows the people will all sit down. We work really hard to get everybody to stand up."

They'll be playing at Workplay on the 9th of March. Check out the video below.  

I swear to the Lord R. God this is how many views this video had when I checked it out. Be afraid! (I'm not making that up. Check it out and do the math.) 

Also check out, y'know, the real actual band:

I asked Pete how he felt about being compared to Rusty Cuyler. "Who is that?" he asked.  Here you go Pete. "How ya like this old man?"