This is the first of, if things go as I envision, an ongoing series of band profiles. I’m not able to get out to shows too often right now, but there are many bands I really like and want to talk about. Some I hear of through various means (including those from the Boston area), and maybe a few will stumble upon my humble blog and send me stuff, ’cause I’m lonely and I like when people email me out of the blue like that. I begin with a Fresno, California-based band called Rademacher.
Anyone out there who’s fortunate enough to live in the Silverlake/Los Feliz/Echo Park area of Los Angeles probably knows about Rademacher, as they play around there often (and up and down the West Coast). Most recently, they performed a few shows with The Airborne Toxic Event and The Henry Clay People. There’s Malcolm Sosa (a.k.a. Mike Mancillas) on lead vocals and songwriting, guitar; Eli Reyes on drums; and for the time being, I guess, Greer McGettrick on bass, vocals and keyboards. Things seem to be rather in flux right now.
The inspiration for having my first official band profile be of Rademacher is that I recently received (and loved) their new release “RIP Gardenside” (a compilation of their first four EPs), and had the unexpected good fortune (though it was more a tease than anything else) of seeing Malcolm pop up during Henry Clay People’s set at TATE’s Bowery Ballroom show in New York. I’m rather anxious about the recent band member changes, though I see several shows lined up. Whether it’s them coming to the East Coast, or me somehow making it out west, I really want to see these guys!
Rademacher performs “If U Know” at the Glasshouse in Pomona, California
Malcolm’s vocals at times brings to mind David Byrne, edgy and neurotic and a bit off-kilter, but with great warmth and an achingly pretty vulnerability. You feel sympathy for the guy; you want to invite him over to sit by the fire with a warm cup of tea. At other times, he’s a wayward beatnik storyteller, with deceptively simple, quirky lyrics that have a way of jumping out and instantly engaging you. Not the kind of music that’s content to stay in the background unnoticed.
Musically they’re sometimes like a charming old jalopy that seems about to break down, but there’s this sentimental attachment, and ultimately it gets you where you need to go. Musically very lush and complex, yet Malcolm’s lyrics still bubble up and pop inside your head with seemingly simple yet memorable lines.
A few first impressions on some tracks that jumped out at me…
Yr Never Gonna Hear From Me. “Come on and stand a little closer. Don’t wait ’til the party’s over. Don’t wait until the water’s wet to drink. Don’t wait until it’s running past your feet.” Pleading, yearning, wistful.
I’ve Rearranged Everything. Absolutely beautiful; one of my favorites. Lovely singing, and some really sweet-sounding acoustic guitar. “Out of state, out of mind, out of hate, all the time. My feelings for you haven’t changed. I’ve rearranged everything that I could think of, everything I could think of is gone. Everything that you’ve touched in my house, everything that you’ve touched is on the front lawn… Still I’ve got this feeling in my heart.” The practical aspects of heartbreak, the continued longing.
It Really Shouldn’t Matter. The music creeps up, crawls around and haunts, with Malcolm’s vocals lending an air of desperation. “It’s just a place, I guess it really shouldn’t matter… but it does.”
Magic Mtn Pkwy. “I curse like a sailor, and I drink like a fool. Sneak out through the window, break into the pool. Watch the stars gather ’round…” Half sung, have spoken lyrics add to the gorgeous dreamlike quality. “Just looking for someone to be my friend, just looking for something to let me in.”
Playing for Fun. Gypsy carnival dirge. “And it’s not about who is on top, because there’s always a drop, yes there’s always that drop. And if you ask me, that’s no reason, no reason to stop.” Finishes with some very lovely guitar.
Believer. “I believe in you completely, I believe in everything you say. And I don’t know if you believe me, but I intend to find a way to prove myself to you… with help… that’s true, that’s true.” A very pretty, heartfelt song of simply stated emotional commitment. Stripped of any preconditions, caveats or complexity. Pure.
If You Know. “If you know what I know, then you probably know that things don’t always go quite like you planned… If you go where I go, then you’ve probably gone all the way to the other side and then came back… Now, be careful with your time, it’s not really yours, not really mine, we only made it up.” Folksy and poppy with a hypnotic, trance-like existential mantra weaving through it.
What Happened To Your Friends. Musically lush, lyrically wistful. Something early solo Eno-ish about this one, but I can’t quite put my finger on exactly why. It might have something to do with the cold drizzly rain outside and my contemplative mood. “Over and out, beyond the sea, beyond your Tropics and your Capricorns, your geography…”
A Little Bit Of Both The Best. A live, powerful, rambunctious, rollicking cacophony.
CDs available via the band’s MySpace page
They Are Always Into That
What The Neighbors Don’t Know
Ice Age (2005)
Careful With That
Playing For Fun
Heart Machine (2006)
You’re Never Gonna Hear From Me
Las Letter Writer
It Really Shouldn’t Matter
Not My Home
If U Got Some Magic
What Yr Used To Back At Home
On Yr Marks
Today is Different
Letter From Fresno, CA
If U Know
MAGIC MOUNTAIN PKWY
RIP Gardenside: 4 EPS 2004-2008
[My usual disclaimer when I attempt to transcribe lyrics upon first listen: sincere apologies if I’ve gotten anything wrong!]share this: