The Wild Reeds
The Wild Reeds have transformed from a three part harmony driven band to a full indie folk rock force that has been sweeping the West Coast. In the past year The Wild Reeds have toured along side artist such as Noah Gundersen and Israel Nash while also making an appearance at festivals such as Newport Folk Festival's sister of the West, Way Over Yonder, Make Music Pasadena, Echo Park Rising, Claremont Folk Festival, Lightning in a Bottle, and successfully captured large audiences every Monday night in December with their Holiday Residency at The Satellite.
In August 2014 the band released their formal debut album, Blind and Brave, which was produced by Raymond Richards at Red Rockets Glare (Parson Redheads, Honey Honey, Local Natives, Dustbowl Revival). Blind and Brave illustrates the story of the working class, and encourages listeners to genuinely care about the place they inhabit, keep it beautiful, connect with people, and be brave. In everything you do, do it out of love. The album was released with a very special show at the historic Troubadour
Currently the members of The Wild Reeds hold up the fort all over California, from Koreatown to Highland Park to Hollywood – coming together to rehearse right in the heart of Hollywood. Together they are strong advocates for California, specifically Los Angeles.
"Cigarette barbies began as a side project for Shawn Morones (AKA Jerry Queen), and over the years has grown into a six-piece rock and roll band including members of Travesura, The Wild Reeds, Cosmonauts, and Valley Queen. The music is some parts surf, and some parts soul. Their live shows are full of untamed guitar solos, harmonies, and sparkly energy. Morones wrote the songs for their debut album "I'm Here All Night," in college, fueled by the curiosity of what it might be like inside his female friends minds, when it comes to life and love (hence his alter ego "Jerry Queen," seen on the cover of the record). They have since put out an EP of cover songs, thrown a "grown up" prom, and played shows all over southern CA."
Valley Queen front woman Natalie Carol leads a band reminiscent of Fleetwood Mac and My Morning Jacket with lead vocals evocative of Florence Welch. Over the past year, Valley Queen has been recording tracks for their debut, full-length LP and have played lauded shows at an array of venues, opening for Lucero, LP, Laura Marling and The Wild Reeds, as well as headlining Pappy and Harriet’s in Joshua Tree and the Echo Park Rising Festival. They’ve been featured in the lineups at Make Music Pasadena, Lightning in a Bottle, River Roots Live, and The Otis Mountain Get Down. Valley Queen headlined their first residency series at The Bootleg Theater in Los Angeles throughout July 2016 to raucous crowds for three consecutive weeks. In August of 2016, the band released the singles “In My Place” and “High Expectations” on Canvasback Music/Atlantic Records to wide acclaim. Pranav Trewn from Stereogum wrote that Valley Queen has “never sounded better than they do on “In My Place.” Bob Boilen from NPR’s All Songs Considered praised that “Valley Queen comes from the Neil Young school of great music. They are fronted by Natalie Carol, whose voice is simply amazing,” and The Village Voice noted that Valley Queen has “stayed true to their roots while embracing the psychedelia of California rock — and making some damn good music along the way...anchored by Carol’s enthralling vocals.” Indeed Natalie brings the perspective of a fierce, confident, independent woman in the same vein as Jenny Lewis, Karen O, and Grace Potter. The rest of the band, consisting of Neil Wogensen, Shawn Morones and Gerry Doot, enrich the songs with energy, excitement and emotion.
I - indecisive
Z - zaney
A - artistic
A - avacado
K - kewl
O - optimistic
P - particular
A - available
T - talented
Z - zebra
Izaak Opatz is a mountain man (from Montana)! He works in National Parks, cutting trails through the woods, probably wearing a vest or a funny hat and crapping in holes in the ground. He goes weeks on end without seeing another single person. When he does finally wander into town, he usually comes back with a pack-mule-donkey-satchel-thing chock full of songs about women that he’s been dreaming of, places where he used to be happy, situations he screwed up… really dipping into a well of memories that are probably better left alone.
His songs teeter on the edge of sentimental-songwriter’y-sad-n-lonely stuff. This is a tough area for a songwriter to inhabit, because it’s easy to get lumped in the with the rest of the middle aged losers at the open mic night BUT IZAAK DOES IT SO WELL that you’re convinced almost immediately that he’s the real deal and he doesn’t need to prove it. You hear the songs and you’ll be won over immediately. You watch him play and you’ll wish he’d never stop. You talk to him for a minute and you’ll offer up your prettiest daughter and welcome him into your family. But if you turn your back on him for even a minute, he’ll probably wander back up the mountain and give up whatever you offer him, no matter how sweet the sitch or pretty the daughter. He’s got his own agenda and it’s frustrating but also so admirable. My advice is to catch him whenever and however you can and celebrate this sensitive mountain man while he’s around. ~Jonny Fritz