Live Concert Photography: Blonder and Shana Falana at Baby’s All Right 4/20/17
If you’ve been frequenting this site over the last four or five months you may have come across a couple of posts on the New York-based, blogosphere sensation Blonder. Led by the rather mysterious singer/songwriter and multi-instrumentalist Constantine Anastasakis, the act has quickly received praise from Clash Magazine, Pigeons and Planes and Nylon, and has songs placed on several Spotify Playlists, including Indie Mix for a synth-heavy sound that nods at Cut Copy, Bear in Heaven, St. Lucia and at other points The Strokes. For live shows, Anastasakis is backed by some of the area’s more accomplished musicians and I recently caught him and his backing band, along with JOVM mainstay Shana Falana open for the Perth, Australia-based psych rock act Methyl Ethel at Baby’s All Right last week; however, I wasn’t able to catch the Perth, Australia-based psych rockers as I had to run to Sunnyvale to catch another JOVM mainstay act The Coathangers (more on that set to come). In the meantime, check out pictures from Blonder’s and Shana Falana’s sets below.
Shana Falana is a California-born, New York-based singer/songwriter and guitarist, who has spent time in San Francisco‘s D.I.Y. scene and in a Bulgarian women’s choir before relocating to New York. By 2006, Falana had been struggling through drug addiction and money woes when she lost part of her index finger in a work-related accident. And while under most normal circumstances the accident might be considered extremely unlucky and perhaps even tragic, the settlement money the California-born, New York-based singer/songwriter received provided her a desperately-needed period of financial stability and a much-needed period in which she could overcome her addictions, get sober and find a new focus in her life and her music.
Much of the material off Falana’s sophomore effort, Here Comes the Wave was conceptualized and written during two different parts of her life — while she was struggling with drug addiction and trying to get sober, and in the subsequent years that have followed in which she’s been sober. And throughout that period, significant portions of the material had been rewritten, revised and refined; but, ultimately, the material thematically is centered around the dualities of “then and now,” as well as on transformation, profound emotional turmoil, her inner strength and resolve to overcome some of the most difficult periods of her life, the acceptance of time passing and of aging and the death of her father. Naturally, as a result the material on the album sonically covers a complex array of moods while drawing from shoegaze, indie rock and gothic pop — but with a deeply personal, confessional nature. But in my mind what makes the material is the fact that while being bold and at points forceful, the material possesses Falana’s sunny optimism. Along with her long-time partner, collaborator and partner, Mike Amari, Falana opened the night with a set comprised of material off Here Comes the Wave.