Live Concert Photography: Deaf Poets with Ganser and Winkie at Saint Vitus Bar 5/1/18
Comprised of the Miami Beach, FL-born, Brooklyn-based duo of Sean Wouters (vocals, guitar) and Nico Espinosa (vocals, percussion), the alt rock duo Deaf Poets can trace their origins to when they met in elementary school, and during their high school years, the duo went through a long process of musical experimentation, which ultimately led to the founding of Deaf Poets, an act that has received attention for a sound that combines elements of 70s rock with 80s punk and 90s grunge.
While in Miami Beach, the duo cemented their place in South Florida’s indie scene by playing at some of the area’s best known venues including Churchill’s, Bardot, Gramps and Grand Central, ultimately being named “Best Band of Miami” in 2014 and one of the “20 Most Influential People of Miami” in 2015 by The Miami New Times. Adding to a growing profile, “Degenerate Mind” off their debut album 4150 was part of the Tony Hawk Pro Skater 5 video game soundtrack and was featured as part of Classic Rock Magazine‘s 2014 compilation CD. Along with that, the duo have become regulars at iiiPoints Festival, where they played four consecutive years on bills that have included Mac DeMarco and Unknown Mortal Orchestra, and they’ve opened for Matt and Kim and shared stages with Andy Rourke, The Ettes, Pujol, Jennie Vee, The Peach Kings, The Psychedelic Furs, The Growlers, and Dorothy.
Since then, the duo have relocated to Brooklyn, and their forthcoming EP Change & Bloom is reportedly inspired by the events and personal experiences that have transpired during their move, arguably making it one of the most personal and honest efforts they’ve released to date, while continuing to cement their reputation for crafting hard-hitting, bluesy, power chord based rock; but underneath the swaggering and self-assuredness of their live show is a duo with ambitions to be the next Black Keys.
With the release of their debut EP, This Feels Like Living, the members of the Chicago, IL-based post-punk act Ganser received attention locally for an art rock-leaning post punk/noise rock sound largely influenced by Sonic Youth and Magazine, and as you may recall, the band’s recently released full-length debut Odd Talk focuses on communications breakdowns, with the song’s narrators desperately seeking meaning in hopeless confusion and messiness — and throughout the album, each song’s narrator seems as though they were literally sorting though syllables and signals in an attempt to find the right words to say what they wanted or needed to say; but with a grimly comic sensibility
Winkie is a Brooklyn-based new wave duo that specializes in dark, moody and distorted music that can trace its origins as a film scoring project that derives its name from a scene in a David Lynch movie, and as the story goes, the project evolved into an actual band when the duo realized that they were still writing songs long after the credits rolled. Those initial songs wound up comprising their debut album One Day We Pretended to Be Ghosts, which received airplay from KXLU‘s Part Time Punks, DKFM, WFKU and WMFU. Adding to a growing profile the duo have shared stages with Xeno & Oaklander, Vanish, Pill, LODRO, VOWWWS, Parlor Walls, Bloodhound, ohnomoon, and DOOMSQUAD — and they’ve appeared on the RIDE tribute compilation, Leave Them All Behind: A Tribute to Ride, which featured covers by A Place to Bury Strangers‘ Oliver Ackermann and Ceremony.
One Day We Pretended to Be Ghosts sonically has brought comparisons to Christian Death, Swans, Malaria!, X-mal Deutschland, Cranes, Killing Joke and My Bloody Valentine — but with synths and plaintive and ethereal vocals. As the band says on their Facebook page, “It’s a cheerless desolate soundtrack for the desperate.”