Live Concert Photography: Sharkmuffin, Alexander F., Pink Mexico, Weeping Icon, and Sic Tic at Sunnyvale 5/3/17
Comprised of New Jersey-born, Brooklyn-based founding members Tarra Theissen (guitar, vocals) and Natalie Kirch (bass, vocals), the Brooklyn-based indie rock/punk rock duo Sharkmuffin have publicly claimed a rather eclectic set of influences, including Nirvana and The Ronnettes on their sound, which they’ve dubbed “opti-mystic glam-grunge.” And with release of a handful of EPs and 2015’s full-length debut Chartreuse, the duo of have received praise from the likes of Billboard, who listed the band as one of their 20 All-Female Bands You Should Know and after several national tours, a growing national profile as well.
Up until recently, it had been some time had passed since I had last written about the the duo of Theissen and Kirch but as it turns out, after touring to support their full-length debut, they spent the better part of last year writing and recording the material, which would comprise their sophomore effort Tsuki, which was released earlier this month. Unsurprisingly, Theissen and Kirch, along with original lineup members Drew Adler (drums) and Chris Nunez (guitar) have been relentless road warriors, touring to build up buzz for the album before it’s release, and since the album’s release, touring to support the album; in fact the band is currently on an extensive UK tour. And of course, the Stateside leg of their tour included a stop at Sunnyvale earlier this month to celebrate the album’s release with Alexander F, ., Weeping Icon, Pink Mexico and Sic Tic. Check out photos from the show below.
Best known as a co-founding member and co-primary songwriter of renowned indie dance pop/indie funk act and JOVM mainstay Rubblebucket, Alex Toth’s side project, Alexander F, which features Steve Marion, Dandy McDowell, Christian Peslak and Noah Rubin as part of the project’s touring band, along with contributions from Kimbra is a decided change in sonic direction for Toth.
Reeling emotionally after the suicides of a couple of musician friends and struggling with life as a recovering alcoholic, Toth decided to go to an eleven-day, Buddhist, silent meditation retreat in rural Quebec. And as the story goes, during his stay, a handful of Buddhist-themed experimental punk songs exploded in Toth’s head — and as a jazz-trained musician, it was an unexpected, yet profound revelation. And from singles like “Swimmers” and “Call Me Pretty,” the band specializes in a frenetic, boisterous, frenetic and incredibly eccentric and mischievous take on punk rock. Toth and company’s set consisted of material off their full-length debut, played with an urgent and off-kilter energy.
Brooklyn-based experimental rock/punk act quartet Weeping Icon features former and current members of bands like Warcries, ADAVETA, MantisMass, 7TomHand and Lutkie. The up-and-coming act specializes in an angular, psych rock, New Wave and No Wave-inspired take on noise rock.
Perhaps best known for playing drums with renowned experimental blues and pop singer/songwriter Shilpa Ray and WALTZ, Robert Preston decided that it was time for a change and relocated from Brooklyn to Los Angeles, where he started his solo recording project Pink Mexico. Preston’s 2013 full-length debut pnik mexico caught the attention of Austin, TX-based indie label Fleeting Youth Records, who re-released Preston’s debut the following December. Interestingly, as that happened, Preston returned to Brooklyn to get work on the follow up to pnik mexico, as well as a handful of other releases including a split 7 inch with Los Angeles-based band SunLikeDrugs and a 12 inch vinyl pressing of pnik mexico that Bordeaux, France-based label Big Tomato Records released.
With growing attention on his solo work, renowned indie label Burger Records eventually signed the band; but interestingly enough over the past year or so, the project has expanded into a fully-fledged band as Preston recruited Grady Walker and Ian Everall to join him. Unsurprisingly, there’s been quite a bit of buzz surrounding Preston and his new bandmates, and the band’s fuzzy yet ethereal, pop-leaning sound has drawn comparisons to My Bloody Valentine, Waaves and others.