The International Writers
underground/indie music scene is still thriving in the good ol
US of A as I have recently learned from an almost all girl band
called Black Lake. The northern west coast of the US has never
lacked an abundance of music which was made quite apparent in
nineties with the vertiginous rise of grungeand that
stance of will-rock-regardless has held stead-fast.
The raw emotional
pull of Black Lake takes me back to my teenage years without leaving
me feeling duped by the teenage angst which has been gladly left behind,
along with bad beer and bad boyfriends. The music is cathartic without
being depressing and the stage presence of the band justifies loose
Black Lake is born from such bands as: Delta Dart, Hook and the Daggers,
Black Diamonds, Summer Lovin, Natural Ass, and The Give; their
influences read like a mix of my fathers vinyl collection and
my little sisters diary with everything from Elvis Costello, ZZ
Top, Willie Nelson, and Fleetwood Mac to Joan Jett and the Black Hearts,
The Police, Elliot Smith, and No Doubt. Somehow these ladies have made
an alchemic string of songs out of nothing more than past experience
and present issues of identity. They have made every young girls
dream come true in a way that Gwen Stefani cant.
Ambers vocals are strong and emotional; she has the ability to
pull feeling from such depths that one cant help but feel a visceral
reaction to such songs as Nothing Helps. Erins vocals are a welcome
embellishment to Ambers and she handles the guitar like a veteran
musician should; Nick (drums) and Trisha (bass) complete Black Lake.
Band names have always left me cold or hot; there are times when I hear
a band and think to myself, Why that name? and there are
other times when it doesnt make the slightest bit of difference.
I like what Black Lake conjures; a possible allegory for the depths
and sometimes darkness of ones soul or character. Perhaps the
band is simply paying homage to Black Lake, NY. Either way the bands
name evokes exactly what the music conveys, depth. They are more than
ear and eye candy, they are brain candy, music at its most pure; unrefined,
The importance of music scenes like the one that Black Lake is apart
of cant be overstated. Without music and bands of this kind we
wouldnt have much of what can be considered popular alternative
music today, just look at what Nirvana did for music. It is the music
of those who live on the edges of society that is often times cannibalized
and made profitable by popular culture, something that bands like Black
Lake dont seem all that concerned with.
There is no doubt that the community, which has always been lacking
in a place as large as Los Angeles, is prolific in places like Olympia
Washington home to Black Lake. Olympia lends the kind of charm that
can only be found in a place where bands like Black Lake can afford
to pay the rent while being in a band, attending school, and working.
Try accomplishing that in New York or LA and you would without a doubt
be forced to turn to drugs.
If you happen to be in Olympia Washington February 16, you can catch
Black Lake, along with Vertebrae by Vertebrae and Tyrannosaurus Sex,
at Le Voyeur.
Black Lake here
hardy Feb 7th 2007
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