Concert Review

Mystic Chords of Memory with Nobody and Electromagnetic at the Echo

Words by Ice Cream Man

Photos by

Months and months ago I started hearing about the new project Elvin (AKA Nobody) was working on with Chris Gunst, most recently from Mystic Chords of Memory. It seemed like a bit of an odd pairing at first but the more I thought about it, the more it made sense. Both artists came from the Los Angeles scene around the same time yet from different musical backgrounds. Chris started one of LA’s best hidden gems, Strictly Ballroom and Elvin started things off from a hip hop perspective. Slowly, over time, Nobody started listening to The Millenium and Billy Nichols WAY too much (turned me on to both) and Chris and long time companion Jennifer Cohen disappeared into the Santa Cruz woods. When they reappeared Chris held onto a bit of his Beachwood Sparks days but went even more mellow and folky.

Friday night was one of their first performances together presenting the Mush Album coming out on April 25th, The Tree Colored See. The set up was relatively simple and once things got rolling it was obvious they had melted the two sounds together perfectly. Most of the songs definitely had the Mystic Chords vibe but with a little beat and more psychedelia behind them. It was one of those great sets to hang out toward the back with your eyes closed and sway back and forth with a perma grin on. The tracks that worked best were the one’s where Elvin’s beats picked the pace up. “Coyote’s Song” is a perfect example of one of these songs that sounds wholly new and not just like a Mystic Chords track with some trickery. A couple songs seemed to have different backing tracks than on the CD which was a pleasant surprise. “When the End Meets the Beginning” starts off like a long lost My Bloody Valentine track and I swear the loop on “Decisions, Decisions” is from the MASH theme song.

This is mood music for those looking for something new. It’s great live, on headphones, and in your car if you want to zone off for a bit while stuck in traffic. Imagine the best of the streets of LA mixed with the lost souls from California’s folk past.

Electromagnetic was getting ready to go on when Bill and I arrived. At first I wasn’t digging their tunes too much but after a couple songs they caught on. They play slightly dark pop music with a good dose of synth and harmonies. I remember a couple tracks where the mighty cute female vocalist, Mara Keagle, sounded quite appealing. I think that once they finish recording their album and get some more live shows under their belts, they’ll come into their own.

Caural opened up the night and Timothy caught one pic before I got there. Clue to Kalo closed things out and Bill, the designated driver (it’s nice not driving an ice cream truck once in a while), wanted to get rolling so we didn’t stick around. I’m still curious though. They are playing a few shows around town the next month or two so keep your eyes peeled and hopefully you’ll see me there.

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