Psychedelic rock band Spirit Mother leaves crowd yelling for an encore...

Psychedelic rock band Spirit Mother performs and leaves crowd yelling for an encore at Buskerfest in Downtown Long Beach Saturday, September 7, 2019. Photo by Gabriela Mungarro.

Buskerfest returned to Downtown Long Beach, Saturday, and welcomed music lovers for a night featuring some of the city’s most talented acts on four low production stages. Summer and Music (SAM) partnered with KCRW for the 11th Buskerfest on the lively streets of Downtown’s East Village.

Buskerfest shined the light on eight competing bands: Spirit Mother, Devil Season, Palm Trails, Pollen Collective, BLCKNOISE, Fellow Robot, Gemma Castro and The Captain’s Son in minimally plugged performances. Audience members voted for their favorite acts by placing wooden nickels in tin buckets.

Spirit Mother from Long Beach was a crowd favorite with their face-melting...

The Many Faces of Born Free

On top of the many booths to explore, there are incredible bands that perform throughout the weekend. Spirit Mother from Long Beach was a crowd favorite with their face-melting jangly, rhythmic and heavy-psych rock. Band member Armand Lance told me that “as someone passionate about building choppers, playing Born Free was special because it was an opportunity to bridge the gap between the two things I spend my life doing.”

The audience shouted for Spirit Mother to perform an encore...

The audience shouted for Spirit Mother to perform an encore after the band’s turn had finished, which they were unable to do because of the competition’s time constraints. Spirit Mother is a rock band from Long Beach that utilizes guitar, bass, drums and violin in its songs. Spirit Mother vocalist Armand Lance told the Signal Tribune that although the band had a difficult time getting to the festival, which in turn influenced their performance, they would definitely be performing in Long Beach again.

Spirit Mother concluded the evening with a proper face melting performance that left the...

Polymer_ SS/19 Launch / HQ Opening Event / Enjoy Yourself

The Polymer_ Program

Posted on March 18 2019

Photos by Morgan Rindengan @morgnar / Words by Josh Jochem @alohacactus

Enjoy Yourself.

Let's start this by asking where were you on Saturday night? Hopefully you answered- "At The Polymer_ SS19 Launch Party". If that was not your answer-FOMO (Fear of Missing Out) may begin to kick in as you proceed, but let's just hope that's not the case. 

March 16th 2019 was a night for the books, especially for a new, up and coming apparel brand known as Polymer_. The event launched their new SS19 collection, but mainly focused on bringing the Long Beach and greater community together to showcase their new work space, office, better yet "home". For those that don't know, the brand started in early 2017 working out of an ole' beat up pull-trailer found on craigslist for a couple hundred bucks. They used this trailer not just as work space, but in a way of growing with their team and creating a solid audience. Moving forward, the brand has expanded into a commercial space in the Wrigley area of Long Beach, California. The space is broken into an office area, meeting room, warehouse for inventory, art gallery and studio utilized by known artist Alex Gardner, and just a little more room to throw an amazing party like this one. 

The night stood tall to the brands mantra- "Experience Multiple Concepts"- because a lot of concepts were definitely being experienced. The Polymer_ team pulled together over 20 artists to be displayed in their new gallery by having each artist create a signature styled Tyvek “Transporter” tote bag. Each artist went above and beyond to put their own mark on these well-known recyclable totes the brand produces and sells. Not to mention, all proceeds of sales for the night went to the Surf Rider Foundation and Marine Mammals of Los Angeles. The newly established local brewery, Ambitious Ales partnered up to serve up some hops and YouTube sensation, Christine Mai Nguyen blessed the night with the one's n two's. To top the night right off, Long Beach based band Spirit Mother concluded the evening with a proper face melting performance that left the crowd with jaw's dropped. The inspired crowd continued the festivities down the street at the Hawk Bar where the good times continued.

I hope all who came out enjoyed themselves as much as we did. The statement "Enjoy Yourself" was the theme of the night and these guys weren't joking. "Its all about the journey..." As simple as that is, its the upmost truth. A wonderful journey lies ahead for Polymer_ and I hope all of you are along for the ride.

SPIRIT MOTHER’S PSYCH ROCK IS CLASSICALLY UNCONVENTIONAL

In the pecking order of rock-n-roll instruments, the supremacy of the guitar’s screaming array of crunchy chords and searing solos is rarely questioned. However, despite many years as an electrifying axeman in previous bands, singer/bassist Armand Lance of Spirit Mother isn’t delusional about who the real rockstar in his band is. Hint: It’s not the guitarist.

Sipping IPAs on a cold night at 10 Mile Brewery in Signal Hill, Lance shyly points to the casually cool, classically trained violinist Sarah Jane “SJ” Long while explaining the X factor in their mix of pummeling and atmospheric sound.

“I met so many classical musicians who were incredible but for a lot of them, as soon as improvisation came into play, there was just a complete wall between them and their instruments,” Lance says. “That’s one of the main differences between a pop musician and a classical musician and [Sarah] can bridge that gap.”

Starting with a handful of jam sessions between Lance and Long over a year ago a new project took shape and garnered attention from the Long Beach music scene and Thrasher Magazine. The global skateboard publication used several of the band’s songs in their King of the Road web series. Their blend of psych rock, punk attitude and out-front violin is primed for a debut album which is almost completed. Though Lance’s prolific songwriting keeps him busy, he reminds himself to give his lyricism and playing style room to breathe and “not get too wordy.”

“That’s something younger musicians do a lot, they like showing off their chops and writing really complex music that isn’t as much for the sake of the song,” Long says. It’s sage advice, considering that her instrument is central to songs like “Space Cadets” and “Black Sheep” (two of the new songs picked up by Thrasher).

Whether playing in staccato or flourishes of bowed sound, Long’s parts are the stitching that hold Lance and current guitarist Sean McCormick and drummer Landon Cisneros together. It’s congruent with her life outside of music as an EMT in LA County. Specializing in critical care and psychiatrics, her graveyard shift horror stories run deep, yet music provides a welcome respite from bouts of on-call, late night chaos.

“Practice is a nice getaway from that kind of stuff, a lot of the people I deal with and see ends up reminding me that shit’s pretty good,” Long says.

Earlier this year, the band began working with producer Jonny Bell at Jazz Cats Studios in Long Beach to take their skills to the next level.

There, the seasoned artist and Crystal Antlers frontman encouraged the band to try techniques that bought the vitality of their live show into the studio setting. Offering a wide array of vintage pedals, amps and other gear, the band played around with Long’s acoustic violin sound to cultivate its dark, looming presence. Her go-to pedals on her effect board Lance built include a loop station and reverb run through a tube amp as if it were a guitar.

“The nice thing about it is that there are some rock violinists out there but not a ton so it’s not like I have a ton of competition so it’s easy to stand out,” Long says. “With violin it’s easier to find your own sound.”

Opting to put off releasing their completed album right away in favor of releasing singles seems to be working out well, as Spirit Mother continues to grow at their own pace.

“We’re in the process of learning how to do it properly and we’re proud of it and we don’t want to waste it,” Lance says.

Sipping casually on his beer, Lance looks knowingly at Long who, even in casual conversation, feels that the band is on to something. They have a sound worth sharing but they also guard it as closely. It’s a reminder that a band shouldn’t be so loud that it’s unable to listen to its own gut.

“We’re just trying to be patient and figure out what’s best,” Long says.

Spirit Mother performs with Bundy, Forest of Tongue and TV Heads at Alex’s Bar, 2913 E. Anaheim St., Long Beach,  (562) 434-8292, http://www.alexsbar.com., Thursday, Nov. 29, 8 p.m., $8, 21+.

Their music always gives me this feeling like I'm watching a film about lmid 19th century werewolf takeover.

Back again for more, ey? That's alright, we've got more! This week we're talking about a local band called Spirit Mother. It was moments after I had written and posted about Plini's single last week, that I heard about these guys releasing two new singles. Funny enough Plini's new album drops today, but enough about that. Spirit Mother is a four-piece band based out of Long Beach, CA. Outside grudge bass tones, punchy drums, and ripping' guitar riffs, perhaps one of the most notable aspects of the band is the use of violin wishing their music. There's something magical that happens when you have an aggressive, dark sounding melody overplayed with a violin. It just makes things so much more... eerie. Last week, they had released two new singles titled "Black Sheep//Space Cadets". The first song begins with a Queens Of The Stone Age like riff, followed by an irresistible violin lead melody. "Space Cadets" follows with pizzicato strings, upbeat bass line, In you're face vocals layered with harmonies do nothing short of melting your face. The songs in as dark of a manner as it begins. Their music always gives me this feeling like I'm watching a film about lmid 19th century werewolf takeover. I know. Oddly specific, but I have a feeling you might agree once you give it a listen. Thusly, I invite you to take a gander at this release as it has a very unique vibe you are unlikely to hear elsewhere, certainly within the local scene. I'm always very happy to see them put out new music an/or play live as they truly bring something new and refreshing to the table every time. Let us know what you think, and we'll see you next week! Until then,

"Stay cool, and stay Collective."

Collective Heartbeat Team

There was something familiar to me in their music that had me metaphorically scratching my head

Long Beach, CA- The first band we were able to catch at Music Tastes Good was the Long Beach based group named Spirit Mother. This quartet led by Armand Lance immediately caught my attention. There was something familiar to me in their music that had me metaphorically scratching my head while I was taking photos during their 30 minute set.  There was something about the heavy mood that they created with their thumping bass lines, Armand’s yearning vocals and the steady violin arrangements that really  had me excited about following how they develop as a band.