with Horse Jumper of Love & LSD and the Search for God
Tue May 30th, 2023
Minimum Age: All Ages
Doors Open: 6:30PM
Show Time: 7:30PM
Event Ticket: $25
Day of Show: $30
Proof of vax is NOT required for this event
On July 21st, 2016, a user on 4chan’s /mu/ board posted a photo of a mysterious CD they’d found at a record store in Nottingham, UK: a rough-worn demo titled D>E>A>T>H>M>E>T>A>L, purportedly released in 2000 by four musicians: Owain, Andy, Shaun, and John. The listener uploaded the ripped audio—the recordings sounded like they were plagued with disc rot—to file-sharing sites, and later YouTube, where they began circulating among internet music circles. The record’s sensationalist appeal was multifold. Was this an honest-to-God ’90s curio? A prank hatched by internet-savvy teens? An internet experiment in nostalgia, in the spirit of vaporwave? Nobody knew. So the Panchiko hive mobilized, gathering on subreddits and discord servers, examining every square inch of the packaging for potential clues, and even calling the Nottingham record store where D>E>A>T>H>M>E>T>A>L had allegedly sprung up in the first place.
“I woke up one day,” recounts Owain, “and ping—there’s a message on a defunct Facebook page of mine, ‘Hello, you’ll probably never read this, but are you the lead singer of Panchiko?’” The query took Owain by shock; to his and Andy’s knowledge, D>E>A>T>H>M>E>T>A>L> had never been uploaded to the internet. The Panchiko fandom finally made contact the following day, when they received their reply from Owain, a simple “Yeah.” At last, the world had confirmation: not only were Panchiko not 14-year-old kids, they were the real deal, right down to the disk rot.
Horse Jumper of Love
There’s a space between literal and abstract where art often resides, and few bands excel at navigating that surreal territory more deftly than Horse Jumper of Love. On their third full-length, Natural Part, the Boston-based three-piece revels in the act of grasping at something that can’t be held, smudging the lines between rich details, hazy memories, vivid moments, and intangible feelings to create their most captivating record to date.
Horse Jumper of Love–guitarist/vocalist Dimitri Giannopoulos, bassist John Margaris, and drummer Jamie Vadala-Doran–have steadily evolved since their formation in 2014, honing a mix of sprawling slowcore and raw indie rock across their 2016 self-titled debut and 2019’s So Divine. Now, Natural Part feels like the band’s biggest step forward yet. The group teamed once again with engineer Bradford Krieger and convened at his Rhode Island studio, Big Nice, to record. “I definitely don’t write the same way I did for the other records anymore,” Giannopoulos explains. “I never want to force anything or try to stick to a formula, and for this record I really felt like I could do whatever I wanted. I feel like I know myself a little more, like I’m a little more tapped into who I am and the songs feel more personal because of it.”
Sonically, Natural Part feels even more expansive than anything Horse Jumper of Love have done before, which is no small feat for a band whose music has often hinged on billowing guitars and roomy drums. Mixed by Danny Reisch (Sun June, Shearwater, White Denim), the album features a noticeable leap in fidelity, allowing the detailed songwriting to shine through without losing the tactile edges that imbue Horse Jumper of Love’s music with so much personality. Opener “Snakeskin” gently welcomes the listener with an enveloping atmosphere, before a sharply angled guitar riff in the towering second track “Ding Dong Ditch” fractures the aura. Familiar influences like Duster and David Berman can still be heard throughout, but new elements like cello—performed by Emily Dix Thomas and inspired by both Nirvana’s unplugged album and listening to Oasis’ “Wonderwall” in preparation for a Halloween cover set)—add different textures to the band’s reverberating sound. On “Chariots,” the new instrumentation blends effortlessly with Vadala-Doran and Margaris’ taut but roaming rhythm section, and adds an otherworldly mood to Giannopoulos’ lyrics.
A sense of mystery and the inevitability of change permeates much of Natural Part, with Giannapoulos often capturing snapshots that take note of a flickering feeling in the mundane, and then letting his imagination expand it into something profound. The title track encapsulates this approach as well as some of the recurring sentiments of the record: “I was thinking about the natural distancing that can happen between people,” Giannapoulos says. “They can just go their separate ways or grow apart, or it can even be people passing away. But that thought also started with me literally combing my hair,” he adds with a laugh. “The line between figurative and not gets pretty blurry. Sometimes weird shit happens but there’s some meaning there. Something will just stand out, you get immersed in it, and a song sort of flows out. It all feels like a collage of a certain time in my life.”
On songs like the poppy “I Poured Sugar In Your Shoes,” the hypnotic “Under The House (Skunks),” or the off-kilter “Sitting On The Porch At Night,” Giannopoulos’ molds the very specific experiences noted in the titles into meditations on life’s intricacies. Late in the album, the sub-two-minute standouts “I Put A Crown On You” and “Mask” highlight Horse Jumper of Love’s ability to economically communicate larger ideas; the former is a shining acoustic missive on appreciation blurring dependency, while the latter is a slowly unfurling plume of guitars that contemplates the physical and invisible barriers between us. “I was thinking about someone driving their car, wearing a mask–literal or not literal–and having that layer in front of their face,” Giannopoulos explains. “Then the windshield is another layer, and it’s a foggy night, so that’s another layer. You’re passing by them and there’s just all of these real and not real things between you and another person.”
It’s those kinds of details that makes Natural Part such a compelling listen. It’s an album planted firmly in small moments that feel big: the unexpected flashes that somehow feel authentic and esoteric all at once, and cut through our busy lives to ground us in something that seems meaningful—even if we can’t fully articulate why. “I love when those moments happen and it inspires something,” Giannopoulos reflects. “It makes me feel connected to the world. When something sparks my interest like that, it just feels like this is what it’s all about.”
LSD and the Search for God
LSD and the Search for God hit the Northern California coast in 2005––seemingly from another place and time––dosing San Francisco with hypnotic shows built upon swirling guitars, otherworldly drones, fuzzed-out pop melodies, and dreamy vocal harmonies.
With reviews of early shows and recordings drawing comparisons to My Bloody Valentine, Slowdive, Yo La Tengo, Spacemen 3, and Sonic Youth, the band quickly developed a must-see reputation within the underground psychedelic music scene.
When LSD finally released their self-titled debut EP (Mind Expansion Records, 2007) it sold out from the record label prior to the official release date. It earned critical acclaim and continues to frequently appear on lists of essential shoegaze releases. The EP was twice reissued on vinyl (Deep Space Recordings, 2008, 2015), twice on cassette (Cellar Door Tapes, 2015), and selected tracks were featured on three compilations: Mind Expansion Vol. 1, M.E. Vol. 2, and Australian nugazer compilation Take Me on the Wildest Spree (Rubber Records/EMI, 2008).
LSD’s most recent release, Heaven Is a Place (Space Age Recordings, 2016), captures a snapshot in time soon after Ricky Maymi (Brian Jonestown Massacre) temporarily joined the band on drums. Like the self-titled EP, it garnered critical acclaim and frequented many Best Of lists. Pop Matters calls it, “a long-awaited sermon for the faithful and a blazing induction for new converts,” while Primal Music says it’s “another astonishing collection of five psychedelic stories glistening with the same spaced out ingredients that blew my mind way back in 2007.”
LSD’s time and space travels have led them all over the U.S., Canada, and Europe, including tours with Martin Rev (Suicide), Sonic Boom (Spacemen 3), and The Telescopes, as well as appearances at Levitation–Austin Psych Fest, SoCal’s Desert Daze, Manchester’s Cosmosis Festival (with The Jesus and Mary Chain), Bathysphere (with A Place To Bury Strangers), twice at Desert Stars (first with Black Rebel Motorcycle Club, then The Dandy Warhols), Calgary’s Garbage Daze, and Portugal’s Reverence Valada (with The Damned, The Oh Sees, and Silver Apples).
A new record is currently in the works.