La Luz with Ancient Forest

May 14, 2018 - 9:00pm

On Monday, May 14, the Community Center for the Performing Arts and University of Oregon Campus Radio 88.1 FM KWVA proudly welcome La Luz back to the WOW Hall along with special guests Ancient Forest.

Los Angeles has often been described as a “dream factory”–both a mecca where dreamers converge to pursue long-held aspirations, and a topography of hallucinogenic contradictions: enchanting tangerine sunsets diffused by smog, crystal-clutching spiritualists mingling with deep-pocketed narcissists, rows of scenic palms competing with garish billboards for commuters’ attention.

It was against this backdrop that the four members of La Luz – singer/guitarist Shana Cleveland, drummer Marian Li Pino, keyboardist Alice Sandahl, and bassist Lena Simon – conceived of Floating Features, the band’s third studio album. For this, their most ambitious release yet, La Luz consulted landscapes both physical and psychological. 

References to dreams abound on Floating Features. “Loose Teeth” catalyzes nightmare fuel into a propulsive, intentionally-disorienting collision of honeyed harmonies and Takeshi Terauchi-esque jetstreams of distorted surf guitar. “Mean Dream” unsurprisingly mines dreamstate imagery, and the lyrics and melody for “Walking Into the Sun” actually came to Cleveland during a particularly-vivid night of deep sleep. Looming over the album’s coterie of surreal figures (gargantuan cicadas, a monstrous “Creature”, The Sun King, aliens, the titular “Lonely Dozer”) is the magnificent “Greed Machine”, a skulking, insatiable engine of consumption – Nathanael West’s “business of dreams” fearsomely manifested.

To bring these visions to stereophonic life, La Luz pivoted from the DIY trailer-park brio of It’s Alive and the gritted-up urgency of Weirdo Shrine toward lush, hi-fidelity production value. Li Pino’s drums have never sounded more thunderously muscular, Simon’s basslines more robust-yet-agile, Sandahl’s organ melodies more complementary, Cleveland’s layers of guitar more versatile, or the group’s trademark harmonies more bewitching and rapturous. For every one of Floating Features’ seismic crescendos, there are just as many small, evocative details coloring its somnambulist soundscape.

Only La Luz could conjure up Floating Features’ Leone-on-LSD vibes, and the album finds the L.A. band at the height of their powers–golden rebels in a golden dream.

 

ANCIENT FOREST

 

Inspired by old plants, deep seasons and the Incredible String Band, Kalen Walther recorded the first batch of Ancient Forest songs in 2010 when winter quilted Missoula, MT with snow.

Over the next few years, Ancient Forest blossomed into a performance group to accompany Lay the Rent to the Bonnie Brome, a collage of mountain soundscapes, pop structures, and Bardic melodies, and in 2017 Richard's Selections, a more holistic approach to western art music that finds the group exploring it's pocket in the 21st century.

Walther now lives in Seattle, joined by Ancient friends Jade Tcimpidis, Will Murdoch and Zach Burba.

Tickets are $12 in advance, $14 day of show.  Doors open at 8:00 pm and showtime is 9:00.

 

Door Time: 
May 14, 2018 - 8:00pm
Cost: 
$12 Advance, $14 Day of Show