Jail Weddings for Saturday night. Not that they’re a “best kept secret”, but are considered to be one of the best bands on the current Los Angeles Music scene, and have been for a few years now. That’s L.A., and probably the West Coast – but I am not so sure they are a recognized name in London or Bristol or Paris. Pity, because I think the other side of the Atlantic would enjoy them as much as we do.
Truths to tell – I spend a lot of time playing and promoting bands and artists from overseas – some well known and some not known over here at all. But all with that spark, that essence which makes them stand out from the sea of musical faces we’re often confronted with. Jail Weddings are one of those bands, only they are local, homegrown and from L.A.. So it’s only fitting that you should know about them if you already don’t.
Face it, if you know about Jail Weddings, you’re a fan and I don’t need to convince you. But it’s that bunch of people in the hinterlands – in Madrid and Amsterdam and Vienna who might not be familiar with the musical goings on in L.A. – there’s a scene here – and maybe it gets lost in the shuffle at times and the city is in a state of flux over venues – but there’s a lot going on, and much of it is worth your closer inspection, starting here.
Jail Weddings have been around for a little over a decade now – with personnel changes here and there, but always with Founder/Singer/Writer/Guiding Light Gabriel Hart shepherding things along. Variously labeled at times Death Doo-Wop (a sub-genre for sure) with dashes Apocalyptic Folk and a veritable soupçon of styles and influences, Hart is taking the band in a sort of free-for-all direction. And the results are putting Wilted Eden, their 3rd album, several cuts above what’s currently going on.
Much of the credit goes to Hart who is not a passive or disinterested singer – he has a knack for dragging lyrics out, kicking and screaming, so each song is a guided tour through those gaping holes and crevasses of the human experience; warts, jewels and all. His is a performance you do not take-or-leave. This is a band you listen to, not at – and that’s refreshing. No. It’s necessary.
So what we’ve got tonight is a track from Wilted Eden (which you can get on Bandcamp as either a download, lp or CD – click on the link and go there). They are scheduled to play The Satellite here in L.A. on September 24th. Beyond that, I don’t know.
This is a band that needs to break out of this burg and do it on the road – take the message to a bigger audience – judging from the merits of Wilted Eden, that’s a very strong possibility. BTW – the production is top-notch and the landscape is lush.
Fingers crossed – hit the play button and crank this one up.