California Wives

California Wives

California Wives

Art History


Always read band bios; they are full of interesting stuff if you just take the time to do this minimal piece of research. For instance, California Wives’ lead singer Jayson Kramer left a “promising” career in medicine to take up with an indie rock band. Clearly, he’s not a man motivated by the prospect of collecting huge piles of cash, though his group has the clean, promising pop sound that might just possibly get him a guest slot on the Tonight Show.

“Blood Red Youth” opens this online set. The rhythm is kept with a tambourine, an edgy angular melody appears, and then the mellow voice of disappointed yet socially relevant injustice appears. Mr. Kramer’s low, urgent voice emphasizes with the unfairness of the situation, Graham Masell emits reverb-heavy guitar chords, and I think I smell the revival of ’60s folk music fed through the filter of millennial idealistic re-sampling.

There’s more thoughtful lyrics moving forward: the imagery of “Brilliant Houses and Lights” in “Tokyo,” Mr. Kramer will “find you out” in “Mary Ann,” and we muse upon “when you wake up on your own, don’t you know that you’re wrong?” in “Los Angeles.”

Behind all this intriguing songwriting is a band that sounds like it wants to play metal, but isn’t allowed to by a homeowner association rule, so they tone everything down and give a yearning and heartfelt indie experience. Keep an eye on these guys. They were best band of 2011 in Chicago, and they might get promoted to all of Illinois or even the upper Midwest by this time next year.

California Wives:

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked with *

Cancel reply

Recently on Ink 19...

  • Preservation Hall Jazz Band
    Preservation Hall Jazz Band

    So It Is (Legacy). Review by Bob Pomeroy.

  • From Montenegro to Moldova: The Best of SEEFest 2017
    From Montenegro to Moldova: The Best of SEEFest 2017

    For the twelfth year, the South East European Film Festival (SEEfest) in Los Angeles showcased an impressive lineup of new features and shorts. Lily and Generoso Fierro provide a festival wrap up and their picks for the films that you cannot miss.

  • Justin Townes Earle
    Justin Townes Earle

    Kids In The Street (New West Records). Review by James Mann.

  • Christian Scott
    Christian Scott

    Rebel Ruler (Ropeadope / Stretch Music). Review by Bob Pomeroy.

  • Kivanç Sezer
    Kivanç Sezer

    Turkish director Kivanç Sezer’s powerful debut feature, My Father’s Wings, puts the spotlight on the workplace safety crisis that is currently taking place in his homeland. Lily and Generoso Fierro spoke with Sezer at SEEFest 2017 about his film and his need to draw attention to this issue.

  • Temples

    Supporting their just-released sophomore record, UK synth-pop poster boys, Temples, attracted an SRO crowd to one of Orlando’s premier nightspots.

  • Rat Film
    Rat Film

    Baltimore. Rats. A match made in Maryland.

  • Bishop Briggs
    Bishop Briggs

    Bishop Briggs brings a stacked bill of up and comers to Orlando for a sold-out party at The Social. Jen Cray joins in the fun.

  • Rumble: The Indians Who Rocked The World
    Rumble: The Indians Who Rocked The World

    There’s more than black music influencing the evolution of Rock and Roll. Native American rhymes and ideas are every bit as significant, once you know to look for them.

  • Keith Morris
    Keith Morris

    Ink 19 slings a few questions to the punk rock pioneer Keith Morris on Trump, Calexit and looking back.

From the Archives