The Innocent Bystanders
Innocent Bystanders are an alternative rock back
that doesn’t see innocence and wisdom as mutually
exclusive. Two of them have tattoos. But that’s only
the first thing you’ll notice about this band. The
members spent their formative years across half the
globe from Europe to Hawaii. Three New Yorkers did
what needed to be done to survive Alphabet City back
when the City was still the City.
Another did pretty much the same stuff on the South
Side of Chicago, and yet another knows that the Heat
isn’t just a basketball team in Miami. Then there’s
the Beverly Hills guy who threw off the shackles of
his privileged existence and lived to tell about it.
And finally, there’s the military brat who raised
hell wherever he was. Now, some say they all come
from sheltered middle class families. But we’re not
having any of that.
In addition to the geographic and cultural
diversity, these cats were born in three different
decades. And each took a separate path to San Diego,
CA, America’s finest city, in search of a better
life. But the streets weren’t quite paved with gold.
Fate brought them together in ramshackle rehearsal
space next to a strip club in the Loma Portal
section of San Diego. They began jamming and then
gigging in clubs along the coast when they
discovered a trove of “songs in the attic” that
they’d individually written back in the day, but
never recorded. Songs born decades ago. The time had
come to set them free.
The process proved transformative as these old songs
took on a new life in the Bystanders’ hands. The
core rhythm section has Steve Berenson on drums,
Donny Samporna on bass, Ben Nieberg on acoustic
guitar, and Steve Semeraro on electric guitar. The
beat is big, bold, and often intricate with the
guitars spread wide in a driving mix.
Jessica LaFave brings a Ska influence with a tenor
sax filled with magical harmonies reminiscent of a
larger horn section.
Kaimi Wenger plays piano and organ, creating lines
that build on the early E Street Band sound.
Finally, the vocals, ah the vocals. Kath Rogers
pulls it together with a powerful alto that has a
timbre all its own. She harmonizes often with Ben,
who also sings some lead. There’s some
Balin-and-Slick channeling here to be sure, but in
this band the vocal layering plays off the multiple
sax lines, keys, and acoustic/electric guitar
interplay to create something new.
If you really want to read about it, the sound is
founded on mid-60s Stax melded with 90’s Ska churned
with early Springsteen. And Phil Spector, well, his
ghosts haunt them.
Primarily a live band, these guys have been playing
parties and clubs in San Diego from your uncle’s
backyard to Petco Park — yes, really. Now what?
Attractive Nuisance EP (9017)
Attractive Nuisance is the first EP by the San
Diego, CA, based alternative rock band, The Innocent
Bystanders. The band incorporates saxophone into the
soul of every song with liberal dashes of piano and
organ mixed with the drums and guitars rhythm
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Gotta Get Outta Here
Working Man’s Daughter
is the moniker of California musician Madeleine Mathews.
Citing contemporary acts such as The Head and the Heart,
The Staves, First Aid Kit, and the Alabama Shakes as
influences, MAWD’s sound gravitates towards an eclectic
mix of genres including indie folk, folk rock, retro
rock, cosmic Americana, with a touch of pure rock n’
roll. The soulful, textured timbre of MAWD is diverse
and ranges anywhere from a breathy and sultry folk/blues
vibe to a powerful Janis Joplin-esque/Karen O. belt. Her
vocals “is raw rock & roll dynamite”… “showcases her
explosive style on new single ‘ Dark Room’”…”Fans of
Deep Vally, Alabama Shakes, and The Black Keys will feel
right at perfectly imprint upon the sonic foundation
laid by quivering electric guitar, haunting harmonies,
classic acoustic folk rhythms, southwestern inspired
americana bass lines, and full percussion. While her
strong suits lie in singing, songwriting, and lyricism,
Madeleine plays piano, guitar, ukulele, bass, accordion,
and some banjo, as well.
“Her lyrics and arrangement are intelligent and her
vocal capabilities are stunning. The song is powerful
and keeps listeners ears engaged the entire way through.
The vocals are bluesy, rock n’ roll, and something that
we don’t have the privilege of hearing too often. Not
many people are as vocally talented as MAWD” - Rock the
Pigeon (on “Dark Room”) home with MAWD’s sound; that raw
bold brand of modern rock n’ roll, draws from both blues
and current pop to forge something accessibly familiar,
yet excitingly urgent“ - The Line of Best Fit Born and
bred in Northern California, Madeleine made her mark
around her hometown of Placerville by playing her
original songs at weekly local open mic nights. Recently
graduated with a BA in Music (focusing in music
industry), Madeleine found a community in her college’s
(California State University, Chico) music department
and blossoming local scene while fronting and writing
for numerous bands. Winning local singer/songwriter
competitions and playing at all of Chico’s top venues,
including two sold out shows at the renowned Laxson
Auditorium (capacity 1,200) (for an Abbey Road Tribute
Show) which has pulled artists and speakers ranging from
Brian Wilson, Mavis Staples, Gloria Steinem, and many
more, Now recording under the pseudonym MAWD, Madeleine
is working with Roger Gisborne of Los Angeles based
record label Sound x 3 and The Cave Studio
owner/producer/songwriter Josiah Mezzaschi (Deap Vally,
Built to Spill, Rilo Kiley, Kate Nash, The Jesus and the
Mary Chain) to refine her sound. She has recently
released her debut rock single “Dark Room” (listen here
on Spotify) on March 16th, 2018 which was mastered by
Brian Lucey (The Black Keys, The Shins, The Kills,
Beck). With less than a year under her belt promoting
herself as MAWD, Madeleine has already toured all over
Sweden, played countless shows across California
including a sold out show at The Hotel Cafe with Larkin
Poe, The Hi Hat, Sofar Sounds, Gibson Center (opening
for Robby Krieger of The Doors), Youbloom Festival,
Springboard Festival and has many more big shows booked
in LA .
She just recently returned from playing various
corporate gigs at SXSW with her as well as other
established showcases including the Nashville Riverboat
Showcase. She has been interviewed by various
newspapers, blogs, and radio station, been featured on
KCSN 88.5 LA Buzzbands Hour multiple times, KCSC, and
KZFR Radio as well as in multiple indie blogs, Instagram
music blogs, and featured three times on the indie
Spotify playlist blog Indie Happy Hour. BuzzbandsLA
named her one of the top bands to look out for in 2018.
She has recently moved to Los Angeles, CA and in that
short time already started making a name for herself
with interest from established songwriters, bookers, and
producers. MAWD has a new EP in the works due for early
Summer 2018 as well as making a name for herself with
her outstanding powerful live performances.
“MAWD really showcases the talent of women in the indie
rock scene and puts herself above the rest with every
word she sings.” -York Calling
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