Desert Nights- June 15

Jun 13 2011

Welcome to another work week. Wouldn’t it make your life more satisfying if you had just one little acoustic experience this week? If you’re in Hollywood this week, you are in luck. This Wednesday is another installment in our weekly party, Desert Nights, in the Cactus Lounge at The Standard, Hollywood. Here’s the breakdown… 

(Listen to What Laura Says on Facebook or their Official Site)


“It’s good to renew one’s wonder. Music will make children of us all…” What Laura Says, a band from Arizona, are a rock-folk cosmic puberty on a pleasure cruise that sounds like a pulpy fruit fight. “I first heard what Laura really said on a chair by the old victriola my grandparents had given me. History here, so I tell, became where the songs became alive; she became one. But that… that’s not necessarily just one… but five ones.

Danny, along with lauded confidant James first met her in the earlier parts of the road when asked to write a song for which, naturally so, lead to the discovery of complimentary ones. And with the all too important aid of whatever it was, these two set out bangin’ and a-clangin’ on things until three other alley cats took notice. And notice was taken. Laura’s drummy, known by the name Gregory just kept that clangin’ going. Jacob, being a bit funny himself, took that clinkin’ and stretched it to plinkin’ as well as pluckin’. Then came a real railroad man’s man named Mitch who grabbed the baton of pluckin’ so excitedly it eventually lead to a-cluckin’. The rest is not necessarily history, but maybe more of a continuous blossoming of Laura’s cosmic puberty…”

(Listen to Fort King here)

Fort King, nom de guerre for Ryan Fuller, a songsmith who grew up in Ocala, FL and resides in Los Angeles. Steeped in old folk traditions and country blues like Mississippi John Hurt, his outsider view of LA life made him something of a certified crooner of New Weird Americana. “Black Palms” is a dirge of nascent teen suicide in a country setting. “Osceola” highlights the psychology of the Seminole Indian warrior, much as Neil Young chronicled new world holocausts in his “Cortez, the Killer.” Heartbreak is also a theme and Ryan’s fingerpicking and soft delivery have invited comparison to Elliott Smith.

“Found an arrow head in the clay….”, a line taken from the closing track on ‘Naked Shadows’, the debut album from Los Angeles based Song-smith Ryan Fuller’s musical creation, Fort King. And when a demo landed at Autumn Ferment HQ last year it indeed caught our attention just like discovering some rare artifact lying in the earth. Drawing comparisons to some of the greats from yesteryears Laurel Canyon folk/country scene like Neil Young and Gram Parsons, to contemporaries such as psyche folksters Espers and fellow Californians Vetiver, this album is a glinting piece of gold from America’s west coast alternative Folk scene.

(Justin Webb - listen to his band, The Family Bones by clicking here)

The Family Bones is a loose collection of musicians formed in late 2010 by Justin Webb. Webb’s first band, The Webb Brothers, released three records on Warner Brothers to critical acclaim and built a cult following throughout Europe, touring relentlessly with Doves, The Magic Numbers, The Eels, The Darkness, and OK GO. Magnet magazine cited their album Maroon as one of the “lost classics” of the decade. With his new project, Webb has called upon the skills of some of the best players with whom he’d crossed paths over the years, including Michele Stodart (Magic Numbers), Cal Campbell (Instant People, Glen Campbell Band), Jonny Polonsky (Pucifer, Pete Yorn), and Jason Falkner (Jellyfish, Air, Beck). The resulting self-titled album, The Family Bones, expands upon the retro-space rock musings of his earlier career with classic soul songwriting and a timeless yet modern production aesthetic. The current live lineup features Webb, Cal Campbell, Jonny Polonsky, and Joey Ayoub.

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What is Desert Nights?

Desert Nights is a weekly gathering at The Standard, Hollywood. Every Wednesday, we curate 3 musical acts on the rise to perform a special acoustic set in our hotel lounge. The vibe is warm and intimate, evoking an impromptu jam in a musician’s living room. Also, expect 2 clever cover songs delivered by each performer. The sets begins at 7:30 pm in the Cactus Lounge (thus the title of the evening, Desert Nights).