Thursday, January 13, 2011

A new Loquat and a new album in 2011!

Happy belated New Year, everyone. It’s an exciting time. Two of us (Anthony and I) have been growing a new Loquat for the last nine months, and he’s about to join the crew any day now. Or maybe any hour? It’s that close.

I wanted to reach out before all the craziness ensues. We’ve also been hard at work to finish our third full-length album. We don’t have a name for it yet, but we’re finishing up the pre-mixing stage with the songs. In the next week or two, we’ll be sending off some of them to be mixed (some going out of state), and the rest we’ll mix locally. We also have a cool performance video that’s finished (but waiting for the final music) for our song “Time Bending.”

In other news, I am honored to be participating in a Grammy nomination with our friends Bostich + Fussible for their latest Nortec Collective album, Bulevar 2000. I co-wrote, sang, and produced vocals for their single, “I Count the Ways.” We’ll see what happens on February 13 at this year’s Grammy Awards. (Check it out, number 58 on the list:

In the meantime, the upcoming Loquat album has consumed me for the last two or more years. It’s hard to believe that the album has taken so long, but after six years with the same core band members, we experienced a sea change. Three band members moved on, and three members joined. It’s been bittersweet, but we’ve really enjoyed writing, recording, and playing shows with Coop (Chris Cooper), Chip (Cosby), and our latest member, Jon (Langmead).

We’ve written a lot of songs in the last couple of years, and some good ones had to be set aside so that new members could take part in the writing process. In 2010, songs were recorded, rerecorded, broken down, remixed, and tweaked some more. For Loquat, the production process has never been an easy one. I know that some musicians crank out their albums in a week. Unfortunately, we just don’t know how to do that. Maybe we make our lives too difficult, but we want to be really happy with the outcome, and thankfully, so do our producers, the Rondo Brothers. They let us know when something isn’t working and we need to try another approach. It makes me a lot happier that we push ourselves rather than settling for something that’s “good enough.” So that’s where we’re at…. More news to come (both baby and Loquat related)!

Xoxo, Kylee + Loquat

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Cover of our song "Internal Crash"

I have been wanting to share this rock cover of our song "Internal Crash" with everyone. It was done by a musician by the name of Jacob Martinson, who recorded all the guitar, bass, drums, and vocals himself. I loved hearing his interpretation of the song. Here's the cover:

I wrote "Internal Crash" after my grandfather had a profound stroke. It was really hard on my family, especially because there aren't a lot of us: My dad's dad died when he was only two years old, and his mom died when I was nine. My dad has one brother, my mom has one brother, and I'm an only child.

Tom Lennon Curry was my grandfather's name. I called him Bapa. The reason Bapa had the stroke was because he found out later in life that he had a hole in his heart. He was instructed to take baby aspirin every day, but he forgot one night, and he had the stroke.

I wrote the song with the false hope that he was going to make a full recovery. He did actually live for another seven years, but he was paralyzed on one side of his body, and his quality of life was never the same. It was really sad. I loved Bapa so much. I still remember the day he introduced me to ginger ale when I was four and the fun I had attempting to drive his golf cart when I was nine. Above is a photo of me and Bapa.

Also, here's a photo of him at age 18 or 19 as a soldier. Bapa hit the beach in Normandy, France as an artillery gunner in WWII. At one point, he was blown out of a slit trench, and everyone in his platoon died but him. He was MIA in a French hospital for three months, and his family thought he was gone.

One thing I never thought was particularly fair was how much the war messed up Bapa physically and emotionally. I think it's enough bad shit to go through in one lifetime. So why did he have to spend the last seven years of his life paralyzed and almost deaf and blind?

A couple years before he passed, I interviewed Bapa about his experiences. It was the first time that my grandmother, Nancy (or Neena as I still call her), and my parents had heard the whole story. I asked him about having to kill other people and he simply said, "Kill or be killed." Man, that's heartbreaking.

Anyway, I'm very happy that Jacob decided to honor our song and my grandfather by doing his cover of it. His version is fantastic. The original is much more stripped down. Here's the piano version from It's Yours to Keep: (And here's one with me, guitar, and piano on our Fall EP:

Saturday, March 6, 2010

First Day of Recording

Hey all, so yesterday's first day of recording was superfun and a little exhausting. We were at Fantasy Studios in Berkeley, CA for about 10 hours, but we managed to get the better part of four songs done. Now we'll take those songs and work on them some more in the Rondo Brothers' studio. That's when some of the fun production stuff will happen, and we'll do backup vocals, acoustic guitar, and a few other things.

Here are some photos from the day:

And a great film maker by the name of Laura captured the day on video, so hopefully we'll have some of that to show everyone soon.

xoxo, Loquat

Friday, February 19, 2010

Bring on the Recording!

Just a quick one to say that we will start recording our next album at Fantasy Studios in the first week of March:

I am so impatient about this stuff, so when when things finally start rolling, it's a giant relief. We just have to practice like maniacs for the big day.

We'll start with our new songs "The Legion" and "Time Bending," and hopefully make our way to "Kindling For Fire" if there's time.

We are super-excited to work again with the Rondo Brothers, the guys who produced our last album, Secrets of the Sea. It's good to work with cool guys who challenge us to go after the unexpected.

Speaking of new songs, if you're in the Bay Area and have tickets to our Noise Pop show at Bottom of the Hill, we'll be playing a few songs from our upcoming album. If you don't have tickets, unfortunately, the show is sold out. However, there will be 50 tickets held at the door for Noise Pop badge holders and early bird walk-ups. Doors open at 8.

Stay tuned for blogs with video and photos from our recording sessions. Can't wait for the fun to begin!

xoxo, Loquat

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Time For Some Show and Tell

It really means the world to us when people out in the world respond to our music by making more art. That's one of the main reasons we started this blog, so we could share the other music and art that people have given to us over the years. 

Here, we'll start with one brand-new thing and one from a few years back. A while back, I met a rapper named Musik G ( I've been a hip-hop fan for a long time, but to my surprise, he really liked our song "Swingset Chain" and told me he wanted to add a third verse to the song. He really nailed it in my opinion, and it brings my original feelings from when I wrote the song back to the surface. 

My best friend Kari lives in Minnesota. We grew up together in MN, three doors down from each other. When I moved to California, it broke both of our hearts a little. Then she moved to Chicago for college. We spent eight years only seeing each other maybe once or twice a year. And then, to my delight, she moved to San Francisco and lived right down the street from me again. But it was not to last. The pull was too great for her to go back to Minneapolis, and that's when I wrote this song, with a broken heart. 

Finally, we're sharing it. I really can't believe it took this long (well, I did lose it in a drawer for a a couple years):

And below is a cool piece of art our cool Facebook fan Knisterpapier made for us. (And yes, that is a rooster in the photo with me.)

If you have anything you want to share with us, we'd love to see it. Please send it our way:

xoxo, Loquat

Monday, February 8, 2010

Yes, Loquat is a band (and a fruit)

Everyone has a blog. My grandmother probably has one. For some unknown reason, Loquat never had an official blog. Maybe it's time, considering I (Kylee) am a writer by day and band nerd by night.

I say "band nerd" because that's what we called ourselves in high school. Loquat has a history of having members who were once band nerds: We were in marching band, concert band, jazz band, etc., in high school. (I will not share photos, at least not of me.) Interestingly, our lead guitar players—former guitarist, Earl Otsuka, and current guitarist, Chip Cosby—scoffed at the idea of having to wear a ridiculously hot wool tuxedo, silver overlay with a giant "O" on it, and a plastic hat with a feather plume, marching around a football field in August with a saxophone playing Twisted Sister's "We're Not Gonna Take It."

Anthony and Christopher were in the drum line together, so they were a little bit cooler than me. Coop played clarinet, so we were about the same level of nerd. Maybe one day Coop and I will do a clarinet/saxophone duet. Heh.

At any rate, Loquat has been around for a while now. We're not planning on packing it in anytime soon, so we might as well finally get to know each other, right? There many stories we haven't told. Feel free to share your embarrassing high school stories (past or present) with us, so we can commiserate. We're here for you.

And we'd like to be meet more of you, too. We are dying to get back on the road. Come hell or high water (in which case we'll have to fly), we will. But first, there is the business of recording a new album. We're writing songs, liking some and getting frustrated with others, writing more, working them out in the rehearsal space, writing more, angrily kicking some to the curb and stomping on them, writing more, swearing at my computer, writing more (pretty pissed off now), and writing yet more. And it's still not enough. Making music is both thrilling and insanely aggravating. Sometimes you're inspired; sometimes you think you're a hack, and you think you're going to get found out.

The good news is that we're meeting with our producers the Rondo Brothers—who worked on our last album, Secrets of the Sea—this week to show them what we've been working on. It's good to have some outside perspective to keep us on course. We'll also be doing a tour of a studio in the Bay Area. It's time to make a plan. Otherwise, we'd just keep writing songs forever. We really want to git 'er done. In the meantime, we do have a show coming up for the Noise Pop festival, Saturday, Feb. 27 at Bottom of the Hill in San Francisco. There won't be tickets available for long, but for now, you can get them here:

And if you want to know anything about Loquat, please leave us comments and questions. We don't want to be working on an album in a dark cave by ourselves, so some human contact would be nice.

Love, Loquat