Santa Cruz Good Times

Tuesday
Oct 21st
Text size
  • Increase font size
  • Default font size
  • Decrease font size

Little Dualities

music_ld_trailer_walkSweden’s Little Dragon spreads its wings

During the latter stages of August, Little Dragon suffered through the kind of routing that would make even the most grizzled tour veteran groan. Playing a few record release shows in support of the brand-spanking-new Ritual Union, the Swedish foursome—coming to Big Sur’s Henry Miller Library on Tuesday, Sept. 6—made stops in Los Angeles, Brooklyn and Belgium over the span of four days.

“It was very tight scheduling, but it was also very inspiring,” says drummer Erik Bodin.

“Those shows were really for the fans,” breaks in singer Yukimi Nagano. “The tickets were really cheap, and the fans were really up for it.”

That’s certainly a lot of frequent flier miles. But to hear the band—rounded out by bassist Fredrik Källgren Wallin and keyboardist Håkan Wirenstrand—talk about the experience, jet lag wasn’t even part of the equation. Deriving a little extra motivation from exhaustion is just one of several peculiar dualities apparent within Little Dragon’s synth-laced dance music.

“It actually is a little bit mystical,” explains Bodin. “We were very exhausted, but there’s an energy in everything we do, so once we’re on stage it’s easy to feed off that.”

In fact, duality is something that the band seems to have an active awareness of. Case in point: in past interviews, Little Dragon has spoken about having a strict “no guitar” policy. However, if you were to ask Bodin about the artist he would most like to work with—living or dead—his answer would be Jimi Hendrix.

“We are a bit mysterious. We say one thing and then go another way,” teases Bodin. “We are more strict with our words than with what we do.”

Perhaps the most bizarre duality in Little Dragon’s world is the lack of attention they’ve received in their homeland of Sweden. It’s definitely an alternative-music-loving country—even the famed export Kent has turned to electronic beats on its past couple albums—so who knows why Little Dragon’s dreamy soundscapes don’t receive the same love they do in the States.

“We just haven’t had that many requests to play shows in Sweden,” explains Nagano. “But in the U.S., [Los Angeles-based NPR affiliate] KCRW has been very supportive of us. We’ve met so many people who have been helping us out in any way they can, people doing press for us, fans offering help.”

In fact, the band’s first-ever sold-out show occurred at the Roxy on Hollywood’s famed Sunset Strip. That achievement had been a long time coming, as Little Dragon has existed among the four high school friends, in one form or another, since 1996.

“There was a very specific moment when we decided to get serious,” recalls Bodin, referring to when friend-of-the-band Christopher Berg put out their first 7-inch EP in 2007. “It was a big milestone, someone putting their confidence in us. Up until then we weren’t trying to promote ourselves. We were shy, maybe.”

Putting out that EP—Twice/Test—was the impetus for finally picking a band name, and the rest (as they say) is history. Releasing its debut album later that year, Little Dragon saw a fast ascension to indie favoritism, and has maintained that momentum since.

That said, three albums in, it seems like the band is at a critical point in its career. Do their nightclub-ready beats cross over to some more mainstream success, or are they content to hold on to their esoteric charm? For Little Dragon, it’s all a duality.


Little Dragon performs at 7 p.m. Tuesday, Sept. 6, at Henry Miller Library, Hwy 1, Big Sur. Tickets are $34 in advance. For more information, call 667-2574.

Comments (0)Add Comment

Write comment
smaller | bigger

busy
 

Share this on your social networks

Bookmark and Share

Share this

Bookmark and Share

 

Field Work

Santa Cruz Mountain winemakers explain how the harvest works, and what kind of wine to expect from this year's crop

 

Libra's Two Choices

Libra (our last week) is the sign of creating right relations and values. In Libra we are asked to choose how to be, our identity in the world. We can maintain a hermetic sealed-off attitude (my life, my work, my money, etc.) or we can gain knowledge of world events and learn more about those in need. Libra is a group sign—self with others. Here are some events occurring in our world this week concerning food, poverty, spirituality, values and global realities. The UN (a spiritual experiment) each month places a “light” upon world problems. This week a light shines on Rural Women, Farms, Food & Poverty. Before we choose to respond we must have knowledge. “So we can each do our part.” Oct. 15 - International Day of Rural Women (unrecognized with few resources); Oct. 16 - World Food Day & Family Farming: Feeding the World, Caring for the Earth; Oct. 17 - Eradication of Poverty Day (international). During the month of Libra (with Saturn exalted), we pause, contemplate and assess what it is we know, don’t know, and need to know. Libra receives and distributes Ray 3 of divine intelligence, right relations, right choice and right economy (Venus). Use your intelligence “tips the Libran scales” in terms of being able to see and then choose between the two paths Libra offers (return to the past or step forward into Scorpio’s Discipleship). Libra (the oscillating light) prepares us for the great tests and conflicts in Scorpio. In Libra we are subtly tested as we learn the nature of polarized energies (s/he loves me, s/he loves me not). In Libra we learn more about ourselves through others. Libra’s Ray 3 asks us to become more adaptable and skillful. And then we are to teach each other what we know. In Libra, we all become teachers. In all these ways love is cultivated.

 

The New Tech Nexus

Community leaders in science and technology unite to form web-based networking program

 

Docs Without Borders

United Nations Association Film Festival showcases documentaries from around the globe
Sign up for Good Times weekly newsletter
Get the latest news, events

RSS Feed Burner

 Subscribe in a reader

Latest Comments

 

Nut Kreations

Co-owner Craig Olsen goes nuts over nuts

 

What artist or artists participating in the encore weekend of Open Studios should not be missed?

Santa Cruz | Teacher

 

Martin Ranch Winery

Friends who are wine club members of Martin Ranch invited us to the winery’s fun and festive annual barbecue, where the wine is flowing and the food just keeps on coming. Music and dancing are part and parcel of the action, and a good time is guaranteed.

 

Beer Bus

Santa Cruz’s new Brew Cruz, award winning ales, mole by el Jardín, and Wildcat Ridge Chardonnay