Santa Cruz Good Times

Friday
Feb 12th
Text size
  • Increase font size
  • Default font size
  • Decrease font size

You’re So Vein

music badveinsThick-skinned indie duo, Bad Veins, battles heartbreak with power pop

Bad Veins’ music video for “Falling Tide,” the throbbing electrorock track off of the band’s alluringly bleak self-titled debut (2009), shows the two mopey musicians at their worst. For nearly three minutes, the wallflower rockers appear too introverted to function, as they are featured sitting in the same spots during a birthday party, while more social party-goers participate in cake fights and card games, and play with little plastic army men.

Sébastien Schultz (drums) dances awkwardly and energetically in his chair, wistfully wishing, perhaps, for an invitation to stand up; Benjamin Davis (vocals/guitar/keys) disconsolately sings to himself, never letting go of his beer, as if he has just received a roofie lecture from a parent. Both of their beers are half-empty, but after speaking with Schultz about Bad Veins’ sophomore LP, The Mess We’ve Made—released April 24 on Modern Outsider Records—their lives seem more on the half-full side of the spectrum.

“I think with anything in life, hopefully you want to be pushing forward,” says 29-year-old Schultz, a French-American dual citizen, who will happily teach you how to properly pronounce his first name, if requested. He elaborates, “Hopefully to an extent, the tours continue to get bigger in a sense. More well-attended … if you’re a professor, you want tenure; if you’re an opener, you want to be a headliner.”

Like The Black Keys, the dynamic duo has roots in Ohio, and will soon be on the same bill as internationally acclaimed indie rock bands Clap Your Hands Say Yeah and Two Door Cinema Club.

The Mess We’ve Made is still as classically gritty and synthesized as its predecessor, but even more epic, with the addition of real string, brass, and horns, the latter of which are added by Ashley Shepherd, who produced the record. Not only is this album much more upbeat and pop-friendly, instrumentally, but Davis’ vocals have become biting and confrontational. His language is especially killer in the clever five-minute and forty second comeback, “Kindness,” which serves as a matured response to “You Kill”—a song about a man who is constantly killed in his dreams by his own lover—off the band’s freshman LP.

Now it’s Bad Veins’ turn to play offense, evident in the chorus for “Kindness”: “I’m gonna kill you/ I’m gonna kill you with kindness.” Schultz’s punchy drumming adds more weight to the dancy diss, as well as Davis’ revelation: “When it comes to hurting you I’ll know one thing/ I’ve got this ammunition and it’s sure to stain.”

Though Schultz doesn’t vocalize his feelings onstage the way Davis does, he claims he’s confrontational too—but “only when I need to be,” he admits. “ I certainly don’t back down, but I hope I’m not pushed to that point. But if I am pushed to that point …” Schultz ends his sentence with a foreboding laugh.

On a less threatening note, Schultz is looking forward to performing for locals at The Crepe Place on Friday, May 25. If you adore live indie music and men in uniform, get ready for both, since Bad Veins always dons imitation army outfits—looking tough for when they sing about love gone awry.

“Most bands are a bunch of dudes in T-shirts and skinny jeans,” Schultz says. “We kinda wanted to set up a stage show that would stick out a bit more … things that kind of make it more of a show, more entertaining … to see a spectacle on stage, if you can call it that.”

When you meet the band’s trustworthy third member, Irene—a reel-to-reel tape player that is 11 years Schultz’s senior—and see the rotary telephone box that Davis uses to distort his vocals, you’ll know why ‘spectacle’ is a fitting description.

Bad Veins plays at 9 p.m. Friday, May 25, at The Crepe Place, 1134 Soquel Ave., Santa Cruz. Tickets are $10. For more information, call 429-6994.

Comments (0)Add Comment

Write comment
smaller | bigger

busy
 

Share this on your social networks

Bookmark and Share

Share this

Bookmark and Share

 

Heart Me Up

In defense of Valentine’s Day

 

“be(ing) of love (a little) more careful”—e.e. cummings

Wednesday (Feb. 10) is Ash Wednesday, when Lent begins. Friday (Feb. 12) is Lincoln’s 207th birthday. Sunday is Valentine’s Day. On Ash Wednesday, with foreheads marked with a cross of ashes, we hear the words, “From dust thou art and unto dust thou shalt return.” Reminding us that our bodies, made of matter, will remain here on Earth when we are called back. It is our Soul that will take us home again. Lent offers us 40 days and nights of purification in preparation for the Resurrection (Easter) festival (an initiation) and for the Three Spring Festivals (at the time of the full moon)—Aries, Taurus, Gemini. The New Group of World Servers have been preparing since Winter Solstice. The number 40 is significant. The Christ (Pisces World Teacher) was in the desert for 40 days and 40 nights prior to His three-year ministry. The purpose of this desert exile was to prepare his Archangel (light) body to withstand the pressures of the Earth plane (form and matter). We, too, in our intentional purifications and prayers during the 40 days of Lent, prepare ourselves (physical body, emotions, lower mind) to receive and be able to withstand the irradiation of will, love/wisdom and light streaming into the Earth at spring equinox, Easter, and the Three Spiritual Festivals. What is Lent? The Anglo-Saxon word, lencten, comes from an ancient spring festival, agricultural rites marking the transition between winter and summer. The seasons reflect changes in nature (physical world) and humanity responds with social festivals of gratitude and of renewal. There is a purification process, prayerfulness in nature and in humanity in preparation for a great flow of spiritual energies during springtime. Valentine’s Day: Aquarius Sun, Taurus moon. Let us offer gifts of comfort, ease, harmony, beauty and satisfaction. Things chocolate and golden. Venus and Taurus things.

 

The New Tech Nexus

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

 

Making Dreams

Coen brothers salute vintage Hollywood in sly comedy ‘Hail, Caesar!’
Sign up for Good Times weekly newsletter
Get the latest news, events

RSS Feed Burner

 Subscribe in a reader

Latest Comments

 

Pub Watch

Mega gastro pub-in-progress at the Old Sash Mill, plus the best pasta dish downtown

 

How do you know love is real?

When you feel the groove in your heart and you’re inspired to dance. Becca Bing, Boulder Creek, Teacher

 

Temple of Umami

Watsonville’s Miyuki is homestyle cooking, Japanese-style

 

How would you stop people from littering?

Teach them from the time that they’re small that it’s not an appropriate behavior. Juliet Jones, Santa Cruz, Claims Adjuster