Santa Cruz Good Times

Wednesday
Apr 16th
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

 

Aries Solar Festival

Sunday is Palm Sunday. Symbolizing victory and triumph, paradise, sacrifice and martyrdom, the Pisces World Teacher entered Jerusalem (City of Peace) on a donkey (signifying humility).

 

Sugar: The New Tobacco?

Proposed bill would require warning labels on sugary drinks Will soda and other saccharine libations soon come with a health warning? They will if it’s up to our state senator, Bill Monning (D-Carmel). On Feb. 27, Monning proposed first-of-its-kind legislation that would require a consumer warning label be placed on sugar-sweetened beverages sold in California. SB 1000, also known as the Sugar-Sweetened Beverages Safety Warning Act, was proposed to provide vital information to consumers about the harmful effects of consuming sugary drinks, such as sodas, sports drinks, energy drinks, and sweetened teas.

 

Animal Magnetism

Bear, mouse dare to be friends in charming ‘Ernest and Celestine’ It’s not exactly Romeo and Juliet. It’s not even a romance, although it is a love story about two individuals separated by prejudice who find the courage to form an unshakable bond despite the rules and traditions that keep them apart.

 

Printer's Devil

Iconic editor Buz Bezore, who died last month at the age of 68, left a huge mark on Santa Cruz journalism   Eventually, it’s all a blur. You live long enough, and maybe a little too hard at times, so that when you hit the rewind button of faded memory, it moves so fast that you can hardly sort and gather the details. One scene skips to the next, and to the next, without proper editing or sequencing. Chronologies get distorted. Which came first: stealing the chickens or coloring the eggs?
Sign up for Tomorrow's Good Times Today
Upcoming arts & events

RSS Feed Burner

 Subscribe in a reader

Latest Comments

 

Foodie File: Yan Flower

Yan Belleville has owned Yan Flower, an affordable Chinese restaurant in Downtown Santa Cruz, with her husband Raymond for eight years, and it’s a family affair. Her brother, sister, sister-in-law, and cousins work there too. Locals know the joint for its massive lunch specials starting at $4.

 

How would you feel about a tech industry boom in Santa Cruz?

I feel like it would ruin the small old-town feeling of Santa Cruz. It wouldn’t be the same Surf City kind of vacation town that it is. Antoinette BennettSanta Cruz | Construction Management

 

Best of Santa Cruz County

The 2013 Santa Cruz County Readers' Poll and Critics’ Picks It’s our biggest issue of the year, and in it, your votes—more than 6,500 of them—determined the winners of The Best of Santa Cruz County Readers’ Poll. New to the long list of local restaurants, shops and other notables that captured your interest: Best Beer Selection, Best Locally Owned Business, Best Customer Service and Best Marijuana Dispensary. In the meantime, many readers were ever so chatty online about potential new categories. Some of the suggestions that stood out: Best Teen Program and Best Web Design/Designer. But what about: Dog Park, Church, Hotel, Local Farm, Therapist (I second that!) or Sports Bar—not to be confused with Bra. Our favorite suggestion: Best Act of Kindness—one reader noted Café Gratitude and the free meals it offered to the Santa Cruz Police Department in the aftermath of recent crimes. Perhaps some of these can be woven into next year’s ballot, so stay tuned. In the meantime, enjoy the following pages and take note of our Critics’ Picks, too, beginning on page 91. A big thanks for voting—and for reading—and an even bigger congratulations to all of the winners. Enjoy.  -Greg Archer, EditorBest of Santa Cruz County Readers’ Poll INDEX

 

Comanche Cellars

Pinot Noir 2010 I first tasted Comanche Cellars Pinot when a friend brought a bottle to share over lunch at Center Street Grill in Santa Cruz. Upon trying it, I knew I had to find out more about it.