Santa Cruz Good Times

Friday
Aug 22nd
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

 

Trending Now

Whether you live by the Vogue bible or choose to go into your day wearing what you slept in, odds are you wear clothes.

 

Entering Virgo

Sun entering Virgo brings a sign and element change, from Leo’s fire to Virgo’s practical earth. Food, health, grains, service and small animals are in the news and on our minds. It’s one month till autumn. Pumpkins and persimmons are ripening. Venus is in Leo. We radiate warmth; we’re generous, playful and affectionate. Everyone shows off in an ardent, passionate, warm-hearted, romantic and over-dramatic way, reflecting Leo’s fiery nature. Think of life as Shakespeare wrote: life is a play, we are its actors on the same stage together.

 

Final Cut

Cedar Street Video to close after 10 years at downtown location

 

Film, Times & Events: Week of August 22

Santa Cruz area movie theaters >
Sign up for Good Times weekly newsletter
Get the latest news, events

RSS Feed Burner

 Subscribe in a reader

 

Locavores Only

Farm dinners at Route 1 Farms and the Homeless Garden Project expand the revolution

 

How should Santa Cruz develop downtown around the San Lorenzo River?

Santa Cruz | Artist/Show Promoter

 

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

 

Clowning Around With Armitage Chardonnay

Four of us headed to Brandon Armitage’s new tasting room in Aptos Village recently to try his well-made wines.