By Mariana Timony
In the last edition of ATG, a commenter informed me that my thesis–young men make exceptionally good rock music because rock and roll is about sex and boys are obsessed with sex–was sexist. Ok, it was a little sexist, which I considered at the time. Yet somehow I didn’t think a piece about Pangea’s live show was the correct forum in which to discuss the finer points of misogyny in rock and roll. In addition, I never meant to imply that young women don’t think about sex or make good rock and roll because duh, of course they do. It’s just that the results are different. Anyway, I love girl bands, don’t you?
So let’s talk about Bleached, the new project from Jessica and Jennifer Clavin, formerly of Mika Miko. Last week I saw this three-girl-one-boy band supporting Shannon and the Clams, the Trashies, and Royal Baths at The Blue Star, which is quickly becoming one of my favorite L.A. venues for its low key vibe, excellent bands, cheap beer, and free hot dogs. Check it out if you’re down, SF kids, and bring ear plugs.
Bleached went on around 6:30, when it was still bright and sunny, and kicked out a tight set of catchy punk songs that had the entire place on their feet (and considering the amount of beer and pot being passed around, that’s no mean feat). Jessica, front and center in a floppy felt hat and sunglasses, commented on the casual yet upbeat feel of the early evening: “It’s like a backyard show!” Couldn’t agree more. Blondie comparisons may seem a little easy, but if you err on the punk side and substitute L.A. for New York, you’d get something akin to Bleached’s sound. The music isn’t a million miles away from Mika Miko’s tarty punk songs, but Bleached is a little less thrashy and a little more pop. I wrote “Undertones” down in my notebook.
To bring it back round to the feminine mystique, take a listen to “Think of You”. On the one hand, the yearning, wistful lyrics are right at home alongside any girl group tune of similar sentiment. Yet Bleached pairs them with music so basic, so indifferently upbeat and hard edged, it’s power-pop in the sweetest sense.
Bleached are playing a bunch of dates around Southern California in early September, so check their Facebook page for all the details (also the band’s Tumblr and Twitter). But here’s one show you shouldn’t miss: on September 22nd, Bleached will be rocking the L.A. Public Library in downtown. Be there or be square.
Image Credit: Bleached