Omar Velasco Residency

Bootleg Theater Presents

Omar Velasco Residency

Pearl Charles, Moke Hill

Mon. January 4, 2016

8:30 pm

Bootleg Theater - Bar Stage

Los Angeles, CA

Free

This event is 21 and over

Omar Velasco
Omar Velasco
“I started playing as soon as I can remember. I took to it right away,” said singer/songwriter Omar Velasco of his musical beginnings. “I didn’t really decide to do it as a career until later in life — about 18 years old.” Now, after six years as a guitarist touring with the band A Fine Frenzy and then with Jonathan Wilson, Velasco has embarked on a solo career. His debut album, Golden Child, comes out this summer.

If the two preview songs on his website (musicofvelasco.com) are indicative of the record’s entirety, then Golden Child will prove to be a tantalizing aural experience. “Great Western City” is a galloping number with rich vocals and a lyrical sense of storytelling. “Golden Child” has a jazzy feel with orchestration undertones à la a funkier Seals and Crofts, and Velasco’s warm vocals soothe like a summer breeze.

Velasco lived in different cities and countries while growing up, but the family finally settled in Goleta when he entered high school. His eclectic sensibilities come from his nomadic beginnings and being raised in a multicultural family that listened to a wide array of music. “My mother is Mexican, so there was a lot of Latin-influenced music,” Velasco explained. “My dad would listen to a lot of world music — African, Afro-Cuban, South American. He has a Yiddish background, so a lot of that, too. … Of course [there] was the Beatles and Cat Stevens, more of the popular stuff, which I love.”

For the last year and a half, Velasco has been laying down tracks with Wilson, who is also a sought-after producer. “I actually finished mixing about October,” he said. Previously, he played mostly solo acoustic gigs, but for this go out, Velasco has put a band together. “I love doing things by myself, you can be absolutely vulnerable because nobody is listening and you can make all the weird sounds that you like,” he said. “That being said, there’s nothing like the magic that can be created with a group of resonant people.” —Michelle Drown
Pearl Charles
Pearl Charles
Los Angeles native Pearl Charles’ smoky, psych-folk footprint treads somewhere between a gentler, silky Jefferson Airplane and more fiery sides of Joni Mitchell. Her debut EP was recorded with the help of a crew of local producers who’ve aided similarly roiling records from Rooney, Cherry Glazerr, and La Sera. That release’s first single “You Can Change” was a soulful pop track where Charles commands and deplores (“you can change what you want, but I just can’t change your mind) with feisty harmonic woos. But the simmering “I Ran So Far,” debuting here, pairs rootsier lyrics (“I run to the river/But the river run dry”) with a western twang and grave, moaning guitars.

Although only in her early twenties, Pearl Charles already has a strong résumé. She’s earned a BFA in music from CalArts and in her free time has toured with the Growlers, Father John Misty, and Thee Oh Sees aside from working on her own projects, the Driftwood Singers and the Blank Tapes. Her next tour will be a small venture around California. Listen to “I Ran So Far” and take a look at her tour dates below. Pearl Charles is out on July 28 via Burger Records. - Spin
Moke Hill
Moke Hill
Moke Hill is the musical collaboration between Detroit natives Drew Phillips and Ben Berry. Inspired by a wide range of musical genres including rock, folk and electronic music, the two longtime friends exchanged ideas from their respective homes (Chicago, Los Angeles, Detroit and northern California's gold country) throughout 2012. They united in Laurel Canyon in the spring of 2013 to record their debut EP, enlisting the help of longtime friends (and occasional bandmates) Tim and Dash Hutton on bass, drums and backing vocals. The result of those sessions is scheduled for release this fall.
Venue Information:
Bootleg Theater - Bar Stage
2220 Beverly Blvd
Los Angeles, CA, 90057
http://www.bootlegtheater.org/