Motor Sales Residency

Sid The Cat & Bootleg Theater Present

Motor Sales Residency

Johanna Samuels, Goodnight, Texas

Mon. November 19, 2018

8:30 pm

Bootleg Theater

Los Angeles, CA

Free

This event is 21 and over

Motor Sales
Motor Sales
The latest music from songwriters Pete Harper and J. Blynn seemed doomed almost from the beginning. The duo, who had released two albums as Harper Blynn, had been playing in Mosco Rosco until about three years ago. Motor Sales was born shortly thereafter, when they recorded an EP with Shawn Everett, who has produced music by Weezer, Julian Casablancas, the Growlers and Lucius and won a Grammy for engineering Alabama Shakes’ 2015 album. But the recordings were lost in a power surge in New York City right before they were mixed. The first song, “Kick It Off,” is the only one to have survived.

It’s a song that damned near glows in the dark — a rocker in electronic clothing, modern and atmospheric but somehow carrying pieces of Beatles’ DNA, with a finger-snapping beat propelling it toward an indelible falsetto chorus. The duo says it’s representative of a batch of songs encapsulating “the sometimes-dystopic future-present landscape of Los Angeles, and by extension our current personal and societal predicaments. … Imagine taking one of your favorite records to the desert and playing it through a boombox during a swirling Van Gogh meteor shower.”

If the song is weighted by existential dread, it anticipates something better, a breakthrough of some kind. And that’s revealed in the video for the song, directed by Max Knight and starring Matt Russell, who plods through his household routine before finally catching the what’s-next spirit at the end.

What’s next for Motor Sales are more releases in 2018; since their original sessions, the duo have since reconvened with Everett to record a full album.
Johanna Samuels
Johanna Samuels
Indie-songstress Johanna Samuels is a breath of fresh air. She revives the singer-songwriter genre with carefully crafted lyrics and earnest pop-laden choruses. The native New Yorker grew up in Los Angeles, before returning to NY at the age of 18. She spent her time in school singing in school choirs, learning to play the songs of her musical heroes by ear. Naturally, Samuels began writing music of her own in her bedroom. At a time where the burgeoning music scene in Brooklyn was bustling DIY venues merging shows that showcased both well-known indie acts with dozens of undiscovered artists, Samuels was inspired to take her songs to the stage. Soon she was playing sold out shows at Glasslands and Union Pool.

In 2012 she recorded and self-released a six-track EP, Giant Fantasy Life and assembled a 4-piece backing band. Her sincere performances drew audiences in, making her one of the most promising acts to rise out of the New York indie scene.

In early spring of 2013 she recorded her first full-length album, titled Double Bind. After recording basic tracks with the band at a quilt factory-turned-studio in Williamsburg, Brooklyn, Samuels and drummer Fen Ikner worked on the tracks whenever the had a chance.The songs on Double Bind were written in Johanna's apartment in Bed-Stuy, Brooklyn and all share a sentiment of necessary separation or as Samuels puts it "…attempting to own myself and stand on my two feet."

She explains, "While recording the album, a good friend had described the term Double Bind: a dynamic wherein two emotional demands are met but consequently negate each other, leaving one person to feel trapped. For some reason that struck a deep chord in me. It is from that place that many of these songs grew."

Samuels moved back to LA late last year, a sound that is reflected in her upcoming EP Home and Dry: Told a Lie. The songs on the EP melt thoughtful narratives with sunny arrangements. Samuels enters the latest chapter in her artistry, while earnestly pouring out her heart, soul and creativity in the form of ear candy for us all. The best is yet to come.
Goodnight, Texas
Goodnight, Texas
If you take out a map and measure the midway point between San Francisco and Chapel Hill, North Carolina — the homes of songwriters Avi Vinocur and Patrick Dyer Wolf, respectively — you'll find an unincorporated town called Goodnight, Texas (population at last count: 28). That's what the duo discovered when they went looking for the center of their long-distance collaboration, a musical project that sounds, appropriately enough, like a cross-country drive on Interstate 40: Expansive, full of possibility, American in every sense of the word — the perfect place for missing someone but regretting nothing, for losing yourself in the crackle of guitar through speakers and having a good long think.

The band's contagiously entertaining dynamic at live shows, as well as the album's energy, soul and range — from red-blooded, foot-stomping rock 'n' roll to wistful front porch ballads to haunting tales of doomed romance — has made devotees out of both music critics and a growing legion of fans spread out across the country.

Americana is arguably an overused term at the moment — but what sets Goodnight, Texas apart from the pack is its richly imagined, full-color stories. Uncle John Farquhar , the bands sophomore record, showcases this talent perhaps better than ever, with the two songwriters' styles playing off each other to great effect, balancing a wry sense of humor with an obvious respect for the ghosts of this country's past. Whether in Vinocur's realm of epic sagas of loss and animated hit-the-road tunes or Wolf's natural gift for deceptively sparse, emotion-driven songwriting, we can feel the sun-baked earth, taste the sweat of a day's labor, hear the hound dog howling in the yard. Our protagonists are lonely travelers and scorned lovers ad sympathetically conjured bank robbers, and for the duration of a song, we are rooting for them with all we've got.
Venue Information:
Bootleg Theater
2220 Beverly Blvd
Los Angeles, CA, 90057
http://www.bootlegtheater.org/