Category Archives: LMN Band Exam

LMN Band Exam: The New Kinetics

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I’m not sure how many of you are aware of San Diego based rock band The New Kinetics but if you aren’t, you should know them. They have been picking up steam and playing lots of shows around San Diego for the past few months. I was finally able to catch a glimpse of them at Eleven during the San Diego Music Thing and was so happy I did!

The band is releasing a new record called CONTACT tonight at Bar Pink. You can find the event page here. So without further ado, here’s a little more about The New Kinetics with Birdy (vocals/guitar), Brian (guitar), Leslie (bass), and Jon (drums).


Multiple Choice: choose one of the following three options. Feel free to ad lib or create your own choices.

Form of caffeine: Coffee, tea, energy drinks

Birdy: FREE COFFEE!?! Yes! Where do I sign?

Brian: If you are going Ill take a coffee thanks.

Leslie: I could not function without several pots of coffee every morning.

Jon: I don’t do adult beverages. Milk please!


Super hero: Superman, Spiderman, Batman

Birdy: Batman. But they all have killer boots… I’m certain that’s the best part about being a superhero… second to stomping fools… killer boots.

Brian: Batman is hip but I’d be Magneto first.

Leslie: Spiderman, all the way.

Jon: Norm Abram


Guyliner: Yes, No, Depends

Birdy: Only Bowie could ever pull it off. Bowie is awesome.

Brian: I’m beautiful already. I don’t need any.

Leslie: Depends.  Are you Richard from “Lost?”

Jon: Mustache wax

Fill in the Blank: (favorites)


Favorite guilty pleasure music is

Birdy: The Monkeys, Daydream Believer

Brian: Joni Mitchell. It’s what I use when people tell me I need to calm down. Which is quite often.

Leslie: The Bee Gees are my guilty pleasure.

Jon: Beach Boys


Favorite gadget

Birdy: Cassette Tape Recorder

Brian: My 8mm Bell & Howell directors edition or my Krasnogorsk 16mm K1.

Leslie: My sewing machine.  I have a wine corkscrew shaped like a circus strongman that is a very close second.

Jon: My phone of course!


Favorite store

Birdy: North Park Thrift Trader!

Brian: The Antique mall on Newport in OB. I’m in there for hours. Records, cameras, jukeboxes, useless broken crap. You name it, they have it.

Leslie: Rasputin Music in Berkeley, CA.
Jon: Craigslist

Fill in the blank: (other)

Weird skill/talent no one would expect from me

Birdy: Former illegal street rally racing gang member (no, I’m not kidding)

Brian: I am an expert on American counter-culturalism and I was kicked off the debate team in HS as I kept making other kids cry.

Leslie: I don’t know.  I am an open book, and I share my quirks with everyone around me.

Jon: I’m an excellent bowler.


Essay Questions:

If you could sum up The New Kinetics in five words, what would they be?

Birdy: Livewire, thrills, high-impact, noise, pop-music

Brian: Intense, white hot, rigid, loaded, cutting

Leslie: (the) New Kinetics World Tour 2012

Jon: One, two, three, four… one


What is the first instrument you learned how to play?

Birdy: I took up violin in middle school but I always considered the voice as my instrument, even as a kid.  I took singing lessons weekly starting at the age of 6 or 7. I was taught pitch, scales, breathing technique, vibrato, sustain, projection, dynamics, enunciation depending on the type of piece I was working on; Italian Opera, Broadway Show tunes, Jazz, Pop, Blues, Improv. I didn’t know I wanted to be in a rock band until I saw The Who’s live concert at the Isle of Whight. Then I started writing my own songs and I picked up a guitar.

Brian: When I was 5 my dad had a big hollow body guitar stuffed into a closet in my house. It was one of the super cheap Sears brand Kay guitars with 4 strings left and cracks all up and down it. One day I dug it out and learned how to play a Muddy Waters guitar part. I could barely reach the strings. I remember standing in church one Sunday practicing the part on the edge of the bench I was sitting at, afraid I would forget the part in the hours I was away from the guitar. A few months later my oldest brother stepped on the guitar and it was finished. For years my brothers would be watching MTV on the couch and I’d be sitting 10 inches from the tele saying “I’d play that. It looks nice! Are those cheap?” “No. Those are like a thousand dollars!” my brothers would respond. “Why did Slash throw his Les Paul off that cliff? I could have used it,” I remember saying. After years of that my dad finally took me to the local dump of a music shop in Lindenhurst NY and bought me a Strat knockoff. At the time I just couldn’t believe I had a Strat (knockoff). I was elated.

Leslie: I played the violin for a couple years when I was much younger and hated it.  I don’t have the discipline for any kind of classical training, but I wish I did.

Jon: Piano


LMN Band Exam: The Wilderness of Manitoba

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With a band name like The Wilderness of Manitoba, you might not know what to expect. Based upon their tunes I’d have to assume that the wilds of Manitoba (a providence in Canada) are a quiet and peaceful place, full of sunshine and chirping birds, a perfect place for a relaxing afternoon stroll through a forest of tall evergreen trees.  At least that’s what I imagine when I listen to the soft vocals, delicate harmonies, and lazy slide guitars that accompany the strumming guitar or banjo and give the band it’s distinct sound and feel.

To give you an idea, here’s one of my favorite The Wilderness of Manitoba tunes:

These folksters are actually based out of Toronto, Canada, but they just did a tour of the United States in support of their album, When You Left the Fire. We wanted to learn more about them so we caught up with Will and Melissa from the band  as they were passing through Southern California and had them take Local Music Nation’s “Band Exam.” Here’s how they did:


Multiple Choice:choose one of the following three options. Feel free to ad lib or create your own choices.

Form of caffeine: Coffee, tea, energy drinks

Will: Coffee for sure. Although beer has often made an appearance as a selected alternative.

Melissa: really good free trade organic coffee (for most of us, some of us don’t do caffeine)


Super hero: Superman, Spiderman, Batman

Will: Spiderman. But only because a super bat spider man hybrid was never created.


Fight boredom on the road: Cards, Reading, Music, DVDs

Will: Various forms of media, reading, writing and iTunes university.

Melissa: Reading, photography, also lately we’ve been listening to some amazing European History lectures from Yale on podcasts.


Fill in the Blank:

My favorite song to listen to on the road is:

Will: At this very moment in time, it’s parallelograms by Linda Perhacs or anything by Joni Mitchell because we’re in California but ask me tomorrow!

Melissa:  My favorite song to listen to on the road is – Something quiet with introspective lyrics, maybe like Joni Mitchell or Simon & Garfunkel but I may be biased because we are listening to Joni right now.


Favorite guilty pleasure music is

Will: All 80’s all the time.


Weird skill/talent no one would expect from me

Melissa: I was in school for and apprenticed in silversmithing and jewelry design and from time to time, I still teach at the studio that I worked at because I love being there and teaching people cool stuff about making jewelry.


I am currently in __________. One thing I like about this town/city/stretch of highway is ___________________.

Melissa: We are currently in San Clemente on the way to LA. One thing I like about this stretch of highway is that it’s not rush hour and the fog actually makes things seem pretty peaceful.


Essay Questions: (pick two but you can do more if you want)

What is the first thing you do when you come home from a tour?

Melissa: Sleep for hours! Make nice meals in my kitchen, cookies for my friends, catch up with as many friends as possible. And when I’ve done that, I go into the jewelry studio and make stuff!


Tell us a story about one of the songs off When You Left the Fire.

Will: Hermit – was written about a man living on the edge of town, lionizing a lady from afar who lives in a house nearby. One night her house catches fire and she walks away from it all, leaving it burning alone and desolate in the distance. She goes on to become somebody of significance (who exactly, isn’t really determined) but people from all over know of her and want to be in her presence. The man who lives on the edge of town (the hermit, so to speak) in truth, cared for her more than anybody (even knew the lines that danced around her mouth) but never got over the fear of approaching her. In the end, he contemplates leaving the shadows and fleeing for the big city to find her (which is what the triumphant instrumental section at the close of the song is about)


What is your favorite Canadian sweet treat?

Melissa: I’m originally from Ottawa so I would have to say that eating Beaver Tails (kind of a flat donut with a waffle-like texture, covered in cinnamon sugar and served hot) after ice-skating on the canal in the winter is a lasting memory of a Canadian treat that I will always carry with me. Black licorice is good too!


Pretty rad right? Well these cool peeps are back to touring in Canada but you can check them out and buy their tunage here. We hope they come back down to the states soon!