Boutique record label Maurice The Fish Records presented rock and electronica at the venerable Jazzbones here in Tacoma. A standard bar takes up the left side of the venue, with table seating and a large raised stage to the right. The Sunday Sessions, held the first Sunday of each month, are now into its 3rd year.
Officially supporting tonight’s artists were the principals of Seattle Wave Radio, an eclectic radio presence in the city for a number of years, and Cindy Teixeira of music blog Brown Bag Alley and manager of local rock band FallStreak.
Tonight, I was present to see Aradia, a Seattle songwriter who shares NYC roots with yours truly. A striking, tall blonde with the soul of an adventurer, plus an earnest voice, Aradia focuses her music and lyrics around the cause of humankind itself and our place in the Universe. The set comprised all originals, save one Blondie cover “Call Me”. All but two songs in the set were from the new album “Citizen Of Earth”. One can certainly hear Blondie in the overall sound, though there is also the faraway introspective material that leans one’s ear towards someone like Bjork. Her willingness to connect to people’s minds and hearts is the most notable aspect of her personality. She often gestured with arms outstretched while singing. She won the favor of Seattle Wave Radio after initially placing 5th, then 2nd in a band-battle competition last autumn. My favorite selection of the show was a definitive trip-hop song “So Long”, referencing faraway transmissions. Aradia wore a spacey number (which she claimed on stage was actually her bathrobe), a gorgeous silver gown over black diamond-studded tights, and red pumps. Her band was on drums, bass, guitar, and she occasionally played an Arturia Minibrute synth (100% analog!). Tacoma gets another opportunity to see Aradia on March 14 at The Spar, a venue with a rather storied past in the city’s history.
Opening for Aradia was a supergroup of local and regional bands titled Monsters In The Dark. Raymond Hayden, proprietor of Maurice The Fish Records, held court on keyboards in this 8-piece band, complete with a trio of spirited female vocalists, guitars, bass and sax. Having a big band and a diverse sound, steeped in rock, you knew you were in for a good time. They performed thoughtful original tunes, and several Pink Floyd covers. As for the supergroup angle, for starters: alto/soprano saxman Paul Sawtelle has his Brotherhood Of Soul; vocalist Jessica Lynne fronts her band Jessica Lynne & The Cousins. Veteran songwriter Regan Lane of power-pop band Strangely Alright, took a turn sharing lead vocals.