We are All My Pretty Ones; a group of earnest musicians/music dorks making well-crafted music unlimited by genre or trend. Centered around songwriter Derek Schmidt’s lyrics - which span from the grandiose and literary to the spare and heartfelt - All My...
We are All My Pretty Ones; a group of earnest musicians/music dorks making well-crafted music unlimited by genre or trend. Centered around songwriter Derek Schmidt’s lyrics - which span from the grandiose and literary to the spare and heartfelt - All My Pretty Ones focuses on harmony above all else. Based in San Francisco and Oakland, All My Pretty Ones features lead guitar and mandolin by Jesse Wade, vocals and upright bass provided by Genessa Kealoha, oboe and vocals by Jocelyn Bentley-Prestwich, percussion and vocals by Matt Payne
It's all across the board from folk, bluegrass, blues, chamber, showtunes, and weird stuff we haven't really named. We're a bunch of music dorks who want to make the best music we can.
Live review: All My Pretty Ones by The Deli SF Sitting in Hotel Utah and listening to All My Pretty Ones, I started reeling off names: Arcade Fire, Modest Mouse, Pulp, Bright Eyes and M. Ward, to mention a few. I realized that while I was...
Live review: All My Pretty Ones by The Deli SF Sitting in Hotel Utah and listening to All My Pretty Ones, I started reeling off names: Arcade Fire, Modest Mouse, Pulp, Bright Eyes and M. Ward, to mention a few. I realized that while I was thinking about possible sound-alikes for All My Pretty Ones, I was just naming a lot of other good bands as testament to their performance. In fact they have a very unique set up, and don't really sound like anyone else at all.
They were launching their debut full-length album Tone Poems, and being larger than the average band, they had stretched the capacity of the venue and PA system. Their line up changes regularly, but that night it included an oboe, upright bass, two guitars, piano and percussion. You can see how this could lead to problems – people coming in at the wrong time, playing wrong notes, being off key or off tempo – but they were almost orchestral in the way that they each came in for different parts of songs and remained in time with each other. Having so many musicians also has an advantage as it allows for Arcade Fire-style big vocal harmonies.
Dereck Schmidt, the project's creator, cites his influences as 60's folk, classical composition and musical theatre, and it is easy to see where each of these aspects come in. The music is very dramatic, as in musical theatre, but the folk influence means that it stops just short of becoming pirate music.
All My Pretty Ones are so unique that I'm not sure they have a target audience. They might just be a band that anyone can get into. They gave an impressive live performance, and having listened to some tracks from their album, I would suggest that anyone who likes interesting music played by talented musicians should give it a try.
Beatbeat Whisper was the second opener for AMPO, and played very pretty, well-arranged folk songs. They were obviously inspired by 60's music, but lacked the edge of artists like Dylan. They risked straying into the froofy nature-loving territory of Disney's soundtrack to Pocahontas at times. Having said this, they were accomplished musicians. Davyd Nereo managed to make his guitar sound as if it were two, and he brought in a mandolin. Ayla Nereo has a lovely voice, which lends itself well to folk songs, and interestingly took the lower part to the harmonies of her brother and band mate. They were also plugging a CD, Wonder Continental, that was released back in May.
I almost don't want to even mention the first opener, the Blank Tapes ... I wished I had been listening to blank tapes. This man took himself way too seriously, and to be completely honest played terrible, terrible music. To make matters worse he couldn't even sing. He started the set with a rip off of Snow Machine's "Birmingham," using exactly the same piano part, and then had the audacity to do it again at the end of the set with another Snow Machine rip off. This guy actually stole complete songs from a great indie pop band from Alabama and thought no one would know. Sorry to end the article on such a negative note, but what the fuck?
- Liz Barnes