Some of the city’s finest young musicians will kick off the first event of Summer And Music (SAM) 2010—downtown Long Beach’s homegrown, sustainable concert series providing an entire summer of free music to the public—on Saturday, June 12 from 4 p.m. to 9 p.m. in the East Village Arts District.
Comparable to the Saddle Creek scene in Omaha, Neb. that produced Rilo Kiley and Conor Oberst, Long Beach has its own distinct sound and armory of musicians to refine it. Future Legends: Now Sounds of the Long Beach Bloodline, as the free, all-ages June 12 event is titled, is a sampling of that very combination.
Headlining the evening is Deep Sea Diver, with front woman Jessica Dobson (who has recently toured with the Yeah Yeah Yeahs and Beck, in the midst of releasing her own EP, New Caves, in 2009). Jay Buchanan, known across the Southland for his haunting force of a voice and soul-stirring lyrics, will perform with his band. So Many Wizards, who released a new EP in April, Love Songs for When You Leave Me, is also in the mix, sure to show with their signature stage props: Old television sets and a sharp wit.
Boris Smile—having also released an EP this spring, Rockets—will be performing with special guest and former member Avi Zahner-Isenberg of Avi Buffalo. Korey Dane, a new-to-the-scene singer/songwriter backed by the honeyed vocals of former Lightmusic member Tess Shapiro, will open with his brand of powerful quiet and introspective lyrics. World-renowned poet Derrick Brown will recite some of his work while emceeing the event, and, between sets, DJ Lithuanian Prince will be spinning his hard-to-find, easy-to-jive-to vinyl picks.
A perfect nightcap to the evening: Phantom Limb—a six-piece collection of Future Legends from abroad, hailing all the way from the UK—will close out the bill. Their sound has been described as “a seamless amalgam of classic, southern soul, country blues and gospel,” and has a brand of disarming honesty and beauty that will send you home on a high, pensive note. Phantom Limb is currently recording a new album at The Compound Studio—a Future Legend fixture of the Long Beach scene, with a client list that includes 2010 Best Original Song Oscar Winner Ryan Bingham.
SAM’s Future Legends will demonstrate the sound contagion that is sweeping Long Beach, planting deep roots for the future of the city’s music scene and the musicians and artists who are designing it. Performers will play in the East Village Arts District, at First Street and Elm Avenue, on an outdoor, solar-powered stage.
After an enormously successful inaugural season in 2009, Downtown Long Beach Associates (DLBA) and the Long Beach Redevelopment Agency (RDA) are bringing SAM back for a solar-powered sequel. Scheduled to run from June to August, the line-up for SAM 2010 is estimated to draw at least 34,000 people throughout the summer.
This year’s itinerary features 13 eclectic music events, including some favorites from last year, such as Battle of the Tribute Bands and Funk Fest. Concerts will span the genres of folk, jazz, pop, rockabilly, funk and beyond, bringing together artists and art enthusiasts of all kinds. Classical Beats for example, will be an innovative August show bridging the gap between classical string arrangements and hip hop overdubs, set to the scene of public art displays.
Showcasing a renewed focus on environmental concerns, all concerts will be held on self-contained solar-powered stages. The DLBA and RDA, in conjunction with SAM founding members, are partnering with Sustainable Waves, an San Diego/Austin-based all-solar staging, lighting and sound company offering 100 percent pollution-free concerts.
To that end, SAM is a homegrown development on all fronts. It’s founded by two Long Beach residents with strong musical connections to the city: Justin Hectus, founder of Schooled In Song, and Rand Foster, owner of popular local record shop Fingerprints. SAM features an abundance of local and regional talent, including Long Beach musicians, photographers, graphic designers and media professionals. And, it generates enormous support from and revenue for local businesses and community organizations. In short, SAM is of the people and for the people. Visit www.summerandmusic.com or call (562) 436-4259 for more information!