The Echo Presents


Golden Animals, Poppy Jean Crawford

Wednesday April 5

8:30 pm

$9.50 - $11.50

This event is 18 and over

Book of Changes, the new album by Guy Blakeslee as ENTRANCE, is a poetic song cycle about the seasons of the heart, tracing an emotional journey through longing and emptiness to peace and redemption. The record achieves a seamless melding of the personal, political and philosophical, a vibrant document of an artist hitting a creative stride and discovering an expansive new sound. The adventurously produced collection of songs is reminiscent of Townes Van Zandt's ruminative lyricism and the gypsy flavored orchestral explorations of Arthur Lee and Love, uniquely channeled through Blakeslee's 21st Century approach to the spiritual dimensions of American songwriting in a way that gives an old form new power.

Book of Changes was written and recorded by Blakeslee over the course of a restless year of travel, touring and transformation. The album took shape in 11 different studios in Los Angeles and London, produced by Blakeslee and mixed by multi-instrumentalist David Vandervelde (Father John Misty, Jay Bennett) at Elliott Smith's New Monkey Studios in Van Nuys, California. Additional mixing came from Chris Coady (Future Islands, Cass McCombs) who lent his talents to the song "Always the Right Time." Grammy nominated engineer Sarah Register (David Bowie, The Shins) mastered Book of Changes.

On the new recording, Blakeslee is joined by several very talented friends including longtime collaborator Paz Lenchantin (Pixies, Silver Jews) and percussionist Frank Lenz (Pedro the Lion, The Weepies) as well as vocalists Jessica Tonder and Lael Neale and the drummers Derek James and Will Scott. The accompanying art by critically acclaimed artist Amanda Charchian captures Blakeslee with freshly blossomed orchids.

Strings, pianos, xylophones, bells and dreamy female voices swirl around fluid basslines and fingerpicked acoustic guitars. At the heart of these songs is a voice, which holds an intensity of emotion that can only come from the depths of the soul. From the devotional pop of "Always the Right Time" and the western bolero of "I'd Be A Fool" through the stark blues of "The Avenue" and the dark romantic flamenco of "Molly," Blakeslee's singing carries the narrative with heart-stopping force. Each unfolding chapter touches a new emotional nerve, from the Lee and Nancy style sway of "Winter Lady" and the apocalyptic film noir piano dirge "Leaving California" to the anthemic album closer "Revolution Eyes," which dissolves in a stormy melt of piano and bells as the listener is swept away on an ecstatic wave of liberation and joy. While at moments the ghost of rock 'n' roll is invoked, for the most part this is something more fragile and ethereal; music from a half-remembered dream, strange and familiar at the same time.

When asked about the impetus for the new sound and style, Blakeslee replied:

"I desperately wanted to get back to the essential nature of 'SONG' - as opposed to a 'track'… Most music that is released nowadays is really a track, not a song - it would be impossible for one person with an instrument to sit down in a room and perform it… So it was important that this album begin from actual songs that I could sing with a guitar or a piano… all of the textures and sounds I added along the way are the icing on the cake to expand the experience for the listener, but at the heart is a real song, a basic text of words and a melody. I want to do my part to see that tradition isn't lost. I believe there's still a lot of power in a song."

- Paul Carlin
Golden Animals
Golden Animals
Golden Animals is the musical moniker of Baltimore-native songwriter and vocalist, Tommy Eisner. The band is a 5-piece, musically comparable to early Strokes output if they were making pop records in Hawaii instead of New York and into psychedelics. Though a ‘full band’ now, Golden Animals began as a guitar/drum, boy/girl duo, who garnered a cult-like following while living in the Southern California desert together for 3 years in a kind of transcendent state of shared creative isolation, coming into LA every week to perform live and touring heavily both nationally and internationally throughout the years, including a 2014 national tour supporting Roky Erickson and The Black Angels. Though there were musical successes found as a 2-piece, Eisner explains he’d always heard more, “Throughout the years we were a duo, there was never a time I didn’t hear more arrangement in my head. I knew I‘d get there someday and be able to put together a larger band, but it was gonna take patience and I’d have to wait till the time was right.” In the summer of 2016, Eisner moved to Los Angeles and assembled the full band he’d envisioned, they’ve been performing in LA steadily since forming. They’re cutting their first LP as a 5-piece this spring, the follow up to their previous releases: Free Your Mind And Win A Pony (2008) and Hear Eye Go (2013).
Poppy Jean Crawford
Poppy Jean Crawford
Whether it be bouncing between the Brewery, to Bakersfield. Diving through trash or taking fake pills...In a land of Actors and Models, Poppy Jean only needs one thing…

Poppy Jean Crawford is a singer, songwriter from Los Angeles. Her mother, artist and 90s icon, Casey Niccoli (MTV VMA award winning director of Jane’s Addiction’s “Been Caught Stealing” video), met her father, a pop surrealist painter, Shannon Crawford, at a Chinatown AA meeting …shortly thereafter Poppy Jean made her first appearance.

She joined her first band, Crosseyed and Pantyless, at 15. Playing Experimental Folk Punk in the nude. Feeling she had more to offer, Poppy released her first single, “Dead Girl” at 16, dropped out of high school and got airplay on French radio. She has since been releasing music, and playing/promoting local shows.
Venue Information:
The Echo
1822 W Sunset Blvd
Los Angeles, California, 90026