ALBUM PREMIERE: THE PRETTY FLOWERS “GOLDEN BEAT SESSIONS” LP
If you are an L.A.-area musician who would like to submit unreleased songs or videos of any genre for premiere, email a stream or download link to firstname.lastname@example.org.
L.A.’s the Pretty Flowers weren’t quite planning to make a covers record, but something that started as a project to really give their new drummer Sean Johnson a studio workout has turned into a heartfelt valentine to the music the band (and maybe you?) all hold near and dear. Longtime local music fixture Johnson is not just a top-notch drummer but a master of versatility, and the Golden Beat Sessions show that Pretty Flowers as a unit are just as comfortable switching channels. There’s not quite a lot in common between the Wipers’ bleaked-out “Doom Town” and Thin Lizzy’s last-call jam “South Bound,” but Pretty Flowers know it’s pretty much just all rock ‘n’ roll when you get down to it. (Even their Split Enz cover, which is glowing with uncharacteristic special effects.)
As a peek into the music a band loves and lives by, Golden Beat Sessions is invaluable, and as a lens to revisit some deep cuts and classics both, it hits that sweet spot between familiarity and exhilaration. Think of it like one of those road trips where everybody can’t help but sing along when a certain song comes up on shuffle—and where they can’t help but add their own little twists, too. The Phoebe Bridgers cover crackles with a little Chilton/Bell energy, the Nick Lowe cover gets the punk energy it deserves and the Zevon cover (and its Replacements-style rave-up ending) sounds like the perfect closer for a 1 AM set—which is probably is. Says Pretty Flowers’ Noah Green:
“Last summer we played a show at Golden Beat Studio, which is a great recording studio in LA that occasionally hosts punk shows. We became friends with Andrew Schubert, who’s an owner and engineer there, and he invited us to record for a day. The idea to do a covers album came about mostly because of our drummer Sean who joined the band a year ago. He didn’t play on our Why Trains Crash LP, but has really brought new life to those songs when we play them live. We decided we weren’t ready yet to record new original material at Golden Beat, and Sean suggested we record some covers as a way to put the new lineup to tape. Originally we were going to just record a few of the cover songs that we’d been playing live together: Neil Young’s ‘Don’t Cry No Tears,’ Teenage Fanclub’s ‘Radio,’ and Nick Lowe’s ‘Heart of the City,’ but there were too many songs that we wanted to add to the list that we’d never played live together, and it turned into a full album that—if I’m remembering correctly—was mostly all tracked on the first day. After the Golden Beat recording sessions I came across an early 80s R.E.M. bootleg from a New Year’s Eve live show where they did an all covers set. I really liked the artwork and it became the basis for our Golden Beat Sessions album artwork. It seemed fitting despite the fact that we don’t cover an R.E.M. song.”
Pretty Flowers’ Golden Beat Sessions is out on cassette on Dirt Cult on Fri., May 3, and you can pre-order here. (The band also has CDs here.) Pretty Flowers play this Sunday, Ap. 28, at the Moroccan Lounge with Telekinesis—get tickets here!—and they’ll do a set of west coast dates at the end of May. Full schedule and poster below!
The Pretty Flowers 2019 Spring Tour
May 23 San Pedro, Brouwerij West
May 25 San Diego, Kensington Club
May 26 Las Vegas, Double Down
May 27 Salt Lake City, Kilby Court
May 29 Seattle, Vera Project
May 30 Portland, Kenton Club
May 31 TBD
June 1 San Francisco, Ireland’s 32