Paula Mejia

writer

Biography

  • Naomi Punk

    Naomi Punk Thrives With Minimalist Edge and Maximal Sound

    When speaking about oft mythicized hometown of Olympia, Washington, caustic surf-scum trio Naomi Punk agrees that the concept of a punk-rock utopia is fickle. "It has its moments," says guitarist Neil Gregorson. Over the course of our conversation, the band talks at length about the small town's charm, the unhurried attitude that fosters creativity without threats of rent spikes or urgency. "Right now it feels pretty utopian," says vocalist Travis Coster.Unlike many of their noisy counterparts, Naomi Punk aims for the elusive nucleus of calm rooted deep within the overtly pummeling feedback. The band's forthcoming Television Man, out August 5 on Captured Tracks, does its best to fully grasp the skull-squelching live sound they debuted on 2012's The Feeling while focusing more strongly on the trio's songwriting.

  • Tim Presley and Ty Segall in the studio.

    White Fence Leaves Home-Recording Behind on 'For the Recently Found Innocent'

    While Tim Presley was recording demos for his upcoming Drag City debut, For the Recently Found Innocent, something felt inexplicably off for the Los Angeles guitar wizard. "[The songs] didn't move me in the same way that other home recordings did," he recalls. "I knew they were good but they weren't working in that capacity. I don't know what the deal was. It was like my room turned on me."During the four-plus years he's been performing as White Fence, the prolific songwriter's approach has largely been the same: He writes hundreds of scuzzy-riffed songs in his Echo Park apartment, and in his spare time records the chirpy purrs of his Manx cat, Clifford, and the sounds of the ice cream truck across the street.

  • Craft Spells Find Solace in Solitude, Emit Sunny Vibes on 'Nausea'

    Craft Spells Find Solace in Solitude, Emit Sunny Vibes on 'Nausea'

    We live in a society where illness is pathologized and detoxification is a business, hinged on the quick fix instead of promoting holistic wellness. With Nausea, Craft Spells frame malady in a different way: Maybe it's not such a bad thing to listen to these queasy feelings, like the need to be alone, as they can spur us to seek the internal change that truly causes grief.Craft Spells debuted with the poignant "Party Talk"/"Ramona" EP. Headed by songwriting wizard Justin Vallesteros, the band originated in Stockton, CA, before a brief spell in Seattle, then down again to San Francisco.

  • Purling Hiss Unearth Their Scuzzy, Lovesick Roots on 'Dizzy Polizzy'

    Purling Hiss Unearth Their Scuzzy, Lovesick Roots on 'Dizzy Polizzy'

    Within Philadelphia exists a rotating cast of songwriters, friends and collaborators, all aboard a rock and roll freak train. These include Kurt Vile and his band the Violators, as well as Adam Granduciel, the man behind neo-classic rock outfit The War on Drugs. But there's also the mighty Mike Polizze, mastermind of skittering punk group Purling Hiss. While Polizze shares Vile and Granduciel's sensibilities for feedback-drenched guitars, Purling Hiss songs are rooted in lysergic grooves, wading into murkier sonic and lyrical territories along the way.Dizzy Polizzy isn't technically a new release for the band, but rather a dormant compilation of songs that Polizze recorded from 2004 to 2009, now brought to the public ear.

  • Plague Vendor

    Hear Plague Vendor's Raucous 'Breakdance On Broken Glass'

    Los Angeles' Plague Vendor sure know how to make a memorable entrance. On the band's piledriving single "Breakdance on Broken Glass," shards fly and headbangers' hair flys as the group squeals and proceeds to smash everything in sight. Although the song is a short burst of activity — it clocks in at well below two minutes — the punk-driven number is resonant long after it whirs to a stop. "'Breakdance on Broken Glass' is about the kind of stuff older kids would tell me when I was younger about growing up," says drummer Luke Perine. "Their advice, for better or for worse, definitely made you learn something."The band's forthcoming record Free To Eat is out April 15th on Epitaph Records. Preorder the album over at Kings Road Merch and listen to "Breakdance on Broken Glass" below.

  • Perfect Pussy Revel in Their Hardcore Fury on 'Say Yes to Love'

    Perfect Pussy Revel in Their Hardcore Fury on 'Say Yes to Love'

    "Since when do we say yes to love?" demands Meredith Graves, frontwoman for hardcore shredders Perfect Pussy. This bold question frames the Syracuse-based band's Captured Tracks debut, urging us to think twice about everything we accept — perhaps blindly. Through sacrificial hardcore throbs and a DIY ethos echoing Fugazi's call for social justice, Perfect Pussy dispel the life-affirming abstraction of love, positing that we don't have to eat what we're fed in order to be fulfilled. Say Yes to Love is a terse, pile-driving response to societal expectations of happiness, and especially femininity.Female empowerment has long been dismissed as misaligned anger within rock music and beyond — men relish their fury, whereas women have long had to suppress theirs, instead expected to maintain a façade of delicacy, a notion that this band shatters entirely.

  • ingMob

    Stream Meta-Instrumentalist ingMob's Kaleidoscopic 'mmm'

    Raymond Weitekamp, an organic chemist who produces music as ingMob, is the type of guy who could easily impress both DJ nerds and computer geeks at the same time. Not only is the producer a CalTech PhD student, but he's also an alum of Princeton's Laptop Orchestra, a self-described "ensemble of computer-based meta-instruments" at Princeton University.As ingMob, Weitekamp's mixing skills extend far beyond Bunsen burners and Erlenmeyer flasks to the meticulous formulas from his beat laboratory. His new single "mmm" is a glimpse into the kaleidoscopic blend of bleeps, warbling keys, and echoing vocals that will appear on his debut Marrow, due February 10 on his own Rawwerks imprint.

  • Black Lips in the studio, May 2013

    The Black Lips Revisit Their Southern Roots on 'Underneath the Rainbow'

    It's hard to believe that the garage-punk rogues in Black Lips have been forging shit-kicking, ramshackle tunes for this long. They’re rightfully famous for their outrageous live shows, where the theatrics range from moshing to making out with each other onstage, and even today, a decade after they first started, Atlanta's finest guitar-wielding gang continues to challenge and provoke their audiences from Kansas City to Kuala Lumpur. Contrary to popular belief, though, trouble isn't the only thing they're after, or that's after them."I think we're misunderstood a lot," admits the band’s bassist, Jared Swilley. "People say, ‘Oh, they must do tons of acid all day.’ It's not like that. It's stuff we've experienced in the past. We write about what we know — we write sad songs.

  • Quilt / Photo by Allison Pharmakis

    Quilt's 'Held in Splendor' Is a Frayed, Captivating Psych-Pop Odyssey

    American folk music is often held as sacred, bound by hallowed traditions both acoustic and spiritual. So it seems almost too easy to name your ragtag 21st-century-folk band Quilt, but it's difficult to describe this Boston-bred trio any other way, their cloth cut from equal parts the Byrds, Mazzy Star, and the Mamas and the Papas, though the stitches threading their sophomore record together are far from linear. Alternating psych-pop textures, radiant Eastern rhythms, and acoustic licks, Held in Splendor defies what we typically talk about when we talk about "folk" music.Given the varied musical backgrounds here — Anna Fox Rochinski grew up singing in a classical choir, while fellow multi-instrumentalist Shane Butler's spiritual upbringing apparently involved lots of chanting — the record's 13 tracks weather mystic terrains, musically and otherwise.

  • The Head and the Heart (L-R) Chris Zasche, Kenny Hensley, Jonathan Russell, Charity Rose Thielen, Tyler Williams, Josiah Johnson

    Jack White and Whiskey: The Head and the Heart's Must-Haves

    Only a couple years ago, the Head and the Heart were struggling to capture the attention of passersby while busking on Seattle street corners. Now, following the left-field success of the band's 2011's self-titled album, the sextet no longer has to worry about passing around the hat.On October 15, the group returns with Let's Be Still, a sumptuous folk-rock effort punctuated by gorgeous string arrangements and sharp vocal harmonies. "We're more confident and trust ourselves more now," says vocalist Jon Russell about the sophomore LP. "The headspace for this record was, 'Let's not figure out what this sounds like — let's just write the best songs we possibly can.'"In advance of the new album's release, Russell and drummer Tyler Williams chatted with us about some of their favorite things.MILES DAVISRussell: I've been listening to a ton of jazz, mostly Miles Davis.

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