Sponsored by

Music roundup

Rendezvous with Tucson trio Weekend Lovers

Bands fronted by bass players are cool, almost by default. Think of the dark, edgy whiskey-voiced grit of Concrete Blonde's Johnette Napolitano, the sultry, murky jazz-tinged subliminal drone of Mark Sandman in Morphine or the subtle complexity of Sting's early compositions in the Police. There's something about the harmony as melody discordance and rhythmic intuition of songs written and sung by bassists.

Whatever that quality is, it's something that Marta DeLeon of Tucson's Weekend Lovers has embraced in spades. The fledgling three-piece rock outfit (which also includes drummer Nick  Cobham-Morgese and guitarist/backing vocalist Hannah Yeun McCarthy) crafts, in DeLeon's words "bratty love songs with a dash of death and beautiful sky." 

The band was named for the lyrics of Prince's "Purple Rain," though other potential monikers included such gems as "The Beautiful Ones", "Zsa Zsa Zsu", and "Rosanna Danna" - all names that turned out to be spoken for. 

Marta DeLeon: "I like that sort of "put a fork" in me bittersweet emotion that Prince proclaims in that lyric. It's sort of like love. You give up but you still do it. It reminds me of that scene from "A League of Our Own" where the older sister (Geena Davis's character) lets her little sister knock her off the base almost on purpose to let her win."

DeLeon formed the band with her former Desert Beats bandmate Cobham-Morgese on drums ("his shining smile, joie de vive and Swiss Army-knife drumming hooked me.") To flesh out the songs, she began looking for a guitar player who was tasteful, had a likeness for vintage sounds, a killer voice for harmonies and was great at putting songs together. Yeun McCarthy was an obvious first choice.

DeLeon: "Hannah classes up the place, I'm a fan of hers and back her band [Hannah Yeun] as well.  I'm lucky we are collaborative, because I not a song writer per se [when composing] solo. I've always written with someone. I hate performing alone — that's my pet peeve and the death of my stand up potential too."

Hannah Yeun McCarthy: "I heard Marta's music with her old band in New York, Meaning of Life, and it blew me away. When I asked her if she'd be interested in playing bass in my band, she agreed and asked that I play guitar in her band. It's sorta incestuous, but Tucson is small and I'm glad we're able to be creative and support one another in this way. These are all Marta's songs, but occasionally I'll whip out a guitar ditty and Marta instantly has a melody idea. It's a lot of fun that she's able to make songs out of my noodling! Sometimes we like to do a call and response type thing with the songs that's been really cool."

"I like a lot of '60s girl group stuff and French Yeye girl, [Serge] Gainsbourg stuff, but my guitar playing is most inspired by Mary Timony and Elizabeth Cotten. The way Cotten plays using only two fingers blows my mind, but I guess Django Reinhardt had no trouble either. As a self taught guitarist it's easy to assume it's amateur hour even though I've been playing for 15 years. Lots of great guitarists without formal training just sort of make the guitar their own. It's okay to not know exactly what you're doing as long as it sounds good. I don't know that I have a band persona just yet. I'm so afraid of making a Stevie Ray-style guitar face that I'm usually pretty stoic."

Support TucsonSentinel.com today, because a smarter Tucson is a better Tucson.

The band's other influences include the obvious one, Prince, as well as Fleetwood Mac, Lola Beltran, "the weather, art, politics on a macro level," and the sweet voiced, pure country of Loretta Lynn and her sister Crystal Gayle 

DeLeon: "My sister and I use to idolize [Lynn and Gayle.] I was Crystal naturally."

Yeun McCarthy has a different take on the band's sound.

Yeun McCarthy: "I like a lot of '60s girl group stuff and French Yeye girl, [Serge] Gainsbourg stuff, but my guitar playing is most inspired by Mary Timony and Elizabeth Cotten. The way Cotten plays using only two fingers blows my mind, but I guess Django Reinhardt had no trouble either. As a self taught guitarist it's easy to assume it's amateur hour even though I've been playing for 15 years. Lots of great guitarists without formal training just sort of make the guitar their own. It's okay to not know exactly what you're doing as long as it sounds good. I don't know that I have a band persona just yet. I'm so afraid of making a Stevie Ray style guitar face that I'm usually pretty stoic. "

The ultimate result is a band that combines the pure sweet harmonies of country and girl group sounds with strange, bass centric dark melodies, deeply introspective lyricism and a raw aggressive edge. In Yeun McCarthy's words "I would say our sound is like if Kate Bush and Beach House had a sleaze rock band together. They could call it Bush House. "

Drummer Cobham-Morgese falls musically on the aggressive end of that spectrum.

Yeun McCarthy: "My favorite show was probably our first at The Flycatcher. At the end of our set, Nick went nuts and kicked his kit away and karate chopped his drum sticks Bruce Lee-style. He was clearly very excited. Nick is a bit younger than Marta and I, so he gets a lot of unwanted band mothering from us. We just adore him and think he's a very nice boy with a good head on his shoulders."

DeLeon also recalls the band's debut show fondly. 

DeLeon: "Flycatcher was nice enough to let me curate our first show with Cool Funeral and the very talented Silver Cloud Express. Everyone I knew in Tucson came. It was heartwarming and fun. We try not take ourselves too seriously."

Weekend Lovers has played a number of gigs since that initial set, including appearances including a recent Club Congress outing opening for Nevada's Surf Curse. The band is looking forward to a prolific future, with recording sessions on the horizon at Matt Rendon's Midtown Island Studios and a ton of upcoming live shows, including two this week. 

Like what you're reading? Support high-quality local journalism and help underwrite independent news without the spin.

Sunday night, Weekend Lovers, Languajge Barrier, Willetta and Popper play WTF AF at Club Congress - 8 p.m. at Club Congress (Downtown.) Then on Monday night, Weekend Lovers open for La Cerca, Christina Antipa, and Tyler Jordan and the Negative Space.- 9 p.m. at Owls Club (Downtown)

Also this week...

It's been a long time coming, but Juju Fontaine has finally reached the moment in the spotlight they've been waiting for. The two-piece recently became a trio as bassist and Los Guapos alum John Read joined drummer Isaac Stockton and frontwoman/guitarist Gabby Montoya, adding an anchor and depth to the jazz and blues-based rhythms of the group. Now, another small victory is on the horizon as Juju Fontaine releases their first E.P. at a show at The Flycatcher on Friday night.

Meanwhile, a number of familiar faces are hitting stages this week starting with Leila Lopez Band at a Flycatcher Lounge set earlier that same evening, The Rifle with The Exbats at Che's, Gaza Strip and Bryan Thomas Parker at The Flycatcher on Thursday. 

Tune in next week, when, judging by the looks of things, the local live music landscape is going to get even more interesting, as venues start winter booking and bands release those summer albums they told us about back in the days of triple-digit heatwaves.

Friday, December 1

  • Leila Lopez Band - 5:30 p.m. at The Flycatcher Lounge (Downtown)
  • Mason - 7:00 p.m. at Johnny Gibson's Market (Downtown)
  • Kaia Chesney - 9:00 p.m. at Saint Charles Tavern (S of Downtown)
  • Juju Fontaine E.P. Release Party - 9:00 p.m. at The Flycatcher (Downtown)
  • Manhugh w/ Cutthroat - 8 p.m. at The Loudhouse (North)

Saturday, December 2

  • Sisters of Spin: A Downtown Radio Live Listening Party - 4:00 p.m. at Saint Charles Tavern (S of Downtown)
  • Viola Gets Lucky - 9:00 p.m. at Saint Charles Tavern (S of Downtown)
  • Shooda Shook It w/ Igloo Martian - 9:00 p.m. at Skybar (Downtown)
  • The Rifle w/ The Exbats - 10 p.m. at Che's Lounge (Downtown)
  • Saint Augustine, Phil Free Band, The Roiler - 8 p.m. at The Loudhouse (North)

Sunday, December 3

  • The Old Pueblo Opry Presents: Gram Parsons - 11:30 a.m. at Exo Roast Coffee (Downtown)
  • Natalie Pohanic - 7:00 p.m. at The Coronet (Downtown)
  • WTF AF w/ Weekend Lovers, Language Barrier, Willetta and Popper - 8 p.m. at Club Congress (Downtown)

Monday, December 4

  • Tyler Jordan and the Negative Space, Christina Antipa, La Cerca, Weekend Lovers - 9:00 p.m. at Owls Club (Downtown)

Tuesday, December 5

  • Scott Bradlee's Postmoden Jukebox - 8:00 p.m. at The Rialto Theater (Downtown)
  • Cypress Grove - 5 p.m. at House Of Bards (Central)

Thursday, December 7

  • Amy Mendoza and The Strange Vacation - 8:30 p.m. at Tap and Bottle (Downtown)
  • Provoke The Yeti, Gaza Strip, Bryan Thomas Parker - 9:00 p.m. at The Flycatcher
- 30 -
have your say   

Comments

There are no comments on this report. Sorry, comments are closed.

Sorry, we missed your input...

You must be logged in or register to comment

Click image to enlarge

Weekend Lovers

Youtube Video

http://bit.ly/2jBVBmD