Friday, March 18, 2011
-Kelcey, Matt, Ryan and Taylor
Thursday, January 13, 2011
Sunday, October 24, 2010
So, I’ve never blogged before in my life, and with my new camera in tow to help illustrate the goings-on of my everyday fortunes/blessings/accidents/shit, I’ve decided to give it a go. I think this feeling of wanting to express myself as a real person could not have come at a better time. You see, most people are able to have a singular voice. Good or bad, it is theirs and theirs alone, and you can take it or leave it. But now that I’m playing in a band that has reached a place we’ve only ever dreamed of reaching, it has definitely come with its setbacks. I am no longer a singular voice. I am no longer just Kelcey Ayer from a small surf town in southern California with a crazy personality and an even crazier Colombian mother who creates new forms of profanity daily (shit-damnit, etc.). I am the keyboardist/singer(one-of) of Local Natives. I am not a person anymore, but something different. I don’t have the privilege of saying whatever I want or doing whatever I please... I represent something. Whatever I do, I have four other people that I carry around with me that people can see even when they’re not there. We are each like mutants with four other heads attached to our bodies, and in some way we have to figure out how to carry them. I have to walk differently to support the weight, I need an additional seat when I’m flying for the extra head-room, I need to cut extra neck holes in my sweaters and shirts for their comfort; adjustments must be made or else you just topple over. Or piss people off. Or rip head-holes in your sweaters or shirts.
Last week I did the one thing that anybody in a band can do as a sure-fire way of supremely souring the vibes of a live show besides just telling an audience to fuck-off. We were two songs into the set, I think we just finished “World News”, and I said, “Hello Vancouver!”. We were in Toronto. I can remember the feeling as the incorrect name came out of my mouth. It was one of those things where you knew that you were saying something wrong, something that would have consequences (like when you say something really out-of-line to your girlfriend without thinking, a joke about their weight or something (not that I’ve ever done that, I’m very nice)), and there’s this moment of disbelief that lasts for a portion of a second. Then the horror strikes. Right after I said it, I put my hands on my head in shock as I heard an amalgamation of cheering, laughing, and booing. I immediately stepped back from my keyboard and laid on the floor, a move that seemed completely appropriate from my mixed feelings of embarrassment and shame. Taylor then chimed in and greeted the audience with it’s actual city name and things moved forward. A few songs later I attempted a futile apology, but there was no way I was going to make up for this mistake. The damage had been done, and if people we’re going to take offense, no words of mine we’re going to change their minds. Hell, if I was watching a show where someone said San Francisco and I was at home in LA, the very least I would think was, “What? Yikes.” But I’m forgiving and always think positively to an absurd degree.
We’ve been touring straight for almost two years. It started slow, but as time went on we found it harder and harder to fit in breaks. This year I think we’ve spent a little under a month at home with all breaks added up. And in all that touring, even in places in Holland with names I could hardly pronounce, I have never said the wrong name. This was a freak accident. I even said Vancouver with such conviction and pride, my mind truly thinking not that we were somewhere else, but that there was here. It’s funny too, earlier that night, Taylor and I walked out of the Thai place we had dinner at and he immediately turned in the complete wrong direction towards the venue, sparking a conversation about how I pride myself on always walking on the grid of an atlas in my head. My dad is a pilot, and I like to think he shared some paternal bond of his navigational skills to me. But in reality, all of this doesn’t matter. These people don’t know my track record. They don’t know my father’s profession. They don’t know me. I’m playing to complete strangers every night who have no idea who I am, just that I am part of a combination of people in a band. People judge me all over the world based on the music we write. That’s the weight. But I guess it’s the weight that I wanted. And if you topple over a couple times, it’s understandable. You’re one man carrying five heads. I imagine that that is how some people go crazy in this business, or entertainment in general. Holding yourself up to having the strength of five men, or whatever the case may be, is delusional. You have limits. Caring not to know them is suicide.
I guess if the worst thing that happens in my career is that a few people in Toronto think I’m a jackass, I should be ok. What I did doesn’t mean I’m a jerk, just that I was dumb for a couple minutes when I’m usually not. But I’m sure I’ll have more fuck-ups in the future, so maybe it’s just another adjustment I’ll need to make. If I want to keep being human, being myself and not some cog in a machine, these mistakes will need to happen. I can only hope that people realize we’re people too. That’s it. So, I guess if you’re from Vancouver and reading this, I’m sorry. Just kidding Toronto. Too soon?
Friday, October 15, 2010
We have a tour bus. It’s monstrous. It sleeps twelve, operates six independent air conditioning units, and between the girth of its walls manages to contain a small kitchen. Should the last couple sentences appear distastefully boastful to you, let me offset that impression by letting you know; nobody is more grateful or surprised to have a tour bus than us. We jumped up and down like an award winning seventh grade Girl Scout troupe when “Mrs. Hippo” (which she was immediately named) first rolled into our lives. The once seemingly insane idea to spend most of the money we’ve saved over the last year to lease the twelve wheel behemoth for this six week US tour came when we saw the drive schedule and venues we’d be playing. Two nights at the Henry Fonda in Los Angeles, the Fillmore in San Francisco, the Showbox in Seattle, etc, etc. The list of legendary venues rolls on to Webster Hall at the end of October in New York. Any band should count their lucky stars to get the chance to perform in so many inspiring spaces. That’s why we got the bus. Not because we deserve it, not because it makes financial sense, but because we owe it to the fans who come out to support us to be our best. Being on the road the last two years straight, we’ve spent enough sleepless 48 hour periods trading off driving through the night and pissed in enough shaking, empty water bottles while barreling down the freeway to appreciate the finer comforts Mrs. Hippo affords the touring life. However, its not the two satellite televisions or the ability to pour myself a bowl of cereal en route between Portland and Boulder that makes me fond of that incessantly sputtering hunk of metal. It’s the early morning instore performances we’ve been able to add (and hit our harmonies at). The time to finally let the new songs start kicking their way from my mind into existence. The capability to stay out at the bars with our new friends The Love Language and watch them freestyle rap battle with the house hip hop band. It’s the best six shows we’ve had all year in a year full of hundreds (literally) of great shows. This is going to be the best tour we’ve ever done. A special thank you to Mrs. Hippo, and to the crazy kids, you men and women of the west coast. Eastward ho!
*photos by Bethany Toews
Wednesday, October 6, 2010
Monday, September 20, 2010
-verb (used with object)
1. The act or 'life adjustment process' of spending most of your young adult life living/eating/breathing inside a 16 passenger Ford E-350 Econoline Van and/orMercedes 7 passenger Sprinter Van(trailer optional).
Touring with four of your best friends is something we asked for. In fact, we begged for it, dreamt about it and worked our asses off for it. I've always believed to truly realize and soak up something thats special, you have to dive head into it. We have spent the last year(minus a few weeks) on the road. Playing 12 tracks from our first album as a band in places I never thought I'd end up this soon. The sensation of my initial head first dive has come and gone in blink of a few months. I am now in the midst of trying to clinch my knees mid-air as my body attempts itself into the perfect cannon-ball off the high-dive. We asked for it and we got it....now what do I do with it?
The beast of mixing work, with travel, with what you love hasn't been as breezy as I imagined it always would be...and that has to be a great thing. A constant reminder of how much further we have to go as a new band along with how lucky I should feel to be where we are currently at. This Friday is the first show of our biggest tour to date. I am currently busier now with more things I care about than I ever have been. College blue-books have been replaced by over analyzed graphics of ourselves throwing up hair and bar tending C-class weddings on broken down yacht boats has been shoved aside with trying to learn exactly what a Moog Murf pedal can do for my bass tone. Being uncomfortable is comfortable for me...and that doesn't need to make sense to anyone but myself.
There's a chance I'll hit my tail bone on the aqua-green concrete at the bottom of the pool. Right in that spot that makes it a joke to all your friends to watch you try and sit down on a bar stool. Or perhaps, just maybe I'll hit that shit just right. I imagine a tidal wave of chlorine being shoved under everyone's eye lids within twenty feet of the impact. The lifeguard will blow his whistle and yell muffled gibberish from his oversized cone. Mothers will be frantically looking around for their children and Ill be wrapped in a damp towel that I got from the zoo, laughing...just laughing.
They just dont make neck pillows like they used to.(the 5th guy is our friend/TM Chris whom I'm 99% sure is on his Blackberry)
from the stage at FYF Fest a few weeks ago in LA (notice the sound booth tent which is mysteriously missing its 4th leg?)
Thursday, September 9, 2010
All work and no play make Local Natives...something something. After spending the entire summer season on the road we have returned home for a couple of weeks to try and get our heads on straight. Vacation week one has now come to a close and my mind is filled with memories of sawed off b-b shotguns, milk and dry ice soaked fruit loops, girls dancing in their underwear, boys dancing in their underwear, glass shards in my pool, shark fins on remote control boats and pouring shots of whiskey with a family of raccoons. Either our heads have been twisted off like a butcher at a Barbie party or we have our fingers crossed that there are now two music videos in our back pocket. A trim here, a cut there and they should soon be done.