Sunday, October 24, 2010

Head-Holes

*photo by Jeremy Hahn

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?


-Kelcey ;)







Friday, October 15, 2010

Goodbye Van, hello Mrs. Hippo



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!

Taylor

Local Natives


*photos by Bethany Toews









Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Alive or Dead

Right around week three everyone stops talking about touring and starts to reveal their inner geek. Its like spending the holidays with all the relatives you've only met through birthday cards, except now bitchy Aunt Betty is asleep and the rest of you are three cocktails deep and playing Yahtzee in the basement. The comfort of questions such as " So where is everyone from?" or "How was the sound up there tonight?" are now gone in the best ways possible. All of us have already had plenty of time to grow close with The Union Line. The two of us toured together on our first US run and its easy to get to know each other when there are less than 10 people at every show. The Love Language are the newbies of the touring train. Before spending the last three weeks together the only I knew about The Love Language was their music. I since have learned that BJ likes to free style flow in podunk San Francisco bars, Missy gives a mean haircut with Crayola scissors, Jordan plays a mean dance synth and Justin is only good at pool when he's not drunk(I won $10). Short story short, all of us have become friends. My first friends ever from North Carolina in fact. The Union Line will continue with us until NY but sadly we part ways with The Love Language tonight in Houston.

I have included two videos below. The first of which is the product of Kelcey's new 'toy' aka first digital camera. Among the chaos of what sounded like Mozart in our heads was the reality of a sloppy jam captured after a long night in Oklahoma. Its a good visual to go with the above words.

The second is our new video for Wide Eyes. We paired up with a wonderful director Cat Solen and continued on a somewhat gory aquatic adventure. Ryan sparked the idea of the land shark and we ran with it. Scene ideas were soon flying out of our mouths like fruit flys to a rotten banana.

Deleted Scene #1
Man sits at dining room table with parents and girlfriend.
Mom brings out the main course which is covered by a beautiful sterling silver handle top.
Dad grabs knife and lifts the handle top to reveal the sharks head
Camera cuts to main characters screaming face
Camera cuts back to Dad's arm now lodged in the sharks mouth and as mom trys to tear Dad free his arm is ripped from his body (blood spewing)
Cut back to main character's face screaming with sheer terror
Cut back to now Mom's arm is suddenly also being devoured by shark as Mom tries desperately to pull away

Deleted Scene #2
Man walks into house and immediately notices blood on his new white carpet
Man's eyes follow a blood trail to the foot of the stairs
As the eye follows the blood it starts to reveal the shark
Camera pulls back to reveal shark standing with a grin on his face and the man's pet dog's severed head dangling from his left fin.

Deleted Scene #3
Camera close up on a picture of the man's dog surrounded by roses
Camra Pulls back to reveal a funeral in progress
The man slowly walks toward the casket, doggy toy in hand as he wipes a tear from his cheek
Right before he reaches the casket a shark fin busts out of the top

In the end it really came down to that we didnt have enough money to pull any of these scenes off and hence they got the axe. Ill let Ryan tell you about the fridge scene. Budget was tight enough that even getting enough fake blood was an issue. Please take notice to the end scene where two liters blood I personally made out of corn syrup, food coloring and chunks of ground beef play a leading role. Hope you have as much fun watching as I did learning to make fake blood. Enjoy.

Andy
Local Natives
(via our blog www.outtasightblog.blogspot.com)




Monday, September 20, 2010

Touring Rhymes with...


Touring

-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.

Andy

Local Natives


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

Two for the price of Two



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.

Andy
Local Natives
(video above and pictures below from the video shoots)





Milk Photo courtesy of Jim Brandon


Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Monday, June 14, 2010

FesT..i..vAl




The pound is my favorite coin in the world. I like that its the perfect size/weight and that it looks like Pirate Booty. I like our new Sprinter Van. It doesn't have a leaky roof and my knees have room to hold normal conversations with the other knees around them without feeling self conscious about being a 'close talker'. I like cider. Its like that fake sparkling apple wine you loved as a kid every Thanksgiving, only its available everyday and it has alcohol. I like Mark and Spencers. Mark supplies me with hummus and Spencer keeps me happy because we are broke and he is a cheap date. I like that its the World Cup. I say soccer you say football....we all say cheers and start chanting some old english pub song that I've never heard before but somehow already know all the words to. I like watching Borroca dissolve into a pint of water. I like saying festival. There's so many over here they have their own separate season right between Spring and Summer. Its called FesT..i...vAL season.

Andy
Local Natives

before (Isle of Wight)



after (Isle of Wight)



p.s. I finished the image at the top a year ago and never really knew where/when to use it until now. I think it applies well for the coming months.

Sunday, May 16, 2010

The World News Video



*more pics from the video HERE

Conversations commenced, debates were introduced and in the end World News was picked to be the next song to be treated with moving pictures. The one and only guideline we had etched in stone this time around was that we wanted to be hands on with the entire process.

As a group we had a window of two weeks back in LA before leaving for tour again. These fourteen days would be our box for finding a director, getting a treatment in and then shooting the entire video. We had tried our hand at working with Matthew Lessner for our last video, but given each others schedules and time constraints it was never meant to be. This time around however, we were able to cross paths and meet in Malibu for a day at the beach.

The treatment itself was loose. Anything from beach babes with Dolphin Tits, to creeper water fur creatures, to sibling fist fights were spit up during back and fourth idea driven treatment emails. At the conclusion we were left smiling with..."a lost vision of a privileged group of eccentric's picnic at the beach after casually downing several bottles of cough syrup".

Everyone met on a perfect day on a perfect beach in perfect Malibu, CA. The "Ghost Band" had already been up since 6am marching and lip syncing. I remember noting that they all were wearing one incredible earring which reminded me of my Uncle Roy circa 1992. Taylor snapped on suspenders, Matt fitted his early baseball stadium concessions hat and Kelcey was forced to pick between either a red or purple bow tie. The only natural next step was of course to be greeted by a traveling pack of professional frisbee dogs. The love that was had between these dogs that white plastic disc would make any human green with envy. Camera lights quickly turned from off to red and soon we were all smiles and white bread frosting. Our good sport swimsuited close friends somehow found themselves knee deep in a baby pool of Gatorade. And while Ryan and I fed the beast, the others resorted to their inner sugar-buzzed 10yr old, banging sticks, throwing frisbees and forgetting about anything having to do with anything. There must have been something in the air...

Feel free to watch HERE and there are more pictures from the video posted HERE. Hoping you enjoy them as much we did.

Andy
Local Natives

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Snow Home Video

Snow is 9wks of overseas winter touring...

listen or watch below

Andy
Local Natives

Thursday, April 1, 2010

2nd SXSW

- First time repeat to the SXSW whirlpool

- 3 blow up mattresses who made best friends with 3 holes = 3 hrs of sleep each night

- 9 shows in 3 days. The best show was the one where we showed up just in time, made a couple of mistakes, crammed 6 six songs in 25min, laughed about someone's pedal failing and then haggled with the cop on 6th st. to let us pull the van in to load

- Finally got to hang out with three rusted cars from the 1920's, enjoyed early morning breakfast burritos and found photo companionship with a local stuffed man and his fake donkey

- Cold winds, sunscreen that wont soak in and burnt necks

- Hanging out at 3am in abandoned shopping malls, shrimp dogs and hangovers

- ...and finally 5 bestwursts dogs with curry ketchup, brown mustard, sauteed onions and a sourdough bun

We love Austin

Andy
Local Natives

Saturday, March 6, 2010

The Barcelona Spa


One could guess that Barcelona is a city run by art students and drag queens. Our 'travel' day which was supposed to start the morning after our set in Barcelona, quickly turned its head into a day spent at the spa and a night spent in Swedish Death Metal bars.

We awoke slightly bright eyed and barely bushy tailed. Used pizza boxes strung the floor while stripped off t-shirts and used pants were busy soaking up an overnight flooded hotel room. We had a long day of driving ahead of us and so we hightailed to the nearest Paella pot roast to fuel our bellies. About half way into our meal the fact was brought up that we had TWO days to drive 8hrs. A unanimous decision was made then and there that we would take the day off in Barcelona.

There were two very unique things about the 'ZT' hotel we were staying in. 1. It was by far the nicest hotel we'd had on tour and 2. It had a Spa. The only reason we were able to stay in the ZT was because the venue had helped us out. This meant that with the little extra cash we had in our pockets we could splurge and squeeze into the skin tight blue spandex (otherwise known as Spain's version of the Spa swimsuit). A day spent in the spa is to be a quiet and relaxing time, a short vacation away from the everyday toils of tour and a peaceful time to reflect. Hence, we entered the spa quiet as a clam, beers in hand and cannon balls into the pool. It was only 20min later we were greeted in the sauna by the hotel clerk who explained that there had been complaints we were being too loud. When we asked him who was complaining he simply said "Everyone".

We retired to our rooms to gather our shoes and decide on the fate of what was next to come. It came down to Matt, myself, our sound tech Mark and our TM Chris. With the rest of the band retired, we headed out to Mark's favorite Swedish death metal bar for what turned out to be a 'not so quick' cocktail. I don't think any of us know exactly what 'Carnival in Barcelona' is but we did find out as we hopped from club to club, bar to bar, party to party, that it makes people drink, smile, converse and dress up like Penguins, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, Super Mario Bros.,The cast of LOST and various glam metal bands. An unexpected all day adventure starting at The Barcelona Spa and ending in a pile of soggy fries and moldy mayonnaise.

Andy
Local Natives






Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Honey Home Video

Today is February 16th and today is the day that our first album has been officially released in our home country.

We shall celebrate with home videos.

Shot in three days before leaving for tour with my digital camera. Cut and sliced when I had too much time on the plane. Honey is not a music video and its not official. Honey is what leaks...

Andy
Local Natives

Friday, January 29, 2010

Home on wheels



This is our Van in Germany during the coldest winter in 20yrs


This is our "BIG DOG" driver Mark


This is Mark yelling at the cars ahead of us


& thats us


This is us inside the van. I think its my favorite band photo we have right now.

2004 Mercedes Sprinter Full-size Cargo Van -125k - $179000 (Local Natives UK/European Tour) Includes Driver


Date: 2010-01-29, 2:45PM EST
Reply to: Big Dog


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All Pictures Are Taken From the Actual Car! All Cars Have a Dirty Title!
Cash or Finance Same High Price!

Arctic Tundra condition
6 cyl(has a hard time starting)
Manual
Power Windows that leak ice cold water
Leather Bucket Seats
No Radio (AM/FM)
No CD Player
TV including full seasons of Mad Men and movie classics such as Pans Labyrinth
No Air Conditioning
No Keyless Entry
No Remote Truck Lid

Our dealership is open 7 days a week. Please call our internet sales department at 1-555- BIG DOG for more information about this car. Free Airport Pick-up for the small fee of $500. All cars run great, drives excellent and are well maintained most of the time. All cars are sold with actual mileage and dirty title.


An Astra lighter and deck of cards I got out of a Hamburg vending machine. The deck of cards was half complete and the back of the lighter reads "Fur Puff Daddy und Puff Muddi"


On the left is the vending machine I bought them from


Seems to be a some kind of 'Foosball Shrine" found in the bar


A window display collection of Dolphin dildos found in one of many of the sex shops surrounding our venue last night in the red light district of Hamburg


The beautiful Square in Brussels

Never did we think we'd see these things or visit these places.

Andy
Local Natives