Sunday, October 24, 2010


*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!


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.

Local Natives
(via our blog