show preview: the fling @ local 506

fret sounds: january

I spent twenty hilarious, enlightening minutes on the phone with Graham Lovelis, bassist and sometimes singer of Long Beach’s the Fling, on Sunday night; we talked about writing songs on the road, who his mom loves best (Graham or older brother and guitarist Dustin), their East Coast tour (currently heading south with NC’s Floating Action), and Long Beach bands we should all be listening to. It was a great interview, you guys. It was funny and Graham is unbearably charming and intelligent, and I was super excited to share it.

When I sat down to transcribe it last night, I discovered that both recordings I had made were blank, completely. 20 minutes of silence, not even static. I am not going to lie: I cried.

All I can remember is that Graham gave me a stellar answer to the question If you had a time machine and could go back in time to see one show, what show would you see? Graham told me that he’d go see the Doors at the Whiskey, which got two thumbs up from me. But the rest of our conversation is lost to the ages and the Gods Of Technology That Is Too Complicated For Me To Work Because Apparently This Week I’m An Idiot, and I am really sorry for that, because it was great. Now you’ll never know!

But I can recommend that, if you are not going to the Bombadil CD release show and maybe even if you are, you catch the Fling with Floating Action and locals Schooner at Local 506 on Saturday night, $10 at the door and show at 9PM. The Fling’s 2010 self-release When the Madhouses Appear, re-released in 2011 on Dangerbird Records, is a tour de force of darkness and intense subject material — not at all what I expected from a band from Long Beach, to be honest. But it’s a cathartic and uplifting sort of darkness, and one of the things that Graham told me on Sunday is that even when they’re playing sad or fucked up or depressing songs, their live show is all about the energy onstage and in the crowd — that he looks at music as something to release all those feelings, and he wants their audience to connect with it, too.

When the Madhouses Appear certainly makes me feel a lot of things, from chest-aching heartbreak to weird, fierce joy, and I can’t believe it hasn’t gotten more attention, either last year or this year. With four songwriters in the band, the Fling’s records could degenerate into a patchwork of songs that don’t quite work, but instead they take personal experiences and translate them into the universal, and it’s a stormy and wild sort of universal. I guarantee you the show is going to be great, and if you go, you can hang out with me and those guys afterwards, because I promised to buy Graham a drink when they were finished with the set.

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