Localized Appreesh is our weekly thank-you column to the musicians that make the Bay. To be considered, contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
Behind every San Francisco band is the shadow of the past – decades of sweeping musical scenes that came before it, haunting the Victorian venues, ghosts with ink stamped on their hands. With Major Powers & the Lo-Fi Symphony, that tap-tap-tapping is a bit more literal.
Two of the three members of the trio (French brothers Kevin and Dylan Gautschi) are the sons of Pamela Wood, bassist of 1970s Bay Area act Leila & the Snakes. That's not to say Major Powers & the Lo-Fi Symphony emulates Leila & the Snakes' minimalist rock'n'roll weirdo sound, just that perhaps the musical spirit of experimentation courses through the veins of certain families.
No, MP&LFS gets just as much vigor from both the height of the ragtime era and the rise of '90s Buzz Bin alternative rock as it does the less tangible local past. Led by dynamic pianist-songwriter Nicholas Jarvis Powers, the bouncy band calls itself “adventure rock” and makes good on the promise with complex arrangements spruced up with those tickling feel-good keys and power pop vocals.
The trio is currently in the process of releasing its first LP – We Became Monters – on SF's Amazing Pony Records, but for now you can catch it popping up live in venues across the city (most recently, a piano showdown at Monarch). This week? Upper Haight experimenters-haven Milk.
Year and location of origin: 2011, Richmond, Calif.
Band name origin: Nick dreamt the phrase “Lo-Fi Symphony.” Dylan’s girlfriend said, “call it Major Powers & The Lo-Fi Symphony.” We all got jazzed.
Band motto: “There is no spoon.”
Description of sound in 10 words or less: Everything Bert Does In Mary Poppins Meets Superdrag Meets Queen.
Instrumentation: Piano, Guitar, Drums.
Most recent release: We Became Monsters.
Best part about life as a Bay Area band: Hotties.
Worst part about life as a Bay Area band: Money.
First album ever purchased: Dylan: Sex Packets, Digital Underground.
Kevin: Please Hammer, Don’t Hurt ‘Em.
Nick: Ice Ice Baby (single).
Most recent album purchased/downloaded: Dylan: Powerman 5000 in 1998.
Kevin: All Eyez On Me, Tupac.
Nick: "Ice Ice Baby" (single) (I’m not kidding – I bought one cassette and that was it).
Favorite local eatery and dish: Dylan: my kitchen
Kevin: La Taqueria, Carnitas Burrito
Nick: Fonda, Skirt Steak, THAT SHIT CRAY