Saturday, April 26, 2008

CALAMITY MAGNET @ The Viper Room

CALAMITY MAGNET
Sara Radle – lead vocals, guitar, keys
Joe Bourdet – lead guitar
Valerie Ngai – bass (upright, electric), vocals
Genevieve Kwong – keys, flute, vocals
Joe Zabielski – drums


Calamity Magnet
photo by picksYsticks


With the name Calamity Magnet, it’s only fitting that this group has attracted a quintet of gifted musicians. What could’ve been a distressful and clashing of creative musical talents has proven to be a perfect union.

Founding member Sara Radle’s musical origins began in San Antonio where she fronted the pop/punk band, Lucy Loves Schroeder at the age of seventeen. Releasing a few critically acclaimed solo projects, Radle is also a current member of The Rentals led by Matt Sharp (formerly of Weezer) which are all worth checking out on iTunes.


Sara Radle of Calamity Magnet/photo by picksYsticks


Raised in Northern California, lead guitarist Joe Bourdet carved his musical resume playing from Santa Cruz to Glasgow Scotland. Moving to L.A. he played with folk-rock group Jonathan Wilson and the Whispering Pines, The Shore and in his latest project with Bolero.

Bass player, Valerie Ngai currently plays bass and drums with Burbank’s own indie pop band Loverlee. Growing up in Honolulu Ngai has been trained in classical bass and performed in symphonies and musical theaters around the west coast. Also in Loverlee is keyboardist Genevieve Kwong who is originally from Los Angeles. Kwong also lends her talent on flute and vocals to Calamity Magnet.

Along with Calamity Magnet, Drummer Joe Zabielski currently plays with Moving To France. A veteran of the Western Massachusetts indie scene during the 80’s and 90’s with psych-rockers The Eyes.

On April14th at the Viper Room, Calamity Magnet performed at Indie 103.1’s Check One Two night for their EP release party. Those who came out to this packed performance were rewarded with Calamity Magnet’s indie girl-pop inspired songs along with early Sara Radle favorites.

Their self-titled EP is a sugar-sweet diary, which when opened reveals a storybook of love and lost. Like a fairy tale utopia of blue skies and lush fields of colorful poppies, Calamity Magnet is the white picket fence that is surrounded by overgrown grass and weeds.

Just like a good book, it’s hard to put this CD down (or turn it off). It opens with its first track, “Baby You Forgot,” dealing with the realization of an ending relationship and the difficulties of trying to move on.

I've got a feeling it's over
I've been hearing you told her
That you love her, I bet you never loved me back
I've got a feeling it's gonna'
Be a long year ahead of me
I've got to find a way to get back on track

Calamity Magnet and Radle’s ability to blend sugar sweet melodies with heartfelt lyrics are felt throughout. In a sad folk ballad, “Convenient” is like a game of slow dancing of love around guarded emotions. Radle sings that, in every blossoming relationship, emotional walls and insecurities are built up.

Gotta keep my mind in check
Gotta keep my heart protected
Sometimes I feel like I am falling for you
But it seems like you’re just borrowing my time
Sometimes I fear if I didn’t make this so convenient for you
You wouldn’t want me
Please want me…like I want you to

“Figure It Out Now,” has our heroine caught in the middle of staying or leaving the guy she loves. And deciding not to get hurt again, she finally decides to make the difficult decision to leave as the song ends in an uplifting sense of freedom.

And I know exactly what it is I need to do
Step one, got to make myself stop coming back to you
Steps two and three
I'll kiss you goodbye and then I'll let you be

At this point of the story, it could very well be that this is the same guy in the story that keeps popping up in her life and whether the girl in the story is just so blinded with love that she keeps running back to this guy. Or it could just be a new guy each time. I must know!

The final two tracks may have given me my answers. “My Ex-Lover” and “Moving On” deals with heartbreak and taking control and moving on from a poison relationship. Ending with “Moving On,” it’s hard not to feel happy for our heroine who erasing all memories of the past. Like a brand new day, Radle sings, “ I don’t have time to waste on you. So I’m moving on. I took the photos of us off of my refrigerator. I don’t want the world to know how happy we once were together. Moving on. I’m moving on.”

Calamity Magnet's debut EP is like a delicate stream of emotions that softly cascade into a serene clear pond. Radle has brought together a talented group of musicians who bring an arsenal of song-writing experience to the group. Earlier this month, Calamity Magnet just announced that they're heading out on their first U.S. tour which starts in June. But you can check them out before they head off when they perform May 7th at the Hotel Cafe. Check out www.myspace.com/calamitymagnet for more infor and to purchase their new EP. And go to our pics page HERE for more pictures from that night!

Here's a video from Calamity Magnet's EP release party at The Viper Room performing "Sleep it Off" from Sara Radle's solo EP People You've Been Before and "Figure it Out" fom their new EP.


Calamity Magnet performing "Sleep it Off"
video by 405east






Calamity Magnet performs "Figure it Out" from the new EP.
vid by 405east