Get to know the ladies from La Fonda in this interview! They are is a lyrically driven indie dream pop collective from Seattle, led by sisters and singer-songwriters Veronica and Valerie Topacio. We are thrilled that they will be playing at Standard Goods for September Art Walk! Their sound is nostalgic, nodding to the 90's and early 2000's, the era that the sisters grew up in. Learn more abelow and be sure to come by Thursday September 13th to hear them live!
Where did you come up with the name La Fonda?
There is a Jane Fonda Record hanging next to our practice space door at the Old Rainier Brewery that has been there ever since we moved in. "La Fonda" sort of slipped out of our tongue one day after one of our earlier band practices. In true millennial form, we looked up the word "Fonda" on Urban Dictionary and saw that it was defined as one who was "Down for Anything," so we were sold.
Who are some of your musical icons or influences?
This is always a tough question to answer because we are lucky to be consuming in an age of never-ending artistry and music... but to name a few: Stevie Nicks, Carol King, Amy Winehouse, Jenny Lewis/Rilo Kiley, Modest Mouse, No Doubt, Cranberries, Death Cab for Cutie, Alvvays... the list goes on and on...
Can you recall the age you were when you first realized creating music was something you loved doing?
Music has always been a very big part of our lives since as far back as we can remember. We were blessed with a household that encouraged singing at the top of our lungs, playing whatever instrument you could get our hands on, and song writing from a young age. It wasn't until four or five years ago when we realized that singing and writing songs was what we needed to be doing for our souls, so that is when we started taking creating music seriously and using it as a compass to guide and navigate the direction of our lives.
What era inspires you the most?
Nostalgia inspires us. We are drawn to the 90s & early 2000s, for this time encapsulates our childhood and lives in the fabric of our beings as we work to find our way amidst a digitalized society. We used to watch TRL religiously after school and obsess over movies like "10 things I hate about you" and "She's All That". We made our friends & cousins who came over to our house play our own version of MTV's "Say What? Karaoke" and make up dance routines to Ace of Base and TLC with us. We love entertaining and turning art into a song...made even better if space buns, chokers, fishnets, and knee highs are included.
When you write a new song, how do you get started?
It varies. Sometimes we work on things separately then come together, or we spend months and months jamming on a few ideas before it actually becomes anything at all. Other times songs reveal themselves in 5 minutes. We both religiously carry around journals everywhere we go and coming together in the living room is always a special place. We could spend hours just jamming sifting through notebook pages, going back and forth until we give each other "the look" of "hey...maybe this could be something."
Has La Fonda brought you closer as sisters? Do you ever butt heads?
We are closer than we have ever been. Music is the way we communicate and entangles and enriches our sisterhood. There is nothing more magical than sharing a dream with your sister, that person who knows your life better than sometimes we know our own selves. We feel extremely blessed to have La Fonda as a shared platform and vision...for our songs truly do light the way for us to heal and connect. The nice thing about working with family is when we butt heads (boy, do we ever) we get over things easily knowing that our intention is always in the best interest of each other.
Tell us the story behind your new single In The Summer?
This is one of those songs that we kept jamming on for months & months until it finally came together. It's about a love that has kept coming in and out of your life and then finally, you just have to let it go and be okay with what it was. There will always be that feeling of "what if" and it is okay to smile about that sometimes.
How many hours a day do you spend practicing?
Depends on the day - As a band we meet 2x/week and can practice for 3-4 hours. Individually, we practice as much as we possibly can. I think we are all pretty much thinking and dreaming about something music related 24/7.
Where do you see your career going in the future?
The more time and resources we pour into our dream of being full-time creatives and musicians, the more it seems to be becoming a reality. La Fonda is a big part of our future and ultimately, there is nothing we want more than to continue to tour and share our music with as many places and people that we possibly can.
Any exciting upcoming gigs?
None that we can announce...but we are excited to be caving up this fall and winter continuing work on recording & producing our debut Album. We are stoked!!!
We are so excited to have Guy Keltner joining us for our August Art Walk performance! Guy has recently moved back to Seattle from New York, and we are thrilled to welcome him to Standard Goods Art Walk! He is one member of the band Acid Tongue, and will be performing solo for us.
Stop by Thursday, August 9th for free music, art, and as always- beer!
Read on to learn more about Guy!
Tell us a bit about yourself? Where are you from?
My family is all from Los Angeles, but my mom & dad moved us up to Seattle when I was a teenager. After high school, I stuck around, went to UW for Economics, spent most of my 20s here, and I just moved back after living in Brooklyn the past two years.
How and where did you become so musically talented?
I started really young. My folks had me on piano at five, and then I was given a guitar when I turned 10. I think the most important thing in my education was to write a lot of music, at a really young age. I started making my own songs at 11 or 12, so I'm almost two decades in and I still learn new things every day.
What is your favorite song to perform and why?
Right now I love closing with "Careless". We change it just enough every time we play it, so it's always a new experience. The crowd seems really into it every time, and I let my bandmates take it in whatever direction feels right on any given night.
Since you normally perform as part of your band, Acid Tongue, how will this performance be different for you?
I can play any song I want. I might do some old Fox and The Law songs (my band from a few years back), or I might play some covers. I might just goof off and do a medley of whatever feels good at the moment.
Who has been your biggest inspiration in the music world and why?
Probably like a lot of artists, I have no biggest inspiration. I take from different things. Musically, Acid Tongue is heavily inspired by Jonathan Richman, Lou Reed, T Rex, and more contemporary stuff like Timber Timbre, Built to Spill and Charles Bradley. But I'm also taking stuff conceptually from Kurt Vonnegut, copping some of Anthony Bourdain's signature attitude, blending in influences from the beat poets.
Where do you see yourself in 5 years?
More stable financially, still making music I enjoy.
What is your song creation process like?
Depends on the song. Sometimes it starts lyrically, maybe its a melody, or maybe just a good idea for a riff.
What has been your biggest accomplishment as a musician thus far?
Touring Europe and the UK. Coming home and playing in-studio at KEXP. Then headlining my own festival (the Freakout). Last fall was great.
How do you distinguish yourself from other artists out there today?
I don't worry about the other artists. I stay true to who I am.
If you could collaborate with any musician or band past or present, who would you chose and why?
Sly Stone, before all of the drugs rotted his brain.
Do you have any exciting upcoming gigs?
August 10th, opening up for Built to Spill at South Lake Union Block Party. We're also touring England in September, and going to Mexico City in October.
Anything else you'd like to share?
Please attend this year's Freakout Festival! We'll be performing, alongside a ton of amazing bands (this year we have some killer headliners!): https://www.the-freakout.com
Standard Goods Featured Artist: Katie Georgeby Chloe Harris
We are excited to have Katie George back as one of our two August Art walk featured artists! Katie and Brian's joint show, Northwest Kaleidoscope, will be featured at our Capitol Hill Art Walk on Thursday, August 9th. Stop by to check out their incredible work and enjoy free beer and music from Guy Keltner!
We are so excited to have you back! Any updates since the last time you joined us for art walk?
I’m so glad to be back! And yes, I’ll be presenting a very different collection that I am so excited about. Compared to my previous work, my newer pieces are all about color combinations, patterns, brushed fringe and 3D elements and they really break the barriers of standard macramé. What I love about each piece is that they have all turned out differently than the original image in my head because I get so inspired, mid-process, that I’ll take the idea in a new and better direction. I very much design each piece on the fly. I’ve also been experimenting with macramé/floral combos, which is a ton of fun.
Where do you find inspiration for making your art?
I mostly find inspiration around the city since Seattle is such a creative and thriving place. I like to go on long walks and will generally look out for interesting colors palettes or patterns throughout my meandering. Sometimes I draft out patterns on grid paper. Sometimes I even just sit on the floor with all of my spools of string and let ideas come out of that.
What is your creating space like?
Currently, a bit of a mess. I live in less than 400 sq. feet so it’s kinda shoved into a corner of the apartment. I create everything on a garment rack and have my string somewhat arranged below that. Luckily I can see the TV from my space so that I can binge on Friends in the process.
What are some of your favorite artists?
My background is in film/video so my favorite artists are usually filmmakers. Wes Anderson is certainly number one. I think his use of color is extraordinary and he is very inspiring in the way he composes a scene. I think that macramé needs a lot of compositional thought put into it too. I also really love Tim Burton’s style and the way he adds elements of whimsy to generally dark palettes.
Do you have any exciting upcoming projects?
I actually just finished a huge wedding altarpiece for one of my best friends. This was the first time making a piece like this and I really enjoyed the change of style it provided. I love the way it turned out and am definitely available for any future wedding backdrop commissions.
You are still fairly new to Seattle, how do you like it? Any favorite spots?
I am loving the city and was so happy when summer finally came around! Well, Standard Goods, of course. I also find myself hovering around General Porpoise and Frankie and Jo’s deciding if I want a doughnut or vegan ice cream…sometimes it’s both!
If you were a food, what would you be?
Probably a doughnut. They like to make people happy and they are full of possibilities and potential. I also just really like doughnuts too.
If you could collaborate with any artist, who would it be and why?
I don’t have a specific artist in mind but it would be amazing to collaborate with someone in woodworking or ceramics because there are so many opportunities to combine those mediums with macramé.
Check out Katie's Instagram @katiegeorgemacrame, and Portfolio!
Shop Katie's online store here!
Join us next Thursday, July 12th for Capitol Hill Art Walk. We will be hosting musical guest Aleron along with our artist Kyra Anderson.
Aleron Kelley is a poet, producer and MC known as Alterations. The Alterations project is a culmination of a experimental audio collage and hip hop instrumentals accompanied by poetic lyricism and ambient textures. This project spans an array of emotions from love to heartache sprinkled with cunning word play. Alterations has not released an official full length project and doesn't share much music online so everything you hear is exclusive and will be about as raw as it gets.
Read on to learn more about Aleron and his music.
How would you describe your musicality?
Passionate lyrical delivery and stage presence with inventive instrumentals
Who has been your biggest inspiration in the music world and why?
Probably Digable Planets and The Blue Scholars . My dad played Digable Planets for me as a kid and it was the first exposure to hip hop. As I got older and more involved in the local scene I started going to Blue Scholars shows and really dug Sabzis production and decided to start making beats. Oh, and MF DOOM.
Do you have any exciting upcoming gigs/performances? What are they?
I kinda play shows as they come around but don't have any specific plans on playing next. Although my brother has a little group called Apt_E which throws techno parties around town and I'd like to open up for one of those sometime soon. Follow Apt_E on Instagram.
What is your biggest goal as a musician?
To make people feel an array of emotions and get a peak into my head and see my vision.
What's your favorite part of being in Seattle?
I’m Seattle born and raised and have traveled a bit but always come back to Seattle with a fond sense of home. I love the seasons. I wish the summers were longer.
If you could describe yourself in 3 words, what would they be?
Empathetic, explorer, deep-thinker.
What do you wish to convey to the audience through your music?
I would like to convey a feeling that just because things end it doesn't mean that its over. Stories can still be told and I hope that the stories I'm telling resonate with the people listening. Also to just vibe out to some cool beats.
Anything else you'd like people to know?
It takes me a really long time to write music these days and I haven't made beats in ages. I'm kinda experimenting with performance at this point, but doing things like this inspire me to get back to work. So thanks for the opportunity and expect more dopeness coming soon.
For more info about Aleron and his music, check out his Website.
We can't wait to see you all there!
Stop by the shop Thursday evening and hear music from her band Pablo's Legs too!
Oh wow, I remember I was about 4 or 5, the first thing I ever colored in was this small cat drawing in a coloring book I had. That was also the same time I learned how to write my name (which is not an easy name to spell for a 5 year old.) I started being attracted to art at a really young age. I loved it. I mainly started with coloring books and then in elementary school I became super interested in making my own artwork. I was also a big fan of writing fictional stories and reading. I read a lot. Once I learned how to read I never stopped.
My childhood was a lot of moving around, at risk of being homeless. It was hard for me to attend school regularly and I wasn't very good at math so I always felt inferior in school settings where highly academic classes were rewarded more than artistic ones. Making artwork freed my mind of what was going on at home and made me feel confident in a school setting which really helped me work hard to finish school and continue my education after high school.
Describe your drawing style in a few words?
Whimsical, quirky, abstract.
Do you have anything you are looking forward to in 2018? What were yo
passionate about this past year?
I currently attend Cornish College of the arts but I am doing a study abroad program through Cornish to attend an art school in Florence, Italy. I'm leaving January 2018 and it is honestly a dream come true. I have always wanted to study and live in Italy. I could not be more happy about it! This past year I was really passionate about keeping up with my filmmaking and I will continue that next year and beyond.
Where did you grow up?
First part of my childhood I grew up on Maui, then I moved to Orcas Island and lived there until I graduated high school and then I moved to Seattle!
Ooo. Mint chocolate chip.
People on the street (da ba de da day). My life experiences, past, current and future. My partner Gianni. All my friends and family. Struggling. It's all beautiful and it's all part of the inspiration.
Do you have a mantra you live by?
"I'm just an egg floating in the ocean."
If your life was a movie what would the title be and who would you like to play you?
Oh man. Why is that a hard question! I feel like it would be a documentary and I would film my real life. OR it would be an animated cartoon. As for the title, maybe "The Celestine Prophecy"...
Can you tell us a little about what you will be sharing during your Solo Show at Standard Goods Art walk?
I will be sharing a mix of drawings, paintings, and film work I have done over the past year. Also I will be selling handmade earrings and possibly posters and postcards.
Anything else you'd like to share? :)
I'm excited! Come to the show on December 14th! My band Pablo's Legs is playing. It will be a fun and probably weird time you won't want to miss.
Get more information about this months artwork on our event page.
Join Standard Goods for May Capitol Hill Artwalk 6 pm - 9 pm featuring Seattle based street artist, Bradley Oliver Wilkinson, also known as DARMDARM for his solo art show + live band performance by Critté.
Stop by the shop and see a collection of graffiti inspired stickers exploring friends and characters of his own design. DARMDARM finds himself waking up with his boots on, pulling apart his fingers stuck together by spray paint, squinting at the sun as it melts through his window. We sat down with Bradley to learn more about his artwork and himself. Scroll down to check out our interview with Bradley.
Tell us a little bit about yourself? What kind of work do you do?
I am originally from Austin, tx where I started doing street art. I went to school there and received a Bachelor in Fine Arts. I also Illustrate, Animate, Make Music, and direct videos. My mural work has been seen on the Food Network and I have directed for MTV Portugal & Spain. I come from a family of Recyclers, making me now stranger of junkyards growing up. Im my spare time I like to garden, go to yoga, excercise, and roam seattle with my Russian Wolfhound, Copernicus.
My preferred medium when on the streets is acrylic hand painted stickers I wheatpaste. Darm Darm is my tag, and I have been doing graffiti for 8 years. It evolved from me saying "Dern" all the time back in 2009, and one stoned day in front of my drafting table it came to me. Darm Darm, a hybrid of "Darn" & "Nom Nom." It is weird when people call me darm darm and don't even know my name. I feel like a cartoon character.
Recently I dabbled in comics. The first one I created was for my band's (CRITTÉ) first EP, Staurt's Cove. You can get copies at our live shows. We have a full length coming out this summer. And, it has been keeping me all sorts of busy.
I love seattle a lot. I have been in love with the atmosphere that comes with the territory. From the scenic landscapes to all the kind hearted lovely weirdos. Even the not so kind hearted lovely weirdos. We need everyone to make this texture interesting and rich. I enjoy the queer art community here, it made the transfering from austin much easier and more comfortably inhabitable.
I love it so much here in this damn city that I decided to start an art club at Revolver with a friend. A local watering hole in Capitol Hill where we throw monthly drink n draws every second Tuesday. Friends and patrons come to draw ridiculous themes thought up by the troublemakers crew. We play drawing games, talk, and mentally crap out beer soaked comics. The next month we put them into a zine and give them away to everyone for free. I was inspired by the super talented people that put on Dune, another drink n draw located in the University District at Cafe Racer. I make it a point to indulge myself into the arts. I have been obsessed since my mom would draw pictures with me and my brother at the dinner table. Fun Fact, my first drawing ever was of a pink flamingo. (are people still reading)
What themes are influencing your work currently?
For this particular show, I am showcasing my street art. Which are based off my darmdarm characters and friends that I know. Themes that come to mind our heartbreak, dating, death, anxiety, humor, confidence, self revelation, growing up (or lack there of), and street culture. Stuff I think many of us have to deal with on the daily.
What is your favorite medium to work with?
That is hard to say, because I like so many mediums and types of art. Buy i guess the most fun would be the one that is potentially the dirtiest, painting. When it comes to that, I enjoy acrylic the best because It dries really fast. Plus, I am use to it. But I do draw a lot with ink, and i like using microns and prisma markers.
Favorite place you have ever traveled to? Where do you want to go next?
For nature vibes Maui. For city vibes Berlin. I got to do some street art in Berlin, and the shear amount of art cover the terrain is insane. Like, not just the Berlin wall, but so much of the city! Plus they have a mural, by one of my favorite artists who mixes animation and street art from Italy, named Blu. (Check him out if you don't remember him) I really want to go back to Maui, tho. It is like an alien forrest for me over there. I like the lingo over there, and all the burnt up vehicles i saw along with the graffiti. The local kids steal cars for joyrides and destroy the evidence when they are done. The burnt rusted out frames of all the cars make for interesting installations along the highways. It is mad expensive, but it a nice place to let go for awhile.
What do you love most about living in Seattle? How does the city inspire you?
I love when the sun comes out, and everyone goes nuts! Plus, you can't really wheat paste in the rain... I am a fan of the legal weed. I love all the friends I have made up here. Plus, there is a lot of rich history everywhere, from the music scene to the historic evolution of the city. I love having the outdoors so close. Me and my dog Copernicus enjoy long walks in the park. Sometimes we go horseback riding and skiing. Afterwards, we take long bubble baths and drink PBR's in our haunted mansion.
On a serious note, lately I have been inspired by meditation and working on calming my mind. Yoga and exercise are a must living here. Without it, my life is bummersville. I feel this is a common thing for someone trying to wing off the bar scene, morphing into their 30's. My 20's were a blurrrrr.....
What artist do you most identify with?
Their are plenty of artist I admire, but not to many I identify with all the way. Here some friends that come close that I love in Austin: Matthew Briar Bonifacior, el.bae.es, & Diego Mireles Duran.
If a movie was made about your life what would it be called? And what actor would you want to play you?
My Name is Darm Darm & I Came Here to Farty 4: Letting Loose the Goose
Staring: Cheech Marin
Five things you can't possibly live without?
What do you want people to experience when they see your work?
Maybe, to try and understand my experience whether they relate with it at all. Or, maybe they just think it looks cool and they want to put it in their homes or a museum? Maybe poop their pants?
Anything else you'd like to share with us!?
The women in my family mean a lot to me, and I don't know where i would be without them in my life. Also, music is a gigantic part of my life as well. My great grandmother had so much influence in me wanting to play music. Though I didn't get to meet her, she was in an all female washboard band outside of Austin in the hill country of Texas. In my head, this made her a bad ass! She hand made her washboard guitar which was bequeathed to me along with her pump organ after my Grandma Loraine passed away. (she was an artist too) I was the only one out of the family that still actively played music, during the time of the funeral, so she wanted me to have them. This thought inspired me to work on an Influential Women of Music series. For me to draw every woman who has inspired me and others around the world to get into music. Whether it is just to enjoy or engage by starting their own projects.
August 1st, I will be displaying this series at the Vera Project. Follow me on Instagram so you can learn more about it leading up to the event. ciao. xxxo
Also here are some cool links to check out for Troublemakers Art Club:
For the month of March, we decided to include Standard Goods for the Second Thursday Capitol Hill Artwalk that takes place every month. Seattle Artist Isabela Garcia reached out to us after the successful grand opening party; she wanted to inquire about showing a few of her film prints and polaroids for artwalk. This became Isabela's third art show in a row here in Seattle, in time before she travels to Europe for a few weeks. We are very pleased with the turn out and look forward to showing other local artists in the area.
For artists with interest in showing their work at Standard Goods for future Second Thursday Capitol Hill Artwalk, please email: firstname.lastname@example.org