Infinite Shuffle

January 16, 2011

59 – California Wives

Filed under: C, Chicago — assman41 @ 12:01 am

As I prepared to see The Helio Sequence in concert earlier this week, I made sure to check out the various opening acts to find out what was in store for me and to figure out how early I wanted to arrive.

After listening to all the bands, it quickly became apparent that I needed to get to the venue as soon as the doors opened. Not because the bill was packed full of awesome bands, but because the best act of the night would be the first one to hit the stage.

The five songs on California Wives’ website absolutely blew my socks off. So much so that I immediately headed over to iTunes and downloaded their debut EP, Affair.

California Wives – Blood Red Youth

(Note: For some reason, all of these songs are taking 15-20 seconds before they start to play. So, just be patient.)

This four-piece group from Chicago combines all the best elements of the post-punk, shoegazer and indie-pop genres into one awesome force.

California Wives – Twenty Three

Because of a special promotion at the concert, there were more people than usual in attendance for the opening acts. So, after a somewhat quiet response to start the show, the Wives received a solid ovation following their 30-minute set. They played six songs — four songs from their album and two new ones — all of which were solid.

One of the things I found most interesting seeing them live was how they divvied up the lead vocals. Standing front and center with his keyboard — and occasionally a guitar — was Jayson Kramer. He did most of the talking between songs and, I assumed, was the lead singer.

But with my view from the upper level somewhat obstructed by the band’s family, I didn’t realize initially that a lot of the singing was actually coming from the far right side of the stage, where unassuming bassist Dan Zima was perched.

Any time a band has more than one real vocalist, I consider that a plus in my book.

California Wives – Guilt

This band is ready to blow up on the national scene. The group is currently unsigned, but I doubt that’ll be the case for long, especially after the boys strut their stuff at the South By Southwest Festival in March.

To keep tabs on the band, check out its MySpace page.



  1. […] They actually opened the set with their biggest hit, “Can’t Say No”, which I thought was quite uncommon. But it definitely helped invigorate those in attendance — many of whom had been there for several hours and were forced to sit/stand through a couple of dreamy bands that were doing their darndest to lull us to sleep (that excludes the awesome first opener California Wives). […]

    Pingback by 60 – The Helio Sequence « Infinite Shuffle — January 23, 2011 @ 2:17 pm

  2. […] Dog … “Threadless/Schubas Roundup” Notable acts: California Wives, Screaming Females, John Vanderslice, Reptar, Alejandro Escovedo, Kopecky Family […]

    Pingback by SXSW 2011: The gameplan « Infinite Shuffle — March 15, 2011 @ 12:20 am

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