Starry starry nightmare

Mason Lindahl’s at Pehrspace tonight, so I thought I’d relate to you a story about the last time he was in town.

It was a night much like tonight—a lot of shows happening all over (that’s every night in L.A. I guess), each with a lot of ampage and established fanbases. It seemed hopeless to be honest, and I don’t often find myself in that situation often. I’m a pretty upbeat guy.

But how does a solo guitar player and singer survive in that kind of environment? One man going from town to town with no fanfare, only to arrive in Music City USA with…even less fanfare (if that’s possible).

But Lindahl didn’t see things like that at all. He cradled his guitar and stared at the lucky few in attendance. When he finally opened his mouth these long, flowing tones came pouring out. I imagined invisible tentacles streaming from his lips and moving purposefully across the room and grabbing the audience tightly. With no vibrato whatsoever in his voice—kinda like Tim Buckley with less jazz but all the delicious drama still intact—Lindahl held the gathered in his clutches, laying one devastating song after another upon us, our jaws agape.

It’s a testament to Mason Lindahl’s gifts as a musician and performer because right at the moment I wanted to chuck everything—life, music, shows—into the trash, I was reborn through song.

Photo: Sean Carnage

Mason Lindahl, from Oakland, is one of my favorite performers right now. His songs are semi-acoustic, but they aren’t soft—or hard for that matter. No, they are dynamic—changing/changeable. Lindahl’s music has a certain tidal wave crescendo quality that you might also hear in the music of 60 Watt Kid or vintage Tony William’s Lifetime (the first two records is what I’m talking about here) or certain tracks by Tim Buckley (Lorca is required material for all music fans—if you don’t have it get it soon…it’s the definitive Socal spooky folk album ever made).

Mason Lindahl is the sound of teleportation. And I suspect at various times we all need that more than anything else.

Hi, Mason. How long have you been playing music?
I think I’ve been playing guitar most of my life. First picked one up around 6 or so. Started with piano but sadly dropped that. I wish I would have stuck with it. Tried trumpet for a minute.

How would you describe your music to a stranger?

Has any music ever changed your life the moment that you heard it?
Yeah, actually, alot of piano players. One specifically—Lubomyr Melnyk—and Nils Frahm. But of course some Bob Dylan and Doc Watson stuff. Each have their own impression. The piano stuff has a heavier influence on my guitar playing and the folk/country songs more or less help me out on a daily basis.

What’s your newest musical project?
I am always working on my solo stuff. I’ve been collaborating with a friend of mine, Daniel Trudeau, aka Pregnant, and Teddy Briggs (Appetite). And just for the heck of it I’ve been recording pop music with a girl El Elle who’s the frontwoman for Interscope pop act The Lovemakers. But my friends and I are always contributing to each others tunes.

In a about a week or so I will start working out arrangements for a number of instrumental guitar pieces with a favorite composer of mine, Max Stroffregen.

Are you touring to support new recordings?
I am touring on a support Serrated Man Sound. That came out in mid-October of last year on Porter Records. Also trying to build some buzz for a double seven inch split with Ellie Fortune, Robby Moncrieff and Zach Hill that comes out on a small label out of Irvine, Life’s Blood, in early July.

Who’s your favorite lyricist?
Man, maybe Karen Dalton and Bob Dylan.

They seem to have some kind of classic quality that I am extremely envious of. It’s something I’ve struggled with for a long while.

Who have you played with recently that has really excited you?
Like always, my friends. Appetite, Woman Year, Robby Moncrieff.

What’s your favorite performer on the radio right now and why?
Oh man. Science Fridays on NPR? Who knows. R. Kelly? It’s just so smooth.

If you were a song, which one would you be?
Karen Dalton, “Something on Your Mind.” HAH. That’s just sad. Maybe that Weezer song “Across the Sea.”

See and hear Mason Lindahl tonight, Monday, June 14

Sean Carnage presents…

The Myonics
Mason Lindahl
Michael Saalman (of Afternoon Brother)

+ DJ William Caruso

Starts 9:30pm / $5 / all-ages

Pehrspace—325 Glendale Blvd., in Historic Filipinotown

See you there?

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