On February 15th at 8 p.m., The Crocodile will offer many people exactly what they need on the day after the infamous holiday when chocolate candy wrappers and pretty ribbons pollute our planet in the name of love and consumerism. Yes, you’re right, I am another party-pooper, skeptic of the culture of deforestation at the hands of cheesy hallmark cards and water pollution at the hands of deflated helium balloons. Now, I don’t hate love—my concerns are all environmental! 😀
Back to the subject, “A Post-Valentine’s Day Romp with Jessica Lea Mayfield” will be an opportunity to recover from all the overplayed, clichéd conceptualizations of love we see a lot on Valentine’s Day. Very few can describe a lot of the intrinsic burdens and debilitating after-effects of a bad relationship as acutely as Mayfield can, while still having their music be something people can relate to. So if you’re feeling caught in the margins at the celebration of romance, The Crocodile is a place you could potentially find community. Damn, I don’t know if I sound utterly saddening or jovial…but you get the picture!
I’ll leave it to you guys to decide. On her last album, Make My Head Sing, which came out in 2014; Jessica Lea Mayfield approaches a grunge-alternative style to echo the dark themes of her lyrics. The album before that, Tell Me, relied on a more folky style of songwriting but wouldn’t hesitate to bring in some heavy, Sonic Youth type guitar riffs creating instances of a heavy dark atmosphere. In Make My Head Sing, remnants of that sensation from Tell Me are scattered across the set because of the stronger grunge direction Mayfield decided to take.
Check her out her performance in SXSW at Mellow Johnny’s Bike Shop hosted by KEXP here!
More recently, Mayfield has been wrapping up a three-year off and on production on an album, collaborating with Seth Avett of the Avett Brothers, in which the two sing covers of late singer-songwriter Elliot Smith. The album titled, Seth Avett and Jessica Lea Mayfield Sing Elliot Smith, will have music spanning across Smith’s career. This is a very exciting collaboration and you can find a video promoting it here!.
What better alternative to Valentine’s Day (or form of recovery thereof) could there be?! This will be my first time seeing Mayfield live and I am really excited to see what approach she has with her audience as well as what her personality is like outside of her music.
Gabriel Ferri / KXSU Head Writer