Last Friday, November 18, KXSU welcomed Honcho Poncho and Seattle University-based Geophagia, some wonderful folk-based bands, to our studio for a live performance. Honcho Poncho has a great sound, as previously described, consisting mostly of folk-flavored alt-rock. Their live performance, containing songs from their next album, also featured some top-rate guitar solos from…someone whose name I forgot, I’m sorry dude. He’s “new haircut guy,” if you watch the video for their song “Red Bull and Camel Blues.” The entire band sounded flawless on Friday, and if you’re interested, make sure to hear their debut album, which was released on November 25.
Geophagia, a foursome whose name comes from a term for “eating earth,” opened for Honcho Poncho with three songs. Their style isn’t like anything I’ve ever heard before, considering they use a mandolin and violin to add folk elements to an edgy punk-rock core. They actually sounded downright medieval, especially their first and third tracks (talk about being metal, am I right?). I was so jarred when they began to play that I wasn’t sure what to think at first. The lead singer, Kiran, started to sing, and I thought to myself, “This better not be a meme.” But fear not, Geophagia, you soon eased my apprehension, for the band’s style is as jarring as it is enchanting. There was something about the high pitches and sonically unweighty sounds of the violin that juxtaposed very well with the heaviness of the guitar, and angsty vocals on the tracks. Though Kiran was singing about violence, dying, and sadness, Geophagia’s folk elements kept me engaged and eager for more, with my foot tapping and head nodding. The band attracted the largest in-studio crowd that I’ve seen this year, so congratulations to them for their great sound and success so far.
Oh, Honcho Poncho. I appreciate you. Your laid-back vibes, Sam’s vocals, those spicy guitar solos; you had me seriously itching to dance, and I never dance. It just felt good to listen to you play. You took us on a feel-good journey through the emotions of the first few songs (my favorite was the mostly instrumental first track with that guitar), then worked in the upbeat “Edison” and “Sick of Pretending” in the middle, and finished up with some slower nostalgia at the end. They have a way of creating swelling instrumentals that are moving, and personally quite cathartic at times; and not to mention their A+ lyricism, which really stood out to me while they performed (lyrics are usually the last thing that I catch in a song, so kudos to them for some great writing).
Frontman Sam Gelband appeared to be his quirky self while he was here, taking the time to introduce/insult each member of the band, yet receiving no roast in return. Come on, that hair? Those glasses? That should have been an easy task. He also talked about cardboard, so that was fun. Actually though, Honcho Poncho has a great personality, from the way they carry themselves to the way they sound, and we were so glad to have them in-studio with us. Catch their full-length debut, Late Night, released on November 25, which you’re able to listen to here. Also keep an eye on our own Geophagia, who I’m sure (and hope) will be performing again soon. A big thanks to both bands for performing for us.
Up next (and last for this quarter!) on December 2 at 7:00 p.m. is Naked Giants, who will be in the studio with Young Mothers, another Seattle University-based band. Consider taking a study break to rock out with us! Check out the details for that event here.Until next time!
JOSH GEST | Eatin’ it up | KXSU Radio Reporter