Three Must-See Acts This Week

Y La Bamba, Chief White Lightning, and TT (Theresa Wayman)

Indie folk

Y La Bamba

8 p.m., Saturday, July 7, at Swedish American Hall. $15;

Seamlessly blending elements of Mexican folkloric music and modern indie-pop, Y La Bamba is the brainchild of musician Luz Elena Mendoza’s individualism and sheer creativity. Born in San Francisco and raised primarily in Oregon, Mendoza found early musical inspiration spending summers in the Central Valley with her cousins, immersing herself in Mexican culture and music. After an enlightening trip to India, she knew her only path moving forward would be creating music. Upon self-releasing Y La Bamba’s debut album Alida St. in 2008 — a record that was mainly a Mendoza solo effort — the group coalesced around the release of its acclaimed 2010 sophomore album Lupon, produced by Chris Funk of The Decemberists. Y La Bamba would go on to receive unanimous praise for 2012’s Court the Storm, which hears Mendoza displaying her songwriting prowess with a sense of vulnerability that helps connect her with the listener. When speaking of her decision to sing both in English and Spanish in an interview with Bust, Mendoza claims, “I write in Spanish because it wants to be sung. I write in English because it wants to be said. And for so many reasons I can’t understand, well, that is left to the unknown. And within that kick lies that balance.”


Indie rock

Chief White Lightning

8:30 p.m., Tuesday, July 10, at Stork Club (Oakland). $5;

After spending years cementing himself as a staple of Austin’s rock scene, guitarist and vocalist Joshua Logan is ready to introduce his new multifaceted solo creative outlet, Chief White Lightning. Born in New Mexico but having spent most his life in Austin, Logan is profoundly inspired by his Southwestern upbringing both in his music and sense of style, as he is usually seen donning a custom-made white suit adorned with unique patches each with a special meaning. Logan’s desire to start Chief White Lightning began after he relocated to Long Beach three years ago, partly inspired by the local punk and psych-rock groups in his new home, along with his past in writing pop and grunge. The project hit full gear for Logan after teaming up with musicians Jonas Wilson and Paul Pulvirenti, with Logan claiming via press release, “It felt like I was writing pop songs from my childhood. I started remembering everything I grew up on. Started getting that feeling.” While Chief White Lightning’s self-titled debut album is not set for release until July 13, pre-released singles “City’s Alive” and “Beach Blonde Heritage” are a positive indicator that Logan has delivered a raw, no-gimmicks rock album that echoes spirits of the genre’s past with its feet firmly planted in the 21st century.


Dream pop

TT (Theresa Wayman)

9 p.m., Friday, July 6, at Rickshaw Stop. $15;

Since the release of its 2008 breakthrough EP Exquisite Corpse, Warpaint has mesmerized listeners with its hypnotic, meditative sound, thanks in part to vocalists and guitarists Emily Kokal and Theresa Wayman’s natural ability to create textured, dreamy atmospheres. While Warpaint is going stronger than ever, Wayman has quietly been working on her own material over the past decade, and last month saw the release of her debut solo album LoveLaws, released under her new moniker “TT,” which simultaneously a fond nickname and abbreviation for Theresa. While LoveLaws operates in a similar, hazy territory as Warpaint’s discography, the album stands apart in sound, heavily influenced by ’90s trip-hop that Wayman listened to in her youth. Standout track “Love Leaks” perfectly encompasses the album’s warm intimacy and mystifying aura, as the track is built upon delicate layers of guitars and spacey beats, as Wayman laments over a troublesome past relationship. When speaking to NME of her songwriting process over the years, Wayman confesses, “There’s two sides to myself that don’t really go together. But then the process of this album and writing about it, I’ve balanced those things and I’m settled. I feel OK with how it is, and I can wait for the right thing to fit.” 


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