The Color Forty Nine hail from San Diego, California, where pretty much everything is nice. The weather and languid pace can easily lull you into a blissful complacency…or implore you to seek for more. For their first recording, the band has mined a collection of seven musical stories from their surroundings, daily life, countries traveled, and the fortunate proximity of the neighboring town of Tijuana, Mexico, a whole different place altogether.
Describing it as ‘the best feature of living in San Diego, and one tragically avoided by all too many’, Tijuana is the inspiration and occasional setting for many of the lyrics for vocalist Phil Beaumont. Stealing from autobiographical moments, and semi-fictional tales of characters encountered, and imagined, from both sides of the border and beyond, Beaumont’s lyrics explore the notion that we all seek refuge, in places, moments and people with whom, or from whom, we sometimes want to escape.
The lead track, ‘I will’, speaks to the idea of finding anonymity in a crowd and allowing ourselves to let into the foibles of being human. Quasi-confessional, where none is necessary, it leans on the common desire to diverge from the path without losing the way. Beaumont is a director of a public elementary school and finds refuge in music, other communities and places that provide breathing room in times of need. Working with kindred musicians allows for a less censored vulnerability in song-smithing.
Collectively, the members of the band have played throughout the world with previous and current projects such as little white teeth (Phil Beaumont), the Black Heart Procession (Matt Resovich & Jason Hooper), the Album Leaf (Matt Resovich), maquiladora (Phil Beaumont), System’s Officer (Jason Hooper) and the John Meeks Band (John Meeks, Matt Resovich). The band members have also sat in with the likes of Eric Bachmann and Pinback as touring members.
As multi-instrumentalists, each member gets to stray from their previous roles to find new musical connections to song writing. As a bass player for most of his life, Beaumont picked up, by happenstance, a baritone ukulele to travel with more easily, and thus was the genesis of the songs on this, the band’s first outing. Matt Resovich plays violin and Casiotone through the many effects pedals he builds himself. Jason Hooper, a highly sought-after drummer, picks up the bass for the Color Forty Nine, and John Meeks, typically the front man to his own band, falls back on his drum-core days to fill out the rhythm section. Their musical home is the attic of a 1910 home in Sherman Heights, where each rehearsal begins with a family style meal of good food and better wine.
Glide is proud to premiere the video for “Side of the Road” (below) – a band that implores the dark black and white world of Nick Cave and David Lynch along with the slow languid rock lava of early Black RebMotorcyclelue Club. Directed by Otis Barthoulameu, who serves as J. Mascis’ road manager and who has developed a series called ‘1 Photo and 1 Photo Only’. This has featured tons of (older) bands such as The Melvins, Black Francis (a couple nights ago), Thurston Moore, Hot Snakes, Superchunk, Dean Wareham. and Beaumont got to talking about doing a 1 Take and 1 Take Only video in the band’s rehearsal attic a while ago, so as both were excited by the idea, the captured this video while the whole band was in town rehearsing.