I See Hawks In L.A.
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I See Hawks In L.A.

Los Angeles, California, United States | INDIE | AFM

Los Angeles, California, United States | INDIE | AFM
Band Americana Folk

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Music

Press


"Try as you might to avoid the heinous hippie-cliché 'cosmic' when describing the music of I See Hawks in LA, when the melodies, lyrics, harmonies and licks take over, you'll find yourself lost in some greater-than-the-sum-of-its-parts moment. The Hawks' new disc, California Country, would make an appropriate score for Thomas Pynchon's Vineland: The pace is trance-inducing, the stories transfixing, the vibe completely Californian. 

"'Slash from Guns N' Roses' doesn't just mock L.A. life--it bitch-slaps the entire concept of West Coast pop, and 'Barrier Reef' is the best anthem to Cannabis sativa since 'Humboldt' (from the previous Hawks record, Grapevine). These guys even have the cojones to snipe at the Lone Star State in the form of 'Houston Romance' (which they swear is mostly true). And, really, who could disagree with a lyric like 'Texas City, Corpus Christi, it's not the humidity, it's the humanity / it's not the insensitivity, it's the insanity / Corpus Christi, Texas City?'   Seldom has there been an album with such joyous music-making, such corrosive, acid-etched lyrics. Way cosmic."
-- William Michael Smith, Houston Press  - Houston Press


         
"Local co(s)mic cowboys serve up true sounds of '60s country rock with a satirical bent that captures the surreal absurdity of life in our fair megalopolis. The Hawks' hippie twang cred is emphasized by the appearance of Byrds/Burrito Brothers stalwart Chris Hillman, but they can also cook up a faux myth-rock inferno on the hilarious 'Slash From Guns N' Roses.' An eyes-wide-open ode to Sen. Robert Byrd and the caustic 'Hard Times (Are Here Again)' provide contempo political counterpoint to Golden State narratives of passion crimes and spaced-out nostalgia."

          -- Bob Strauss, L.A. DAILY NEWS




- Los Angeles Daily News


 "These freewheeling lords of California psych country approach their music as if it were a portal, an unseen threshold that, once crossed, promises a wholly unpredictable experience. The Hawks' singular style operates on an epic scale, exploring weird panoramas of hallucinatory metaphor with a sound 
as much traditional hillbilly as it is accelerated lysergic-rock spontaneity. 
Any flight taken with I See Hawks In L.A. assures a view to startling 
new perspectives.  Up, up and away."

 -- Jonny Whiteside, L.A. WEEKLY - L.A. Weekly


By Steven Mirkin

 . . . I See Hawks in L.A. was a perfect choice to open the show. As the title of their new album, "California Country" (Western Seeds), clues you in, the Hawks draw inspiration from Buck, the Byrds and the Burrito Bros., among others, but with a modern, at times ironic ("Raised by Hippies" and the pot smuggler's sing-along "Humboldt") sensibility. On Saturday, their impressive three-part harmonies were often overshadowed by the interplay between guitarist Paul Lacques and guest Rick Shea on pedal steel.

-- Steven Mirkin, Variety - Variety


"Hawks newcomers might be tempted to write off California Country as a comedy album.  With novelties like “The Donkey Song,” the tongue-in-cheek “Houston Romance” and the folksy “Slash From Guns N’ Roses,” the band’s humor is front and center (as opposed to the gentler, more laconic lyrics on its 2004 effort, Grapevine). But this doesn’t make its musicianship any less impressive. With steel guitar, fiddle, acoustic riffs and electric licks, a rock ’n’ roll drummer and Rob Waller’s plaintive, Merle Haggard-style vocals, the Hawks continue to channel Gram Parsons’ easy-goin’ demeanor and affinity for good times on their third release, which features Chris Hillman—the Grievous Angel’s old bandmate—on mandolin."

--Andria Lisle, Paste Magazine - Paste Magazine


10-pack of top tunes

10 songs that really stood out to me in recent random listening, songs I'd recommend downloading or hearing in your favorite fashion in the hopes that you'll really like 'em too.

1. Slash from Guns N' Roses/I See Hawks in L.A.: Nothing like a good story song, and this is quite a tale: the saga of dueling Slashes appearing at rival L.A. parties in trendy Beachwood Canyon, with plenty of deliberate guitar cliches leading into an epic faceoff to determine which Slash is the imposter. And if you're wondering where this fine alt-country/rock band comes up with this stuff, I'm told it's based on a real incident. Album: California Country.

          -- Ken Barnes, USA Today - USA Today


"I See Hawks in L.A. is all about state pride. The quartet’s latest CD, California Country (Western Seeds), mixes the cosmic-cowboy sound of Sixties L.A. (former Flying Burrito Brother Chris Hillman guests on mandolin) with Americana, traversing the landscape of the Golden State like Didion on horseback. It’s a divine fusion of humor and twang that’s definitely high, but not that lonesome."

–- Audra Schroeder, Austin Chronicle - Austin Chronicle


"I See Hawks sublimely embody the country-rock sound that the legendary Gram Parsons pretty much invented. Parsons would be proud.  'California Country' is another honest-to-God Left Coast anthem. It's worth noting that the mandolin playing here (and in the aforementioned 'Golden Girl') is especially rousing and harkens back to The Byrds' groundbreaking Sweethearts Of The Rodeo. This is perhaps because the fellow playing that instrument is none other than Chris Hillman, who used to be in The Byrds. It's perfectly fitting that a fellow with that lineage is aboard for these songs to pass the country-rock torch.  California Country will fit the bill as a prime example of the timeless California country sound."
                                                        -- Tony Peyser, BLUE STATE JUKEBOX, Buzzflash     - Buzzflash


"On their third album, the core members of I See Hawks in L.A. are joined by Chris Hillman (Byrds, Flying Burrito Brothers), Rick Shea (Dave Alvin Band), and other heavies from L.A.'s alt-country gang, but it's the songwriting of the principal bandmates that grabs your attention. Rob Waller, lead vocalist and guitarist; and Paul Lacques, who supplies the high harmonies and plays lap steel, dobro, and guitar, craft memorable melodies with lyrics that conjure up the dreams and nightmares of Californians past and present. "Raised by Hippies" blends bluegrass and rock to look at the past through slightly jaundiced eyeglasses. "Slash from Guns N' Roses" is a sea shanty for people shipwrecked on the shoals of the Sunset Strip — a dark song delivered with considerable humor. "Hard Times (Are Here Again)" is an acoustic country blues that nods to Woody Guthrie's working-class poetry with Hillman's mandolin fills and Lacques's wailing dobro adding to the song's hopeless melancholy."

-- J. Poet, Miami New Times, Phoenix New Times - New Times


"Do two great groups constitute a, you know, scene?  The Hawks have updated Southern California country rock.   Their music, driven by the fine steel guitarist Paul Lacques, is sinewy yet poetic--more nihilistic than decadent, with an urban-desert poetry all its own."

                                                         -- Richard Gehr, Village Voice - Village Voice


Discography

I See Hawks In L.A. (eponymous) 2001
Grapevine, 2004
California Country, 2006

all CDs on Western Seeds Records
all songs on iTunes and other digital download sites

www.myspace.com/iseehawksinla for mp3s

We're also on quite a few taper's sites (live shows)

Photos

Bio

Press Bio Calendar High def photos mp3s Tour diary all at www.iseehawks.com

see live performances & videos at: http://www.iseehawks.com/hawkslog/#000255

more mp3s at myspace.com/iseehawksinla

OUR REVIEWS (QUITE A FEW), FOLLOWED BY BIO:

"These freewheeling lords of California psych country approach their music as if it were a portal, an unseen threshold that, once crossed, promises a wholly unpredictable experience. The Hawks' singular style operates on an epic scale, exploring weird panoramas of hallucinatory metaphor with a sound as much traditional hillbilly as it is accelerated lysergic-rock spontaneity. Any flight taken with I See Hawks In L.A. assures a view to startling new perspectives. Up, up and away."

-- Jonny Whiteside, L.A. WEEKLY

"Local co(s)mic cowboys serve up true sounds of '60s country rock with a satirical bent that captures the surreal absurdity of life in our fair megalopolis. The Hawks' hippie twang cred is emphasized by the appearance of Byrds/Burrito Brothers stalwart Chris Hillman, but they can also cook up a faux myth-rock inferno on the hilarious 'Slash From Guns N' Roses.' An eyes-wide-open ode to Sen. Robert Byrd and the caustic 'Hard Times (Are Here Again)' provide contempo political counterpoint to Golden State narratives of passion crimes and spaced-out nostalgia."
-- Bob Strauss, L.A. DAILY NEWS

June 27, 2006
Dave Alvin/I See Hawks in L.A. At Safari Sam's
By Steven Mirkin, VARIETY

". . . I See Hawks in L.A. was a perfect choice to open the show. As the title of their new album, "California Country" (Western Seeds), clues you in, the Hawks draw inspiration from Buck, the Byrds and the Burrito Bros., among others, but with a modern, at times ironic ("Raised by Hippies" and the pot smuggler's sing-along "Humboldt") sensibility. On Saturday, their impressive three-part harmonies were often overshadowed by the interplay between guitarist Paul Lacques and guest Rick Shea on pedal steel."

"Hawks newcomers might be tempted to write off California Country as a comedy album. With novelties like “The Donkey Song,” the tongue-in-cheek “Houston Romance” and the folksy “Slash From Guns N’ Roses,” the band’s humor is front and center (as opposed to the gentler, more laconic lyrics on its 2004 effort, Grapevine). But this doesn’t make its musicianship any less impressive. With steel guitar, fiddle, acoustic riffs and electric licks, a rock ’n’ roll drummer and Rob Waller’s plaintive, Merle Haggard-style vocals, the Hawks continue to channel Gram Parsons’ easy-goin’ demeanor and affinity for good times on their third release, which features Chris Hillman—the Grievous Angel’s old bandmate—on mandolin."

-- Andria Lisle, PASTE Magazine

"Try as you might to avoid the heinous hippie-cliché 'cosmic' when describing the music of I See Hawks in LA, when the melodies, lyrics, harmonies and licks take over, you'll find yourself lost in some greater-than-the-sum-of-its-parts moment. The Hawks' new disc, California Country, would make an appropriate score for Thomas Pynchon's Vineland: The pace is trance-inducing, the stories transfixing, the vibe completely Californian.

"'Slash from Guns N' Roses' doesn't just mock L.A. life--it bitch-slaps the entire concept of West Coast pop, and 'Barrier Reef' is the best anthem to Cannabis sativa since 'Humboldt' (from the previous Hawks record, Grapevine). These guys even have the cojones to snipe at the Lone Star State in the form of 'Houston Romance' (which they swear is mostly true). And, really, who could disagree with a lyric like 'Texas City, Corpus Christi, it's not the humidity, it's the humanity / it's not the insensitivity, it's the insanity / Corpus Christi, Texas City?' Seldom has there been an album with such joyous music-making, such corrosive, acid-etched lyrics. Way cosmic."

-- William Michael Smith, Houston Press

"Possibly the city's premier roots band marks the release of 'California Country,' an album that's pure in sound and progressive in spirit, with songs about hippies' children, fatal attractions and other meaty topics."

--Richard Cromelin, L.A. TIMES

"CALIFORNIA COUNTRY" CD NAMED TO RADIO/PRESS BEST OF 2006 LISTS:

Ed Ward, No Depression Top Ten
"I have no idea who these guys are, but I suspect I'd enjoy seeing them live. Once again, California and Americana, but with a weird overlay of darkness that's perfectly expressed by the nighttime gas station on the cover. They're a bit of a throwback -- I could see them as some tangential Byrds spinoff that I'd have to use one of Pete Frame's family trees to decipher, but that's not a bad thing at all. I might try to rustle up their previous record next time I'm in the States. They're that interesting."

FREEFORM AMERICAN ROOTS CHART
#10 album of the year

Freight Train Boogie, Best Independent Releases 2006

#4 album of the year, Folk And