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Band Folk Acoustic


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"Folk yeah!"

I like to find a musical theme or link connecting
performers on the music scene every week, whether
it's something as simple as jazz vocalists,
female-fronted rock bands or former residents who
have made good and returned to the area.
At first glance this week's offerings seem all
over the map, from R&B/funk (TYT Friday and
Saturday at Sly McFly's), straight-ahead jazz
(saxophonist George Young Friday night at the Hyatt
Regency Monterey) and "gay-core" (Smooch Knob
Friday night at Monterey Live) to classic rock
(Victory Lane at Pelican Tavern and Cheeky Spanks at
Bullwacker's, both Saturday night).
And that doesn't include gospel hip-hop (El
Prezidino and others Sunday in Pacific Grove) and
good ole Southern country rock courtesy of Charlie
Daniels Wednesday night at the Fox Theater in
This week's "theme," if it can be called that, is
acoustic music, that whole singer-songwriter thing
that used to all be lumped under the heading "folk."
That term seems a little quaint and dated these days.
What exactly is folk music, anyway? Isn't that
the music played by Pete Seeger and Woody Guthrie?
Take, for example, Santa Cruz singer-songwriter
Amy Obenski, who will perform Friday night at the
East Village Coffee Lounge in Monterey.
Obenski has been playing, touring and recording
for several years now, but recently a one-minute clip
of one of her songs on the second episode of
"Grey's Anatomy," one of the most popular
shows on television, has catapulted her music into
another realm.
The song, "Carousel," from her album "Kite," within
days became the No. 23 song on the iTunes Folk
"It's strange to me," says Obenski, "that you
can work so hard for so long, and when a big TV
show plays a minute of your song, suddenly things
happen. It goes to show, as long as you have good
music to offer and you stick with your dreams,
something good will come your way."
You can check out her music, sweet and poignant
folk-pop, at . Friday's
show starts at 8 p.m. and there's no cover.
East Village hosts another acoustic act, Mojave, a
Vancouver, B.C., duo who had roots in that
area's metal/hard rock scene, Saturday night at
You can also catch the duo Saturday afternoon at 1
p.m. at Sand City's Ol' Factory Cafe, which
is well known for its efforts to promote green and
sustainable products and principles, the first of its
kind on the Peninsula.
So too is Mojave, which is committed to creating a
green music scene, including by offering their
music exclusively through digital retailers (since
CDs are not recyclable or biodegradable), with their
travels offset through Tree Canada and donating a
portion of their profits to environmental charities.
Check out their music at - The Monterey County Herald

"For your brother’s new surgically enhanced girlfriend"

What: Mojave’s new album, Stories Why: This awesome local music
duo’s latest effort—which combines rock and classical—is greening
the music scene. Available only from digital retailers, it does away
with all that excessive packaging, and the band even donates a
percentage of sales to 1% for the Planet. Maybe this will show your
bro’s gal that you don’t need a plastic shell to be cool. Where to find
it: - Shared Vision Magazine

"New album, tour bring Mojave to the Swan City"

A West Coast band with an environmental focus and a mellow-infused sound will take the stage in Grande Prairie this weekend.

Mojave is an acoustic rock group from Vancouver, comprised of Paul Jarvis and LJ, whose latest album Crow’s Funeral was just released on May 30. The band hopes it can take them in a new direction and will test their theory when they play two nights at Better Than Fred’s June 19-20.

“Our first album we recorded just to have a copy of it before Mojave was really a band,” Jarvis said over the phone last week. “With Crow’s Funeral we approached it as we’re making this album to record and get out there. It’s a collection of thoughts, conflicts and triumphs that have happened in our lives since our first album. These new songs are even more raw, honest and unfiltered.”

Dan Achen, formerly of the Canadian rock band Junkhouse, produced the album for the band in a 100-year-old church in Hamilton, Ont. Jarvis credits his involvement as being instrumental to Mojave’s sound evolution.

“We’re definitely still an acoustic rock band, but this album has a bit more on the rock side than just acoustic guitar and vocals. It’s a bit grittier,” he said.

LJ, who goes solely by just that name, explained there are a number of different lyrical themes on Crow’s Funeral including love, loss, suicide and the struggle to move forward when it seems everything is trying to hold you back. She usually writes most of the lyrics, although she said Jarvis has an increased presence on this album.

“It really helped me out,” she said. “It makes my job easier when there’s more stuff to feed off of. The stories were just a little bit better because they had two points of view. They are a lot more dynamic lyrically.”

Adding to the diversity of topics for the band, which initially formed in 2007 as a side project from two hard rock bands, are their experiences from constant touring, specifically dates at the House of Blues in Las Vegas and Whisky a Go Go in Hollywood.

Another major characteristic of the group is its focus on creating a green music scene. As members of 1% for the Planet, they donate that amount from all of their profits to environmental charities.

“That’s kind of how we live our lives – trying to be as conscious about the decisions that we make and how they impact the environment,” Jarvis said.

“We also keep track of all of our mileage, and when we get back we offset and donate to Tree Canada,” LJ added. “They plant trees on behalf of our gas consumption. We understand it’s a necessary evil (to tour in a van), but we do what we can to make up for it. It’s easier and it’s cheaper than you think.”

As an example, they completed a 10,000 kilometre, 15-date, three-week long tour of the Western United States last year and it only cost them around $50 to offset the carbon from the vehicle they were driving.

They package their albums with a plastic alternative Jarvis described as like plastic, but made from potatoes. He also offered a free CD to anyone in future audiences who would make an attempt to eat the wrapper.

And those crowds could be getting larger as their tour progresses through Canada later in the summer. Jarvis and LJ, who played in Vancouver-based Damsel Fly and Latitude before forming Mojave, are confident in their change of direction with Crow’s Funeral.

They explained the sound draws from their previous rock background, is softened with classical elements like viola and violin, and lead by strong female vocals and intertwined acoustic guitars.

“To me it seemed like a song should be a good song regardless of if you’re playing it through a wall of Marshall stacks or an acoustic guitar,” Jarvis said of their decision to play a mellower brand of music than their previous bands, adding they will be bringing a drummer to the Grande Prairie shows however.

“We’re both creative and constantly creating stuff, so we wanted a different outlet for the songs that we we’re writing. I definitely think it’s more intimate. There’s only a certain fan base that likes metal or screaming music, whereas this music – we hope it’s a lot more accessible.”

Cult Movie Classic will open for Mojave at Better Than Fred’s June 19-20. - NICK KUHL - Grande Praire Ink

"E!Online Review"

Going Green with Mojave

Paul and LJ of Mojave have one album under their belt and with growing influence in earth-friendly practices in an evolving industry, they're gaining a whole lot of momentum for their second.

Mojave is an acoustic duo formed in 2007 from rock roots that now combines folk and classical elements, including the violin in their live shows. Their first album, Stories, was released digitally in order to save on wasteful packaging and tours that have taken them across the border and back have been offset through Tree Canada.

On top of encouraging sustainable lifestyles, the band also donates a portion of their profits to 1% for the Planet and will support a Dogwood Initiative campaign, "", during their next show February 10th in Vancouver at The Roxy for "Indie Night in Canada".

A part of the campaign involves adding a small decal to a Loonie and spending so that the information gets circulated. "We try to do a lot for the environment," commented Paul. "We try to promote that aspect without being 'preach-y' as much as we can." He recently wrote a piece for Granville Magazine about alternative method for music distribution, including digital-only releases right down to veggie soy inks with no coating on business cards.

LJ explained their involvement in environmental causes is because they genuinely care, "I think the more you find out about things the more you realize that it just sucks to sit back and do nothing. I think whether it's your job or your hobby, there are ways to be more ethical in your choices."

Mojave gets their message across through organic campaigns but more importantly through the way they distribute their music, which is available for listening on MySpace, as well as download from iTunes, and CDBaby. You can also find electronic updates on their blog and on Twitter.

In the next few weeks they'll be heading to Toronto to record their sophomore album, Crow's Funeral, with producer Dan Achen (City and Colour, Feist). The release will be distributed by their own label Black Canvas Records—and they fully intend on offsetting every mile they travel.
- E!Online

"Pick Up a Copy of Mojave “Stories” – Good Music, Good for the Environment!"

Have you heard of Mojave? I’ll admit that I hadn’t until I had the CD forwarded to me and I’ve got to say that I really loved what I heard.

Mojave is an acoustic band from Vancouver with a strong passion for music and environmental causes. They donate a percentage of their album sales to environmental charities through “1% for the planet and offsets all carbon emissions through tree canada.” When I hear that sort of thing, I’m immediately more willing to hear what kind of message a group is sending through their music.

The songs are haunting and just absolutely gorgeous. The music is minimal but that’s the beauty of it - they let their lyrics, chords and lead vocals speak without cluttering up their songs with useless layers and distractions. I really can’t decide on which track is my favorite but you can get a preview of some of the songs on Mojave’s MySpace profile.
- canadamusicnews

"The band so good, I couldn't reach my own website"

This morning started off as usual. The sun was coming up (duh). The birds were chirping. Wait, that was the clock, not the birds, sorry.

At some point this morning I was in contact with the band Mojave - also my friends on MySpace - regarding their new CD "Crow's Funeral". After a couple messages, I was listening to the tracks of their latest release which was out May 30th. If you don't know Mojave, you should. Crow's Funeral is the first full CD I've heard from this band.

My daughter doubles as my music librarian. She samples music from many artists and sets aside the tracks on a network drive. Then I listen to them and move them to the computer running the music and edit the cue points for mixing. I do much of the sampling as well but she insisted I listen to Mojave "now". She had three of their tracks: "Faultline", "Lights Out" and "Hollow". She was hooked. And so was I.

Before I heard Crow's Funeral today, I knew I would be listening to another great set of music from this talented group. However, what I didn't expect was what happened next...

I was on Twitter and MySpace editing my status for tonight's talk show when one of the new Mojave tracks played on my station. Mojave "tweets" this - on Twitter. Whoa. Wait, they're listening??? As I was editing cue points of the new tracks, I tossed "Faultline" into the mix. Again, they tweeted this. I posted a link to purchase "Crow's Funeral" on my Twitter account. Mojave re-tweeted this on theirs.

I grabbed my headset and went LIVE and announced Mojave's upcoming concert dates. They were not listening to this were they? Well, yeah they were because they put that note on Twitter. (As a side note: I've had people in England, Uraguay, Brazil and various parts of the U.S. listening to Chicodawg FM online. So having Mojave listening should not be a big deal, right?) Am I nervous? Well, yeah!

My website includes the playlist, currently playing and request feature plus some other links. After playing a block of Mojave, after all the tweeting, I tried to access the website (not MySpace) and could not. Apparently, my website was overloaded. Not only do people listen to Mojave music, they listen to their tweets as well. Prior to this, I never had issues connecting to my own websites. Looking at the stats for the streaming server, my active listeners jumped as well. This morning's active listener stats started at 26. After Mojave's Twitter updates, it went to 77!

So a big "thank you" to Mojave. Beyond what they did for the show, thank you for producing and releasing another excellent set of music. These tracks have a lot of feeling in them and relate to what has happened in their lives. The listener will get the emotion of it as well. If you don't know Mojave yet, you should. Some have compared them to Amy Lee/Evanescence. The Mojave sound is its own. Follow them closely. They are going places in this industry. Their music is being heard. Oh yea, and so are their tweets. :-)

- Mike

"7 Questions with Mojave"

One of Vancouver’s best indie bands, and a favorite in our fair city, Mojave is definitely a musical force to be reckoned with. Having recently launched their second album (you can read from my friend Pat Zaph about that) and already being interviewed by my friend Rebecca for one of the best online magazines, E! Online, I can tell you that Mojave is already on their way to superstardom. I love their music and I’m a big fan. More importantly, they are a very positive force in the local Vancouver music and environmental community.

I asked Paul and LJ to answer my 7 Questions series and here are their responses.

1. I am a big fan of eco-minded folks, but you guys really have taken it to heart. You are vegan, and you have made the ecology and environment an integral part of your lives. How did you guys start with this and how has this influenced your music?
Well, we are not separate from nature, regardless of how we’’ve built our society or how we sometimes think our lives are disconnected from the planet. We don’’t live outside the system; we are part of the system of nature. Every living thing that exists on earth is part of nature -– including humans. So nature is no more a resource than slaves were hundreds of years ago. We should not be allowed to own it, to use it recklessly or to treat it without respect. The earth has rights, like all of us, so it deserves fair and just treatment, and should be inhabited in a way that isn’’t harmful or detrimental. Once we realized this, we started changing all aspects our lives to be more conscious about the impact every decision has - and involve that consciousness in every band decision (touring, CD packaging, etc).
As far as how it influences our music, not every song is about hugging trees or dismantling car companies (although we sometimes speak more about environmentalism on stage). It’s more subtle than that - and typically the lyrics we write speak about change and being thoughtful in a more general sense.?- Paul

2. Social media brought us together (and hat tips to Miss604 for introducing us too!). You maintain your online presence not only tweeting about your music, but also engaging with folks on their own blogs and twitter, and so on. How do you think this has impacted how broadly your music is disseminated?
The music industry is changing, and while most big labels thing it’s a bad thing - I love it. Being an impossible to reach “rockstar” just won’t cut it anymore, and bands that are really doing well are doing so because they actually engage their fans in one-to-one conversation.
The way i approach twitter is that it’s not for me to promote my band with, it’s more for me to talk to people - and I happen to be a band. So while I definitely promote our shows and albums, most of the time I’m just chatting with folks about everyday things that interest me.
From that approach, I really think our band has been well received in the social media community - because we are accessable, talkative and completely interested in two-way conversation. There are so many bands that just use things like twitter and myspace to tell their audience their marketing message, and I just think people tune that sort of thing out.?- Paul

3. I’m definitely not a music writer, but I love music. If you had to explain it to me in sort-of-mainstream comparison with groups/singers, whom would you say are the main influences of your music and sounds?
That’s the best thing about music - you don’t have to know anything about it to appreciate it (and it’s completely universal)! For LJ and I, our musical backgrounds are hard rock and heavy metal, so our influences are still bands like that - KillSwitch Engage, Vanna, Deftones, Tool… but we really listen to a bit in every genre. Lately we’ve been listening to a lot of City & Colour, Bon Iver, Calexico, Iron & Wine, Sigur Ros.
I would say though that our music and sound is more influenced by emotion than music. That’s really what i like about writing - if you’re feeling a certain way, writing a song, lyrics, a guitar riff, etc, can help purge that emotion and help you deal with it.?- Paul

4. You shared with us your creative process on Twitter, even during Earth Hour Canada (something I found super-awesome). How does engaging your fans with your music work during the writing/editing process? Does it influence the final result?
Engaging our fans for the entire process was basically AWESOME. We’ve had so many positive comments about it, and it was genuinely fun to do. The only impact on the final result is that (I hope) it makes people more stoked to see what the final result is, since they’ve been part of the journey with us the whole way.
Most of the time in the studio, one person is recording something, and the rest of the band is waiting - so in the “waiting” time, it’s easy to snap a few photos, update twitter, or write a blog post.?- Paul

5. I had a chance to listen to “Your Silence Betrays Me”, and I fell in love with it. The lyrics are rather empowering - what is the inspiration behind it?
I usually write the lyrics but for this album Paul contributed quite a bit. It was nice because for some of the songs the messages shared two points of few to the same situation, and ‘Your Silence Betrays You’ was one of those.
The song is about how easy it is to talk about how you wish things were different but people don’t always make any effort in being part of the change. It’s not about sitting around, waiting and praying for things to be different -nothing happens until you have the courage to make it happen.?- LJ

6. If you had to pick your favorite song from Crow’s Funeral, which one would be?
The song ‘Crows Funeral’ means the most to be emotionally. There are always times when we question ourselves and sometimes our insecurity gets the best of us and we want to give up. This was a song about one of those moments in my life. Plus I got to play banjo on it:) That was a lot of fun!?- LJ

7. Where are you headed next? Tell me a bit about your next shows (and by the way I loved the bit in Spanish in “Save Me”)
Thank you! ‘Save Me’ is always such a fun song to play live. Learning to speak Spanish is one of my goals in life. It’s such a beautiful language. We’ve got a ton of shows coming up this year, this month we’ve got one at The Cellar is not to be missed…we have a little surprise… - 8pm at The Cellar on June 24th.
- LJ
- hummingbird604

"Making Funeral Arrangements with Mojave"

Late last year I was introduced to Mojave and through the magic of blogging and Twitter the entire city’s been able to keep up to speed on the events, happenings, new and updates from this local band who will soon be releasing their new album, Crow’s Funeral.

I had the chance to interview LJ and Paul of Mojave for E!Online, and have since attended one of their shows at the Roxy and bumped into Paul at various events around town. They’re not only active within the region’s music scene but they support many environmentally-conscious causes including No Tankers and Paul’s got a delicious recipe for vegan cupcakes to boot.

Mojave recently headed back East to record their forthcoming album Crow’s Funeral and will be hosting a launch party this Saturday at Cafe Deux Soleil. Mojave will play a live set (you can RSVP here on Twtvite) and anomalous disturbances will also perform.
- miss604

"Like an oasis in the Mojave Desert."

Paul, LJ and Philly are onto something big with their acoustic rock trio, Mojave. Combining elements of hard rock with clean but passionately-executed female vocals and swelling strings, they’re able to bring together the best of both worlds and create an approachable listening experience that’s taken them on numerous tours through the US. With a somewhat darker gothic vibe presenting itself in their lyrics, they remind me a bit of Vancouver’s more listenable answer to Arkansas’ Evanescence, A Grey Medium. Having seen both A Grey Medium and Mojave perform live though, it wouldn’t be fair to say that one is better than the other because they each have a very different band dynamic. I’ll only say that I’m a sucker for a chick on strings and that Mojave’s the kind of band that sneaks up on you quietly and ninjas your brain, so you find yourself coming back to them later in the evening when you’re all blitzed on booze and need something to Google so you don’t go to sleep drunk. No drums and no wacky effects; the sonic power that Mojave brings to the table in concert is all chords and cords, and that’s the way it should be.

My only criticism is that some songs seemed to end before they’d even begun. Before I’d even had time to absorb the lyrics of “Crow’s Funeral”, I was already listening to the outro. But if my only negative comment is that I wish Mojave would play longer, well, that’s hardly negative at all, is it? Oh, and kudos to them for the Tool homage. Double kudos for adopting a llama.
- that rawk blog


Mojave are from Vancouver and are big faves of ours here at Ravenheart Towers, and this is their second album following on the heels of 'Stories'. Like their debut, this is an album of such beauty, and I can see some of the songs here against a back drop of hills, snow capped mountains and lakes, and the opener 'For A While' is one such song. Lisa (vocalist with rockers Damsel Fly) is not only a good friend of mine, but she is an excellent vocalist. The title track follows, and I love the simple nature of this song. 'Save Me' carries on the good work, while 'Escape Plan' sends shivers down my spine as does 'Wake Up', which actually brought a tear to my eye - proves I am only human! 'California' keeps things ticking along quite nicely, while 'Your Silence Betrays You' and 'No Tomorrow' remind me of a stripped back Damsel Fly. 'One Mistake' features Paul Jarvis on lead vocals, while 'Thank You' (that reminded me of 'Let You Go' from the Damsel Fly album), round things off quite nicely. There are some amazing moments chronicled throughout the whole, loss, starting over, suicide, and the struggle to move forward when it seems that everything is trying to hold you back. Admit it, all of us have been there. Okay, it is not hard rock and it sure ain't metal, but it is one of the best accoustic offerings you will hear this year - great violin by the way, so buy it or download it from Enough said, 9/10 (Reviewed by Dave) - ravenheart publishing


released on black canvas records may 30, 2009

released on black canvas records august 30, 2007



It all began with an acoustic guitar, two voices and a Vancouver beach. In 2007, Paul and LJ started writing songs together as a mellow release from their hard rock bands. By the time those bands called it quits, the duo had enough material for the first Mojave album, Stories. The Mojave sound takes Paul & LJ’s hard rock roots and winds in softer harmonies. LJ’s clear vocals soar over delicate acoustic guitars, viola, violin, and eclectic percussion – weaving melodies, telling stories.

Mojave’s second album, Crow’s Funeral, was produced by Dan Achen (City & Colour, Feist) and recorded at Catherine North studios in Hamilton, Ont. The response has been overwhelmingly positive, and after being approached by several established labels, Mojave decided to launch their own imprint, called Black Canvas Records. It’s a move intended to give the band full creative control and take greater advantage of social media, guerilla marketing, promotion, and digital distribution strategies.

Called “haunting and just absolutely gorgeous” by Canadian Music News and “one of the best acoustic oerings you will hear this year” by Ravenheart Music, Crow’s Funeral is a passionate follow-up to the band’s critically acclaimed first effort, Stories.

Mojave spent much of 2008 touring Canada and the U.S., with stops at top venues including Hollywood’s world-famous Whisky a Go Go and the House of Blues in Las Vegas. Like all their previous outings, Mojave will ensure the upcoming 2009 cross-Canada tour leaves a light footprint on the planet. The group carbon osets all travel and energy use with Tree Canada.

Inseparable from Mojave's music is a deep commitment to the earth. The band carbon osets all travel and donates a portion of their profits to to environmental charities through 1% for the Planet. The Crow’s Funeral CD is printed on FSC paper with soy ink and a biodegradable overwrap. Paul & LJ also help raise money for the Rest.Q Animal Sanctuary and the Stillpointe
Llama Sanctuary, where they have adopted a charmingly mischievous llama named Starman.