No Small Children
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You gotta love a band which bitch slaps you into submission and No Small Children does just that and more. Lisa Parade emerges from the cloud of smoke better than ever and I could not be more thrilled. Who is this Lisa Parade, you ask? She is in reality one Lisa Joy Pimentel and is former drummer with the legendary all-girl group Heidi which had a shot at major label fame but were tossed aside for one reason or another (like major labels ever need a real reason, the bastards). Not long after that group split, Lisa ended up on the West Coast with a band of her own— The Lisa Parade, a name she adopted as her own. Two excellent albums later— and I do mean excellent— and in spite of the exposure afforded her by placing Beautiful Possibility as the theme for the short-lived Miss Guided TV sitcom, Lisa applied herself to everyday life for a short time before hitting the clubs for the occasional gig with friends and family. Which eventually led to No Small Children.

They are loud and proud, sports fans, and prefer to rawk rather than rock but do both with elan. I knew from the preview track, Wenches and Bitches, that this power trio had the goods but didn’t know until the recent release of their Dear Youth EP how really good they are. Talk about bitch slaps! Dig this!

"Women delivering rhythm from our souls
Some people think that we’re wenches, we’re bitches
Livin’ the life though we are kind of old
It might be true that we’re wenches, we’re bitches…..
And that’s just the chorus! Later, they end a verse with
We are wily, wenchy, bitchy
Madonna whorish dames (ha)"

No apologies, just steamrollin’ rock ‘n’ roll with a pinch of punk and a dash of metal. This is at the top of my list for 2013 even if it was (kind of) released in 2012. If it is too late to make my end of the year list, it isn’t for next year’s (or this year’s, by the time this is posted). You can preview and purchase MP3's here, but there will be physical product available soon. Stay tuned.

An Aside: Jilly Blackstone

Heidi fans remember Jilly as the frontman (erm, woman) for that band. I came upon her through posts and mentions by Lisa Parade when I discovered Lisa’s, uh, excellent— yes, excellent— albums, Out of the Funbox (which includes a stunning pop gem titled Girl, among other outstanding songs) and Finding Flora. I stalked Lisa, you might say, and I ended up stalking Jilly too. Jilly was thrilled that I had found Heidi and told me she had many stories to tell (I had asked) and we kept in touch off and on over a two or three year period. It was usually just me checking in on her through Facebook or email or her sending profuse apologies for not having contacted me for long periods, but it was enough because I knew that soon we would dive into the story behind Heidi and uncover her plans for her musical future. For a short period, she even posted a few demo tracks she had recorded by herself and we discussed the positives and negatives in terms of her future direction.

Then, I heard little. There was the occasional short message saying that she was not doing well (she was very ill, I came to find out) and that her life was a battle. It was a battle she eventually lost. I didn’t know until Lisa posted a short tribute to her dear friend on Facebook. It was a sledgehammer to the heart. Jilly was such a positive and delicate person to me and had been ready to talk music at the drop of a hat and to realize that she was truly gone was, to say the least, a true bummer.

More than likely, I will never hear those demos again nor will I hear the Heidi demos which she had promised me (but about which I was sworn to secrecy). Those are very small things next to the fact that I will not be allowed the pleasure of watching her develop, musically. She had a path in her head which was leading her toward her musical vision and she had barely started.

The reason I bring that up here is that Track 3 of No Small Children‘s Dear Youth EP was written by Jilly. Jill Considine, actually, for that was her real name. Titled Mystical, it is just that— to me. Lisa and Jilly were very close. So when Lisa sings Jilly’s lyrics, it is both magical and mystical. It is a tribute, both painful and joyous, and brings tears to my eyes and a pain to my heart.

It is a only a small part of what Jilly deserves. An anthem written by and sung for a wonderful person. Lisa Parade, if few others know what a magnificent track this is, I do. Jilly would be proud.

AND I just did a little searching on the Net and found Jilly’s MySpace page. She gives a rundown of her music career and there is music, including her version of Mystical. Stop by and listen if you want to know more about her. - Frank Gutch


NO SMALL CHILDREN were ROCKIN’ OUT and KILLING IT all night!!!

NOTE: THIS IS A MUSIC REVIEW. I LACK ANY ABILITY TO “TALK” MUSIC UNLESS IT RELATES TO MICHAEL JACKSON. THIS REVIEW WILL BE FULL OF LAME COLLOQUIALISMS ABOUT MUSIC LIKE ROCKING OUT OR KILLING IT.

Went to a show a few nights ago and was literally blown the $h!t away!!!!!
The Band: No Small Children
The Website: http://nosmallchildren.com/

Having just seen a great set by another band, and having just finished a crappy $15 burger, I was ready to leave when NO SMALL CHILDREN started. Ended up staying for the rest of the song which led to staying for their whole set. They were ROCKING OUT / KILLING IT the entire damn night!

What it wasn’t:

It wasn’t just the awesome bassist who was ROCKING OUT the whole time. And man did she KILL IT on her vocal solo.

And it wasn’t just the drummer KILLING IT the whole night. Even though she had a field trip with 46 4th graders the next morning.

AND it wasn’t the singer/lead guitarist giving it all she had during every song. I thought she was going to pass out a few times she was busting out tune after tune (her face got dangerously red on more than one occasion).

It may have been:

It may have been the matching dresses. Anybody who can pull off a tight red dress while wearing low-riding chucks has a win in my book. These were 3 ladies pulling it off with ease.

It also may have been the fact they busted out a song called Creepy Drunk Guy as a creepy drunk guy got “jiggy with it” right next to me.

It also may have been that these were 3 school teachers (as I said before, one even had a class field trip the next day). Teaching by day, rocking by night.

Whatever it wasn’t or may have been, they were an awesome band that put on an awesomely satisfying show. I can’t remember the last time I got such pure joy out of a music set. - Capital Wild-Live Review


They are school teachers by day and wenches and bitches by night. Their words, not mine. Wenches and Bitches is indeed the leadoff track to their recent EP titled Dear Youth and you can bet if the kids could hear it, they would petition to be transferred en masse to any one of these three ladies’ home rooms. A teacher who rocks out? No-brainer!

My connection to these ladies took root a number of years ago when I discovered The Lisa Parade and, to me, a mind-blowing album titled Finding Flora. I was on a quest to find the best and most buried music out there and while this may not have been the most buried, it certainly qualified as among the best. The band teetered on the edge of breaking out at the time, having scored the theme for a short-lived TV sitcom called Miss Guided (I didn’t miss an episode, though I believe there were only five or six and the network played russian roulette in their scheduling of it). Had Miss Guided succeeded, there is that possibility that The Lisa Parade might have succeeded also and then where would we have been? Probably not talking about No Small Children.

The Lisa Parade was fronted by Lisa Parade, by happenstance, and I made contact with her and waited for her to become a star (she could easily have been) and found that she had played with an all-girl rock band called Heidi a few years previously and that they, too, had flirted with success, having recorded a demo for Warner Brothers Records (things didn’t work out). Lisa, through the Net, introduced me to Jilly Blackstone and Jilly and I struck up a conversation about Heidi and her musical works in progress and her hopes for a future as a composer and performer. The contact was off and on with long periods of silence and it was a long time before Jilly told me of her illness. She had cancer. She lived between what must have been bouts of pure hell but, Goddamn, she loved her music and a few times, out of the blue, I would get a message saying that she was sorry but she just hadn’t felt up to doing much and then would try to update her musical doings. Jilly finally lost her battle. I found out when Lisa posted a message, which between the lines told me that Jilly B was no longer walking among us. It was a shock. (Band members as shown in the photo are, L-R: Janet King, Lisa P, Jilly B, and Susan Lutin)

Heidi, as far as I can tell, had a chance but as it happens all too often, their biggest supporter at Warner Brothers was removed at a critical moment and the project was dropped. The band hung on for awhile but nothing was happening and eventually they all went their separate ways. Lisa’s was toward the Parade and while she kept contact with Jilly, outside of occasional reunions, they worked separately.

Lisa put out two albums with The Lisa Parade, both testaments to her depth of talent. The first, Out of the Funbox, is an exercise in Power Pop and Pop, the songs riding waves of melody and harmony way beyond what I’ve come to expect, even from the best. Finding Flora takes another step forward, beat and hip hop spicing up Lisa’s mostly upbeat and melodic creations. I have no idea how either sold but I can tell you that they did not sell enough. Certainly nowhere near the numbers they deserved.

Since then (Finding Flora— click here to listen— was released in May of 2009), Lisa has been dabbling here and there, probably trying to find direction. That direction comes in the shape of No Small Children, a three-piece band of no small consequence. The Pop is still there but now it is couched in stacked amps and attitude. Even the name emphasizes the change. No Small Children is reference to the freedom one has when children are not the center of life. These chicks ain’t kids anymore. They even put it in song. Check out the chorus of Wenches and Bitches:

"Women delivering rhythm from our souls
Some people say that we’re wenches, we’re bitches
Livin’ the life even though we’re kind of old
It might be true that we’re wenches, we’re bitches"

Stack a few Marshalls behind these dames, turn it up and you have The Lisa Parade honed down and on steroids. Track by track, they rock out and punk out and even anthem out (Mystical, written by Jilly Blackstone and recorded here as a tribute— and what a magnificent tribute it is). They sing of being cranky (I’m Irritated) and being hungry (Salad) and getting older (Dear Youth). They rock and shuffle and dance. They freakin’ make me laugh with their wall-of-sound rhythms and vocal harmonies and their view of life. And make me tear up with as near perfect a version of Mystical as will ever be recorded.

I could go on and on about how they’re working in the studio right now (I can hardly wait) and how cool is Lisa’s husband, Bob Marlette, who twists knobs but knows to stay out of the way because you can hear in her music that Lisa needs that freedom to create. I could give you a more complete history of Heidi and The Lisa P - Segarini Don't Believe a word I say


...Finally, all-girl band No Small Children opened the gig, which sported fast, loud, and intelligent punk and post-punk ditties about staying in bed and the perils of being a young woman, coupled with the lead singer nimbly playing her guitar with solid mixes of soloing, riffs out of the 1970s power pop meets early punk scorebook, harmonics, and even performing a more than capable TRUMPET solo during one song. The band absolutely killed it with their scrappy and attitudinally charming set. Highly recommended, you can check them out via their website.
- Geeks of Doom-live review


There are bands and there are bands, but occasionally there are BANDS and No Small Children are right now proving that they are one of those. Elementary school teachers by day, they toss off the persona of schoolmar'm at night, donning pretty dresses, plugging in amps and rocking the various dives and bars to submission. Three ladies, not young (indeed, their song "Dear Youth" flat out states that age is just a number--- "Who knew that forty-two could be so grand" are the words they use), rock like exuberant teens or maybe just because they love life. And music. The gods have a special place for people like this: The Top Ten. Not Billboard's Top Ten. That was a joke a good twenty years ago. Your Top Ten and lets' face it, these days, that's the one that really counts.

I've been writing about these ladies for a number of months now and before that was writing about The Lisa Parade, Lisa Parade's previous band. There is something about her that impresses the hell out of me and I kept talking her up among friends until they stopped listening.

Well, they're listening now! Early in May, Lisa posted a song which by all rights should be right now climbing the charts and would be, if charts had any credibility these days. "Might Get Up Slow" is a rockin' upper of a song, pounding rhythms and soulful vocals and screaming guitar daring you to try not to tap your foot or bop your head or, in my case, dance! That's right. It even has an old fossil like myself careening around rooms, knocking things off of tables and sloshing beer on the carpet. You know how music people are always talking about the anthem of the summer? THIS IS IT!!! And if you think that's overstating it, listen to this: http://nosmallchildren1.bandcamp.com/. Yeah. Listen to THAT a few times and tell me I'm wrong!

"Might Get Up Slow" is the first of what I hope will be a full albums worth of No Small Children. Up to now, they have given us the five-song EP Dear Youth, a study in... in... damned if I know. Straight on rock with a side of punk and one absolutely exhilarating rock anthem written by Lisa's friend Jilly Blackstone, a cohort in their early band, Heidi. The production on the song (and indeed on the whole EP) is top-o'-the-line, if you get my drift, and is a more than fitting tribute to Jilly, who left us this before she rocked off this mortal coil.

Now, I know that there are those of you who question the promotion of music through this site. I get it. If I had some connection to the band or just wanted to help them sell albums, I wouldn't write this. Truth is, I am doing this for you, my fine feathered friends, because these days it isn't easy to find the good stuff among the mountainous piles of CDs and downloads and, yes (thank the gods), vinyl. I'm giving you a gift, just like No Small Children has given me. To say it is the gift of music is not enough for me. It is more than that. They give me hope. No negative messages, just good music. And in the case of "Might Get Up Slow", great music. You have to hear it to get it. Consider it a dare. - No Depression


I let loose with these ladies the first time I heard them. The first salvo of Wenches & Bitches did it. Three-man (er, woman) rawk it is, straight out of the heavy metal songbook— or not. Hard-drivin’ rhythm guitar, great hook and everything else you need to bang your head. Hell, the song screams wall of sound. Turn it up! You want wall of sound? Catch the chorus of Mystical. Makes you wish that radio is what it used to be. What the hell is Mystical? Rock ballad metal? Not too many bands doing stuff like this anymore. Want a little fast-paced punk with a pinch of humor? Salad is fast, crunchy and funny as hell— a theme for those always on/not on a diet. Even has a bit of a Shangri-las break which is way cool. It may not be as angst-ridden as Sex Pistols or even The Zeros, but I’m Irritated makes its point in punkish fashion and Dear Youth is an honest musical retort to people who think aging is a sad thing, Lisa Parade singing (and loudly) “Dear Youth, you got it all wrong / Who knew that I could ever feel this strong / I’ve got a job and a car and a home of my own / Understand my own voice through an honest song / Dear Youth, I’m good with the way that I am / Who knew that forty-two could be so grand / I’ve got no fixer-up boyfriend to hold my hand / I’m in bed before ten, you wouldn’t understand.” Screamed through a PA system at full-volume with a trio of maniacal ladies pounding their instruments like crazy? Yeah, the young would get it. They might even like it. I sure as hell do.

If they do have a song that is hitbound, though, it is Might Get Up Slow. Like Robert W. says, it is “fuh-reeking great!” The rhythm alone will have you dancing. Songs like this you have to hear to believe, especially in this day of musical overkill. And, yes, I’m gonna be a nice guy. You can listen to it here. Don’t say I never gave you anything. And by the way, that incredible soulful voice at the end? That is Lisa’s amazing sister and the bass player of the band, Joanie Pimentel. Whew! And I couldn’t possibly not mention the pounding rhythms of drummer Nicola B. Without her, the children would be a lot smaller. Oh, and just for your information, these ladies are teachers by day. God, but what I wouldn’t have given for teachers like them.

_____________________________________________ - Segarini


It’s rare to find a band fully comprised of chicks, and badass chicks at that. These ladies peaked my interest not only via their amazing talent and well-written, fun songs, but the fact that they are all teachers. Badass Band 78 is No Small Children.

I happened upon NSC one night at Silverlake Lounge, I caught only the last few seconds of their set but was assured by the bartender, Mario, that they were a band I needed to know. Nicola (Drums) came to chat with me after and was kind enough to give me a CD. As we talked, she told me all three of them were teachers and that instantly bonded me to them (If you all didn’t know, I was a teacher for a few years). I knew after listening to their EP later that I needed to see a full set from this band. Their live show is exactly what the five-song EP “Dear Youth” portrays, humor with a touch of seriousness and a lot of rad chicks rocking hard. Lisa plays guitar and is lead vocals, Nicola is on drums, and Joanie plays bass and does backup vocals. What I also love is that, no offense to my own gender, but the few chicks I see playing instruments do so with little emotion. That is definitely not the case with NSC. It is clear these ladies have fun on stage and that forces the audience to gravitate to them.

Notable tracks on “Dear Youth” include “Wenches and Bitches”, “Salad” and “Dear Youth”. “Wenches and Bitches” boasts seriously heavy guitar lines and deep rhythms. It reminds me of an Irish or Scottish drinking song. It’s especially a killer listen for women with this punchy chorus, “Some people say we’re wenches and bitches, living our life even though we’re kind of old, it might be true, we’re wenches and bitches.” Lisa’s vocal range in this song makes it not only pleasing to listen to, but fun to sing along to. “Salad” on the other hand, is true to the classic punk sound, fast everything. The chorus boasts the fastest and angriest parts of the song and there are parts where the backup vocals are perfectly and crisply executed to give extra punch to important lyrics. It’s a badass song about not being happy with eating like a “fucking rabbit”. Finally, you have “Dear Youth”. This one, though sticking to the classic punk roots, reminds me more of surfer punk. There is a psychedelic aspect to portions of the song. Lyrically, anyone can relate to this one. It's about being able to understand yourself and hold your own. All five tracks are absolutely killer and “Dear Youth” is easily worth the $4.99 on iTunes.

The ladies of NSC were lovely enough to grant me some time on a Friday night to have a chat. Read on to enlighten yourselves about how these teachers came together to start a punk band, the serious issues behind the name, and why even drunk, creepy guys are welcome at their party.

How did you all meet?

Nicola: These guys are sisters.

Lisa: Yeah, so we’ve known each other for a while now.

Nicola: Lisa and I started teaching together at the exact same moment. We met each other at the orientation.

Lisa: We worked together for years before we had a band.

Joanie: Lisa was trying to get me to come out here for a really long time, and I have kids, 3 sons, who are all adults now. Lisa and I had been working on some songwriting projects together and I had been coming back and forth for about a year. Then, in February of last year we are sitting out in the breezeway at her house and it's gorgeous and I was getting ready to leave to go back to Boston. She’s like, “When do you think you’re going to want to leave Boston, here it's 68 degrees, there it's about 11.” I said I think now is a good time." I went back home and my husband picked me up. I asked what he thought about making the move to LA. He said let's do it. That was it, there was no “Well, let’s talk about it.” So we sold our house. I had worked here over the summer in a Performing Arts program that Lisa was teaching at and runs. So I was doing that while my husband handled selling our house on the East Coast. I started picking up more work at the school they teach at and now I am there Monday through Thursday.

Lisa: We had the band sort of up and running at that point with another bass player that wasn’t working out. I told Joanie, “You can probably play the bass, you play the Cello.” And she started dabbling as a sub. So she started learning the bass and the other bassist didn’t work out and she ended up joining the band. The timing of it couldn’t have been more perfect.

When and why did you start playing music?

Lisa: This is just what I have been doing with my life. I have always been drawn to playing instruments and then I just did. Anytime people play, I always pick it up and am like, “Oh what’s that!” Also, being a Music major lends itself to that. Now I pass the joy on to other people.

Joanie: We’ve been playing instruments ever since I can remember. There are five kids in our family, so it was a very noisy family. We all played multiple instrum - Baddassbandblog


What began as an imaginary idea between a couple of schoolteachers has evolved into a full-fledged female band that rocks after the bell rings. No Small Children [NSC], featuring guitarist-singer Lisa Parade, bassist Joanie Pimentel, and drummer Nicola B., deliver a sound that has already made them one of the fastest-rocking, fastest-rising bands in the Los Angeles area. Some would think it’s not easy teaching students by day and being a rock band by night, but thus far, No Small Children have had no problem figuring out how to handle both.

I recently asked Lisa about doing this kind of double duty, as well as a few other topics like her take on a certain movie that combined rock with school, their latest music video shoot and some songs they’ll be releasing soon.

GGM: For my opening question, Lisa, when did you first learn how to play guitar?

Lisa: I started playing guitar about ten years ago. I played drums/sax in all my bands before that, but as a songwriter, singer, teacher and producer, I felt that not knowing how to play the guitar was affecting my freedom as a musician. I started playing it to accompany myself in an acoustic "singer-songwriter kind of way" at first. I played a bunch of coffee houses, got a band, played a ton of gigs and then switched over to electric when we started NSC. Now I play my Les Paul in a definitely not so “singer-song-writer kind of way." As it stands, learning how to play the guitar was one of the most liberating things I have ever done.

GGM: Where was your first professional performance as a musician, and what was that first-time experience like?

Lisa: The first time I played my guitar professionally, I had all kinds of nerves, and when you have all kinds of nerves, you get “flustery” and “rushy.” The gig went well, but it took me some time to get a handle on the gear and all that comes with it…set up, tuning, pedals, tone, cables, tempos... The first gig we had with NSC was at The Guitar Merchant in Canoga Park, CA. The tempos to most of our songs are fast, but that night, they were really, really, really fast. Haha…but we had so much fun.

I grew up playing marching snare drum in an Italian processional band called The Roma Band of Boston. We played all the fests in Boston in the summers and we also played lots of parades. I guess that was officially my first professional gig …that band was a trip...I learned a lot.

GGM: How did you meet Nicola and Joanie to form No Small Children?

Lisa: All three of us are schoolteachers at the same school. Nicola and I had been working together for about nine years when we started the band, hypothetically at first. We gave the band a name, thought about outfits, started writing songs and rehearsing until we were ready for a bass player. It just so happened that Joanie was moving from Boston to LA around the time that we were ready for her. She didn’t play bass, but played cello and sang. Even though cello is tuned in 5ths and bass is tuned in 4ths, I knew she could pick up the bass in no time, and she did. She worked her butt off, too. We have been on fast forward ever since. Also, she started working at our school this school year. Joanie is my sister by the way.

GGM: Are any of the three of you still teaching and, if so, how do you manage your time between teaching school and being in a rock band?

Lisa: We are all teaching still. During summer “vacation,” Nicola went to Columbia (in NY) for a 6-week masters program, and Joanie and I ran a summer arts program here in LA called The Exploratorium, which is part of LA’s Academy of Creative Education. Joanie and I did local unplugged shows while Nicola was away. She came home on July 13th and we played a show…two actually…on the same night…one at the Redwood and one at El Coritas. We have played like 65-70 shows since January…and many of them on weekdays. We are often pretty tired but find the love of the music to be energizing, which in turn makes us better teachers. Kind of like being in love I guess (barf). Being teachers is a big part of who we are.

GGM: Do any of you teach, or have taught, music in school, or just normal subjects in the vein of math, science, English or history?

Lisa: We teach elementary school. Nicola teaches 4th grade and Joanie and I teach music. Orchestra, Jazz Band, Pep Band, Chorus. I am also an administrator. I used to be a [high school] band director in Randolph, Massachusetts before my band HEIDI got signed to Warner Brothers and we moved to LA.

GGM: A decade ago, there was this movie entitled The School of Rock, starring Jack Black, and featuring a young Miranda Cosgrove, later of Nickelodeon's iCarly, as one of the students. Have you ever seen that movie, either in the theater or on video, and, given what it was about, what's your take on it?

Lisa: Wow, was that a decade ago?? I think Jack Black is the man!!! I loved that movie….a romantic version of what it is really like, of course, but - Guitar Girl Magazine


Discography

EP "Dear Youth" http://nosmallchildren1.bandcamp.com/album/dear-youth-explicit

"Baby I Love You Even Though" single
http://nosmallchildren1.bandcamp.com/track/baby-i-love-you-even-though

"Let it Go"
http://nosmallchildren1.bandcamp.com/

"Might Get Up Slow" - music video

Photos

Bio

Three teachers from Los Angeles who love rock music. These women sing songs about everyday things that everybody knows about. They have a powerful sound that is loud, melodic, and irreverent. Their lyrics are honest, thoughtful and funny.

No Small Children is Lisa Parade, Nicola B., and Joanie Pimentel. They are kick-ass, rockin' chicks by night and schoolteachers by day. This trio of women has a friendship rooted in rock, respect, and a straight talking strength that comes through in their music loud and clear.

Imaginary at first, No Small Children created their name, came up with a bunch of song ideas, and chose their outfits before playing a single note. When they finally started making music, they knew who they were, what they wanted to sound like, and who they wanted to represent. Only months after beginning in April 2012, NSC began scheduling shows. which lead to an east coast tour that August. Currently, NSC plays several shows a week throughout Los Angeles and can't wait to tour up the west coast this spring.

No Small Children have since found fans in every venue they're played. Their songs seem to strike a chord with audiences everywhere they go.

No Small Children has just released their first EP on iTunes, "Dear Youth", produced by Lisa Parade and mixed by the legendary Bob Marlette (Rob Zombie, Black Sabbath, Anvil, Filter etc). Be sure to catch a show near you, and feel uplifted and psyched to be where you are!