Fresh from the fields of Mystery Lawn Music, Bay Area indie-poppers The Corner Laughers invite listeners to gather in their summer-solstice 2012 release: Poppy Seeds. The record is a shimmering love letter to the Golden State, offering the clever wordplay, magical melodies and heartbreaking harmonies fans and critics have come to expect from the group while breaking new ground in focus, depth and texture. The band is led by singer/ukulele player Karla Kane, with bassist Khoi Huynh, drummer Charlie Crabtree, and guitarists KC Bowman and co-founder Angela Silletto, who made the poignant decision to leave the band midway through the recording of the album to pursue a new path, away from her native California. Their sound defies pigeonholes but has been compared to that of Kirsty MacColl, XTC and, despite some sunshine-pop tendencies, the “rainy melancholia” of Camera Obscura (Magnet Magazine).
1.)What do you have lined up for this fall/winter?
We’re looking forward to playing with some fantastic out-of-towners — LA-based power-pop legend Willie Wisely is coming up north to play with us in early February and our dear friend/psychedelic hero Anton Barbeau will be returning to California from Europe for a month or so. In November we put together a benefit EP for the donkeys of Barron Park, as mentioned in our song “8:18″. It’s available from cornerlaughers.com and all proceeds go to the Peninsula environmental organization Acterra. We also play in multiple other Mystery Lawn Music bands as well (William Cleere and the Marvellous Fellas, Agony Aunts, Alison Faith Levy’s Big Time Tot Rock, Allen Clapp and His Orchestra) so we keep busy.
2.) Tell us a little bit about the 50 Mason Social House show Wednesday night.
From the Corner Laughers you can expect our standard array of sunshiney pop songs with melancholic lyrics and plenty of harmony. Dance moves are always possible but not guaranteed. We’re excited to hear all the other great bands, and about the fact that Sacramento DJ Mike Lidskin will be there to introduce the show. Last time we played there (as Allen Clapp and His Orchestra) the Giants triumphantly emerged victorious in the first game of the World Series so presumably it’s a good-luck venue.
3.) How long have you been playing music?
The Corner Laughers put out their first record in 2006. Collectively we’ve been playing music together and separately for about 136 years.
4.) What is your favorite thing about playing music in the Bay Area?
To paraphrase our favorite songwriter Martin Newell, it’s, “the best because we live there.” It’s home. All our friends are artistic geniuses in diverse ways and we get to benefit from their talents! Plus, you’re never far from a great pre- or post-show meal.
5.) What do you like least about playing music in the Bay Area?
Traffic and parking in San Francisco is a pain. On the Peninsula, where most of us live, it seems like the only musicians to get gigs are tribute bands or blues jams.
6.) What advice do you have for local musicians trying to get started in the Bay Area?
The same advice we have for everyone: “Buy more Corner Laughers albums”.
7.) What was the last song you were listening to today and why?
A song from a VeggieTales video. The cucumber makes a plate of cookies and waits for Santa Claus but an asparagus bank robber, a Viking tomato and an IRS guy show up instead and eat the cookies. (Because one of us is a nursery-school teacher by day.)