Tag Archives: Zero Zero

Steeping in punk rock: an interview with Don Juan y Los Blancos

Don Juan y Los Blancos: an R&B/garage/rock n' roll monster

Don Juan y Los Blancos: an R&B/garage/rock n’ roll monster

Before I get to this interview, let me explain how I encountered Becky Blanca. I had posted my interview with Rachel Nagy of Detroit Cobras on Examiner and I received a message from Nicole of Zero Zero and The Love Me Nots that my next interview should be with Becky Blanca. Well, when I get a recommendation from someone whose music I dig, I take that recommendation to heart. After exchanging some messages with Blanca, I came to find out that she too is a Lebowski achiever and is well-versed in taking it easy. Now that you know the story of how I came to know her, Becky is a vocalist for Los Angeles band Don Juan y Los Blancos. She discussed the band’s sound, performing on Good Day L.A., and what album she’d like to perform live.

Describe Don Juan y Los Blancos for someone who has never heard the band.

I always have a hard time describing it, but if I had to I’d say it’s an R&B/garage/rock n’ roll monster that has been steeping in punk rock for an eternity.

What was your reaction when you heard you would be on Good Day LA? Describe your experience on the show.

We were way excited! Mar Yvette is a real cool lady with her ear to the ground. I was super nervous and tried drinking whiskey at 9 am, but it didn’t really work out. Steve Edwards won my heart that day.

With what band would you most like to be a guest vocalist? Why?

I would love to be a guest vocalist for any of my friends. I don’t think most of my music pals realize how much I listen to and adore their music. That should be my next party, have all my favorite friends’ bands play, except for their singers. Or harmonize with their singers, whatever.

If you were going to perform any album other than your own at a show, what album would it be? Why?

Blank Generation by Richard Hell & The Voidoids. Man, that album has everything. “Liars Beware”, “Betrayal Takes Two”….yeah. Oooh! Or Tom Waits’ Rain Dogs. I’d have to change all the keys, though.

What would you be doing if you weren’t making music?

Eh, I work a steady 9-5 at a sandwich shop. That’s probably what I’d be doing.

Pop is musical junk food

What this is to the body, pop music is to my soul.

With this being Thanksgiving week, I figured I would roll out a series of columns comparing music to food. Now, I could wax poetic (or something like that) about how music is food for the soul. And it is. But let’s put this into some context in a week where we will all overindulge. It might surprise you, loyal reader, that I would start with pop because since I’ve been writing this blog, I’ve only featured one pop group: Zero Zero. And by the way, you can assume that all of the stuff you will read about pop music in this edition does not apply to Zero Zero. In any case, let’s get this started.

In my world, pop music is definitely junk food. You know when you’re at work and you get hungry sometime before or after lunch. You drop some coins into the vending machine and you select what looks the least nauseating. And what happens? You eat it and you realize you’ve just taken in 200 or more calories, but you don’t feel any satisfaction from what you just ate. To draw a Thanksgiving comparison, pop music is that snack mix with the rice crackers. I can pick through the bowl and find a couple things I like, and I can keep putting it in my mouth even if my enjoyment is minimal. But ultimately, no matter how many of those spicy rice crackers I eat, I’m going to need something else to get any sense of satisfaction. And I’ll write about that something else over the next couple days.

Incognito pick of the week: Zero Zero

Photo of Zero Zero by Kim Cerniglia

If I were to tell you that Zero Zero includes Nicole Laurenne and Michael Walker of The Love Me Nots, maybe you would think that this is some kind of spinoff of The Love Me Nots, complete with fuzzy guitar and Farfisa. Quite the contrary, loyal reader. Mayday seems like it was made by the alter egos of Nicole Laurenne and Michael Walker.

How else could you explain the two of them making a pop album? Furthermore, you know we’re not usually fans of pop here at Incognito. However, you have to give credit where it is due. Laurenne and Walker have made a good pop album with incredibly catchy songs. Just listen to “Go.” And then try to get the tune out of your head. It ain’t easy, I’ll tell you that. So yes, I am admitting that I like a pop album (take that, all you folks that call me a music snob!) and I think if you like The Love Me Nots, you’ll like this album too. Is it different? Completely. But if you appreciate the considerable talents of Nicole Laurenne and Michael Walker, then you’ll appreciate this album even without the fuzz and Farfisa.