Consider XIV, a loosely-structured La Mesa congregation that joyfully lives in the loungey music groove known as Big Sonic Chill. Nathan Samuels (keyboards, trumpet, vocals) and wife/partner Kelly Samuels (vocals, flute, keyboard, percussion) have anchored XIV from their La Mesa home studio for the last ten years. The fluid XIV lineup has varied from two to seven members. Its music can veer from “Erykah Badu-meets-Radiohead” to industrial-Afrobeat.
“We’re now on the radar with the Belly Up or Music Box and when they need openers for Macy Gray or Mimi Zulu, we hope they call us,” says Kelly Samuels.
“There is definitely an interest in this type of music,” says Nathan Samuels, but he admits that it’s hard to maintain a live music scene around a band that sounds so diverse.
Nathan Samuels has released three full length XIV albums on his own See Through record label. All, including records by local artists Becca Jay and Sounds Cool Collective, are released on clear vinyl.
Two XIV songs, “Walking Too Fast” and “Breakdown,” appear on the soundtrack to last year’s Tarantino-esque indie film 66 & Nowhere, which won Best Soundtrack at the 2017 Laughlin International Film Festival.
- Monday, December 31, 2018, 8 p.m.
8515 Navajo Road,
XIV appears New Year’s Eve at Navajo Live with burlesque act Luna Nouveau. Meanwhile, the jazzy Big Sonic Chill groove continues on two different local stations, including its KXSN-98.1/HD3 incarnation and the more electronic Groove Salad on KPBS-89.5 FM/HD3.