The Best Parts of Seeing Mt. Joy at the Music Box

Mt. Joy

The Four Best Things We Saw at the San Diego Music Box’s Mt. Joy Concert!

I have never shown someone Mt. Joy’s music and had them dislike it. I would even be as bold to say that mostly everyone who I’ve shown them to has started listening to them and grown their own obsession. The first time I saw the Mt. Joy perform live, I had never heard their music before. My friends had insisted we stopped by their performance on the way to see a different artist at the Life is Beautiful festival in Las Vegas. After that show I could not stop listening to them! To this day, I distinctly remember specific songs from their live performance that gave me a truly intimate connection with their music. Since that festival in September, I somehow have managed to fit at least one song from Mt. Joy’s first self-titled album into my music shuffle everyday. 7 months later, and Mt. Joy made their final tour stop over at the San Diego Music Box . Here’s the best 4 things I saw at that show:

1. New Music

The band premiered 2 new songs “Bug Eyes” and “Ruins.” I am not always the most excited when artists debut new songs at shows but these songs brought me to tears. Lead singer Matt Quinn’s vocals silenced the room as everyone peered onto the stage in complete admiration. I didn’t know if the band’s new music would live up to their debut album which I cherished so deeply but after they performed these songs, I know now that whatever is coming is going to be incredible. The songs mirrored the themes of the first album, topics on loss, life and nature.

2. The Encore

The band left the stage after performing one of their greatest hits, “Silver Lining.” Afterwards, the crowd didn’t budge as they begged for an encore. When the band stepped back onto the tiny stage they played another new track and then concluded with a fan favorite, “Julia.” The song is smooth, melodic and hypnotizing. A simple story of a man too nervous to order food from a beautiful waitress.

“Don’t say you love the old me” Quinn poured out. The song then switched into a cover of the song “Ain’t No Sunshine” by Bill Withers before returning again to “Julia.”

3. The song “cardinal

While listening to this song on any streaming service, the beginning feels nearly recognizable from the whistling melody which introduces the track. Although I anticipated to see this song live, I wasn’t sure if the whistles would be apart of the performance but sure enough, Quinn whistled to the tune as perfectly as the recording. The song builds upon itself and then breaks back into a peaceful melody much like some of the band’s other songs.

4. The live music

Lead singer Matt Quinn’s vocals were more powerful and raw than anything I have heard before. The show was filled with guitar solos and keyboard solos. Performances like these remind me why I love going to live shows. Often, I’ll see a band perform live, and while the performances are still incredible, the music doesn’t sound as great live, but with Mt. Joy that was not the case. Each song live relayed the authenticity of the songs and the stories that were told in each. The songs on the album vary from many different music styles. “Dirty Love” sounds like an upbeat ukulele tune whereas “St. George” feels like a slow ballad. The band’s ability to perfect playing these differing songs live show the full range of talent Mt.Joy encompasses.

Written by: Kelly Kerrigan

Gothic Tropic at San Diego’s Lantern Street Festival

Gothic Tropic Frontwoman

Gothic Tropic’s Headlinging Punk Performance at San Diego’s Lantern Street Festival Rocked and Banged the Night Away.

It’s a cool 70 degrees at approximately 5:35 p.m. The sun is shining down on San Diego’s Lantern Street Festival at Liberty Station headlined by Los Angeles band Gothic Tropic. Opening act Pretty Polly gracefully takes the stage, kicking off the evening as festival attendees are checked-in and given their lanterns. An all ages event, the festival is home to dozens of food stands with lantern decorating station taking over the back of the courtyard. The show has only just begun.

As a crowd of over 5,000 cycled in throughout the cool evening, opening performances by Pretty Polly and BELLSAINT warmed up crowds who were already filled up with delicious food. The time is now 8:30 p.m., Gothic Tropic is slated to take the stage in a few moments. This is their first headline performance, ever. Which begs the question, who is Gothic Tropic?

Gothic Tropic is the indie pop band of Southern California you’ve never encountered.

It is the creation of multi-instrumentalist, vocalist, and Los Angeles native Cecilia Della Peruti. Della Peruti was recently chosen by Fender for their American Series Campaign, exemplifying the power she holds when a guitar is in her hands. Similar to what Prince’s band The Revolution was first known for, a guitar is a vessel for Della Peruti to express herself while putting a focus on the music instead of the artist.

Gothic Tropic’s debut album “Fast or Feast” was released on May 19, 2017 and has since established their name in Indie Rock and Pop. The quality of the debut shined a light on Della Peruti, being recognized by Beck and asked to join his touring band. Della Peruti stated that playing for Beck, “really elevated my understanding of what the gig is.” Della Peruti went on to
say:

“This artist is somebody I profoundly respect and admire and actually really look up to as a songwriter and an artist. Now I feel like I’m finally doing something right.”

Cecilia Della Peruti

Touring with Beck was an astounding achievement for the Gothic Tropic frontwoman…

But despite this, she still stays true to her methods. Humility, consistency, and transparency are the tools driving Della Peruti and Gothic Tropic to the top, at their own pace.

“Nothing’s changed in my approach or practices, but what informed me now watching him was how generous he is. And how easy-going and respectful of everyone an artist of that caliber can be.”

Cecilia Della Peruti

Fans are anticipating their next album, expected sometime before summer, and Della Peruti is as excited as the fans. “I’m really excited! I’m just so stoked.” said Gothic Tropic’s leading lady.
She is also working on a collaborative project called “Bloodthirsty” with Italian Composer Daniele Luppi and writer/producer Alex Goose.

“So it’s like punk as f*ck, but with like all this beautiful melody. And it’s very Italian, and I’m Italian!”

proudly declared by Della Peruti.

It’s now nine o’clock at the Lantern Street Festival. Gothic Tropic was supposed to be onstage 30 minutes ago.

Unfortunately, technical difficulties have been frustrating the band and the crew for the last hour. Eager to play, Della Peruti does a lap around the stage after showing a bit of frustration. The backing tracks are not coming through, making it difficult for the band to perform new songs, let alone any at all. The tracks are not coming in anytime soon.

“We’re a punk band tonight!” exclaimed Della Peruti as she ran on stage, signaling the band behind her.

The crowd watches.

The crowd has been ignorant to the technical difficulties up to this point; Soon, Peruti takes control of the crowd’s attention. “We’re Gothic Tropic, tonight it’s a punk show and we’re gonna play a new song called drunk on a rhythm.” Della Peruti shouted into the mic.

All the frustration is let out by her initial guitar strum; the headliners are here to rock the show. As the beautiful hand-decorated lanterns shone across liberty station, Gothic Tropic lit up the stage with their electric performance. Drummer Sheldon Reed was speechless after his first festival performance. Della Peruti melted faces of all ages with her masterful guitar solos
throughout. The transition of fan favorites from “Feed You To The Sharks” to “Your Soul” stole the ears of audience members. Closing out with their notable track “Stronger,” Della
Peruti’s exhilarating almost 3-minute guitar solo left the crowd cheering and Gothic Tropic’s frontwoman with nothing else to give the audience but a wave goodnight.

Written by: Alexis Camel

The Pansexual Panel: Group Sex and Polyamory

The Pansexual Panel

Group sex, polyamory, and most importantly, taking care of yourself is the core message of the latest issue of The Pansexual Panel.

Let’s all collectively admit that people are giving polyamory a bad name by slapping it on every instance of group sex and calling it a day. Okay, now let’s take a step back and really dig into what the heck I’m talking about. Just the other day a question threw me for a loop; how do people even get into a situation were multiple people want to have sex with you?

It’s a fair question. And on my part, all the situations I’ve ended up in before just happened naturally. Not to say some didn’t have a few kinks (no pun intended) to work out. But to be perfectly honest it was more of a “right time, right place” kind of situation. Before delving into the topic, it should be noted that when polyamory is done right, when everyone is open and honest about their needs and wants, it works really well. It does require that you put out a lot more effort, but the payoff is almost always worth it.

And for the uninitiated: “Polyamory is the practice of, or desire for, intimate relationships with more than one partner, with the consent of all partners involved.”

Let’s assume for this round that you are in fact looking to get into a sexual encounter with multiple people at the same time. Well good for you! Most people feel weird about sex in general but here you are wanting to dive head first into sexual exploration. My first instinct is to over plan, so definitely do not do that. However, this doesn’t mean you should skip expectations and limits. That’s right: LIMITS! Just because it’s a more open group doesn’t mean you have to compromise something. Establish these rules before moving forward and people will know you are serious about your boundaries.

Safety should always stick at the top of the list, both mentally and physically. Are you sexually active? Then get tested every 6 months to a year, or better yet, every 3-6 months. As long as you are making yourself top priority, you can literally do anything you like. Oftentimes people will try to rain on your parade and limit what you do; don’t let them! That message is especially directed towards femmes and ladies: slut shaming isn’t cool, “dude,” and I’m here to tell you that everyone else is just JEALOUS. That’s right, full on Jelly!

But all in all, if you want more legitimate information about sex in general check out the book: The Guide to Getting It On by Paul-Joannides

This book changed my life when I first read it 8 years ago, and I sure hope it gets you started down a road of sexual positivity. Until next time, enjoy your sex and make sure you don’t compromise your comfort for some else’s pleasure.

Written by: Jonathan Sotelo

Sunflower Seeds: Blooming to California

Sunflower Seeds is a bi-weekly series where I detail my transition from mid-western Chicago over to Southern California. The initial move led me to bloom.

2 degrees to 92 degrees. I’m talking about the magnificent city of Chicago. I’m a 20-year-old curious girl who picked a school 2,000 miles away from my beloved home. Chicago, Illinois had been all I knew for 18 years, but I desperately needed change. I couldn’t take the negative 11 degrees anymore, and quite frankly I was just bored with the whole Midwest thing. I needed to bloom! I wanted exhilaration, for California is the land of hopes and dreams after all. Now don’t get me wrong, I was scared out of my damn mind, but I’d like to think I’m making something notable of myself.

When I first came to San Diego I literally felt culture shock. I wasn’t necessarily home sick, but everything here was so unfamiliar. It blew my mind how people dressed since it’s pretty much 70 degrees year-round, everyone and their mother seems to have a tattoo, and I had no clue what the word açaí even meant. San Diegans seemed to be so liberated compared to sedulous Chicagoans; they did what they wanted when they wanted. I’m not saying this is good or bad, but it was a lot to digest at once.

San Diego has a life of it’s own. That’s why I chose to start the next chapter of my life here. Moving to San Diego has taught me so much about myself – it’s weird to look at old photos and see the type of person I was just a moment ago. I do miss Chicago at times, for it will be one of the best cities you’ve ever bean to, but I’m very satisfied with where I am at today. I took on many challenges and struggled a tremendous amount with school/figuring out what my soul purpose is, but I am happily solving these mysteries one sunset at a time.

If you’re still reading this, you have probably noticed that this blog is called Sunflower Seeds. I named it this with the help of a great friend of mine who is actually a Chicagoan too, so shout out to you Kyle for experiencing these odd but exciting years with me at SDSU. The sunflower thing came up because I like to live my life freely, for sunflowers are the freest and happiest flowers of them all. I plan to give my insight on being a city girl in a beach town on a wide range of affairs that you hopefully find alluring. I hope you all continue to follow my thrilling escapades with me, for I shall see you next seed.