Laura Stevenson, Chris Farren, & Ogikubo Station bring their unique personalities to Bottom of the Hill
On March 2, Ogikubo Station (comprised of Mike Park of Asian Man Records and Mura Weaver of Mixtapes) braved their first show, Chris Farren shook his hair about, and Laura Stevenson played a slew of sad songs at San Francisco’s auditorily-attuned pub, Bottom of the Hill.
Ogikubo opened, and, after playing all the songs from their debut EP Ogikubo Station S/T, Park explained that he had become a musician and record-label founder against the wishes of his parents. He said that he spent a year pretending to attend college to become a doctor in order to please them, but, in actuality, he was playing video games at a friend’s house. Park emphasized the life-value of finding something he loved doing, and that music both as a tool for expression and creator of social spaces needs to be more open and accepting for everybody — regardless of race, gender, sexuality, and class. On a lighter note, Park said that he always wanted to take a crowd picture where everyone was shouting with their fists raised. “We won’t tell anybody we staged it,” he said, before asking the audience to hold the pose while someone captured the moment.
Following Ogikubo was Farren. He immediately filled the stage with whooshes of his hair, constantly-moving body, and ironically self-aggrandizing humor. Farren advertised a vanity-shot-decorated flag he was selling at the merchandise table, and he ended his set by playing sound effects of fake applause. (Not a joke.) At one point, he even climbed off the stage, walked through the audience, and, temporarily, exited through the front-door of the venue — only to reverse his course, sing the end of the song in the middle of the crowd, and climb back on-stage. “I like performing live,” he later said — as if it wasn’t already obvious.
Stevenson was the most self-deprecating out of the three, noting the death-and-depression-obsessed topic matter permeating many of her songs. As a distraction from the gloom, one fan congratulated Stevenson on her marriage last October to Mike Campbell. “Thank you,” Stevenson replied happily, adding, “For those who don’t know, I got married to that guy,” pointing over to Campbell, who was on bass. She also reassured that her songs did not mean she was always feeling down. “I’m fine,” she said before getting ready to play “Jellyfish,” then backtracked her statement, explaining, “Well, I was fine for awhile — now I’ve been not-so-fine.” The audience blinked. “But don’t worry about me!” she consoled — again — and the audience laughed at the irony. Still, it was hard not to worry a little bit — even through the diverting catchiness of the next song.
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