Field Recordings

Bleached: Picnic Table Punk

The blues may come in myriad shapes and sizes, but on the eve of 2012's South By Southwest music festival, it took the form of two sisters from Los Angeles: Jennifer and Jessica Clavin, who make up the core of Bleached. A rough-and-tumble garage-rock band, Bleached is one of many young punk-infused acts playing three-minute, three-chord bashers with sneering, unraveled immediacy. When played on stage, the band's music takes on a messy-but-fun live-wire buoyancy.

Bleached's "Searching Through the Past" is one of 2011's catchiest songs, but that single's B-side, "Electric Chair," is a distortion-fueled strumfest built around two lines: "Just got out the electric chair / and I don't see you anywhere."

Just as we hit that glorious "magic hour" where the sun began to glow off the Clavins' long golden hair, Bleached played a stripped-down version of "Electric Chair" at a food-truck parking lot off the highway — about a mile northeast of Austin's swarming 6th Street.

Assisted by Sara Jean Stevens on bass and drummer Jonathan Safley — here playing a light-up tambourine bought at the last second from a tchotchke shop — Bleached showcases its fun, off-the-cuff spirit. It may lack meticulous precision, but the band's infectious energy and simple, winning hooks more than compensate.


Producer: Mito Habe-Evans; Additional Videography: Katie Hayes Luke; Audio Engineer: Kevin Wait; Special Thanks To: 12th Street Soular Food Garden; Executive Producers: Anya Grundmann, Keith Jenkins

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