Letter From The Editor

Screen Shot 2016-06-27 at 11.15.06 AMWhen I stopped by Hawaiian Brian’s earlier this week to watch local indie dream pop band Ivory City practice, there were a few passersby who had wandered into the room. One of them, a boy I’d guess was in his late teens, asked me what was going on — and then asked if I was the band’s groupie.

I was completely insulted. “No, I’m here to write a story on them,” I responded harshly while giving him the meanest look I could muster. Why would he assume that a woman watching a band was a “groupie?”

Well, after watching Ivory City play — and then spending basically every minute since listening to them at my desk — I should apologize to that kid. Because he was right — I am totally an Ivory City groupie.

The band clearly has a great time on stage. Singer Josh Sharp is every bit the charismatic front man, and guitarists Jon Banquil and Skyler Sponberg and drummer Elias English are all enormously talented.

I was shocked to find out that these four had only been playing all together for about two months; their performance seemed far too polished.

I had heard the name Ivory City around here and there over the last few months, but I only looked into them a mere two weeks ago when I got an email from Nikki Nakamura, who serves as their co-manager. In her email, she told me briefly about how the band was prepping for their upcoming gig opening for The Cure. As a longtime fan of The Cure, I figured I’d check them out. I mean, if they got a gig this big, they must be all right.

But I was not prepared for what I heard. Usually, when I hear a band for the first time, it takes me a few listens to really fall into the music. But there was something about Ivory City — especially their song Pills, which Banquil describes as “impending emotional doom” — that grabbed me immediately.

So while their upcoming big gig is what got my attention, it’s certainly not what kept it. Cure or no Cure, Ivory City is going places.

I could fan out forever, but I will wrap it up here and simply direct you here to read more about them in what is hopefully a more tempered manner.