LA Beat

Veterans of the LA rock scene c. 1980-2000 are sure to run into familiar faces at this event, held at the site of what used to be one downtown’s most esteemed institutions. For musicians too prickly to navigate the Hollywood club scene, Al’s Bar was a place where you could get away with just about anything, and often did. The place had a diverse booking policy that favored regulars and promising out of towners willing to play for a piece of the door. This reunion, organized by Lightning Woodcock, features many of those regulars, including the last band to play at the club before its closing, the Black Widows, the theatrical antics of Rosemary’s Billygoat, a special set by Jon Wahl and the Amadans with former bassist Steve Reed occupying the drum chair while yours truly recovers from a broken ankle, a rare sighting of the bomb-blast that is NostraDumAss, the killer beef that is Carnage Asada, the intoxicating attack of Swords of Fatima, funky lowdown-ness courtesy of the Golden Rulers, them shit-kickin’ Groovy Rednecks, and the barely-legal Leaking Pigs, a band born too late to be part of the Al’s scene, but that would surely have found a home there.

The Echo Event Calendar

Popdefect was a three-piece pop rock outfit that formed in Seattle in 1980. Guitarist/vocalist Al Anderson and drummer Nick Scott first played together with Tom Price (U-Men, Gas Huffer, Kings of Rock) in a band called Psychopop. After Tom left to form the U-Men, Charlie Hutchinson moved in on bass, and POPDeFECT was born. Shortly thereafter the trio moved to Los Angeles when Anderson left to attend school and the two remaining members left to join him.

Their early years in L.A. were overshadowed by the high-profile punk movement of the time, so they decided to tackle other parts of the country. With virtually no advance bookings, they embarked on their first tour -- getting gigs as they went. By the time it was over, they¹d played over 30 clubs and made valuable contacts that allowed them to continue to tour incessantly throughout their career (this DIY-style of hitting the road was chronicled in the film: Live With This). Their touring tactics were successful, and by the late 80s they were an L.A. club and scene staple, where they relentlessly played their favorite musical venue, the notorious Al's Bar.

Fans enjoyed nearly 20 years of quirky pop songs, crazy antics and humor-filled performances, but it all ended with a final show back in Seattle, at the Breakroom in November of 2001). Since then, Al has been working in the software industry and raising his son with wife Jill. Nick went on to play with Project K. (with Greg K. of the Paper Tulips and Io Perry), The Shards (with Adam Brisben and Justin of W.A.C.O. and Foster of Extra Fancy and Glue), and with BukoPan Guerra in the Bollywood Disco Punk two-piece The Swords of Fatima. Charlie headed home to Seattle where he tends bar, is married, had a kid and formed the band Milkmaid¹s Crawl.

LA Weekly

Silver Lake is still a musical neighborhood, but in many ways the party moved elsewhere more than 10 years ago when rising rents and gentrification transformed the formerly bohemian, ethnically diverse enclave into an upscale and homogenous inland version of Brentwood. The quintessential Silver Lake band of the good ol' days was Popdefect, who got their start in Seattle in the early '80s but became ubiquitous fixtures at local dives and backyard parties throughout the '90s. They even starred in their own film, Live With This: Adrift in America -- one of rock's best road movies. Singer-guitarist Al Anderson was like a less careerist (but no less drunken) version of Paul Westerberg, crooning smart, cynical lyrics over a punchy combination of pop, alt-rock, garage and punk, which was powered by the unusually energetic (and just as drunken) rhythm section of drummer Nick Scott (who now plays with Swords of Fatima) and bassist Charlie Hutchinson. Tonight, the nearly mythical trio becomes real one more time at this one-off reunion.

UHF.TV/Bloomfest

Probably the band that played the most at Al's Bar was Popdefect. Popdefect is no more so representing will be drummer Nick Scott's Swords of Fatima. Nick teams up with Buko Pan Guerra who sings and plays guitar. What makes the music really interesting is that Buko plays an electric guitar tuned like a banjo who plays really interesting rhythms. The only two melodic instruments are guitar and voice and they both come out of the same person in the same rhythms connected through the heart.

Hudley Flipside

On the Road with EEKA EEKA Boom Boom: An Image Review…

 CDS that we have been listening to or new ones.

Swords 001

Summer time is the time to do things. So what better thing to do then review some CDs. I shall begin with The Sword Of Fatima EEKA EEKA Boom Boom. Recorded June 2009 , June 2010.

https://myspace.com/swordsoffatima/music/songs

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When on vacation this CD is a must.. these images are inspired by their songs… on our way through the car wash and then on our car trip through the Santa Monica Mountains…

At the car wash… one can experience free art… that vanishes as a Tibetan Buddhist sand painting…

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 Be inspired on the road to the sounds of The Swords of Fatima DSC01339 On the road with Swords of Fatima 2013

Hudley Flipside

The Best Soundtrack for a Film

 

(Please click on the YouTube song below by The Swords of Fatima first before reading the story. Read with the music playing to achieve the full effect of the story.. This is a CD band embellished non-fiction review story...)

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raveling down the snake again towards Santa Monica, this drive is so familiar, years and years and even in a mother’s womb when the journey first began.

The yellow Sticky Monkey Flower  blossoms are highlighting the canyon hills and the noble Yucca is all dried up this April. To the ocean we go and to the pier.

We are going to the place where Mom and Dad lived in their youth at the Santa Monica Pier. As a teenager Dad would dive off the end of the pier for money. They married and soon after the war sold cotton candy from a stand. The stories and images flow through my mind, knowing that they are now both but ashes in separate boxes side by side.

 

Taken from The Swords of Fatima Monsoon and Sandstorms CD  http://longbladerecords.com/the_swords_of_fatima/

Sunday is the worse day to go to the beach. Crowds of people were everywhere. I almost got run over by a fast red car. There was a mad man at the threshold of a bridge who troubled us. This bridge arches over the Pacific Coast Hwy.  We did not give him any money so he said,

“You will lose everything and be out on the streets… fuck you.”

“What are you saying?” I said.

“Bitch, you will lose everything and will live out on the streets!”

He was a very unpleasant man so I walked away and gave him the finger, which made him an extremely crazy mad man.

“Fuck you…bitch…you will be out on the streets!”

I then gave him the peace sign and said,

“I have been out on the streets,”

 

“Get your kicks on Route 66″

Waking over to the pier the sounds of the cars, bikes and talking people got us feeling down. Should we eat at a restaurant? The beach it covered with crosses and coffins with American flags. We went instead to play some  air hockey but didn’t have any coins.  The arcade was so stuffed and full that I said time to go. They followed as I stormed away thinking,

“This is hell, this is hell.”

Gazing in at the Merry Go Round and feeling some joy we soon all calmed down for some food and a beer at the Ye Olde King’s Head, but before food and drink, we had to pass by the mad man.

 

US minus Dancing John

Waking up the steps to the mad man we found him singing a beautiful song for some ladies handing him money. I threw some long stem yellow sour flowers at the mad man’s feet before whispering in one of the lady’s ears,

“You are lucky you gave him some money, otherwise he would be screaming nasty words at you!”

He might have been a mad man, saint or Bodhisattva !

Another man came up from behind me and said excuse me as he then ran by with a purse. It had a broken strap. He looked at me and jumped into his car, which was parked illegally, and drove away.

“I bet he pulled that off of some ladies arm.”

“You are probably right.”

We all agreed that it must have been so.

“You’d be surprised how much that happens at a crowed place like this on a Sunday at the Santa Monica Pier!!”

 

Dancing John

 

Stench Radio Magazine

How do you describe a band that mixes flamenco, Turkish, metal, psychedelic, Bollywood, and disco, and all this comes blasting out of just two members: guitarist/vocalist Buko Pan Guerra, and drummer Nick Scott. Awesome, that's how you describe it! Swords of Fatima is a unique little combo out of LA, with ethereal poetic lyrics, minor key Eastern chordings, frenetic tribal drums, and all of it played with as much wild abandon as any punk band. Talking to these two, I began to see how they make it work. Their mutual respect for each other is as clear as the total passion with which they have devoted themselves to their music.

See Link for the entire interview....

Intraffik

It was off to Bloomfest 2012.  To me, this street festival deserves more attention.  It has the perfect mix of music and art.  The organizers appear to be taking a conservative approach to expanding – though it is growing.  Time fades memories, but I do believe that the size of the festival has grown significantly both in number of people attending and in geographical size since my first visit in 2010.  Bloomfest this year had two main music stages:  the usual Traction Stage and the new Bloom’s Stage.

My day started off at the Bloom’s Stage to catch Swords of Fatima.  Their Facebook page describes them as Bollywood Disco Punk. The lead singer wears a headdress and the drummer looks like he came from Blade Runner or The Fifth Element central casting.  It was an interesting way to start my day.

LA Beat

In an effort to restore balance to the universe, will perform their entire set with no bass player at all.  But you won’t miss it. The antics of Buko Pan Guerra on rip-roaring Eastern-inflected surf guitar and former Popdefect wonder child Nick Scott on drums are always fascinating to behold, and this being the first chance we’ve had to see them in a couple years, we’re looking forward to every moment.

LA Weekly

The Swords of Fatima are another lo-fi duo, with singer-guitarist Buko Pan Guerra cooing febrile melodies over former Popdefect drummer Nick Scott's surf-garage beats. What makes the Swords of Fatima so unusual, however, is the way Guerra's blurry guitar and foreboding lyrics move beyond punk formula into something more unsettling and much less familiar.

Punk Globe Magazine

The Swords of Fatima Interviewed by Kim Friederich for PUNK GLOBE MAGAZINE Punk Globe: Buko sounds as though she has twelve hands when she plays. Is it hard to keep up with her? Nickei: Actually she just has four arms. Like Shiva. She tries to kill me almost every night. I look at the set list and go “Do we have to do ALL of these fast ones?”. One day I’m going off stage in a box.

 

See Link for the entire interview....

Music Connection

Listed as one of the "Hot 100 Live Unsigned Artists and Bands!!!

Sparkplug Magazine

The first time I ever saw The Swords of Fatima was a few moons ago on a Bob Cantu show….I remember the drummer Nick even farther than that from the Popdefect days at Al’s Bar…..This duo really comes at ya….Buko plays some interesting riffs on her guitar…gotta hear it live to appreciate it….Nick is drummer extraordinaire…..uh… and he’s a rock star too….!! Ha! Ha! Ha!

LA Weekly

At a time of year when there's so much cloying white-bread holiday music polluting the aesthetic atmosphere, it's a relief to see a band like the Swords of Fatima playing this week - and at a free outdoor show, to boot.  The self-described "Flamenco Bollywood Disco Punk" duo stir up febrile, messily exotic instrumental passages like "The Swaying Caravan" and "The Sea of Cortez", on their debut CD, Two Days, Two Swords . . . Walk Alone at Midnight.  Buko Pan Guerra, who's played with Lily and The Ladies, Black Cat Mafia, and Sun Trash, peels serpentine riffs from her guitar while drummer Nick Scott (PopDefect, Project K) chases after them with rolling tom-toms and speedy surf-garage fills.  Without really meaning to, Guerra's darkly twisting curlicues on "Then He Called at Midnight" simultaneously evoke the Door's sprawling moodiness and the Velvet Underground's droning distortion, while the blurry garage-punk rush of "Catch the Sword" isn't far removed from the Dagon's nightmarish reveries.  Ultimately, though, the Swords of Fatima are weirder than most groups these days.  As their MySpace page humbly explains, "Without the hinderances of pesky lead singers and bass players to get in the way, there's nothing in the world to stop them.

Sinister Alex

Swords of Fatima was such a unique band, I have never heard anything like them before, they were so good!

LA Times

Self-proclaimed Bollywood disco punks The Swords of Fatima are sure to make some to make some ice melt at Pershing Square. Frenetic strumming and drumming is Buko Pan Guerra and Nickei Scott's style on their instrumental first album "Two Days, Two Swords…Walk Alone At Midnight" but the pair already have a handful of new numbers that include vocals by the flamenco-flavored Buko. With their swanky jazz funk explorations, New Rome Quartet are a perfect compliment to the lysergic SOF. Admission to this free --but beware, there’s gonna be fire on the ice!

KFJC 89.7

Out of Los Angeles come the sounds of surf with undercurrents of bellydance motifs and traces of Bollywood. Guitarist Buko Pan Guerra indulged in a marathon of bellydance DVDs, and Swords of Fatima was the result. With the help of Nickei Scott on drums, this ???Twopergroup??? offer up 12 frenetic instrumentals 4 to 5 minutes long, guaranteed to kick you into gear with the crashing and rolling drums and the driving force of the guitar. Images of bellies gyrating are never far away.

Classical Greek Theater

It was a long weekend and I was really just kind of tired, but I was helpless to resist what my gut told me would be a good night of music. Safari Sam’s it was.

The first band was The Swords of Fatima, whom I had heard of but didn’t really know much about. They’re a two-some not terribly unlike the White Stripes in some respects. In one such respect they are different: the drumming is much better. There seemed to be some sort of latin funk influence, though I’m treading into unfamiliar waters, so maybe not? They didn’t sound like a garage rock band the same way the White Stripes do is what I mean to say.

I liked them. I saw most of their set and it was all instrumental. They were definitely rocking out towards the end of the set. The guitar work was pretty solid. For their last song, a black-clad man in a gladiator mask and some sort of swami took the stage and performed a choreographed sword fight. We here at Classical Geek Theatre approve of stage spectacle! In a multimedia world driven predominantly by visual mediums, it is not enough to take the stage and play some music. At first glance, Swords of Fatima didn’t leave a lasting impression… but I have a sneaking feeling in a year or two they’ll be an act people are talking about.

2014 ALBUM RELEASES

MARCH 2014
NEW ROME QUARTET
THE PROCESS
LBR-007
 
MAY 2014
BUKO PAN GUERRA
A GLIMPSE OF SENTIMENT
LBR-005
 
JUNE 2014
THE SWORDS OF FATIMA
BLAZING TOWARDS THE GOLDEN MIRAGE
LBR-008
 
JULY 2014
DEGLET SWORDS - FORTY DAYS, FORTY NIGHTS . . . ALONE IN THE DESERT
LBR-009