On the 30th of March of this year, one of the best Bay Area rock n roll psych and blues hit Rickshaw Stop in San Francisco California. Music reviewer Dennis Gonzales and photographer, Ellie Doyen covered the dual record release party featuring Joshua Cook & The Key of Now, The Love Dimension and opening up, Snow Angel featuring visuals by White Light Prism.
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THIS MONDAY NIGHT, AUG 7TH TUNE INTO WXCI 91.7 West Conn Radio 'Music in Your Shoes', 8-10pm ET TO HEAR MYSELF, Jimmy Dias OF The Love Dimension & Carissa Johnson FROM OUR PERFORMANCE & INTERVIEW WE DID BACK IN MAY W/ DJ AC & Cool J!
Vanessa Silberman has played more than 250 shows in the last 18 months. She plays Front of House Lounge Tuesday.
By Brett Johnston
Los Angeles-based independent alt-rocker Vanessa Silberman has lived on the road for more than a year-and-a-half. She teamed up with Jimmy Dias of San Francisco’s psych/surf rock outfit The Love Dimension for a summer tour as a co-headlining two-piece. Silberman returns to Springfield for the fourth time since 2005, Tuesday at Front of House Lounge.
417: Have you really played around 250 shows in the last 18 months? What keeps you going on the road?
Vanessa Silberman: I love it. Music is so fulfilling. I’ve been out consecutively since January, so it’s pushing more like 260 or 270 [gigs] at this point, not including the double-duty of backing each other. Me and Jimmy started this tour at the end of March. In LA, I had an amazing job at a recording studio, but I really wanted to take a chance with touring and being an artist. I got to work with some of my heroes who I grew up listening to, but at the end of the day I wanted to take a chance on myself. I can sit behind a console later in life.
417: Do you have any favorite stops on the road? Has any place surprised you at all?
Silberman: It’s kind of hard to say, there are so many cool, amazing cities around the country. Usually it’s the smaller towns that don’t expect somebody from LA to come play. Fort Stockton, Texas was like that. Saint Augustine, Florida was amazing. That city was so unexpected, and so historical—the first [founded] city in the country and has such a cool scene there.
417: How would you describe your sound to new listeners?
Silberman: Going solo, I’m really looking to experiment, not be afraid to try stuff. The exciting thing about being solo is collaborating with so many different people. We feature different players, so it leaves a lot of open-endedness. We get a lot of comparison when I’m backing [Jimmy] to The White Stripes.
417: Is there any particular message to your writing?
Silberman: My message is giving hope and positivity through music. Even being on the road, showing women that you can be a woman on the road alone. I’ve done it. You can do it, too.
By Aarik Danielsen
Touring, if rock ballads and band diaries are to be believed, can get a little monotonous.
Playing the same songs night after night after night. An endless cycle of green rooms and budget hotels.
But for Vanessa Silberman and Jimmy Dias, their current jaunt feels new, maybe even a little precarious, each night.
She is a Los Angeles-based Jill of all trades who creates her own music, but also boosts other performers through producing, engineering and artist development. Silberman writes melodic rock steeped in the grit and grunge of the 1990s. He is the heartbeat of The Love Dimension, a San Francisco band that fits neatly within that city’s lineage of great psych-pop bands.
As artists, each marches to the beat of their own drummer. On this tour, those drummers just happen to be one another — Silberman and Dias are trading time behind the drums, backing the other’s set.
VANESSA SILBERMAN, THE LOVE DIMENSION, BLANK TRIP
When: Doors open at 8 p.m. Monday
Where: Cafe Berlin, 220 N. Tenth St.
Silberman often tours alone; Dias’ band is a rotating collective. So in this case, it made sense to help each other out. Their willingness to get behind the kit typifies the sort of “where there’s a will, there’s a way” most independent musicians adopt.
Sitting in the drum chair, in addition to their other musical roles, has brought growth for both artists. Silberman has written drum parts in the studio, but never drummed live for another artist. Dias has heard his sound expand and deepen by degrees.
Silberman’s sound has put him back in touch with his roots in grunge and punk — among his earliest influences were artists such as Nirvana and Smashing Pumpkins. When she plays Love Dimension songs, they take on a sort of White Stripes-esque quality, he said.
The tour is a marriage of the natural and uncomfortable, of instinct and intention. Dias started out on drums, bringing a rhythmic orientation to his music.
“I think of guitar more as a drum in a way,” he said, with guitar strokes corresponding to snare hits, for example.
Silberman has enjoyed the chance to supply harmonies on Dias’ songs, which naturally leave space for vocal layers.
Both have learned lessons about endurance, pulling double duty each night.
“I have to drum first before I sing,” Silberman said. ”... I use so much energy for playing guitar and singing ... it is so difficult ... for me to drum after that, because I’m exhausted.”
They also have had nightly, tangible reminders about flexibility. That characteristic has to be present to maintain a touring schedule and a musical life, Silberman said.
There are other fringe benefits to the arrangement — both Silberman and Dias joked that loading in and breaking down drums each night has helped them get in better physical shape.
By Sam Hustis
Call them a band, call them a collective, definitely call them “groovy.”
With a rotating lineup of 80+ members, The Love Dimension might not seem like a typical band, whatever this vibey psychedelica-meets-90s-grunge band from the Bay Area is doing, it’s working. We met up with Jimmy L. Dias (guitar/vocals), Amy Jane Cronkleton (vocals), Celeste Obomsawin (vocals/percussion/flute), Devin Farney (keyboard/vocals), Michael Summers (bass), and Robinson Kuntz (drums) to talk about what it means to go to “the love dimension,” what creative collaboration is like within a music collective, and what it’s like balancing parenthood and being in a band.
Connect with The Love Dimension on their website, Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram.
oxy Loxy’s intimate First Friday performance series has become a staple of blooming art scene that takes place during the first week of every month in Savannah. Along with the monthly celebration of First Friday in the Starland District, Foxy’s courtyard performances make for the perfect way to experience the arts scene in a much more intimate manner. For this month’s performance, Vanessa Silberman and The Love Dimension’s Jimmy Dias will be taking the stage as a duo, providing a slightly stripped down, but no less powerful, version of their individual projects. In anticipation of their performance, we had the opportunity to discuss the upcoming show among other things in a short interview with Vanessa.
hissing lawns: Could you give our readers a little info about your project and influences?
Vanessa Silberman: For my solo [Vanessa Silberman] music it’s a mix of musical influences that range from grunge rock to punk & hip hop to old singer songwriter country blues to 60’s, pop & just raw recordings where’s it’s about the song / emotion & message. For my solo music I really wanted to have a lot of freedom to collaborate as well as to be very hands on since I’m also a producer/engineer/mixer or try things I never done before but all while keeping the sound cohesive so the songs aren’t all over the place genre-wise but more just hint at these influences! Another influence is positivity & hope –My goal is really to carry that through my music / message to help people & give hope as well as to encourage them that they can play music or tour. Or just follow their heart for that matter!
hl: This being your second time coming through Savannah, was there anything about the city or the music scene in particular that drew you back?
VS: The place, it’s so beautiful & different from anywhere else in the states. I love south & it’s people! Almost like a cousin of New Orleans! It’s got such an old wonderful history & I love old historical places. A great college community too! Foxy Loxy is very intimate as well which makes it different, unique & raw as they use no PA. I love that! It’s nice to change it up versus the wild rock shows!
hl: Could you give our readers a bit of info on how you found yourself touring with The Love Dimension?
VS: Jimmy’s San Francisco band/collective The Love Dimension is part of A Diamond Heart Production, which is my artist development label. I met him / heard about his band from a music writer & another band who is on the label. He reached out…we started talking & then maybe 6 months later or so we played a show together –we were doing similar things at the time, playing solo & I got what he was trying to do & we started working together….I started helping him develop his band. At the show we played, he also mentioned that he was a drummer & he’d love to drum for me if I ever needed a drummer so I invited him to do a west coast tour with me as I was touring solo a lot. It was fun so & we both decided we’d back each other & do a big US tour / help each other out as it’s hard to get regular players to commit to tour for long periods of time as a regular band especially when you’re building. And because of that very reason I was touring solo (because I love touring & didn’t want to wait around for anyone) but I’ve been developing my live show more & adding more players. This US Tour has allowed us to build our live shows & back each other on drums, or other instruments & build in markets more but also we’re able to invite different players, friends or featured musicians (which is what I do a lot of) or even partner up with other acts (we’re doing a East Coast tour with a great Boston rock Artist Carissa Johnson) & expand the live show.
I feel like since I’ve been in the business so long that it feels right to give back & help other artists… especially on the development side or people I come across…I want to keep building, create community across the US, & change the world through music. Music makes people come together & helps us in life, gives us joy, hope & so much more. It’s not one person who can change world / music but it’s many!
hl: You also run a developmental label, mind giving us a little info on that as well? Any major plans for that in the future?
VS: A Diamond Heart Production is a artist development label, a label for artists in this new era but with old school traits and hands on ways!
It was mainly created as kind of a umbrella to be able to do work on everything I do under it –everything from recording to art, imaging, & indie A&R to booking & release plans…I wanted an outlet for myself & other artists I believe in. I have had nearly every job in the business so I wanted to be able to offer artists a label / place that does everything, but on an indie level! Very grass roots.
Let’s say a band has everything in place (record, some funds to promote record for radio & PR, image, live show) but they don’t know how to put a release plan or steps to take. That’s where I might be helpful or another example is if they need a record produced & art but have the people to push the release etc so there’s a lot of options & everyone is different! But these days since I’m building & touring a lot as a artist myself I’ve mainly been just focusing on producing / recording & indie A&R which are my favorite things. The label has a small digital distro side too & I will expand it more / grow it to do specialty physical releases like collector items (such as tapes & vinyl) & eventually I want to invest in other bands on a really big level & partner with a bigger label.
hl: We know that your show on the 5th will be an acoustic set. Do you approach anything differently when playing something in a setting like that?
VS: Yes, actually since they do it old school style (with no amplification) at Foxy Loxy I will def do some more mellow songs & maybe give myself a chance to sing a bit more of my quieter songs for a change but also just depends on audience/crowd! Sometimes I see those environments as a cool opportunity to try out new material.
hl: Mind letting us know about anything coming down the pipeline for you or for The Love Dimension? Any last words for our readers?
VS: Yes! I’ll be coming out with a Tape (TBA) & new single of a song called “OK” (feat. Reed Mullin of Corrosion of Conformity/Teenage Time Killers & Producer/Musician Mikel Ross) which will come out in the near future (its being mixed right now). It was recorded on an off day in DC when we did a East Coast tour together in March. I will definitely be touring with them lot more in the future. I’m playing a the Star City Music Festival w/ them on July 8th in Brisbane CA.
The Love Dimension just released a new EP called Acceptance produced by Tommy Dietrick on A Diamond Heart.
Be sure to catch Vanessa and The Love Dimension this Friday, May 5th, at Foxy Loxy Cafe as part of their First Friday performance series in the Courtyard. Music starts around 7 and wraps up around 10 making it the perfect to get your weekend started right!
Coming from the Golden State to rock out the Lowbrow Palace on April 16 are Vanessa Silberman and The Love Dimension.
An L.A.-based singer-songwriter and guitarist, Silberman has her own independent label, A Diamond Heart Production, and has been compared to bands ranging from Nirvana to Patti Smith. The Love Dimension hails from San Francisco, a perfect setting to match their psychedelic sound that blends the musical essence of the ’60s and ’90s.
Cool plot twist – what initially started off as an interview with Silberman and The Love Dimension’s Jimmy Dias turned into an opportunity for me to play bass for them at their upcoming Lowbrow show. I was over the moon, to be honest!
I got to know them a little over the phone before their trip to the Sun City. We talked about going solo, some of their songs and what it’s like to perform together.
Q. Vanessa, what pushed you to leave your former band, Diamonds under Fire?
Vanessa: Diamonds under Fire was essentially my band and I had different players over the years. I had been using the band’s name and identity for about 12 or 13 years and so much had developed over time.
When I was recording the last EP, I felt like I was never going to get that “perfect” band and I decided that I just wanted to go solo, look at things completely different, and collaborate with different people.
Q. What’s the story behind your recent single, “Hide Your Love Away”?
Vanessa: When I wrote this song, I was wanting to record it in a very organic, raw way, but with a pop, ’60s kind of feel. Almost like Sonny and Cher or The Mamas and The Papas. It’s kind of a love song about being in a relationship but not being able to express what you want.
I just wanted to try something extremely different from Diamonds under Fire, which was more alternative/grunge.
Q. Jimmy, what is your debut single, “When Soul Love Begins,” about?
Jimmy: That song is about connecting at a soul level or deeper level than where we are as humans … to see the bigger picture instead of being divided by different egos or deeming what’s bad or good.
Q. Has any of your music been featured in any movies or TV shows?
Jimmy: We had a song (“Had Enough”) that was recently featured in David Duchovny’s “Aquarius,” a show that was set in the ’60s.
Vanessa: Diamonds under Fire had songs featured on some MTV kind of shows and some indie films. It’s my dream to be in a movie theater and hear a song in a big blockbuster movie.
Q. How has it been performing together?
Vanessa: It’s really cool! It’s such an amazing thing when you’re able to get people on the same page. My hope is that other artists can see this as an example to build community and help others during their performances.
Jimmy: It’s interesting playing with different musicians and seeing how the sound changes, whether it’s playing with Vanessa, playing with people in The Love Dimension, or other musicians. I have to kind of calibrate myself to work with the other’s style.
It’s been good, especially for the older material that I was starting to get kind of bored with. Playing with different people, I’m like, “Oh, that sounds cool that way.”
By Roman Gokhman
San Francisco groovy psychedelia revivalists The Love Dimension will release a new EP March 30. Acceptance is five tracks reminiscent of The Doors, The Mamas and the Papas and a bit of Jefferson Airplane. The band, led by frontman Jimmy L. Dias, will perform its new material March 30 at a record release show at Rickshaw Stop, and have several Southern California shows this week leading up to the big reveal.
The Love Dimension in concert
Wednesday – 8 p.m. – 21+
Silverlake Lounge in L.A. $10.
Liquid Earth Gathering fest (Pioneertown) $80-$120.
Friday – 8 p.m. – 21+
Velvet Jones in Santa Barbara $10.
8 p.m., Thursday, March 30
Rickshaw Stop w/ Joshua Cook and The Key of Now
To Dias, the name of the new record is about the acceptance of death, and that’s the central theme that courses through the songs.
“We all avoid that reality,” he said. “We like to think there is always tomorrow, but you never know. As I get older, it has become more and more important to me to enjoy each moment as much as possible.”
If that is too grim, understand that the theme rides just below the surface. Listeners can focus on “acceptance” rather than the death.
“You can’t change the past, but you can make a new choice in the present now,” Dias said. “So accept what is. If you like it, cool. If not, make a new choice and move in a different direction.”
The EP begins with the driving, hypnotic “I’ll Find A Way,” a la Golden Earring’s 1973 track “Radar Love,” before transitioning to the more straight-forward psychedelia, with strains of Americana, on “Hey Wall Street Man.” Dias said that a few years ago, he considered trying to make some money on the side by trading stocks and options. Rather than coming up with an avenue to fund his own music, he lost a lot of cash. Learning to get over it and move on plays into the theme of the record. The titular character he sings to on the song is not any one person, but rather the powers that be that seemingly control other peoples’ lives.
“I’m not judging anyone and saying anything is good or bad [because] that would be too much of a generalization,” he said. [Money] is a tool that can be used for whatever purpose and intention the person with it has. It just makes you more of what you already are.”
The Love Dimension performs in numerous configurations, from Dias by himself to many more. Dozens of Bay Area musicians have performed with Dias over the years. For the EP, the frontman recorded with singer-percussionist Celeste Obomsawin, singer-keyboardist Devin Farney, drummer Sonny Pearce, bassist Tommy Anderson and guitarist Kyle DeMartini. While the SoCal shows will be performed as a quartet, the Rickshaw Stop concert will be performed as a seven-piece band. Dias said he’s also working on a new full-length album, which has continued there trend of blending The Love Dimension’s ’60s sound with more modern influences from the ’90s, like Nirvana, Smashing Pumpkins, Sonic Youth and The Pixies.
Somewhere where the 60s, 90s, and 21st century meet sits The Love Dimension. The musical collective channels the essence of their San Francisco home-base into their tunes made for good vibes and singing along.
Recently, they dropped by the idobi studios to perform not one, but two tracks exclusively for us. Watch “When Soul Love Begins”above, and “Get Real Wild” with the band here.
Sly and the Family Stone, The Grateful Dead and Jefferson Airplane are just a few of San Francisco’s storied purveyors of psychedelia. Following in their footsteps seems like a rite of passage for many locals acts, but The Love Dimension is determined to carry on the celebrated tradition.
The psychedelic band was founded by frontman Jimmy L. Dias in 2009 and while it has been somewhat of a revolving door of contributors, Dias has remained a constant driving force. RIFF caught up with him to discuss the band’s origins, its current roster and Dias’ plans for its future.
Big Brother and the Holding Company, The Love Dimension
8 p.m., Friday
The Uptown, Oakland
RIFF: Before you started The Love Dimension, you described yourself as a “healer.” What did you mean by that?
Dias: Well, when I first moved out to California from the East Coast, I was studying the healing arts, like hypnotherapy, studying with different shamans and healers. I actually still do some sessions with people.
How did that lead into your career in music?
I was doing music before, in Boston, for a long time. But when I moved out to the West Coast I kind of gave up on music. I sold all of my gear. I said “I’m done. I don’t want to do this anymore.” In one of my hypnotherapy classes … there was this one guy who went up and he was doing this dreamwork. Basically, the message that that guy was getting was, like, he didn’t want to work for his dad’s company. His dad had a construction company and he was like, “I don’t want to do this, I want to do music.” I just remember watching him being, like, “Hey, I want to do music too!” I remember it felt like a boomerang hit me in the back of the head. So after that I started over. I started with the acoustic guitar and then I started writing songs and many of those songs ended up becoming songs for The Love Dimension.
Did your experience in mystical healing influence the direction you selected for The Love Dimension, or did you already have an interest in psychedelia?
Doing some of the healing work, what you’re doing is working in an altered state of consciousness, which can be a very psychedelic experience. I feel that it expanded my awareness and how I see things. It also helped me rid myself of a lot of beliefs and negative thoughts that were keeping me from doing what I wanted to do. One [thing] that I took from that was learning about hypnotic language and how that corresponds with really good songwriting. Like how [in] a really catchy song they keep repeating the chorus over and over again. It just gets into your subconsciousness and sticks in your head. So I find myself using some of those ideas when I’m writing a song.
You mentioned that mystical healing expanded your mind and opened your eyes. Is that what you try to do for your listeners?
I guess so. I really just want people to be inspired and open up themselves. The analogy I like to use a lot is “wanting to be a lighthouse.” Like, not telling people what to do, but just shine a light so other can find their way. I guess “opening people’s minds” is one way to put it. I don’t really know how to word it. To me, to be myself even more is really all I can do. I can’t do anything for anybody else. All I can do is express the music inside of me and then hopefully that inspires somebody has to go out and create in their specific way.
You have had several band members come and go over the years. How long has this current roster been together?
Well the current roster has been changing every show. There’s been a few periods of the band where we had a similar lineup for two to three years. But more recently, we’ve had stuff come up. [When I first started] I started just booking shows and I’d figure it out later. Which I did for the first Love Dimension show. I didn’t have a band yet, but I knew I wanted to play. Then about a week before show, both the drummer and bass player contacted me. So I’ll call [different people] up and put a band together. For example, we just played a small New Year’s Eve show as more of a three-piece, with just a guitar, bass and drums. Then we played at Bottom of the Hill and we had two drummers and four singers. It depends on the show.