SugarPlum Orlando music
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A Sweet Treat w/ SugarPlum

I became aware of Chelsea Ybarra after my friend Henderson Nguyen sent me the music video he had just finished for a song called “All The Time.” The video featured a new ORL artist who went by the name SugarPlum. The visuals were bright and SugarPlum was bubbly; her voice joyfully sung the sweeeet chorus. After meeting her a few times and seeing her first two live performances, at Will’s Pub and Spacebar respectively, I became more interested in uncovering who this SugarPlum really was. So we scheduled an interview in Stardust Video & Coffee to talk about her upcoming, currently-untitled EP. Our talk even led to a visit to the ice cream parlor where “All The Time” was filmed. Enjoy.

Upcoming Appearances: February 10 @ Will’s Pub w/ Zoya Zafar & Pathos, Pathos.


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matthew warhol: I wanted to ask you, straight off, who exactly is SugarPlum? Is she, you? Is it kind of like a morphed version of you? How do you see it?

SugarPlum: … it’s kind funny how SugarPlum started. Ever since I was little I wanted to do the music thing, but I was never like, ballsy enough to do it. I needed that push. And my best friend Sarah — who’ve I’ve been best friends with since we were three-years-old, she does all my cover art — she always had my name in her phone as SugarPlum. So I was said that if I ever made music, I would use SugarPlum. [She’s] kind of like the girl who could. And I always said SugarPlum could be so much more than music. But essentially I am SugarPlum.

matthew warhol: So aesthetically, what is that? What is the vibe around SugarPlum?

SugarPlum: She’s like the goofy side of me, I think. The one who’s cheery and happy all the time. And even when things are hard she’s like, “Whatever, let’s go out!” I think she’s the version of me that pushes me to do all the things that are out of my comfort zone. Maybe I can’t do it but SugarPlum can.

SugarPlum Orlando music

matthew warhol: When did she start to take shape?

SugarPlum: It [happened] after I met Henderson. He was a fan before I even met him. I would post little videos of me playing guitar and singing on Instagram. And he would randomly comment on them saying, oh this is good. And when I finally played for him, he instantly shed into tears and was like, “No, you have to do it!”

matthew warhol: Was Instagram the first platform you started putting your stuff on?

SugarPlum: Yes.

matthew warhol: And when did that start?

SugarPlum: That was my first semester of college, so roughly a year ago. So like the end of 2015, I started posting videos of me playing.

matthew warhol: Were you playing your own songs?

SugarPlum: No, I was just doing little covers. I was too scared to post my songs. And I was obsessed with Frankie Cosmos at the time. I would go to my friend’s house, who had all these instruments and a studio, and record myself playing all of her songs — the guitar, the main and backing vocals, the whole thing. I was trying to get a feel of what it was going to be like to record songs. And then randomly I met my friend Alex, and he was super about recording.

SugarPlum Orlando music

matthew warhol: Your first song, “All The Time,” was that recorded with Alex?

SugarPlum: Yes.

matthew warhol: There are drums on that song. Who did those?

SugarPlum: Those were all done on the computer. I’ve been looking for a drummer for the longest time. They’re like hiding from me!

matthew warhol: Maybe you’ll be able to find one through this interview.

SugarPlum: Scouting drummers!! I really am looking!

[laughs]

SugarPlum Orlando music

SugarPlum Orlando music

matthew warhol: With “All The Time,” a lot of the lyrics seem very direct. They sound like we’re hearing actual experiences. Is that the case?

SugarPlum: Yeah, yeah! 100% real. I think the moment I started “All The Time,” I already knew what I wanted it to be. The writing process for me is like … I can write a verse in seconds, but the chorus is what gets me — the repetitiveness, writing something catchy. But “All The Time” like basically wrote itself. It was about the scenario when you’re with someone and you end it. And they keep calling you. And you like that they keep calling you. It’s that good feeling that they still want you, but you have so much you have to do.

matthew warhol: And even the chorus came together quickly?

SugarPlum: It was super fast. I was honestly just rushing it because I wanted to get it out! I knew my first song wasn’t going to be my best song, so like I’m not going to over think it. But then it like, blew up and I was like *screams*.

matthew warhol: Where was that reception coming from?

SugarPlum: I was always random people who always wanted me to do it and were waiting for me to do it. One of those people, who I appreciate and admire a lot, is Scott. He runs a music blog, 53rd & 3rd. And Sarah, who I mentioned earlier, worked with him at Barnes n Noble. She showed him “All The Time” when it came out. And he wanted to meet me and post the song. From there one of those blogs that automatically reblogs songs it sees potential in reblogged it.

matthew warhol: Was it Hype Machine?

SugarPlum: Yeah!

matthew warhol: Really? That’s really good!

SugarPlum: I was like “WOW!” I didn’t know what that meant at the time.

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matthew warhol: Do you know how many listens it has?

SugarPlum: It just hit 1,000 two weeks ago. And “Maybe, Baby” has only been up a week and it’s already at 100.

matthew warhol: Tell me about “Maybe, Baby.” I listened to it on the way here and it has a different sound. Were you wanting to make something different?

SugarPlum: After I came out with “Clover Pt.2” with EMRLDTRACE, I got a feel with a different vibe. Then Andre Thomas — who is an amazing, amazing musician and producer — reached out to me and wanted to work together. All of the music on “Maybe” is by him.

matthew warhol: So was it already done and you came in and added melodies to it?

SugarPlum: Sort of. He sent me a little snippet of it and thought I would like it. I loved it.

matthew warhol: Did you tweak it together?

SugarPlum: Yeah, I went to Miami to see him. I’m actually going this weekend again. It was all a very good feeling. We would do things in one take. We’re like two puzzle pieces and musically, we fit perfectly.

SugarPlum Orlando music

matthew warhol: Is he producing more on the EP?

SugarPlum: Yeah, the EP is all me and him.

matthew warhol: So is “All The Time” going to be on it?

SugarPlum: “All The Time” will be a bonus song. I think the EP has a different vibe — “Clover” will be on the EP. But “All The Time” and an interlude I wrote on the ukulele are going to be the bonus tracks. Because they’re more, more …

matthew warhol: You want the EP to have its own sound?

SugarPlum: Yeah.

matthew warhol: So is it going to be more synth-based with more beat production behind it?

SugarPlum: There’s definitely still going to be guitar incorporated in the EP, but we have a more synth sound.

matthew warhol: How many songs?

SugarPlum: Five songs and we’ll all have the two bonus songs.

matthew warhol: Does it have a name yet?

SugarPlum: NO! I can’t come up with a frickin’ name. I’m seeing Andre this weekend and we’re like, “We have to get a name!” At the same time, I was bugging my friends like, “Do people name their EPs, or is it self-titled?”

matthew warhol: I mean it could be SugarPlum EP.

SugarPlum: I though the same thing with the interlude I wrote. I was like, should I just have it as “Interlude?”

matthew warhol: I think it can be either one. It can also be like … “[something] Interlude.”

SugarPlum: I had a name for the interlude, but it’s so long.

SugarPlum Orlando music

matthew warhol: What was the name?

SugarPlum: So when I recorded the interlude, it was on Christmas Day and I was eating Japanese food. So we just named it “Japanese Food on Christmas Day.” Everyone was like, “It has nothing to do with the song.” And I was like, “But it’s true!!”

matthew warhol: So the EP comes out … ?

SugarPlum: It should be early February. I’m going to be releasing it before the show on the 10th.

matthew warhol: Now the previous show at Will’s Pub, that your first show?

SugarPlum: Will’s was my first show. And it went surprisingly well.

matthew warhol: No, that was an amazing show. And so many people came out.

SugarPlum: Yeah everyone was so amazing. Zoya. Tiger Fawn was amazing. I remember smoking with Tiger Fawn before I went on, and I was like, “This is my first show! I’m so nervous.” And she was like, “MY FIRST SHOW WAS HERE!”

matthew warhol: And you had never performed on a stage before?

SugarPlum: Never, ever, ever, ever. I don’t think I had even played for most of my friends.

matthew warhol: How did it compare to what you thought going into it?

SugarPlum: I remember posting “All The Time” and thinking that I would be so happy if 10 people listened to this. I remembering looking into the crowd and hearing people sing along and it a different kind of feeling. To hear people singing along to my first song ever.

SugarPlum Orlando music

Zap Dragon Tropical Depression

Zap Dragon – “Unwritten Rules” (premiere)

Orlando four-piece Zap Dragon are an unassuming band. The members themselves are very down-to-earth guys; good friends who just enjoy playing music together. They wear t-shirts, baseball caps, and shorts on stage. Frills and gimmicks aren’t their things. Some would say that they play equally straightforward rock music. The unassuming part is how well these “straightforward” songs are crafted.

Allow me to awkwardly segway “Unwritten Rules” — their latest preview of Tropical Depression, out October 1 — to make my point. The song’s instrumentation is tight. Everything has its purpose and there’s no unnecessary fat — a theme with Zap Dragon. But this allows the harlequin voice of David Zimlinghaus space to dance about. We can really appreciate the interesting things he’s saying and the interesting ways he’s saying them. His charismatic yelps are often joined by co-vocalist Jordan Schneider in sweet melodies.

Zap Dragon’s lyrics are full of just as much character. “Unwritten Rules” covers both personal and political hypocrisy. Zimlinghaus points the finger at himself just as much as he does the “absent president.” And he does so, as always, in a sarcastic manner. “Unwritten rules, someone should write them down.” Zap Dragon are throwing a release party for Tropical Depression, October 1 at Will’s Pub with Transcendental Telecom, The Wooly Bushmen, and Really Fast Horses. Catch the sarcasm live!

just some shows. 12/11 - 12/13

just some shows. (12/11 – 12/13)

It seems [insert preferred religious/non-religious holiday here] has come early (late if you celebrate Hanukkah). This weekend, Krampus is delivering a hefty sack of music and joy to Orlando and its various neighborhoods. Whether you like to dance, mosh, or buy knick-knacks, everyone gets a gift this weekend. Enjoy.

FRIDAY

Yogurt Smoothness ‘Slumlord’ EP Release

Pysch fuzz two-piece Yogurt Smoothness‘ last release was 2013’s Heavy Cream. Two years later, Slumlord will explode into your ears for the first time at Stardust Video & Coffee. But the Bros. Yo aren’t going to be the only ones making your latte pulse like Jeff Goldblum’s water in Jurassic Park, fellow two-piecers, Slumberjack and The Welzeins, are sharing the stage for what’s sure to be Stardust’s loudest night in years. This show is free, so you have no excuse to not pick up the new EP, available on CD or a limited edition 10″.

more info.

SATURDAY

1995

You may remember 1995 as the year OJ was acquitted, the year Beanie Babies turned children into craised dope-like fiends, and the year Full House ended, leaving a everlasting hole in America’s heart. But apparently, music also existed two decades ago. Enough that the good people at Will’s Pub are dedicating an entire evening to celebrating the year Kylie Jenner was born. Teen Agers and The Pauses are performing ’95 cover sets, including songs from Radiohead, Smashing Pumpkins, Bjork, Green Day, Hum, Foo Fighters and many more — fingers-crossed for Alanis Morissette’s “Hand in My Pocket.” Comedian Larry Fulford will throw jokes way over the audience’s heads as he performs bits about news stories from that golden year. Expect at least a handful of party-goers to say, “If the glove does not fit, then you must acquit.” Or maybe It’ll just be me, saying it 50 or so times.

more info.

A Very Body//Talk Christmas

A business office party on Xanx, B//T is holding their third annual Christmas party at The Milk District (dubbed The Nog District until 12/26) on Saturday. Resident DJs VSN QST and GRÜVV will be playing ultra-festive mixes in Sandwich Bar, while Orlando singer-songwriter Evan Taylor Jones and Midnight Inspector lull you into a sugar plum coma at Spacebar. The dance party gurus are collecting can goods to be donated to Orlandians in need. In exchange for two cans of quality food — don’t bring your Grandma’s cranberry substitute from 1995 — the $7 entry will be knocked down to 5.

more info.

SUNDAY

Grandma Party Bazaar 2015

Last year’s Grandma Party Bazaar was a really busy, really lively afternoon. TVW photographer Karina Curto and I live blogged the entire event. The two of us frantically bolted around snapping pictures, absorbing vibes, and regurgitating our findings for like … five hours. That being said, Grandma Party IS AWESOME. A stew of all things local, this festival of grandmas broils together handmade gifts from a variety of Orlando’s artisans and music by the cities best acts. The pot all of it’s cooked in: the parking lot of Stardust Video & Coffee.

This year, Lavola, Summer Spiders, The Secret People, Timothy Eerie, Wet Nurse, and Polylust will all take the stage sometime between 10 a.m. and 6 p.m. My hope is that Polylust will bring out a burlesque granny who sits in everyone’s lap. While perusing the abundant booths looking for a present for a loved one, be sure to stop by Hello Happy Plants, the most bazaar gardening shop you’ve never seen. They sell succulents that come in troll dolls, toilets, beer cans, chip bags, sharks and more — and the owners are just plain delightful!

more info.

just some shows. | The Vinyl Warhol

just some shows. (11/12 – 11/14)

While perusing my never-ending borage of Facebook event invites (not complaining, I like doing things.), I noticed that there’s some good shit happening this week. Too much to ignore. These are by no means the only excellent events happening this week, but they’re the ones I’m not missing. Enjoy.

THURSDAY

A Rock & Roll Picture Show

Thursday, Uncle Lou’s is serving-up a hearty plate of Central Florida rock & roll. Included in this six band lineup are rowdy duo Dose Amigos, lo-fi loner BLCH, and The Ashtray, an alternative rock outfit that features TVW writer Andres “Andy” Andrade. Dubbed the “Rock & Roll Picture Show,” this evening will convince your eardrums that it’s the weekend.

more info.

FRIDAY

Always Nothing One Year Anniversary

Orlando creative conglomerate Always Nothing never do anything by the book. On Friday, they turn one! Their birthday party is sure to be a unique combination of art and live music. The appropriately peculiar Moon Jelly will be putting on their spectacular live show — past shows have incorporated elaborate lighting rigs, projections, and neon glasses that fragment light. All of this madness serves as the canvas for the raw artistic talent that is the band’s four musicians. Joining them will be Gainesville producer Euglossine and two NYC atmospheric artists, Cuddle Information and There Are No Thieves. Not all of the night’s info is posted yet, including the location, so keep an eye on the event page.

SATURDAY

Music On Mills

Four stages. Thirty Orlando acts. One charming street. The second annual Music on Mills festival is destined to be one of the biggest events of the year. The unstoppable Jessica Pawli has pulled together an all-Orlando lineup showcasing a myriad (the only appropriate word) of bands, solo artists, and DJs, playing at a few Mills hotspots: BART, St. Matthew’s, Wally’s, and Will’s Pub.Proceeds from the $10 ticket ($15 on Saturday) will help fund public art and safety projects in the Mills 50 District. It’s been interesting watching this event take shape — I even helped select a few of the acts (thanks Jessica for including me!).

Catch Jessica every Friday on WPRK from 4 p.m. to 5 p.m. Every other Friday, I’m on with Mitch Foster from Shows I Go To!

DO NOT MISS: ARK, The New Lows, Common Man, Someday River, Thrift House, and Zoya Zafar.

more info.

Ladies Get Lit

On the same night as Music On Mills, Lil Indies (the bar adjacent to Will’s) is housing Ladies Get Lit, a celebration of Orlando’s literary females, hosted by three Orlando zines: let’s kiss (run by TVW contributor Karina Curto), Phosphene Girl, and Tittie-Thyme. Each will be slinging a new issue of their respective zine while musicians and spoken word artists take turns on the mic.

more info.

 

photo by David Lawrence | iamdavidlawrence.com

Adjy + Thrift House @ Will’s Pub (review + photos)

Have you ever been caught talking shit? When a seemingly benign piece of gossip turns into a full-on social execution, the crypt of shame feels inescapable. Unless… you’re not the poor soul on the receiving end of embarrassment. Then it’s a goddamn riot. This was the horrifically hilarious scene that occurred last night at Will’s. And some bands played too. Enjoy.**

**This slightly entertaining anecdote is a dramatization created by my misunderstanding of a conversation, sponsored by PBR!

Thanks to David Lawrence for the photographs!

Like the victim of shit talking appearing at our table, I too fell out of the ether into Will’s. I just kinda showed up. And after a long day spent booking, I was glad to be there.

Once the event previously spewed into an introductory narrative occurred, my night really began with Thrift House. This neo-funk six-piece had talent to spare. Each member took his or her turn in front of the mic. And every one of these voices was their own, personality for days. Local singer and multi-instrumentalist Addison Muha sang like a new age Janis Joplin. Immediately afterward she switched to drums while the drummer belted a savory rock ‘n’ roll burner. It was like slow cooked ribs. Good eats.

Adjy + Thrift House Live Review | The Vinyl Warhol
photo by David Lawrence | iamdavidlawrence.com

Adjy closed out the night at Will’s. an Orlando collective sporting an uplifting brand of indie rock. It’s sure to cleanse the soul. The band exuded positive energy. Vocalist and multi-instrumentalist, Chris Noyles, threw his arms around the stage, air-hugging the entire audience as he sang. I was surprised to find out that Adjy hadn’t at one time been a praise band. I’m not sure that what I felt at Will’s was a god, but I their on-stage passion had me jiggling like good ‘ol Jimmy Christ.

Like Thrift House had earlier, most of the six-person band played numerous roles in the creation of the set. My favorite was the enthusiastic vibraphone player, Abbey Go. At one point she was joined by the light dings of a glockenspiel. Without further explanation or exploration, you should be able to deduce the kind of music Adjy play just by the inclusion of these to instruments. It’s light. It’s upbeat. It makes you feel good. Critics of enthusiasm may attack this band’s fervor, but burn the non-believers.

With that, my night at Will’s Pub ended. I meandered over to Lil Indies where Orlando blues/soul/funk legend Eugene Snowden was finishing a set with some fellow musicians. I’ve been lucky enough to see Eugene in action before, and whether he’s playing for a few or for few hundred people, one thing is constant: He’s on. And his energy pulls the best out of other musicians, who each took turns riffing on the band’s last song. Come see Eugene play with The Legendary JC’s this Sunday at Will’s 20th Anniversary Fest. I’m sure he’ll be in rare form.

TVW Zine Release Show | The Vinyl Warhol

TVW Zine Release Show (photos)

Last Thursday was another milestone for this strange art collective. Some of Orlando’s brightest creatives shared their art at Wills Pub. Zines were snatched up and devoured, and a variety of music and spoken word filled the crowd’s ears. Thanks to everyone who performed and tabled. We’ll see you again soon. Enjoy.

If you want the lowdown on all of the bands and zines check the link.

show flyer zine release final

TVW Zine Release Show | Thursday, 9/3/2015 | Will’s Pub | $5

In June we released our first zine, a compilation of photos and memories from our tour dairy with Me Chinese. This was originally intended to be a one-off. But, everyone at ZINE FEST was so encouraging, we couldn’t just stop. So with the support of a bunch of really talented Orlando artists, zine two is on the way. And after of the amazing time we had at our first show, WE ARE ANIMALS, we’ve decided to release the zine at a party with all our friends.

The Vinyl Warhol is an extension of the Orlando arts community, not just the music community, and we’re doing something a little different. We’re making a sandwich. Three bands will serve as the hearty bread, with spoken word in between slices as the pb & j in your ears. Orlando’s finest zines (ours is mediocre in comparison) will be set up like fine potato salad to feed your brain more syntax. Doors are at 8:30, music starts at 9:30 p.m. Enjoy your meal, menu below!

Huge thanks to Orlando musician/graphic artist, Cory Young, for our poster. If you see it around, steal it. 

MUSIC

The Knick-Knacks

The Knick-Knacks came to me via my friends in Pathos, Pathos at 3:30 a.m., in between my botched front flips into the band’s shared pool. The much more coordinated band members of Pathos2 praised the Melbourne-based garagesters’ live chops and catchy melodies. Coincidentally, one of their songs is called “CannonBall.”

yogurt smoothness

Almost two years ago — yes, we’ve been doing this shit that long — I wrote the twelfth post to appeared this blog, “Hometown Heroes: yogurt smoothness.” Baby writer, Matthew Weller, said, “The two create a wall of sound, punching you in the chest, demanding lunch money.” This was actually the first time I wrote about an Orlando band. Now, approximately 250 posts later, they’re playing our second show. Talk about “full circle.

adam and the plastic

I met two members of adam and the plastic at a barbecue joint on Colonial. I was talking about another project that’s in the works, and they wanted to play it. That’s still happening (wait for it, I am excited) and this is happening too. Do you like your indie rock unshaven and sounding like something fresh from The Factory? Maybe you don’t even know what that means. Maybe you think I’m insane. Listen to this:

ZINES

Tittie-Thyme

Tittie-Thyme is an exceptional group of people. Their ideology is empowerment and community, a theme that engulfs every release. Emotive personal stories, interesting how-tos, and humorous anecdotes will leave you walking away having learned something (why do I sound like a kid from Reading Rainbow?). Women are their focus. But their audience is genderless.

Is It Over Yet?

A bunch of punks got together and made Is It Over Yet?. And it’s fucking beautiful. Their zines are filled with drawings and paintings and poetry and photographs and essays, all done with authenticity and feeling. Looking through IIOY?’s releases is like strolling through a back alley art gallery. What you find is probably going to be hard to look at, but it’s going to grab ahold of you and demand something immediately.

let’s kiss

let’s kiss is a zine orchestrated by our own KARINA CURTO! She compiled a bunch of first kiss/time stories from her friends, and they’re really good reads. These are packaged along with some personal photos and artwork. I love it because it’s so Karina.

SPOKEN WORD

Spoken word will be taking place before each band, and if we have enough people who want to read, after. I was sleeping on the Orlando spoken word circuit for a while, but my eyes are now open, and I can see.

If you want to read, send me an email: matt@thevinylwarhol.com 

Here’s an unfinished list of our spoken word boys and girls:

  • Karina Suzanne
  • Young Moon
  • Troy Cunio
  • Cory Young
  • Lila Miller 
  • Emily Beth
  • Matador