Wednesday, June 24, 2020 - Virtual Alive After Five Summer Concert Series
Aka Belle are genre-crossing mavericks from Boise, Idaho; spotlighting sultry, intimate vocals over unhinged guitar solos, backed by a beatnik jazz/rock rhythm section featuring stand up bass.
Aka Belle are known for their DIY shows, mixing their quirky, glittery onstage performances, and catchy songwriting with haunting, passionate calls for love, resistance, and equality for all - they make you want to dance, hug, cry, sing along, and raise your fists to fight - often simultaneously!
Their influences cover a wide range - a near enough description might be Catherine Merrick (who has been compared to Neko Case and Jenny Lewis) singing to a mix of Crazy Horse (thanks to Aka Belle’s wild guitarist Sam Merrick), Arthur Lee (Love) and Os Mutantes, then throw some influences from definitive jazz artists like Charles Mingus (Aka Belle bassist Michael P. Waite and drummer John “Bongos” Townsend can swing, baby), with a hint of natural, smoky voiced torch singer Julie London... and you’re getting somewhat close to the Aka Belle sound. They are a rock band unafraid to experiment, speak their minds and make full use of their individual talents.
Aka Belle are making plans to go into the studio to record new material in spring of 2020, hot on the back of their 2019 release, “Sagebrush Athenians,” which made the Top 50 Best Sellers of 2019 at the iconic Record Exchange, as well as making the Best of 2019 local albums list compiled by Boise Weekly.
2019 saw the release of two videos from the “Sagebrush Athenians” album - “War On Love,” the bands wondrous, anthemic often show closer; and “Wonders of the World,” a call to everyone in the world fighting for equality in these chaotic times.
They have headlined Hyde Park Street Fair; shared the stage with both Portland’s Roselit Bone and Federale; international stars Ken Stringfellow and Jon Aur/The Posies (Catherine has consistently been their go-to backing vocalist when they perform in Boise); Sera Cahoone, Brett Netson (Caustic Resin, Built to Spill); Eilen Jewell; Jesse Dayton; John Doe & Exene Cervenka (X); Holly Golightly, Lydia Loveless, Lindi Ortega, and collaborated with some big names in music including Iggy Pop, Doug Martsch (Built to Spill), and even Curtis Stigers.