Coastwest Unrest

Resident Presents

Coastwest Unrest

Andrew St James

Tue · February 6, 2018

8:00 pm

$8.00 - $10.00

This event is 21 and over

Coastwest Unrest
Coastwest Unrest
The songs on Coastwest Unrest’s new album, The
Crazed Ones, on their own indie Reclaim Records
label, can’t be understood completely without
knowing its chief singer/songwriter Noah Dickie, and
his older, drummer brother Josh, are west coast
natives, having grown up, first in Fontana, CA, then,
after the 1992 L.A. Riots, settling in Las Vegas.
“I wanted our name to reflect the locale,” says Noah.
“We are a Western band. Our music reflects that
upbringing, from the riots in L.A. to this weird city in
the middle of the desert. Unrest comes from the
general uneasiness, the anxiety of the music.”
That combination of the timeless, barren nature of the Mojave juxtaposed against the neon glitz of the Sin
City strip has created an uneasy balance between the roots Americana of their early work and the
stripped-down, stark punk-folk of their latest. The desert looms large in the musical vision of Coastwest
Unrest, its forbidding ecosystem, a hallucinatory, peyote-infused psychedelia that joins the barren
expanse to the ominous edge of a city built on sand, a film noir that evokes the pulp fiction of Jim
Thompson and the alien punk range of Charles Bock’s award-winning 2008 novel, Beautiful Children
about Vegas punks roaming the streets in wild packs.
The band’s music has become even darker over time, still with one foot into the roots, but this time, even
more directly, reflecting a desert haze that has dissipated and hardened under a big, black sun. Things
may now be more on the surface and out in the open, but they are no less ambiguous. “You have to read
between the lines,” explains Noah. “Growing up with all that insanity and violence had a major effect on
“I’ve always respected artists that reflect their environment, and sing about what they know,” says Noah,
who started playing guitar at nine, while listening to everything from Bob Dylan, Gram Parsons and ‘90s
hip-hop (check the OutKast homage in “The Mainstream”) to Iron Maiden and The Germs. “I couldn’t
see doing anything else,” he says, referencing L.A. poet Charles Bukowski, “I was born into this.”
Co-produced in Berkeley, CA, with Jim Greer (Foster the People, Yoko Ono, New York Dolls, Dr.
Octagon), The Crazed Ones was mostly written before the current political maelstrom. Still, Noah’s
songwriting proved remarkably prescient, from the environmental crisis denoted in “EPA (Edward Paul
Abbey),” his double-edged tribute to the dystopian/anarchist novelist of the same name who predicted
catastrophe in novels like The Monkey Wrench Gang to the Jungian archetypes in “More Madness,
Please,” the mythological Joseph Campbell journey in “Re Wasteland” and the cinematic darkness of
Noah has deftly blended the political and the personal, optimism and pessimism, the specific and the
general, into a series of songs that ache with guilt and temptation, addiction and release, the arid desert
and the teeming city, another chapter in a musical output that is best described by the title of one of their
previous albums, Old Weird America – transparent yet mysterious, simple but multi-layered, both nakedly
aggressive and dreamily contemplative.
Andrew St James
Andrew St James
Venue Information:
428 S Hewitt Street
Los Angeles, CA, 90013