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Wild Child: a story of two bands that share the same name but couldn’t be less alike. One Wild Child is a Doors tribute act, the other Wild Child a freak-folk band from Austin. The former is a franchise with a defined future. The latter is among the new arrivals on the front porch of a folk-music scene that is collectively straining to enlarge the limitations of three major chords and five-part harmonies. Their strange, dark mishmash of rock and jazz has boosted them into the millions-of-plays category on Spotify and has earned them hometown gold. Earlier this year, the Austin Music Awards named Wild Child (the folk-sters) as both Best Indie Act and Best Folk Act for their energetic music that one could almost call Arcade Mumford.

That said, there is much extracurricular work done in terms of style among Wild Child’s cello-violin-ukulele-drums-and-keyboards collection of instrumentation. It feels like gypsy jazz, but it never quite crosses over into the wine-soaked café vibe of Django Reinhardt, who is the much-emulated father of that sort of thing. And the predominant singer, Kelsey Wilson, has a home-schooled lilt in her phrasing that is fickle and would be heart-aching if the band’s material was not quite so absurdly funny: “Dirty hair, it smells like beer/ I need to wash my clothes/ I’m hoping the stranger I met last night/ Can’t reach me on my phone.”

Wild Child launched as a duo three years ago with Wilson and Alexander Beggins, who also sings and plays an aggressive ukulele, the big one, a tenor. Prior to then, Wilson had never sung in public. While recording their debut album, the two hired on Evan Magers on keys, Chris D’Annuzio on electric bass, Carey McGraw on drums, and Saide Wolfe on cello. I wonder if the two Wild Childs will ever know of each other. I wonder if lawyers will be involved.

Lake also performs.

Past Event

Wild Child

  • Friday, November 15, 2013, 8 p.m.
  • Soda Bar, 3615 El Cajon Boulevard, San Diego
  • 21+ / $10 - $12
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