A closer look at the bands of ACL

Laura Figi, Life and Arts Editor

PALM SPRINGSTEEN

Palm Springsteen was once a file name—one among many. The band could have been titled Santana Monica.

The band, which started out as a one-man-show, performed Friday, Oct. 4, at ACL Weekend One.

Nick Hinman, Palm Springsteen frontman, has been a musician since he was a child. Piano lessons and teaching himself how to play guitar inspired him to pursue a life of music.

As he began writing music, Hinman started saving songs as potential band names. When he played his first show, Hinman chose the one that showed up most in his computer: Palm Springsteen.

Hinman said having lived in some of the biggest cities in the world undoubtedly inspired his music.

“Palm Springsteen is a Los Angeles-based band, but has a mentality of New York,” Hinman said. “Los Angeles is inherently hedonistic so (Palm Springsteen) has the attitude of that sound—that time— mixed with the warmth of California.”

Weekend One was full of firsts for Palm Springsteen: ACL is the first festival the band has played, their first time in Texas and the first time having played a show before 5 p.m.

Hinman said after the band finishes their tour, they plan on returning to L.A. and getting right back in the studio to finish their debut album. The band has only released two songs, but played 12 on stage.

“It feels phenomenal (to play at ACL),” Hinman said. “I couldn’t be happier.”

Palm Springsteen has worked with a few big-name artists like Tony Hoffer and Mark Foster, of Foster the People. After meeting him at a show, Foster asked Hinman to play him a few songs, then asked him to join his tour.

Hinman had six days before the band needed to leave.

The frontman said the tour was an amazing experience and he was grateful for Foster the People taking his band under their wing.

“It’s been a journey,” Hinman said. “We’re kind of at the beginning of it but the fans we’ve gotten have been very supportive and it means a lot.”

Palm Springsteen can be found on Instagram @palmspringsteen, Twitter @palmtweets and via their website.

SUPERET

Superet is the product of three things: Valentine’s day, Latin and a nervous breakthrough.

Front man Matt Blitzer was playing in another group when he decided it was time to break free and start his own production. After staying awake for three days straight, recording an EP and playing a debut show at Bootleg Theater in L.A., Superet was born Valentine’s day 2016.

Blitzer could not forget the date even if he wanted to—it’s tattooed on his arm.

“It’s one of my worst tattoos, actually,” Blitzer said. “It’s coming off.”

Blitzer said his inspiration for the band name came while driving in a red convertible down 3rd street in East L.A. He saw a sign for the Superet Church of Neon Lights encapsulated in a heart. Superet means “may he overflow” in Latin.

“It felt very in-line with this nervous breakthrough I was having,” Blitzer said. “All the music had been locked up inside me, and us as a band, for a long time and then finally came out. It felt very fitting for a name.”

Blitzer said the contents of the breakthrough were too personal but sleep deprivation can cause ideas to bubble up to the surface.

This is Superet’s first time on the festival circuit and they played Saturday, Oct. 5, at ACL Weekend One. Multi-instrumentalist Isaac Tamburino said playing at ACL was an honor and helped the band feel validated.

“It’s not like a ‘we made it’ moment but we must be doing something right to have been invited,” Tamburino said. “It’s amazing to consider the other bands our peers at this point.”

Their debut album is called “How to Work a Room.” The band is currently on tour and working on new music.

“Anyone is invited to join us in that room,” Blitzer said.

Superet can be found on Instagram and Twitter @superettheband, Spotify and their website.

HOUSES

Sometimes it helps to step outside one’s comfort zone, though Houses was never really in one.

Houses frontman Dexter Tortoriello did not start his music career or the band conventionally and never intended to. Houses, who performed Weekend One and will perform again Friday, Oct. 11, of Weekend Two, was born out of the loss of a job and a stint on the big island of Hawaii.

Tortoriello spent his childhood messing with music gear he didn’t know how to use, with no one around to teach him, he was left to his own devices. He had various projects in high school, but none came to fruition.

After losing his job and meeting bandmate Megan Messina, the pair moved to Hawaii and did farm work for the woman whose property they lived on, in addition to working on music.

When the two returned to the mainland and posted their music online, they were picked up by a record label in five days. Tortoriello said the music scene was different in 2010 when they were signed, and music blogs played a pivotal part in their success.

“I felt really lucky,” Tortoriello said. “I don’t know if it would ever happen again that way.”

In the past nine years, the band has made a great deal of headway: playing at Lollapalooza, working with artists like Diplo and just finishing a tour as the opening act for K. Flay.

The band finished touring with K. Flay two days before their first ACL performance. Tortoriello said him and Messina enjoyed working with the artist so much they watched her performance again at ACL.

“She’s huge and awesome,” Tortoriello said. “We had a blast and her show is one of my favorite things.”

The band has released three full-length albums since 2010. Tortoriello said their newest one, “Drugstore Heaven,” is an exploration of himself and his emotions. Houses’ song “Fast Talk” is one of the most personal songs performed.

“The first couple times we played (Fast Talk) it was really scary because no one knows the words and they’re hearing it for the first time,” Tortoriello said. “You feel like you’re naked on stage, totally exposed. Now, it feels really nice because people know the words.”

Houses can be found on Instagram @housesmusic, Twitter @Houses, Spotify and via their website.

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