jackiO, Molly Kruse, Nikolitsa & The Comrades


Molly Kruse

Nikolitsa & The Comrades

Thursday, August 23

Doors: 8:45 pm / Show: 9:15 pm


This event is 21 and over

  • 9:15 - Molly Kruse
  • 10:05 - JackiO
  • 11:05 - Nikolitsa & The Comrades 

LA based Super-Group jackiO is:
Steve Bartek (Oingo Boingo, Elfman etc.)
Ira Ingber  (Bob Dylan, Captain Beefheart, etc.)
John Avila (Oingo Boingo, Neil Young, Willie Nelson etc.)
Dave Raven (Keith Richards,Norah Jones, T-bone Burnett etc.)
It's That Simple!
Molly Kruse
Molly Kruse
Molly was born Molly Elizabeth Kruse, the eldest of two children, on 8/8/88 in Berkeley, CA, the luckiest day of the century, according to Chinese tradition. "I was the first baby born at Alta Bates Hospital at 5:58 in the morning, so a bunch of newscasters featured my parents and me on TV when I was about 15 minutes old! We still have the tape buried somewhere, I think,” she laughs. Someone once told Molly that this event was a sign of great fortune and auspicious things to come in her life; with the litany of talent Kruse has already worked with, she appears primed for accolades and critical acclaim at the start of her burgeoning music career.
Although her family is non-artistic, Molly’s youth was immersed in the rich, musical mecca that is the San Francisco Bay Area. With a culture so chock-full of diverse musicality, her own tastes and talents were born of this intense melting pot. Her father is an overall music fanatic, engendering in her a deep love for all styles at a young age, and her mother is a beautiful singer herself, encouraging her to begin her vocal lessons at 12 years old. Working tirelessly on her voice, Molly competed in national vocal competitions, performed lead roles in musicals, and sang in school choir for over six years.
Throughout elementary and middle school, Molly was mercilessly bullied and struggled socially. “It’s painful to look back on that time because I only remember having one or two friends throughout my elementary school years,” she reflects. “That changed as I got into high school and college, but as a little girl, the lack of social time and emotional support from my family made me retreat into myself.” Kruse became wildly creative, writing short stories and songs and relying on her vast imagination to shield herself from the harsh realities of school and family life. As she grew, she became deeply interested in music; her formative musical palette included such diverse artists as Django Rheinhardt, Glenn Miller, Loretta Lynn, Silvio Rodriguez, Joni Mitchell, and CSN. “I can’t even name a favorite genre,” she smiles, “Just ask me how old I was, and I can tell you what I was listening to at that time and what I loved about it.”
At seventeen, Kruse moved to Bloomington, Indiana to study Theatre and Sociology at Indiana University and then to Los Angeles in 2012. "When I first moved to LA, I was acting in short films and commercials and had landed some small parts on TV,” Kruse reveals. "But when I’d come home and ground myself, I realized something didn’t feel quite right, that I wasn’t following my true purpose." Molly then left the world of acting and utterly dedicated herself to singing and songwriting.
Her first break came in early 2014 when she met renown film orchestrator and studio keyboardist, Randy Kerber. “That was such a special time in my life, and working with Randy was so fun,” she reminisces. “He’s this incredibly famous musician, so there was a huge element of intimidation for me, but we just became two goofy kids in the studio making really cool music together.” Kruse, who couldn't play an instrument at the time, would write late into the night and use only her voice as pen and paper. She would come into the studio with Randy in the following days, and Kerber would give further shape to the already full-bodied songs. “It was pretty crazy because these full songs would just spill out of me without the help of an instrument, and I’d come in with the tracks and Randy would be blown away at me not having used a guitar or piano to flesh them out,” she remarks.
A meeting with Kerber led to a meeting with Glen Ballard, famed producer of Alanis Morisette, Aerosmith, and Katy Perry and 6-time Grammy Award winner. Like Randy, Glen became a mentor and early champion of Molly’s work and offered sage and experienced counsel in matters related to the music industry.
After writing countless more songs, performing her work at a multitude of amateur gigs in Los Angeles, and learning to play the acoustic guitar, Molly began recording her debut EP in February 2016. She chose Brandon Eugene Owens, former bassist and musical director for Lauryn Hill and producer for Kendrick Lamar, Fergie, and Lana Del Rey, as her producer, who helped to enrich the already stellar songs. Kruse then hired a variety of famous studio and touring musicians to record the album: the roster includes Jan Ozveren (Shakira, Charlie Puth), Rod Castro (Hans Zimmer, Raphael Saadiq), Benji Lysaght (Beck, Father John Misty), and Lemar Guillary (Outkast, Jennifer Hudson), among many others. The album was recorded at Heritage Recording Co., an intimate, vintage, boutique studio in Burbank, while Scott Campbell (Stevie Nicks, Idina Menzel, No Doubt) mixed and engineered the record and Grammy Award-winner, Pete Lyman, of Infrasonic Sound provided mastering services.
At its heart, Molly’s sound is a blend of poppy, sweet soul with a rootsy, Americana twist and a dash of jazz and classic rock: “I just can’t seem to pick a genre!” she muses. “I love so many different styles of music and so many different styles of music have influenced me that I feel inspired to pay homage to all of them in my writing.” Even more noticeable in her songs is her voice, a powerful amalgam of musical influences and shining medium for weaving intricate harmonic and melodic vocal lines.
In addition to her vocal prowess, Molly’s lyrical content showcases the depth of her life experience and inner emotional life. She parlays her penchant for storytelling into poetic, incisive lyricism. She commonly writes on themes of love (lost and found), family, friendship, pain, and the shared ironies of intimate relationships.
Kruse performs regularly at locales across the US. Her debut, self-titled EP will be available come early 2018 on iTunes and various streaming platforms, as well as on vinyl and CD.
Nikolitsa & The Comrades
Nikolitsa & The Comrades
Nikolitsa and the Comrades is fronted by Nikolitsa Boutieros, a multi-media artist from New York City. An already acclaimed photographer (who's work has appeared in Spin.com, TimeOut and various galleries), Nikolitsa has photographed industry icons like Nick Cave, Patti Smith and many others. You see a vivid, dramatic dance in her photography. Not merely photographs, but compositions
unlike any other. It is this same captivating vision that she injects into her music with Nikolista and the Comrades.
Nikolitsa has risen above her early life challenges to divert those raw experiences towards the passion in her music, and the mysticism of her application to the arts. She has blossomed into one of New York's major rising talents!
By blending elements of punk, alternative and grunge into her music, she creates a wave of sound that is big, raw, heavy and melodic while remaining identifiably hers alone. With grit, savvy and intent, she exudes a peaceful but energetic aura with her timeless voice that is only embellished by her
amusingly honest lyrics.
One starry skied New York City evening, Nikolitsa found herself wandering through record stores in New York searching through new and old cd's. She happened upon an interesting and mysterious album that she ended up bringing
back home with her. That album was called, "Signs of a Vacant Soul" by Virgos Merlot. Little did she know it at that time, but that record would have a lasting impact on her as an artist and would help with the direction of her music in the future.
That record is still with Nikolitsa to this day, both physically and spiritually. Some nine years later, after first hearing that album and then tucking it away, she decided to go back and listen to it again. It was then that she realized the person who had produced that record (Brett Hestla), would be the one who could understand her art form and the path in
which she was travelling. He would eventually guide her through the recording process and inspire her to travel that path towards the next level.
It took over three years to craft her first recording, "Under the Moon." Creating the record was both a welcomed personal struggle to continue growing as an artist, and a joy to see through to it's completion.
During the production of the record, Nikolitsa found like-minded spirits with etymological hearts and they began playing around New York calling themselves the Comrades. The Comrades are: 17 year-old guitarist Tori Knops who weaves the beautiful melodic stories together, rock-wizard
bassist David Schwab who creates a soulful driving groove and Tony Nugent on drums who keeps the trio positioned on the track. "My main focus is to capture the truest essence of my material with honesty, integrity and heart," says Nikolitsa. This essential mode is totally evident during their live shows and is found in it's entirety in "Under The Moon," their debut recording.
Venue Information:
The Mint
6010 West Pico Blvd.
Los Angeles, CA, 90035