Agent Ribbons: not your average two-piece band 

click to enlarge Lauren Hess and Natalie Gordon are Agent Ribbons - DEVAKI KNOWLES
  • DEVAKI KNOWLES
  • Lauren Hess and Natalie Gordon are Agent Ribbons

I always imagined Agent Ribbons as that seldom-seen two-piece drum/guitar band that surprises at every turn. The partnership you expect something from, but when they start playing, they bring more than you bargained for and force you to pay attention. When I mention this to Natalie Gordon (vocals, guitar), she laughs loudly.

"You totally called it," said Gordon, one half of the band (the other being Lauren Hess on drums and vocals). "It happens all the time. Depending of the crowd, people expect either something really quiet, soft, folksy type of thing because we're two girls, or something really simplistic and loud."

They get neither. Agent Ribbons new EP, Let Them Talk (out September 11), is an eclectic, unpredictable, beautiful two-part-vocal-harmony-filled gem that ranges from '60s Zombies-styled tunes to jazzy, cabaret songs and a capella. But it is their well-crafted songs, baroque pop arrangements, and especially their vocals that make all the difference. However, it wasn't easy for Gordon to convince Hess she could sing.

"On the first album she didn't sing at all," said Gordon. "It took me two years to convince her she had a nice voice. But through practice she's singing more and more and she's doing great."

Let Them Talk will keep us busy until the Sacramento duo (which moved to Austin three years ago) releases their third full length in 2013. Until then, they'll probably come to SA often — they can feel our pain.

"We love San Antonio," Gordon said. "When we met Girl in a Coma we told them SA feels like Sacramento in the way Sacramento is often skipped by bands in favor of SF, which is an hour and 20 minutes away. But Sacramento has a very supportive music community and I feel the same way about SA. We hope we can visit you a lot more because the people are so into it. It's one of the best places to play in Texas."

GIRLS GIRLS GIRLS

More on the show: Dallas' The Chloes (alternative rock-pop) will also be presenting their latest full-length Vanish, which was released in July. … Mrs. Howl (which originally came from Dallas and are thrilled to be in SA) are getting ready for their free "Fan Appreciation Party" Oct. 6 at Martini Ranch with Dallas' Static Mind, Bite Lip Bleed, Langton Drive, and Ledaswan. … Ala Chiflada is Heather Go Psycho in reverse: Jacklyn Alexandra on drums and backup vocals and Diana Marie on guitar and lead vocals. "HGS is a pop-punk girl fun band, while Ala Chiflada is like a Yeah Yeah Yeahs, Sleater-Kinney, Bikini Kill grrrl riot type of stuff," said Jacklyn, who always wanted to be a drummer and "is much more aggressive [drummer] than me," according to Diana who, according to Jacklyn, "is a great frontman." We'll see.

Agent Ribbons, The Chloes CD release parties, feat. Mrs. Howl, Ala Chiflada

$5-$7
10pm Sat, Sep 8
502 Bar
502 Embassy Oaks Suite 138
(210) 257-8125
502bar.com

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