The surf-inspired Mystic Braves make waves

As a blood moon casts its red hue over Sunset Boulevard, a lo-fi guitar haze rips the night air and five long-haired, moustached men in trim jackets and denim pound their leather boots. They lure bouncy babes to the psychedelic sway of their kaleidoscopic “Dockweiler.”

The Mystic Braves don’t need to travel far for their Monday night residency this month at the Echo, but their California surf, psych-rock sound will soon be transplanted to Desert Daze Festival in Mecca, Calif. The five Angeleno men are among several local acts — including Burbank all-girls punk band, L.A. Witch — to join the post-Coachella-alternative at Sunset Ranch on April 26 with Blonde Redhead, the Raveonettes, Liars, Autolux, Vincent Gallo, Deap Vally and Allah-Las.

PHOTOS: Mystic Braves perform at the Echo

“We live right up the street. We wheeled our gear over here,” drummer Cameron Gartung says upstairs in the green room at the Echo, while his fellow Mystic Braves bandmates: singer, guitarist Julian Ducatenzeiler, bassist Tony Malacara, guitarist Shane Stotsenberg and keyboardist Ignacio Gonzalez, grab Tecates while a mysterious kazoo plays. They pile inside a shower — with clothes on, no water — for a quick photo shoot.

The dudes aren’t afraid of getting close. They live together on Bonnie Brae Street, just steps from Glendale Boulevard record store and independent label, Lollipop Records. The Mystic Braves’ new album “Desert Island” will be released off Lollipop Records on April 29 and the band’s final free Monday show at the Echo happens on April 28. The next day the band, formerly known as the Blackfeet Braves — before a letter from a former Lynyrd Skynyrd band member enticed them to change the name for potential legal reasons — hits the road for their first national tour.

“We got bullied by the big boys,” says Gonzalez, who isn’t too upset about the matter.

The group’s sound draws on ’60s influences the Beatles, the Byrds, the Seeds and the Chocolate Watchband. In the melancholic summer song “Dockweiler,” they meld cascading harmonies with long guitar riffs for a faded, subtle, attitude of cool and the lyrics: “She's composed of rock and sand/spills the blood of her victims hands.”

After one night with these guys it’s clear: They’re fit for a Bruce Brown surf film. Fans already know the words to their song “Strange Lovers” off their self-titled LP, and sing along under the disco ball dance floor.

“We just enjoy the music we make. We’ve all been in other bands and we have it. We flow musically,” says Malacara.

“Seeing people dance is definitely worth the payoff,” Gartung says.

What: Monday night residency with Mystic Braves

Where: the Echo, 1822 Sunset Blvd., Los Angeles

When: Monday nights through April 28

More info: (213) 413-8200,


Follow Nicole Charky on Twitter: @Nicosharki.

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