The Student News Site of Sonoma State University

Sonoma State Star

The Student News Site of Sonoma State University

Sonoma State Star

The Student News Site of Sonoma State University

Sonoma State Star

Lake Street Dive span several genres


Lake Street Dive brought back the 60s New Orleans vibe by taking the listener to a dive bar on Bourbon Street with their new album, “Bad Self Portraits,” released Feb. 18. Together, the band successfully infused Motown, rhythm and blues, gospel blues and a touch of British-invasion rock.

The four members, signed by label Signature Sounds, met while attending New England Conservatory of Music in Boston, Mass. 

Mike Olson, who plays the trumpet and guitar, took it upon himself to hand pick the other three members in 2005: Rachael Price (lead singer), Bridget Kearney (upright bass) and Mike Calabrese (drums).

They first grabbed the public’s attention when they casually made a cover video of the Jackson 5’s “I Want You Back” on a street corner of Brighton, Mass. 

The YouTube video left everyone raving about the four originals’ talent. 

“Our musical development has been like Google Earth,” said Olson on their official website.  “We had the whole world of music at our fingertips, and we were unsure of what direction to take, but now we’re zeroing in a little closer.”

The best song on the album is “Better Than,” because of the slower, sultry feel to it. 

The lyrics imprint on the brain as they are repeated: “Better than pretending to know what’s wrong and what’s right.” They speak and relate to their audience through their personal lyrics. 

Most popular single on the album is “Bad Self Portrait.” Behind Price’s talented vocals, her soul and passion create a catchy, easy song to listen too.

“You Go Down Smooth” is a fast-paced song with a hint of country, but the horn incorporates a driven R&B sound. 

They use poetic lyrics: “That you may be my problem, not my love ‘Cause you go down smooth.” All four of the band members collaborate together to creatively intertwine each song lyric.

An aspect that is important to the band is their ability to not let fame change their image or their attitudes. 

“We are named in homage to dive bar bands,” said Calabrese. “We were, are, and always will be a dive bar band.  Whether we are playing for 10 people or 10,000, we want them to have that feeling.”

This attitude could not be more refreshing, as they are staying true to themselves and who they are as individuals and a group. 

Together they refuse to let fame or money get in the way from being true, which is rare to find in entertainment nowadays.

The name of their band, style, music and personalities exemplify their dive bar band attitude. 

Their name comes from a street in Olson’s hometown with many dive bars. With a style that is relaxed and vintage but not over the top mixed with personalities that are goofy, fun and approachable, they are original and relatable.

Yet another exclusive aspect of Lake Street Dive is how songs change when they are playing them live, making each experience performed live unique. 

When they are recording a song it reflects that specific snapshot moment, but each time they perform it they could take a totally different musical route. The song continues to grow each time they perform it. 

Each one of their musical attributes coincide together to reflect each 60s musical aspect in a modern sense. They connect the past with the present to make their music current.

What drives this group is their passion, as they creatively put their life into their music where one can hear their heart, soul and passion in each song. 

For those who enjoy music with soul, this album and the band all together would be highly recommended.

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