the flog

Just Too Sweet

Pocket of Lollipops comes to Kona

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Pocket of Lollipops has two equal parts. There's Maitejosune Urrechaga, who utilizes more bass guitars than John Wick does guns (her instruments of choice are a Fender PJ and a Cardinal by PureSalem, who began sponsoring her last year; she also plays the cello). Tony Kapel, her husband, plays synths, electronics and drums, specifically a Gretsch Catalina Club kit. They both share vocal duties, with lyrics overlapping in a style similar to bands like Guv’ner, Boss Hogg and Sonic Youth.

The band is based in Miami, where the couple was born and raised. They keep themselves busy as key facilitators of alternative culture in South Florida. As such, they don’t get out this way nearly as often their fans here would prefer, which is too bad, because they’re a natural fit with this scene. Their December 27 appearance comes midway through a quick mini-tour of the state, which also includes stops in Ft. Myers, Cape Coral and Boca Raton. The diversity of venues reflects the band’s eclectic tastes and the universality of their quirky charm: stops include the iconic Adrienne Arsht Center for the Performing Arts of Miami-Dade County, followed by a DJ set at the Miami Book Fair, an Art Basel wrap-up show, Robot Brewery in Boca Raton and a couple of record stores.

This is their first Northeast Florida gig in two years, and it's at the historic Kona Skatepark, which doesn’t host live music nearly as often as it should. “Last time we visited Jacksonville, we decided to check it out,” Kapel said. “We have been trying to book a show there for a while. So it was nice to get this chance to play.”

2019 was their tenth year as a band, and one of their most successful. Their first album, MT Your Pockets, was released in January 2010, followed by Vivid Reprise in 2011 and Broken Balloon in 2012. The Letters to Larrup EP (2013) was really what brought their sound to wider audiences (that and the video for “Cute Chaos,” which was an instant classic on YouTube).

2020 will see the duo (who’ve known each other since high school and been married since November 2011) celebrate their 25th year as a couple by releasing their seventh studio album, tentatively titled TIBURON. Its predecessors, Be My Non-Friend Friend (2019) and Thanks Theo (2016), both drew strong reviews in the music press.

According to the band's website: “Their communication manifests through sound waves, DIY projection and video, hand-painted vinyl, homemade buttons and clothing, props, sets, poetry and interactive creative processes.” And there are plenty of processes. The two have hosted their own radio show, Turntables in the Treehouse, every second Saturday for three years and counting. They have also branched out into video production with a monthly series called “Transmission from the Cottage” in collaboration with PureSalem Guitars. They even partnered with Accent Perfumes recently to release a fragrance called Cloak. I don’t know what it smells like, but I would assume it’s pleasant, sweet and kinda earthy, just like them.

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