LIFE ON THE FARSIDE To say Sonia Seelinger has undergone a metamorphosis feels like an understatement. The singer-songwriter first caught our attention in 2014, when she began playing open mic nights around town. In 2016, the singer rebranded as Sonia Barcelona and was named the Valley’s Best Emerging Voice by Las Vegas Weekly. Now, she’s releasing her first full-length album, Bitter Melon, on her birthday (September 7)—not with a release party, but with her own Farside Wonderfest festival dedicated to wellness, art and community.
“I feel like I developed my musical abilities really late, so I was really shy about it,” Seelinger says about the early phase of her career. “It’s taken a few years for me to get out of that headspace, to say that I’m good enough.”
Bitter Melon comprises acoustic songs and some she recorded with a full band, though both evoke sounds of early ’90s alternative rockers like The Cranberries and contemporary bands like Warpaint. The title, she says, is a nod to her Filipino and Indian heritage.
“When I was a kid I use to hate bitter melon. It’s put in a lot of Asian foods, and now I love it. [The fruit] is medicinal, so you might not necessary like the taste, but it’s good for you,” she says. “As an adult, it’s an analogy of how I used to avoid more bitter or deeper feelings. Being able to be OK with expressing my vulnerabilities is a huge thing for me.”
Thematically, Bitter Melon addresses everything from love and self confidence to Seelinger’s identity as a woman of color. “It’s important to be represented in the community,” says Seelinger, who will perform on August 23 at the District at Green Valley Ranch. “That’s another thing that keeps me going. There’s people that look like me, and I want to be an inspiration to them—you can do whatever you put your mind to.”
Farside Wonderfest: September 7, 4 p.m., $10-$50. Fergusons Downtown, 1028 Fremont St., artofsonia.com.
KIDD AT PLAY Garrett Curtsinger of Indigo Kidd has spent the past few years drumming and playing guitar in bands like Indigo Kidd and Homebodys, but now he’s stepping out on his own. In 2015, Curtsinger started recording lo-fi songs and uploading them to Bandcamp under the name Mucky Boys, but after moving to Las Vegas he shelved that solo project to focus on Indigo Kidd. Recently, he paired up with Dru Shaw (drums) and Eric Qi (bass), writing new songs and performing as a three-piece.
Curtsinger says Mucky Boys is more lo-fi than Indigo Kidd (for which he still drums), taking influence from bands like Dinosaur Jr., the Pixies and Pavement. “I never really would’ve considered myself emo, but after I read my lyrics, I’m like, ‘Wow, I’m kind of emo,” he says about the band.
Mucky Boys are currently working on an EP and have a show August 25 with Vegas’ Peachole and Reno’s Bug Bath at the Place (2123 Paradise Road). muckyboys.bandcamp.com.
STILL SILVER Caleb Lindskoog, Taylor Milne (The Killers) and Alex Stopa (Le Rêve) all have one thing in common: their love of Vegas runs deep. Together they are The Silver State, coming out of temporary hiatus for one night only with a free show at the Bunkhouse, August 22 at 8 p.m. Spin debut album The Outside (2014), then head Downtown to catch the gig. thesilverstatemusic.com.