Free Moral Agents at the Prospector, Jan. 8, 2011
Free Moral Agents at the Prospector, Jan. 8, 2011
Mary Bell

TONIGHT: Free Moral Agents at the Blue Cafe

Free Moral Agents don't sound like anyone else, in the good kind of way. You wouldn't be wrong to say there's a distinct blend of trip-hop, funk, psychedelic, soul and rock at play in their vibe, but it's a fresh kind of take. The quintet began as a solo project for keyboardist Ikey Owens (who also does time in the Mars Volta), but soon morphed into a full-fledged band, featuring singer Mendee Ichikawa, drummer Ryan Reiff, guitarist Jesse Carzello and bassist Dennis Owens.

If you missed the band last week at the Prospector, they will be playing tonight at the Blue Cafe Underground in Long Beach. Even though their sound can not be completely defined, one thing's for certain: asses are sure to shake.

Here are a few questions answered by bassist 

Dennis Owens


OC Weekly (Ryan Ritchie): What is a Free Moral Agent? And isn't that bad business by making it free? I mean, why not charge a little? After all, this is America.
Dennis Owens: I always thought that the more appropriate term should be "Moral Free Agent." In religious terms, it means someone who is put on this earth by a divine being and is then left to their own devices, free to make their own choices. 

Every time I've seen or heard your band, the term "night music" comes to mind. As in, "This is good music to listen to after midnight." Would you agree?
Sure!  Why not?

How does the new Blue Cafe compare to the old? Are there still paintings of John Lee Hooker on the wall? 
It's downstairs under another club. I've only been to the new one once before. I remember there being paintings and posters on the walls. I don't remember of whom, specifically. 

You seemed to have avoided that "girl band" tag many get when there's a female singer. To what do you credit that?

Is it true that Thursday is the new Friday? If so, how many thousands of people do you expect to show up tonight? And what time should the public start lining up?
Thursday is not the new Friday--I still have to go to work the next morning! Show starts early. Wild Pack of Canaries goes on at 9:30 p.m. Physical Forms goes on at 10:30, and we go on at 11:30.

Free Moral Agents performs with Wild Pack of Canaries and Physical Forms at the Blue Cafe Underground, 217 Pine Ave., Long Beach; Thurs., Jan. 13, 9 p.m. $10. 21+.


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