Lone Kodiak: a survival tale
The story of the band Lone Kodiak is intimately and painfully linked to the concept of survival. It all started in Portland, Oregon, where Daineal Parker and Daniel Alden (respectively Guitar/vocals and bass for Lone Kodiak) launched their first project together. The band was called Emberghost and was fronted by the talented Sarah Jennings. They made a name for themselves in the local scene, selling out landmarks like the Roseland and they even caught the attention of Sony executives who invited them to perform a showcase in New York. The fairy tales soon transformed into a nightmare when Sarah was diagnosed with an inoperable brain tumor. She passed away and the gang disbanded. Parker and Alden went separate ways for a while and everything could have stopped here. But Parker found a work opportunity in L.A. and decided to start a new musical chapter, here in the city of Angels.
That’s when I met him in 2011. I just landed in the US and I was also starting my new life and my own musical journey. Yard Of Blondes was very new and Fanny and I were testing our first songs at local cafes and open mics. We met Parker at the Unurban Cafe in Santa Monica. This was a memorable night for many reasons. The Unurban Cafe is really tiny and the performance room is about the size of my living room. I’m exaggerating a little bit but it’s just because I want you to understand how intimate it was. Because it was actually intimidating. Yet, a quirky ukulele singer/songwriter named Javelin did her best to loosen the palpable tension amongst the performers in the small room. She was hosting the night, telling jokes and she was performing really bad songs, which is important in our story because that’s how Parker, Fanny, and I bonded later that night. Yes, at her expense, because we’re mean people sometimes, sorry. I have a fond memory of that night because we met a friend, creating a beautiful memory that will endure a lifetime and because we also met a wonderful songwriter and singer. Parker jumped on that little stage right before us. He was alone and he played songs from Emberghost. I couldn’t believe it. I came to the US because of people like him. I came to the US because I was a fan of Elliott Smith, and I wanted to pass the same streets, smell the same air and I hoped to get inspired in return to produce my own art. And here I was, in the presence of a songwriter that had the same grace and a comparable emotional palette. Plus, he was from Portland, just like Elliott. Parker that night, found a new fan in me. After the performance, we exchanged and laughed at the whole open mic situation and we decided to keep in touch.
A few months after, Alden came to L.A. too and the pair decided to move forward together. They released a wonderful tribute to Sarah as Emberghost and then, they decided to write a new chapter as Hurry Death, which ultimately would become Lone Kodiak. Things looked great again until one day in 2018 when Alden got severely injured in a motorcycle accident. He didn’t know if he could ever play bass again but fortunately, he recovered, and here we are, 10 years later after we met Parker. Their newest songs Make It A Weapon, Tiny Muscles and Bones carry the same grace Parker had when I met him. Yet, I’d say his songwriting is expanding as their sound becomes bigger and heavier. Sadness and depression are now joined by anger as the world keeps shattering. The uncertainty of our times burdens Parker and the survival aspect of their music is palpable. Social injustice, political uncertainty, and climate catastrophe have joined the party. Art remains the best survival tool for Parker and he’s one of the few who will ease your own struggles when you’re listening to their music. We hope Lone Kodiak will keep gratifying us with their medicinal music for a long time.
When we had the opportunity to celebrate the one-year anniversary of this podcast / growing community, we didn’t hesitate. We had to have Lone Kodiak on board. Join us on November 9th at the Resident in DTLA for a night of music with Analog party and my band Yard Of Blondes. That’s a reunion I’ve been looking forward to for a long time.
LISTEN TO PARKER'S EXTENDED INTERVIEW ON OUR PODCAST:
Parker in Venice, immortalized by Vincent Walter Jacob. iPhone + 35mm.