Le Switch

This post is in the theme “Constructing an identity through media”. Read the first.

October 18, New York: My friend Aaron Kyle is a very talented singer-songwriter. When I first met him, he was fresh off of a bad break-up and the writing and recording of the subsequent EP was an exhalation of all the pent-up fury and frustration from the period that came before. Those songs were angry and passionate and struck through with pain. But when I first met Aaron Kyle, his ambitions were turning to f-u-n, FUN. And that’s where Le Switch came from.

Le Switch (The Switch before some metal band sent a cease and desist) consisted of five of my good friends, led by Aaron on the microphone and lead guitar and joined by Maria Deluca, Joe Napolitano, Josh Charney, and Chris Harrison. They played fun, sometimes poppy songs with a country twist. Maria brought both the viola and the trumpet, so one could also argue that they played country songs with a Southern California twist. Aaron sang everything from bouncy country ballads to heart-rending songs of despair (from the previous period). One time a music writer called Aaron’s vocals “whiskey-soaked”, which while apt, does not take into account that one sip of whiskey transforms him like the Incredible Hulk into Angry Aaron.

Le Switch was a rarity in the Los Angeles music scene of the mid-aughts: they aimed to make every show a dance party. And in Spaceland in Silverlake and the Echo in Echo Park, us hipster kids would just stare back and nod our heads to the beat approvingly. I always danced at a Le Switch show. I had one goal in the Los Angeles music scene and that was the be the absolute biggest fan of this band. When I later moved to San Francisco I would go see them every time they came to town (and once even drove out to see them in Sacramento).

It is a treat to sit down and re-listen to the Le Switch discography. Toe-tapping “Hard Talking”. Dark and haunted “Out of My Mind”. My perpetual request (to Aaron’s great annoyance) “Le Country Song”.

Le Switch eventually disbanded but most of them continue to make music. Aaron now plays under the moniker Geronimo Getty (and I will see him play next weekend in New York). There’s nothing I loved better in those years than being a true and honest fan of this music, made by some people who I thought were so talented, but also happened to be my friends. It would give me a rush of pride to bring a San Francisco friend to a Le Switch show and have them leave with the LP.

You too can buy some of that Le Switch, right here.

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