Local Frequency: Bay Area Band Q&A w/ Orchid and Hound

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Lawrence Alarcon and John Constantine are Orchid and Hound. The two 23-year-olds formed the band last summer, but have been making music together since high school (they met at LA County High School for the Arts).

Alarcon and Constantine were classically trained in opera (by Stephanie Vlahos) but their own music has a pop bent. Orchid and Hound songs pair soaring vocals and bouncy piano melodies over somber lyrics that focus mainly on relationships. One barely notices that the lyrical content expresses a dour mood, as the music does just the opposite.

While they both live in the city, Alarcon and Constantine have flown under the radar here; the duo mostly plays shows in L.A. They're currently in the studio recording an EP to be released this spring. Orchid and Hound met up with Local Frequency at Whiskey Thieves to chat about self-help books, Miranda July movies, and crushing on Owen Pallett.

If you could describe your sound a San Francisco neighborhood, which one would it be?
Lawrence Alcarcon: Right now, I'd have to say Twin Peaks. I ride the 33 [by Twin Peaks], and every morning I get to see the same things: there's fog, there's sun, it's beautiful. Lyrically, I'd have to say the Castro, because I live there.
John Constantine: The Tendernob. I tend to write songs about society, more than Lawrence. I think in the Tendernob, you get to see the best of both worlds.
LA: You definitely get to see what the government does, or hasn't done for that matter.
JC: You get to see the excess, and the homelessness.

So, who's Orchid and who's Hound?
LA: Oh, shit. John?
JC: Lawrence is most definitely the Orchid. He's just so pretty. He sits there on the piano, so delicate, flower-like.
LA: John is most definitely the hound because he whines, he bitches. John sings, he's more vocal, he's the hound.
JC: We were thinking of making a quiz on our website: "Are you the orchid or the hound?"

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