The Thingz Are Carnival Freakz
Long Beach garage power trio the Thingz are fronted by the husband-wife team of Mike (guitar/vocals) and Kim (bass/vocals) Morrison, DIY rock-scene veterans with a somewhat-adorable backstory: They met at a show at Our House in Costa Mesa in the mid-'90s, then started dating a couple of years later. A short time after that, they formed the Thingz, then got married and settled down in LBC.
"Mike was living in San Diego, and I had no idea because I would see him at [Long Beach] shows almost every weekend," Kim recalls from when they met. Now, the Morrisons teach fourth and fifth grade by day, spending what seems like every minute they're not in the classroom doing some sort of music project.
As with most bands of this ilk, each member of the Thingz plays in several other projects around town. Mike and drummer Jason Cordero play in Bottled Spirits, an old-timey Americana string ensemble; before that, Mike and Jason played together in a rock outfit called Operator. Cordero also does the drumming for Long Beach power-pop trio Radiohearts, and he picks up the bass for a chamber-rock ensemble named Panther Heart. Before the Thingz, Kim logged in time playing with horror-rockers Voo Duo, back when they worked as a trio under the name Witching Hour.
And that's what's cool about Long Beach: The insularity of the city foments a cross-bred scene with a communal, grassroots vibe that doesn't really exist anywhere else in Southern California. Whereas Orange County is too spread out and LA too transient, Long Beach is a self-contained, fully functional scene that's composed of folks who decided to throw down roots there. And by Kim's account, Long Beach garage rock has started to draw the attention of people who live beyond the city limits because of this. "Every band has its own sound and personality," she says. "It's a good place to be creative and make connections."